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Monday, April 7, 2014

Game of Thrones 4x01: Two Swords



Well, for those of you that read The Walking Dead reviews are aware that Teebore had overextended himself and resorted to caffeine pills which ended in disastrous consequences. As a result, I took over reviewing some shows for him. One of those shows will be Game of Thrones. I will be keeping his format for the review for the most part because, well, it's easier than coming up with my own format.

Now, let it be known that Teebore is more perceptive, intelligent and drinks less than me so I have no doubt that my reviews will lack some of the smartiness you're used to. But I'm doing my best and, really, isn't that all that matters? (The answer is no. No, that isn't all that matters.)

Anyway, on with the review!

Opening Credits Map
King’s Landing -> Dragonstone -> Dreadfort -> Winterfell -> The Wall -> Meereen

King's Landing
Most of the action of the episode takes place here. With Stannis “defeated” and Robb dead, Westeros is in a time of peace and the focus is now on the impending wedding between Margaery and Joffrey.

Jaime makes it clear to his father that he wants to stay in the King’s guard. Tywin isn't pleased about this. Jaime's motive to stay seems to be because he wants to continue banging his sister but I’m unclear if Tywin knows this is his reasoning.

Jaime is also confronted by Brienne who demands he honor his vow to keep the Stark children safe. Jaime correctly points out that Sansa is safest in King’s Landing. He also incorrectly points out that Arya is probably dead. I will say that it doesn't seem as though he's trying to weasel out of his vow just that he's not even sure what to do about it now.

Tyrion has become the Walmart greeter of King's Landing and is supposed to welcome Prince Doran Martell who is arriving for the wedding. However, it turns out Doran is not coming to the wedding and he has sent his brother Oberyn in his stead.

Tryrion finds Oberyn in the whorehouse giving Game of Thrones fans the T&A they've been missing the past year (provided these fans don’t have internet access). Oberyn gives us some backstory. Apparently his sister was married to Rhaegar Targaryen and bore children with him. Rhaegar then “ran off with another woman and started a war” and, in the end, the Lannister’s killed Oberyn’s sister and her children. So, yeah, bad blood.

Lady Olenna continues to be awesome even when doing something as mundane as picking out a necklace for Margaery. Brienne meets with Margaery to discuss Renly's death and vows revenge. Margaery seems unconcerned with this and is focused on Joffrey and the wedding. I’m not sure if this is a feint or just an example of Margaery's goal orientated nature. No sense in worrying about Renly when you're about to be queen.

Shockingly, the ever-growing Sansa is upset that her brother and mother were killed. Also, shockingly, Tyrion LANNISTER is unable to comfort her. She just wants to be alone. She does meet with Dontos Hollard (the knight whose life she convinced Joffrey to spare and who was, instead, turned him into a “fool”). He gives Sansa a necklace that is apparently a family heirloom. I can’t even begin to know where that’s headed, if anywhere.

Southish of The Wall
Ygritte argues with Tormund Giantsbane. The only thing notable about this exchange is that Tormund is convinced that if Ygritte wanted Jon Snow dead he'd be dead. I tend to agree. Aside from that, a man named Styr and his army arrived to join them. They seem fairly imposing and hairless.

The Wall
Jon Snow’s honesty knows no bounds. He tells a Night's Watch council everything he's done. For the most part I understand but I think the part about him getting it on with Ygritte falls under the heading of TMI. Especially since that's the information that is most likely to get him beheaded. He doesn't get punished, though, because Jon Snow has a heartbeat and don’t you think the Night’s Watch needs all the warm bodies it can muster?

Nearish Meereen
Daenerys is cuddling with her dragons. Which I will say is better than when she was looking for her dragons. Oh, and most of her underlings want to get with her. Not that I blame them. But Grey Worm has the distinct disadvantage of being castrated. Regardless, Daenerys is having none of it from any of them...for now.

Daenerys and her army are on their way to liberate/conquer Meereen when she comes across a mile marker with a dead woman attached. Daenerys' resolve is unshaken as she claims she wants to see each dead body on her path to the city. I’m not sure if these dead bodies are a message to Daenerys or just something Meereen likes to do.

