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Oz of Thrones: Greetings fellow WiCsters! Your Unsullied leader has returned to recap mode and finally, we can discuss an actual episode! The wait has been long. The winter has been harsh. 401 is in the books and it’s time to converse. So take a break from cleaning up the Wildling mess your friends made and join me. The Game is On…
Previous Episode/Season Intro: I always find the opening sequence of past events interesting because typically there is some type of foreshadowing of content we the viewers may be treated to in the episode itself. It’s especially good when Dontos shows up in it. WTF?!?!
Then there was a clip of the great Ned, which led us to Tywin opening up the Season while“Rains” played in the background. Ned’s sword is pulled from a wolf sheath and melted and forged into two new swords while the wolf skin was burned. I thought this opening was beautifully done and quite powerful. It actually gave me goose bumps for a moment.
And the theme music hits… the Game is back. Seven Hells Yes!
Two new locations on the map that I noticed: The Dreadfort and Meereen. If I missed one, let me know!
Jaime. After a long stretch of bad hygiene and canteens of horse piss, the Kingslayer looked rested and clean. Tywin planned to send Jaime to Casterly Rock, but the Kingslayer was having none of it. After all, how can you pick up an incestuous relationship with your sister if you have to turn around and leave again? Was this the real reason Tywin was attempting to send him home in the first place?
Regardless, Jaime makes it clear that he is going nowhere. It was nice to see someone stand up and tell Paw Paw “no” for once. Apparently, Jaime is the only one that can get away with it without some kind of serious repercussion.
Later, Jaime gets fitted for his new hand and finds out that Cersei’s feelings for him have changed considerably since he has been gone. She also looks to have taken up drinking wine as a full time hobby and “Drunk Cersei” seems to be a fitting nickname. Even Jaime points it out.
Side note: It’s good to see Qyburn still in the mix. In other news, Pycelle smells like dead cats.
Podrick got a haircut during the off-season and is well versed on Dorne House Sigils. And Bronn may have the best one-liners in the whole show.
Oberyn Martell. The new character that everyone is talking about immediately visits the neighborhood brothel and makes quite the first impression. He definitely came across as a badass (IMO).
Here is some eccentric Oz shit for you: while the Viper was looking over the brothel menu (and testing out the back sides of each), my mind started playing the Julio Iglesias portion of the song, “To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before.” I know, I’m a weirdo.
Of course if it had been playing, it would have skipped when we find out that apparently Oberyn is a fan of both the ladies and the gents. If I’m not mistaken, the guy that is told to take his clothes off is the same guy that Loras was with last season (which means he also lied to Oberyn when he told him he had never been with a prince).
Just as Oberyn and his partner (Ellaria?) are about to begin their 4-way and explode the minds of gratuitous sex haters, a distant singing voice of a Lannister bannerman pulls the attention of the Viper and we get a small sampling of how quick and dangerous he is. Tyrion saves the men from a potential deadly strike and Oberyn discusses the reasons for his visit and that “the Lannisters are not the only ones who pay their debts.”
I think the addition of the character Oberyn Martell is excellent. I was intrigued every minute he was on screen. I don’t know how his character is portrayed in the book, but I thought that the casting decision of Pedro Pascal could not have been better and I can’t wait to see what the guy does next. Obviously he has issues with the Mountain and we know from the previews that there is an eventual dual between the two. I hope that episode is sooner than later.
Dany. Awesome return scene depicting the much larger dragons and the mutilated goat. The dragons look outstanding and I appreciate the hell out of the small details like Dany’s hair blowing when Drogon takes flight. The growing deference of the dragons is alluring to the Dany story arc to say the least. And so are the horrible mile markers to Meereen.
Daario. If I had but one complaint afforded me by the God of grievances, it would be the transition (or the lack thereof) from the old Daario to the new. Daario and Grey Worm are engrossed in some type of sword endurance test when Dany approaches them. After the scene, Ozzette inquired as to the identity of the dark haired guy. I only knew because I had seen a picture of him earlier on.
