Violet recaps the Season 4 premiere of Game of Thrones, titled Two Swords, where Dany’s dragons are growing up fast, Jon Snow explains himself at the Wall, King’s Landing prepares for Joffrey and Margaery’s wedding, and Arya and the Hound find trouble on the road! Following the recap, both Violet and Josh share their thoughts on the episode.
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Episode Recap of Game of Thrones, Season 4 Episode 1: Two Swords
In King’s Landing
- Tywin has Ned Stark’s sword melted down and forged into two swords, and gives one to Jaime. Tywin wants Jaime to go home to rule Casterly Rock, but Jaime refuses, and insists on staying with the Kingsguard.
- Tyrion goes out to meet the Prince of Dorne to welcome him to King’s Landing. However, Tyrion discovers that Prince Doran has sent his younger brother Prince Oberyn instead, and he already arrived in town earlier. Meanwhile, Oberyn and his paramour, Ellaria Sand, are at a brothel. While there, Oberyn is annoyed by Lannister men and stabs one in the hand.
- Tyrion finds Oberyn at the brothel. When he asks Oberyn why he is in King’s Landing, he talks about his sister, Elia, who married Rhaegar Targaryean, and mentions a war that ended in King’s Landing with Tywin’s army butchering his niece and nephew. He also tells Tyrion that Gregor Clegane, the Mountain, raped Elia and split her in half with his sword. Oberyn knows if that the Mountain killed her, that Tywin gave the order. He tells Tyrion to warn his father that the Lannisters aren’t the only ones who pay their debts.
- Sansa refuses to eat anything due to her grief from the loss of her brother and mother. Tyrion sends everyone away, even Shae, to speak with Sansa alone. He tries to comfort her, but she goes to the godswood so no one will talk to her. When Tyrion returns to his chambers, Shae is waiting in bed for him, but he refuses her. They get into an argument, and Shae leaves in a huff. Meanwhile, a servant has overheard from the hallway.
- Jaime gets a gold hand to place over his stump. Jaime tells Cersei that their father disowned him, and that he’s staying in the Kingsguard to be with her. However, she rejects him because she is angry at him for leaving her, and complains that he took too long to come back. The servant reports to Cersei what she witnessed between Tyrion and Shae.
- Brienne reports to Margaery that she witnessed a shadow that was Stannis Baratheon kill Renly. Jaime and Meryn plan the guards for Joffrey’s upcoming wedding. Later, Brienne reminds Jaime of his promise to keep Sansa safe.
- While in the godswood, Sansa realizes someone is following her. It is a drunk Ser Dontos, the knight she saved on Joffrey’s name day by convincing him to keep Ser Dontos as his fool instead of killing him. He gains her trust by giving her a necklace that once belonged to his mother.
- Daenerys lounges around with her dragons, who begin fighting over sheep, and one snaps at her when she tries to stop them. Jorah warns her that dragons can never be tamed, not even by their mother. Dany finds Daario and Grey Worm competing to see who can hold up their sword the longest.
- Daario gives Dany some flowers, telling her of their properties, saying that she needs to get to know the land if she is to rule its people. On the road, there is a dead child nailed to the post of each of the 163 mile markers to Mereen. Rather than let her men ride ahead and take them down, she insists on seeing each of their faces.
- South of the Wall, Ygritte, Tormund, and the other wildlings meet up with a group of Thenns, cannibals who aren’t very friendly. Meanwhile, at the Wall, Jon Snow is questioned about the murder of Quorin Halfhand and his time with the wildlings. He admits that he broke his vows and laid with a wildling girl. Jon warns his questioners that Mance Rayder is marching toward them with hundreds of thousands of wildlings, and that there is already a band of wildlings south of the Wall also getting ready to attack them. Maester Aemon decides not to behead Jon Snow.
Arya and the Hound
- While Arya and the Hound are traveling, they come across a tavern, but watch from the woods. Arya recognizes Polliver, who had captured her and some other children and brought them to Harrenhal. He killed her friend Lommy, and stole her sword, Needle. Arya insists on going in. Polliver recognizes the Hound and comes over to sit with him and Arya. The Hound gets into a swordfight with Polliver and the other king’s men in the tavern. Arya sees a man getting up, bashes him over the head, then uses his own sword to kill him. She slices Polliver’s legs from behind, then takes Needle from him and kills him with it. Arya gets her own horse to ride, and she and the Hound continue down the road.
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 4 Episode 1 of Game of Thrones: Two Swords
Shortly after attending San Diego Comic-Con last year, I started reading George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series upon which Game of Thrones is based. For those who don’t already know, Season 1 is based upon the first book, Season 2 is based on the second book, Season 3 is based on the first half of the third book, and Season 4 is based on the second half of the third book. When I got to the point in the third book, titled A Storm of Swords, where I caught up to the show, I faced a dilemma. Should I stop reading there, or should I keep reading and have the show spoiled?
