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Game of Thrones: Two Swords

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Game of Thrones Two Swords

The fourth season of Game of Thrones leaps right into the fray, with broken romances, vengeance fulfilled, and plans for a wedding.

Game of Thrones obviously has a lot of complicated pieces in play, and at times it’s guilty of spending entire episodes just positioning those pieces, lining them up for future collisions. But this season we start out with the pieces rolling down a steep hill.

Let’s start with everyone’s favorite Mother of Dragons. Daenerys conquered the city of Yunkai and liberated all the slaves, who now venerate her. The mercenary Daario, who has quite a crush on our fair khaleesi, looks rather different (the actor who used to play him went off to make a Transporter movie). Shame, because the new guy doesn’t really have the same interesting, exotic look. Just another handsome bearded dude. Dany likes lounging around on the rocks with her dragons, but even a well-behaved dog gets ticked off sometimes if you bug him when he’s eating. And these are dragons. “They can never be tamed,” Ser Jorah reminds her.

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On the road to Mereen, where Dany will presumably be freeing more slaves, the slave masters have crucified a slave at every mile marker. I guess they’re sending her a message, but the message seems to be one Daenerys already knows: “Being a slave severely sucks.”

Now let’s jet off to exotic Wherever the Hell They Are, where we find that Arya and the Hound (yes, you should sing that like Pinky & the Brain) are backpacking across Westeros to “find themselves.” Well, not really. Mr. Hound still has his mind set on selling Arya off, this time to basically the only relative she has left, her crazy aunt in the Vale. I don’t see this working out as well as Clegane thinks it will, but that’s a long way off.

Meanwhile we are actually getting something very close to the buddy comedy everyone half-jokingly asked for when season three ended. There were some seriously hilarious moments, like when Arya trots off to confront the Lannister men and Clegane is all like, “Wot?! Oh bloody ‘ell!” And the smug look on Arya’s face while Hound is toying with that douche guy. Of course it all turned a bit dark as Arya brutally joined in the brutal murdering, but not that dark since those jerks seriously has it coming. I mean, yeah, there’s a little girl morphing into a vengeance-obsessed cold-hearted killer before our eyes, but honestly that’s actually pretty cool.

Up at the Wall, Jon Snow is called before the heads of the Watch. He confesses to several crimes, including shagging Ygritte and killing Quorin Halfhand. But he explains how it was all part of his deep cover operation, and now he knows the Wildling plan, including that a bunch of them are raiding south of the Wall.

And so we find some Wildlings raiding south of the wall. Ygritte’s group meets a new lot, a bunch of arrogant bros with ritual face scars. And they’re cannibals!

Game of Thrones

Everything else in this episode involved political scheming back at King’s Landing. The situation is a little tense, as Tyrion puts it. Jaime’s return is more inconvenient than joyous. His sister doesn’t want to incest with him anymore, which is basically why he came back. Bummer. His father gives him a sweet sword. The reforging scene was very cool, and it’s funny because when they first showed that enormous sword, I thought, “That’s a ridiculously large sword, even for a Claymore.” Tywin agreed, so he had one Valerian steel sword melted down and forged into two. Jaime gets one, which he’ll have to wield left-handed. Who has the other? Probably Tywin himself. But Jaime’s refusal to go to Casterly Rock and rule the Lannister Realms (while Tywin is busy being regent of all Westeros) leads Tywin to disown him. So now Tyrion is the only one of Tywin’s children who isn’t a total fuckup.

Of course, Tywin didn’t disown Jaime just because he disobeyed him. Jaime wants to stay in the King’s Guard, guarding the king, who is his son, although that is a big secret (that everyone knows). He primarily wants to stay close to his sister. And Tywin knows this. Sending Jaime away was an attempt to stop all the incest and restore some shred of dignity to the whole situation. Failing that, disowned!

Someone new in town has it in for the Lannisters, though. A Dornish prince was invited to the upcoming wedding of Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell (a truly joyous occasion), but they’ve sent a different prince instead. Not only is this one not as high-ranking, he’s a renowned swordsman (in every sense of the euphemism) with a serious mad-on for Lannisters, since they murdered his sister, nieces, and nephews. And damn that Prince Oberyn is a handsome man. And damn that red-haired prostitute was cute as hell. There was a highly gratuitous but all-too-interrupted sex scene followed by a highly gratuitous Lannister stabbing scene. “With your gold and your lions and your gold lions.” I think maybe Tyrion will find a use for Oberyn’s skill and rage, and maybe Oberyn and Bronn are going to have some adventures together. One can hope.

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Tyrion’s life is looking really complicated. His wife, Sansa Stark, is for all intents and purposes the Last Stark (all the living Starks are in hiding). She won’t eat out of grief for what her husband’s family did to her family, i.e. Wedding comma Red. She also has weird encounters with drunk former knights who give her family heirloom jewelry. Where’s that leading?

Meanwhile, his mistress, Shae, is being petulant and needy. Does she seriously think he’s going to be attentive boyfriend? Anyway one of the handmaids overhears them and immediately reports to Cersei, who I doubt will do anything that might make her brother unhappy. Oh wait, didn’t they both vow to turn each other’s joy into ashes in their mouths? Right then.

Brienne of Tarth is trying to hold Jaime to a seemingly impossible task, keeping a vow to protect a nearly extinct family from uncountable dangers and with no relatives to turn to for protection. I loved the scene with Jaime and Joffrey planning for the wedding security. “Right, they’ll be a guard at the…thing. Carry on.” You could hear Jaime’s thoughts, I swear. “Sweet, I get to spend some time with my son here in King’s Landingohhhhgod he’s a little shit! I’ll strangle him with this gold hand I swear!”

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Finally we have Margaery Tyrell and her grandmother planning part of the wedding. They are both amazing, Natalie Dormer is luminous, and the gleeful mischief they get up to is the best. Their reaction to Bri is priceless, and Bri later explains to Marg about the supernatural death of Renly.

Here’s my hope for the rest of the season: Margaery, Bri, and Arya form a team of special agents that right wrongs and correct injustices throughout Westeros. Marg’s grandma works behind the scenes to find the cases they take on each week. Yes, I just described the plot of The A-Team (and Leverage).

Eating Crow Game of Thrones

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Posted by on Sunday, April 6th, 2014. Filed under Dark TV, Headline. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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