Game of Thrones—Season 4

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9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Continues to be one of the best shows on television, brutal and shocking

Not a show you can step into without watching previous seasons

 
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Who wants punch & pie!

The war appears to be winding down…but Robb Stark’s death just means that new rivals are rising.  As Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and her dragons build an army across the Narrow Sea, Stannis (Stephen Dillane) also is laying siege to claim the Iron Throne.  The threat to the north beyond the Wall is growing as the Wildlings are beginning to organize for an assault on the Night’s Watch.  All of this is occurring as King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) prepares to marry Margaery (Natalie Dormer)…and it is another wedding that will not be forgotten.

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You’ll have a head-popping good time!

Game of Thrones—Season 4 aired from April 6, 2014 to June 15, 2014.  The season adapted the second half of 2000’s A Song of Fire and Ice Book 3:  A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin and parts of A Song of of Fire and Ice Book 4:  A Feast for Crows and A Song of Fire and Ice Book 5:  A Dance with Dragons.  The series continues to receive critical acclaim and won Primetime Emmys for Outstanding Art Direction for a Contemporary or Fantasy Series (Single-Camera) (“The Laws of Gods and Men” and “The Mountain and the Viper”), Outstanding Costumes for a Series (“The Lion and the Rose”), Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Series, Miniseries, Movie or a Special (“The Children”), and Outstanding Special and Visual Effects (“The Children”) with nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series (Peter Dinklage), Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series (Lena Headey), Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (“The Watcher on the Wall”), Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series (“The Children”), Outstanding Casting for a Drama Series, Outstanding Sound Editing for a Series (“The Watchers on the Wall”), Outstanding Stunt Coordination for a Drama Series, Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (“The Lion and the Rose” and “Two Swords”), and Outstanding Drama Series.

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Hodor…Hodor? HODOR!

I binged this season of Game of Thrones shortly after finishing Game of Thrones—Season 3.  I’ve often had difficulties binging on this series because the episodes are so dense and heavy, but this season really seemed to flow.  With so much time and space to cover with so many character, Game of Thrones has a challenge to please everyone…and it still does.

I can’t say that I love every storyline occurring in the series, but I do think they do a good job trying.  The story with Bran and his trip north seems to really flounder, but fortunately, Cersei Lannister returns with a vengeance this season despite a rather downplayed role in Season 3.  I also found I don’t care so much about the rather weak relationship between Jon Snow and Ygritte which seemed very generic and predictable.  I continue to like the adventures of the Hound and Arya not so much because the story goes anywhere, but the interaction between the two is so interesting.  The other interesting factor of this season is the continued attempt to redeem Jaime Lannister…a guy who sleeps with his sister and throws kids off buildings (it is somewhat working).

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If the Ents show up…I’m out!

*****Spoiler Alert***** The series continues to shock with surprising deaths and twists.  The show saw the Purple Wedding following last year’s Red Wedding.  I have to say that I liked the Purple Wedding more.  It is a real shame to see the evil Joffrey off the show, but he went out like a champ…pissing everyone off with one of the most awkward wedding receptions ever.  The show also featured a great and surprising fight between The Mountain and Prince Oberyn and Tyrion’s decision to finally get even with his father…plus, you learn that Baelish (!?!?) has been pulling the strings all along.  It is all done with shock and awe.

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Stop by next season for more laughs…

This season of Game of Thrones also decided to put the action back in the show.  While I’d consider the whole series falling under the genre of action (in addition to drama and fantasy), there hasn’t necessarily been a lot of action.  This season has an entire action episode in “The Watchers on the Wall” which is the penultimate episode.  I’m a bit jaded to these big fantasy battles after years of dull and endless Lord of the Ring and Hobbit battles, but it did do a good job and the episode had its moments…but the fantasy element that begins to surface this season shows off some great special effects in addition to the already great looking dragons.

Game of Thrones—Season 4 continues to make Game of Thrones appointment TV…or one year later appointment TV if you don’t have HBO.  The series is fun, always shocking, and a visual feast.  It isn’t an easy show to just pick-up and it does have a lot of rewatch-ability to see aspects you might have missed upon the initial viewing.  By now, you have a good handle on the characters and you are less concerned about who people are, but what they are doing.  Who do I want to win the Iron Throne?  I honestly don’t know.

