It’s here, you guys.
Season 4 of Game of Thrones started last night and I am SUPER excited to pen these very spoiler-y recaps. I’m a huge fan of the books and the show has proved to be an excellent representation of the text in terms of detail and design, thanks to the involvement of GRRM in the script process. Without further ado, let’s explore Westeros, shall we?
In King’s Landing, Tywin Lannister has taken over the position of the King’s Hand from his son, Tyrion, and thus becomes the voice of reason for psychopathic and sadistic King Joffrey. While Jaime may be Tywin’s number one son, with only one hand, the knight of the Kingsguard has become a “glorified bodyguard” to his son/nephew, Joffrey. Tywin forges two swords out of what was once a sizeable Valyrian steel sword belonging to Ned Stark, gifting it to Jamie in the same breath as he asks his son to return to Casterly Rock and give up his place at court. For Jaime, this rejection, coupled with the spurning by his lover/sister Cersei, may cause him to gather up the remains of his own honor (of which he claims he has none left) and become a better man. So, when his 6-foot tall, bleached blonde conscious, Brienne of Tarth, reminds Jaime of the oath he made to Catelyn Stark to protect Sansa, the knight seems willing to use what is left of his power to defend the defenseless. Sansa Stark, former bride-to-be of shithead, jerk King Joffrey, is left in a dark place by all that has happened to her family (beheading, Red Wedding and other events that don’t rhyme) and could use a defender. She meets a man she saved from death on King Joffrey’s name day, Ser Dontos, who seems bent on getting in with Sansa in some way, seeing as he creeps around in the Godswood and tries very hard not to be seen. With both these knights on her side, Sansa might have a fighting chance, right? We hope??
One Stark isn’t getting much help but doesn’t really seem to need it, is Arya, the nameless, anonymous traveller who has been kidnapped by the Hound, whom she really, really hates.
Still, Valar Marghulis and all that–Arya continues to surprise me with the depth of her anger. With the help of the Hound (who basically goads the men into a fight) Arya brutally kills a Lannister Kingsguard who killed her friend and stole her sword, Needle, last season. The Hound is impressed and thus, Arya gets a to ride on her own pony instead of on the Hound’s lap. Arya herself is a dark horse, a fighter who has yet to give up and may still come out of a G.R.R. Martin book ALIVE.
Speaking of bad assery, as the castle prepares for Joffrey’s wedding to Margaery Tyrell, her grandmother, Olenna Tyrell, exhibits a savvy political mind by commissioning a wedding necklace from each of the King’s Landing jewelers. Whichever of the handmaidens finds the best piece gets to keep the second best for herself. Not a bad way to ingratiate House Tyrell with the servants and the craft workers. Still, the Tyrells can’t talk about the Lannisters in such an offhand and disrespectful way and hope to get away with it forever. With little spiders and their spies all about, as we see with Tyrion and Shae (who are spotted together by a handmaiden of Cersei), it isn’t safe to sneak around behind the back of a Lion because the consequences will most likely be disastrous.
Sidenote: I LOVE PETER DINKLAGE and he is amazing in this role. Moving on.
Tyrion Lannister is nothing if not his father’s son, and so he revels in the diplomatic role placed upon him. While he and his sellsword, Bronn, head to the borders of King’s Landing to welcome the first Prince of Dorn, they are surprised to find the second son, Oberyn Martell, whose presence is welcome but a bit disrespectful because he is not the heir of House Martell. One of the most telling moments in the exchange between Tyrion and Oberyn is when Tyrion admits that he knows what a disappointment it is to be the second son because he, too, is not the second best son in the family. While the Martell’s remain loyal to the throne for now and visit King’s Landing for the wedding, it is clear Oberyn hates the Lannisters because of the murder of his sister Elia, who was married to Prince Raegar Targaryen, who in turn, started the war that exterminated the Targaryens and placed Robert Baratheon on the Iron Throne. For now, we get Oberyn in Littlefinger’s brothel, stabbing a Lannister and hitting on handsome men in hopes of a threesome with his bastard paramour, Ellaria Sand. We will have to wait and see what he is truly capable of.
Across the Narrow Sea
We don’t get too much Daenerys Targaryen, except to know that she is indeed traveling toward Westeros with a fairly large army of Unsullied and three growing dragons who are anything but tame. Daario Naharis (not the same actor from last season, alas) shamelessly flirts with the Khaleesi, and yet is not rejected and killed as the half dozen other fellas that have done the same. We know that she likes Daario, or else he would be dragon food, and so I’m interested in watching this “love” story unfold and wonder how her father-figures/unrequited love interest, Ser Jorah and Ser Barristan, will react to the new member of the family. Ever the empathic, Daenerys sees dead slaves strung up on wooden crosses and made into mile markers on her way to the last of the slave cities and vows to free the people becoming again a champion for the helpless. Go Dany.
At the Wall and beyond, the Night’s Watch and the Wildlings are preparing for battle, but neither one seems to worried about the real enemy–The White Walkers. After Ygritte allowed Jon Snow to live and escape, he returns to Castle Black only to be berated as a bastard with no morals by Maester Aemon after Jon admits to killing the Halfhand. He makes some good points about the Free Peoples and Halfhand’s commitment to the Night’s Watch, and so the Council release him. Loved seeing Jon and Samwell Tarly having a bro-tastic moment. Seriously though, Sam is much better at reading.
Meanwhile, Igrid is being questioned by her bearded companions and the Wildling tribe we know and love from last season are joined by, what seem to be tall, bald cannibals. This isn’t going to end well, is it?
The Collectiva Diva