On The Road
The budding romance between the Hound and Arya continues to grow. The Hound says he wants to ransom Arya to her Aunt Lysa but we all know his icy heart will melt before then. They come across a tavern (or something). Patrons of this tavern are the ruffians who stole Arya’s sword, Needle, and killed her friend. Yup, they’re all dead and Arya got Needle back, obtained a horse and her heart probably pounds a little faster when she gets near the Hound.

Other Thoughts
This episode didn't have much pizazz to it. I suspect the main purpose was just to get the viewer reacquainted with where all the characters were at.

However, we didn’t get an update on where Stannis Baratheon was nor what the now split up group of Bran, Rickon, Hodor, Osha and company were up to.

We also didn't get an update on what's going on with Theon but since the answer is probably torture I’m more thankful for the lack of update more than anything else.

In the “Previously On” portion of the episode, Cersei declared she’s not a "broodmare." Nobody likes to be a broodmare, right Tracy?

Is this the first episode that had an actual scene before the opening credits? Or has it been so long since last season that I forgot how the episode structure works?

In that opening scene, I assume that was Robb's sword that was melted down? It looks like two swords were made. I wonder where the second one went? Or did I miss that?

If I have my Westeros history right, Oberyn's sister's husband, Rhaegar Targaryen (heir to the throne) ran off with Ned Stark's sister. Ned believed Rhaegar kidnapped his sister and this is what started the war that was mentioned that ended with Robert Baratheon taking the throne. However, I'm not discounting the idea that Ned's sister willingly went with Rhaegar.

Jaime got himself a bona fide Army of Darkness hand…with less points of articulation.

Jaime’s awfully confident he can fight with his left hand. I've tried writing with my left hand once, it didn't go well. Then again, there probably isn't much Jaime isn't confident he could do.

If I’m not mistaken, I think after Jaime’s conversation with Joffrey he'd like to put his nickname to good use.

I feel as though the Hound’s needling (pun intended) of Arya regarding her "wanting a pony" feels like too much of a modern day, real world trope.

After stabbing that guy in the throat, Arya gave a smile that made me wonder, despite the obvious electricity between her and the Hound, if Joffrey might not be a better fit for her.

Tyrion: She wanted to have me executed, but I admired her.

Season 4 Totals
Boob Count: 4
Full Frontal Count: 2 (2 Female)
Butt Count: 1 (1 Female)
Coitus Count: 0
Main Character Death Count: 0

11 comments:

  1. Now, let it be known that Teebore is more perceptive, intelligent and drinks less than me so I have no doubt that my reviews will lack some of the smartiness you're used to

    Yeah, but yours are funnier. ;)

    Jaime's motive to stay seems to be because he wants to continue banging his sister but I’m unclear if Tywin knows this is his reasoning.

    I feel like the Jamie/Cersei banging is one of those things Tywin knows but pretends not to, for the good of himself and the family name. That said, I kinda got a kick out of Tywin having to deal with his golden boy talking back to him just like Tyrion.

    I will say that it doesn't seem as though he's trying to weasel out of his vow just that he's not even sure what to do about it now.

    That's was my take as well. More of a "well, she's as safe here as anywhere; what do you want me to do?" kind of thing.

    Tyrion has become the Walmart greeter of King's Landing

    Ha!

    I’m not sure if this is a feint or just an example of Margaery's goal orientated nature.

    I took it to be the later. While Briene has seemed like a true believer in Renly, Margaery's always been much more pragmatic. I think she just goes wherever the open Queen crown is.

    I can’t even begin to know where that’s headed, if anywhere.

    I think Alan Sepinwall suggested it was a moment meant to remind Sansa that, as much as her life sucks, she has done some good at King's Landing. Maybe it's a setup then for her becoming more proactive, somehow?

    Though if she waits long enough, she'll be so big she can just step over the gates and no one could stop her.

    They seem fairly imposing and hairless.

    And they hail from Terminus.

    Jon Snow’s honesty knows no bounds.

    I do agree spilling the beans about Ygritte was probaby TMI, but I did like that he's basically just, "yeah, this is all the shit I did. I'm trying to save us all. I don't give a crap about you or your rules at this point, so I'm not going to lie."

    Daenerys is having none of it from any of them...for now.

