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Game of Thrones – Season Four Premiere Review

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Photo Courtesy Kurt / CBS Local Atlanta

Photo Courtesy Kurt / CBS Local Atlanta

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Red Wedding aftermath! Crashed Servers! Actor switcheroos! Have a migraine trying to wrap your head around last night’s season 4 premiere of Game of Thrones? Take a sip of milk of the poppy and hold onto your Iron Throne. I got y’all.

Unfortunately for many, getting your fix of Westeros was delayed last night due to HBO Go’s servers crashing. For anyone who lived through the travesty that was having to wait an extra hour to catch the season finale of True Detective last March, you can feel our pain. HBO softened the blow by taking to Twitter and keeping die-hards up to date with when they could expect functionality to return to normal.

Seven hells, HBO. Get it together.

If you’re doing Game of Thrones right, you probably had some GoT brew to keep you company until streaming was up-n-running again. If not, hopefully you had something to raise in a glass while cursing your ex-girlfriend’s uncle’s neighbor whose HBO Go password you’re “borrowing.” Cheers!

Last night’s premiere is as interesting for what was shown as what wasn’t. Clearly some time has passed since we last met our favorite group of promiscuous, blood thirsty, power hungry Westerosians. Given the lapse, we miss out on further development between Cersei and Jaime’s tearful, and undoubtedly awkward, reunion. Jon Snow may know nothing, but he’s clearly channeled his inner Wolverine and has healed up nicely from his arrow wounds and has made his way back to Castle Black. White Walkers may not be the biggest threat north of The Wall while that bow-wielding ginger Ygritte is out and about!

Looking to the north, the series premiere was noticeably Hodor-less. I’ll keep spoilers to a minimum, but this is keeping with the source material. Everyone’s favorite giant is chilling out with the youngest of the Stark children, Rickon, while Bran and the Reed children head to The Wall. Likewise, Lord Greyjoy’s eldest son (if we can still consider him as such…*shudders*) remains captive while his sister sails from the Iron Islands to rescue Reek, previously known as Theon.

The Twitterverse seems to be disappointed with the lack of nods to Red Wedding aftermath in this episode. We get Sansa’s perspective of what has happened to her mother, her brother and the sister-in-law she’s never met, but little else is said of Walder Frey’s betrayal of the North. Between Lady Catelyn and Renly Baratheon’s deaths, Brienne of Tarth has plenty of avenging to do. No stranger to king slaying, seeing Jaime’s reaction to what happened at The Twins would have been worthwhile.

We can all agree that the arrival of The Red Viper at King’s Landing is welcome. Oberyn Martell is a prince of Dorne (you know, where all the good wine comes from that you’ve been hearing about for three seasons). In true Song of Ice and Fire fashion, his first stop in the capital is…a brothel. The Dornish keep it classy. An early revelation reveled about Oberyn in this episode is his relation to the Targaryens through his sister Elia’s marriage to Rhaegar. Time to study those family trees, kids!

One Targaryen is still alive and well and still heading toward the main lands of Westeros. Daenerys (aka The Dragon Lady) is building an army. Yes, still. Some very ancient, very blonde wizardry has caused her new ally Daario Naharis to have inexplicably changed forms. Okay, fine, the actor is just a different guy. No matter.

The episode ends following the modern day oddcouple–Arya and The Hound. They murder everyone. The end. A high point here Arya retrieving her sword–Needle–from her previous captors. A nod to the connection she still has with her half-brother Jon Snow who gave her the castle-forged steel blade before he took The Black in season one.

In all, S04E01 has left more questions than it has given answers. Something fans of the show are used to at this point. Will Dany make it west? Can Tywin control King Joffrey? Did Theon’s singing voice improve? Will Hodor Hodor? Most of all, who will #TakeTheThrone?

 

Kurt is a big ol nerd. Hurl insults or praise @theactualkurt

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