Game of Thrones started out its fourth season by fingering into newer story lines with the gory massacre of The Red Wedding still pounding in the heads of its long term fans. But with introduction of the House of Dorne and the character development of a bunch of its star protagonists, there’s plenty in the new season to hold the attention of fans hook, line and sinker.
While Sansa and Arya both seethe, one in silent agony and the other in bubbling anger, from the news of their lost family members, up north at the wall Jon Snow presents his story to the Crows, leaving them to judge whether or not to let him live. He fondly recalls a few bittersweet childhood moments spent with his deceased brother Rob, as he dons the black once more in preparation for dealing with the approaching wildling bands. A good fight is about to get underway- one which will end up turning some tables.
Tyrion spends some uncomfortable moments welcoming House Dorne into the folds of King’s Landing as the royal city decks up in preparation for the coming wedding- the third in a series of unions that have so far only unfolded with disastrous circumstances. Apparently, everyone in Tyrion’s life is bent upon giving him a hard time, including the people he would least expect it from. He spends a good part of this returning episode listening to rebukes and complaints and saying only the wisest things which seem to fall on deaf ears, in return.
Jamie is back as well- back to the loving arms of his sister, or so he thought. Back also to his watchful post on the King’s Guards where he has now undertaken the task of mastering ambidexterity by trying to be as accomplished a one-handed swordsman as his left hand would allow. Jibes from both his father and his king boy-nephew do not help, of course, but so far a begrudging admiration is all Jaime gets from us in this episode for stoically dodging all rebukes thrown out at him.
And while Daenerys Targaryen continues freeing the slave cities and struggling to hold on to her adolescent dragons, a scene involving Sansa that will prove to be significant later, occurs at King’s Landing. Prince Oberyn of House of Dorne is out to revenge his sister upon every Lannister in the kingdom because, he says, it’s not just a Lannister who always repays all his debts.
And Arya finally gets a little slice of the action she has so badly needed since her first-hand witnessing of the Stark butchering. Arya’s quest is just beginning to get a hundred shades darker.
Overall, with the fanning out of new plots, this season started its strong build-up towards another epic series of episodes. The strong star cast continues to enchant, falling into the skins of the characters they play. Brace yourselves, for winter crawls ever so closer with Season Four.