Game Of Thrones was dropping spoiler bombs left and right on Sunday night, it's our job to decode, decrypt and add meaning where there is none to what happened in Westeros.
Obviously in the spoiler discussion, there's going to be spoilers. You have been warned.
The Dragon Has 3 Heads In 3 Different Colors
First, lets attempt to get over the somewhat jarring weirdness that is the recasting of Daario Naharis. He's gone from exotic Fabio assassin to Hugh Grant pirate in the space of a week. Not that i'm complaining, the first one creeped me out and this one seems a little less sycophantic around Dany.
Anyway the actor isn't what's important. What's important is what Daario gives to Dany. I'm sure it's unintentional on Daario's part but my nerd-senses started picking up some major foreshadowing. Actually, what I think Daario is inadvertently referencing here is so so far away in the future of the show that it can hardly be called foreshadowing anymore. So... future spoiling? Whatever.
He produces 3 flowers, one blue, one white and one red. Not that weird right?
Well, remember when Dany went into the House Of The Undying way back in Season 2 to get her dragons back? With the creepy monk guys? That scene played out slightly differently in the books than it did to the show.
Instead of seeing three different locales like she does in the show, Dany sees a vision of her dead brother Rhaegar. Not her horrible incesty brother, that's Visery's. Rhaegar was a fairly solid guy before he was killed while Dany was a baby. In the vision Rhaegar says the words: "The Dragon has three heads.", a phrase which has been puzzling book readers for over twenty years.
The general consensus among fans is that the vision means that there are three dragon riders out there to go with Dany's dragons. One is presumably Dany herself, the identities of the other two however is up for debate.
Lets assume that Dany herself would be the white flower that Daario presents her with first. That's our first head of the dragon. Next? A red flower, deadly and beautiful. Sounds like a Lannister to me. Fan favorite Tyrion could be the next head of the dragon. Finally there's a blue flower.
In that same book vision that Dany has in the House Of The Undying she see's a blue flower growing out of chink in a wall of ice. That can only be Jon Snow.
Add to that the idea that the TV version of Dany's vision could be a simplified version of the book vision. Dany is instead shown 3 distinct locales that will perhaps become important to her later... or they're where her other dragon heads are located.
Dany meets Drogo in a tent on the Dothraki Sea. That's her then, head one. Dany walks through the throne room in Kings Landing, that's Tyrion. Head two. Finally Dany walks under The Wall, the final head, Jon Snow.
Whew. The books are good but the show might just have hit upon an easier way of spinning the same conspiracies around the minds of the fans.
Lets not even get into the how or why Tyrion and Jon might be eligible Dragon Riders.
Or maybe Daario was just giving her some flowers...
If You Come At The Hound, You'd Best Not Miss
It hit me last night that The Hound is and has always been, Game Of Throne's version of Omar from The Wire. He's a wild card, kind of an anti-hero, helps the weak but still looks out for himself.
Also The Hound kind of nailed the point home when he repeated Omar's signature line of "A man's got to have a code."
I'm just hoping the character won't leave the show under similar circumstances to Omar.
Season 4 Episode 1: Two Swords
The episode opens with Tywin Lannister gleefully (well as gleeful as Tywin can be) melting down poor dead Ned's great-sword Ice. The last time we saw Ice, it was in the hands of King's Justice Ser Ilyn Payne beheading it's previous owner. Now Tywin is using its destruction as the last symbolic step towards total Lannister domination.
One could easily assume that the two swords being created here are the titular swords of the episode but I'm not so sure. They may be, but they aren't the only swords in the episode.
While we open on a Lannister victory, we close on a Stark one. Arya gets Needle back, the ninja rapier that she loved so much back in Season 1.
If one looks for a literal interpretation of the title, you need only look to Arya with Needle at the end of the episode and her Father's (also named) counterpart Ice at the start. A sneaky message from writers David and Dan; yes the two swords of the title might on the surface seem to be Lannister trophy's. But in reality they are in fact the swords of hope, and how it lives on through Ned's children.
Or, a little more abstract, lets imagine the swords represent death for both our action-Starks. Arya risked everything when she went barreling into that Inn, just as Jon knew he had to bravely admit to everything (everything) he'd done on the other side of The Wall. Both Stark's narrowly avoided the sword of Damocles hanging above their heads. Maybe.
A Song Of Ice And Fire
Ned's Greatsword is named Ice. Tywin Lannister set it on fire. The music playing in this scene was a combination of the Lannister theme (fire) and the Stark theme (ice) we literally watched 30 seconds of A Song Of Ice And Fire. Magic.
Rhaegar And Elia
Remember when I said I wasn't going to talk about how Jon could be an eligible dragon rider? Well I kind of lied. Sunday's episode ALSO dropped potential clues as to how this unlikely scenario could happen and I can't help but explain them. Mostly to myself.
My favorite scene in the episode was shared between Tyrion and Oberyn Martell the newly arrived sex-prince of Dorne. Oberyn explains to Tyrion that the reason he's in the capital is to attend The Royal Wedding but after a few more slightly less flippant comments, it becomes clear this Prince is out for revenge.
Prince Oberyn tells Tyrion the tale of his sister Elia who married the son of the Mad King: kind, wonderful, clever, badass, handsome and all around best person ever Rhaegar Targaryen. It was The Mountain who, while Rhaegar was busy at The Battle Of The Trident, raped Elia and killed her two babies by bashing their heads against a wall. Oh and after that he killed Elia too. Split her in half with his sword. Nice guy.
It was during this discussion that Prince Oberyn mentioned that there may have been another woman in Rhaegar's life.
This takes us all the way back to the first twenty minutes of Season 1 Episode 1 as old comrades Robert & Ned, in the depths of the Stark crypts, look upon a statue of Ned's sister. Lyanna. Robert reminds us that the only reason he's king is because he started that rebellion so long ago to get Lyanna back.
Back from Rhaegar.
Oberyn Martell in Season 4 Episode 1 was referring to this woman. Poor dead Ned's dead sister. Robert smashed Rhaegar on the trident but by the time Ned got to his sister's tower of captivity, she lay dying. Her last words, as we're told by Ned are: "Promise me."
That's what we know, that's what we saw. Now onto the known unknowns in this situation.
The popular online theory is thus: Jon Snow's real father is Rhaegar Targaryen with his mother being Ned's sister Lyanna. The promise Ned made to Lyanna was to never tell anyone who Jon's real parents were and to love him as his own. A rampaging revenging Robert Baratheon who's sworn to kill all Targaryens on his way to town can make you a little paranoid.
So not only did sex-prince Oberyn reveal the real reason he's in the capitol, he slipped in the tiniest of tiny references to what is perhaps the greatest unspoken mystery of the show.
End of spoilers.... for now.
I mean, for an opening episode they really hit the ground running when it comes to clues, spoilers, teasers and easter eggs huh? Or maybe a year away from this spectacular show has cooked my brain into a festering stew of patterns and combinations?
Who knows? The answer to that question is probably more confusing that Jon Snow's parentage.
Things to think about maybe...
- Jewelery seemed a running theme in the episode. Jaimie's hand, Sansa's necklace/head thing, Olenna Tyrell's necklace selection. What was that about?
- Jaimie seemed to pause before he mentioned the wedding's... entertainment.
- Scars. Scars everywhere. Every Stark is covered in them, the cannibalistic Thenns are covered in them, even the Lannisters are covered in them. Then that final shot of the scarred scarred landscape.
The war may be over. But the scars can't be concealed.