Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 1 ‘Two Swords’ Recap


The 4th season of Game of Thrones opened in a blacksmith. There we find the smith hard at work under the watchful eye of Tywin Lannister. The giant sword wielded by Ned Stark, known as Ice, is being melted down. Ned Stark has been without need for his sword for a long time, but only now post Red Wedding does Tywin feel confident enough to destroy the blade. The cold open in the blacksmith let’s viewers know that the Lannisters are ready to celebrate their victory, and focus on new challenges in King’s Landing.

A one handed man with no family needs all the help he can get – Lord Tywin when Jaime refuses his offer.

Lord Tywin has a meeting with his son Jaime to give him one of the two swords he had forged from Ned Stark’s blade. As usual Tywin has a master plan for his family. He wants Jaime to return to Casterly Rock, the Lannister home, and take charge. Jaime isn’t into the idea because it would cause him to break another oath, this time to the Kingsguard. He declines the order to leave King’s Landing, and Cersei’s side. Tywin is not pleased, but doesn’t take back the new sword.

The Lannisters aren’t the only ones who pay their debts – Oberyn

At the same time Jaime is getting his new sword, Tyrion is waiting for a new arrival to King’s Landing. Prince Doran of Dorne should be arriving at any moment. Eventually the party from Dorne arrives, but Prince Doran is not with them. His health has kept him from travelling for the royal wedding, and he’s sent his brother Oberyn Martell in his stead. Oberyn’s not with the arrival party though. He’s already arrived on his own to the capital. Oberyn doesn’t like the formalities of royal travel.

Tyrion’s search for Oberyn takes him to a brothel that caters to Lannister banner men. We meet Oberyn, a man with an interesting sense of style, in the middle of negotiations at the brothel. He not only wants sexy women, but they have to be fearless as well. He’s a very picky Prince with the looks of NBA star Ricky Rubio. He not only wants the sexiest women, but also the man running the brothel in his bed. He’s right in the middle of feeling out the goods when something else grabs his attention.

Across the hall Lannister men are singing the Rains of Castamere, their song of triumph. Martell takes exception, and ends up putting a blade into one of the men’s wrist. Tyrion arrives to the room, and is greeted by a geyser of blood. The wounded Lannister men retreat, and Tyrion finally greets Prince Martell. Oberyn reveals he isn’t at King’s Landing for the wedding alone. He’s come to avenge his older sister who was married to the Mad King. When Tywin Lannister took control of King’s Landing it was his man, the Mountain (brother to the Hound), who killed Oberyn’s sister. His lust for revenge is another problem for Tyrion to deal with.

Dragons!
Our first glimpse of Dany is not reassuring for those of us worried about how she will control those dragons. She’s sitting on a rock lounging next to her giant black dragon when the other two dragons arrive. They are fighting over a charred lamb corpse. When the black dragon gets involved in the skirmish Dany tries to intervene, and gets a face full of angry dragon. If she can’t control them, then who will? Dany then reasserts her power by shaming grey worm and Daario. She’s still in control of her men, but the dragons are a crap shoot.
Later on her way to Meereen, a giant slave city, she’s confronted by a corpse hanging from a mile marker. The rulers of Meereen have left a body for her at each marker. Each of the bodies points in the direction of the city. Jorah offers to have men ride ahead and cut down the bodies, but Dany refuses. She wants to see the face of each victim. One thing that’s for sure is she’s not going to be in a good mood when they reach Meereen.
I don’t pray anymore. It’s the only place I can go where people don’t talk to me – Sansa
Sansa is still grieving over the events of the Red Wedding. Tyrion tries to comfort her, but she’s too upset. She excuses herself for a walk in the godswood. There she runs into Ser Dontos, the Knight who Joffrey forced into the role of a fool. Dontos gives her a blue necklace to thank her for saving his life. Sansa is at her lowest, but she’s still got the heart of a royal.

A hook would be more practical – Jaime on his new hand Hand

You took too long – Cersei to Jaime on why they aren’t together

Jaime is no longer the man who pushed Bran out the window in season 1. Without use of his sword his he’s become impotent Jaime. A gold hand is strapped to his wrist, but Jaime’s not impressed. Cersei thinks its elegant. However she turns down his physical advances. He’s no longer the type of man Cersei is attracted to. He’s helpless. Jaime turned down his father’s offer because he wanted to be at Cersei’s side. Now that she has turned him down, what’s left for Jaime. Even his meeting with Joffrey goes wrong.

Joffrey’s entrance to this season reminded me of Lloyd Bridges in Airplane. We glimpse Joff standing just like his statue. He’s only getting more full of himself, if that’s humanly possible. The King wastes no time in slamming his brother and the men of the Kingsguard. He’s the same little brat we love to hate. Even his outfits are growing more garish. Jaime has to be rethinking his choice of staying in King’s Landing.

You’re better than me at everything, except reading – Sam to Jon Snow
Jon Snow survives an inquiry back at Castle Black. He better recoup quickly because this episode introduced us to a group known as the Thenns. The Thenns are creepy cannibals who team up with the Wildings in their attack on the Wall. There’s even talk of Giants joining in on the attack. Between cannibals, Giants, and a pissed off Ygritte, Jon’s got a lot heading his way. Nothing scarier than a woman scorned riding a giant’s back.
Fuck the King – The Hound

The season premiere ended with the Hound and Arya encountering Lannister men at a tavern. These men are working with the Mountain in terrorizing the area. One of them is Polliver, the man who killed Arya’s friend in brutal fashion and stole her sword “needle” during season 2. Arya forces the Hound’s hand by walking into the tavern. After a tense conversation, the Hound demands chicken from the men. They refuse, and out come the swords. During the battle Arya gets her revenge on Polliver. That crosses at least one name off her revenge list, even if it’s not a true Lannister.

The episode ended with the Hound and Arya on horseback riding off towards the Vale. The Hound, with chicken in hand, plans to ransom Arya to her aunt. Who knows what’s in store for those two, but you can bet it will be exciting and full of violence. The Hound is the best/worst babysitter ever.

Overall it was a very satisfying season premiere. Not all of the players had screen time, Team Stannis and Bran weren’t shown, but it kicked off new directions for the show in the fourth season.

What did you think of the season 4 premiere? Let us know in the comments section.

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