Game of Thrones' season four premiere, “Two Swords,” began with a blissful Tywin Lanniser (Charles Dance) melting down Ned Stark’s greatsword following the success of the Red Wedding. With Rob Stark (Richard Madden) out of the picture, the Lannister’s position in the realm seems more secure than ever to the shrewd Lord, who plans to make matching Valyrian steel swords for his son, Jamie (Nikolaj Costar Waldau), and grandson, Joffrey (Jack Gleeson).

Game of Thrones Recap

When Tywin presents Jamie – who lost his sword hand during his kidnapping – with his sword, he tells him that it has become his duty to return to Casterly Rock for the sake of the family. As a member of the kingsguard, leaving would break his oath, and so he tells his father no. Tywin, not accustomed to being told no, is duly surprised by his son.

Meanwhile, Tywin’s other son Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), is waiting to greet the Prince of Dorne alongside his squire Podrick (Daniel Portman) and Bronn (Jerome Flynn). They're interrupted in their banter when a representative comes to inform them that the Prince of Dorne would not be coming. In his stead would be his younger brother Prince Oberyn, the Red Viper (Pedro Pascal). Oberyn and his love Ellaria Sand (Idira Varma) hit up a brothel as their first order of business. Just when things are about to head to a bed, Tyrion storms in to determine why Oberyn has come.

Outside Meereen, Dany (Emilia Clarke) is proudly watching her dragons. They’ve grown considerably from last season, and have become more independent and therefore more dangerous. Even Dany, the Mother of Dragons, has to be careful around them. When Drogon snaps at her while feeding, Ser Jorah (Iain Glen) informs the object of his unrequited affection that the dragons will never be tamed. Dany is also piqued to learn that Daario Naharis (Michiel Huisman) and Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) aren’t where they’re supposed to be. As it turns out, they were having a contest about who could hold out their sword the longest.

King's Landing

Back at King’s Landing, Sansa’s (Sophie Turner) depression has gotten to a new level. Not even her cherished lemon cakes can raise her spirits. After all, the news of her mother and brother’s deaths at the Red Wedding as a result of her father-in-law’s scheming is still fresh. Despite all Tyrion’s well-intentioned efforts to comfort her, Sansa won’t let him in. Frustrated by Sansa’s reticence and fearful for Shae’s (Sibel Kekilli) safety, Tyrion turns down Shae’s offer of sex.

Elsewhere in King’s Landing, Cersei (Lena Headey) and Maester Qyburn (Anton Lesser) gift Jamie with a golden hand to affix to his stump. It’s a nice gesture at first glance, but the reality is that Cersei is embarrassed for him and feeling sorry for herself that the twin she’s long lusted for is now less than perfect. When he goes to thank her with some sex, Cersei turns him away, telling him he “took too long.”

Wildlings Prepare To Raid Castle Black

Up north near The Wall, Ygritte (Rose Leslie) is making arrows in preparation to raid Castle Black from the south. If she and the rest of the advance party manage to open it’s gated tunnel, the Wildlings will have a shot of completely overtaking the stronghold from the Night’s Watch.

Jon Snow (Kit Harrington), inside the Castle Black fortress, is just learning of the Red Wedding and the deaths of his half-brother and the stepmother who never thought of him as one of her own. In addition to dealing with that blow, he has to face the threat of his own hanging for his supposed traitorous behavior with the wildlings. By his own admission, he broke the vow of celibacy, but his loyalties always lied with the Night’s Watch.

Groomzilla Joffrey, preparing for his lavish nuptials to Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), is trying to pick an outfit for the much-anticipated affair. When Jamie tries to go over his protection, Joffrey scoffs at his uncle (read: father). He doesn’t think anyone will try to harm him, and notes that Jamie with his one arm and one paragraph in The White Book, is not particularly qualified to guard him.

Later, Jamie gets a visit from Brienne (Gwendoline Christie), who wants Jamie to make good on his promise to save Catelyn’s daughters even though she’s died. He tries to shirk the pledge by pointing out that Arya (Maisie Williams) is dead for all he knows and that Sansa is now married to Tyrion.

Dany Moves Towards Meereen

Back over outside Meereen, Daario shamelessly comes on to Dany, gifting her with flowers and offering her leadership advice. She’s in for a shock, however, when she’s called to the front of the caravan. There, she’s met with the sight of a slave girl, crucified in such a way as to point to the direction of Meereen. Dany would soon find out that there would be a crucified slave pointing the way at each of the remaining 160 miles.

Arya and the Hound (Rory McCann), still traversing the Riverlands, are heading for the Vale of Arryn to see her Aunt Lysa. On the way, they stop at a tavern for some food and drink. Inside, Arya catches sight of the detestable Polliver, who has a premium spot on her kill list. After Polliver and the Hound exchange words, a fight breaks out. Arya joins the fray and ends up getting hold of Needle and piercing it through Polliver.

Game of Thrones airs Sundays on HBO at 9/8c.

– Chelsea Regan

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