Maybe the Daario’s Florist scene would have been a better transition to the new Daario if it were shown before the Grey Worm sword contest? What was your opinion of the transition? From what you have seen thus far, do you favor the old or the new?
Tyrion, Shae, and Sansa. Sansa is understandably still upset with the loss of her family and Tyrion’s attempt at consoling her is less than effective. Later, Drunk Dontos stalks Sansa and presents her with a necklace that was passed down from generations within his once powerful House. I can only assume this will be significant later?
Meanwhile, Tyrion and Shae meet up again and are seen by one of Cersei’s little birds. The bird goes back to the Queen Regent to presumably chirp about her findings. Considering the timing of Varys’ plea to Shae to leave KL in the last episode of S3, this seemed like a somewhat predictable occurrence. But I’m still interested in how it plays out. It would be wise if Shae would reconsider.
In the “what the hell is that” department, we meet the “Thenns”, a group that not only want to kill Crows, but also doesn’t mind eating them. At some point, I hope we get more backstory on who these guys are and an explanation on their appearance. By the way, was that the Albino with the eagle on his shoulder? Just. Freakin. Awesome.
Jon Snow: Jon is recovering nicely from the arrow wounds and is summoned to the Night’s Watch Congressional Hearing where his loyalty to the Crows seemed vastly unappreciated. It’s good to see that the former commander of the City Watch (Slynt maybe?) continues to try and earn the Jackass award whether he is in the North or the South.
The Queen of Thorns and Margaery discuss wedding jewelry and reveal that the wedding will be in a fortnight. I’m not sure how that translates into number of episodes, but it leads one to believe the royal wedding will happen quite soon. Brienne shows up to speak to Marg about the death of Renly. It was good to see that Brienne is not being mistreated in KL, or at least, not yet.
Joffrey is gleefully rounding out his quest to torment and royally piss off every family member and acquaintance he comes in contact with. My only real observation about King Crossbow remains the same: who is going to attempt to kill him first?
The Stark and The Hound: We finish it all up with Westeros’ most unlikely duo. I could analyze it blow for blow but in the end, Polliver would have been better off giving the Hound his chicken. And if you ever hear a little girl say that she would kill to have her own pony, may you always think about the end of this episode.
Episode 401 Personal Awards
Favorite Scene: Tough call this week as I really liked the scene between Jaime/ Tywin, and the Red Viper/anyone. But I have to go with Arya’s revenge quote for Lommy. Polliver deserved it.
Favorite Quote #1: ”What the fuck’s a Lommy?” –The Hound
Favorite Quote #2: ”Five Horses. Five Men. More than I feel like killing on an empty stomach.” –The Hound
Favorite Quote #3: “A one handed man with no family needs all the help he can get” –Tywin Lannister
Favorite Quote #4: “How many Dornishmen does it take to fuck a goat?” -Bronn
Ow, That Shit Hurts Award: The Hound pounding that face into a dagger. Damn.
Jackass Award: Anytime Slynt (?), Ser Meryn and Joffrey are in an episode, they will likely be in the running to win this award. But this week it has to go to Ser Aliser Thorne for being a traditional asshole and not missing a beat after being absent for the past two seasons. Welcome back, and congratulations on being named Lord Commander, jerk.
Overall, I think it was a solid season opener. It was far from my favorite episode, but it was nowhere near the worst. When it comes to Thrones, it’s like my Grandfather said about sex… the worst I ever had was good. There were many characters that weren’t included (Lysa, Robin, and Roose just to name a few), but I thought the pacing was good and it set up some crucial events for the near future. The landscapes were beautiful as were the sets, the costumes and the effects, and I always walk away from this show feeling like I have been to see a major motion picture.
What were your favorite quotes? Scenes?
How do you think the Red Viper went over?
What was good and not so good?
A man will be back on Friday for Looking Forward Episode 402. Until then, have a great week, enjoy more coverage and content on WiC, invite some friends who don’t know about us over to the site, and may there always be peace in your realm. –Oz
“Unbowed. Unbent. Unsullied.”
PLEASE BE MINDFUL OF THE UNSULLIED… Do not post spoilers in this comment thread!