Friday, March 20, 2015

Game Of Thrones - Season 4 Review

US Airdate: April 6th - June 15th 2014

Some Men (And Women) Do Die: Has a show ever continued to scale impressive heights? Well, plenty actually but the fourth season of George RR Martin's legacy continued to be the watercooler television of last year (and of course this year as well when the fifth season airs next month) and while it opened with a reasonably low key episode, things certainly shifted dramatically from the second one onwards.

For once, the baddies took a massive hit when Joffrey succumbed to poisoning at his own wedding to Margaery and while this largely meant that Tyrion was falsely imprisoned, abandoned by his family (except Jaime) and betrayed by those who mattered to him (Shae, Bronn), it was also the very season that saw Peter Dinklage truly excel with the material he was given as a grief stricken Cersei and calculating Tywin were determined to see him perish for Joffrey's death.

If you read the books, you'll know exactly how things panned out for Tyrion by the time we got to the end of the season and there isn't too much deviation from that with the actual episodes themselves. The finale though was a satisfying culmination of a lot of things for the character too but while it was a season for Tyrion to shine, it was also one that debuted one of the show's sexiest and charismatic characters.

Enter Oberyn Martell, played with delightful charm by Pedro Pascal. He might have only lasted in seven out of the ten episodes for this season but he made a massive impact, with his final moment being one of the most gruesome send offs for a character and considering the nature of this show, that is some feat to be honest. Either way, he's a character you'll enjoy watching on screen and mourn when he's gone.

Of course not all the exciting stuff happened in King's Landing. Sansa finally got the hell out of there with Littlefinger's help, went to the Eyrie and gained a backbone and a new purpose (as well as a darker costume change) while Daenerys stayed put in Meereen, showed leniency to the more deserving but on the downside, she also parted company with Jorah and had to lock up her own increasingly volatile dragons.

As for Arya - both her and the Hound continued to make for an engaging double act as did surprisingly the pairing of Brienne and Pod and the battle between Brienne and the Hound was a great moment in the finale as well before Arya took off for the other important chapter in her overall journey.

As for the spectacle of the season - the attack of the Wall was beautifully realised. One of the best moments from the show, it gave the Wall something interesting to be involved with and put an end to the ongoing saga between Jon Snow and the fiery Ygritte while we got another cameo appearance of the White Walkers once again.

There was a few weak bits of the season - that misjudged scene between Jaime and Cersei in the crypt as well as the fact that nothing really happened to advance Stannis's ongoing mission for the Iron Throne. Then we had Theon still a prisoner of Ramsay's and the Bran stuff was a little too background at times but overall, this was another impressive season for a show's whose increasing popularity and cultural impact is more than justified.


There are commentaries for every single episode (except the third one) by various cast and crew members as well as features looking at the politics of power on the show, the Bastards of Westeros, new character profiles, the deaths of the fourth season as well as bloopers, deleted scenes and a look at making the battle at the Wall as well. I also noticed that this season's DVD case is slimmer compared to previous releases as well.


4x01: Two Swords = 7/10, 4x02: The Lion And The Rose = 9/10,
4x03: Breaker Of Chains = 8/10, 4x04: Oathkeeper = 9/10,
4x05: First Of His Name = 8/10, 4x06: The Laws Of Gods And Men = 10/10,
4x07: Mockingbird = 9/10, 4x08: The Mountain And The Viper = 9/10,
4x09: The Watchers On The Wall = 9/10, 4x10: The Children = 10/10

Season 4 is currently available on DVD.

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