Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire

Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 1: “Two Swords”

April 9, 2014

So there are a lot of recaps of this show already, of course, but I’m going to try something a little different here: I’m gonna do a feelings-cap.  Where I review all of my feelings, of course.  If you watched the show you know what happened, so I don’t need to go over the plot for you, but I will examine how I felt about the plot!  I will not spoil any parts of the books that have not been on the show already, but I will add some explanation if the show scenes are different from the book scenes. If you’re not current on the episode, of COURSE do not read this.

As our intro this week, we got a reminder that Tywin is in fact The Baddest Bitch and will not only let his grandson behead you and then arrange for the murder of your firstborn at a wedding, but he will melt down your priceless Valyrian steel sword and then burn the pelt of the animal on your house sigil on the fire. One of the best aspects to this is that all the direwolf stuff reinforces that we’re more okay with human death because the second the wolfies get involved we’re like COME ON, NOT THE PUPPIES WHYYYY.

I then aggressively sang/hummed the intro most of the time; sorry people I was with.  Oh snap, Dreadfort, what’s up.  Also Winterfell has been on fire for like two years now we can stop with the smoke.

I would just like to take this moment to state my undying love for Samwell Tarly.  As much as I’d like to think otherwise, I would be him if I were in the books.  Cowardly, likes to read, is vaguely in love with Kit Harington.  #WeAreAllSamwellTarly  Maester Aemon is also on my love list haters to the left.  I’m not really sure what they were going for with the Thenns, unless it was “hey we’re back with the goblins from the first Hobbit movie, is that okay with you?”  Because then I’m totally on board.  I’m also assuming the actor playing Mance Rayder demanded a thousand dollars per second of screen time because we’re apparently never gonna see him again.

“Where is Daario Naharis?” – Dany
“Off being recast and growing a beard that is STILL not blue, dammit” – Me
So yeah, in the books, Daario has this sweet blue beard that they refuse to get him for the show.  I’m pretty okay with the recasting so far, mostly because they’re no longer styling Daario like a sad LOTR elf extra, but bro has to turn on some charm or something because I’m not impressed yet.  Also who makes fun of a eunuch for being a eunuch? Low blow, Naharis.  Team Grey Worm.  The dragons look great as always, and that stupid sheep that they dropped actually startled me. If they don’t completely screw up the pacing of her storyline (like I feel they did in season 2), this could be a good one for Dany and Dragons and Co.

Arya and Sandor walk into a bar.  Everyone gets killed.  …That’s the end of the joke.
So Maisie Williams managed to get even more terrifying this season and I kind of love it?  Not that I love what’s happened to Arya’s character, considering I’m pretty sure there’s a gaping black hole where her heart used to be, but Maisie is KILLING it.  Both literally and figuratively.  Her revenge on Polliver is definitely a compilation of several deaths in the books, but it worked.  I was trying to figure out why they included Lommy’s death on the “previously, on Game of Thrones” (aside: how is that helpful for literally anyone, dude, previously on Game of Thrones you missed SO EFFING MUCH IT’S NOT EVEN FUNNY), but it of course made sense afterwards.  I’m also really enjoying all the associated chicken jokes that are now happening on the internet with Sandor.

HOWEVER.  I am so done with this show using the c-word.  (The word is “cunt,” for the record, but I really don’t like using it so commit it to memory now thanks.)  Yes, the word appears in the books, but it’s frequently used by repulsive characters.  On the show, it’s used by Bronn and the Hound, so we can laugh along with them.  Not that Sandor’s line about naming swords wasn’t great, because it was, but I really wish they chose to end it with a different noun.  The way the show throws it around is like an endorsement, when in the books, we get this gem from Asha/Yara Greyjoy:
 “C*** again? It was odd how men…used that word to demean women when it was the only part of a woman they valued.”
You can write a misogynistic world and use misogynistic words, but mayyyybe don’t let the “cool” characters use them because that’s just irresponsible.  

Tywin, Baddest Bitch, we got it.  I’m liking Jamie’s new haircut but let’s be real Nikolaj was gorgeous even in prisoner-chic.  I’m really glad they included the book of the King’s Guard in the way they did.

