We’re already over halfway through Game of Thrones Season 4, and likely no one is alone in feeling as if the end is coming too quickly. We’ll never be satisfied until the true end of the series, which means that the gap between this season and 2015’s Season 5 will be more painful than ever. So far, we’ve seen some excellent victories and plot twists, but not everything has been fun and games. Below, we revisit some of the the most impactful moments of this season, and examine what’s left still to look forward to. Obviously, spoilers are rampant, so tread carefully…
There’s no debate that Joffrey’s death was the more anticipated of the two, but seeing Crazy Lysa, with her strange over-mothering tendencies and bratty son, Robin (who shared eerily similar personality traits with the former spoiled King of Westeros) unapologetically shoved through the Moon Door was equally as satisfying. Like Arya herself, we happily crossed a name off our mental list of Game of Thrones characters better off dead. The shock from Joffrey’s demise has slowly worn off, especially as we begin to understand why Petyr Baelish might have been involved with the murder (to avenge his only love, Catelyn Stark, of course). If anything, this season has done more to reiterate that love drives hatred, revenge, murder and war more than any other emotion.
It’s no secret that Game of Thrones is a costly production, with each episode racking up a bill of around 6 million dollars in production costs. It’s also plain to see that HBO has held nothing back monetarily from the season, with the dragons looking larger and more realistic in each episode, and the sheer size of massive armies, explosions and magical effects becoming more commonplace. From the costuming to the CGI, Game of Thrones has perfected its otherworldly setting. Better yet, we’ve even seen our first full-on glance of the Night’s King (the scary looking leader of the White Walkers who essentially freezes and transforms a baby at the end of episode 4). The most recent books haven’t even described the White Walkers in that much detail so, for a change, even readers were relatively shocked at the events.
We’d essentially gotten over the fact that Jamie (expertly played by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) had an incestuous relationship with his sister – or at least momentarily forgotten it was so sexual. If the scenes between Jaime and Brienne of Tarth forming a true, deep friendship hadn’t at least softened your opinion of Jaime as a moral man, you’d be lying to yourself; in fact, the scenes are some of the most impactful and touching moments of the show yet. They’re moving without involving sex, gore or anything conniving – which on Game of Thrones is rare, and takes some serious acting chops.
So to see Jaime rape his sister, well, that wasn’t only surprising, it went against everything his character had been developing into. Fans of the series know well enough that in the books, Cersei is on board with the sexual encounter. In fact, director Alex Graves insists that in the show, “It becomes consensual by the end.” It was the show’s mistake to allow Jaime’s blossoming character to be marred by such a scene, and one they will hopefully remedy.
Readers of the series know, and viewers can assume, that there are still more than a few major turns left before we reach the finale. Without spoiling anything, what we can say is to expect the rapidly increasing use of magic and supernatural forces to continue, and as always: trust no one to be innocent. The next episode won’t air until June 1st (due to Memorial Day weekend), but previous episodes can still be revisited through HBO, select tv packages or online.