As season 4 wrapped itself last Sunday, I figured I’d put together a list of 10 things I enjoyed or disliked about Game of Thrones throughout this season. Though, I guess I should have known that with a show like this, setting yourself a limited goal of things to mention is pretty much torture. Turns out I didn’t think this through. Oh well, luckily, having to wait for this show 9 months out of the year for these past 3 years, has made me partially immune to torture.
Let’s start off with mentioning the biggest theme of this season: death! And not just minor characters, no, big, huge, important characters being killed off one by one, two at the time, four in one episode and so on. This season was filled with bloodshed and I enjoyed it, even though it meant not having these amazing actors and actresses in the next seasons.
* Joffrey’s death was the beginning of it all, he choked gruesomely and from there on, the bodies started to pile up everywhere. And even though he was the worst character in the history of television, the worst of the worst, Jack Gleeson was brilliant! I hated Joffrey, but I love Jack and while it’s a shame he retired from acting after Game of Thrones, I’m mad proud that he went out with a character like Joffrey.
* The last two episodes delivered the most deaths, 9th epsiode had the battle at the Wall which meant killing of many, many Night’s Watch men and wildlings, including Yigrette, Jon’s love interest. Her death was the hardest, especially considering how devastated Jon was in the finale after setting her body on fire, he loved her, she loved him.. she was the fire, he was the winter.. I mean, if that’s not beautiful symbolism, I don’t know what is.
* The finale gave us four deaths of important characters including Jojen, who didn’t deserve to die, Shae, who definitely deserved to die, Tywin, who kind of deserved to die, and The Hound, who also kind of deserved it but I still didn’t want it to happen. While one was killed by a skeleton and two by Tyrion, The Hound was supposed to be Arya’s kill but she didn’t do it. Now, I figure she didn’t want to do it because of her list.. She had The Hound on the list, true, but eventually, throughout this season they became sort of close and killing him, though it would have ended his suffering, would have meant that she had him on her list.. by not killing him, I think she meant to show him that she had taken him off her the list and kind of forgiven him.
As you probably know, there’s something missing from that list and it’s on purpose really, these deaths were important, no doubt about it, but there were two distinctive scenes from season 4 that featured deaths that were, in my opinion, perfect! Because of that, those scenes get their separate mention later on, but next up is the biggest story line of the latest season, Tyrion Lannister’s trial:
* The whole plot was set in motion with Joffrey’s death, Cersei blaming Tyrion for poisoning her son, falsely of course but we all knew that, I think even Cersei knew that. This brought us many opportuinities to witness Dinklage in his greatness, and while there were scenes that people thought were a bit too much, I think Dinklage was solid throughout the season. I just enjoy his work so much, and it’s a lot to do with Tyrion’s character. He is the most consistent, not only in the show, but also in the books because while some POV chapters vary for characters, Tyrion’s are always interesting to read and it reflects well in the show.
* Everything to do with Tyrion this season was great, I think.. the trial, the dungeon scenes, the combat, the escape followed by him killing not only Shae but also Tywin, his own father. It will be interesting to see how Jamie will feel about him now, as he was pretty much the only one who didn’t blame him for killing their mother, it’s probably hard not to blame him for their father’s murder. As far as I know, no matter what happens next with Tyrion, I’ll enjoy it because how can I not.
With a show like Game of Thrones, while there are so many things going on, there is a high possibility of developing priorities and therefore, pushing aside some story lines that aren’t as interesting. For me, the not so priorities are all the things related to Daenerys. I remember the first season so well, her becoming Khaleesi, her falling for Khal Drogo, the epic finale where she rose from the ashes with three dragon babies – it was epic. Now, season to season, her appeal has gone and it has become tiresome for me to witness her scenes. Yes, there is still that curiosity towards her, but since she drove away Jorah, I can’t seem to find the strength to defend her anymore.. dragons or no dragons, she seems naive to me and I can’t help it.
And while on the subject of negative things, there’s one more thing I have to mention before I continue with the awesome stuff, the lack of Gendry! His character was important for all three seasons, with Ned Stark looking for him, Gendry traveling with Arya – my one true pairing by the way, and then Melisandre using his blood for a spell since he’s the true king and all! Three seasons he was important, three whole seasons I enjoyed Joe Dempsie’s handsome face and then, a whole season of nothing. And whilst being on the topic of enjoying faces, though I can’t believe I’m saying this but I really wanted to see more Iwan Rheon‘s manic face too. Or maybe it’s just because I’m fascinated about Ramsay Snow and all his psychopathic tendencies… Though we got to see Ramsay this season, it wasn’t enough for me but in terms of missing somebody, I MISSED GENDRY SO SO SO SO SO MUCH!
