I wrapped up Season 4 over a week ago. As I mentioned in my previous recap, Season 4 is the highest rated season according to IMDB. It has 5 episodes rated 9.6 or higher, before this season no other season had more than 2. While it doesn’t have any of the top 4 episodes (Red Wedding, Season 5: Episode 7, Last 2 episodes of Season 6) but it does have several very strong moments. I did not realize how much I was going to have to say until I sat down so I’m telling you right now you’re going to want to skip to the characters you’re curious what I have to say about.
Season 4 was action packed. There were great moments and also devastating moments for some of my favorite characters. A character I hated was killed and the characters I love ended the season on high notes. I decided to take a break after this one to let it all soak in.
***HEAVY SPOILERS BELOW***
RIP!!! King Joffrey finally got his sendoff early in the season (one of the images I accidentally saw while googling pictures was his dead body). They definitely sent him out with a bang. He tormented both Sansa and Tyrion during his wedding ceremony. It was as if they wanted to make sure we remembered how horrible a person he was (RIP Ros) since he died early in the season. I imagine the horrors perpetrated by him in the previous seasons might not have been as fresh for others watching the episodes as they released vs. my binge watching them. With all of that said seeing Joffrey die was definitely satisfying. While I’d have loved for it to be a Stark to take him down… I’ll settle for a conspiracy taking him down.
Side note: He was given one of the two swords that was made by melting Robb’s at the beginning of the season. His little brother Tommen has it now if I’m not mistaken… I feel like these swords will be important down the line.
No picture because I didn’t want to look at her… She had a lot of fun early in the season. Initially she acts like she doesn’t want Jaime anymore and pushes him away. She later shows signs of being jealous of Brienne, thinking that Jaime probably slept with her or something. I found this hilarious since I love Brienne and I personally wanted Jaime and Brienne to happen though it never did. As soon as Joffrey dies she blames Tyrion, and while Tyrion has a very strong reason to want Joffrey dead and did have the opportunity since he had the cup… it felt to me like she might have done it herself because she couldn’t control Joffrey and set Tyrion up to kill 2 birds with one stone. This ended up not being the case (more on that later) and Cersei really just wants to kill Tyrion…. She also has her claws back in Jaime (sex by your son’s dead body???) so it’s becoming hard to like him again. Anyway…
With her youngest son becoming King she shows more jealousy towards Margaery Tyrell when she mentions she’ll have to marry young Tommen (who speaks suddenly).
Later, after Tyrion demands a trial by combat she enlists the services of The Mountain who we are reminded is a beastly individual and it’s not fair for him to fight a mere mortal. However, when Prince Oberyn steps up to fight him for Tyrion- really, to avenge his sister’s death at the hands of the Mountain I expect a fight. I got more than I expected too. Prince Oberyn had The Mountain down and almost out. He could have killed him… but he was stuck on principle and wanted to get The Mountain to confess to murdering his sister… He looked away for a second and the above picture is the end result of this…
So now Tyrion is set to die… but wait! There’s more! She then goes on to tell her father about her and Jaime, he initially dismisses it but she makes sure he knows that it’s all true so she’s destroying her entire family at this point. Sadly, I know she is still alive so I have 3 more seasons of her to deal with.
Early in the season we are shown that Theon is following Ramsay around like a lap dog… completely broken. I hadn’t figured out who Ramsay was but finally his father, Lord Bolton, shows up and it all makes sense to me again. (Bolton having turned on Robb and killed him.) At this point Ramsay is trying to show off for his father (who is mad that Ramsay removed Theon’s… lil Theon) and gets Theon to admit to Lord Bolton that he didn’t kill the younger Stark boys and that they’re still out there. He also mentions that Jon Snow is also still out there and at the wall.
We then see his sister mount a valiant effort to free Theon and it works… except he has Stockholm syndrome and refuses to leave…. his sister is able to escape but proclaims that “Theon is dead.”
Later in the season Ramsay has Theon trick his father’s men into walking out of Moat Cailin, promising that no one will be killed. Of course, Ramsay kills them all and again tells his father “look how great I am!” At this point Lord Bolton removes his bastard status and makes him an official Bolton.
What they’re doing to Theon reminds me of what they did to Juice in the last few seasons of Sons of Anarchy and while Theon is more deserving of the suffering it’s getting to be a bit much. I’m honestly tired of it and hope they just kill him off here soon. With all of this pain though they’re more likely to give him some sort of epic sendoff or have him do something completely horrific… we’ll see.
