With Game of Thrones season four coming this April, we offer a glimpse at why season four will be the best yet.
WARNING: HERE BE SPOILERS – THOSE NOT FULLY CAUGHT UP WITH THE GAME OF THRONES TV SHOW SHOULD TURN BACK NOW
The battle for The Wall
Back with his brothers in black, Jon Snow will have a chance to prove his resourcefulness and skill in season four. Expect reunions both warm and frosty, changes to the chain of command and omens that will ring out across the seven kingdoms.
The results of the clash at the wall will have lasting ramifications in both the war of Five Kings and the coming of the White Walkers. With show runner talk of a highly coordinated and logistically complex battle taking part at the latter end of this season, we can expect a large scale battle that will try and live up to the grandeur of the books. In show terms, this will be the largest battle since Blackwater Bay and has consequences every bit as far reaching.
The redemption of Jamie Lannister
Jamie Lannister is proof of George R.R. Martin’s ability as a writer. Making the audience hate the character early on in the show was an easy enough feat – by the end of season one, much of the misery laid at the feet of the Stark family could be attributed to the deeds of Jamie Lannister.
To make an audience grow to loathe, admonish, sympathise with, respect and then finally love a character in a non-contrived and natural way is proof that no matter how long we may have to wait for the remaining chapters of A Song of Ice and Fire, the wait will be worth it. Jamie’s reunion with his family will be crushing and, as he struggles to cope with what he lost in season three, the Kingslayer will look to redefine himself as a knight and as a man.
Trials by combat
Following a breathtaking duel between The Hound and Berrick Dondarrion in season three, season four will contain a bevy of thrilling duels, two of which are shown in scant detail in the trailer. Newly introduced fan favourite Oberyn Martell’s acrobatic display against a highly armoured foe is one of the novel’s standout fights and looks to be all the more thrilling in the show. Expect a great deal of theatricality and brutality.
A charging horse in the desert hints towards a match-up that, following the removal of a character from Martin’s books, will be radically changed. Daenerys has no shortage of champions willing to come forward for her, as evidenced by the triple threat of Jorah, Daario and Grey Worm last season. The likelihood is that a recast Daario will step into the shoes of novel duelist Strong Belwas as a means to further prove his devotion to the Mother of Dragons.
Deservedly emerging as a fan favourite early in the show’s history, Tyrion’s journey in season four will be traumatic, shocking and vindicating. Some of the things Tyrion does in Season four will make you laugh. Some of the things Tyrion does in Season four will make you cry. And some of the things Tyrion is accused of doing in season four will make you jump out of your seat in pure undiluted adoration.
For those that have watched the trailer and wondered why Tyrion is in chains – finding out how he has come to be in chains will be chief reason to tune in to the new season of Game of Thrones. Spoiler alert: expect Tyrion to be in chains before the middle of the season.
After the Red Wedding, season three’s other standout moment was far more understated. Alone in the throne room of King’s Landing as they often are, Littlefinger and Varys discuss the ramifications of the chaos that the war of Five Kings causes. “Chaos is a ladder,” says Littlefinger, the strength of his ambition towering tall. In the novels, his reveal is ground-shaking and, when considering the trajectory of events since the very beginning of Game of Thrones, sickening.
Whilst season four will feature events on a scale not previously seen, some of its most important moments will also be among the quietest. Littlefinger’s revelation is likely to come at the end of the season, quietly pulling the rug out from viewer’s feet in much the same way it did with readers of A Storm of Swords back in 2000. Pulling in events from books three-five in Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire Saga, season four of Game of Thrones will likely be the most eventful season yet.
To continue in our vaguely spoilerish manner: Arya will begin her training. Daenerys will try her hand at ruling. Brienne’s oath to Catelyn will be tested. Ser Loras will lose face in combat. Stannis will take a trip. Bran will gain a great insight into his abilities. Roose Bolton will find being Warden of the North is more difficult than murder. The Lannisters will repay some of their debts and the Brotherhood Without Banners will get a new leader.
It is going to be a great season.
All images: HBO