Game of Thrones Review “Two Swords” S4E1

Game of Thrones for the casual Throny

Going through Walking Dead withdrawal? No need to go into a digital 12 step program because Game of Thrones is back! I’ve been a die hard fan for the first three seasons and, although I have only read the first book in the series, I fancy myself enough of a casual fan to walk you through the premier of Season 4, “Two Swords!” Caution: major spoilers for the first three seasons ahead.

Two things you need to know before we get started: the Lannisters are assholes and someone is either going to get fucked or killed in any given episode.

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There isn’t a show on television that does sex and gratuitous violence better than GOT. Season three ended with the Lannisters’ (dicks of Westeros) total domination over nearly all of their enemies. Resident teenage sociopath, King Joffrey Bieber sits on the throne after surviving an uprising at King’s Landing (Capital of The Seven Kingdoms). He is preparing to wed Margaery Tyrell to add stability to the realms. The rebel army from the North has been defeated with Robb Stark betrayed and beheaded. His mother, Catelyn Stark also died in glorious fashion in last season’s Red Wedding by the orders of Tywin Lannister, (if you haven’t seen it, make it a HBOgo night). The Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen, leads an army more than 10,000 strong to avenge her family and over-throw the Lannisters. Jamie has returned to King’s Landing missing a right hand but gaining some much needed humility. Sansa Stark is in mourning over the news of the demise of her mother and her brother, but her short – in stature, but not in heart – husband Tyrion Lannister is by her side. Wildlings plan to attack The Wall and The White Walkers are still coming!

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Now that we’ve brought you up to speed, let’s pick up the pieces from The Red Wedding. “Two Swords” begins with patriarch Tywin Lannister melting down Ned Stark’s Valyrian steel sword and refashioning it into two blades, one for himself, and one for his now deformed son Jamie. Hence the title of the premier, Two Swords. Jamie is struggling to find a place for himself. He refuses to take rule over Lannister stronghold, Casterly Rock, and is rejected by his sister and former lover Cersei Lannister (Yes, that is totally normal in the Thrones world).

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We are not deprived of fan favorite Tyrion Lannister. The newlywed is tasked to greet a party of Dorne dignitaries arriving for Joffrey’s wedding. We are introduced to a new player in our game, Prince Oberyn Martell. We find him at Littlefinger’s brothel picking whores for his appetite. Oberyn also has a fierce hatred for all things Lannister and tells Tyrion that his sister, Elia was married to Rhaegar Targaryen, commonly referred to as the Mad King. She and her children were murdered by the Lannisters in their coup of King’s Landing. Oberyn is here to inform Tywin that, “Lannisters aren’t the only ones who pay their debts.”

Jon Snow has returned to the Knight’s Watch a different man. He has been through hell and he knows it. He has narrowly escaped death, his family has been slaughtered, and there are armies amassing on the other side of the wall. He faces trial for breaking his vows but is allowed to live because of his knowledge of what lies beyond. He is the most valuable asset to Castle Black, and perhaps the entire Kingdom. He is being followed by his former Wilding lover turned crazy ex-girlfriend, Ygritte. She is determined to have vengeance for Jon’s betrayal.

Daenerys is in dire need of the How to Train Your Dragon guidebook. They are growing out of control and may soon become more of a liability. She leads her freed slave-army Meereen, on yet another siege to free bonded souls. Note, the role of Daario, advisor and warrior to her army, was recast this season. His character is making brash attempts to win her heart – and so far, he is succeeding.

 My personal favorite badass, swords-woman, Brienne of Tarth, has followed Jamie to King’s Landing and reminds him that he made an oath to protect the remaining Starks. Brienne is noble and morally pure (as far as we’ve seen). She’s the one untainted spot in a world stained with traitors, thieves, murderers and rapists. The only other character with a sense of nobility like that was Ned Stark – and we know what that did for him. Could this be Jamie’s opportunity for redemption? He does bring up a good point about Sansa, though. Where in the world would she be safe? To a certain degree,  we at Hush thought that her misery was just really rough Karma, but how long before she plots her revenge?

Finally, we are reunited with Arya, my absolute favorite character, and boy is she pissed. She travels with The Hound. They are traveling to The Vale where he intends to sell her to her crazy Aunt Lysa, (remember the awkward breast-feeding one?) They stumble upon an inn where she recognizes Polliver, one of the king’s men and her former kidnapper. He is in possession of her sword, Needle and she wants it back.
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She also wants revenge for the death of her friend whom he killed in cold blood. She did not get this satisfaction for Mycah, the butcher’s boy who The Hound murdered. The Hound replies with one of Sherif’s favorite lines: “A man has to have a code,” a clear nod to Omar and Bunk’s conversation in The Wire. This was her opportunity to have revenge and forgive The Hound. The pair murder all in the inn and Arya stains her hands with the blood of her enemies. She has become a killer and is a serious threat to all who have wronged her. 
“Two Swords” was a much needed push back into our world of dragons and wolves. This season promises to have more death and sex and will keep us talking on Monday morning. Next week’s episode, “The Lion and the Rose” puts us North of the wall with Bran! All Men Must Die! The lion is Joffrey  and Margaery’s the rose (her mother is often referred to as The Mother of the Rose), so we’re looking forward to learning more reasons why we should hate Joffrey and more reasons we should love MargaeryTyrell (other than her GQ cover shoot)
All media credited to HBO
Written by John Soweto

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