Game of Thrones – Season 4

In Watch

Showrunners: David Benioff & DB Weiss
Starring: Peter Dinklage & everyone else

Warning: here be spoilers

What a finale. Perhaps the best yet, but still not quite good enough. I was mostly disappointed not to hear the dulcet tones of Littlefinger’s dodgy Anglo-Irish lilt. Yes, the most interesting aspect of season four has been Aidan Gillen’s struggle to mask his Irishness.

Okay, maybe not. So, to recap, this is what we saw in season four:

Tyrion (Dinklage) has gone rogue, the Wall and Beyond are taking a beating from giants and white walkers alike, and Jojen Reed (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) will bother us no more with his overly sincere babble. Ayra (Maisie Williams) still finds a way to be within a Hound’s blade of her family (or what’s left of it) and still not reach them, and the Jaime/Brienne travelling rom-com sadly came to an end. Oh and Sansa (Sophie Turner) discovered her backbone. Thank fuck for that. And let’s not forget everyone’s favourite King bit the dust.

Despite all this, it feels like the ten-week season (eleven, including the agonising break) have dragged somewhat, wandering as aimlessly as Daenerys across Slaver’s Bay [Ed: WHAT? You’re fired].

For me, this season was less about who was going to be slaughtered, and more about who was going to dent their moral integrity and destroy my idealistic fantasies. First came Jaime, who had redeemed himself somewhat after pushing Bran out of a window, only to shatter that illusion by forcing himself upon Cersei over the rotting corpse of his eldest son.

Next was Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), who chose to fight fire with fire and swiftly felt the emotional consequences. Then, it was little Arya’s turn, as she chose to let the Hound suffer a slow death in the wilderness, rather than show him mercy. Finally Tyrion, who strangled the love of his life in his father’s bed chamber, reminded us that he is a Lannister after all.

Some of my disappointment lies mostly in the fact that even the ‘good’ characters are capable of being bastards too, but that is a much more realistic and interesting representation of the real world. Overall, the character development in this season has been incredibly complex and a joy to watch, but at times the narrative has felt fragmented and not as fluid as previous seasons. This may be due to the fact that the action was sparse, and mainly revolved around the battle at Castle Black, or because of that annoying break in the middle of the season.

Regardless, Game of Thrones remains one of the best TV series of the modern era, if not ever. I just hope the team can up their game next season and keep the show as fresh, slick and pacey as it has been up until now.

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