Game of Thrones: Season 4: Episode 1

Two Swords

by | Tuesday, Mar. 25 2014



Reviews Counted: 33
Fresh: 32 | Rotten: 1
While not particularly eventful, "Two Swords" expertly lays the foundation for the coming excitement of season four with superb writing.

Episode info:

In the Season 4 premiere, Tyrion welcomes a surprise guest to King's Landing for the royal wedding, but fears he's come to the Red Keep for something else. Meanwhile, Jon warns his skeptical Night's Watch superiors about an impending attack; Jaime struggles to regain his status at home; Arya encounters a face from her past; and Daario Naharis discusses strategy with Daenerys on the journey to the slave city Meereen.

Genre: Drama      Network: HBO      Air Date: Apr 6, 2014

Critic Reviews for Game of Thrones: Season 4: Episode 1

The sharply written, slow-paced premiere ratchets up the tension on what's reported to be the bloodiest 10-episode season yet.
More Lori Rackl
Chicago Sun-Times
It's impossible not to enjoy the return of a show that gives us the pleasure of the immensely entertaining Lannister clan. I could listen to those family members insult each other for hours.
More Amy Sullivan
The Atlantic
It's still anyone's "game," assuring the drama, action and intrigue that has made this show such a fan favorite will continue this season.
More Chris O'Hara
TV Fanatic
It feels like forever since the last episode of Game of Thrones, but the premiere, "Two Swords," was well worth the wait. A stellar start to the fourth season.
More Jesse Carp
One of the ingenious pleasures of Game of Thrones is that for all the convoluted narrative twists, its 78 subplots (rough estimate) tend to unfold along user-friendly genre lines.
More Jeremy Egner
New York Times
The shadow of the Red Wedding lies heavy on the beginning of Game of Thrones season four. Where there once was a sense of hope hanging over Game of Thrones, there now is a sense of dread.
More Terri Schwartz
As it has in seasons past, the premiere sweeps through Westeros with great speed, seamlessly serving up the continuation of the storyline so many have been waiting for.
More Kevin Yeoman
Watching these people in tonight's beautifully crafted season premiere was like reuniting with old friends.
More Adam Newland
TV Equals
"Two Swords"... favored laying foundation for future surprises over delivering prompt shocks to its hungry audience.
More Ben Travers
I'll quote Lady Olenna to describe the premiere: "Absolutely singular."
This feels like a casual victory lap for the show's producers. From some very slick dragon effects to the introduction of characters that will bring intrigue and political strife to King's Landing, they seem to be on a roll and very aware of it.
More Neil Miller
Film School Rejects
"Two Swords" wasn't a super eventful episode, but it didn't need to be. Game of Thrones is a heavy, meaty show, and sometimes it's best to ease the audience back into things.
The season four debut plodded. But it's important to see episode one for what it is. Before any major battle, the lines must be drawn, the strategies mapped out, the allegiances solidified, the soldiers placed in position.
More Joseph Hannan
Newark Star-Ledger
Right off the bat, season four sends the viewer a signal: Forget the Westeros you knew. Forget where on the board you've mentally placed any of Game Of Thrones' chess pieces.
More Erik Adams
AV Club
Season four of Game of Thrones finally returned to our screens. But did episode one meet the hype? Well, not really.
"Two Swords" barely wasted a word, managing to fill us in on most of the main players (alas, poor Stannis, I missed your dour proclamations -- here's hoping you return soon) while introducing some interesting new ones.
More Sarah Hughes
Guardian [UK]
Goings on at King's Landing are as deadly and devious as ever on "Two Swords," the Season 4 premiere of HBO's Game of Thrones.
More Alan Eyerly
Los Angeles Times
"Two Swords" shows the messy and downright depressing attempts to move on from a war-torn Westeros, but its real purpose is to reveal who will be prepared for the oncoming storm.
More Cody Ray Shafer
Under the Radar
It's been three seasons since the series premiere, but Game of Thrones still knows how to open with power.
While Daeny's dragons look amazing, my favorite scenes in the premiere are a heartfelt dialogue exchange between Tyrion and a devastated Sansa and the verbal interplay between The Hound and Arya.
More Brian Tallerico
The opening scene of "Two Swords" made it clear that the massacre has reset the stage. Old elements are being recast in the wake of the slaughter, and they're dangerous ones, ready to strike.
Game of Thrones enters this season at the top of its game, and by taking the time to acknowledge its characters' bewilderment, the series suggests a carefully considered plan for moving forward.
More Jake Cole
Slant Magazine
The episode invoked Westerosi history; introduced a badass new character, the Red Viper; checked in on all four of the major characters; and showed some nice CGI dragon snuggling. But the closing scene - damn - that was some bloody, satisfying revenge.
More Luke Broadwater
Baltimore Sun
Despite being primarily designed to introduce the characters and conflicts that the season will center around, it still manages to keep your attention ... and only occasionally dragging.
More Julia Emmanuele
Still TV's best -- dive in while the water's warm. Winter is coming, after all.
More Verne Gay
The show proceeds at its own stately pace, telling its own knotty story. Rather than be concerned that future seasons might mar the world that Martin, Benioff, and Weiss have painstakingly created.
More Andy Greenwald
As a season opener, the episode is superbly written and conceived. It enables us to see where things have gone since the Red Wedding and to anticipate what will happen down the road.
More David Wiegand
San Francisco Chronicle
We close on another sort of potential threat to the Lannisters with an extended suspense sequence featuring everyone's favorite buddy team of Arya and the Hound. It's a fascinating closing scene.
A perfect Game of Thrones ending -- the most pure and just character, a young girl, a huge smile on her face after jamming a sword through someone's throat.
More David Malitz
Washington Post
There's no reason to mince words at the start -- that was an absolutely fantastic opening episode. It began with two swords, it ended with two swords, and in between it was a near-perfect re-entry into the world of Westeros (and beyond).
More Shane Ryan
Paste Magazine
It's a hugely confident hour that effortlessly dives into nearly all the major storylines, an appealing mix of super-tight storytelling with a relaxed vibe.
More James Hibberd
Entertainment Weekly
"Two Swords" was a solid GoT premiere, though it certainly didn't hide the fact that the show, post-Red Wedding, is going to possibly meander more than people might enjoy or expect.
The dragons are bigger, the swords are sharper and the kids are meaner. The stage has been set for the most epic season so far!
More Mark Ellis
Schmoes Know Reviews

More Game of Thrones