John Hanlon Reviews

Film Reviews

Game of Thrones: Season 4

Genre: Drama


Cast: Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Maisie Williams, Emilia Clarke, Kit Harington Sophie Turner, Jack Gleeson


Release Date: April 6th, 2014

Game of Thrones has been missed.

The HBO hit returns tonight with its fourth season, prostate which was—along with season 3— adapted from the George R.R. Martin novel, viagra A Storm of Swords. The action picks up shortly after the events of season 3 but with a new energy and excitement permeating the atmosphere. The Stark family leaders have been decimated. Now what?

It’s been a while since the previous season aired but this new season feels like a strong new start for the series. As fans already know, information pills the third season was infamous for its “Red Wedding,” a brutally-intoxicating event that reshaped the program’s narrative by killing off several main characters. No longer are the vicious Lannisters— so powerfully led behind the scenes by Tywin (Charles Dance) , the king’s grandfather— in an active war with the Stark family.

But the Lannisters are in a war with both themselves and the great threats growing in the Seven Kingdoms. At the end of season 3, many of the Lannister characters were reunited at King’s Landing and despite the inarguable fact that they were victorious in the previous season, the inner workings of that manipulative family are insane— to say the least. In the season premiere, for instance, it’s easy to see that family’s bonds slowly breaking apart. They were united before– not in location but in their goals– but now with fewer external enemies, their bitterness towards one another shows how fragile their family really is.

The addition of a sexually-psychotic visitor to King’s Landing named Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal)  should also make this interesting. Oberyn has arrived in town for the king’s wedding but his goals are unclear as of yet. “The Lannisters aren’t the only ones who pay their debts,” he says cunningly– a sentiment shared by the far-off Arya (Maise Williams), who is growing as both a character and as a warrior.

The other characters are also now sinking into a new reality— having seen major relationships transform last season. Jon Snow (Kit Harington), for instance, must come to grips with his betrayal against the Wildlings and a certain girl named Ygritte (Rose Leslie) and figure out where he belongs once again.

But the show— which often consists of characters roaming and searching for a way to take power or destroy their enemies— has succeeded in creating a world where the character development is often as important as the action sequences. Of course, there’s more action to come but even when characters are simply speaking to each other, they are revealing their vulnerabilities and weaknesses both to themselves and to the audience.

King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), as the monstrous teenager thrust into power, is still one of the show’s greatest highlights. There are few characters on television or in cinema that are so detestable and yet so entertaining to watch. It’s an exciting game to see how low he can sink and which of his loyal soldiers will be the next to face his psychotic wrath. One assumes his power will be short-lived but in the meantime, it’s a thrill just to see this insolent teenager take out all of his furies out on whoever will listen to his unending whininess.

There are so few shows that have mastered so many locations and such a strong visual look that by appearances alone, Game of Thrones is a marvel to look at and watch. It’s a show that seems as intent on establishing twenty different worlds as it is on establishing twenty different characters who each have their own personal agendas. The majesty of this program is that it never seeks to settle into a specific rhythm and instead succeeds by building relationships, tearing them apart and then beginning new ones.

I’m not sure where the program is going (having never read the books myself) but the ride is quite extraordinary.

Review by: John Hanlon