Game of Thrones: Two Swords Review

game-of-thrones-headerGame of Thrones came back with an epic episode on Sunday night to kick off its fourth season and the second of two seasons based on George R. R. Martin’s A Storm of Swords. After the mind-blowing (for people who didn’t read the books) conclusion to last season, there were a lot of plot threads that needed resolving. That’ll take the whole season and has some new storylines added in for good measure.

Spoiler Alert: There are probably spoilers for this and each preceding episode in this review. There’s also some WrestleMania 30 references. Also, the comments are a spoiler-free zone because I’ve only read the first two books. If you start spoiling the books, I’ll shut down the comments on these reviews.

Unlike the Haven and Doctor Who reviews, this won’t be my typical reviewcap post. Instead, it’ll be more of my thoughts about each storyline. So it’ll probably be spoiler-lite but not spoiler-free.

Three heroes get a couple of visits to their storylines. Jaime is back in King’s Landing and gets a new sword courtesy his father, Tywin Lannister, Hand of the King, and a new hand thanks to his sister, Cersei, Jaime’s regular incestual conquest. He’s trying to get back to normal but Tywin thinks he’s basically useless without his right hand, Cersei’s moved on to other Lannisters and Joffrey wants nothing to do with him.

It’s amazing how Jaime spends the better part of two seasons as the #2 bad guy on the show only to get this great transformative arc that makes him one of the top five heroes. It’s a credit to Martin and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau that we get the Kingslayer Komeback.

Speaking of Lannister’s having a bad day in King’s Landing, there’s poor Tyrion. His wife hates him because his family murdered her’s. He has a Dornish Prince not too subtly implying that bad things are going to happen to the Lannisters, him included. And his whore/lover had a screaming match so loud that Cersei’s going to find out. At this point, I don’t know if he’ll even mind.

Tyrion is the easiest character to root for and great performances from the Dinklage, like this episode, don’t hurt matters, either. He’s trying to keep everything together for his family and the Seven Kingdoms but it all wants to come crashing down on him. It looks like this might be the bright point of this season too. Here comes another Emmy.

And over in Essos, Dany gets a visit from the budget gods. She’s got a massive army and three really big and angry dragons. She’s also get a new Daario. Gone is the blonde pretty boy and in is the brunette suave one. Apart from the dragons and Dany getting flirty with New Daario, nothing of note comes out of Essos this week. I’m going to wait this one out to see when [speculation – highlight to read] Ser Jorah makes a heel turn and does something to help get Daario killed and piss off Dany [/speculation].

We also got opposing sides of the Ygritte and (You Know Nothing) Jon Snow stories. Ygritte is still pissed off at the world for Jon going Black (because once you don the black, you never go back). Meanwhile, the world is pissed off at Jon for going undercover with the Wildlings. When Aemon Targaryen is the voice of reason (with the hilarious line of knowing when people lie from his time in King’s Landing), you know things have gone bad.

The highlight of this episode is The Hound and Arya in Westeros’s best buddy cop adventure. The highlight being Arya finding the man who stole her sword back in Season Two and using it to kill him the same way and with the same lines the Lannister bannerman killed Lommy. Arya jumped to a solid #2 on the hero power rankings with this week’s performance.

Also, what the f*ck is a Lommy? I know, I know. I just like the line.

Overall, watching Game of Thrones was the best choice one could have made at 9:00 PM on Sunday night. I caught a bit of WrestleMania 30 and left before Bray Wyatt lost his match and missed Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak end at the hands of a part-timer. Granted, GoT could have killed Tyrion repeatedly for 60 minutes and it would still have been better than WM30’s 9:00 hour.

Long story short, I absolutely loved this week’s episode. Old storylines get a fresh start and the new ones look pretty interesting. If Netflix aired this instead of HBO, I’d probably be asleep right now rather than writing this review because I would have watched this season in 10 straight hours. Epic start to the season. Is it Sunday yet?

Other random points of note:

  • I was wondering if the Ser Dontos story from A Clash of Kings was passed on to Littlefinger. It turns out that it may not have been.
  • Pod hit the weight room between seasons. Brann, Daario, Pod… They’re all growing up like Robin Williams in Jack. Saw that one in theatres as a kid. Hated it.
  • If Friday Game of Thrones posts are “Fridays of Ice and Fire,” can I call this “Tuesdays of Thrones?”
  • Seriously, though, Taker losing at WrestleMania was a wrestling fan’s Red Wedding moment. Now, you have a point of reference to describe GoT to your wrestling friends. Except that sort of thing doesn’t happen on one show a year but multiple.

Next week, it’s The Lion and the Rose. According to one preview I read, we get this season’s first appearances of Brann, Stannis, Ser Davos and Ramsay Snow. As if we didn’t have enough storylines playing out… Also, this episode is written by George R. R. Martin himself. I’m hoping that makes for something special.

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About Steve Murray

Steve is the founder and editor of The Lowdown Blog and et geekera. On The Lowdown Blog, he often writes about motorsports, hockey, politics and pop culture. Over on et geekera, Steve writes about geek interests and lifestyle. Steve is on Twitter at @TheSteveMurray.

Posted on April 8, 2014, in TV/Movie Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Hey, nice recap. I’m looking forward to the next episode as well.


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