Game of Thrones: Season 4


Great finish to the episode! Kind of watched like filler but it wasnt as Jaime I think made the start of a new path. I so hope Ramsay Snow died on the trip north due to cold weather or something.

The scene between young Queen McChestie and the young king in his bedroom was priceless. His expression was everything!

As for the whodunnit, my original guess was right!...but I backtracked so it dont count.

Yeah, I was wondering how you'd react to it.

I'm gonna put the following in spoilers, even though it should be fine for people to read, just in case someone doesn't even want to know the general speed of certain storylines:

WARNING: "Game of Thrones, general timelines" spoilers below
My brother and I were talking recently about how they'd pretty much have to come up with something for Bran to do, since his storyline's already pretty much into book 5. They have to stretch it out, so I was just kind of waiting to see what they ended up doing differently, and now we know. I'm okay with it. Ideally they'd find a way to stretch it out more gradually, but they have more pacing concerns than a book does, and they can't just leave an entire storyline dangling nearly as long as Martin can. So this feels like one of the necessary tweaks inherent in the medium switch.

That said, I dunno what's going down with the White Walkers now.

Oh, and if you needed further proof that last week's scene with Jaime and Cersei was out of place and/or poorly staged, look at how obviously "back to normal" he is in this one. Like it never happened.

A system of cells interlinked
Yeah, still processing this one, and they made some big changes.
“It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.” ― Thomas Sowell

In the Beginning...
In general, I'm not opposed to Bran and company being waylaid by this deviation to Craster's Keep. I'm a bit concerned about Summer (i.e. they better not farkin' kill off another one), but otherwise I think it makes sense to spice things up in Bran's storyline.

What's bizarre to me is the layering of some other deviations, like this Jon Snow-led ranging to Craster's Keep, and the presence of Locke at Castle Black. I can sorta see what the writers are driving at, but collectively it's all a bit weird. It seems likely that Bran and Jon will actually meet this time, which isn't inherently problematic but is definitely off the rails when it comes to Martin's story. Perhaps it's a bone being thrown to the fans of Team Stark?


WARNING: "Episode 4" spoilers below
I suspect sending Locke to Caste Black is a convenient way to dispose of a now-unnecessary character. Inevitably, he'll turn on Jon (and maybe kill one or two of his friends) before being put down. No more pseudo-Vargo Hoat. For series watchers, it's a nice little bit of deception and danger in Jon's story. But it's clear to me that he's no longer needed, other than to serve as a small piece in the growing animosity between Ramsay and Jon.

Also also:

WARNING: "Episode 4" spoilers below
I'm not entirely sure, but it seems possible that we might still get Coldhands. He could spring Bran and company before Jon gets there, although the final scene with the White Walker included a very deliberate shot of his frost-bitten hands. I'm fearful that it was a subtle nod to a character they've decided to omit. But hey, here's hoping.

Which brings me to the final scene of the episode, which was awesome. I nearly lost it on the shot of the distant figures on the horizon. I've since determined that it's probably not what I was thinking, but it's interesting to say the least.

For you book readers, here are some more detailed thoughts:

WARNING: "Episode 4" spoilers below
Obviously, the series has made a distinction between simple "wights" (i.e. the zombie that attacks Jon and Mormont at Castle Black) and the more otherworldly "White Walkers," which to date have been synonymous with the "Others" of the books. I think that still holds true, but for a moment I thought the series was going to actually introduce the Others as a separate and higher race. The Others are not rotten and monstrous-looking, but have smooth milk-white skin and white hair, and are supposed to look fairly human. The wights are the servants of the Others in the books, but obviously the thing that carried the baby off is no simple wight.

So it was likely just one White Walker handing the child off to another (especially since they showed the latter's face, and he looks very similar to Mr. Posterboy White Walker). The point of the scene, then, was probably nothing more than to show us what happens to all those babies.

I havent read the books so I might not know what Im talking about but maybe the tv series is adding things since the 4th and 5th book came across like filler in comparison. From what Ive been told.

In the Beginning...
Why do people always say Book 4 and 5 are filler? They are not filler.

And what the hell is "filler" supposed to be anyway? It's the story, people. It's all important. I get that those books are slower and more spread out than A Storm of Swords, which is by far the most exciting book. But if Martin didn't grow his story and opted to just have crazy incredible development after crazy incredible development, we'd only have one book and everyone would be disappointed.

There's great stuff in Book 4 and 5. I really hope the series doesn't coast over them just because there isn't a Red Wedding or Daenerys FTW moment happening every other chapter.

