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How would you rate episode 401?


How would you rate episode 401?  

705 members have voted

  1. 1. What's your rating from 1-10, with 10 being the highest/best

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8, after some consideration. Not everything I hoped for, but a solid start with some very promising setup.

What I liked:

- Kit Harrington finally coming into his own. His scene in front of the NW command was just how I would have wanted it to be; humble, frank, and dispensed with any of the moodiness we've seen from him in previous seasons.

- The Dragons. Excellent stuff from the CGI department, and just a glimpse into the mayhem to come.

- Tyrion/Shae stuff. Despite the fact that I hated where they've taken Shae in previous seasons, they're handling her the right way in the circumstances, and dispelling any suggestions that they might change her death scene.

- Oberyn. He has charisma, sex appeal, and just enough menace to make an impression.

- New Daario. Says a lot that he's won me over in a few scenes, but I like the subtlety he brings to the role, which was lacking from the previous actor.

- The opening scene. Just a nice way to start the season.

What I wasn't wild about:

- Jaime's 'confrontation' with Tywin, which wasn't that much of a confrontation. Admittedly, I'm not as upset about it as I was at first, but I do feel they could have injected a little more anger into that scene. Jaime seems a little too indifferent for the most part.

- The dialogue. Detracted from a lot of good scenes, and is the main reason this score wasn't higher. Detracted from Oberyn's scene with Tyrion, in particular, but there were others. They need to go back to the source material and study Martin's subtlety.

- Dontos. That ship had sailed guys. No one will have remembered who he is. You choose not to use him in Season 3, so stick to your convictions, and find Sansa another way out of King's Landing. Also, giving her the necklace and just telling her to wear it is going to come off as a pretty dodgy way to pull off that particular twist. They made a right hash of this one I'm afraid.

A random thought: I seemed to notice the drawbacks of being a book reader a lot more in this episode. Take Arya and the Hound in the tavern. Thats a scene that's meant to be filled with tension, but because I knew what was coming I was just sort of like 'OK enough with the chicken metaphor and the over the top cruelty of the Lannister soldiers, lets just get on with the fighting already'. You lose something from knowing what's coming. Just a bit of a shame.

Edited by Mr Smith
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9 for me.

Also, not a fan of new Naharis. Not as arrogant as Skrein.

Am I the only one so far that DOESN'T like new Daario? I see people saying they like him. I really don't so far. I know it's early, but he's not arrogant enough, and he's missing that edge, that cocky swagger, the smirk, the walk. I don't know. I just don't know.

- New Daario. Old Daario delivered his lines in such an over the top kind of poetic way but it seemed natural and he was on the right side of the sexy vs. sleazy line. Altogether I thought Old Daario captured what mattered about Book Daario. New Daario has no charisma.

Nothing to disagree with here, you've all captured exactly what I'm missing between Faabio Naharis and New Daario, who as I said in another thread, reminds me too much of Jorah. If they added those douchy daggers and had him at least smirk once in a while, he might pull it off.

10/10, a great start for season 4. The opening scene with Tywin was epic. The dragons look amazing. I think the Tyrion and Oberyn convo was well done. It looks like Pod got really tall, lol. I'm glad they re-casted Mr. Daario, season 4 Daario is a massive upgrade. I'm glad Thorne and Janos returned, their scene with Jon and Aemon was well delivered. Cersei looks like she's starting to lose it, lol...Jaime did well, and ending with the Hound/Arya was an awesome choice. The music they used when Arya got involved was dark and edgy, it fit perfect. The White Book scene could be the show's best scene yet.

And that statue of Joff...I want that for my front yard.

I agree, Cersei is pulling off the abusive, growing unhinged well. And thanks for reminding me of the statue, that was a fantastic detail! Very humorous episode, there was also Jamie waving his gold hand and Marjaery's line about the dead sparrow necklace.

As for the Thenns, I know they changed them, but did a good job of making them creepy and unlikeable. It's a good nuance, to see that the wildlings don't all get along.

I have a feeling Sam and Jon are going to be delivering some great scenes this year. Those two and Jaime and Brienne play well together.

Missed the "is there gold in the village" from Arya, she seemed to really hold back and let the Hound get most of the beating until the end, but as was pointed out earlier, the calculation was pretty chilling. And I really loved the Hound. Wonder what we'll get next week on 'How to start a fight 101'? The quietly delighted look on Arya's face when she sees what he's up to is about as great as the smile she has at the end, riding out with Needle on her belt.

