Monday, April 7, 2014

Game of Thrones Reviews: "Two Swords"

There's nothing more relaxing than sitting beside a ferocious, fire-breathing dragon.
Like previous premiere episodes, "Two Swords" does its best to quickly catch us up on the multiple plots and what these characters have been up to since we've last seen them. We find Tyrion welcoming guests from the lands of Dorne for the royal wedding, fearing that one of them might be here for something else entirely. Meanwhile, Jon has recovered from the wounds he received from Ygritte and tries to warn the Night's Watch superiors about the King Beyond the Wall's planned attack. We also see Jaime struggling to find his place in the capital, Arya avenging a lost friend, and Daenerys marching towards the slave city of Meereen. 

"Two Swords" felt somewhat unfocused, which caused the plot to meander at times. This was most likely due to the nature of the show and the numerous plots we need to check up on and see what's changed since the 3rd season. While most of the scenes work and are entertaining to watch, they didn't really work all that well together. This is definitely one of those episodes where the pieces are greater than the whole. 

Thankfully, the acting continues to be top notch. Peter Dinklage is still one of the best performers on the show, even though Tyrion seems to be much more reserved at the moment. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau does a fantastic job portraying the much more troubled Jaime and newcomer Pedro Pascal captures the awesomeness that is Oberyn Martell perfectly. 

Now, there was one stumbling block when it came to the cast. As most people know, the role of Daario Naharis was recast due to the previous actor backing out to work on another project. As you would expect, some fans are outraged by the change. I think I prefer Michiel Huisman's take on the character, possessing an air of confidence and charm the previous actor lacked. However, I would be lying if I said it wasing something jarring. 

Although its definitely not as strong as previous season premieres due to the unfocused nature of its plot, "Two Swords" does have its moments and the performances are just as solid as they always have been. While the episode could have been worse, it could have been a lot better as well.