SPOILER ALERT: This review contains spoilers.
Sunday, April 6 marked the long-awaited return of HBO’s award-winning fantasy drama series, Game of Thrones, as it kicked off the fourth season with an episode entitled “Two Swords.”
If you’re anything like me, chances are you spent the last 10 months trying to come to terms with the infamous Red Wedding. If you managed to do that, you probably then spent the remainder of the time leading up to the season premiere debating whether or not it was still worth investing so much emotional energy into a series that keeps killing off all your favorite characters. For me, as much as I hated to admit it, the answer was yes – it was (and is) still totally worth it. So last night, as I prepared to watch the season four premiere online, I was filled with anticipation and excitement.
The episode certainly covered a lot of ground, but did so in a way that didn’t really answer many of the questions I was left with after the third season. The episode jumped around a lot between characters and plot lines, and we were offered only short glimpses of each character, and I was left wishing we had been given more details. This is perhaps an issue that can be attributed to the complicated and sometimes disconnected plot lines of the series, but it seemed more prevalent than usual in this episode. However, this setup did allow us to catch up with almost all of the important characters, even if only for a few minutes, and will surely serve as a jumping-off point for the remainder of the season.
Though they seemed, for the most part, rather short, there were, of course, a number of very powerful scenes. We see the emotional damage that has been done to Sansa as she is dealing with the death of what she believes to be her entire family. We see Jamie adjusting to life without his right hand, and are offered a glimpse into the complications of his relationship with Cersei. We see Jon back with the Night’s Watch, forced to defend his actions in order to not be sentenced to death. We see Daenerys with her dragons, marching her army forward.
Perhaps the scene that gave me the most satisfaction though was the final scene, in which we see Arya and the Hound violently fight and kill a group of men at a tavern. One of those men happens to be the same man who stole Arya’s sword and killed her friend earlier on in the series, and we get to witness Arya extract cold-hearted revenge, stabbing him in the neck right after reclaiming her long lost weapon.
It was at that moment (as I was grinning at my computer screen like an idiot, so happy that Arya was finally kicking ass again) that it really hit me – Game of Thrones is back, and we are certainly in for quite the journey this season.
The next episode of Game of Thrones, “The Lion and the Rose,” will air on Sunday, April 13 at 9:00 p.m. on HBO.
Photo via HBO.com