BOOK SPOILERS AHEAD: Everything beyond this point includes spoilers from George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” books.

”A Song of Ice and Fire” Speculation
All the smug bastards (last name would be ‘Readers’) that have finished all five of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels don’t want simple recaps of the Game of Thrones’ Season 4 episodes, they want to talk about how Benioff and Weiss have adapted the source material for the small-screen as well as the future of the HBO fantasy. On that note, I should also say that I’ve only read the series once (okay, some extended sections twice) so go easy on me if I screw up and/or if there’s something I fail to mention. Now. Winter is coming. And, if it wasn’t clear by now, so are SPOILERS. Final warning…

There was a lot for readers of the novels to like about "Two Swords" with the premiere hitting a few notes that many thought were missed last season, like the return and development of Ser Dontos as well as Arya's crucial interaction with Polliver. I liked the way that Benioff and Weiss delayed the young Stark's journey a little and substituting Polliver for the Tickler is also no big deal. All the characters' storylines need to fit together and, in my complete fourth season speculations, I guessed that her time with the Hound would be a little longer than it was in the books. They are too good together (like she was with Tywin) to not milk (of the poppy) it for all it's worth.

I'm sure it didn't take eagle-eyed observers to note that Dontos didn't give Sansa a fancy hairnet but instead a necklace full of jewels. Oh, and what do you know, Olenna was also talking about necklaces and their relevance to the royal wedding in a week's time. That's right, next week is the Purple Wedding (aptly titled "The Lion and the Rose") which means social media is going to explode after the reception. It's actually a shame to lose Jack Gleeson's Joffrey. He is really quite fun to hate. The series is also doing a nice job with Shae's thread, making me believe that she might turn on Tyrion when I had never really bought it in the books. She wasn't as full of a character in the novels, more of a plot device. And how about Tywin's self-foreshadowing? No, he will not see Casterly Rock again. Or shit gold.

What else? Daario wasn't just new but brought with him a bunch of flowers including both a blue rose and harpy's gold. The latter could be used in the Locusts (if that's still a go without Strong Belwas) while the former is a nice nod to Lyanna Stark and the events that started Robert's Rebellion. The past got a lot of time this week with Oberyn recounting the story from the Dornish perspective (just after Tyrion called them both 'Second Sons') and Joffrey giving us a glimpse at the White Book which included a page about the events at the Tower of Joy. Arthur Dayne and Oswell Whent both got namechecked. As did Eddard Stark, obviously. Ser Duncan the Tall and his four pages of exploits also snuck into the conversation which I'm sure delighted fans of the novellas.

There's probably plenty more to pick apart (the Thenns being cannibals, Oberyn's pov on Robert's Rebellion), so feel free to remind me all that I forgot in the comments...

Like I said, The fourth season of Game of Thrones continues with “The Lion and the Rose” next Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.

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