Game of Thrones: Two Swords Review

(Warning: this post will contain some profanity and sexual content, although if you’ve ever read or watched Game of Thrones, I’m sure it won’t bother you.)

Sorry for the lack of posting. I’ve been busy with Camp NaNoWriMo (over eleven thousand words so far!), and to make up for it I’m going to be blogging every single day in May. I pinkie promise.

So onto the review, which is for the season premiere of Game of Thrones, season 4. There will be spoilers for the episode itself, and everything that happened before it, TV show wise. But there will be no spoilers for anything that will happen later. But keep in mind that I’ve read eighty percent of the available books, so if you anger me, I could just give you a list of the soon to-be-deceased characters as revenge.

I wonder how many thousands of dollars per second these CGI dragons cost?

This was a bit of a slow episode, with lots of set up and foreshadowing and very few crazy moments (except that amazing ending scene, but we’ll discuss that later), but I think it was better than your typical GoT premiere. It didn’t try to spend too much time on too many POV characters, specifically Bran (yawn) and Theon (ouch). Instead we focused on the Lannisters, who are totally rocking it after Catelyn, Robb, and Talisa Stark have been slaughtered by that bastard Walder Frey. (On the bright side, Edmure Tully had a really successful Dothraki wedding.*)

One of my favorite parts about the show (and the books) is how Jaime Lannister actually ends up being a likeable character. While sure, the jerk-turned-nice guy development has been done to death, you rarely see a character who starts off as big of a jerk as the Kingslayer himself. I believe he’s first introduced having sex with his twin sister, and then, thirty seconds later, pushing a child off a castle.

(Of course, you can argue that his real motive was that he knew how boring Bran’s storyline would become, and so he tried to stop it from happening beforehand. Unfortunately, this backfired, when it turned out that shoving him out the window was the very thing that caused his boring storyline in the first place. If you think about it, Jaime was a hero from the very beginning.)

But then he got his hand cut off, which was a huge traumatic incident for him. I mean, that was his sword hand; his child-shoving hand! Even though he was jerk, I still felt a little bad for him. And after that moment, he continued to improve as a human being, to the point where he’s actually coming to be one of the more noble characters in the series. (Which isn’t saying much, to be honest.)

Here we see Jaime get disowned by his father, and then Cersei, who was the reason his father disowned him to begin with, basically says “I blame you for everything!” and storms off. Then he has to put up with that little brat Joffrey for what he assumes is the rest of his life.

(Side note: Joffrey’s a dick.)

Also, we are introduced to Oberyn Martell, the Red Viper himself, in an amazing fashion. In his only scene, we see him in a brothel with his wife, putting the moves on both the male and female prostitutes. Then we see him stab a smug Lannister in the hand, and then he tells Tyrion to tell his father that the Lannisters aren’t the only ones to pay their debts. Man, what a bad-ass. Also, a warning to people haven’t read the books: this guy might be important later.

Daenerys didn’t do much this episode except flirt with Daario and play with her ever growing dragons, who are starting to grow too wild, even for her. (If dragons can’t be tamed, just how did the first Targaryens use them to conquer Westeros?) Also, the people of Meereen, a slave-city with one too many vowels in its name, decided it would be fun to nail a child slave to a crucifix, just to make sure she knows where to go. Dany’s probably thinking, “Y’all just made it personal,” and is now planning to be even more harsh to those pesky Meereeners.

But let’s talk about that final scene. You know what I’m talking about. That super badass scene where Arya finally gets Needle back and gets revenge on Polliver (I thought his name was Raff? Whatever.) This scene was brilliant.

Arya and the Hound are an even better pairing than they are in the books, and the two of them are comedic gold. Such as when Arya asked for her own horse and he was all “Aw, the little lady wants a pony,” and of course there was this line:

Arya: He killed Lommy.

The Hound: What the fuck’s a Lommy?

