The hotly anticipated return of HBO’s Game of Thrones (GOT) premieres Sunday, April 6th, for its fourth season, and it expects to be their best season yet. Season three was wild, and for a show that proved from the beginning that they have no problem killing off main characters, fans were left breathless over the final scenes from last year. But the cast and crew say the fourth season is the most exciting yet, comparing the three previous seasons to loading a gun and the fourth will be when the gun goes off. After the third season’s finale, GOT is back and its mantra for this season is, ‘All men must die.’ A chilling call card, but a fitting preview for Game of Thrones, as season four is sure to be filled with revenge, blood, dragons and white walkers.
Note: the author of this article has not read the books and the following pertains strictly to the TV show
When season three ended, the nobility of Westeros was flipped upside down as the war of kings was at its peak and dreadful news from north of the Wall reached south. The Lanisters were up to their old ways, killing off Rob Stark and his army after they made a deal with Walder Frey and Roose Bolton, slaughtering them at the now infamous, red wedding; reminding everyone that the Lanisters always pay their debts, no matter the cost. A spiteful, revenge fueled Arya Stark was just outside the city gates of The Twins, moments away from reuniting with her mother and brother when the attack happened. This season Arya continues to develop into a little ball of fighting anger as she and Sandor Clegane (the Hound) roam the country side, figuring out how Arya can start to cross names off her list.
Back in King’s Landing, fresh off his brilliant, and immoral victory, Tywin Lanister ceased control of the capital once he won his war and sent King Joffrey to bed without his supper. Only Tyrion, the imp, had the stones to stand up to his father, reminding him there are not many rules in war, but his father still found a way to break one. It was short-lived though, as his father used the same trick he always uses to shut up Tyrion; reminding him he hates his imp son because he killed his mother in childbirth, which always sends him into a deep, inward state of reflection. Tyrion will face his toughest challenges to date in season four. Early previews show him in court and in a jail cell as Cersei shows no favor to her brother and is finally getting revenge. Peter Dinklage said this season is filled with his favorite scripts thus far and Tyrion will be fighting for his life almost every episode.
In season four, fans will finally see the royal wedding between Joffrey Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell, which will be on an epic scale and, as the creators revealed, will take up half an episode. At the wedding fans will be introduced to Oberyn Martell, a dangerous, but well-intentioned man from Sunspear, located in the southern most part of Westeros. He was invited to King’s Landing for the Royal Wedding, but he has a deep hatred for the Lannisters and revenge is on his mind, saying, “the Lanisters are not the only ones who repay their debts.” Oberyn Martell is sure to shake things up in King’s Landing, similar to the Tyrells last season.
Jaime Lanister finally made his way back to King’s Landing at the end of season three, only he is not the same as when he left. Besides losing his hand and hygiene, he has learned a lot on the road and grown up, realizing there is more to the world than oaths and following your father’s every word; he will also have to re-learn how to fight and get adjusted to his new prosthetic hand. It feels like a lifetime ago, but Jaime and Tyrion were very close in the first season, unfortunately Jaime was gone for most of it, leaving Tyrion to fight off the wolves on his own. Now that he is back, and Tyrion is in trouble, he will play a big role in keeping his imp brother safe, when everyone else wants him dead.
Brienne of Tarth escorted Jaime every step of the way on his trek back to King’s Landing and is sure to be rewarded for this. But it will be interesting to see how she reacts when she finds out the father of the man she was sworn to protect, had the woman she swore to obey above all else, Catlyn Stark, brutally killed. Brienne is sure to have a bigger role this season, especially when she goes out to find Arya Stark, a sure reaction of Catelyn Stark’s death.
On Dragonstone, Stannis Baratheon and the Lord of Light’s number one fan, Lady Melisandre, were gearing up for their next move to take back the iron throne by burning leaches with ‘king’s blood’ and cursing names of those that have done them wrong. Season four should be a turning point for Stannis as he, like Tywin Lanister, understands the importance of legacy and doesn’t want his to just be a page in a book. King Joffrey thinks the war with his uncle is over, but it most certainly is not; Jaime tells his nephew this very bluntly at one point too. Paired with the Lord of Light, season four is sure to bring another battle to King’s Landing, and this time the outcome could be very different.
Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen, the mother of dragons (and, like, five other nicknames) has amassed an army of free slaves and highly trained eunuchs to fight alongside her three dragons and three sell swords. She is preparing to take back the seven kingdoms of Westeros, hell-bent on doing whatever she needs to do, but first she must learn how to rule the free cities she has already taken. Season four gives Daenerys her first taste at ruling over a city, in preparation for the seven kingdoms of Westeros. But conquering a city is much different from ruling one. The honeymoon phase is over, and although they call her mother, when rules are not enforced or made clear, those who used to be slaves, and are now free, can get very unruly. Their new Queen will have to learn how to take care of this if she wants to rule the seven kingdoms one day. Season four will be a preview of what it is like if Daenerys is in charge, and Game of Thrones is sure to throw many curve balls her way.
Daenerys’ dragons are getting bigger too. At the end of the first season they were adorable, pint-sized fireballs. Each season they have gotten bigger and more dangerous. This season fans will get to see how dangerous the dragons really are. They are outgrowing their world and Daenerys can not control them like she used to. They are extremely dangerous, prehistoric creatures living in a present day that is not equipped to handle them. Though it has been a difficult journey for the Mother of Dragons, this season will bring on very different challenges for her to overcome.
Winterfell is still in ruins. After Theon Greyjoy set the city on fire his men turned him over when they were surrounded by Roose Bolton’s bastard son, Ramsey, and his army. Last fans saw of Theon he had his, “favorite part,” removed and sent to his father as he was being tortured. Roose Bolton was named Warden of the North when he betrayed and killed the Starks, and in season four he returns home to the Dreadfort to start his new rule. Viewers have not had the chance to see Roose and Ramsey interact yet, but they have a very complicated relationship. Roose is a cold and calculated man, while his bastard Ramsey is a psychopath. Roose’s son is dead so Ramsey is the only male blood he has left, which is why he takes him in even though he had no claims to his lands. Ramsey only wants to make his father proud but goes about it the wrong way (he is a psychopath) and the two are sure to bump heads quite a bit. Roose stated that the North will never listen to them as long as a Stark male is still alive, and after torturing Theon, the Bolton’s are one of the few people in all of Westeros that know Bran and Rickon are still alive. Either way, Theon’s sister Yara Greyjoy is on her way to the Dreadfort, with the Iron Island’s best warriors, to rescue her brother in what is sure to be a bloody battle.
North of the Wall Mance Rayder and his army of wildlings march south as they plan to attack and take back what they feel is theirs. Jon Snow, after getting shot with three arrows by his angry and confused lover, Ygritte, made it back to Castle Black just in time to warn them of the imminent attack. The battle at Castle Black will be a key fight in season four. Many of the Night’s Watch best men were killed at Craster’s Keep when half of them turned on Craster and Jeor Mormont, resulting in a bloody battle. Now the army of wildlings and giants are only moments away from attacking the castle, and Jon Snow, along with the remaining Night’s Watch, are vastly undermanned. The previews for season four showed a bit of the battle and it looks like a classic GOT battle scene. Season four will be a defining one for Jon Snow as he has always only wanted to lead the Night’s Watch and now will have no choice but to do just that.
All of this may be for nothing though because the greatest threat to the seven kingdoms is slowly marching like molasses towards the wall, and it can not be stopped. Samwell Tarley, after escaping the fight at Craster’s Keep (and becoming the first man in a thousand years to kill a White Walker, by using dragon glass), made it to Castle Black and told Maester Aemon about the army of White Walkers and living dead that head their way. Maester Aemon sent out every raven to all corners of Westeros, warning them of what is to come and making the war of the kings look like nothing more than practice for the army that marches south.
This season is expected to be the most thrilling season yet; do not forget about the sneaky Varys and Littlefinger, as well as Bran, who is north of the wall and will be doing some very interesting things as he learns how to enhance his powers as a Warg, learning how to control things other than animals . . . perhaps White Walkers? The previous three seasons have followed the same formula; start off with a bang, build up to episode nine, shock everyone in episode nine, and then show the aftermath in episode ten. Creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff have said this season is going to be thrilling throughout. Each episode will have moments like those in episode nine. There will be more action and they plan to do things that they have not done before. The first three seasons have been a slow build and now all the chips are in place and this is the season where everything comes to a head. Family is very important in GOT, driving most characters’ decisions, but this season is different. Previews have hinted at the most exciting season yet for Game of Thrones as three things will drive season four: revenge, dragons and White Walkers. Vala margolis.
Opinion by Chris Dragicevich