Warning: If you haven’t seen Episode 1 of Season 4 of Games of Thrones yet, please be aware I’m going to talk about it.
Game of Thrones is back! Yay! After a year wait we’re back in the land of Westeros but missing some notable characters with whom we had traveled for three seasons through Westeros. Namely more of the Starks. Catelyn and her son, the King in the North, Robb Stark, who were murdered at the infamous Red Wedding, which is going to prove interesting for the rest of the series.
Why? Well,although there are plenty of characters and storylines in the series, the Starks were the ones we were introduced to first out of all of the families in Episode 1, Season1, a proud, noble family of Northerners whose family motto was a simple but evocative one: Winter is Coming. They were the characters most of us had been following to some extent and rooting for to avenge the death of Ned Stark back in Season 1.
The only remaining Starks are the youngest sons and daughters, all of whom have no real power, at least in the sense of military or political power, but who may be possessed, at least in the case of Bran and Arya, with powers that may prove far more important.
The first episode of a new season of Games of Thrones is kinda like old home week. We get to see where the characters are and what they’re up to since last season.
Jon Snow is reunited with the Night’s Watch but barely escaped being executed for killing one of the Night Watch members and breaking his vows by having had sex with Ygritte, his Wildling honey.
Daenerys is still across the Narrow Sea with her dragons, one of whom almost took a bite out of the Mother of Dragons when it thought she was interfering with its din-din.
Sansa Stark, now married to Tyrion Lannister, is dealing with the fact that her Lannister in-laws slaughtered her mother and brother and, as far as she’s concerned, making her the only Stark still alive. She has no idea of Bran, Rickon or Arya are even still alive.
Jamie Lannister has returned to King’s Landing, got a haircut and a shave, is back in his Kingsguard uniform, with the addition of a extremely gaudy golden hand to replace the right hand he lost in Season 3.
Joffrey is still as big of an asshole as he’s been since the beginning, even taken some nasty-minded swipes as his uncle (father), Jamie, and Ayra, oh, Arya, you and the Hound are fast becoming my all time favorite best-buds.
We were also introduced to a new character, Oberyn Martell, who is the brother of the wife of the former Prince of….oh, forget it, let’s just say he’s come to King’s Landing not just for Joffrey’s royal wedding. He’s got revenge on his mind with a great big capital R.
And we were also introduced to some other Wildlings called the Thenn. Really? The Thenn? Okay, well, anyway, they’re pretty creepy looking and in what is fast becoming a bit of a cliche, thanks to shows like Hannibal and the recent season finale of The Walking Dead, they’re cannibals. Not quite as much of a shocker as I think the show was hoping for.
So, all in all, not a bad first episode. The best scene was at the end with The Hound, that towering pillar of scarred testerone, taking on an inn full of Lannister soldiers and getting some help from Arya, who not only killed once again, but (yay!) got back her sword, Needle, that Jon Snow had given her back in Season 1. And her own horse, which she had been complaining to the Hound about not having.
So that last image of the episode was pretty cool with Arya and the Hound riding off together into a burning, devastated landscape.
The war is over, for now, with the death of Robb and the slaughter of the Stark soldiers along with the burning of Winterfell, but there are still many battles ahead.
Can’t wait for next week!