Game of Thrones - S04 E01 Two Swords
And with a 'Dun Dun, Da Da Dun Dun, Da Da Dun Dun, Da Da Dun Dun' we're back.
A rather long 'Previously...' this time round, going all the way back to poor old Ned Stark's rather extreme migraine treatment back at the tail end of season 1. The reason for taking us back this far seems to be so we can make sense of why Charles Dance is melting down a big sword in order to make two new ones. A brief bit of dialogue between the now clean-shaven Jamie Lanister and his dear old dad reveals it's some kind of awesome steel, the name of which escapes me, but will probably prove to be a plot point later. It seems this season we're going to be seeing a bit more of Jamie's character now he's back home in King's Landing, but not as much of him as was exposed in season 1 since his sister seems to have lost interest in him now he's lost his more dextrous hand.
Daenerys seems to have forgotten that she's supposed to be coming for the Iron Throne and is content sitting playing with her dragons in the desert and flirting with Daario Naharis who seems to have not so subtly morphed from a blonde elf into a bearded brunette ranger bloke without anyone batting an eyelid.
We see the Wildlings hanging out waiting for re-enforcements while Jon Snow attempts to persuade the NIght's Watch that they are about to get their ass handed to them by the army from beyond the wall.
There's still a lot of fallout from the Red Wedding in this episode as we variously see Sansa, Jon, Arya and others dealing with the loss of their loved ones. Tyrion once again shows his gentler side in dealing with Sansa and her grief, which unfortunately leads to him getting a bollocking from his girlfriend. Arya begins to come out of her shell somewhat in this episode, which is good to see, I can't wait to see how she develops as a character over this season.
So, a lot of the requisite elements are present and correct for a season opener of GoT: beheadings, boobs, people choking to death on their own blood, Bron being hilarious, Joffrey being an insufferable prick, The Hound being awesome and more. Things that seem notable by their absence were Bran and the other remaining Stark child, Hodor, seeing what bits are left of Theon and the dastardly double act of Lord Varys and Little Finger.
The episode felt a bit thin as we attempt to catch up with a whole slew of characters in a very short space of time. I can see the groundwork they are laying for this season, but I think I would have preferred a double episode with a bit more substance to get me back into it properly. However, that said, I'm hooked for the next nine episodes and can't wait to see what epic unpleasantness they pull on us in episode nine this year.
Quote of the week:
The Hound: Of course you named your sword.
Arya: Lots of people name their swords.
The Hound: Lots of cunts.