Sunday April 6 saw the long-awaited return of “Game of Thrones” to HBO with the season 4 premiere of “Two Swords.” According to the recap posted by E! Online News on April 6, episode 4x01 saw a Stark girl unleash her inner darkness with a major kill and introduced some new characters.
In an effort to wipe the last vestiges of the Stark family from the world, Tywin Lannister has Ned Stark’s Valyrian great sword, Ice, reforged into two new swords. He tosses the original wolf skin scabbard into the fire and gloats, thinking his annihilation of House Stark is essentially complete. The larger of the 2 blades he presents to his son, Jamie Lannister. While the gift dazzles, Tywin’s request that Jamie leave Kingsguard and return to Casterly Rock rule does not. Jamie refuses because the oath he made to the Kingsguard is for life. Though his reputation is sullied, he won’t break his oath. Angry, Tywin deems to let Jamie keep his sword. “A one-handed man with no family needs all the help he can get,” he says.
Tyrion, Bronn, and Podrick Payne are waiting on the road for the arrival of Prince Doran Martell of Dorne, an expected guest for Joffrey’s wedding. When the Dorne party arrives, they are surprised to see the prince not among them. It seems he is too ill and his brother, Oberyn will be taking his place at the festivities. The only thing is Oberyn has already arrived in the city. This is not welcome news but Tyrion has an idea where he might be.
Oberyn is in Littlefinger’s brothel where he and his companion, Ellaria, amuse themselves until the singing of “The Rains of Castamere” from another room disturb them. The Lannister men are the singers and they begin insulting Oberyn and Ellaria. Oberyn stabs one of the men and does not remove the blade until Tyrion arrives and asks to speak to him privately.
Tyrion inquires as to why Oberyn is in King’s Landing. Oberyn explains that his sister, Elia, married Rhaegar Targaryen, loved him and bore him children only to be betrayed when her husband loved another woman. The betrayal started a war that ended when Lannister soldiers killed Elia’s children and Gregor Clegane raped and murdered Elia. He believes Tyrion’s father gave the order and he tells Tyrion to tell Tywin that “the Lannisters are not the only ones who pay their debts.”
Daenerys Targaryen scolds Daario Noharis and Grey Worm for keeping her waiting. Daario later brings her a sad bouquet of flowers and wishes to talk “strategy.” He shows her what the flowers are used for locally.
Her soldiers come to an abrupt halt when a grisly signpost to Meereen is discovered – a dead slave girl is mounted to a post with one arm pointing the direction of the city. For each of the next 163 miles, a child is posted in a similar manner. Dany insists on seeing the children herself.
Back in King’s Landing, Shae tries to get Sansa to eat something. Her grief is too much. When Tyrion arrives, he asks to talk to Sansa alone which displeases Shae. Sansa can’t get the story of what happened to her mother and brother out of her mind. Tyrion suggests that Catelyn would not want Sansa to feel this way; she would want her daughter to move on. Sansa says she is going to the godswood because “It’s the only place I can go where people don’t talk to me.”
In his room, Tyrion finds Shae waiting. She tries to seduce him but he rebuffs her. Furious, she demands to know if he wants her to stay. When he doesn’t answer, she storms out with one of Cersei’s handmaids watching.
Jamie is fitted with a golden hand commissioned by Cersei. When Jamie asks her about the “other matter,” she simply tells him all of her symptoms have been abated but won’t disclose what those symptoms were. She too wants Jamie to step down from the Kingsguard. She brushes off his kisses and he’s irritated. He’s been back for weeks and they still haven’t had sex. She says he left her alone too long and things are not the same.
Ygritte and Tormund argue over the lack of orders from Mance. When she mentions Jon in the presence tense, Tormund suggest the only reason Jon might still be walking is because she let him get away. The Thenns arrive, a sinister group of wildlings and they quickly establish they are in control. Fortunately, they’ve brought supper – human flesh.
Jon is grieving for Robb as he’s learned what happened to his brother. He is summoned before a council of Black Brothers who are reviewing his role in the death of Qhorin Halfhand and his desertion. Jon reveals want Mance Raider has planned. Though Alliser Thorne (and Janos Slynt want him dead, Maester Aemon disagrees.
Meanwhile, Brienne informs Margaery Tyrell of how Stannis’s shadow killed Renly. She swears she will avenge their king but Margaery says Joffrey is now their king.
Later, Brienne calls Jamie out on his promise to Catelyn Stark to keep her daughters safe. He says the promise has been fulfilled because Arya is safely dead and Sansa is safely wed to his brother.
Jamie reviews the security plans for Joffrey’s wedding. Joffrey couldn’t care less. He brags of his own victory in defeating Stannis and reads through the White Book, pointing out the accomplishments of other Kinsguards all while picking on Jamie for his lack of achievements and his lack of a hand.
Arya and The Hound continue to ride through the war-torn Riverlands. She wants a horse of her own and argues she wouldn’t flee, she has nowhere to go. Eventually they reach an inn, one which The Hound doesn’t want to enter. Arya recognizes Polliver, one of the men responsible for murdering her friend Lommy with Arya’s own sword. He still has the sword, Needle. The Hound tries to resist but Arya makes it impossible with her loud approach for him to stay back.
Polliver instantly recognizes the Hound and greets him. He invites him to join him and his men as they steal and rape their way across the land to King’s Landing. The Hound is no friend of the king and insults begin flying. A fight ensues and when Polliver is lying on the floor, bleeding, Arya mimics the last conversation Polliver had with Lommy. She then stabs him in the throat and watches as he chokes to death on his own blood. As she and The Hound ride away, Arya is mounted on her own horse.
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