Sunday, February 2, 2014

Game of Thrones- Ten Things From the Books to Look Forward to in Season 4

Recently, I finished the 5th book of a Song of Ice and Fire, A Dance with Dragons. So far, it has been an intense but captivating journey navigating George R.R. Martin's dark and complicated world. Like many people, I picked up the books after watching the critically acclaimed Game of Thrones series based off them.

Now that I know what to expect in the upcoming fourth season I'm all that more excited for April 6th (the premiere date) to role around.

The end of season 3 gave viewers the shocking, horrifying conclusion to Robb Stark's rebellion and story arc known as the Red Wedding.

The fourth season, which will probably cover nearly all of the second half of the third book Storm of Swords, will be even more intense. If you're skeptical you need only check out the new, incredibly awesome teaser trailer released a few weeks ago (Above).

So, as the Realm, prepares itself to dive into the game once more, I'd like to take some time to list off 10 events from the books that we can probably look forward to seeing in Season 4 of Game of Thrones.

(10) Reek

Unlike the books, where Theon Greyjoy's torture at the hands of Ramsay Snow was mostly implied, the series went out of its way in the third season to show us why the Bolton's sigil is a flayed (skinned) man. A few clips from the trailer seem to indicate Theon will make some sort of appearance in Season 4...and chances are he'll have completely fallen into his alternate, post Ramsay, personality Reek.

In the books, Theon's suffering at the hands of Ramsay completely transformed him into a docile, broken person. It also altered his appearance, making him deformed.


While the trailer clips seem to show Theon in the same sort of state at the end of Season 3, I'm still curious to see how the series will treat the personality of Reek and how well Theon's actor Alfie Allen will do slipping into the skin of a new character...don't read too much into that. 

(9) Bran's Journey Beyond the Wall

While it took Bran until Season 3 to connect with his traveling companions Meera and Jojen Reed, (in the books they met before Theon captured Winterfell), I've enjoyed seeing the chemistry between the three on screen. Each of the actors plays their roles superbly. Now that they're finally going beyond the wall, we can probably expect a closer encounter with the White Walkers, the wights and Bran continuing to discover and utilize his warging powers.

(8) Jaime and Cersei's Relationship 

I should say, changed relationship. Jaime Lannister is without a doubt one of the best characters in the books and the TV series. Many readers and viewers, I think, can agree. It's a testament to the writing skills of George RR Martin that Jaime often goes from being a fan's most disliked characters to being one of their favorites. 


The transformation he undergoes in the third book and the third season after losing his hand and developing a strong bond with the noble Brienne, is remarkable and endearing. 


In the fourth season, having finally arrived in Kings Landing and reuniting with his family, Jaime's change of personality will only be more pronounced. This will be especially true with Cersei, his lover and sister, who in the books doesn't understand her brother's change of heart. This difference causes a deepening rift between the two which I don't doubt will be shown wonderfully by the actors who play them.

(7) Jorah Mormont's Disgrace

One of the performances from the series I've loved the most as been Iain Glen's portrayal of Jorah Mormont. The actor is just perfect in the role. Whenever he's on a screen I see Jorah Mormont I don't see Iain Glen. The chemistry between Glen's character and Emilia Clarke's Daenerys is also very real. The two actors work off of each other so well and have made the complicated relationship between their characters authentic.

This chemistry is the reason why I think the impending schism between the two in Season 4 is going to be one of the most memorable events in the TV series. As readers of the books might recall, Jorah Mormont's spying of Daenerys on behalf of Varys and the Iron Throne is revealed to her in A Storm of Swords. Though the circumstances of this revelation will be very different in the show (Barristan Selmy's Arstan Whitebeard subplot having been dropped) it will still be very dramatic and have far reaching implications for Dany and Jorah. 

