Game of Thrones Season 4 Review (Spoilers)

  • Game of Thrones
  • Season 4
  • Episodes: 10
  • Discs:  5
  • Network:  HBO
  • Cast: Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harrington, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Caster-Waldau, Iain Glen, Aidan Gillen, Gwendoline Christie
  • Format: Widescreen, Color, DVD, NTSC

Game of Thrones is a series I actually found on DVD – I have never really seen the worth of paying for extra “movie” cable/satellite stations like HBO, Showtime, etc. My cousin had recommended the show to me, as had a few friends. But what convinced me to give the show a try was I happened to be on Twitter on a Sunday night and my feed filled up with all sorts of tweets about Game of Thrones. And this was from people like Marc Guggenheim the executive producer of CW’s Arrow, and Elijah Wood. Now, I know it’s common for television networks to require actors to keep up a Twitter feed for their show as part of the advertising and customer relations of the show. USA Network did that, and CW does that, and it’s fairly common. I’m sure there’s even specific requirements in the actor’s contract for Twitter and other Social Media activity while the show airs new episodes.

But Marc Guggenheim has no connection with Game of Thrones – he’s a producer on his own show. Likewise, Elijah Wood isn’t in Game of Thrones. And the tweets were of the “Can you believe what just happened?” variety. So, I figured, that if other television producers were, excuse the expression, “going all fanboy” about the show – it might just be good. And I’d seen a lot of media buzz about the show too, plus it was already winning Emmys, so I just figured – OK, I’ll give it a try.

I bought Season 1 on DVD and started watching it, by about halfway through – I ordered Season 2. Two episodes in to watching the second Season – I was ready to order Season 3. I checked on-line, and went, “February!!!” (I watched the show last Summer.)

Needless to say when  February rolled around I finally ordered and received it. And I was still hooked, so I ordered HBO – just to watch Game of Thrones.

So, yes, I’ve seen Season 4 before. And I do really love this series. It looks fantastic – very much like a movie. And the writing is excellent. There’s a lot of character growth, surprising moments, shocks, etc.

Spoilers below this point

Two episodes in – Joffrey is finally killed. Hazzah! The psychopathic king is gone. I expected, “Who killed Joffrey?” to be the season’s theme – but within a few episodes, we learned Littlefinger planned it – getting the poison, putting it into a necklace, getting someone to wear the necklace, etc. and Margery’s mother, Olenna Tyrell, also arranged for Joffrey’s death – and may have even been the one to put the poison in the king’s cup.

Of course, no one else in King’s Landing realizes this. Cersei and Tywin immediately blame Tyrion for King Joffrey’s death and have him arrested. Tyrion discovers those he thought his friends – aren’t, as he is betrayed over and over again. The few he thinks he can trust and whom he wants to protect he sends off. Eventually though, someone – somewhat unexpected, does help Tyrion – and Tyrion gets some revenge as well for the events of the season.

Meanwhile, Littlefinger gets Sansa to the Eyrie. There, Lysa finally gets Petyr to marry her. We also discover that it was Lysa, not the Lannisters, who arranged for the death of Jon Arryn (Remember him? – the former Hand of the King, who’s death starts Ned Stark on his journey to King’s Landing, where he dies – and the War of the Five Kings begins.) Anyway, Lysa is directly responsible for pretty much every death so far. And all of this because she was jealous of Cat, her sister, and hated her – and she pined for Littlefinger, and wanted to marry him not Jon Arryn. Lysa’s jealousy erupts and she attacks Sansa. Littlefinger then kills her – to protect Sansa, and no doubt as part of his own power games. In turn, Sansa lies before a tribunal to protect Littlefinger.

Arya and the Hound get to the Eyrie, but after Lysa has died – so they leave without ever going inside. Arya also runs into Brienne but doesn’t believe the woman she doesn’t know took a vow to protect Cat – which failed.  Brienne and the Hound fight – the Hound dies. The last shot of the season is Arya on a boat – going somewhere.

Jon, well, OK – let’s me perfectly honest, here. I always get bored when Game of Thrones goes to Castle Black or North of The Wall, or shows anything of the Wildlings. It’s the one storyline on the show I just can’t get in to and I really don’t care.  There’s been way too much build-up and teasing and not nearly enough actual story. After all, we’ve been told, “Winter is Coming” since the very beginning of Season 1. Episode 9 takes place entirely at the Battle for the Wall.

Dani makes it to Meereen, frees the slaves, then discovers ruling a country, especially ruling it fairly, is harder than conquering it.

I absolutely love Daenarys – and I always wish to see more of her. There were two things, possibly three, that happened in Season Four that I really hope are reversed for Season 5.

  1. One of the former slaves comes to Dani and asks for permission to sell himself back to his master so he can be a teacher again. Dani grants this on a “one year contract only”. Why didn’t she just suggest that the Master PAY his former slave? Obviously the man was skilled – his skills deserve compensation.
  2. Daenarys is told that her advisor, Ser Jorah Mormont, had – when they first met , four years ago, been selling information about her to the Baratheons and Lannisters. However, she never even gives him a chance to defend himself, then she exiles him. Now, fortunately, she didn’t kill him outright, but still, I liked Ser Jorah – and he was probably her best adviser. And, as he tried to point out, that the information came to light at this point, four years later, was suspicious at least. I mean, I realize that Dani thought she couldn’t trust him, but come on…
  3. The Dragons. Last we see, Daenarys chains and locked up her dragons. I was unsure if this meant they’d die as well. I mean, seriously – was there air in that cave? Does she plan on feeding them? Giving them water? The dragons bleating for their Mom was so sad.

I really hope Daenarys’ dragons aren’t dead. I want to see her riding astride one and taking over Westros! Likewise, I hope that Ser Jorah comes back. I’d love it if Dani discovers one of her other advisers set him up.

And then there’s the Starks. OK, the living Starks are driving me nuts! Arya finally, finally, after three seasons of wandering around gets to the Eyrie, and she doesn’t even go inside – thus she totally misses Sansa. And she rejects Brienne – and I thought Arya and Brienne would be a great combination – they’d make for a great alliance. Jon Snow and Bran Stark also keep missing each other. I mean, seriously, how many times is one of them going to be in a building and the other one outside, and they never connect? And then there’s poor Rickon Stark – Bran sends Osha, Rickon, and Rickon’s direwolf, Shaggy Dog, off to “find a strong hold”, or whatever – and we never see him again. (Sort of like Arya’s direwolf from the first season.) I actually think it’s a bit of a plot hole to leave Rickon’s fate dangling for so long!

But yes – it goes without saying. Season 4 of Game of Thrones is awesome. I think it’s more awesome on first viewing, but I still enjoyed it a lot and I can definitely recommend the series. It’s not a show for young children though.