With the gloom from last season’s shocker of the Red Wedding still looming in people’s memories, people could not stop talking about this start of Game of Thrones’ new season. With the King Joffery Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) and Margaery Tyrell’s (Natalie Dormer) wedding fast approaching, people have been on the edge of their seat even before the premiere. This past Sunday’s episode, Two Swords, was a great start to the series with some bad-ass action from a brand new character, and, of course, Arya. While usually not a lot happens in the season premiere, it still gives us great insight as to what happened since the finale and new obstacles that are in store. We got a glimpse of almost everyone’s characters (hope to see you next episode, Stannis) and their reactions of the intense events of the last two episodes.
Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) starts off the premiere by melting a sword made of Valyrian steel and forging it into two weapons. He presents one to his son, Jaime Lannister (Nicolaj Coster Waldau) and commands him to leave King’s Landing for Casterly Rock to rule in his place. Jaime refuses ,however, and says that he would rather stay in the King’s Guard, despite only having one hand. Deep down, the real reason is that he wants to be close to his sister, Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) and continue their incestuous love affair. Unfortunately, she angrily declines his offer. She’s bitter about her forced engagement to Loras Tyrell (Finn Jones), a renowned “pillow biter” and also the fact that her beloved brother and lover was captured and maimed for so long. Even when he gets a new golden hand, she still doesn’t want him. Is the taboo brother-sister love too much for Cersei now? Has she become interested in someone that is not related to her? Doubt it.
Meanwhile, we get turned to our favorite sarcastic imp: Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage). He and Bronn (Jerome Flynn) are part of the welcoming party for House Martell for the royal wedding. However, they are told that Prince Oberyn (Pedro Pascal) already had come earlier that morning and could be found at Littlefinger’s brothel. The audience is then introduced to Prince Oberyn, his mistress, Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma) and the usual dosage of naked women in a Game of Thrones episode. Just as they are about to engage in some sexy times with another woman and even another man, Oberyn hears singing from another room. As it turns out, the singing is coming from another group of Lannisters. As they begin taunting him, Oberyn stabs one of them in the wrist as a lesson. Hopefully, that will be a lesson learned on the Lannisters’ part.
We then learn from a conversation between Tyrion and Oberyn that he is not here for the wedding but to get his revenge on the Lannisters (take a number, Oberyn). He then tells a story about how his sister Elia Targaryen (nee Martell) was slaughtered along with her children but not before she was raped and chopped in two by the Gregor Clegane, or “The Mountain”. It’s extremely grim and depressing and Oberyn ends his story with simply, “Lannisters are not the only ones who pay their debts”. Will there finally be someone who can take on the Lannisters? This whole scene made me extremely excited to see what the writers are going to do with him.
After being disturbed with images of slaughtered women and children, we are then reunited with our favorite dragon lady, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) . She is petting her dragons, which actually look grown and intimidating and not look like little lizards anymore. When she tries to quiet them from fighting over a sheep, they snap at her, and she seems genuinely afraid. “Dragons, Khaleesi. They cannot be tamed. Not even by their mother,” Jorah (Iain Glen) says to her. I really liked this scene because it started to show a glimpse of the dragons’ true nature. Daenerys seemed to be so confident that she could control her dragons but their growth shows that that might not be the case. However, we still get that tough side of Daenerys that we know and love when she wants to see the 163 dead body “warnings” on the way to Meereen. It shows that there is going to be some inevitable ass kicking from her end in the future.
Unfortunately we don’t really see much from Sansa Stark except her reaction for her brother’s death. She refuses to eat any food, most likely attempting to starve to death. Who can blame her though? Not only is her family pretty much gone but she’s also married to Tyrion, not exactly her idea of Prince Charming. But despite her hostility towards him, Tyrion still is sympathetic towards her. It’s a great change in character for him despite his previous “player” tendencies. He wouldn’t even have sex with Shae. Well then again, he has a bunch of people who want to kill him, including his nephew, and his wife hates him because his family murdered her family. So, it might not be a good idea to get caught with a mistress right now.
The North Wall segments were nothing special in my opinion. It just featured Ygritte (Rose Leslie) and Tormund (Kristofer Hivju)being told by a group of Thenn to overtake the Wall. And at the Wall, Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) is being put on trial for killing Qhorin Halfhand. He admits that he broke his vows by “laying with” Ygritte but that the threat still grows and the wildings are still coming to fight. His only ally, Aemon Targaryen, is convinced that he is telling the truth and lets him go.
We are then transitioned to a warmer setting back at King’s Landing when Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) tells Margaery that she will avenge their king, Renly Baratheon, Margaery’s former fiancé. “Joffery is our king now,” Margaery says with a devious smile. There is way more to Margaery than what is being let on and I’m very excited to see this girl’s true nature to come into light.
Despite all of the great introductions in the episode, the end was the best out of all of them. We are reunited with Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and her adventures with the Hound and they come to a hotel where they run into Polliver, the sadistic man who killed her friend and stole her sword, Needle. Inside the inn, Polliver recognizes The Hound immediately and tries to make friends but the snarky “Fuck the king” remark from the Hound’s mouth sours the budding friendship. The Hound is a very interesting character especially in this scene. Even though he was a slave to Joffery in earlier seasons, he seems to have some sort of a strange honor. When Polliver asks for Arya in exchange for food, he starts a fight, giving Arya time to get Needle back and kill Polliver by stabbing him in the throat. This was an amazing scene for Arya. It shows that she is willing to get revenge on anyone that wrongs her; and her facial expression when she looks at Polliver before killing him illustrates her true transition from being a naïve child in Winterfell to a full blown assassin. Many people think that she is going downhill at this point, but I think quite the opposite. This is a big deal for her because it shows what she is capable of. If she can just kill this man without any guilt at all, think about what else she can possibly do at this point. Quite frankly, I’m the most excited to see her segments this season.