* Thinking about Gendry makes me wonder about him and Arya, god, I miss their dynamic, it was so enjoyable because it was still light in a way. Game of Thrones is dark, very dark, sometimes even so dark you can’t see clearly (probably because of the tears), and their little adventure was somehow the lightest part of the show. I miss Gendry and Arya pickering like an old couple, I want them to reunite and run away and be together and.. can I just have that, please!?
As I’m now midway through this post, I can’t hold it in any longer, I just have to bring him up now or otherwise I will burst: Oberyn fucking Martell, ladies and gentlemen! Can we just take a moment and think back to some of his greatest scenes, no, actually, all of his scenes because I can’t fault that character in any way. Pedro Pascal, the man who took on Oberyn’s role, managed to win over everybody within moments of being on the screen in the first episode, and I can’t see that happening with anybody else. Considering that some characters have been recast throughout the seasons probably because they didn’t have that impact, Pascal proved that it’s possible to have that in the first place. He managed to became one of my favorite characters and I guess I should have known, because shortly after that he was taken away from me. All of it still hurts but even though I will never hear his raspy accent on Game of Thrones, having him this season for seven episodes was so worth it.
* Oberyn’s legacy for me is not about the open minded brothel scenes, and though his eager look at Loras still haunts me, the best of him was brought on screen together with Tyrion. At his trial, his interest and curiosity was so spot on, he was so engaged with the trial and having such big characters like Tywin, Jamie and Cersei, who we all know from the beginning, there and standing out without really trying, was just awesome. God, I miss him.
* Obviously the biggest part Oberyn played this season was him taking on the role of fighting The Mountain for Tyrion, a fight that ended with fans all over the world screaming – he managed to win us over and for what, for us to feel the pain of loss yet again. Damn you, Game of Thrones, and all these feelings.
That’s the thing with Game of Thrones, it creates a lot of feelings and while a big pile of those feelings are accompanied with tears and screams of despair, sometimes the feelings are more subtle, for instance, getting goose bumps. This season, I remember getting chills running through my body just once, and it was when Littlefinger pushed Lysa into the moon door. I’ve spoken about my fascination about Littlefinger before, and it’s probably because Aidan Gillen appeals to me in a very creepy way. I’m not ashamed of it though, I think Littlefinger will play an important role throughout the series and I find his character to be the kind of villain who you never see coming. Just like with that moon door, I really didn’t see that one coming and I had to go back and revisit that scene multiple times just because. And every time, seeing Littlefinger’s face right before and after, chills, every single time!
* I’m not saying he is my favorite character, but he stood out for me this season. Though he has been there since the beginning, season 4 was his time to shine. First off, he separated himself from other key players, he showed his interest towards Sansa which is creepy and weird and I love it, and a big reveal about him showed how well he has played the game so far! Which means…..
Sansa Stark will soon be playing the game! Since season 1, I’ve been team Arya, and though I’m still excited for her story line, Sansa is growing on me and fast. Yes, part of her appeal is the fact that she’s now with Littlefinger and he is creepy as hell, but I also think she herself will finally get her act together and grow up to be wise and a fine player of the game among the ones we already have. I mean, Robb was the warrior, the role Jon Snow has taken on well this season, Arya is the wild child, the fighter, Bran is the connection to the supernatural, (Rickon is still unclear for me), which leaves Sansa being the sneaky Cersei one! I know I just compared her to one of the meanest woman in the realm but that’s how I see her in the future and I can’t help to think that it will make me like her even more.
* What made Sansa stand out this season was that she became the object of affection for Littlefinger and everything Littlefinger is interested in, I’m interested in. Also, intentional or not, her final look at Littlefinger when she came down those stairs, was sort of eery and I can’t help to wonder how everything season 4 set up for those two will unravel in the next seasons.
That’s also something that stands out for me with Game of Thrones, the excitement about the following because while I set myself out to ramble about things that I loved about this season, I keep wondering about the next. It’s something thrilling actually, because I can’t live in the past, I want to know more and that is what keeps me hooked on the show. Two good examples for this situation are the two Stark story lines that didn’t really stand out for me this season but still managed to spark an interest. One of them is of course Bran, who has been sort of the underdog since day one. He has the weirdest plot, with warging and skeletons trying to kill him, but it’s that supernatural that makes me wonder – what is going to happen with him!? Will he finally fly? Will he gain other powers? What exactly are the children and will Isaac Hempstead Wright ever trim his eyebrows? So many questions and still no answers, it’s been four seasons, and I have a feeling it will take two more to finally get to Bran’s big epic moment or something. A part of me can’t wait.