I'm really hooked on those dragons, am thrilled to get to see them all together, one of my favorite scenes.

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(-) The only big downside for me was Jaime/Brienne/Margeary scenes. Somehow Jaime/Brienne have lost all their weird tension.

Also Tywin opening scene was a bit unfitting for Song of Ice and Fire world for me, its artificiality and maybe even pomposity makes it more of LOTR scene in Peter Jackson's version of it.

Hound/Arya scene was brilliantly staged and played (+)

Sansa's frustration and introspectiveness is greatly performed (+)

Absolutely loved the Martells, vicious and sexy as they should be. (+)

Introduction of rivalry between Jon and Slynt/Thorne alliance was great (+)

I enjoyed this episode very much.

Edited by Alboin
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I gave it a 4. Shows like this are why I gave up on the show in the middle of last season. Oberyn Martell was one of my favorite characters when I read ASoS in 2000 - after the Red Wedding I was wondering how Martin could keep disposing of important characters, and then Oberyn showed me how - back then Martin was seemingly able to devise great characters whenever he pleased. The Red Viper was terrific - smart, sly, decadent, a man to fear both as a schemer and as a warrior - and under it all a man burning with the desire to obtain revenge for the murder of his sister. The dialog between him and Tyrion as he approached King's Landing was important and worth multiple reads - full of back-story, new revelations and great quips.

And they threw that away for the obligatory weekly sex scene in Littlefinger's brothel. The TV Littlefinger is far more sinister than his book counter-part - his establishment has managed to turn sex with good-looking participants into an annoying nuisance, a game-changing achievement the book Littlefinger will have to work to match. I'm trying to think of another show or movie that has been this ham-fisted and inept in getting the sex going, and I can't - hard-core porn directors would call tonight's scene contrived and unnecessary. TV Oberyn, unlike his book counter-part, is so horny and stupid that he rides ahead of his escort into a city teeming with the soldiers of the Tyrells so he can get laid at a brothel. And it's not even a high-class brothel because he's insulted there by some common foot-soldier who apparently recognizes him and thinks it's a good idea to insult a member of the nobility nicknamed the Red Viper. Made no sense at all, and the pretty breasts didn't lend it any sense either.

The reference to Ser Duncan the Tall wasn't exactly enough to compensate, either, though it was thoughtful of the producers to throw us book-readers a little something to geek out over.

For me, the Oberyn nonsense was the biggest problem, but there's more - one example: the show's decision to turn Arya's first killing - a moment of pure rage from a little girl who has lost everyone she ever cared about - into several cold-blooded murders complete with Dexter-like taunting. So there it is - a 4 to open the season.

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I feel like I have to defend him, because he's played by one of my favourite actors, but I've said it once, I'll say it again, those who are criticizing the, maybe, 5 minutes of screen time that Michiel had as the new Daario are being kind of ridiculous for two very glaring reasons.

  1. He barely had any screen time.
  2. The scenes that he had were exposition at most, i.e. acclimating people to the new Daario. Not a lot to work with there, and the little that he did have - I thought he had much more chemistry with Emilia than Fabio Naharis. (Probably because I thought that he looked like he could be a serial killer with those crazy teeth and eyes.)

I'm a huge fan of Michiel from his previous work, so I'm obviously biased, but this is the same man who, with limited screen time, charmed his way (on screen, of course) into the beds of two leading ladies on Nashville; made a drug-addled, egotistical jerkface junkie bearable on Treme; and is creeping back into the heart of the very talented Tatiana Maslany on Orphan Black. I think, or more so, I know, that with more screen time he's going to be amazing opposite Emilia.

To be honest, as a huge fan I think he did a fine job with what little he was given. His little smirk when he answers, "The honour of riding by your side on the road to Mereen," his (possibly below the belt, both literal and figurative) dig at Grey Worm, and the "Your grace" and smile that he gives her when he presenting the flowers. Small things, I know, but it's the small things that make you fall in love *wink*.

I'll also say this again: yes, he's not as arrogant or smarmy as the Daario of old. But is Show!Dany even interested in that? Maybe Book!Dany is taken by Daario's flamboyant personality and look, but the way that Emilia plays Dany, I feel like she would fall for a subtler Daario than Ed's portrayal last season. But maybe that's just me.

Edited by changalang
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Eeeh, it's the season premier episode. Those are never really any great shakes.