Since it’s been two seasons since we’ve last seen Polliver, the show needed to make it clear that he was a bad guy and needed a good ol’ stab in the neck. Excuse me while I make a list of all the horrible things he did in just five minutes of screen-time:

  • Plan to gang-rape that girl in the tavern.
  • Plans to torture the tavern owner, so he’d tell them where he was hiding stuff. And hey, he may have another hidden daughter for them to rape.
  • He just assumes The Hound’s having sex with Arya, a ten year old girl, because that’s completely normal.
  • Talk casually about all those people he tortured, and how after the Mountain made him do it so much, it just “drains the fun right out of it.”
  • Was willing to let The Hound buy a chicken under his tab, in exchange for Arya. (“Lowell here likes them a bit broken in.”)

So yeah, watching Arya get to reenact what Polliver did to Lommy was pretty damn satisfying, although I much prefer the book’s version of the events. And just like the books, I’m a bit on the fence on whether or not I should cheer Arya on or be worried for her, because she’s going down a long and dangerous path down the dark side.

I grant this episode an eight out of ten. By any other show’s standards, this would be a lot higher. Personally, I can’t wait until next episode, when [spoiler] gets [spoiler] and [spoiler] finds out that [spoiler].

*I admit, I didn’t come up with that joke on my own. Someone in the AV Club wrote it. Just go to The Reins of Castamere review and I’m sure you’ll eventually find the comment.


13 thoughts on “Game of Thrones: Two Swords Review

  1. Yay for your 11K in Camp NaNo! šŸ™‚

    My chem teacher (the Mad-Eye Moody one…) spent the first few minutes of class today going OH MY GOD WHO ELSE SAW GAME OF THRONES LAST NIGHT WASN’T IT GREAT WASN’T IT SO SATISFYING TO WATCH ARYA STICK A SWORD THROUGH A GUY.

    Also, that blue dress looks very pretty on Dany. ^-^ Not sure what I think about the weird pants/boots get-up, but whatever.

    Have you seen the pictures of Margaery’s wedding dress? Good god it’s amazing. Very symbolic. And kind of a slap in Joffrey’s face. šŸ˜€

    1. If you chem teacher was that excited over last episode, imagine how good of a mood he’ll be in after the next episode. (A certain wedding is supposed to take place next week.)

      It is wonderful. Margaery always seems to be wearing an amazingly cool dress. (And I think she’s so much cooler in the show than in the books, but that’s probably just because we never got into book Margaery’s head.)

    2. I suppose this remark is a bit late now, but – I’m surprised the wedding episode happened so early in the season. Or maybe my sense of pacing was just thrown off by splitting the third book into two seasons. Probably.

      Agreed. I love the clothes in GoT.* I would love to be a costume designer for that show. Or a set designer.

      *Well… I dunno about Oberyn. He didn’t look good in that yellow thing. xD He looked like a banana.

      And I hope we do get a POV of Margaery – I thought I saw on Goodreads that The Winds of Winter will come out in January 2015???? šŸ˜€ But maybe GRRM is pranking us all. I wouldn’t put it past him.

      1. ***SPOILERS***
        I was surprised too, though I liked it because it was probably so unexpected for those who haven’t read the books. Usually the show waits until the ninth episode to start killing off major characters. I’m just a little upset that Tyrion is probably going to spend the next seven episodes or so on trial.

        I wouldn’t trust that Goodreads prediction. I remember at the end of A Feast for Crows, Martin said ADwD would hopefully come out “next year,” and we now know how that turned out.

        (Yeah, but bananas are an great source of potassium!)

      1. YES, definitely! It gives me hope that there are people out there who come up with ideas like, “Hey, let’s make a video of goats singing the Game of Thrones theme.”

        I’m going to include this in the GoT review, because how could I not?

  2. I loved the season opener. No, it wasn’t amazing in the amazingness that is Game of Thrones, but it was immensely satisfying, nonetheless. And when Arya repeated Polliver’s words back to him, verbatim? Razor-smart, razor-sharp.

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