Game of Thrones—Season 4 Complete Episode Guide:

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“Two Swords”

4.1       Two Swords Airdate:  04/06/14

The Lannister’s famed ancestral sword Ice is reforged into two swords…one for Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and one for King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson).  Jaime attempts to return to his old life but finds that his loss of his hand could mean a loss of his position as the King’s guard.  Prince Oberyn (Pedro Pascal) arrives in King’s Landing for the royal wedding…but also on a mission to avenge his sister Elia who was raped by Sir Gregor Clegane aka The Mountain.  Sansa (Sophie Turner) deals with the death of her brother and mother while Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) tries to distance himself from Shae (Sibel Kekilli) for her own safety.  Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) finds she’s losing control of her dragons and sets to free the next slaver city of Meereen.  Arya (Maisie William) and Sir Sandor Clegane aka The Hound (Rory McCann) encounter The Mountain’s men…including the one who stole Arya’s prized sword Needle.  Jon Snow (Kit Harington) faces a tribunal of the Night’s Watch and warns them of the growing threat of the Wildings.  The wedding of Joffrey and Margaery (Natalie Dormer) is coming and weddings aren’t always a time of celebration during war.

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“The Lion and the Rose”

4.2       The Lion and the Rose Airdate:  04/13/14

Theon Greyjoy aka Reek (Alfie Allen) is now a slave to Ramsay Snow (Iwan Rheon) much to the chagrin of Ramsay’s father Roose (Michael McElhatton) who hoped to use Theon as a bartering piece to gain his kingdom…but the discovery that Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) and Rickon are still alive could mean a chance at redemption.  Bran finds himself linking more into his abilities a warg…but discovers his next move.  The wedding of Joffrey and Margaery has arrived and everyone is celebrating in King’s Landing.  Tyrion finds himself forced to send Shae away with Cersei (Lena Headey) threatening to turn her over to his father and Tyrion tries to train for combat with one hand.  Jaime warns Loras (Finn Jones) to stay clear of his sister as Cersei realizes Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) has feelings for Jamie.  When the celebration continues, a shocking ending reveals that weddings in the land can be deadly.

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“Breaker of Chains”

4.3       Breaker of Chains Airdate:  04/20/14

King Joffrey is dead and those involved are being hunted.  Tyrion finds himself under arrest for the murder and Sansa is on the run with the help of Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen).  The news of Joffrey’s death is spreading throughout the kingdom and Stannis (Stephen Dillane) sees it as a chance to take back the kingdom.  Arya finds herself trying to keep the Hound in check as they stay with a farmer and his daughter.  The Wildlings continue raids as Sam (John Bradley) worries that Gilly (Hannah Murray) and her child’s life could be in danger among the Night’s Watch.  Daenerys continues her quest to free the slaves while Daario Naharis (Michiel Huisman) continues to impress Daenerys with his courage.  A trial for Tyrion is coming and it is going to be weighted in the King’s favor.

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“Oathkeeper”

4.4       Oathkeeper Airdate:  04/27/14

Jaime finds himself in the difficult position of siding with Tyrion or Cersei in the upcoming trial.  Margaery questions her future and learns that her grandmother Lady Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) has more information about Joffrey’s death than she revealed.  Brienne sets out to find Sansa and finds herself armed with Jaime’s Valyrian sword.  Jon works to train men for the upcoming battle with the Wildlings and prepares to head to Craster’s Keep to get the defectors of the King’s Watch…without knowing that Locke (Noah Taylor) is a spy for Roose.  Baelish and Sansa head to the Eyrie and Sansa learns she did have a part in the assassination.  Daenerys works to rouse the slaves of Meereen and finds objections from Barristan Selmy (Ian McElhinney).  The mutineers at Craster’s Keep led by Karl (Burn Gorman) capture Bran and his allies as another child is sacrificed to the White Walkers.

