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Game of Thrones: Season 4, Episode 01

Two Swords (Spoilers)

The new season has begun with a powerful episode, but the lead-in refreshing our memories was interesting, and seeing Ned Stark being beheaded once again was almost as stirring as the first time I saw it. This was to show us Ned's sword, and how this episode got its title, Two Swords. Now that the Stark's have been broken, thanks to Walder Frey's Red Wedding, Tywin Lannister symbolically finalizes the deed by burning the wolf pelt and breaking up the Stark sword. The Valyrian steel blade was used to make two swords, one of which went to Jaime, but the second blade is still with Tywin. (You can watch the short video explaining why Tywin broke the sword by clicking HERE)

Jaime refused his father the rule of Casterly Rock in his stead, stating he wanted to stay in the King's Guard, but, of course, he really wants his sister's company. That didn't go quite as planned for Jaime after he brings up Cersei's drinking, with Cersei being cold and cruel, complaining about having to marry a "renowned pillow-biter," and that he "took too long" to return to her. I find myself feeling sorry once again for Jaime as Cersei appears to be thinking of herself and the inbred Joffrey, more than her one-handed brother's feelings.

Game of Thrones
Created by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Cast Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Charles Dance, Jack Gleeson, Sophie Turner, Emilia Clarke, Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Release Date 6 April 2014
Ed's Grade: A+

Based on the teasers for season 4, it would seem Tyrion is in for a very rough ride, and his embarrassments begin when he's sent to meet a Dornish prince who has come for Joffrey's wedding, but instead of the expected guest, Tyrion finds the second eldest prince has been sent. This will be taken as a slight by Tywin, which is of course the whole point. Prince Oberyn (Pedro Pascal, a newcomer to GoT) has come to the wedding with an agenda other than partying, although, after the scene with the absent Little Hand's prostitutes in the brothel, it looks like the prince has no problem mixing business with pleasure. After Tyrion catches up with Oberyn, the prince gives him a message for his father; "tell him the Lannister's aren't the only ones who pay their debts."

Tyrion is still trying to deal with his new wife, Sansa, who's still upset at the news and worse, the stories of how her family were butchered by Walder Frey. He asks to speak to Sansa alone, which sees a jealous Shae storm off. Knowing full well what his father has promised to do to any whore caught in his bed, Tyrion refuses to have sex with Shae, but it looks like she's made a fatal error. As Shae was leaving Tyrion's bed chamber, a spying servant witnesses this and runs to tell her mistress, Cersei. Jaime is also there when the servant arrives to tell Cersei the news, but we'll need to wait till next episode to find out the outcome. Perhaps this is the reason we see Tyrion in handcuffs, later in the series?

Daenerys' dragons are now larger and the control she once had over them isn't as strong, as witnessed when one almost bites her arm off. She now has control of a large army of the Unsullied, with two men now after her affections, one of whom is incapable of physically showing his feelings (apologies to any eunuchs out there who know differently). On the road to Meereen, the army come across the first of 163 crucified children, with Daenerys promising to look at each of their faces as they march.

Jon Snow is now back with the Night's Watch at Castle Black and he's facing serious charges, some of which he admits to. He warns the leaders about Mance Rayder attacking Castle Black but some of the leadership are more concerned with Jon sleeping with Ygritte. He is finally allowed to ge free after Maester Aemon tells the others he believes Jon. When asked how Maester Aemon is so sure he can tell lies when he hears them, he replies "I grew up in King's Landing."

The show finished in style and loads of bloodshed, with Arya and the Hound coming to a tavern where Arya spots the man who killed her friend with her little sword, Needle. She's determined to get the stolen sword back (and allows GoT to begin and end by the sword) so slips away from The Hound and enters the tavern. What follows is a good old battle where chickens and ale are used to insult the king's soldiers, and where we also hear Sandor declare, "f*ck the king." Arya once again shows character and a thirst for revenge, by toying with her enemy before sticking her reacquired sword up through the man's brain.

TV Review by Lead Entertainment Writer, Ed Blackadder

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