Didn't Martin specifically say he was planning a jump forward in time during the point at which books 4 and 5 take place, back when the series was going to be 5 books? If I'm remembering that correctly, then it seems like a fair criticism, given that he didn't regard them as part of the core story he wanted to tell.

I think it might be more useful to think of "filler" less in binary terms than as a matter of degree, because that allows for the simultaneous belief that they're not as crucial as the other books, but still have plenty to recommend them anyway.

Also, they just keep getting longer, which probably doesn't help. It's not just fewer major plot developments, fewer major plot developments spread out over more pages.

A system of cells interlinked
Filler? Says who? That just isn't true, Those books are very event-heavy and tons of progression is made...but some characters sort of stall out and just sort of idle while other newer/different characters get more stage time. All the Ramsay Snow stuff is from book 5, for instance.

Plenty of plot developments, but involving characters and places that up until that point, had been in the background. Also, book 4 is actually shorter than both books 2 and 3.

I liked book 4 a lot more second time though, btw.

Remember, we had been waiting YEARS to see what happened to certain characters after Storm of Swords, and then when they weren't in book 4 at all, people got pissed. I might have been one of them at the time.

In the Beginning...
Didn't Martin specifically say he was planning a jump forward in time during the point at which books 4 and 5 take place, back when the series was going to be 5 books? If I'm remembering that correctly, then it seems like a fair criticism, given that he didn't regard them as part of the core story he wanted to tell.
I still think the root of the criticism for most people is the jarring switch from Book 3 to Book 4. After a whirlwind experience in A Storm of Swords, A Feast for Crows opens with a brand new set of characters and locales (Dorne and the Iron Islands), interspersed with a bunch of Cersei and Samwell and Brienne chapters, and none of the fan favorites (save for Arya) in sight. It's jarring, admittedly, and a sidestep from what most people perceive as "the main action," but I found it to be no less interesting or important.

I think a lot of people perhaps just don't have the patience to shift their expectations and take Book 4 for what it's worth, and so they write it off as "filler" because it's not the frenetic continuation of Book 3 they wanted (and therefore is not immediately interesting to them).

And I don't feel that Martin wrote this material frivolously, or that he was simply expanding the story for expansion's sake. I rather like that he restrained himself from riding his own momentum toward a hasty conclusion and instead took the time to continue growing the story and integrating his ideas. Like I mentioned before, he's a bit stretched in some areas, but overall I like that all the many strains he's created can lead anywhere or nowhere. It's all food for the imagination.

The Adventure Starts Here!
I tend to agree that Book 4 didn't feel like filler. Oh sure, I was a bit taken aback when I had to switch gears completely, but then again, I had the enviable situation of not even starting Book 1 until Book 5 was already out. So I didn't have to wait years between books, like Sedai did. (Granted, I'm in that boat with all of you NOW, and no, it doesn't feel nice at all. I keep worrying Martin will die before he finishes everything.)

Any time I've gotten really involved in a huge series (the Diana Gabaldon Outlander series is another one like this), I have been thrilled to read tangential storylines, to meet new characters, to learn about new parts of the storyworld. With a good ongoing series, you want to see that next book come out bigger and fatter and with more pages than any of the ones before it. You WAIT for the intricate stories and fascinating developments. Because you know that, if they weren't there, the story would be over a lot sooner.

And once you feel that way about a series, it's a lot harder to see any of it as filler.

My two cents as a reader (a latecomer reader, but a reader)....

When I saw this guy I knew right away things were worse than first thought. Always regarded the White Walkers as your typical zombie / revenant, but this looks like a demonic ice necromancer type, meaning intelligence. Waaay more dangerous if its able to be crafty with its horde.

In the Beginning...
So there's a theory that the above baddie might be...

WARNING: "Episode 4" spoilers below
...the Night's King. But frankly, unless they're changing the lore, I don't see how it could be.

The Night's King, who lived during the Age of Heroes (the same relative time period as Bran the Builder, who erected the Wall and founded House Stark), was the thirteenth lord commander of the Night's Watch. It's said that he fell in love with a woman "with skin as white as the moon and eyes like blue stars" whose "skin was cold as ice" (obviously an Other). He took her as his bride and declared himself the Night's King, claiming the Nightfort castle (one of the fortresses on the Wall) for his reign.

After 13 years, he was deposed and burned by his brother Joramun (then King-Beyond-the-Wall), all records of him were destroyed, and his name was forbidden.