In the end, I decided to keep reading because I wanted to know what happened next. I didn’t want to wait until Season 4 started. Also, I figured it would be the same as when I try to read a book before watching the movie, which I do quite often. Reading the books helped me understand what was going on in the show a lot more, and especially helped me to actually learn the names of all those people who I didn’t really remember the names of before. However, now that the show has started back up, and now that I know what is coming, it makes it feel like the show is moving even slower.
Therefore, I felt like this was a very uneventful episode that didn’t really have much going on in it, other than to set the stage for what’s to come. That’s understandable, considering it is only the first episode. I want to go back and watch the series from the beginning, so I can compare those seasons to the books, but I have not had the chance to. Anyway, back to this episode. Reading the books really helps you notice things going on in the episode that you may not have caught otherwise. For example, the beginning of the episode where a sword is melted down into two swords, hence the title of the episode, I’m not sure I would have realized that was Ned Stark’s sword, Ice, had I not read the books.
I’ll try to keep my commentary on comparing the show to the books to a minimum, because that’s probably annoying for people who have not read the books, which I’m guessing is a majority of the Game of Thrones audience, though I could be wrong.
Anyway, so pretty much what happened this episode in King’s Landing was that Tywin gave Jaime a new sword, then disowned him when he refused to go to Casterly Rock because he wanted to stay in the Kingsguard to be near Cersei, but she’s no longer interested. Tyrion welcomed Dornish Price Oberyn Martell to the city, but Oberyn seems to have revenge against Tywin and the Mountain on his mind. Remember that Dorne, where Oberyn is from, is where Cersei’s daughter, Myrcella, was sent as part of a marriage pact with the Martells. Brienne catches Margaery up on how her husband, King Renly, really died, and Brienne seems to remain on friendly terms with Jaime, reminding him of his oath to Catherine Stark to protect her daughters.
Meanwhile, at the Wall, Jon Snow is fine, despite being shot with three arrows by Ygritte, but he is under much suspicion after having killed Quorin Halfhand and running off with the wildlings, and is pretty much ignored when he tries to warn them about an impending attack by Mance Rayder and the wildings from both sides of the Wall.
Over with Daenerys, who is moving to conquer Mereen, her dragons are growing up fast and she is starting to lose control over them. Also, Daario Naharis, who was played by Ed Skrein, has been randomly recast, and is now played by Michiel Huisman, who you may recognize from World War Z or the TV show Nashville. In other words, if you had any doubt about this show being a soap opera before, now it seems even more so with its recasting of characters, which soap operas do all the time! All that was missing was the in show announcement of the new actor. The show is definitely trying to suggest a romantic notion of Daario trying to pursue Dany, but it looks like she’ll have none of that, though she seems flattered.
Finally, at the end, we see Arya riding along with the Hound, and we get the most exciting part of the show when she gets revenge against Polliver for stealing her sword, Needle, which Jon had given her, and for killing her friend Lommy. Then they continue down the road like nothing happened. Continuing to where? Well, the Hound’s plan is to bring Arya to her Aunt Lysa and get some reward money.
All in all, like I said before, this episode merely served to set up the rest of the season. I think it’ll get a lot more exciting from here on out though, as there is a lot that happens in the second half of A Storm of Swords. It looks like Joffrey’s wedding is the next episode already, and all I’ll say about that without giving anything away is, that means this next episode will be good. I mean really good. As in, expect lots of reactions across social media, so make sure you watch it live if possible, otherwise you will get spoiled about a big plot point. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Josh’s Thoughts: Game of Thrones, Season 4 Episode 1: Two Swords
This week’s episode of Game of Thrones was a bit slow in my opinion. Tywin Lannister’s destroying o f Ned Stark’s sword was painful, a way to get at the Starks in their grave. He even has a final insult for Ned, referring his sword as much too large.
We see that Jamie Lannister has received a new hand, a very heavy one it seems, and not very functional. I am curious to see Jamie’s ability with a sword now that his main hand is gone. We have seen him previously not fight so well with his left hand, but perhaps with a little practice, he will get better.
Most of the middle of the episode was rather slow, some jealously for Shae towards Tyrion and Sansa. Some discussion of Margaery’s wedding, and the introduction of the Dornes was mildly entertaining, but still overall I was not feeling enthralled by the episode.
Khaleesi is still just doing her journeys and trying to keep her dragons tame, while trying to keep her men in check. Nothing really new there.
The best part of the episode was probably the end with The Hound and Arya. Their scene was entertaining, and suspenseful, as we just wait for the carnage to begin. I am wondering where Arya will end up with the Hound.
I also hope to see Jon Snow more involved in the “main” story line, dealing with Joffrey and the Lannisters. I would really like to see someone actually be able to take the throne from him, and put the Lannisters back on their heels.
Scenes from Game of Thrones, Season 4 Episode 2: The Lion and the Rose
Here are scenes from the next Game of Thrones episode, titled The Lion and the Rose: