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Thursday 19 June 2014

Guest Post: Wrapping Up Season 4 of Game of Thrones

Hey guys! So back in April, I was contacted by a fellow GoT fan, Spencer, who asked if he could do a recap of season 3 of HBO's Game of Thrones for any of my readers who watch the show, in preparation for season 4. This past Sunday, it was the finale of season 4, so now Spencer is back with a wrap up post for season 4! This season was super intense, as per usual, but my favourite thing about it was seeing (my favourite character) Sansa Stark's incredible growth and how strong she is getting, yet so subtly. And of course there were some super satisfying deaths (episode 2 anyone?) as well as some completely heart breaking ones as well, but I mean, what else can we expect from this series?

Anywho, I'll let Spencer wrap it all up for y'all and I feel like I shouldn't have to say this, but I will anyway, just in case: SPOILERS for anyone who hasn't seen or read the Game of Thrones series. This is a WRAP UP post for this past season's finale, so read it at your own risk of seeing what happens. Ok? Cool.

For the Lannisters, Sunday was like any other day, full of deception, betrayal, intrigue, and murder. In this case, it was an incident of son murdering father, an overall shocking end to yet another gripping season of action on HBO’s Game of Thrones. Of course, that’s all par for the course when it comes to GoT and the inner workings of its characters. Now that the season is over, let’s take a look back at all the major events that had viewers on the edge of their seats this year, and undoubtedly counting down the days until next season’s premiere.
            Naturally, everyone is abuzz about the patricide involving Westeros ruler Tywin Lannister at the hands of his son Tyrion, especially symbolic for a Father’s Day episode. Tyrion also discovers his lover Shae in his father’s bed before murdering him, leading him to first strangle her, but still, Tywin’s demise was a shocking event we weren’t sure Tyrion would be up to. The murders are especially significant following Tyrion’s trial – after initially insisting he was innocent of murder, he completes the actions to fit the crime before narrowly escaping King’s Landing.
            Before the murder even takes place, there was plenty of other action in last night’s finale. The episode began with a meeting to negotiate terms between Jon Snow and Mance Rayder. Tensions between the two run high, but seem to dissipate with Mance’s admittance that the Wildlings are seeking safety, not war, moments before their discussion is cut short by the sudden arrival of Stannis and his army, causing Mance to surrender. Jon greets Stannis and reveals that his father is Ned Stark, and Stannis, in turn, welcomes the advice of Jon regarding how to handle Mance.
            Meanwhile, Daenerys is still struggling to rule Meereen, as its citizens become increasingly frustrated with her leadership. Her ethics are challenged when an elderly man, wishing to escape the often brutal barracks she has set up to house former slaves, asks to be sold back to his master, a wish Daenerys grants after declaring that freedom is, after all, having the right to choose. Then when a man approaches Daenerys with the charred remains of his child, she locks up her dragons as a sign of solidarity with the people of Meereen.
            Up north we see Bran, Jojen, Meera, and Hodor finally approach the Heart Tree that Bran had been seeing in his visions. It’s then that the group is attacked by the living dead, or skeletons in this case, and Jojen is killed by his sister to save him from the wights. The remaining three are saved by a Child of the Forest, and taken to the Three-Eyed Raven. Here, the Raven tells Bran he’s been watching him since he was born and informs him that Jojen had foreseen his own death, but still led the group so that Bran could find what he lost. He also goes on to inform Bran that, despite the fact he will never walk again, he will one day fly. (This entire sequence seems purposefully vague – we can hope whatever Bran needs to “find” will be made more clear next season).
            Arya, Bran’s sister, in the mean time has been traveling with The Hound throughout most of this season. The duo’s journey is interrupted after crossing paths with Brienne and Podrick, resulting in a fight to the death between Brienne and The Hound. Arya leaves the Hound bleeding to death as punishment for his crimes against her and the many others he’s killed before heading to Braavos, finally free.
            All of this leads us back to the Lannisters, and the death of Tywin. Shortly before his death, Cersei puts her foot down and refuses to marry Loras, despite her father’s insistence. As a special way of twisting the knife in her father, she informs him that her children, Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen are not Robert Baratheon's but her brother Jaime’s. She promises to make the incestuous relationship public if she needs to, before rushing to Jaime and aligning herself with him against their father.
            Jaime, meanwhile, has taken it upon himself to free Tyrion from prison, where he was being held for the murder of Joffrey. Jamie’s intention is to send Tyrion away on a ship to the Free Cities, however Tyrion goes to see his father first, and then discovers Shae in his father’s bed.  From there, he strangles her, murders his father, and leaves many viewers with their jaws dropped.

            While there hasn’t been an announced date of the premiere of season five, based on past premieres, it’s likely to come in late March or early April of 2015. It’s going to be a long year without the disfunction and intrigue of GoT to keep us company. However, you can always bide the time by rewatching all four seasons online with HBO Go, through a DirecTV package or on demand.

Thanks Spencer for the great recap! 
Do any of you watch the show? Read the books? What did you think of this past season? Happy? Disappointed? Let me know!

Happy reading!

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