by Matthew Thompson
(This blog contains spoilers for the A Song of Ice and Fire book series and what is likely to come in Game of Thrones Season 4. If you have not read all the way through all five books including the most recent one, A Dance with Dragons, you really shouldn’t read this. Go read my Top Five GoT Characters blog instead which is safe for non-book readers or just get away from here.)
With Game of Thrones Season 4 premiering tonight, I thought I’d take a look at what I’m most excited to see from the show this season. I am using my knowledge of the books in conjunction with the trailers I’ve seen as well as the episode titles to speculate about what will be shown this season. So I guess these aren’t guarantees, but it is a good excuse for me to talk about some of my favorite events from the more recent books. Mainly A Storm of Swords, but also a bit of the following two since some of that material seems like it will be in the fourth season. Well here are nine big events I can’t wait to see adapted to the screen in the coming months.
9. White Books, Golden Hands and Ambidextrousness
I don’t have a specific moment of Jaime’s that sticks out as the one I can’t wait to see, but since Season 4 will see the further transformation of the Kingslayer that represents one of my favorite arcs in A Song of Ice and Fire, I figured I’d just give him a catch all final spot here even if it feels like cheating a bit. I look forward to seeing more interactions with Tyrion, his scene with the White Book and him receiving his golden hand. Probably topping my list of anticipated Jaime sequences would be him trying to learn to fight lefty which if the trailer I watched was any indication, he’ll be doing with Bronn instead of Ser Ilyn. I see some potentially great barbs being exchanged here while steel clashes. I’m also curious how his earlier arrival in King’s Landing compared to the books will affect certain events like my number four choice on this list.
8. Drogon is eating more than Sheep
There are several arcs in A Storm of Swords where stretching them across two seasons will not help all that much. Daenerys’ plot is certainly one of these. I imagine the taking of Meereen might feel a little repetitive for viewers, perhaps coming off a little too similar to last season’s material. ASOS’s strongest Dany moment, freeing the slaves in Astapor, is also behind us. So I think it will be a good call to delve into a little A Dance with Dragons material. A couple scenes from the first trailer seem to indicate that we will see the reveal that Drogon has added children to his diet. I think this will make for one of about 27 great cliffhangers going into Season 5. It will also be a chink in the armor for Dany who I imagine to a lot of viewers looks pretty unstoppable with her growing army and trio of dragons. When it becomes apparent she can’t keep control of her children the way she’d like, she will start to look like a more flawed character to TV watchers which I think is ultimately a good thing.
7. So a Girl and a Dog Walk Into an Inn…
I’ll be honest this selection and the two above it, might not be gamechangers like the top six on this list. But I couldn’t help but include some big moments for my favorite characters. Arya’s top moment is certainly her and the Hound’s confrontation with a few men from her past at the Inn. Arya’s story has had some odd changes over the first couple seasons that have made her development play out a bit different from the books. While I enjoyed her scenes with Tywin in Season 2, her escape from Harrenhal didn’t live up to expectations. And with it came a different trajectory to her character’s development. This scene at the Inn plays a pivotal role in Arya becoming the character we see in the most recent books, so I am hoping they nail it in the show.
6. Lord Tywin Lannister Did Not, in the End, Shit Gold
What’s not to love right? The culmination of Tywin and Tyrion’s tumultuous relationship comes to a head here as the dwarf sends a crossbow bolt hurtling into his father as he sits on the john. Gone is one of the series most powerful characters and with it will go the strong acting performance of Charles Dance as the Lannister patriarch. Plenty is revealed during this sequence and plenty of things come of it. I’m also curious how they handle Shae’s role in this. I don’t care for her in the show myself. I might have a pre-existing bias here though her actress isn’t helping any. Regardless, she is definitely portrayed a bit different in the television series. I imagine events end up playing out similar to the books, but maybe they paint Shae in a harsher light in the events leading up to her death than they have in the show so far.