Obviously I need to mention my favorite Stark, Arya, who has been my special one since the beginning. She had a pretty decent plot this season but I missed Gendry too much throughout the season to care as much as I did before. That being said, she had the final scene in the finale, her big moment to shine and I’m not the only one who felt that it was a bit underwhelming. Maybe it’s because I think I know where she’s going, I’m pretty sure I know what will become of her and I feel like the show could have set that up a bit better. The words Valar Morghulis still ring in my ear though, I love that .. every time I read those words in the book, I get chills, every time I hear them on the show, I get chills but I wish there had been more in that final scene.
* Arya was really dark this season though, that innocence is gone and she is twisted in a way. I discussed her not killing The Hound as a sign of respect, taking him off of her list but I also should mention that letting him suffer, is still sort of a cruel punishment from her. Yes, I think she forgave him, but she still punished him by letting him suffer. Or.. did The Hound actually die? I named him as one of the four deaths in the finale but it’s Game of Thrones, there’s white walkers and skeletons, so could the dead actually not be dead?
This brings me to the last thing on the list, though this season was filled with great moments and epic scenes, big deaths and amazing character developments, I feel like something was missing. Sorry, I know that something was missing because I have eyes and I can read, which means I have read some of the feedback regarding the lack of someone specific who should have been there but wasn’t. Though I’m technically a non-book-reader, because I haven’t caught up with the show yet, I still don’t mind knowing about things that are about to or supposed to happen. It doesn’t bother me because there’s so much to Game of Thrones that even by knowing things, even by finding out spoilers, I’m still interested in not just reading the books but also watching the show. So, with that knowledge, I can say with certainty that the show missed out on a very very very epic TV history moment! Can you imagine, an ending straight from the book, instead of Arya’s final scene as THE cliffhanger? A cliffhanger like that would make people crazy, people would even talk about it in their sleep because it’s that amazing and knowing that without having to see it makes me disappointed. Yes, there was a lot to see this season, a lot of it happened in the finale as well but a lot more could have happened and it’s just sad that’s all..
I could stop here, I have named 10 things, sort of but I just have to continue just a little bit more because I can:
* Cersei was pure evil this season, and then she wasn’t. She had a very conflicting story line throughout the season and I didn’t really understand some of her conversations and I definitely didn’t get her attitude towards Jamie. One minute she’s refusing him, then she’s jealous, then she hates him, then she seduces him.. No wonder Jamie loves her, he can’t figure her out and that’s probably driving him crazy.
* You know who Jamie also loves? Brienne! Yes, I’m sticking to that statement because I liked that pairing a lot last season and it was hard to see them not together. Though Brienne and Podrick make a nice adventure pair as well, it’s nothing like Jamie/Brienne or Arya/Gendry. And compared to previous road duo’s, this season was a bit lacking in that front which was sad.
* At least we got a very nice scene with the Oathkeeper in the beginning of the season, I mean, if those two don’t reunite as well, I’m going to be so disappointed.
* Now, I was probably a bit confused, but I wasn’t really on the Stannis wagon 100%. I enjoyed him, no doubt about it, he has that sarcastic side to him that feels wonderful, and I love reading POV chapters of Davos but I guess I still hadn’t seen/read the power behind Stannis. The finale showed a new side to him, I mean, him and Davos walking out of that fog like they were in a music video or something, really shed some new light on him. I sort of see what Cinematic Corner sees, he has that something something going on and is it me, or do Jon Snow and Stannis Baratheon share some similar personality traits? Because, I think they do which means their combo in the upcoming season(s) is going to be amazing.
* Speaking of Jon Snow.. does anyone remember how awesome Sam was this season? He’s really stepped up his game I think and he was sort of a badass in the ninth episode.
* So… no white walkers this season, right? Or did I miss something.. just those weird skeletons, right?
* What will Jorah do now?!?!???
* Where is Tyrion gonna go??
* What will Cersei and Jamie do besides kiss and make up?
* And whilst on the topic of what will happen, what will happen in season 5? Who will die? Who will also die? Will the Martell clan be as appealing as Pascal because yes, I want some!! Will Sansa seduce Littlefinger? Will Arya’s story line develop faster? What will Bran find out? Will Rickon appear again? Would that thing that didn’t happen this season happen in the next one’s first episode? And most importantly, who will die?
You forgot the super creepy White Walkers ending to Oathkeeper episode 🙂
As for your wishlist of A/G and B/J reunion I can tell you maybe you will get at least one of those 🙂
The show dropped the ball hard with that ending. I just hope it’s simply postponed and not cut all together because that would be a big mistake.
