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Game of Thrones - Episode 4.01 - Two Swords - Preview & Teasers

Over the last couple of weeks thousands of fans have flocked to one of the preview screenings of the Season 4 premiere, or have read one of the many previews that has hit the internet. The level of excitement has been impossible to contain it seems, and despite pleas from Weiss and Benioff to keep surprises under wraps for everyone else’s viewing pleasure, spoilers have made their way online. We were lucky enough to be sent a screener for the episode by the lovely people at HBO. In this preview I will be both expanding on the Press Release from last month (which can be found in our database here) and add a few of my own thoughts on the episode, but I respect the Producers’ express wishes and will not reveal the big plot points from the episode. Regular readers of my previews of other shows will know that I do also include dialogue teasers at the end of my write ups, and will always answer any questions that I can in the comments below. I have read the books so I have an idea of the future storyline the characters are likely to take, but this is the only episode I have seen so far of the season.

As to be expected with an opening episode, many of the scenes are cleverly disguised recaps of last year seamlessly interwoven with the introduction of the new characters and events, with all the exposition delivered with the usual wit and panache we’ve grown accustomed to. Even the title itself doesn't escape this clever word play. ‘Two Swords’ appears to be simple enough, in fact we are shown in the pre-credits teaser what this literally means, but as the episode progresses a more subtle significance slowly becomes obvious. Almost every scene has a pair of characters either in disagreement with each other, duelling with words if you will, or directly testing each other out to see if they can be trusted to deliver.

Oberyn Martell’s introduction will probably not be too surprising to any of the book readers watching, but for those who are not quite yet acquainted with the Dornish prince, get ready to see how red blooded and forceful the Viper and his paramour Ellaria Sand are! Pedro Pascal absolutely nails the part from the moment he arrives in King’s Landing, and if his first scene with Dinklage is anything to go by then this Oberyn fan is going to be very happy with how things progress through the season ahead.

In Castle Black, Jon Snow is being made to feel like an unwelcome guest in his own home; very few are happy at his return, even before hearing of his exploits, and even fewer believe what he claims the future holds for them on the wall. Of all Ned’s children he seems to be coping with the news of the Red Wedding the best, but the added pressure of it isn't helping his precarious situation in the Nights’ Watch. Elsewhere in the North Wildlings are getting ready for Mance’s signal, some being more eager than others to exact revenge on the crows.

I have to admit that Dany’s story is isn't one of my favourites, though the sneak peek HBO released last week that introduced the new Daario was very entertaining, and I also enjoyed the start of her journey to Meereen in this episode. Michiel Huisman is a good replacement for the leader of the Second Sons, slightly less smarmy than the previous actor, yet still just as cocky, and he has valuable information for the young Khaleesi which he delivers in a typically smooth manner. Another of her lieutenant’s also has sage words for her regarding another matter that may soon need addressing .

As I have already mentioned, Two Swords is filled with images and situations that contrast, but nowhere is the juxtapositioning more noticeable than with the unlikely pairing of the Hound and Arya Stark. The two characters provide us with a lot of aggressive humour, and some fairly visceral brutality, during their scenes, often combined within the same sentence or exchange. Neither are in a very good place, both having lost just about everything they once held dear and honoured, so in many ways their partnership and understanding of each other goes much deeper than their surface bickering first appears. However, we finish the episode with them feeling slightly better with their lot, both having gotten something they have been wishing for, and I will be surprised if there are many who don’t feel a chill at how they have accomplished this.

Two Swords airs Sunday 6th April on HBO at 9.00-10.00pm ET/PT, with Sky Atlantic simulcasting the episode at 2am Monday 7th April GMT, below are a few dialogue teasers to see you through until then. Don't forget to come back to vote in our poll after the episode and let us know what you thought.

“I don’t pray any more, it’s the only place I can go where people don’t talk to me”

“You’re a talker, listening to talkers makes me thirsty”

“Are you sure we’re not related, ever since I've returned every Lannister I've seen has been a miserable pain in my arse”

“Forgive me for staring, I don’t see many Lannisters where I'm from”

“I hear you knocked my grandson into the dirt like the silly little boy he is”

“Not a Maester your grace, but happy to help when I can”

“You plan on killing all the crows yourself?”

“Listen to him, he even talks like a Wildling now”

“No need for cynicism, I happen to be an established diplomat”

“Keep it, a one handed man with no family needs all the help he can get”

About the Author - Sandi
Sandi is part of the Senior Staff at SpoilerTV having been a contributor from back in the Lost days of DarkUFO, and who now writes previews for Banshee, The Musketeers, Atlantis, and other BBC shows. She also enjoys watching and commenting on other shows such as Sons of Anarchy, Hannibal, Game of Thrones and Elementary.
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