Olenna, I love you forever, and way to recognize Brienne’s amazingness for what it is.  I also really enjoyed the little scene between Margaery and Brienne: these are two women who could not be more different discussing some rull srs stuff more scenes like this, plz.  Less necklace choosing.  Do not care.  However, DO care about Margaery’s wedding dress, which is the fiercest ever and I want it, go look it up if you haven’t already or just wait till the episode.  The wedding dress combined with Natalie Dormer’s constant expression of “I know precisely how and when the world will end and those who have wronged me will die first” will make for the fiercest bride ever.  I am also glad we got a quick Jamie and Brienne scene, and I’m rather proud of Brienne for stating that Sansa will certainly not be safe in King’s Landing because duh.

Tyrion and Sansa’s conversation (if I remember correctly!) isn’t in the books, but I’m actually totally okay with it.  Sophie Turner almost made me cry with her monologue, and Tyrion is trying SO HARD but you really feel the futility of trying to talk to a woman who was forced to marry you and then your family killed hers.  The fact that she’s still even capable of getting out of bed is amazing.  Sansa is amazing haters to the left srsly you’re gonna not want to read these recaps if you don’t like Sansa.  Also Ser Dontos is great and I loved that scene thank you writers A+.

Now, the important stuff.  What you’ve been waiting for.  DORNE.  SUNSPEAR.  UNBOWED, UNBENT, UNBROKEN.  Okay, what I was waiting for, but if you have correctly-fashioned opinions you were excited too.  I’m not saying you’re wrong if you don’t think the Dornish are awesome, you are just as far away from accurate as is possible.

I have two things to say here: one, I am 110% done with nameless, line-less, naked whores, and two, can we not Dothraki the only other brown people on this show.  Let me explain.

Benioff and Weiss [producers], dudes, I know you’ve got this show on HBO.  I know you’re allowed to show nudity.  But come on, guys, you’ve got this critically-acclaimed, insanely popular, politically-complex show that’s been a game changer for what people think of when they think of “high fantasy” and you’re STILL playing the “heh heh, b00bz” game?  Can we not?  You’re standing in an empty room having just yelled “THAT’S what I’m talkin’ about, bro!” with your hand held up waiting for a high-five that will never come.  The people I watch with all yelled out variations on “seriously? why?!” and they’re not the only ones.  I’ve also noticed that as soon as your female characters get any kind of agency, you stop stripping them.  Daenerys has had way less nudity than before, and you haven’t stripped Margaery or Shae since season 2.  Right, because these are “cool” girls that are “fan favorites” and oh no we wouldn’t want to disrespect them by getting them naked.

I used Dothraki as a verb for a reason.  First season, you introduced us to the only non-white characters as these savages: violent and sex-obsessed and horse-heart eating, plus LOL they don’t even know English, look how foreign.  Some of the Dothraki are awesome, but it’s hard to get the “these are wild animals” image out of your head when it’s not just the first but the first dozen or so images you get.  Oberyn and Ellaria are really cool characters who just happen to be very sexually open, for lack of a better phrase.  The first time we see them, though, they’re in a brothel, about to have group sex, and Oberyn stabs a dude.  And let me be clear: this is not some random dude come up from the *~wild~* south.  In his house, he outranks Tyrion.  This is someone important.  However, HBO has chosen to make him and his partner into wild animals and not even giving them the decency of having matching or identifiable accents. (Seriously, did they tell Pedro Pascal “that was good, but can you be MORE Dracula-y next time?”)  This is nothing against Pedro Pascal or Indira Varma, as I think they are doing an excellent job with what’s been written for them, plus, personally, I had fancast Indira as Ellaria so I’m pretty stoked.  Pedro’s speech about his sister Elia was of course a long bit of exposition, but it was very well done, and I’m excited to see how he acts everything else that’s given to him.

That’s it for this episode: tune in next time for a long overview of my feelings.  Any thoughts, feel free to leave them in the comments!

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  • Reply Anonymous April 9, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    This is a really good feelings recap. Love it.

  • Reply Andrew Davis April 10, 2014 at 5:14 pm

    I really enjoyed reading this. These were all good points 🙂

  • Reply It’s 2016 and I’m back – The Night Is Dork January 3, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    […] A significant number of my old posts have been transferred over here, so if you’re looking to reread my Game of Thrones episode reviews from the beginning, go ahead and start here. […]

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