Did a fine job establishing most of the major plotlines of the season, though, and that's really all you can ask.

Spot on. Enjoyed the Oberyn conversation with Tyrion and enjoyed Pedro more in the role then I thought I would. Very good choice.

Found Tyrion/Shae and the Sandor fight choreography a little underwhelming.

Seven, overall. Solid start to the season. Did well to set the stage for all the amazing moments that are coming.

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An 8.

Loved it. A great season opener, the best since the pilot. The look on Aria's face in as she rode into the camera on that white horse with a smile on her face with swelling music in the background actually brought tears to my eyes. Tears of gratification that at least one Stark has won a small victory (and this from I'm a bookreader lol - I was completely sold on the moment). I have quibbles, hence the 8, but no real complaints, which in itself so refreshing for me when it comes to this show.

Edited by Sun
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Thenn out of 10 from me

Just amazing. I jumped up out of my seat when the Hound started fighting.

Oberyn was amazing. They have never introduced a character so well. The brothel fight scene was brilliant. The actor has really captured his confidence and recklessness.

New Daario is more believable than the last one but he seems a bit plain. Absolutely hate his book character so maybe D & D will make him better.

The Thenns were awesome. I can't wait to see them attack Castle Black. Janos Slynt could have done with an introduction for show only viewers. They showed Ser Dontos in the trailer so it was strange not to see Janos being sent to the wall by Tyrion.

Its also great to see them saying the war is not over while Stannis lives and that they are still talking about the siege. Last season there was barely any mention of the Battle of Blackwater. From what I remember it was only ever mentioned by Roose Bolton.

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Good solid opening episode for the season, gave it an 8 but I'd have liked to give it an 8.5. It moved far better than I thought it would, and it was interesting to see how they gave viewers some key bits of background or reminded them of others. I know some readers have been upset at the lack of mention about Rhaegar and Ellaria before now, but really, it made much more sense in the context of a TV show to wait for S4 and bring them up when Oberyn is in KL to avenge his sister. For Unsullied viewers, I suspect those details would have been missed completely if they'd been mentioned in earlier seasons. Also interesting to get mention of Ser Arthur Dayne and Duncan the Tall, plus a reminder about Brienne's oath to avenge Renly.

Things that were a bit 'meh'- Tyrion and Shae, and also Yet Another Dany march to Yet Another City. Dany is not my favourite character, but it all looked so very deja vu, just with children instead of adult slaves. She needs to get some training advice for those dragons - where's Cesar Millan when you really need him?!

The only thing that I thought really let the episode down and should have been better staged was where Tyrion waited for the Dornish. Tyrion was supposed to be representing King Joffrey and meeting a Prince from Dorne! So why were he, Bronn and Pod just hanging about under some tree looking like a group of vagrants? I half expected to see a litter of wine flagons around them. If Peter Dinklage doesn't like riding horses, then they should at least have set up some sort of formal welcome pavillion where the KL contingent could wait in appropriate formal state. I am sure they would have had a spare little awning or something that could double up from the wedding!

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For me, the Oberyn nonsense was the biggest problem, but there's more - one example: the show's decision to turn Arya's first killing - a moment of pure rage from a little girl who has lost everyone she ever cared about - into several cold-blooded murders complete with Dexter-like taunting. So there it is - a 4 to open the season.

She killed the frey soldier in that pure rage moment, in the season final of season 3.

If they keep doing the "Rage" killing, it would be boring.

Now they are trying to show she has changed.

Edited by Lord Joker Of FunLand
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Was a little confused why they recast Daario, but still decide not to at least add a slight tint of colour to his facial hair :-/

From what I read, and it could always be wrong, but Ed left to do big screen films so they were forced to recast.

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From what I read, and it could always be wrong, but Ed left to do big screen films so they were forced to recast.

This seems to be the "official" story, but he was cast in the Transporter reboot quite a few months after Michiel was announced as his replacement. A little fishy.

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A seven, for me.

Arya+The Hound's final scene was excellent (although I would have preferred if Arya had killed Polliver as in the books, screaming and with in a mad frenzy). And Pedro Pascal is a perfect Oberyn so far. But most of the other stuff could have been done better, IMO.