After Joffrey dies The Fool helps Sansa escape town… they arrive at a boat where none other than Littlefinger shows up, has the fool killed, and explains his elaborate plot to kill Joffrey. My initial thinking was that Sansa had been set up but I’m not sure if that’s the case with where things ended.
When we arrive at Sansa’s aunt’s place Littlefinger and Lysa are quickly wed in a ceremony that she couldn’t wait for but it was clear he wasn’t into… although he had her howling that night like a damn injured wolf. Anyway… what we get out of this wedding is the confession from Lysa that Littlefinger has had said finger on the action since the start… at the beginning of the show it is her husband who has died and she tells us that Littlefinger helped her poison him. We know that Littlefinger set up Ned, and now this setup to kill Joffrey and it’s clear he’s a huge player in this game.
He kisses Sansa after his wedding and there is no doubt in my mind that he knew Lysa would see and be jealous since Lysa knew he loved Catelyn. This causes Lysa to try to kill Sansa which is too good to be true of course and ends with Littlefinger killing her (pictured above.)
Later, Sansa lies for him and the look on his face tells me that everything is still going according to his master plan… I don’t like him at all but it’s clear he’s not going anywhere any time soon either so I guess I’ll prepare to be annoyed by him for seasons to come as well.
Olenna was a sleeper favorite from last season and she makes an appearance here as well. During Joffrey’s wedding she disses the fact that Robb was killed at a wedding and that was clear foreshadowing for me as I looked forward to watching Joffrey drop. Later in the season it is confirmed that Olenna was involved in the plot to kill Joffrey so though my girl Arya didn’t get to do the deed I’m glad it was someone that I liked.
Grey Worm is another sleeper. I think I may just be glad to see a brown person speaking on this show. Near the end of the season we see him watching Missandei (Daenery’s newest assistant(?) as she bathes. They have some awkward moments but it ends with Missandei telling him “I ain’t mad at it” and Grey Worm essentially saying, “shiii me neither.” But with him not having a lil Grey worm to work with (as far as we know) I’m curious where this is going.
Daenerys grew on me some more this season, early on buuuuut then she lost me again. (Is Emilia Clarke just a bad actress?). I liked her attack on Meereen with the barrels filled with the collars of the slaves she has already liberated. However, after she takes the city she has the leaders nailed to posts which comes back to haunt her when the people beg for her to take them down. It’s realized that she’s being cruel and not taking into account the human impact of her actions as she struggles to find her way around leading. Later, she lets the great value version of Daario Naharas (I wasn’t trying to look up the spelling) slide into her bed which makes Jorah jealous.
Tywin sends word to Meereen and it is brought to her attention that Jorah was initially sent to spy on her. She doesn’t listen to what he has to say to defend his actions and immediately sends him away. I GUESS I get it… but at the same time I feel like she made the decision too quickly and rashly. I feel like this is going to come back in some way.
In the final episode of the season Daenerys makes the tough decision of chaining up two of her dragons after the 3rd goes rogue and kills a villager’s child. The dragon had previously killed a man’s flock of sheep and she repaid him with money but made no corrections with the dragons… now that it killed a human.. money wasn’t quite going to do it. Overall, it was a rough season for her and I’m not sure what’s to come between her finding her way around being a leader and not being able to control her dragons.
We don’t really see much from Stannis until the middle of the season. He and Davos make a trip to Bravos which is my favorite city that I’ve seen on the show at this point. He tries to get money from the bank by claiming that he is the rightful king (which he is) but the bank is backing the Lannister’s…. Until Davos steps up and gives them a piece of his mind. Now with the bank backing him he’s that much stronger.
After this we don’t see him at all until the last episode… After Jon and the watchers fight Mance’s army (more on this later) Jon goes to negotiate a truce. In the middle of the discussion Stannis’ army rolls up on Mance’s and they force them to surrender. Jon convinces Stannis to keep Mance alive and get information from him and we see that Stannis is very serious and will be a force to be reckoned with in the season(s?) to come.
North of the wall… Bran and co run into the Night’s watch deserters and end up being captured. (There is a scene that pissed me off when they were torturing Hodor, and another where they’re going to rape Jojen’s sister… Meera?) Later, when Jon shows up to kill the deserters (more on that in Jon’s section) Bran uses his ability to enter Hodor again and kills the guy who is trying to kidnap him (again, more in Jon’s section) so I’m guessing this is going to be his thing now. Meanwhile, now that he’s freed he wants to go see his brother but his guides tell him that they must leave because they know Jon won’t let him wander off further North. So they do… and Jon never even knows his brother was there.
