Game of Thrones Season Four Episode One: Arya Gets A Pony

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This season I’ll be writing a “Game of Thrones,” recap every Monday morning. If you aren’t watching “Game of Thrones,” I’m sorry. If you are and you happen to watch the show later in the week then consider this your requisite spoiler alert.

I’ll be writing the recaps in the same way that I do the Starting 11 every Monday morning during college football season.   

With that in mind, here we go. 

1. Getting the kids to bed on “Game of Thrones,” night is a real challenge. 

We have a six year old and a three year old and GoT comes on at eight central here. That’s right at bedtime. I know we’re like a ton of other parents, scrambling to get the kids in bed and then holding the remote in our hand like hawks in the event the kids come down the stairs in an effort to avoid sleeping.  

Otherwise inevitably the kids would walk in during an orgy scene that ends in a beheading and they would go to kindergarten and pre-school and tell their teachers, “Mommy and daddy like to watch naked people get their head’s cut off.” 

2. GoT is the first show I’ve enjoyed more than the books.

I caught up on GoT after two seasons and liked the first two seasons so much that I bought all the books, intending to read them. Then I read the first 100 pages of the first book and decided I liked the television show better. Maybe it was because the first 100 pages of the first book tracks the television show so closely — down to the exact dialogue in places — but other than “Friday Night Lights,” I can’t remember ever liking a TV show better than the book. And, let’s be honest, the Friday Night Lights TV show really had nothing in common with the book other than the title. 

Am I alone in liking the TV show more than the books?

Usually I’m a reading snob, but I enjoy the television show so much I don’t want to spoil it with the books. 

3. Yes, the first episode has nudity!

I pump my fist like Phil Mickelson after he sinks a birdie putt every time the warning screen comes on HBO and lets us know nudity is coming.

My wife always rolls her eyes when I do this, but this sets the perfect tone for the show.

There should never be a GoT without nudity.  

Of course, since it’s GoT you never know whether that nudity is going to be male or female. Plus, the female nudity can also be creepy as hell, witness the red-headed woman’s birth of a shadow demon in what might go down as the least sexy hot woman nude scene in premium cable history. That or the entire Theon subplot last year that ended in his penis being cut off and shipped back to his dad and sister. Remember when Theon had the hot, naked chicks climbing all over him and you couldn’t even enjoy it because you knew it was going to end badly? God, I hope they’re finally finished torturing him now. I have no idea what we gained from every Theon torture scene in season three.

Anyway, there’s nudity in episode one of season four!

Hopefully no one’s penis gets cut off tonight. (Unless it’s Joffrey’s penis).    

4. Tywin Lannister forges two new swords made of Valyrian steel and burns the wolf carcass.

If Nick Saban lived in a mythical medieval world, he’d definitely be Tywin Lannister, ruling a kingdom with his incestual-birthed grandson while secretly hating everyone and wondering why he does what he does for a living. The conversation that Jamie Lannister and Tywin Lannister have over whether Jamie can remain in the king’s guard is a preview of every conversation that Saban and Lane Kiffin will have this year, a stern adult ridicules a petulant child for his absurd ideas.

“No, Lane, we cannot run the flea flicker up 52-3 on Tennessee.”

Tywin wants Jamie to go back to Casterly Rock and Jamie won’t go because he wants to protect whatever legacy he has left.   

5. There’s a new prince at the whore house.

And he hates the Lannisters. 

I’d explain who he is and why he hates the Lannisters, but it would take this entire column to do so. Instead suffice it to say he has a robust sexual appetite that includes men as well as women, and he can go from ready to have an orgy to stabbing a Lannister’s wrist to a table in three minutes flat.

GoT characters can go from sex to killing each other in record time. Seriously, other than one sexual partner killing another “Basic Instinct” style, how does this happen so often? I’m really expecting sex and death to get mixed together at some point. Khaleesi is definitely going to be reverse cowgirling this new dude while he lays on a bearskin rug while she decapitates another guy.

