'Game of Thrones' Season 4 Premiere Recap: Beware the Avengers
The episode "Two Swords" in a nutshell:
* Tyrion meets Prince Oberyn Martell
* Daenerys marches to conquer Meereen
* Arya and the Hound come across a familiar face
Body count: 5 soldiers in a tavern
Nudity count: A few prostitutes
Dragon sightings: 3
New people: Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne and Ellaria Sand, his paramour
New places (opening credits): The Dreadfort and Meereen
Best line: "Yes, I partook. Now, I'm married." — Tyrion, refusing the offer of a prostitute
What's the deal with... Cersei turning down Jaime? She's been pining for him all this time, and suddenly pushes him away.
The first and last episodes of all three previous "Game of Thrones" seasons have probably been the least interesting ones. The biggest, most shocking moments usually take place in the second-to-last episode.
Instead, the premieres and finales are all about setting up the pieces on the chessboard, and "Two Swords" is no different. Not much happens in the Season 4 premiere, aside from one major introduction and one major reacquaintance, but all the characters are placed for fireworks ahead.
In all, "Two Swords" feels like you've sucked in a huge breath and are waiting to release it. It has a more quiet tension — aside from one bloody sequence, all the action is emotional and cerebral. As the title alludes, there are two important swords at the heart of the episode, and the stories around both demonstrate just how much has changed for all of the characters.
King's Landing: The Lannisters, Tyrells, and Martells
With their victory over Robb Stark after the Red Wedding, the Lannisters are sitting pretty — for now. Patriarch Tywin smugly watches as the magnificent Stark sword is melted down and forged into two new swords. One, he gives to son Jaime, as he orders him to return to rule Casterly Rock. But Jaime will do no such thing — he gave his oath as a Kingsguard and means to keep it. Even if that means protecting his bratty nephew/son Joffrey.
Meanwhile, Tyrion is waiting for the arrival of wedding guests from Dorne. It turns out Prince Doran Martell declined to attend, and instead his brother, Prince Oberyn, is there in his stead. He's already made himself, and his paramour Ellaria Sand, home at one of the city's brothels.