In the final episode Bran finally finds the weird tree and the 3 eyed Raven.. When they got to the tree they were attacked by some skeleton men… Bran uses Hodor to fight them again, meanwhile Jojen is killed before some weird little girl steps in to save them with fireballs (They love throwing in random new things at the end.) I really don’t enjoy Bran’s journey at this point but I’m guessing he’ll be doing something big down the line.
I think I might be a Jon fan now… I’m close. Jon really starts to step up and be a man this season. He challenges leadership at the wall and later puts together a small crew to kill the guys who deserted the watch so they can’t be tortured for information. He gives a nice lil speech that inspires a group of men to join him and they head out. I was initially excited because I thought he’d get to see Bran but he ends up never even knowing they were there… Bran also killed the guy who was sent to get them so Jon interacted with this guy without even knowing Lord Bolton sent him and is hunting Starks.
This episode takes place at the wall completely. Mance does attack and we get to see the Wall’s defenses in action. I initially wrote a play-by-play for the fight but decided to dial it back. The fight at the wall was dope and we see Jon show more leadership here as well. However there was also a fight inside with Ygritte’s crew.
Back inside the fort Sam is loading Pyp’s arrows for him when Ygritte (Hawkeye?) slides through shooting down everything that moves with sniper-like precision. She shoots an arrow through Pyp’s neck and Sam holds him as he dies. Later Jon comes through slanging that Valeryian steel sword like a boss and this is where I say, hey, Jon is really that dude! Buuuut that was short lived because soon after Ygritte has a shot on him and hesitates. Meanwhile, the kid, Ollie hits her with the same precision she was shooting with and gives Jon a thumbs up not realizing what he just did. Jon then has a dramatic scene holding her as she dies (they are together in real life apparently) but he’s doing this while his men are still fighting and it didn’t sit right with me. So while I respect his fighting ability now… I still feel some type of way about him.
Anyway so there were two giants used in the attack on the wall and after the first sees his homie go down (they shot the giant with a gigantic arrow) the other goes on a mission and forces his way past the main gate. Jon sent his other friend, Grenn, down with a group of men to hold the second gate… no matter what. Which we find out they did as all are dead, including the Giant.
The Wall has won and the red headed dude from Ygritte’s group (Tormund) is captured.. He’s someone I’ve seen in recent promos so I suspected that he was still alive. He tells Jon that Ygritte really did love him and asks that he burns her north of the wall which Jon does after the whole negotiation with Mance is interrupted by Stannis.
I need Jon to move on from the Ygritte stuff quickly. Not going to be able to stomach him missing her and what not.
Jaime enlists Brienne to find “the Stark girl(s)” and in the process gives her one of the two swords that was made from Robb’s melted sword. I feel like this is important… With Pod needing to get out of town he is assigned to Brienne and they have an interesting dynamic. First, Pod has no idea what he’s doing because he never really did real squire work for Tyrion and with Brienne being a strong independent woman who don’t need no man, she’s annoyed by his presence.
They accidentally find out that Arya is alive but when they find her… Arya doesn’t want to go with Brienne and this of course leads to confrontation. What ensues is the most epic fight in the series thus far as Brienne and the Hound go toe-to-toe in what really looks like the most realistic way possible. They aren’t daintily swinging swords, these are two large beings and they are clashing, punching, kicking, and more (there’s a Mike Tyson moment). The fight ends with Brienne forcing the Hound off of a cliff meanwhile Arya looks on, seemingly impressed and glad to see a female warrior like Brienne. Arya escapes but for a second there I had high hopes about her next tutor being Brienne.
She’s still my girl, in case you were wondering. This season sees her and the Hound’s adventures continuing as the Hound teaches her how to kill. She crosses Polliver (the guy who killed her friend with her sword and stole it) and then Rourge off of her list this season a list that she recites in front of The Hound… complete with his name. This catches his attention but doesn’t keep him from showing her where a man’s heart is so her kills are then easier. She initially poked him in the spot he told her to attack but she doesn’t penetrate his armor and he backhands the mess out of her and laughs at the attempt.
Despite knowing that she wants to kill him The Hound and Arya continue to grow close throughout the season as they head toward her Aunt’s place for The Hound to, again, try to collect on his capture. Buuuut when they arrive they are told that Aunt Lysa is dead to which Arya can’t help but laugh because every time it feels like she’s close to the end something horrible happens.
After the fight between The Hound and Brienne when Brienne realizes Arya is missing we see that she made her way to the place where The Hound fell. His leg is broken and he’s completely messed up and he asks Arya to go ahead and kill him so she can cross his name off her list. He seems almost glad that it’s going to be her. She’s turned into somewhat of a daughter to him but she just stares at him for a while before walking off. Leaving him to die alone.