Anyway, we get to see our nudity, but it isn’t anywhere near as good as the best whorehouse nudity scene.

Which remains season one episode seven of GoT. 

Go watch it again.

You’re welcome.  

6. Jamie Lannister’s gold hand is awkwardly awesome.

I’ve come to like Jamie a great deal because he’s got an understated sense of humor. Now that he’s finally back in the city — after a season spent as a prisoner, escaping, and attempting to return — he’s really got nothing to do. Which means we’re left to hear him toss off pretty good one-liners while attempting to sleep with his sister. 

It’s one thing to get cock-blocked by the woman you’re in a relationship with, but Jamie’s attempting to sleep with his sister and she shuts him down because he left her alone for too long while he was a prisoner. 

I mean, that seems cruel. 

Even for Cersei.

You know GoT is twisted when you find yourself thinking, “Just sleep with your brother already, you bitch.” 

7. Joffrey is the most hateable character in TV history.

At this point, I love him. 

Sure, I want him dead like everyone reading this right now, but his character and acting is so delightfully perfect that I’ll actually be disappointed when he inevitably gets killed. (I say “inevitably gets killed,” because I’m confident that everyone will get killed on this show eventually, not because I’m actually spoiling anything).

There’s a real distinction between a character who is so hateable because he’s a perfectly rendered villain and a character, like Dana in Homeland, who is is hateable because she’s an awful actress with horrible lines and vapid plot points.

Joffrey is exquisite.

Even in a limited time on the screen he destroys Jamie Lannister by pointing out that he’s forty and has one hand, so his life is basically over.  

8. Khaleesi’s dragons are huge now. 

And they threaten to turn on her while they’re eating their prey. 

Meanwhile, the soldier guy who wants to sleep with Khaleesi has gotten a makeover and I don’t even really recognize him now. Is this the same guy? Why did his hair change color? And did he get braces? Plus, there are a bunch of dead women hung alongside the road for 164 miles. I’d explain what this all means, but I’ll simply wait for Khaleesi’s helper, the guy who seems like he’s from a Charlton Heston movie in the 1940’s, to explain this all to us later.

In the meantime, sadly, Khaleesi does not get naked in this episode.   

9. Jon Snow might get beheaded. 

But, thankfully, he escapes beheading despite confessing that he broke all his vows as a night watchman and slept with a wildling. Why does he escape beheading? Because the blind guy loves him. 

Meanwhile there are a bunch of wildlings gathered and some new wildlings show up. These wildlings have interesting facial scars and are cannibals. It says a lot about GoT that when you see that they’re cooking a man’s arm to eat, you actually expect that to be coming.  

We also learn that Jon Snow’s hot wilding — as rare as an attractive woman from Wisconsin — intentionally let him live by shooting him in non-deadly places with three different arrows. 

Romance lives!

10. Arya and the Hound is the best part of GoT right now, I love both of them.

This is the despite the fact that Arya has now been traveling in circles for multiple seasons. Seriously, will she ever get to an actual destination? Just when she finally reached the Starks they all got killed last season and now she’s headed for her crazy aunt who breastfeeds grown kids.  

Arya wants a pony and the Hound wants a chicken. So they combine to kill five men in a pub to get what they want. 

More importantly, is Arya fully grown? Because I thought she was actually really young, but she’s not growing at all. Now I’m convinced she’s the Gabrielle Carteris of GoT, a thirty year old playing a fifteen year old. Anyway, it seems like she should be aging and she isn’t changing at all. Meanwhile Bran, who was like eight years old when GoT started, is growing so fast he’s going to be seven feet tall with grey hair by the time this show ends.  

11. Arya gets her pony and the Hound gets his chicken.

This is why I love GoT, for the fun it has with story conventions.  A young girl — who might actually be 38 — gets her pony after killing a man to reclaim her sword.

And the Hound gets a chicken.

Episode one of season four is in the books. 

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.