1 Episode Down- 9 To Go.
The first episode in the fourth season of Game of Thrones starts off with a scene showing the dark and ruthless Tywin Lannister melting down the Stark family’s greatsword ‘Ice’ and forging it into two new swords. This first scene is very symbolic of the final ruining of the Stark family and what the Lannister’s feel is the end of the war.
Following the new beginning sequence to the show- showing new cities- Tywin gives the sword to Jaime and asks that he leave the Kingsguard and move to Casterly Rock to rule, however Jaime refuses, wanting instead to stay at Kingsguard to be with Cersei.
Tyrion continues to struggle for respect as Master of Coin and is sent to greet Oberyn Martell- Oberyn turns out to have already arrived and Tyrion finds him in a brothel already having stabbed a Lannister guard, he then reveals to Tyrion that he is there to seek revenge for the death of his sister Elia who had been married to Prince Rhaegar Targaryen (who was next in line for the throne before being killed by Robert Baratheon) and was raped and killed by Ser Gregor Clegane.
Sansa Stark is distraught over the deaths of her brother and mother, refusing to eat despite a kind pleading from Tyrion. Later, she is confronted by Dontos Hollard, who- in a very sweet scene- thanks Sansa for saving his life on Joffrey’s name-day celebration, and gives her his Mother’s necklace.
In the North- Ygritte is still angry after Jon Snow’s supposed betrayal, before being interrupted by the Thenns- basically mountain versions of the Wildlings who happen to also be cannibals. It seems the Thenns want to come down from the mountains for more food- delicious.
Jon Snow is also distraught over the deaths in his family, however he seems to be channeling his anger into the cause. He is tried and nearly called to be executed (which he doesn’t seem too worried about), however he uses the information he gained from his time with the Wildlings as leverage and is saved.
Across the Narrow Sea we meet some much larger dragons- Daenerys is reminded that despite being the Queen of Dragons, they are still monsters. She is leading her army to Meereen- one of the last of three great slave cities she wishes to conquer. Along the way Daario tries to romance Daenerys by teaching her the culture and ways of the people of Meereen- she can see right through him but finds him charming all the same. They come across a dead slave girl hung on a mile post- this fuels Daaenerys even more once she learns she is one of 163.
Finally, we see The Hound and Arya still on their voyage. The Hound informs Arya he plans to sell her for ransom before coming across an inn where Arya spots Polliver- the man who stole her sword ‘Needle’ and used it to kill her friend Lommy after he hurt his leg and couldn’t walk. In the inn Polliver tries to talk friendly with The Hound knowing of his history, however this esculates into a fight. The Hound kills many of Lannister’s soldiers in the Inn, and we are shown one of the most bad ass moves that Arya makes yet.
Arya injures and claims back her sword, then uses it to kill Polliver in the same way he killed Lommy…
“Something wrong with your leg boy?”
“What? What do you mean?”
“Can you walk? Have I got to carry you?”
“Fine little blade…maybe I’ll pick my teeth with it”
The episode ends with The Hound and Arya riding away on a new pony with a view of a burnt and desolate Riverlands.
Two Swords was a delicious beginning to Season Four of Game of Thrones. The episode reaffirms what we learnt at the end of The Red Wedding (or it’s real name, “The Rains of Castamere”)- that this is not a story of good triumphing over evil, rather the fight for power. We are reminded of this in the symbolic melting-down of Ned Stark’s sword, Jamie’s less-than-warm welcome home and Arya’s deeping darkness as she kills Polliver with those dead-pan eyes.
Daenery’s voyage continues to lumber on as she conquers city after city. We don’t see much of her in this episode and nothing much happens apart from us being introduced to the new actor playing Daario- apparently this this is on account of scheduling conflicts- Ed Skrein (Daario Number 1) is is to take over Jason Statham’s role in the reboot of the Transporter franchise (according to Variety)- the discovery of the dead slave girl being used as a mile-marker, and seeing the grown dragons getting a little too feisty (and awesome). This trip of hers has been going for a while now- here’s hoping that we get to see some more action from the Targaryen clan this season.
You get a slight feeling of upcoming doom in this episode, with Tyrion’s continuous belittlement, the arrival of Prince Oberyn seeking vengeance, the chastising of Jaime for being caught and loosing his hand, and finally- the dragons snapping at Daenerys- while this may not seem like much, it makes you think, could the dragons go rouge as they grow bigger and stronger? Emotions are running high, and after the shock of the Red Wedding, you just know some crazy-ass shit is going to go down.
Two Swords broke records for both Game of Thrones and HBO, reaching 8.2 million coupled with encore screenings in the US, higher than the ‘Soproanos’ finale, proceeding to help out the new ‘Silicon Valley’ comedy TV series which aired afterwards hitting 2 million viewers (a record for a new half-hour show).
We have a feeling this is going to be a great season (fingers crossed).
Update: Game of Thrones has now been renewed for Seasons 5 & 6, no surprise there!
The Lion and The Rose- Preview
Season 4, Episode 2
“We have a new queen”
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