Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Game of Thrones - Two Swords (Episode 1 Season 4) [TV Review]

It's finally back.
After months of waiting, of watching other TV, Game of Thrones has returned.
I for one could not be happier. (Well unless they made a Stormlight Archive TV series.)

Hey, it's the episode title!
Season 4 begins where season three left off, how novel. It's actually more like season three part 2, considering that it is the latter half of the third book, A Storm of Swords.

4 out of 5 stars
Is his hair color darker now?
Get ready for a episode breakdown.

The opening sequence shows a blacksmith hired by Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) melting down the Stark's ancestral great-sword Ice, and forging two smaller valyrian steel blades. One is gifted to Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), who is now left handed (not a choice of his own). Tywin commands Jamie to leave the King's Guard and return to Casterly Rock. Jamie refuses and is disowned by Tywin. This was a well done scene, but I honestly thought in the book that it descended into a out right shouting match. It's been a while since I've read them... so I could be wrong.

Well, that's vomit inducing.
Outside the walls of King's Landing, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) awaits the arrival of Doran Martell. Only it's not Doran that arrives. In his place the Red Viper, Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal) has arrived, and is already in the city.

Instead Oberyn is in a brothel, with Ellaria Sand, engaging in the complex purchase of some whores - even the proprietor is considered to be for sale in Oberyn's eyes. Of course instead of the expected purchase, Oberyn stabs a Lannister lacky in the wrist. Tyrion arrives just a tad late...

Of course Oberyn is not in the capital merely to celebrate King Joffery's (Jack Gleeson) upcoming wedding to Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), no he's there because his sister, once the wife of  Prince Rhaegar Targaryen was killed (also probably raped) by the Mountain that Rides, Ser Gregor Clegane. Oberyn wants him dead.

A moment of truth.
All of this occurs in roughly the first ten minutes. There are even more excellent scenes. 

Across the Narrow Sea, we see how large the Dragons have grown and we meet the new actor playing Daario Naharis (Michiel Huisman). We also begin the long trek to Meereen.

Then in the North, John Snow (Kit Harrington) avoids being executed for killing Qhorin Half-hand and joining with the Wildlings. Also for having sex with Ygritte, repeatedly.

And also... well, we have the scenes that occur in the Riverlands. Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann), The Hound, and Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) are travelling to the Vale and Arya's crazy Aunt Lysa, where Sandor plans to ransom Arya. Instead of arriving at the Vale, they end up in a small inn where they end up killing some Lannister dogs including Polliver, the man who killed Lommy and stole Needle, Arya's sword.

Winner, winner, Chicken dinner. 

All of that happens... and more.

No tea from this one. It's poison.
And Sansa depresses us all...

If I had to rate individual scenes, the entire back and forth between Arya and Sandor was excellent, as was the battle in the inn. Excellent scene.

Daario Naharis attemtpting to woo Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) was also pretty good. I find it interesting that my favorite scenes did not involve Tyrion. He is usually the stand out star of every episode. This time though events were more out of his control, and he just did not shine as much as others did. I am also interested in how Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) appears to have an expanded role. I'm wondering if perhaps he is absorbing another characters role as well...

Arya. One of the best characters in GoT.

It was a good start to what will be a good season. I've read the books. I know the joys we have to look forward to in upcoming episodes.

I cannot wait to see... everything!

Oh to have to wait one more week... it is agony.

Of course until then, there will be much fun in speculating when certain events will occur, how things will be shown, and of course guessing at the changes that inevitably have to occur.

Until next week...

Valar Morghulis.

This is the opposite of relaxing.

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