The first episode of Season 4 didn’t disappoint. It was fast paced with lots of character driven moments in Kings Landing. Jaime seemed to be at the forefront and life has certainly changed for him. We were introduced to Oberyn Martell from Dorne and the Thenns in the North. Let’s not forget Arya, Dany and Jon had their moments as well. The opening scene of Ned’s sword, “Ice” melted down into two new swords along with a wolf pellet thrown into the fire with Tywin Lannister looking on, signals a tremendous power shift in Westeros. A brilliant scene to get this season rolling!
Jaime’s return to KL has had its moments tonight. First, he had a conversation with Tywin; who wants him to be the heir to Castlery Rock and forgo being a Kingsguard. Jaime wants nothing to do with that. He did give him a new sword since he’ll need one with only one hand. Where’s the second sword? Secondly, his sister makes him a new “golden hand” and then tells him he has been away too long when he tries to get fresh with her. Lastly, his own nephew/son King Joffrey berates him for having one arm and reminds him that he won the war. And in his own whimsical self he sarcastically reminds Jaime that there is nothing written about him in “Book of Brothers”. Jaime’s best scene was with Brienne who reminded him of his vow to Catelyn Stark but there are complications now that Sansa is a Lannister; which only leaves Arya. If anything, poor Jaime is having a really bad day. Only Tyrion will welcome him back with open arms.
Tyrions’ role had been reduced to greeting the new house in town. He welcomed Oybern Martell to Kings Landing by finding him in a brothel. He is reminded that his new bride, Sansa is still upset over the death of her brother and mother; nor will she eat anything or talk to anyone. And Shae gives him a hard time by trying to seduce him but he won’t have it and she questions him to why he wanted to send her away with jewels. Poor Tyrion has no clue on that one. Bronn’s one liners were a great bonus to Tyrion’s drudgery at KL.
We get a small glimpse of Margery preparing for her wedding day. She didn’t seem to be excited about it like Lady Olenna. Brienne visits her to explain how Renly died and yet Margery tells her that Joffrey is King now.
Also, Sansa is visited by a drunk Ser Dontos, who has a small gift for her, a blue necklace, a family heirloom that he would like to bequest to her. We haven’t seen him since Season 2 so something is up with that.
The most intriguing addition to the cast is Oberyn Martell from Dorne. As Tyrion finds him in a brothel with his paramour, Ellaria Sand, who doesn’t mind being known as a “bastard”. Things are definitely different in Dorne. Both have a petulance for mixing it up with both men and women. It’s the Red Viper’s sting that comes through when he meets some Lannister men. This guy is definitely seeking revenge for his sister, Elia who was married to Rhaegar Targyagaren and then slaughtered by the Mountain, on the orders of Tywin Lannister. And Tyrion is told “it’s not only the Lannisters that pay their debts”. Life might be more exciting in Kings Landing with Dorne around.
The Wall and Beyond
Our first glimpse starts with Ygritte and Tormund waiting for orders from Mance in an unknown cavern. He reminds her that she let the ”crow” go and they wouldn’t be in this mess. All of the sudden, the Thenns show up to Tormund’s dismay. They take over their fire pit with an arm of crow which they begin to feast upon.
Back at Castle Black, Sam visits Jon who recounts his time with Robb. He is summoned to answer for his involvement with the Wildings. Allister Thorne is back as the temporary leader in charge.Jon must answer for his supposed crimes as well as, he tells him he broke one of his vows. He also tells them of Mance’s plans to invade Castle Black and light the biggest fire that the North has ever seen. Jon is almost sentenced to be beheaded but Maester Aemon saves him. The Maester was on point tonight with is one liners! Great dialogue from him especially when Allister Thorne questioned him about he knew about liars; Aemon answers, “I used to live in Kings Landing”. Something tells me that he may be important in Jon’s storyline this season.
We catch up with the Khalessi as she has quiet moment with one of her dragons until the other two bring back some food and they begin to fight over it. One of the dragons snaps at her and Jorah reminds her that the dragons cannot be tamed. Back in the camp, she finds the Unsullied ready to march towards their next destination. Grey Worm and Daario Naahris are not to be found as they had a bet going on to see which one hold his sword the longest. Dany stumbles upon them and tells them they will ride in the back of the envoy.
As Dany and Missendi look across the sea, she asks her confidante about Meereen. Daario comes to see Dany to help her strategize. He shows her some flowers and their meanings and how it’s important for her to know the people she will rule. Perhaps, he is “gambler” after all. As the entourage walk, they come to dead child slave hung to a cross as warning for all to see. Dany commands that each slave be taken down and buried without their chains.
Arya and the Hound
The highlight of episode 1 was Arya and the Hound traveling somewhere in Westeros. He informs the little Stark that he is on his way to the Vale to take her to see her Aunt Lysa who will pay a hefty price for her return.
As they approach an Inn, Arya recognizes one of the men as Pollivar, who took “Needle”, killed Lommy and brought her to Harrenhal. The Hound could only think of not fighting on an empty stomach. Arya decides to get her sword back. They enter the Inn, they get looks from his brother’s men who fight for the King. Pollivar has a long talk with the Hound, who isn’t going to put with anything or anyone. A fight ensues and the Hound is outnumbered however, he is triumphant. Arya gets into it too and puts a sword through Pollivar’s throat while recounting the words said to Lommy. She gets Needle back and a horse as ride they towards the Vale. The well written banter between Arya and the Hound as well as his foul mouth made tonight’s ending well worth the wait.
Honourable mentions have to go to the opening sequence when Meereen and the Dreadfort popping out during the opening credits. Oh and I have to give props to Pod for knowing the sigils of Dorne.
Hopefully, we’ll see Stannis, Bran, Theon next week.
“…….if we beheaded every ranger, the Wall would be guarded by headless men” Maester Aemon at the Wall
“..Aren’t you just marvelous…you knocked my silly grandson to the ground” Olenna to Brienne
“…Are you sure we aren’t related…every Lannister has been a pain in my ass….you’ve got the hair for it and the looks” Jaime to Brienne.
“..a man’s got to have a code” the Hound to Arya
“My bloody honour is beyond repair” Jaime to Tywin
“..If you want to rule slaves, you must become part of them..” Daario to Dany
Here is a preview of Episode 2: