TV Without Commercials: Game of Thrones Season 4 Premiere

GameOfThronesHeaderThe wait is over at last, HBO’s Game of Thrones is back!  Last season set the bar incredibly high that it would be next to impossible for most shows to compare.  Luckily, this isn’t just any show, and the Season 4 premiere was far from disappointing. 

It’s pretty hard to argue against last season of Game of Thrones being the best season yet.  Somehow this show has managed to do what most shows only strive for. It has gotten better as the show has progressed.  Season four started off without skipping a beat from Season three.  It picked up with the same intensity, the same excitement and the same wit that we have to come to expect from Game of Thrones.  We were able to see almost all of the characters that make this incredible machine run, but the addition of Oberyn Dorne looks to be extremely promising.  He is a character unlike anyone we have seen so far, and they wasted no time letting us get to know not just his personality, but also his purpose for attending Joffrey’s wedding.

I really enjoyed hearing Jon Snow talk about Robb.  It’s easy to forget that the two of them grew up together.  They were practically the same age, so I would imagine they spent a great deal of their childhoods interacting with one another.  The only time we, the audience, ever got a chance to see them interact was in the very first episode of season one.  Not even half way into the episode they split ways with neither of them having any idea that they would never see each other again.  Unfortunately that was the case for most of the Stark family.  Jon has not seen any of his family from Winterfell since he joined his new family, the Nights Watch.  I have to admit, I was pretty surprised to see Jon remain faithful to his brothers.  I thought he would remain with Ygritte, and true love would prevail, but no this is Game of Thrones and there are no happy endings.  Anyway, Jon is on trial for treason even though he was following the half-hand’s orders.  I would like to say that there’s no way they would execute Jonbut this is Game of Thrones after all. 

It’s always the little things that make the biggest differences and I think this show does that better than anybody.  Even though we never saw Tywin Lannister sitting on the iron throne, it was still very obvious that he is still the ultimate authority in King’s Landing.  He rules in the mask of Joffrey’s shadow but that does nothing to hinder his ruthlessness. Even when doing something generous, such as giving his son a sword made from valerian steel, there was something very evil behind it.  Ned’s Stark sword, Ice, was a staple of the Stark family and now it is gone forever.  Made into two swords with one going to Jaime, but we never saw where the second one went.

Daenerys story is still as dark as ever.  The children nailed to every mile marker as they make their way to Mereen could not be any creepier, and what a badass she has become telling Ser Barriston to leave them up.  Mereen clearly has no idea what they are getting themselves into by doing something so cruel and to children no less.  Her dragons look amazing now.  The special effects are truly spectacular.  They fly and interact in the way you would expect actual dragons to behave.  I especially enjoyed the way the wind blew on her as the black dragon flew away, flapping its massive wing right next to her face.  It was especially shocking to see a new Daario Naharis.  Completely different face and voice, it just didn’t feel right.  I’m hoping that’s something I will be able to get over sooner rather than later.  I’m sure this is one of those things that doesn’t bother most people but for me, it was just weird.

It’s hard to make out what will happen with Sansa and Ser Dontos, and I feel like Sansa should have been a little more weirded out by the whole situation.  At the same time, her mother and brother were brutally murdered by her husband’s family so I think it is safe to say she’s not thinking clearly.  Meanwhile the Tyrion and Shea situation is getting out of hand.  Tyrion clearly had no idea of Varys’ bribery attempt but Shea doesn’t believe him at all.  It’s amazing how well Tyrion appeared to be doing in the second season and how his life has been just shy of torture ever since he defended the city.

The hound and Arya go together fantastically.  I could listen to the dialogue between them all day.  The hounds answers are always hilarious and not just to Arya too.  The hound seems to be a new person with Arya.  He’s still as sarcastic as ever but there is a lot less anger in his voice. I almost feel as though he and Arya could have their own show traveling around getting revenge.  Especially now that Arya got needle back, and she has her own horse.  The hound clearly trusts her enough not worry about her riding off, and why would she?  She seems to be enjoying herself just fine, and as a bonus she even got to take one more name off of her list.  It would be pretty awesome if they spent the entire season traveling together, similar to Jaime and Brienne last season, but hopefully without the hand chopping.

I know I just waited a year to see the season four premiere, but I’m going to have a really hard time waiting for next Sunday.  Joffrey’s wedding is certain to be entertaining and I’m sure we will get to see Joffrey on his absolute best behavior.

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