On Sunday's Game of Thrones premiere, Arya Stark had an unexpected reunion, which she handled in her typically straightforward (read: angry) manner.
[WARNING: The following contains spoilers from Game of Thrones' premiere, "Two Swords." If you haven't watched it yet, turn back or we may have to sic the Magnar of Thenn on you!]
The youngest daughter of Winterfell resumed practicing her "needlework" with a vengeance, which allowed her to cross one person off of her hit list and will be a handy skill while she's on the road in dangerous Westeros. Who else advanced? Who suffered a setback? TVGuide.com breaks down the power shifts in "Two Swords":
Game of Thrones Check-In: Daenerys, Theon and the wildlings
Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) The girl is spoiling for a fight after her brother and mother were slain at the Red Wedding, so it's very nice of Polliver (Andy Kellegher) to cross her path. Not only does he top her hit list for killing one of her friends, but he had also stolen her sword, Needle. Arya dispatches him personally by sliding her reclaimed blade into his head and neck. She comes away with her sword, a horse and her thirst for blood slaked for now. What more does a girl need?
Jon Snow (Kit Harington) Thank goodness blind Master Aemon (Peter Vaughan) can vouch for Jon Snow! Although some in the Night's Watch wanted to paint him as a turncloak, at least now they'll listen to his warning about the imminent invasion of 100,000 wildlings under the command of Mance Rayder (Ciaran Hinds). Jon is also declared acting commander, which isn't too shabby for a bastard.
Styr (Yuri Kolokolnikov) The Night's Watch better watch their backs... and their feet and their arms and the rest of their bodies. It turns out that the Magnar of Thenn -- one of the wildling groups joining the advance on the Wall -- has a taste for human flesh, especially the delicacy known as crow (aka the Night's Watch).
Game of Thrones Check-In: House Lannister and their frenemies
Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) Ned Stark (Sean Bean) may be long dead, but Tywin has devised one more way to remove his influence in the world: He melts down Ned's giant Valyrian steel sword Ice into two smaller swords, one of which he gifts to his son Jaime (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau).
Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) The Mother of Dragons may have freed slaves in Astapor and Yunkai, but the people of Meereen have thrown down the bloody gauntlet. For every mile marker to the city of Meereen, its leaders have killed and strung up a child slave with his/her hand pointing the way to the city. For now, they're controlling the narrative, and Khaleesi is not happy.
Jaime Lannister The prodigal son may have returned to King's Landing, but nobody seems to really want him around, despite gifting him with a sword and gold hand. Tywin disowns him for refusing to run Casterly Rock, his own nephew (and probable son) mocks his pitiful knightly record and finally, Jaime's own sister Cersei (Lena Headey) seems to have lost that loving feeling for him. Could this be the end of the twincestuous romance?
Ygritte (Rose Leslie) She's still heartbroken over Jon Snow's betrayal, but even worse, the wildlings have lost a bit of respect for her. Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) knows that she's one of their best archers and blames her poor aim on her feelings for Jon. "You let him go," Tormund says.
Game of Thrones Check-In: House Stark and their allies
"I'm not a lady, I'm a bastard." -- Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma) to Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage)
"Aren't you just marvelous! Absolutely singular!" -- Lady Olenna (Dame Diana Rigg) to the towering lady knight Brienne (Gwendoline Christie)
"If we beheaded every ranger who lay with a girl, the Wall would be manned by headless men." -- Master Aemon
"Someone forgot to write down all of your great deeds." -- King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) to Jaime regarding the almost blank page in the Kingsguard's White Book
"Something wrong with your leg, boy? Can you walk? I'll carry you ... Fine little blade. Maybe I'll pick my teeth with it." -- a blood-crazed Arya recites Polliver's words back to him before killing him
Did you cheer Arya on? Are you glad Game of Thrones is back? What were your favorite parts of the episode?
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.