‘Game of Thrones’: Best (and dumbest) moves in ‘Two Swords’ episode

Over its first three seasons, “Game of Thrones” won 10 Emmys and it’s been nominated for Best Drama Series every year. Last week the new season premiered to 6.6 million viewers, making it HBO’s top-rated program since “The Sopranos” finale, prompting a two-season renewal. With these soaring ratings and a roaring critical response, “Game of Thrones” is set to continue its solid run at the Emmys, and possibly be in contention for the top award.

So to follow this hot Emmy contender’s progress through the season, I thought each week I’d award the three best moves in the “Game,” the dumbest move and review how it’s positioned on the Emmy track. So with a new episode airing tonight, let’s take a look back at last week’s premiere, “Two Swords.”

Moves of the Week

1. Arya Stark reclaims Needle
The vengeful killing of sword-stealer Polliver does not necessarily move Arya along the “Game of Thrones” board very far. However,  it’s an important move for her character. With releasing prisoners and accepting dubious wedding invitations; the Stark family’s lack of killer instinct and naivete have been fatally to their determent. Arya proved she has that killer instinct and she gets the opportunity to cut her teeth in combat. All that puts her in strong stead to become a formidable”Game” player.

2. Prince Oberyn Martell enters the ‘Game’
Showing any sign of weakness can prove disastrous in the “Game of Thrones.” Just ask most of the Starks. (Wait, you can’t.) Arriving to the political capital, Prince Oberyn Martell, known as the Red Viper, asserts his authority by driving a sword into the hand of a man insulting him. He makes it clear that he is a player not to be messed with.

3.  Margaery Tyrell making friends
How can you not love how Margaery plays the game? She meets with Brienne and is able to establish a relationship of trust by gently advising her to be careful how to speak about the king and assuring her that they were on good terms. With the game heating up, Margaery could need all the friends she can get; building them up is savvy game play/

Dumbest Move: Jon Snow testifies

Jon Snow is a nice guy and has been through a rough time. However, he is honest to a fault. Reporting on his adventures at Castle Black, Jon Snow says every single thing he did that would anger the elders trying him (including that he slept with one of their enemies). This could have resulted in a grim end for Jon if Aemon hadn’t stood up for him.

Emmy Review for ‘Two Swords’
The big moment of this episode was Arya Stark’s revenge, which gives Maisie Williams some buzz and a great episode submission. At the end of the season whether that moment is also strong enough to make this episode a series, writing or directing submission seems unlikely, despite it being a solid start.

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