Hey everyone, and welcome back to the best 10 weeks of the year… the ones Game of Thrones is on. HBO brings us season 4 of the show, and I have to admit, it starts off with a very well produced episode. A little of everything, perfect pacing, and character development galore.
As always, SPOILER ALERT…
So, where were we? Red Wedding, the north is pretty much over, Arya is kidnapped by the Hound (who I actually like, despite him being a “bad guy”), Sansa weeps away her sorrows, Tyrion marries her, Cercei is told to marry Sir Loras, Dany keeps conquering while traveling west (and freeing slaves while at it), Jon finally makes it back to the Wall, as does Sam, and as does Bran (going the other way). The bigger picture? The Wildlings are preparing for all out war against the Wall because they need to cross it… because even farther north, another army is gathering. One that is cold, evil, and dead.
The greatness of this episode is how much it covers, and how well it does it. Jaime is back in King’s Landing, and when his dad tells him he needs to go back to Casterly Rock, he disobeys! He’s finally back to his sister, and he wants to stay. Of course, later on, you see she doesn’t seem to feel the way she use to for him and gives the impression that she’s moved on, so now he just feels forgotten. The only person he seems to respect, and be respected by, is Brienne; who reminds him of his vow to return the girls to the North (though there is no north anymore – though they have not yet found out).
Tyrion goes to greet prince Oberyn Martell (aka, the Viper), and needs to do some searching only to find him about to kill two Lannister men. The backstory here being, King Joff has invited all the great houses to his wedding. And though Oberyn isn’t the firstborn lord of Dorne (the southernmost, desert land of Westoros), he is definitely the most dangerous. He’s a bad-ass, he’s charming, he’s a lover, and after speaking to Tyrion, we see he still holds resentment over the Lannisters for what they did to his his sister, Elia, who was married Rhaegar Targeryen (during Robert’s Rebellion).
Dany’s dragons are getting big as she travels west. Big and dangerous. We’re starting to get a feel that having dragons on your side might not be the easiest thing.
Daario Naharis, the suave mercenary that joined Dany’s army last season (And we can seen Dany has the hots for), was recast. Unfortunately, this is the first time I’ve been disappointed in HBO’s decision. Daario was a cocky, aroggent, suave character full of swagger and confidence. In the book he actually dyes his beard blue, and he’s so “cool” he can pull it off. Obviously, a blue beard and the books style cannot always work on TV, but still, the character they had last season was great. Now he’s been replaced with what seems your out-of-the-mill bearded guy who seems he belongs in Westoros, not the eastern lands. He seems to lack that swagger too, which makes it worse. But alas, everything else HBO has done is excellent, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and see if they can redeem the character.
Tyrion tries to console Sansa for the Red Wedding, but to no avail. And when he gets a moment alone with Shae, you see that his troubles are slowly pulling them apart.
Sansa, on the other hand walks into Sir Donto’s, the one that Joff almost killed on his name day, but Sansa saved him (though Joff made him a “fool”). It seems he now feels like he owes a debt to Sansa (for saving his life), and gives her a family heirloom neckless, along with much gratitude.
The small group of Wildlings that crossed the wall (with Jon Snow), are closing into Castle Black, in attempt to attack from behind when the war starts, and then open the gates. To make matters worse, they are joined by the Thenn’s… one of the most savage, and dangerous Wildlings (even the other Wildlings don’t like them).
Jon is under judgment from the other men of the nights watch, as in his truth, he is being blamed for being with the Wildlings, sleeping with one of them, and of course, having killed the Half-Hand. Worst of all, they won’t believe him about the Wildlings coming to attack (which was the whole point he did all he did).
Joff is out to insult everyone, including his uncle Jaime, who has now returned to the Kings-guard. Everyone seems to be picking on Jamie for his lost hand (which has been replaced with a gold one btw), and the fact that he’s turned 40. He’s way younger in the books, but so is everyone else… that’s part of making something into a show if you want good actors.
Arya is still with the hound, Sandor Clegane. As she’s asking for her own horse, they come upon a tavern, only to run into Polliver. Anyone remember him? He had first captured Arya from when she was traveling north towards the wall. Polliver killed her friend (Lommy) and stole her sword (Needle, the one Jon gave her). In fact, Polliver is on her list of names to kill. So what does she do? She just walks into the tavern. Clegane follows. And when all hell breaks loose, Arya stands back until the right moment. She kills one guy, takes down Polliver by slicing his leg, grabs her sword back, teases him with the same words he gave Lommy before killing him, and slowly puts her sword through his neck. One name off her list… Arya is changing. This was one of my favorite scenes of the show so far.
And the episode ends with her riding her own horse by Clegane’s… a show that he has now begun to respect her, and almost reward her for how she handled herself.
Anyway, that’s it for the week. I’ve read the books, and let me tell you, this season is gonna be insane. Being the second half of book 3 is crazy enough as is, the season will also include segments of the following books; as the timetable is slightly changed in order to streamline things for TV purposes, and in order to keep up. The show is foretold to be aiming for 7 seasons, as George Martin is aiming for 7 books (obviously, 7 is an important number in the story). But having fallen a little behind, they’ll need to make sure they don’t waste too much time on nonsense… and if the show continues like this episode, then we’re on the right track.
Best of all, it already has been renewed… for TWO more seasons. I’m a happy camper. 🙂
See you all next week,