Game of Thrones: Catch up with EW’s season 4 episode guide

Episode 1: “Two Swords”
Writers: David Benioff and D.B. Weiss
Director: D.B. Weiss
Plot: Already down a hand, Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) also lost Cersei (Lena Headey) — who told him that she’s moved on during his long absence from King’s Landing — and his father’s favor (since he refused to leave the Kingsguard to rule as heir of Casterly Rock). The Wildlings were wilding out with Ygritte (Rose Leslie), who was still hung up on Jon (Kit Harington), even after trying to kill him. Jon was in the same boat, healing from his Ygritte-inflicted wounds. Arya (Maisie Williams) and the Hound (Rory McCann) were back traveling together and discovered the men who took her sword, Needle. And Dany (Emilia Clarke) continued her very long road trip with her dragons.

Introduced: Sexually fluid fighter Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal), who came to King’s Landing to secretly exact revenge against the Lannisters for the rape and murder of his sister
Grade: B
Episode 2: “The Lion and the Rose”
Writer: George R.R. Martin
Director: Alex Graves
Plot: Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) wed Margaery (Natalie Dormer), with one big complication. (More on that in a moment.) Roose (Michael McElhatton) scolded Ramsay (Iwan Rheon) for carving the humanity — and a lot more — out of Theon (Alfie Allen); Melisandre (Carice van Houten) sacrificed three people as an offering to the Lord of Light before joining Stannis (Stephen Dillane) and his wife for a tense meal; and Jaime began the arduous task of training himself to sword fight with one hand.
Introduced: The Night King (Vladimir Furdik), leader of the White Walkers, who appeared in a vision that Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) has while communing with a weirwood heart tree
Historic moment: Joffrey finally got his just desserts and was poisoned at his wedding, dying in supremely gruesome fashion. Further complicating the Lannister family dynamic, Cersei accused Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) of murdering her son. In an attempt to protect Shae (Sibel Kekilli) from Tywin’s (Charles Dance) revenge plot against him, Tyrion broke things off with his lover.
Grade: A
Episode 3: “Breaker of Chains”
Writers: George R.R. Martin, David Benioff, and D.B. Weiss
Director: Alex Graves
Plot: Joffrey’s body still warm, Tywin prepared young Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) to be king — but all Tommen wanted to do was hang with his cat, Ser Pounce. Tyrion’s forthcoming trial got its witnesses. Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) spirited Sansa (Sophie Turner) out of King’s Landing. Sam (John Bradley) moved Gilly (Hannah Murray) to a nearby town and away from the Night’s Watch men, who only saw her as a Wildling.
Introduced: Daario (Michiel Huisman) as Dany’s champion
Historic moment: Jaime forced himself on Cersei, an act in the books that was consensual. (The scene launched complicated discussions around how the show handled rape.)
Grade: A
Episode 4: “Oathkeeper”
Writer: Bryan Cogman
Director: Michelle MacLaren
Plot: Jaime asked Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) to fulfill his promise to Catelyn (Michelle Fairley): Find and protect Sansa. Speaking of, Littlefinger was taking the eldest Stark daughter to her aunt Lysa’s (Kate Dickie) and explained that he was involved in Joffrey’s murder, in part to confuse the Lannisters and get her out of King’s Landing. Dany, despite her advisers’ objections, ordered the killing of Meereen’s “Great Masters” in retaliation for the deaths of 163 enslaved children.
Introduced: What the Night King did to Craster’s baby boys: turn them into White Walkers with the flick of his lengthy nail

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