In the immortal words of Salt-N-Pepa, I’m gonna “Push it… Push it Good…” and recap the season four premiere of Game of Thrones, “Two Swords,” as best as possible. For those who want a review of what’s happened so far and where we left all the main characters, go herehere, and here.

Image of the cast of the television show Game of Thrones.
I missed you guys!!

The Game of Thrones is always in flux. Winners become losers, players learn harsh lessons from the game while other players stumble, question their motives, or lose spirit over overarching goal: the Iron Throne.

House Lannister

I’m a Stark loyalist and it just TORE ME UP to see Tywin Lannister, Hand of the King, melt down Ice, greatsword of House Stark.

Image of a character named Tyrion Lannister kicking in frustration at a jail cell door. The text says: # too many emotions
The feels….oh, the feels!!

Forged in fire and magic, swords of Valyrian steel represent a house’s legacy just as much as their motto. House Lannister lost their greatsword, Brightroar, long ago and never found it. The act of destroying one family’s treasure and creating something new is the ultimate act of denigration by the Lannisters on House Stark (other than killing all living Starks).

Animated GIF of a melted pot of iron becoming forged into two swordsOn the surface, it seems like the Lannisters are still on top, political marriages cemented in place, the North seemingly defeated and a continual flow of capital from House Tyrell. In this episode, viewers see Tywin as a father with an vice-like grip over his three children but those kids are bristling for the chance to escape or usurp him. Jaime, Cersei, and Tyrion are barely keeping it together.

Image of the character Tywin Lannister, from the tv show Game of Thrones, an older man in armor.
Meanest dad in the world or most pragmatic dad in the world?

Jaime is dealing with the loss of his hand and adjusting to life back in the Kingsguard. A bigger loss than the physical function of his hand is Cersei’s change of affection for him. Is she repulsed by his disability? Image of a man waving his prosthetic hand. The text on the image says, "Okay, Bye!" Game of Thrones

Is he suddenly useless to her? Her alienation of Jaime forces him to question his raison d’être. If you remove Cersei’s love, what’s left for Jaime?

Photo of the character Jaime Lannister, a handsome one-handed man in armor with a sword.Cersei is boiling under the surface with rage and resentment. Her loss of status as the Mother-of-the-King to Mother-In-Law to Margaery Tyrell, the Queen-to-Be, is a humiliation second to her forced marriage to Margeary’s brother, Loras.

Image of Cersei Lannister, a character in the Game of Thrones tv show, a middle-aged woman with long blonde hair with a stern gaze.With her father’s presence in court, all the political mojo she possessed went down the drain. Now she’s just a pawn, another chess piece for her father to play with rather than the grandmaster herself [insert my feminist rage here].

Tyrion, recently injured and disfigured like his brother, still has some advantages over Jaime. Tyrion’s experience of being born a dwarf at birth gave him enough mental armor to deal with the jokes, mistreatment and disrespect. It’ll be interesting to see how Jaime, the golden son, transitions into his new demoted ‘crippled’ status.

Image of Tyrion Lannister, a character in the Game of Thrones, at a table with a friend with the quote: "It's not easy being drunk all the time."

Thanks to his daddy, Tyrion is married to Sansa Stark and has to figure out how to support her without raising the ire of Shae, his so-called true love. Both Cersei and Tyrion had power taken away from them by their father after the Battle of Blackwater. As Master of Coin, Tyrion’s position in court is far more vulnerable and he’ll have to navigate this constantly changing political landscape and develop alliances all over again. At least he still has Bronn!

Image of a man reaching out to a young woman's hand. They are both sitting at a table.

House Stark

We find Jon Snow in Castle Black, the headquarters for the Night’s Watch, recovering from three arrows aimed by Ygritte, his lover.

Image of a man in a wintry background with a black fur with black hair.
Jon, will you please put on a hat?

He looks out a window, as emo as ever reflecting to his best bud Samwell Tarly about how he used to be so jealous of his older brother Robb. Robb Stark, heir to Winterfell, King of the North, loved by his men, is now dead. Leadership and duty has its risks. Clearly, Jon is going to be a leader among the Night’s Watch and I imagine he must wonder why is he alive while his brother is dead.

Arya is someone whose fortunes have risen and fallen. If fortune includes coming into your own, I would say Arya’s fortune is on the rise. She lost her family and her identity after the war, but she’s a survivor. Her smarts and skills have kept her alive so far. The most pivotal moment for me is when Arya reclaims Needle, the sword made for her by Jon.

Image of a girl with short brown hair staring through bushes. The text says, "Lots o people name their swords."

How does she do it? By avenging the death of her friend Lommy and killing the man in the same cruel manner. As one of the last remaining Starks, I’d like to think Arya’s Needle is the new Ice.

The world is not black and white and one must rely on your enemies temporarily if it 1) keeps you alive and 2) serves your immediate purposes. We see this Arya and the Hound, the man holding her hostage. The Hound, a feared and reviled man who served King Joffrey, (to echo the Hound, “F*ck the King!”) is now on the run. Arya is his only bargaining chip as he flees King’s Landing.

Two split images. The one of top is Omar, a character from the Wire who says, "A man gotta have a code." Below is the image of a man on a horse with a girl with the quote, "A Man's got to have a code."

When Arya and the Hound enter a tavern to retrieve Needle, Arya quickly sees how she’s rather fortunate to be with a fighter who has a code. While Arya doesn’t like the Hound, she still travels with him because he can help her reach her goal (reuniting with relatives) and he can fight like a mofo.

Image of a man striking someone hard in the face.With Arya and Jon, there is hope that House Stark will rise from the ashes. Like the Targaryens before them, the Lannisters’ (Baratheon in name only) time is running out. Every great family will rise and fall. Don’t forget: “The North Remembers.”

Image of a wolf-like creature in armor with a sword on its lap sitting on an iron throne. The text says, "The North Remembers."

Other Random Thoughts:

Loved, loved, loved the introduction of Oberyn Martell, aka “The Red Viper” and his paramour, Ellaria Sand.

Image of a man and woman staring intently.I can only dream of seeing some of her bastard daughters, the Sand Snakes, this season.Image of a man running his hand over a candle. The text says: "So hot right now. Game of Thrones."Like Papa Tywin, looks like Daenarys, the Mother of Dragons is having a tough time controlling her brood of dragons. Did I see a flash of fear on her face when her not-so-baby dragon snarled at her?

A blonde woman sitting on a rock with a dragon roaring next to her.

Sad face for the absence of Littlefinger, Varys, Hodor, Bran, any of the direwolves and my boo, Gendry Waters.

Image of a bald man looking annoyed with the text flashing that says "I hate everyone."

Nice to see King Joffrey still as much of a sadistic prick as ever.

A young man with short blonde hair and a golden robe. The text says, "They know I saved the city, they know I won the war."I just gots to end with some of my all-time favorite Game of Thrones gifs… just because.

tumblr_mo7vthywzM1sqjxnao1_400And for far-better written reviews of this episode, check out these articles here, here, and here.

Adieu for now, my pretties!

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