It seems like we've had several "First of His Name" characters over the past season and a half. Most notably, of course, is Joffrey "Baratheon". This week it's his brother, Tommen. Tommen is a boy who, despite being spawned from the evil Cersei Lannister, really seems like a good kid. Maybe that's why he doesn't get a lot of screen time. He's boring, he's nice, he's what a king should be, really. In spite of (because of?) all this, a world like Game of Thrones will just chew him up and spit him out by the end of next episode.
Everything is very low key this time around. Tommen's coronation is a simple ceremony that takes place at Baelor's (I still can't get enough of that awesome set) and it seems that most things will be a very different tone now that Joffrey is gone. Tywin and Cersei, in discussing Tommen's probable marriage to Margaery Tyrell, mention that there will be no jousting dwarves, no 77-course meals and in doing so also provide a nice tip of the hat to book readers.
We meet up with everyone's favorite new character, Oberyn Martell, who is, of course, writing poetry out on the castle grounds. Must be nice to be a filthy rich renaissance man. Oberyn and Cersei then take a tour of the gardens, basically so she can butter up another judge. Cersei seems to do her best to cozy up to both judges, appealing to each judges' (Oberyn and Tywin) biggest source of pride. You can see that all of her drinking is starting to take a toll, as she's no longer a subtle manipulator anymore, but far too direct for her attempts to have any real effect. I do like that they take this opportunity to show us, once again, how beautiful Dubrovnik, Croatia is.
Michelle MacLaren (of Breaking Bad directing fame) directed this episode, as well as last week's "Oathkeeper". This week, we were treated to a great long distance shot in basically every single outdoor scene. The producers and HBO have really hit their stride in this show, churning out high quality episode one after another. Every episode has plenty of eye candy for everyone, from the sets to the costumes to the locations they shoot in.
The setting is fantastic, but it would be nothing without a great story. As we catch up with some, but not all of the other stories outside of Kings Landing, we're treated to yet another budding buddy comedy in Brienne and Podrick. Podrick is the same as he's always been, very aloof but loyal as hell and he tries as hard as anybody. He finally wins the respect of Brienne when he recounts the events of the Battle of the Blackwater when he saved Tyrion. Brienne's scenes in big camps and in the city are really sort of awkward, which seems in character. She's best on the road, and with her mission and her new sword, she is in her element.