Game of Thrones has been on a generous streak of giving us answers. Who killed Joffrey? We rather quickly learned it was Lady Olenna and Littlefinger. What do the White Walkers do with Craster’s sons? Why, they turn them into baby White Walkers. And this week, Thrones blows wide open a hugely crucial murder mystery cold-case, one we long assumed had been solved: the mysterious death of Jon Arryn, the former Hand of the King whose demise paved the way for pretty much our whole story. Plus, we see a new side of Cersei, Dany makes a game-changing decision, Jon Snow attacks Craster’s and more as we break down the latest Thrones, “First of His Name.”
King’s Landing: Candles, of course. We see a ceremony where Tommen is proclaimed king. The crowd shouts, “Long may he reign!” Hearing their proclamation is like being at a wedding where everybody secretly thinks the couple won’t last. Getting his crown is Tommen’s big moment, but he cannot resist ogling his real prize – comely Margaery Tyrell, giving him secret smiles of nighttime tuck-in naughtiness. Suddenly their gaze is blocked by Ice Queen Regent Cersei. She’s like one of those moms clinging to their sons in the creepy Old Spice ads. She goes to chat with Margaery and they have a very delicate conversation.
Once again, Thrones surprises us. We think Cersei is trying to trick Margaery into admitting her interest in Tommen and will then pounce on her . Clearly Margaery thinks this is what Cersei is up to as well. But Cersei is unlike we’ve ever seen her on this show. Cersei Lannister is … depressed. This feels emotionally correct; the rage and paranoia she felt in the wake of Joffrey’s death has faded into sadness. At least she’s calm, and in that she has found some room for clear thinking. “He would have been your nightmare,” Cersei tells Margaery bluntly about the prospect of life with Joffrey. “You knew exactly what he was. The things he did shocked me.” And Cersei isn’t easily shocked.
Cersei broaches the idea of Margaery marrying Tommen, asking if she’s interested. I expect Margaery to exclaim, “Look, the pie!” and dart out of the room. But instead, she lies her dimpled face off, saying she hasn’t thought about it yet.
“We may be faced with an alarming number of weddings soon,” Margaery adds. One would think the prospect of going to even one wedding would be alarming by now.
Cersei later goes and talks to her father about Margaery marrying Tommen. Tywin has a hilarious line, grimly recounting how Robert used to pat him on the back – I wish we could have seen that. Tywin explains the Tyrells are the Lannisters’ only true rival in terms of resources, so they have to keep their enemies close. We get another reference to the fearsome Iron Bank of Braavos, to which the crown owes a considerable amount of money. Apparently, these debt collectors are just like the ones in our world: “You cannot run from them, you cannot cheat them, you cannot sway them with excuses.”
I wonder here: If Tywin knew Olenna had killed Joffrey, would it change anything in his behavior toward her and plans with them? I don’t think that it actually would, given how this murder has solved his problem of Joffrey’s increasingly unmanageable psychopathy. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if Tywin has secretly figured it out.
NEXT: Dany’s game-changing decision; Sansa visits her relatives