The Game of Thrones Season 4 premiere (Season 4 Episode 1, “Two Swords”), packed in a ton of information and characters. Almost everything that happened kept us on the edge of our seats, but some moments stood out more than others.
Here’s our picks for the best moments of the episode.
Oberyn. Perhaps the most thrilling scene from the episode was the introduction of Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne (Pedro Pascal). Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) finds out, much to his chagrin, that docile Prince Doran was unable to make it to King’s Landing for the royal wedding and that instead his wildcard brother Oberyn is in town. We then see Oberyn in the midst of a bisexual foursome before being interrupted by a Lannister knight in the next room singing “The Rains of Castamere.” Oberyn clearly doesn’t care much for the song or for Lannisters, which he quickly proves by stabbing the man’s wrist. It might just be the best intro for a new character the show’s ever done, and we can’t wait to see what Oberyn does next.
Arya’s revenge. The final scene of the episode features Arya (Maisie Williams) and The Hound (Rory McCann), who stumble upon a group of Lannister soldiers getting grabby at an inn. While the Hound doesn’t want to fight anyone on an empty stomach, Arya can’t resist the chance to retrieve her old sword Needle, which she sees in the possession of one of the soldiers. Eventually, the Hound changes his tune, and proceeds to kill all of the soldiers in the inn... except one. Polliver, the one who has Needle, is killed by Arya herself with her little sword, as she reenacts Polliver’s murder of her friend Lommy Greenhands from Season 2 word for word. It’s the start of a darker path for Arya, but it was great to see her finally get some revenge.
Jaime’s struggles. We’re treated to a lot of cleaned-up Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) in the episode, as we see his relationships crumbling around him. He’s essentially disowned by Tywin, spurned by Cersei, and mocked by Joffrey, but his most satisfying interaction is with Brienne. We see the two bicker like old friends, which they are, now, with Brienne trying to unearth the honor she knows is inside Jaime. We feel like she’ll reach it eventually.
Jon and Sam. After a year apart, it was nice to see Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) and Sam (John Bradley) palling around again, with Sam telling Jon he feels the same way about him that Jon did about Robb. It was one of the few “aww” moments in an episode that had a very dark feel overall.
Dany’s dragons. Daenerys Targaryen's (Emilia Clarke) dragons look bigger and better than ever this season, and they’re also growing more wild. The first we see of them, with Dany stroking Drogon’s head, is an amazing feat of CGI special effects, perhaps the best we’ve ever seen on a TV show.
What was your favorite moment from the premiere? Let us know in the comments below!
Catch the next episode of Game of Thrones Season 4 on April 13, 2014 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.