They're Back – Game of Thrones Season Four
Editor’s note: Spoilers. Also, this GOT article is longer than all of the posts I have written in the past three months combined. Stupid show off Sangfroid….
I have to wonder if there’s anything left to say about Game of Thrones. Salon breathlessly declares it a GOP right wing fantasy while the Economist compares the battles of the high tech industry to the same “doorstop fantasy novels.” Even frat boys are having in depth conversations about why Kylie and Lacie are getting together on Game of Thrones and not Abbey Winters. (Abbey Winters is the “natural girl” web site that seems to be the casting office for Westeros prostitutes.) I’m not sure what the fuss is about. George R. R. Martin jumped the shark sometime around the Red Wedding in the books. After novel number three he seems to be in competition with Robert Jordan for least amount of plot to words written. Still the HBO Go servers crashed hard when Game of Thrones season four premiered so I decided to give the show a second chance.
Wheel of Time – Robert Jordan (Deceased) 11 novels at 3,304,000 words
A Song of Fire and Ice – George R.R. Martin 5 novels at 1,770,000 words
Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkein 3 novels at Total: 473,000 words
The latest way to tell if a HBO show is a hit is if it crashes their streaming service HBO Go. While other reviewers were posting mere minutes after the show ended on the east coast I was still getting the rotating circle of death. It has something to do with the Yellow King but I’m not sure I understand anything about the metaphysical elements of True Detective. I tuned over to Black Sails and let the thing rotate.
When the HBO Gnomes had fixed the problem I was ready with my tattered paperback maps to figure out what new lands would be revealed by the clockwork armilla. Instead of the crashing DUN-DUN-DUHDUH-DUN-DUN-DUHDUH-DUHHH there was a cold start. Ice, the family sword of the Stark’s, half melted before I even realized the show had begun. Then the best title sequence on TV kicked in. Why can’t MapQuest have a set of maps for imaginary places? I’ve got a about as much idea where things are in Westeros as the average high school kid has for real geography.
You don’t actually need to read this article. Honest Trailers did a far funnier review of this “medieval encyclopedia/dungeon master’s guide/porno” known as Game of Thrones. Still someone has to review stuff here on Superficial Gallery so…”From fictions most notorious serial killer”
Arya and the Hound walk into a bar full of the King’s Men. Everyone dies.
What you want more than that? Well only three masters know the secret of reforging Valyrian steel. Ice is the Valyrian sword that Ned Stark uses to execute the Night Watch traitor and then it’s used to execute him. The Lannisters have never had one of these and now with Ice reforged they have two. One of the new smaller swords is a gift for Jaime the other is for King Joffrey aka King Whiney. A waste of any kind of steel if you ask me but according to Lady Olenna all these pretty baubles have political importance. Ser Dontos pops up to give one to Sansa and of course Arya gets Needle back. The political importance of that particular bauble being to stab Polliver very slowly while the Hound smashes another head repeatedly on his unnamed sword.
Who needs a plot when you can have lots of blood and head smashing? To use film criticism’s grand undefined term the mise-en-scène of Game of Thrones is it’s saving grace. “You’re going to die for some chickens?” Isn’t the most graceful prose but that scene at the Inn defines exactly what’s going on in Westeros. I’ll let someone else explain the implications of lawlessness in Joffrey’s Kingdom and what that means for the GOP. If anything it’s convinced me not to go near preteen girls holding anything sharp and pointy. Especially when they want a pony.
Even without the pissed off Starks still running around (Use special smug read the books font here) the Lannisters are piling up enemies. Remember this is the world of George R. R. Martin and events almost never go the way the powerful expect. Prince Oberon, who until the ratings come in may or may not be gay, has a big hate for anyone Lannister and that kicked dog Ser Dontos is back. Across the Narrow Sea Daenerys is still wandering around and why is everyone forgetting the ice zombies? Yes things are starting to look glum for the golden haired Lannisters.
If you’re worried that Daenerys is never going to be coming home you’re not alone. She’s been wandering around in almost a completely separate narrative for several books now. The Khaleesi is headed for Meereen at the moment on the show. You’d think those guys would have figured out that disembowling slave children and leaving them as mile markers only makes the Mother of Dragon’s angry. By the time she gets to 169 I think she’ll be wound up enough that she won’t even notice that Daario is completely different. Like the infamous Darrin switch in Bewitched the character has been recast but who cares, there are dragon toddlers. In case you’re wondering Daario 1.0 who is actually known as Ed Skrein took a role as a younger version of Jason Stratham in the Transporter film franchise.
Ok it’s fun to be back. I admit that it’s not all about whether Kylie and Lacie are going to get another cameo. I can’t wait for some of the big George R. R. Martin literary murders. I also love how some characters have been expanded. The idea that an old woman and her granddaughter may be the most dangerous players for the Iron throne is a tremendous concept that’s not fully developed in the books. Let’s hear it for Diana Rigg who trumps all the sweaty warrior head bashing with those nice little lemon cakes. I’m still watching what’s going on in Westeros.