Dead Season Discussion: Trials of Ice and Fire (and Mountains) in Game of Thrones Season 4 (Part 3)

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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Jeff: We dedicated an entire part of our season three discussion combing through the show’s “big moments.” We may need more space this year.

Unlike the first three seasons, where it felt like the show was building toward the expected episode nine climax, season four built to several different climaxes over the final 3-4 episodes in various locations throughout the world of ice and fire. Sure, we still got our episode nine showcase, but unlike seasons past, that may not have been the highlight of the year. I personally loved the way the back half played out, with several big moments, and even a small one or two that felt pretty big.

Before diving into climaxes though, we should probably start with the episode two shocker now known as The Purple Wedding. What did you think of Joffrey finally meeting his end, and was the moment robbed of any power by taking place so early in the season?

Patches: Haha. Yeah. I think, more than once this season, I was stupid enough to try and predict what episode something would happen. I don’t think I was ever close. I was either early because 2-3 other important things had to happen first or I was late because I randomly expected everything to be the Episode 9 climax.

The Purple Wedding might have been my favorite scene of the series. It probably was too. Then the rest of the season happened. This scene was great because of what was happening in the background. Don’t get me wrong, Joffrey KILLED IT, before dying, in this scene, as he has for the last three years. He did everything short of snorting and spit-taking during his regal Little Person Show. Joffrey made that scene good, but everyone else made it great. While Joffrey was yucking it up, director Alex Graves went around the horn, getting reaction shots of any character with dignity, taste, or a semblance of decency. And it was beyond powerful.

They’re repulsed. Disgusted. Horrified. Tyrion was flat-out angry, a “weakness” he is usually keen to hide from the world. Sansa’s emotional scars were brutally ripped open. Tywin put on his stoic “this kid is the fucking worst” face. Varys looked like he’d had enough of this shit. Loras stormed off. Margaery looked like she was about to cry, probably because she was about to cry. Continue reading

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