    Yeah, I'm not looking forward to the inevitable Dany/Daario romance and junk. I suppose it's been long enough that Dany needs a new love interest, but I'd rather just watch her raze cities to the ground and grow her army then get all kissy face with some dude.



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  2. I suspect the main purpose was just to get the viewer reacquainted with where all the characters were at.

    There were also at least two explicit scenes of exposition via dialogue, something that bugged my brother and made me chuckle at his irritation.

    We also didn't get an update on what's going on with Theon but since the answer is probably torture I’m more thankful for the lack of update more than anything else.

    Ditto. I had pretty much that exact same thought while thinking over who we didn't see.

    Nobody likes to be a broodmare, right Tracy?

    I also had that thought when I heard Cersei's comment. Great minds!

    Is this the first episode that had an actual scene before the opening credits?

    I think so. I watched a bunch (way too many) old episode off and on over the weekend because HBO was running a marathon, and known of the ones I watched had a cold open. And my brother seemed surprised by it when the episode opened that way.

    In that opening scene, I assume that was Robb's sword that was melted down? It looks like two swords were made. I wonder where the second one went? Or did I miss that?

    I believe it was Ned's sword. I'm pretty sure Tywin referred to it as such to Jamie (when he made the crack about how ridiculously long it was). As for the second sword, if it was revealed who was getting it, I missed it too. I'm thinking either a wedding gift for Joffrey (not because Tywin gives a shit about him but because it's important politically to give the king a gift on his wedding) or, just maybe, to Tyrion, since judging by the molds, it was a shorter sword.

    However, I'm not discounting the idea that Ned's sister willingly went with Rhaegar.

    Ditto. And I suppose this means that Oberyn at least has some connection to Dany (she'd be his former brother-in-law's sister), which is worth remembering if Dany ever bothers to come back to Westeros and fight for the throne.

    Jaime got himself a bona fide Army of Darkness hand…with less points of articulation.

    Just wait til he gets the chainsaw.

    After stabbing that guy in the throat, Arya gave a smile that made me wonder, despite the obvious electricity between her and the Hound, if Joffrey might not be a better fit for her.

    Kinda like with Crazy Rick on Walking Dead, the Arya stuff has me torn. On the one hand, it's fun watching her get comeuppance on all these jerks that have screwed her over. On the other hand, methinks she's starting to enjoy it a bit too much, and it's disconcerting to watch her turning into a right little psychopath before our eyes.

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  3. Is this the first episode that had an actual scene before the opening credits?

    "Winter is Coming" had one too; we actually saw our first White Walker before our first Westeros map. I'm not sure if the other two season openers had cold opens. My memory is that second season didn't, but I might be wrong there.

    Nice to know I can add this ep to my list of ones where a recurring character dies. There's only something like six or seven where that doesn't happen, and that includes the first four of season one where everyone is being introduced.

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  4. It took me a full day to get the double meaning of the episode -- referring to both melting Ned's broadsword to work two new swords and to the fact that one Stark sword is destroyed in the cold open as a second Stark sword is recovered in the final scene.

    Also, was anyone else confused as to why we're just meeting the Martells now? I understand that Tyrion shipped off Cersei's daughter to them as part of a marriage pact olive branch -- but here they are two years later, still pissed enough to randomly attack Lannisters in brothels while the Lannisters are worried sick about them rebelling in some way. So... how / why did these people sit out Robb's rebellion or Stannis's attack on King's Landing?

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  5. Also, was anyone else confused as to why we're just meeting the Martells now? I understand that Tyrion shipped off Cersei's daughter to them as part of a marriage pact olive branch -- but here they are two years later, still pissed enough to randomly attack Lannisters in brothels while the Lannisters are worried sick about them rebelling in some way. So... how / why did these people sit out Robb's rebellion or Stannis's attack on King's Landing?

    I'm sure the show will get to this, but if you want a non-spoiler explanation from the books, Prince Doran (the man apparently too ill to travel) is well-known as not the warmongering type, at least partially because the last war Dorne was involved in ended up costing them a Princess and her children.

    Besides, they might hate the Lannisters, but they're hardly fond of the Starks and Baratheons who killed Elia's husband, either (they hate the Tyrells too, actually, because their lands border each other and they've had innumerable wars over the centuries). I'm sure it was great fun to sit in Sunspear eating oranges and drinking red wine whilst all their old foes tried to massacre each other.