5. Snow Castles and Only Cat
I had this as two points before I paired my list down a little (and then ended up expanding again, so it didn’t make a difference). The snow castle is kind of like Jaime’s White Book moment. It isn’t one of those shocking scenes that the series has become most associated with. It is more understated. There is something particularly beautiful about watching Sansa, who has been through so much, build a snow castle of her childhood home of Winterfell and I look forward to seeing that play out on the screen. The events that follow fall into the shocking moment category. Not just Littlefinger sending Lysa through the Moon Door, but the revelations about the two’s involvement in Jon Arryn’s death. In a moment, your view of the events that sent the whole series in motion is turned on its head. While we book readers already know the truth, we can live vicariously through our show watching friends as the truth is revealed to them.
4. The Purple Wedding
All signs point to Joffrey biting it in the Martin-penned second episode of the season titled, “The Lion and the Rose” which is sure to contain the much-anticipated Royal Wedding. I imagine this will start the healing for those viewers still reeling from last season’s Red Wedding, but I also think it will come as a shock to most. After setting a pattern of saving big events for the ninth episode, I’m not sure they will be ready for such a big move so early in the year. And it will really kick off a string of events that could make the fourth season feel as packed as the first three combined. Plus Joffrey has been such a shithead in the series so far, who wouldn’t want to see him take his last breath? I have to say Jack Gleeson will be missed. He played Joff with an almost gleeful dickishness. Hard to imagine someone nailing the role as well as he did.
3. A Lady with a Heart of Stone
I feel like this is the final piece of the puzzle (along with Joffrey and Tywin’s death) that will help bring people back from the despair caused by the Red Wedding. I don’t think it evens the score, but I feel like these three events go a long way towards soothing the pain. I’m also curious how they will handle the look of Lady Stoneheart and whether it will be something they tease throughout the season, that there is a mysterious new leader of the Brotherhood without Banners. I’m guessing her reveal will be the final scene of the season and should cap off the best year of Game of Thrones to date.
2. A Battle to Remember
I have high hopes for the big battle at the wall between the Night’s Watch and the Wildings. The Battle of Blackwater Bay was absolutely spectacular and with the director of that episode back for this next large-scale battle, I’m hoping for similar results. This does have some new wrinkles like giants and mammoths for instance. And I’m curious if the smaller skirmish on the backside of the wall, the one that sees Ygritte pass away, will be incorporated into this episode or take place earlier in the season. And then there is the amazing moment where Stannis comes in to save the day. It has the potential to be quite the episode.
“Elia Martell, Princess of Dorne, you raped her. You murdered her. You killed her children.” The trial by combat fought between The Red Viper and The Mountain in A Storm of Swords is one of my very favorite moments from the whole series. It’s one of the most thrilling pieces of writing I have ever read. I can still picture the whole thing playing out in my mind. And just when I think Oberyn has it won, the rug is pulled out from under me. It is by far the event I am most excited to see in the upcoming season of Game of Thrones, yet it might be the one that has me most nervous about the show’s ability to pull it off. I do like the casting. The guy they got for Oberyn seems pretty good, but what makes me most happy is that they recast The Mountain. Nothing against Ian Whyte, but the hulking strong man, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, that they cast for Season 4 looks much more the part. But the show’s one on one fights have always been a bit hit or miss. I can only hope this one is a hit. I’m also just excited to see Oberyn this season because for one he’s awesome and plus he acts as the show’s first real introduction of the Dornish. Don’t let me down on this one Game of Thrones. This fight needs to be amazing!
Well that will do it. Which events from the books are you most excited to see in the show this season? Let me know in the comments below. I am going to do some kind of review for the premiere episode. From there I will decide if I want to keep them going weekly. Either way be on the look out for more coverage of Game of Thrones here on the blog this season. Thanks for reading!
(PS: Don’t kill me if I messed up in these descriptions. It has been a little while since I have read some of these chapters/books.)