Game of Thrones Review: Everything's Changed

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The Red Wedding sent shock waves throughout the Seven Kingdoms, the fallout of which was still prevalent at the start of Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 1.

Tywin gives Jaime one of two swords forged from coveted Valyrian steel. Jaime mentioned how long he had wanted such a blade in their family, but he would have given it right back in exchange for his father's respect.

Jaime & Cersei

With his capture and the eventual loss of his hand went any status The King Slayer once held. If he was looking for a sympathetic ear to bend, his father offered little if any support.

Jaime: I suppose you want the sword back.
Tywin: Keep it. A one handed man with no family needs all the help he can get.

His visit with Cersei didn't go much better.

It wasn't his intention to get captured, yet she held Jaime in contempt all the same for leaving her alone; she had no interest in rekindling their forbidden flame. 

Tyrion also had to shelve sexual advances when Shae appeared in his chambers. It just didn't seem like a good time for anyone but King Joffrey, who wasted little time having monuments erected in his honor.

Tywin wasn't the only parent who had trouble keeping his kids in line. As we caught up with Khaleesi, we saw her baby dragons had grown significantly, but so had their aggressiveness and disregard for their mother.

Even if they can never be tamed, their potential value in battle makes all the headaches worth it for their mother. It was clear she also still had the support of all her people and her army, lead by Grey Worm and Daario.

You had to love Daario bringing her flowers all in the name of strategy. Khaleesi could not help but let a smile sneak out. There was little time for such feelings though as she prepared to march on Meereen, though. It will be great to see her army in action and to what extent the dragons play a role.

As shocked as I was to see the dragon snap at Khaleesi, I was even more taken aback by Tyrion turning down Oberyn's offer to stay and enjoy the brothel's offerings.

In their conversation, second son to second son, Oberyn was pretty up front about his plans to avenge his sister and her children's murders. Tyrion no doubt made a note of it, but he also was worried about Sansa, who was refusing to eat while in mourning for the loss of her mother and brother.

Tyrion was sweet and genuinely concerned for her. He may not love her, but he does care for her and knows the extend of the loss she was feeling.

I didn't know your brother. He seemed like a good man, but I didn't know him. Your mother on the other hand, I admired her. She wanted to have me executed, but I admired her.


To the north, the Wilding's weren't without their own drama. First, Ygritte's conviction in trying to kill Jon Snow was questioned by Tormund and then his resolve was scoffed at by the leader of the Thenn group that approached their camp to grill up some "Crow." 

Back at the wall, Jon Snow came clean about his recent actions and avoided execution for the moment. His superiors were wise to focus on the more pressing matter of the two-pronged attack baring down on them.

The issues facing many of the main characters are not so uncommon. Jaime has had a fall from grace and struggled with the man he once was. Jon discussed his lifetime of jealousy toward big brother Robb. Tyrion, like Jon, continued his attempts to emerge from his family's shadow and find his own place in history.

Then there was Arya, who like many young girls, just wanted a pony of her own.

Well... that and to get her sword "Needle" back after she and The Hound came across Polliver, the man who took it from her.

The Hound: Of course you named your sword.
Arya: Lots of people name their swords.
The Hound: Lots of cunts.

The Hound delivered one of - if not his best - performance to date as he sat in the tavern talking to Polliver before laying waste to him and his men.

The Hound: You're a talker. Listening to talkers makes me thirsty and hungry. Think I'll take two chickens.
Polliver: You don't seem to understand the situation.
The Hound: I understand that if any more words come pouring out your cunt mouth, I'm going to have to eat every fucking chicken in this room.
Polliver: You lived your life for the king. You're going to die for some chickens?
The Hound: Someone is.

Arya got her horse in the end, but only after spilling plenty of blood with her own hand. Seeing Arya get her revenge and her pony was the feel good moment of the episode, if such a thing can exist in the Seven Kingdoms.

I liked the idea that Ygritte, despite putting three arrows into Jon Snow, may have actually let him escape. And, lastly, the funniest moment of the premiere had to be Jaime's sarcastic wave goodbye to the maester with his new hand.

The air is one of change in The Seven Kingdoms. Whatever "peace" exists will surely be short-lived with all the threats making their way down from the North. Stannis still has a hand to play, as does Khaleesi.

It's still anyone's "game," assuring the drama, action and intrigue that has made this show such a fan favorite will continue this season.

Here is your first look at Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 2, "The Lion and the Rose."

Two Swords Review

Editor Rating: 5.0 / 5.0
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Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 1 Quotes

Jaime: I suppose you want the sword back.
Tywin: Keep it. A one handed man with no family needs all the help he can get.

Tywin: The war is over, the king is safe.
Jaime: The king is never safe.