The much-hyped fourth season of Game of Thrones is finally here. With legions of fans all over the world, it’s easily the most popular television show at present. But how did the season 4 premiere fare?
Well it didn’t disappoint.
The episode opened with a two-minute recap of what has happened in the show so far. Well the recap is more like an obituary featuring the show’s most brutal scenes including Ned Starks’ beheading at Balor, the Red Wedding (duh?!) and that time when Jamie’s right hand was cut off.
Then we see Rob Stark’s sword made of Valyrian steel being melted and forged into two separate swords – one for Joffrey and another for Jamie. A menacing Tywin Lannister appeared and after looking at the carcass of Rob Stark’s direwolf, he dropped it into the fire. Jerk!
Tywin then went to Jamie to give him his newly-forged sword and offered him to be the ruler of Casterly Rock, to which Jamie said a firm “No.” Please be reminded that Jamie is now a changed man. He isn’t one of the vile Lannisters anymore ever since he returned from captivity (he’s still incestuous, though).
Everyone in the King’s Landing is busy with the upcoming wedding of Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell. Even Tyrion is tasked to help. We see him waiting outside the Red Keep to welcome the Oberyn Martell aka “The Red Viper” and his retinue. We must never forget that House Martell has beef with the Lannisters. For those of you who know what this is about, good for you; for those who don’t, I won’t spoil it. You can thank me later.
Tyrion was informed that Oberyn won’t join the welcoming party as he’s not a fan of gatherings. But a little later, we see him and his female lover in Littlefinger’s brother involved in the initial stages of what would have had become a full-blown orgy – complete with male and female participants, yes, Oberyn’s a bisexual man – if it weren’t for the interruption caused by some members of the House Lannister outside. Truth be told, Oberyn’s story arc is my favorite this season. Something great will happen, you just have to watch out for it.
Cut to Meereen where Khaleesi Daenarys Targaryen brought her “liberation army” and her three ferocious dragons. Ser Jorah Mormont warns Danny that her dragons are becoming more and more uncontrollable. Ser Jorah’s warning was validated when we saw the dragons fighting intensely over a dead sheep. When Danny tried to calm one of them down, it almost attacked her.
What happened in the next scene, however, was a bit surprising: the character playing Daario Naharis was replaced. While I couldn’t say that it came without warning, I was still taken aback precisely because there wasn’t the tiniest bit of resemblance between the past and present actors. I wonder what really caused the abrupt change?
Sansa Stark’s screen time was found in the middle of the episode. She is still devastated over the death of her brother and mother. Even her husband Tyrion can’t do anything to mollify her. Later on, she was seen lost in the Red Keep’s garden. When she looks around her to find her way, she sees Ser Dontos behind her, the knight whom she saved from being killed by the members of the Kingsguard, upon King Joffrey’s orders. To repay her kindness, he gives her a necklace, an heirloom from his mother. Fans, the Sansa-Ser Dontos relationship is a story arc that’s worth following because *SPOILER ALERT* it will lead to the demise of one of the most horrible characters in the show. You have to watch it to know who the casualty will be. Here’s a clue: the death will be satisfying on every freakin’ level.
And then there’s Jon Snow who has returned to Castle Black from his brief stop at the Wildlings territory. Despite confessing to breaking his vow, he was given a free pass due to the valuable information he has shared with his brothers in the Night’s Watch.
The episode introduced other story arcs as well, most of which are extremely significant to show how the story will progress in the future. There’s the Shae-Tyrion relationship which is slowly disintegrating; Jamie and Cersei are becoming less fond of each other; Margaery and Brienne shared a short yet meaningful confrontation; and Ygrette tries to mend her broken heart while in the company of the other wildlings.
But the most important scene is, unsurprisingly, the last. Fresh from the Red Wedding, Arya and The Hound found themselves in an inn somewhere in the Riverlands. Arya recognized the inn’s operator as the same person who took her sword Needle and killed her friend Lomi. The scene unfolded simply: The Hound insisted on ordering chickens and when he was declined, he wrought havoc. When The Hound had already killed his share, that is when Arya came in to kill hers. She got her revenge by claiming back Needle and plunging it in the throat of the man who killed her friend.
The first episode of Game of Thrones’ fourth season raised the bar and if anything, it clearly established that we’re in for a great season.
MNL Film Club Score: 1