Game of Thrones Season 4 Preview: A Refresher on the War in Westros
Much like last year’s advance screening with The Venture Brothers, I was able to see the first episode of Game of Thrones a little over a week before it airs. However, I will not spoil a moment of the first episode “Two Swords”. Firstly, because of the Game of Thrones honor code of not spoiling upcoming episodes despite the wealth of spoiler-heavy material in the form of the books, innocently reading the back spine of a book, or deciding that visiting a Wiki of Ice and Fire will help you sort out a who’s who of Game of Thrones (it does, but looking up a name made me well aware of the Red Wedding a solid 3 years before it ever aired). I will tell you that the season kicks off very well and it was a very enjoyable episode. The event itself was a lot of fun and I even got a chance to sit on the Iron Throne. The sneak peek of the weeks to come (which also will likely air following next week’s episode) did plenty to get me psyched for Game of Thrones returning after 9 long months of waiting.
While a 9 month hiatus isn’t really a terrible deal for other hit shows like Lost or more recently, the Walking Dead or Breaking Bad to have; those shows are easy to pick up on due to the much smaller ensemble cast. With Game of Thrones, you have many characters in different conflicts and journeys. To make matters worse, several characters have similar names and different houses are added every few episodes. Simply put; you can easily lose track of everyone. With Season 4 finally here, I thought it would be helpful to recap. I did say I won’t ruin a moment of season 4, but this will ruin the hell out of last season …but to be honest, you wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t already watching the show so suck it if you’re going to cry foul over spoilers for the previous seasons. Anyway, here’s a quick refresher on where the 5 major sides stand at the end of Season 3 and their overall power ranking going into Season 4:
The Greyjoys– We only got to meet Theon Greyjoy in the first season, whom was raised from childhood by the Stark family after the failed Greyjoy rebellion. Theon became Rob Stark’s best friend and stood by his side when he was declared the King of the North. We got to finally meet Theon’s badass Viking family midway into Season 2, but that little shithead Theon decided to honor his long lost family by raiding the Stark homestead of Winterfell. Season 3 mostly saw him captured and tortured for doing just that. At first, it felt like justice was being served, but an entire season of constant torture made you sort of feel sorry for him a bit. His torture culminated when his father and sister were sent a literal dick-in-a-box from Theon’s demented tormentor Ramsay Snow, the bastard son of Roose Bolton (aka that “The Lannisters send their regards guy” that stabbed Robb in the chest). Enraged, his sister decided to finally bring the Greyjoys into the game to wreck havoc in the north to rescue her brother. Power Ranking: 5 out of 5.
Baratheons- Stannis and his Red Witch Priestess girlfriend Melisandre can go to hell with their voodoo crap. The only good thing they have going in their corner currently is Davos Seaworth. Last season, we saw that group holed up in Dragonstone after a failed raid on Kings Landing licking their wounds. The Red Priestess did some voodoo on Robert Baratheon’s sole surviving bastard Gendry, but a plan to fully sacrifice him was thwarted when Davos bailed him out of jail and sent him back to Kings Landing. Fortunately for Davos, he learned to read from Stannis’ disfigured but sweet daughter which saved him from execution when he surrendered a message from the Night’s Watch warning of the advancing White Walkers beyond the wall. Melisandre acknowledges that the war for the Iron Throne is pointless and that the real war is to come and that Davos will have a role to play for the upcoming war. Power Ranking: 4 out of 5
The Starks- These are the Gryfindors of Game of Thrones. Easy to root for; full of heroes, despised by the actor that also played Mister Filtch in Harry Potter. Unfortunately that Red Wedding situation all but eliminated the Starks as a contender for the Iron Throne. A few of the Stark kids and allies are still alive: Ayria is setting up a buddy cop movie-esque situation with The Hound, Sansa was forcefully married to Tyrion (miles better than Joffery), Bran is with the Reed siblings and Hodor, Jon Snow infiltrated the Wildlings and has returned to the Night’s Watch…but with a few arrows in his back and legs courtesy of a jilted Wildling redheaded girl named Ygritte whom he broke his “no sex” oath with inside of a cave, and their uncle Brynden “The Blackfish” Tully escaped the Red Wedding but his whereabouts is unknown. Oh also Bran is a warg, which means he can control animals and he very briefly controlled Hodor….he does a freaky eyes rolling to the back of the head thing too. Power Ranking: 3 out of 5 (The Red Wedding did some Mega-damage, but Jon Snow and Ayria are keeping things from freefalling for House Stark)
Targaryen- Daenerys is a fan favorite for the Iron Throne but she is far from tangling with Lannisters, Starks, Baratheons, or even Greyjoys. However, she spent all of the last season building a MASSIVE army of freed slaves and eunuchs known as The Unsullied. In addition, she has 3 firebreathing Dragons whom are growing bigger (and even bigger with the new season but still not tall enough to ride across the seas on the back of one over to Kings Landing to burn everything in sight). She’s still a good ways away from Westros so her stuff will probably be separate a bit longer before she inevitably enters Westros. Power Ranking: 2 out of 5 (Not technically battling the others, but that Slave Army and the Dragons will likely give them an edge)
Lannisters- Thanks to Stannis’ failed attack on Kings Landing and The Red Wedding, the Lannisters are the reigning champions going into season 4. However, there are many fractures within the power family. Joffery is still the tyrant brat king threatening execution at every corner; however it’s his grandfather Tywin Lannister that is the real man in charge (even moreso since becoming the new Hand of the King). Tyrion is now forcefully married to Sansa Stark on orders of Tywin. Jamie had a season of redemption with his road trip adventures with Brienne of Tarth which ended with him being one handed but a likeable character. Finally Cersei is still queen bitch, she’s ordered to marry Loras Tyrell but being that she’s Cersei that seems highly unlikely. Power Ranking: 1 out of 5 (Hopefully the pendulum will swing back shortly)
The war in Westros will continue next Sunday at 9pm