GAME OF THRONES Season 4 Episode 1 Recap: Yawning Pawns



Now that our own winter has finally released us from its frosty grasp, it’s time to delve into that bloody world penned by George R.R. Martin, captured beautifully by HBO. Yes, this is how the inaugural episode of season four begins; like the beginning exposition of a sequel.

Episode 1 Recap (*Spoilers Ahead*): 

Every good author knows that new readers must be introduced to the main characters and caught up on the important history quickly without being bored, what happens is a lot of time spent on conversations and little to no action. While there are a few interesting bits to this long awaited episode, it can hardly compare to the metallic taste left by “the red-wedding” of last season.

If you are an avid fan, or even a minor one, this episode is hardly the must see you’ve been waiting for. The only redeeming parts of this action-less 45 minutes are the new characters, the actor switcheroo, and the first killing spree of a young Stark.

The North:

Thenns: the wildlings got wilder, and now we see why they are feared and fought. If you thought Ygritte was cold for stinging Jon, just wait till you meet her crow eating counterparts. That being said, the only reason this scene passed for more than a lackluster platitude of the ‘epic bad man’ entrance, was well chosen music and the gristly HBO style.

Also in the North we find Sam and Frodo-I mean Jon reunited and trying to stop the world ending wave of the dead by talking to the cynical council of old crows. Again the only thing keeping this scene from a yawn worthy courtroom cliché, is knowing that George R. R. Martin will eventually kill everyone who stands against the truth. Actually the truth will probably die too, just in a bloodier more dramatic fashion.


Across the sea the only two significant changes are Daenarys’ Dragons and her body guard Daario Naharis. Winter may be threating to come, but the dragons are coming of age and no mother can stop that. Gone are the kitten-like creatures presented in previous episodes; now we have growing, fierce and instinctual beasts who warn of a perilous adolescent phase. Daenarys better have some burn cream ready.

Her would be suitor could apply it for her, but don’t expect Ed Skrein to woo her with sexual innuendo and smooth talk. Instead Michiel Huisman has joined the cast playing the new face of Daario Naharis adding a slightly rougher bent to the queens’ guardsmen. Daario is still vying for her affections, but now instead of alluding to long nights of lascivious loving, he insinuates a hard yet satisfying romp with one who would enjoy chains and a background of teenage angst filled dragons. Add a good yogi to the list for the after sack stretch…

King’s Landing

Speaking of sex, what better way to segue to the Lannisters’. Jamie is back, cleaned up, sporting the golden arm, but having a bad day. First he defies his father, one of the only living people to do so, and ends up disowned until he agrees to tuck tail and go to the homestead like a good little gimp. Taking a cue from Mr. Montoya, he instead chooses the kings guard; after all “if I fight with my right hand, it’s over too quickly”.

Joffrey isn’t waiting for a man in black to get past his father-I mean uncle-and makes his wishes clear with a rejection and a quick read from the king’s guard’s burn book. After the double sting, Jaime tries to relax with the lover who’s made up his entire life of choices. Wrong again, classic Cersei offers the final blow with a no touching rule because she was left alone, oh and he can’t touch her since he doesn’t have a hand… ouch.

Speaking of no touching rules, Shae isn’t liking the one Tyrion imposed since hitching up with Sansa. She throws a world class hissy fit and gets herself ratted out to Cersei. Dontos finally makes a showing and offers Sansa a gift which will inevitably come back to haunt everyone; and Bronn is just getting old.

Tyrion seems to have lost his mojo with the appearance of Oberyn. Widely advertised to be one of the most interesting new characters this season, Oberyn was another disappointing cliché. Even going so far as to play with fire, the only rescue for this underwhelming new player was the presence of his paramour Ellaria Sand. Hopefully, these inclusions will stir up a bit of excitement in King’s Landing for the coming episodes, and live up to their flauntingly spicy previews.

Other noteworthy news from the capitol involves Brienne, who finds herself once again in a sovereign’s service. She now attends the soon to be queen Margaery. As Brienne has lost two former royals, it might be foreshadowing for poor Margaery. Perhaps Olenna Tyrell can help her in the coming disaster filled days. But with the statue of Joffrey standing over a slain dire wolf, looming behind this scene, Margaery’s escape seems laughable and bleak.

Elsewhere in Westeros:

Gregor and Arya continue to cut a path through Westoros, where Arya has earned her Assassin’s badge for two gruesome kills, and recaptured needle. It simply wouldn’t be an episode of GOT without spurting blood and Arya will be getting her share from here on out. This young Stark could be the hands of revenge for her family. And it was by far the best five minutes of this episode, expect more Game worthy moments from this story line.

While it isn’t a ‘must see immediately’ kind of episode for Game of Thrones, the beginning of this season offers a bit of potential and some hints at interesting future events. Episode 1 is like the slow strategic positioning of all the pawns in chess before the all-out battle for domination. Watch it for sure, but if you are a super fan remember HBO is trying to capture the new audience and spoon feeding you this time around.

Also, HBO Go app users of the world beware, you’re in for a rough ride this season. As action picks up, the servers break down, and your viewing could be affected. It took some 30 minutes to be able to start watching this episode or even log on to HBO Go, due to the high numbers of traffic. So, be prepared to wait.


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Categories: Game of Thrones

Author:Delona Grace

Artist, Batista, nerd and friend!

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2 Comments on “GAME OF THRONES Season 4 Episode 1 Recap: Yawning Pawns”

  1. 04/10/2014 at 6:00 PM #

    Nice recap, but it’s Sandor Clegane with Arya, not Gregor. Greg’s the Mountain, she’s with the Hound.

  2. Delona Grace
    04/11/2014 at 7:43 PM #

    *Facepalm* You’re right, will not happen again! Sorry GOT fans!

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