Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones Season 4 Ep 5 "First of His Name" Review - Female Power

Greg Tito | 5 May 2014 19:46
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Outside court politics and into the wilderness of the Riverlands, we get too very different women trying to find their place with their male companions. Brienne of Tarth now has new armor, a Valyrian steel sword, and a squire who can't even ride a horse. Poor Pod is awful at serving his lady in most of the ways a squire usually serves - he can't cook, he can't ride, and she'll be damned if he tries to get her out of that armor. Brienne releases him from his oath, basically tells him to bugger off, and he's so loyal that he sticks with her even after being told to leave. She's disgusted with Pod's only duties to Tyrion, which consisted mostly of pouring wine. He did kill a man though, a Kingsguard, by the way.

Brienne stares at him. "How did you kill a Kingsguard?" "I pushed a spear into the back of his head," he replies meekly. You can see the inner turmoil in Brienne as she sees just how badly she's treated this poor, loyal boy. He's not going to laugh at her. He will never mock her for being who she is. He is a good squire. The simple pleasure Pod exhibits when she finally asks him to help her with the straps of her armor is infectious. I couldn't help but smile myself. Now if Brienne only knew his other talents.

Across the Riverlands, Arya is reciting her names as she and the Hound bed down for the night. The list is getting smaller; she doesn't yet know she can scratch Joffrey off. Sandor Clegane tells her to shut up in so many words, but he does say hate is as good as anything to help you through your days. Maybe he'll even help her kill his brother the Mountain if they ever meet him. Now go to sleep. "I've only got one more name left," Arya says before she turns over and utters loudly, "The Hound." He hears that one all right, but he's not quite sure what to make of it.

After firmly establishing the bond between these two characters in the first episode of the season, the creators seem to want to drive a spike between them as much as possible. They have a lot in common, Arya and the Hound, not the least of which is a hatred of each other. When he mocks her water dancing practice the next morning, you can see Arya's hate laid bare. She tries to stab him, and the Hound casually backhands her when his armor turns her little sword. Arya isn't sure what to make of his words, but she's learning more in his presence about the realities of the world despite her personal feelings towards the brute Sandor Clegane. I'm not sure how their relationship will play out in the series, but I hope a bit of sympathy develops again before they part ways.

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