After ten long months since the closing of the third season, Game of Thrones fans were finally able to satisfy their hunger last night with the airing of the season four premiere. Along with the usual blend of gruesome violence and pale naked people, several new plot lines and characters are introduced into what is sure to be a game-changing season.
Trouble in Paradise:
The last season of Game of Thrones left viewers angry, hurt and hesitant to ever attend another wedding. Main characters are dropping like flies, everybody is betraying each other and Khaleesi is still a world away, parading around with her massive army and sassy dragons in some desert. The episode, aptly titled "Two Swords," kicks off with the melting down of the Stark family's giant, Valyrian steel blade. In this silent, super-artsy opening, Tywin Lannister obliterates the last memory of the Stark line, creating two smaller swords out of the massive weapon and casting a direwolf's pelt into the fire. Ruthless? Yes. Symbolic? Most definitely. From what I can tell up to this point in the story, the more ruthless you are, the higher your chances of survival. May the Stark family rest in peace... or in pieces...
George R.R. Martin, the author of the Game of Thrones books, is a creative genius. The elements of each territory and character are immense and impossibly precise at the same time, which allows us to experience this world in great detail. That being said, Martin loves to watch his fantasy world burn. After all, what is GOT without a little chaos? While the Lannister family is busy planning a wedding and making fun of Jaime's new golden hand, Prince Oberyn of Dorne -- a renounced warrior and definitive badass -- has made his way into the capital and is making no attempt to disguise his plans to take vengeance on the Lannisters.
The Big Finish:
Arya (she's still alive!) and the Hound continue to ride through the woods, where the two stumble upon a few of the King's men, whom Arya recognizes. In one of the most arresting scenes in the episode, the Hound is provoked into carving up a few of the guards with his broad sword. Arya reclaims her stolen sword, Needle, and then proceeds to deliver one of the most chilling lines in the entirety of Game of Thrones series while plunging her sword into the guard's throat. Meanwhile, at King's Landing, Sansa Stark's miserable life drags on as she mourns the death of more family members and is forced to deal with her new marriage to Tyrion. In an act of kindness, a knight-turned-fool offers a beautiful family necklace to Sansa to repay her for an act of mercy from season one. However, seeing as Olena Tyrell is intent on finding a glamorous necklace for the royal wedding, I would be willing to bet that the jewelry will sit around Margaery's neck very soon, and the Sansa Stark pity party will continue.
The winter is still coming, albeit rather slowly. The Night's Watch is ill-prepared, the Wildlings are building a huge army, blah blah blah. Though you may still be bitter about the lackluster third season, things are most assuredly about to pop off in Westeros, but until next Sunday...
Contact reporter Weston Sutter at firstname.lastname@example.org