Dead Season Discussion: Trials of Ice and Fire (and Mountains) in Game of Thrones Season 4 (Part 1)

Title CardWith the passing of Breaking Bad and Mad Men and Homeland’s nosedive, HBO’s Game of Thrones is as close as America has to consensus television. Adapted from George R.R. Martin’s popular A Song of Fire and Ice book series by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, Game of Thrones has racked up Emmy’s and Golden Globes, as well as awards that matter, such as the Peabody and Hugo Awards.

To commemorate the end of Season 4, Jeff (of Slazenger1) and I break down the good, the better, and the occasionally bad of Game of Thrones’ fourth season, which premiered on April 6, 2014 and ended on June 15, 2014.

As per the usual, SPOILERS ABOUND. Also, people die. If that’s a spoiler to you, you have no business clicking on a Game of Thrones link. There are, however, NO BOOK SPOILERS beyond what Season 4 of the show covers.

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Patches: Jeff, it’s an honor and a pleasure to be here with you once again for another Dead Season Discussion!

Jeff: Indeed! After bombarding everyone with 24 for a year, we’ve let our duties slide a little bit (well, there was that little comedy show). Now we’re back in full “better-late-than-never” mode!

Patches: Hahaha. Doesn’t that imply that we usually operate in some other mode most of the time?

Jeff: How about “always late, but never better”? Hmmmmm, maybe that implies that we never improve. Maybe we should just take it from Gandalf.

Patches: I’m down with that. I’ve used “A teacher can’t be tardy” once or twice in my day. All I know is that I’m really glad that we don’t have some sort of a shtick for our reviews. You know, the “Best and Worst” of something or “the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly” of something else. I’ve seen some websites do those things incredibly well, but we would be so screwed for our Game of Thrones write-ups. “The Good, the Also Good, and the, Like, One Thing That’s Not Good” of Game of Thrones Season 4!

Long story short, we love this show. What jumped out at you this season? Why was Season 4 so damn good?

Jeff: You know what Patches? You might as well just go back and read our Season 3 discussion. Combine skilled adaptation, assured direction, a mostly-pretty-great cast and the best book in the series and you get Game of Thrones Season 4 (and 3). I’ll try to speak in generalities for a little while here and then throw it back to you before we get into specific stories or moments.

The character moments and pairings remain great, but different characters come to the fore than in seasons past. Tywin and Jaime take a bit of a back seat after a stellar Season 3, but the both still have some great scenes with Tyrion that reveal new depths of their enmity and love, respectively. Oberyn Martell was a wonderful addition whose every scene was better than the one previous. Brienne and Pod offer a nice odd couple pairing. Davos gets some brief chances to shine. Even some of the boring ol’ crew at the wall–and trusty Sam–get their moments of glory.

Best of all, the Stark girls both hit new highs, in my opinion. After episode 7, I noted that Continue reading

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