Newly crowned boy king Tommen Baratheon (Dean-Charles Chapman) inherits seven kingdoms in chaos on “First of His Name,” Episode 35 of HBO’s epic fantasy “Game of Thrones.”
Gentle Tommen is the polar opposite of his cruel older brother, the late Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson). But is a naïve tween capable of ruling a continent threatened by White Walkers to the north, dragons to the east and internal strife throughout?
Her son Tommen needs much guidance, Queen Regent Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) tells Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), Joffrey’s widow. Then, surprisingly, Cersei admits her older son’s reign “would have been a nightmare” had he lived.
“You know exactly what he was. I did too,” Cersei says of sadistic Joffrey. “The things he did shocked me.”
So does twice-widowed Margaery want to become queen by marrying much younger Tommen?
“Sounds strange, I know, but I haven’t even given any thought to it,” Margaery says disingenuously.
Determining the nuptial partners, of course, is patriarch Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance). He decides that Margaery should wed Tommen in a fortnight and Cersei should wed Margaery’s brother Loras (Finn Jones) a fortnight later.
Tywin is eager to tap the House Tyrell treasure, given that the Lannisters spent a fortune on warfare, their last gold mine ran dry three years ago and they owe “a tremendous amount” to the unforgiving Iron Bank of Braavos.
Speaking of nuptials, Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish (Aidan Gillen) journeys north to The Eyrie where he weds loony Lysa Arryn (Kate Dickie), the aunt of Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner).
Ever-ambitious Littlefinger covets Lysa’s money. And he’s obviously attracted to Sansa, who fled for her life when husband Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) was accused of poisoning Joffrey at his wedding feast.
And Lysa is obviously jealous of lovely Sansa.
“What have you let Petyr do with your body? Your young, pretty body,” Lysa angrily asks, scaring Sansa and making her cry.
But not to fret, Lysa says assuringly. Her overprotected son Robin (Lino Facioli) is a perfect marriage partner for Sansa. Start fretting!
Meanwhile, Sansa’s half brother Jon Snow (Kit Harington) leads a band of volunteers beyond The Wall to Craster’s Keep on a mission to slaughter their mutinous Night’s Watch comrades.
Unbeknownst to Jon, these traitors captured his half brother Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) along with companions Hodor (Kristian Nairn), Jojen Reed (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and his sister Meera (Ellie Kendrick).
One of Jon’s volunteers is Locke (Noah Taylor), who secretly intends to kill Bran as part of a power play to control northern Westeros. Locke nearly succeeds.
Fortunately for Bran, his supernatural “warg” abilities enable him to enter and control Hodor’s simple mind. Summoning incredible strength, Hodor breaks his chains, runs down Locke in the snowy forest and savagely breaks his neck.
Bran could reunite with Jon at this point and travel with him to Castle Black. Instead, the Stark lad continues on his mystical quest guided by a vision he experienced beneath a sacred Heart tree.
Finally, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) ponders her next move after conquering the slave city of Meereen. Should she sail across the Narrow Sea and topple King’s Landing? Or should she solidify control over the continent of Essos?
Her course of action becomes clear when military advisor Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) reports devastating news. Slave masters retook the city of Yunkai. And a “butcher” overthrew the ruling council Dany installed in Astapor.
“I will not let those I freed slide back into chains,” Dany vows, realizing her invasion of King’s Landing must wait. So what’s her immediate plan?
“I will do what queens do,” Dany firmly states. “I will rule.”