(6) Daenerys Taking Over Meereen 

Another thing I'm excited to see, especially after watching some of the fantastic trailer footage, is Daenerys taking over Meereen and finally establishing herself as a ruler. For the majority of the books and show Daenerys has been a migrant 'beggar' queen with only a small group of followers around her. Now, she has a real army, the credentials of having led that army to victory against two powerful city states, the prestige of having freed thousands of slaves...oh and three growing dragons that can breath fire.

However, winning battles and ruling are very different and in Season 4 as she settles into a new role as a queen, the complicated and convoluted nature of governing will present a new test to the last Targaryen. 

(5) The Battle of Castle Black

After surviving the wildlings and finally making it back to Castle Black in the last episode, Jon Snow will have to prepare himself for an even bigger ordeal as the wildlings and Mance Rayder close in on the Wall and prepare to smash their way into the Seven Kingdoms.

The Assault on Castle Black and the Battle of Wall, are going to be two of the biggest highlights of Season 4. Why? Three words 'Giants Riding Mammoths'! Who doesn't want to see that? I just hope they have the budget to make it look great.

(4) The Purple Wedding

Now, fans of the show who were devastated by the events of the Red Wedding should be reassured. There's another eventful wedding of a different color on the way. Readers of the books will know exactly what I mean. 'A Lannister Always Pays His Debts' and in Season 4 the most loathed member of that house (And I think we all know who I mean 'cough, cough') will pay...very dearly.

That's all I'll say.

(3) The End of Shae and Tyrion's Relationship. 

This plot point of Season 4 is of particular interest to me because of how the TV series has treated Shae and Tyrion's relationship. In the books, I never got the impression that Shae cared about Tyrion in any meaningful way. There were never any true moments between the two where they shared deep feelings or concerns, never any times when Shae seemed to particularly care about her lover or other characters she interacted with. In the show, she is a far more complex and nuanced character. The producers have gone out of their way, it seems, to show that she has genuine affection for Tyrion as well as a fondness for Sansa, his wife and her mistress.

In a Storm of Swords, the aftermath of the Purple Wedding eventually causes Tyrion and Shae's relationship to end in betrayal. This was predictable in the books. In the series though, it has the potential to seem forced and out of her character. Still, I'm confident the show will be able to handle it and present it in a believable way.

(2) House Martell 

Points one and two are closely tied together. When I started watching the series and reading the books, every mention of the land of Dorne and it's ruling house, Martell intrigued me. Both were very played up as mysterious, exotic and distant, yet both were also connected to the history of events that occurred before the first book and first season. When the Martells finally did make their appearance in the third book, they were even more fascinating. Why? They were so different. To me they injected a Middle Eastern, desert inspired culture into a world largely influenced by Medieval, Western European society. It was refreshing, and added a new color to the mix.

Now, the Martells are finally coming to the silver screen. Oberyn Martell, (The Red Viper) and his paramour Ellaria Sand, will arrive in Kings Landing and play a pivotal role throughout the fourth season. Oberyn, especially was a character I loved being introduced to in the books and I'm hopeful Pedro Pascal will do a superb job playing him.


(1) The Mountain vs the Red Viper

 We've seen a lot of epic duels throughout Game of Thrones. In Season 1, Ned Stark took on Jaime Lannister in the streets of King's Landing. In Season 2, Brienne of Tarth bested the Knight of Flowers in a Tourney. In Season 3, the one eyed Beric Dondarrion fought the Hound with a flaming sword and died, only to be mysteriously resurrected by the Lord of Light.

The best is yet to come though. In Season 4, we'll get to see one of my absolute favorite moments from the books: the duel between the Mountain that Rides (Gregor Clegane) and the previously mentioned Red Viper of Dorne. In A Storm of Swords, this fight was written wonderfully. The physical contrasts between the two men, the differences in their fighting styles, and the personal history between them makes it a truly epic event. Seeing it come to life is going to be fantastic, though I suspect we'll need to wait most of season before we see Dornish justice.

No comments:

Post a Comment