I think Gendry shows up next season, at least he should given what happens in the book.
I knew there was something white walker like in this season but I totally blanked.. I have a very selective memory. 😀
And I would want both to reunite and now I don’t knwo which one I want more to happen.. maybe.. no.. still both!!
It doesn’t seem like something you can cut completely.. maybe they couldn’t have it because Fairley was doing all these other shows… phh.. who knows..
Nah they didn’t even bother discuss the possibility of having her in this season. I really hope HBO executives will sit them down and tell them they fucked up. Never seen the outrage in fandom quite like this one before.
Meh, that doesn’t sound like a good decision indeed.. I mean, it would have bean the most epic ending ever.. like.. epic. Man, I can’t wait to read that!!!!!
Awesome round up!
My hubby says the books pretty much follow the show, did you read the books?
I am in midway through the third but I follow Cinematic Corner’s recaps of the episodes and she does a lovely job with comparing the books and the show, and how they follow the story lines. They do follow it pretty well but in terms of the tempo of story lines, is different..
Season 4 plays fool on everyone… mostly, those who think they know the story, particularly those who read the books.
Now let’s wondering whose stories will be brought in the next season.
I really hope it follows the book, leaving King’s Landing and going north on the Wall and mostly to the Nine Free Cities 😀
I know they’re looking for Martells.. are they gonna be in King’s Landing or what?
I really hope they keep all the Stark and Snow story lines, Tyrion’s, Brienne is also important.. And though I think King’s Landing will be a bit dull without Tyrion, I still want to see Cersei!
I don’t think the Martells will be in King’s Landing…
I read all the books and they’re amazing
but the show is also brilliant as it keeps me wondering (you know, they like to alter things)
Well, IMO, King’s Landing will not be as intriguing as it was—without Tyrion and Tywin—unless, we’ll see someone new there 😉
If you have time, pls check my though on GoT season 4 here
I will! I just have this graduation thing I have to do and I’ll take a look at it in the evening! 😀
Oh well, congratulations anyway!
Wait for your thought of it 😉
Great post! I was just rewatching Gendry’s leech scene yesterday and wondered when will the show bring him back. I mean even Hot Pie came back for a scene this season. 🙂
I’m not as down on Dany as you but I can totally understand. I agree, Season 1 Dany was the best.
Oh man, Oberyn was awesome, he shall be missed!
I need to watch his scenes too.. rewatch the first two seasons and some stuff from the third and then maybe the fourth.. but the first three for Gendry for sure!
Dany should have some time off.. like from my point of view, the writers shoudl leave her for a season, then the viewers will be left wondering for 10 episodes of what has happened and then booom, they will show in a longer scene what the hell has happened because showing her each episode sitting on that chair the entire season pretty much felt tiresome, at least for me. I mean, she didnät even have a proper sex scene! 😀
I miss Pascal so much already, I’ve never been so shocked with the show — I knew about Red Wedding and Purple Wedding and I know about LS, but this came as a shock to me. Oberyyyyyyn :'(
About Arya – “by not killing him, I think she meant to show him that she had taken him off her the list and kind of forgiven him”, this is a very interesting point that I haven’t heard before. Maybe. It just seemed cold-blooded to me.
Dany got so boring. I hope Sati’s idea of her and Tyrion meeting comes to life because dayuuuum, how cool would that be??
Hahaha @ “Who will die? Who will also die?”
Great wrap up of a bunch of high and low points. I really liked the season overall.
I too miss Gendry dearly and hope Arya & him get back together once she is a little older 🙂
Great roundup! I have to agree that I find Littlefinger creepy and fascinating. It seems like he’s been pulling the strings this whole time and it will be interesting to know what his purpose is.
Love this post!
The amount of deaths in this season was insane, which I guess made me immune to them by the end of it: I really didn’t feel Ygritte’s death, which is sad because I enjoyed her story with Jon, nor the Shae/Tywin murder — I was just like “good for you Tyrion”. Oh and Daenerys dismissing Jorah, that’s was so sad! She annoyed me too.
Arya not killing The Hound right away looked just mean to me, but maybe you’re right, I can see her not killing him out of respect, maybe… This was the first season that really got me interested in reading the books, to just get more out of a few moments. Like Jon/Ygritte, and Tyrion/Tywin, although idk if they develop that in the book.
Great post! I absolutely love Arya/Gendry and Jaime/Brienne too. They are my favorite GoT ships. I hope we get Gendry back next season.
There really was a lot of death this season! For some reason it stood out even more to me when reading this.
I love Stannis, I hope he gets some wonderful scenes at the Wall next year to go along with his awesome entrance.