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This was a pretty excellent episode on the whole, especially when you consider that it's a season premiere (arguably the most difficult to write and direct). It's already noticeable that the absence of Robb/Cat and the merging of the Jaime/Brienne and King's Landing arcs is a huge advantage for the showrunners, and the concise nature of the episode (almost exclusively focusing on the various KL relationships and Dany) really helped to give it a sense of momentum and pacing which last season's 'Valar Dohaeris' lacked. A couple of frustrating – albeit minor – flaws kept it from surpassing season 2's 'The North Remembers' (still, IMO, the best premiere so far) but I can honestly say that this episode succeeded in meeting my high expectations in spectacular style, and next week looks even better.

Edited to add a couple of specifics. I pretty much loved all of the King's Landing scenes: the wordless, artfully directed cold opening, the nice bit of fan-service in the White Book scene, everything Sansa (whose characterization looks to be right back on track with the books), Jaime struggling to find himself with Brienne and Cersei…the list goes on. On my first viewing, Oberyn's introduction seemed quite cheesy and over the top, and there are still certain aspects of the scene that I question, but upon a second re-watch it definitely holds up. I think I was a bit jaded by my prior knowledge of the character, but as an introduction I'd say it worked, and it certainly did its job in the memorability department. Anyway, his subsequent interaction with Tyrion had me nearly jumping out of my seat in a wave of fanboy craze, so there's something.

With regards to Dany: the sequence with the dragons was excellent – the special effects team outdoes themselves once again – but Daario's recasting created a jarring and disconcerting atmosphere, as they seem to have changed his personality as well as his physical appearance (from strong and poetic to generically masculine). All of Dany's scenes on their own were quite good, but this blaring inconsistency just took me out of the world whenever Daario was on-screen.

The tavern brawl was, IMO, one of the best sequences the show has done to date; while I'm still not sure about the adaptation choice (having the Hound injured in a different way, presumably to extend the popular relationship between him and Arya), the writing, acting and directing were all superb and on the whole brilliantly pulled off a scene which could easily have seemed redundant (as we already saw a glimpse of Arya's brutality in 3x10, and otherwise the only legitimate plot development was her recovery of Needle). Pretty much every detail of the scene deserves a mention in the "Positive Nitpick" thread, and that's saying something.

Arguably the weakest aspect of the episode was the arc at the Wall. I was slightly indifferent to the Jon scene; it mostly just seemed like a bit of a let down after the implications of his material in last season's finale, and I was undoubtedly left with a couple of nagging questions (did Sam ever tell Jon that he met his brother at the Nightfort? And why was Maester Aemon just able to effortlessly override Thorne, who is apparently acting Lord Commander in the show?), but on the whole it wasn't enough to be a real detriment to the episode. The Thenns, on the other hand…I guess there wasn't really anything bad about their introduction, per se, but the cartoonish reveal that they were cannibals wasn't handled well to say the least, and there were times when it felt like they had gotten lost on their way to do battle with Leonidas and the 300 Spartans.

Overall, though, despite my quibbles, I really did love this episode. I debated my rating for quite some time; after holding it at a seven for a while in a rush of initial "It's finally here!" excitement, I eventually decided against speaking such high praise so early in the season – especially when said season has so many spectacular episodes/events to look forward to – and gave it a "solid" six (which is actually a good score for me: I haven't given out a ten yet, and 'Blackwater' is the only episode so far to have pulled a nine). So…


'Two Swords' falls 18th out of 31 on my list of best-to-worst GOT episodes.

(Sidenote: my friend gets her first cameo as one of Margaery Tyrell's cousins! She's the one the camera focuses on when Olenna tells them to go speak to the jewelers of King's Landing).

Edited by Haldir Monark
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Disappointing. 4/10. Except for Oberyn. Oberyn's a 10.

Pedro Pascal rocks as Oberyn.

New Daario >>> Old Daario

The Tywin-Jaime scene lacked tension and was overall dull. Like really dull. Compared to the scene in the books, where Tywin and Jaime were boiling.

Dontos...such dissapoint, many bad, wow. Necklace? Fuck that! Where's the hairnet?

Edited by SuperTechmarine
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245 votes in, the episode is rating an average of 8.29. Removing the top and bottom 5% to normalize, it hits 8.39. Median vote is presently 8, but it's neck and neck with 9.

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I give it an 8. The montage of Ned's sword being swung by him, and then through him, followed by the opening of Tywin having the new swords forged and burning the wolf pelt scabbard. The forging of the swords happens "off screen" in the books, so that was a treat. Also Joffrey was brief but brilliantly villainous. Not sure how I feel about the twist on the Thenns, guess that will have to wait to see how it's played out.

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