"Game of Thrones" is back! And after the gut-wrenching Red Wedding last season, will the plucky denizens of Westeros ever be the same? Well, no, as we found out on "Two Swords."
The season premiere is one of the show's patented "check-in" episodes, introducing new conflicts and finding out what's up with old characters; but the good news is, it was a doozy. Everything has changed, the dragons are bigger and danger still lurks everywhere.
Here are all the biggest moments from this week's episode:
More Like Hot Open
Each season — just like the books the show is based on — has a cold open that sets up one of the main themes of the year. Here we see Tywin Lannister melting down Ned Stark's sword Ice into two new swords. It's a not so subtle reminder that the Starks have lost, Tywin has burned them down and the Lannisters have won. For now...
Hand Of The Kingslayer
Jaime went through the biggest changes last season, and now we get to see the consequence. He's got a new golden hand, a job as the head of the Kingsguard and a great friend in Brienne. But he's also got a father (Tywin) who wants him to leave for Casterly Rock, a sister/lover who hates him for leaving her alone and a nephew/King/son who mercilessly ridicules him for doing nothing with his life. Poor Jaime. What he does for love.
Enter The Viper
Our biggest new character is Oberyn Martell, the Red Viper of Dorne. He gets a vastly different, sexposition heavy introduction here versus in the books as he uses his money/hotness to convince a straight, not-for-sale male pimp to have sex with him.
Then Oberyn stabs a Lannister through the hand for singing "Rains of Castemere." And he straight up tells Tyrion that he's going to kill Tywin, who he blames for the death of his sister years ago.
Point being, this guy does, and also does not f--k around.
Sansa Doesn't Want Lemon Cakes
I don't know, this felt like a big deal to me. She loves lemon cakes.
New Wildlings Do Want Human Meat, Though
Thought the Wildlings were bad? Tormund Giantsbane and Ygritte may have shot a bunch of arrows in Jon Snow, but they're nowhere near as scary as a new group who show up with a nice sack full of human meat to eat. What is this, Terminus? JK, guys. But seriously, is a war coming to the Wildlings, as well as the Wall?
Jon Snow Knows A Lot, Actually
Speaking of said Wall, Jon is recovering from his arrow attack really well, considering, and is brought before a council of Night's Watchmen. He lays the smack down on them for focusing on his lady-sexing, rather than the army of Wildlings amassing above the Wall and is cleared of all charges. Still, it seems like he may not get the support he needs to stop the invasion until things are far, far too late.
New Daario, Same As The Old Daario
Hey look, we have a new Daario! Daenerys Targaryen's newest recruit may have a newer face, but he's still the same old guy: making dumb bets with Grey Worm, and picking flowers for Dany. Look at the flowers, Dany. Look at the flowers.
We can't run down the big events in this episode without mentioning how frickin' huge Dany's dragons have gotten. They fight over meat, fly, and are generally so terrifying that Jorah Mormont is starting to look scared. And he only looks scared about 75% of the time, so that's a big deal.
What did you think of "Game of Thrones" this week?