    Now that the dust is settling, it's time for the Dornish to remind the Iron Throne that they kept their word to stay out of the war, they have their armies entirely undamaged whilst Tywin has lost most of his men forcing him to rely on the Tyrells, and that there's a certain degree of unfinished business that the Martells are eager to discuss...

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  6. We were discussing about how one of my favorite things GOT does is have character pairs that you just love together, like Jaime and Brienne, The Hound and Arya, Tyrion and Brom (Brom, right? It's been too long), Jon and Sam to a lesser extent (Sam does too much of the lifting in that duo)

    But of course, now that i realized this, i'm terrified of those pairs being broken apart by some sort of horrible murderspree

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  7. @Teebore: "which is worth remembering if Dany ever bothers to come back to Westeros and fight for the throne."

    In, what, Season 20?

    "Just wait til he gets the chainsaw."

    Now that that thought is in my head the show will never be able to compare.

    @Space Squid: ""Winter is Coming" had one too; we actually saw our first White Walker before our first Westeros map. I'm not sure if the other two season openers had cold opens."

    I think I went back briefly to watch another season opener, season two, maybe? And it didn't have a cold open. But, you're right, the first one did.

    "There's only something like six or seven where that doesn't happen, and that includes the first four of season one where everyone is being introduced."

    Does that count include the first episode in which it's impossible to have a recurring character die?

    @Michael "and to the fact that one Stark sword is destroyed in the cold open as a second Stark sword is recovered in the final scene."

    Well, I didn't think about that meaning until you just said it.

    @Sarah: "But of course, now that i realized this, i'm terrified of those pairs being broken apart by some sort of horrible murderspree"

    This show would never randomly kill off main characters, right?

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  8. @Dr Bitz Does that count include the first episode in which it's impossible to have a recurring character die?

    Actually, yes it does. So out of 30 eligible episodes, there are six in season 1 and the whole of season 2 (if we're allowed to include the poor wee baby in episode 1). I forgot to check for season 3, but at a bare mininum it's six.

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  9. // Jaime's motive to stay seems to be because he wants to continue banging his sister //

    More like "resume banging his sister"; it's been a while.

    I'm surprised that in all the belittling Cersei did of Jaime we didn't get a remark about what he could do with his new hand (or might have to learn to do with his left one now).

    // They seem fairly imposing and hairless. //

    And they appear to have carved their heads up to form some kind of tribal scarring patterns, which even for this show is creepy.

    // I think the part about him getting it on with Ygritte falls under the heading of TMI. //

    Not enough, we'll find out in the extended DVD cut. "Where did this dalliance occur?" "Hot springs, milord." "Tell us more about these hot springs, Jon Snow. And exactly what you did to the wildling girl. In great detail."

    I expect Sansa to be giving Brienne hand-me-downs by Season 5.

    Keep up the good work, Doc.

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  10. I was finally able to watch this yesterday. I was waiting to watch it with my brother, as we usually do, but I was on the verge of exploding a whole week later if I didn't finally just watch it.

    Everything I would've said has already been covered, except for two things:

    One, are there no laws in King's Landing regarding the random stabbing of guys in brothels? I love that Oberyn knifed that guy and Tyrion just welcomed him to the city.

    Two -- I got the impression from the scene with Daario and Grey Worm that Grey Worm is interested in Dany's assistant, not Dany herself. But I could have misinterpreted it.

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  11. @Blam: "Not enough, we'll find out in the extended DVD cut. "Where did this dalliance occur?" "Hot springs, milord." "Tell us more about these hot springs, Jon Snow. And exactly what you did to the wildling girl. In great detail.""

    Could you draw pictures detailing what occurred?

    "Keep up the good work, Doc."

    Thanks!

    @Matt: "One, are there no laws in King's Landing regarding the random stabbing of guys in brothels? I love that Oberyn knifed that guy and Tyrion just welcomed him to the city."

    Oberyn has diplomatic immunity, obviously!

    "I got the impression from the scene with Daario and Grey Worm that Grey Worm is interested in Dany's assistant, not Dany herself. But I could have misinterpreted it."

    You may be right on that, but I think the equipment he lacks will still be a hindrance.

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