Jon Snow arrives at Mance's camp and both of them come up with suggested peaceful solutions to the conflict. However Stannis turns up with a vast army which defeats the Wildlings. Jon acknowledges him but requests fair play for Mance who treated him well when he was his prisoner. At King's Landing Cersei is threatening to go public about herself and Jaime if Tywin insists on marrying her to Loras but they are overtaken by events when Tyrion escapes, helped by Jaime and Lord Varys, and kills Tywin and the faithless Shae whom he finds in his father's bed. Hidden in a large crate he is lifted aboard a ship to leave King's Landing with Varys. Daenerys is seeing supplicants, one of whom presents her with the corpse of his child, killed by her escaped dragon Drogon. Aware that her dragons are now a menace she locks up the other two. Bran and his friends reach the tree and the three-eyed raven but are attacked by Wights, who kill Jojen. The remaining party is led to safety in a cave by a ... Written by
don @ minifie-1
While fighting with Brienne, Sandor "the Hound" Clegane grabs the blade of her sword with his bare hands. Since Brienne's sword is made of Valyrian steel which is much sharper than ordinary steel, the blade should have sliced through the Hound's palms. See more »
One of our giants went into your tunnel and never came out again. Mag the Mighty.
He's dead. He killed my friend, Grenn.
He was their king. The last of a blood line that stretches back before the First Men.
Grenn came from a farm.
[raises cup for a toast]
Mag and Grenn.
[raises cup in response]
Grenn and Mag.
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S4: Struggles a little at times to keep everyone 'in play', but generally know when to give time and when to keep things moving, albeit briskly
If there was a time when this show wasn't mainstream then it seems a very long time ago since this fourth season arrived with a lot of fuss and excitement. This excitement came of course from the internet as it had always done, but also from the newspapers and other regular outputs which would normally be more concerned with the goings-on of the soaps. The increase in popularity is a good thing in many ways, but it is not a great surprise since, once you get beyond the mythology, swords, dragons and nudity, Game of Thrones is ultimately a grownup soap opera with lots of twists and turns, and plenty of colour to talk about the next day at work.
That is a little unfair in a season that seems a bit more assured in the telling of the story and, although violence and nudity of course remain, the show seems to be using them less to draw in curious viewers. Particularly this applies to the nudity, which is noticeably reduced and applied to smaller roles than in previous seasons. The focus here is very much on the telling of the story, and this is as it should be as the show now has more and more plates spinning than ever, and a lot more big plot developments to go with it. As with before, I was impressed by how well it moves through the plotting delivering a lot with short scenes but also knowing when to take longer to build tension in a specific scene or to let things play out a little slower. There are many impacting and memorable moments in this season and they are all well- delivered; despite the pace of delivery, it never becomes "then this happens, then that happens etc".
That said, this season perhaps doesn't totally keep it as tight and effective as other seasons. Wherever the scene is focused will be very well done, but I was surprised by how little time was spent with some characters and also how infrequently we saw some of them. In several cases, narrative threads that had me engaged, just seemed to drop off the radar for many episodes, or in some cases were not returned to this season. In the moment this didn't bother me, but after the episodes and after the season finished, I did realize that quite some aspects had not moved forward much or had been left hanging. It is a minor complaint though, mainly because it is entirely understandable that not everything can be fitted in even when it comes to the main narrative.
As always, the budget is well used to get good costumes, sets and special effects (although perhaps sparingly used of course). The performances are easy to dismiss because of the rather schlocky nature of the material at times, however this is to do it a disservice because everyone makes good on their characters and finds smaller moments to do very good work with very little. The fourth season has a lot going on and the standard of story-telling remains high. Understandably it perhaps loses touch with some characters or threads more than it would like to, but in the moment it is great and in the bigger picture it remains engaging and entertaining.
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