‘Game of Thrones’ season 4, episode 1 review: The Red Viper, Arya’s hit list, and Tyrion’s woes

Tyrion -Game of Thrones” returned Sunday night, and the hope immediately was that the story would somehow find a way to equal the greatness of season 3. That was an action-packed, shocking year of television, culminating with one of the biggest events in TV history in the Red Wedding.

When watching Sunday’s premiere “Two Swords,” the biggest thing to remember is that this is, ultimately, just the beginning of the tale. There are so many more surprises still to come, and of course, the first episode is more of a foundation than the zenith of storytelling.

King’s Landing – Once again, the highlight of the series. Jaime returned to find that neither Cersei nor anyone else was that interested in seeing him. Meanwhile, Brienne paid a visit to Margaery to warn her about Stannis, and Joffrey acted like the bratty king he is while he prepares for his big wedding. Brienne later paid a visit to Jaime, as well, with a reminder that he has a Stark vow to still keep.

Tyrion’s story was the highlight of the highlight. First of all, he had to get to the bottom of Oberyn Martell’s arrival to King’s Landing, and then try to explain to Shae that he loved her company, but cannot be with her in the way she wants. Meanwhile, Sansa’s in deep mourning over her family’s deaths, and she is shielding herself from the world.

Danaerys – The Mother of Dragons began her journey to Meereen this week with her giant army, but also concerns. Her dragons are getting older, and they are so much harder to control consequently.

Jon Snow – Out of the plots tonight, this was the least interesting. We know that the Wildings and the White Walkers are dangers to Castle Black, but mostly Jon is spending his time pouting to the elders. Meanwhile, Ygritte is a part of the group plotting their revenge … with some other distractions holding them back from time to time.

Arya Stark – Arya’s adventures with The Hound were something that we’ve been so looking forward to, and it did not disappoint. She now has her own horse! More importantly, her epic killing spree with The Hound to close this episode proved that her hit list is starting to take shape. This is a dark road for this character, and it’s only going to get darker. Luckily, we just so happen to love every second of the story.

All in all, a phenomenal start to the season. Nothing happened that was necessarily mind-melting, but there were consistent reminders throughout that this was the show you’ve missed, and have been waiting to have back on the air. Grade: A-.

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Photo: HBO

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