(If you need a refresher on Season three's finale, then click here for my full recap.)
I really do love hearing the theme song when a new season begins because it sets the mood perfectly and If you don't remember the clans, the castles, the players, the dragons, the slaves, the eunuchs, the murders, the double crosses and other assorted damsels and madmen, fear not and don't sweat it. Just sit back and enjoy the fun. You'll catch up soon enough. Heck, I read all the books and still have to constantly check out the maps to see who is from where and even where is.
(corrected version) The first episode of this fourth season is called Two Swords and I imagine one interpretation is the dual nature of war and peace in MartinWorld. At King's Landing, Tywin Lannister is forging a new sword out of an old one that's made of the precious Valyrian steel for Jamie.
Two Swords also takes stock of everybody up to this point after the series three conclusion. Sansa is clinically depressed after the murders and wants to be left along while Tyrion, who was forced to marry Sansa, is now being sent on embarrassing errands by his father. Cercei is drinking heavily after all that happened at King's Landing and her upcoming wedding to a Loras, who prefers the company of men.
Jamie is fitted with a golden right hand which was supplied by Cercei, who then dumps him for taking too long getting back to her, after he was captured. Shae is being frozen out of Tyrion's bed because of his marriage, as bad as it is to Sansa. And Margery and Olenna Tyrell are checking out crappy jewelry while planning the wedding to Joffrey.
We are also treated to a new character named Prince Oberyn Martell, more commonly know as the Red Viper. He's a mean Dorne, who hates the Lannisters because his sister Elia was married to the Rhaegar Targaryen and then bore him two children. However, Rhaegar fell in love with Layanna Stark, who Robert Baratheon loved and a war started. King's Landing was sacked and Elia raped and killed by the Mountain and her kids murdered also so Oberyn believes Tywin gave the orders so he's not a happy camper.
Tell your father I'm here and tell him the Lannisters aren't the only ones who pay their debts.
Oberyn brought along with him his beautiful paramour named Ellaria Sand,(Indira Varma) along for the fun and games.
And then we have the odd couple, Arya and The Hound. Their scene was the best scene of the night. The Hound killed a bunch of Lannister's men in an inn and Arya got revenge on Polliver, by killing him with her own sword "Needle" that he took away from her and used to kill her friend Lommy.
Here are some scenes of the episode:
Tywin forges a new sword out of Valyrian steel made from Ned Stark's old sword for his son Jamie as a gift, but then tells him he's not going to be in the Kingsguard anymore because he must go home to rule Casterly Rock.
A one handed man with no family needs all the help he can get.
Jamie refuses his father and instead demands to stay in the Kingsguard so he can be near his sister. Once more, he disappoints his father.
Tyrion is tasked with meeting the Prince of Dorne, but when some men arrive, they inform him that the prince isn't making the trip. His brother, Oberyn Martell, who's an accomplished killer is in his place, but he's already there.
Oberyn is at the whorehouse picking wenches for his paramour Ellaria Sand, when he demands that he needs a male to service him. As they are about to copulate, Oberyn hears some Lannisters next door and he immediately seeks the voices out. After finding two men and trading a few insults, he sends a short sword through the pudgy one's wrist. Tyrion enters the room to welcome him to King's Landing only to witness the melee. He asks for a private word and they take a walk outside and Tyrion want to know what he's doing in King's Landing. Oberyn explains that the last time he was at the palace he went to another wedding a long time ago. This one was with Rhaegar Targaryen and his sister Elia, who then bore his children. Rhaegar eventually fell in love with Robert Baratheon's flame and that started a war. He blames Tywin for the murder of the children and the rape murder of his sister.
Dany is petting her dragon, Drogon, which is draped partially on her lap, when Rhaegal and Viserion fly in with a freshly killed animal. They fight over it and Drogon stuns Dany by turning on her like he was going to bite her. Have these baby fire breathers grown up fast? Jorah tells her that they can't be tamed even by their mother. She inspects the Unsullied, but gets pissed when the Grey Worm and Daario Naharis aren't there.
Sansa is depressed at the loss of her mother and brother and refuses to eat. Poor Tyrion tries to comfort her and he's actually quite moved by the sadness she feels, but he's powerless to help her.
Shae ends up in his bedchamber and he refuses to sleep with her. They have a fight and she leaves, but a maid sees her leave Sansa's room.
Maester Qyburn fits up Jamie with a golden right hand that Cersei had made for him that he's not too keen on. Jamie notices that his sister/lover is drinking more alcohol than she used to. He tells her he's staying in the Kingsguard to be near her, but she's cold and pissed that he left her when he was captured and when he protests, she tells him that he took too long to get back. I wonder what kind of future they will have?
Ygritte and Tormund are waiting for Mance Rayder's orders when a group of Thenn's show up. They are straight up cannibals who picked off a few Crow body parts for dinner.
Jon Snow is at Castle Black and goes in front of a court of Crows to determine his fate after killing Qhorin Halfhand out beyond the Wall. He admits to sleeping with a wildling girl also, breaking his vows, but he warns them of what's coming. One hundred thousand free folk are on the march to take the Wall and they are coming soon. He gives all the intel he garnered from living with them and asks if he's to die or be set free. Maester Eamon was never going to support his death so he dismisses him.
Olenna (Dianna Riggs) is back and and is a grumpy as ever as she discusses the wedding of Maergery. Brienne of Tarth interrupts them and she tells Margaery about how Renly, her dead husband was murdered by a mysterious shadow with Stannis Baratheon's face upon it. She vows retribution.
Jamie is going over the protections for the King and Joffrey wonders how he can protect the King being forty years old with one hand? Ouch.
Dany is marching towards Meereen to take the city when the soldiers stop marching. There is a slave girl impaled on a wooden cross in front of them and there are 162 more just like paving the road ahead of them as a warning.
Brienne is arguing with Jamie, making sure he's loyal to his vow to protect Sansa and Arya.
Sansa is heading back from the woods when she thinks she's being followed, but it turns out to be the ex-Knight and fool Sir Dontos, who she saved from Joffrey's sword. He's drunk, but gives her a family necklace and asks her to wear it for him as a token of his appreciation.
Arya is still splitting a saddle with The Hound and she asks him when she can get her own horse to ride. He tells her he can't risk her getting away because he's taking her to the Vale to sell her to her aunt Lysa. She says she's got nowhere to go now that her family is dead. They come upon an inn with five men and five horses. Arya recognizes one of the men as Polliver. He captured her and her friends and brought her to Harrenhal and used her sword "Needle" to kill her friend Lommy. The Hound tells her he's not keen to fight on an empty stomach when she barges past Clegane and into the Inn. Polliver recognizes Gregor and starts chatting him up and tells him he should join them so they can blaze a bloody trail heading south to King's Landing and since they are the King's men, they can do whatever they like. But his constant talk just angers the Hound.
F*ck the King.
He starts a brawl and kills most of them by himself, but Arya has a chance to seek more revenge and she takes it. She slashes Polliver from behind as he approached Gregor , knocking him to the ground. She takes "Needle" from his body and begins to recite back to him the same words he said to her when he took her sword killed Lommy with it. It takes him few seconds, but Polliver has a moment of clarity and realizes who she is as she slowly runs "Needle" through his neck.
They leave the Inn with horses and whole lot of chickens.