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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

Game of Thrones S04 E01: “Two Swords”


(previous: Season 3)

Ooo, Jaime got a haircut and a new sword.


And a new hand! (Though he still won’t be able to pull that Inigo Montoya “I am not lefthanded” trick anymore. Ah, I wonder who would win in a swordfight: Jaime or Inigo?) I had almost thought I was going to have to write something about how Jaime is the only one of his children that Tywin is nice to, and then Tywin had to go and try to kick Jaime out of the King’s Guard. So I still have nothing complimentary to say about Tywin.

I wonder if it’s hard for Jaime to refrain from dispensing a fatherly throttling to Joffrey when he’s being a brat, like in the scene later with Joffrey, when the kid scoffs through the whole meeting about security plans for the wedding, and then scoffs some more at the almost empty pages devoted to Jaime in that history book about the Guard. And does Jaime wonder if it’s the incestuous concentration of nasty Lannister genes in the kid that made him the little monster he is?

Oh hey, and we get to meet a whole new bunch of folks who hate the Lannisters, and apparently with good reason, via Prince Oberyn, for whom menacing Lannisters trumps even enjoying the pleasures of Little Finger’s establishment:


And what a lovely menacing! Whoever the Vermeer of King’s Landing is, maybe he peeked in from another salon and took some inspiration.

So many ominous things in this episode.


“The dragons… can never be tamed, not even by their mother,” says Jorah. Yeah, that’s not too foreboding, is it?


Jorah is going to continue to have a problem with this guy… who, in case you’re confused, is the mercenary Daario Naharis, the one who beheaded his compatriots last season because he couldn’t kill Daenerys like they wanted him to. (The role was recast: he’s now played by Dutch actor Michiel Huisman, because — rumor has it — the last guy, Ed Skrein, will be starring in a reboot of the Transporter films. Which seems like a bad career move to me — starring in a reboot that no one wants or needs — but no one asked me.)


This is going to come back to haunt Sansa, and the poor knight-turned-fool guy. When Joffrey finds out where his new aunt got that pretty thing she’s wearing, he’s gonna kill that guy for real this time, just out of nasty principle. I mean, that’s the best possible thing that can happen after this, right? It could be a lot worse.


I figured Arya and the Hound at the tavern was not going to end well for the other guys, but damn: that child is terrifying. I suspect she’s going to end up being the Stark to get revenge for all the Starks.

(And she got the horse she wanted. Nice twist on the little girls + ponies trope that the Hound invoked.)

No one does grue like this show:



Sorry, but I just couldn’t post an image of what this new creepy north-of-the-Wall guy was cooking over the campfire. *shudder*

(next: “The Lion and the Rose”)

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