Game of Thrones has always been known for its unrelenting bloodshed and nudity, but it really is one of the smartest shows on television today. There is so much plotting and scheming going on behind the scenes that make this show a real treat. Of course, the real credit goes to the source material, written by the incredibly detailed George R.R. Martin. Last season left the entire world of television viewers shocked and with a horrible feeling in the pit of their stomachs after witnessing one of, if not THE most horrific event ever shown on television with the Red Wedding. But with the aftermath of all of that, where does that leave our characters (the ones that are left, at least). For those of you that are interested, here is the list of all of the characters that will most likely die before the show is over.
So, this week we follow a few different characters. We see Jaime’s experiences in King’s Landing, Oberyn “The Red Viper” Martell arrives in a cool way, Arya and the Hound traveling, Daenerys doing…nothing really, Jon Snow facing questions on the Wall, and the wildlings preparing for attack. But I really loved seeing the cold open once again, before the intro credits rolled.
Seeing Tywin melt down Ned Stark’s extremely large sword was kind of a cool thing to see. Plus, it just reminds us that there really aren’t any Starks that are even close to King’s Landing. The music in this scene leading up to the intro was chilling.
It’s funny with this show. With Robb and Catelyn gone, there is a certain element missing from the show. It isn’t a bad thing, but it just feels different. Joffrey is sitting comfortably because no one is really a threat at this point. He gets to be a major douche to his uncle-but-actually-his-father.
So now, we get different stories set up for the season. And none of them are trying to fight for the throne. Sure, Arya wants nearly everyone dead but she isn’t exactly in the position to do anything about that. We are preparing for an inevitable battle between Castle Black and the Wildlings. We see Jaime adjust to living without a hand (the waving of the Golden Hand was hilarious). Jaime really got the crap end of the stick this week. Sure, he gets a sword made from Ned’s “Ice” sword, but his father is disappointed in him for choosing to stay in the Kingsguard and Cersei is a royal bitch and a half because he “took too long.” Sorry, he was only captured and losing appendages. But sorry you were alone in King’s Landing drinking all of the wine.
The highlight this week was the introduction of Oberyn Martell and his lover Ellaria. We finally see someone from Dorne. We have heard the name many times but it’s a treat to see someone from that region. I definitely imagined Oberyn differently when I read the books, but all of that went away when Pedro Pascal spoke. He had a really cool accent and he starts making waves early. He is there for an actual reason, and he clearly isn’t someone to be messed with. He is looking for the man who murdered his sister from years earlier; and that would be the Mountain aka Gregor Clegane. This should be fun. But the scene with him and the Lannisters and the knife was really intense and well done.
We are starting to see some attitude from Jon Snow and I love it. Letting him talk more is only going to make things better. But it was nice seeing the baby-killer put in his rightful place…again. But on the other side of things, Ygritte and Tormund had to meet the guy who looks like he’s fresh out of a 300 movie, Styr. This just reminds us how awesome Kristofer Hivju is as Tormund Giantsbane. His line about the Thenn and to Ygritte about how she let Jon go were very effective. Plus, I just really like that character. “I fucking hate the Thenn” made me chuckle…a lot.
The other two stories this week were Arya with the Hound and Daenerys with her people. Dany’s story was pretty bare. Nothing happened. This story was to show us the new actor who is playing Daario. I am one of the many fans who are glad they recasted the character. The Daario from last season was way too much of a pretty boy and seemed fresh out of a magazine. Plus, the Dragons becoming an issue for Dany is effective but honestly, this story was by far the weakest this week. But holy crap, they got big.
Arya and the Hound, however, were amazing as always. They are giving Jaime and Brienne some competition for best oddly-paired duo on television. They have an odd relationship but the back and forth is witty and always fantastic. And the scene at the inn when the Hound verbally bitchslaps Polliver and we see Arya smirk was priceless. Her revenge killing of him was also one of the best things of the week. Seeing “Needle” again was pretty cool too.
So, this week was a lot of set up. Most of the stories were effective. I’m starting to dislike Shae more and more, but that’s not a big deal. The only story I didn’t care for was Daenerys’ because nothing really happened. A lot of people may feel like not much happened in the season four opener. But, no matter your opinion, Game of Thrones shows us that even when it’s moving slow; it is still better than the majority of the rest of the shows on television. And I’m excited to see the rest of this season.
WHAT I LIKED:
+: Arya and the Hound…best duo ever
+: Jon Snow talking a lot more and putting Slynt in his place
+: A lot of set up done really well for stories that I am excited to see
+: Oberyn Martell. Is. A. Beast.
+: Those Dragons look terrifying. And they keep getting bigger!
+: Jaime not getting the love he expected…from anyone.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE:
-: Shae acting kind of like a jealous ex-girlfriend. She is, but it seemed out of character almost.
-: Daenerys’ storyline. Because there was no story. The whole point was to introduce us to the non-pretty-boy version of Daario. I understand why they had to do it, but it was still boring.