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“First of His Name”

4.5       First of His Name Airdate:  05/04/14

Tommen Baratheon (Dean-Charles Chapman) is crowned king and the fight to control him begins as Tyrion prepares for trial.  Baelish and Sansa arrive at the Vale for protection and Baelish’s true role in the death of Lord Jon Arryn is revealed.  Brienne and Podrick (Daniel Portman) head out in their quest to find Sansa…but the two find themselves off to a rocky start.  Daenerys learns of Joffrey’s death but also discovers that freeing the slaves might not be as simple as she believed.  Locke’s plans to kill the Starks hit a problem as the Night’s Watch raid Cranster’s compound to root out Karl.

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“The Laws of Gods and Men”

4.6       The Laws of Gods and Men Airdate:  05/11/14

Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan) tries to rescue Theon…but discovers that Ramsay (Iwan Rheon) has done more damage than she believed.  Daenerys finds that her decisions as ruler have caused problems in the kingdom as she tries to make amends.  A price is put on the Hound’s head which puts the Hound and Arya in danger.  Stannis attempts to win the war with funding by going to the Iron Bank and finds Davos might be the key to winning over Tycho Nestoris (Mark Gatiss).  The trial of Tyrion begins…and Tyrion finds Shae (Sibel Kekilli) could be a dangerous witness.

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“Mockingbird”

4.7       Mockingbird Airdate:  05/18/14

A chance encounter with Hot Pie (Ben Hawkey) gives Brienne and Podrick new direction when they learn that Arya might be with the Hound.  Arya and the Hound learn about the price on the Hound’s head and face new challenges from attackers.  Daenerys begins a relationship with Daario Naharis against the suggestions of Ser Joran (Iain Glen).  Jon tries to convince the Night’s Watch of the danger facing them from the North.  Tyrion is faced by a trial-by-combat with no one to fight for him but learns that he might have a surprise supporter in his corner when the Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) is picked to fight in Joffrey’s name.  Baelish’s true feelings for Sansa are revealed to Lysa (Kate Dickie) leading to a fiery confrontation between Sansa and her aunt…and Baelish’s decision to interject could change everything.

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“The Mountain and the Viper”

4.8       The Mountain and the Viper Airdate:  06/01/14

Baelish deals with his murder of Lysa and finds his fate could rely on Sansa’s testimony.  The Wildling raids continue, and Sam learns Gilly might have fallen victim to a raiding party.  Ramsay uses Reek to get what he needs to take a castle for his father…and earns a special reward.  Jorah’s past as a spy surfaces, and Daenerys must decide if he lives or dies.  The Hound and Arya arrive at the Eyrie…but learn they once again are too late.  Oberyn faces off against the Mountain in the battle for Tyrion’s life and plots to avenge his sister.

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“The Watchers on the Wall”

4.9       The Watchers on the Wall Airdate:  06/08/14

The Wildling invasion is coming and the Night’s Watch is getting ready for the onslaught.  Attacking with giants and mammoths, the Night’s Watch finds Castle Black overpowered and outmanned…and the invasion might mean the final showdown between Jon Snow and Ygritte.

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“The Children”

4.10     The Children Airdate:  06/15/14

Daenerys learns that her dragons are growing out of control and is forced to take drastic measures.  Jon Snow meets with Mance Rayder (Ciarán Hinds) to broker peace or kill him to protect Castle Black…but an unexpected intervention could turn the tide of war.  The Mountain faces fatal poisoning from Prince Oberyn as a fight to save his life begins.  Cersei confronts her father about the arranged marriage to Loras and forces his hand using her incestuous relationship with Jaime.  The Hound and Arya are located by Podrick and Brienne…leading to a showdown between the Hound and Brienne that only one will walk away from.  Tyrion faces death but has a plan for revenge and escape.  Bran reaches the tree of his visions but finds death has followed!

Related Links:

Game of Thrones—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Game of Thrones—Season 2 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Game of Thrones—Season 3 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Game of Thrones—Season 5 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Game of Thrones—Season 6 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Game of Thrones—Season 7 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Game of Thrones—Season 8 Review and Complete Episode Guide

A Game of Thrones:  The Graphic Novel—Volume 1

A Game of Thrones:  The Graphic Novel—Volume 2

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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