The last we see Arya she is boarding a Bravosian ship and she uses the words she was given to gain passage. I have no idea what’s going to happen when she goes to Bravos but perhaps she finishes her training. I’m sad to see the chapter of her and The Hound coming to an end but the timing felt right. She was smiling when she saw Brienne fighting and I think it was good for her to see a woman fighting with the level of skill Brienne displayed. They have to link up later.
What a season it was for Tyrion. Early in the season he and Shae are caught and he is forced to push her away. She refuses to leave so he calls her hateful things in order to get her to. It’s a rough scene to watch but it’s clear he did this for her safety knowing that his sister hates him and will do anything to hurt him. This becomes more evident later in the same episode when he is accused of killing his nephew by none other than Cersei.
He spends a long time in jail where he’s visited by Jaime who shows his loyalty to him despite his…. affection for their sister. Pod also comes to show his support and smuggle him things but he has to leave as well for his own safety so he leaves with Brienne.
At his trial Shae takes the stand and lies about Tryion and Sansa plotting to kill Joffrey as if they did so in front of her. I loved Shae and this scene pissed me off to no end. After this Joffrey is shaken and Jaime comes and tells him to plead guilty and that he’ll be pardoned… Tyrion points out that Ned Stark was promised the same thing and had his head removed. The next day Tyrion let’s it all out blasting his entire family and pleading guilty to being the family shame, after this is when he demands a trial by combat. Jaime lets him know that he loves him but he can’t fight for him, Bronn does the same. He has to stick with his money and it’s a sad farewell type scene for the two. This all occurs before Prince Oberyn finally steps to the plate. I mentioned what happens in the battle before I didn’t mention what happens before.
When Prince Oberyn comes to see Tyrion he tells him the story of a trip he made to Westeros as a child when Tyrion was just a baby. He talked about how he kept hearing stories about a monster and finally was invited to come see the monster by Cersei. He said he was shocked when he came in and saw Tyrion… just a regular baby in his eyes but Cersei continued to talk about him like he was a gargoyle and went as far as pinching his penis incredibly hard. This story is important in my eyes because besides all they’ve done to him and the fact that they were about to have him fight for his life, literally, he still had some loyalty to his family. This further cements, in my eyes, how horrible they’ve been to him historically. Particularly Cersei and Tywin.
So after Prince Oberyn dies and the Mountain is saved (though the bootleg Maester ominously says he won’t be himself) Tyrion is prepared to die. However… In the final episode Jaime shows up again, this time to let him out of his cell. He’s told to go to a certain door and that Lord Varys will be waiting for him… He takes a detour though and winds up in his father’s quarters where we find Shae in his father’s bed… She has her back to him initially and calls for Tywin and refers to him as her lion.. the way she used to refer to Tyrion before she turns around and sees that it is Tyrion and not Tywin who has walked in. He’s visibly done at this point and winds up strangling her and though I loved her at the beginning of the season she deserved this death. Tyrion then confronts his father while he is on the toilet (see below) and it’s fitting that Tywin is in this compromised position after always appearing so in control. Tyrion shoots him twice with the crossbow though I can’t say we are sure he is dead based on the placement of the shots…
When Tyrion does see Lord Varys he know that something has gone down but escorts him away anyway. This is where those planted seeds from earlier seasons come into play. Tyrion has allies in many other families and cities so that will likely come into play here down the line…
Ah yes… I’m beginning to get used to this show teasing new players to come. This time it’s the Ice King. In the 4th episode of the season… The zombie horse rider cat we saw previously takes one of these babies that have been offered up to some weird place North of the Wall where the Ice King is shown briefly lifting the baby… touching his crusty finger nail to his check and the baby’s eyes turning blue like the zombie guy’s. So now I guess we know what’s been happening with all of the sacrificed babies.
This was an action packed season all around as evidenced by the length of this article. The first two season recaps were 1100 and 1300 words respectively, season 3’s recap was 2300 and now this one is approaching 4100. I guess I have more to say as I’ve become more invested but I’ll try to keep these reasonable in length. I’m only not chopping this one down because Season 4 is the highest rated season for a reason… but with that said season 5 is the lowest rated (only season that doesn’t have an average episode rating of 9/10 or higher on IMDB at 8.88) so I won’t do this to you after the next season.
I’m gonna predict maybe 5 people open this, and 3 people read it but I appreciate you all.
On to season 5!