Monday, April 7, 2014

Review: Game of Thrones (Season 4, Episode 1 - "Two Swords")

by richmin3000

"i grew up in king's landing." - maester aemon (targaryen)

*my reviews/recaps will not have any spoilers as they relate to future events but will have many explanations or clarifications of events currently happening on the screen so if you want to figure it out for yourself, read with caution.

**due to several recommendations, i will be discussing some spoilery stuff at the tail end of the review so please pay careful attention.

read my review of season 3, episodes 6-10 - here

as i stated last year, i changed the format of these recap/reviews to make it easier for me to keep up with the writing and perhaps easier for everyone to follow. last year we went through the different houses, but this year we will go with power rankings.

1. tywin lannister (last year, 1) - the war of the five kings is over and tywin celebrates by melting down ned stark's old sword, "ice" into two swords (hence the title of the episode!), one as a gift for his newly returned son, jaime.
2. joffrey baratheon (last year, 4)- it's good to be the king. joffrey seems quite content after the failures of stannis and robb to take his throne. he has no problem talking shit to his uncle/father/captain of his kingsguard as he prepares for his upcoming nuptials to margaery tyrell.
3. daenerys targaryen (last year, 2) - went from almost dying in the desert to messiah for all the slaves in essos (lands across the narrow sea)... plus bigger dragons!! maybe her dragons being too big for her britches takes her down a notch. plus, she still seems far away from the action in king's landing.
4. margaery tyrell (last year, 3) - went from a sexless marriage to being the influential wife-to-be of an actual king... she wants to be the queen. lady olenna, margaery's grandmother, certainly deserves a nod here as well.
5. melisandre (last year, 5) - like margaery above, she's got the ear of a king and knows how to use what her mother gave to her.. like a lady. plus she burned three leeches and robb stark, the usurper, died. i forget who the other two leeches were for, but i'm sure it wasn't important.
6. mance rayder (last year, 8) - king beyond the wall.. he has an enormous army that really wants to get south. we didn't see him this episode, but we did meet the thenns, a clan of wildling warriors, who the other wildlings are even afraid of.
7. roose bolton (last year, 6) - went from extra on the set to warden of the north and all he had to do was backstab his king and let loose his crazy bastard son.
8. bran stark (last year, 7) - i know i know, there's no way a stark can be on this list, let alone a stark who can't walk. but let's be real.. dany has dragons, melisandre has demon babies, but bran not only has a direwolf but is able to mind control it along with a man-giant whose only verbal ability is to say 'hodor' in comical fashion. this kid is legit.
9. petyr baelish - went from lord of harrenhall (which never really materialized) to lord of the vale.
10. sam tarwell - he's the first person to kill a whitewalker in a thousand years.

honorable mention:

  • arya stark (last year, n/a) - she's really into the slow kill. i certainly wouldn't want to get on her list. she's a little too small to crack this list, especially in the grasp of the hound, but her dedication to revenge makes us take note.
  • oberyn "red viper" martell (last year, n/a) - there's a lot of talk about paying debts and i don't think he's referring to last month's beer tab. he has a thing for lannisters, especially after his sister, nieces and nephews were murdered by the lannisters (the mountain) after robert baratheon's rebellion. remember that the mad king's son, rhaegar, was married to elia martell, before running off with lyanna stark (ned's sister and robert's wife-to-be), which started robert's rebellion and led to the mad king killing ned's older brother and father.  
  • yara greyjoy (last year, n/a) - we left off with her setting sail with 50 ships to go save her brother.

off the list:  lord commander mormont; robb stark; catelyn stark; theon greyjoy; jamie lannister (sans right hand) and the rest of the lannister children whilst tywin is in charge

random notes:

  • tyrion seems to be hating life right now, stuck between duty, honor and desires. he's the master of coin, for sure, but his father, nephew, sister, wife and the martells couldn't show him any less respect.
  • brienne still seems to be keen on her mission to protect the stark girls, and avenge renley's death. how is she not in jail right now?
  • myrcella lannister is in dorne in case you don't recall her leaving on a boat way back in season 2. it was for her protection during the expected violence in king's landing.
  • sansa stark got a pretty necklace from former knight, sir dontos, the same fella she saved in season 2, episode 1, after telling joffrey that it was bad luck to kill someone on your name day.  
  • jon snow is lucky to be alive, but his fate, along with the rest of the night's watch, seems highly at risk. recall that sitting at the night's watch table in judgment of jon is the former city commander, janos slynt, who was sent to the wall by tyrion lannister in season 2.

no hyperbole allowed ratingA-

i appreciate any comments or feedback to help structure these posts for next season. you can write to me at, or via twitter @hyperboleNOT, or on our wall on facebook at, or just write something in the comments section below.


- so much to look forward to this year.
- howland reed? i've read some theories about him. they sound promising
- joffre...cough cough cough
- oberyn makes such a big entrance, alas, his quest for vengeance is short lived.
- moon door!
- coldhands!
- stoneheart!

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