Regardless of who he is, one thing that's a bit unnerving about this new development is that it's technically new material. Martin has yet to allude to the identity or origin of the Others in his books. This is the first view we've been given of their headquarters or their method of "assimilation."

And what, exactly, is happening to the baby? Is he being turned into a White Walker? Or just a simple wight? My money is on the latter, since that seems to be the trend with humans when they're taken by the White Walkers. If it's the former, however, that would be a fairly important revelation. But I still feel that the Others/White Walkers, like the other fantasy "creatures" we've seen so far, come from something far older.

I think its a great idea to introduce new material because it gives the readers something fresh, and dont think the baby becomes anything ever categorized before. A wight baby is useless, and Im thinking a organic walker mix thru demon magic which grows to be the nastiest of the lot. Like Saurons Ring Wraiths. Thats my theory

Hope they delve further with the White Walker side of things, and imo can see far off Danarys being Westeros' best hope. On the other hand you know what expecting and predicting does for you in this series.

I'm inclined to think they're being turned into more than just wights. The scene's presented as being momentous and important--especially given that it's tacked onto the very end. That staging would be kind of misleading if it just means a couple dozen Craster boys have been turned into wights, since there's lots of them already.

I think they also have a tendency to use certain camera movements / scoring stuff at the end of episodes to give it the effect of being momentous and important. It's likely we wont see old blue dude again for entire seasons.

Anyone else think the goodbye between Jaime and Brienne got a little to soap-y?

The Adventure Starts Here!
No, I don't think their goodbye was too soap-y at all. After all, they really have been through a lot, and after the way Cersei has been treating Jaime since he got back (let's just forget last week's episode for now, although he did question why he had to love a hateful woman)... well, let's just say Jaime probably will miss having someone around that he KNOWS is on his side and that he can trust with his life... because he has.

Add onto that the fact that, in a world like this, there's no guarantee that they'll ever see each other again and no guarantee that they'll ever know the fate of the other, and their parting seems almost laid back. Also, although Cersei made a snide comment about Brienne loving Jaime at the Purple Wedding, they're not at that stage *yet.* It seemed very much like two people who genuinely respect and admire each other saying goodbye, perhaps forever.

Seriously, not soap-y.

As I don't know everything that happens in the books, I was very intrigued by last night's happenings and had no idea that the White Walker sequence with the baby at the end might be new material. I was so hoping that they wouldn't pull away too soon and was glad we got to see what happened with the baby. The fact that the White Walker that came forward and transformed the baby and had horns, seemed to me to signify that he was the leader of the WWs. Otherwise, why give him a different look than the type of WW who rides out and takes the infants? Very cool (humor intended).

I was getting physically nauseous with Tanner, the guy who's taken over Craster's home (played by Burn Gorman, who I'd just seen in Pacific Rim). He really played up Tanner's vileness. Don't get me wrong, I know what show I'm watching, but he was walking puke, therefore I guess he was doing his job as an actor. Yeah, from what I'd glossed over in certain character arcs on internet sites, I thought that Bran, Hodor, and the siblings getting captured was something added on because I thought I'd read (and someone hinted to me ) that they get to their intended goal without too much blocking their way.

Seeing Locke was a bit of a shock. He must be destroyed, and soon!

Daenerys is getting pretty brutal, but, in the context of what happened to the young people along the road, I can't say I blame her.

I thought Natalie Dormer was pretty awesome last night, with Margaery getting the drift of what her grandmother was hinting at, and especially Margaery visiting Tommen in his bedroom.

And Pod calling Brienne "Ser" was hilarious.

Maybe a bit uneven episode, but entertaining nonetheless.

EDIT: Here's a shot of Hannah Murray (Gilley) who looks awesome when out and about:
"Miss Jean Louise, Mr. Arthur Radley."

Not read through everything people here have said but just rewatched the episode.

I enjoyed Locke's presence a LOT more second time, a real wildcard for book readers. Apparently HBO listed the final Other as Night King on their site - validity of this? Don't know. But Night King was a Stark and my personal theory is Bran will become the villain and Jaime will be the hero who kills him, in a nice mirror to start of the show and general good v bad expectations so this is a nice support.

I know everyone is saying it's book spoilers and 'WoW' material but how would book readers every see that without someone being there for a PoV? It's opened it up. I also like visual echoing Stannis, would like to see him duel it out with Lightbringer.

Further thoughts that reference the books (oh, Yoday, don't read this yet):

WARNING: "Crasters Keep/Book Theories" spoilers below
Not surprised they gave Bran something to do but am surprised Jon knows he's alive. Personally hope Coldhands swoops in before Jon arrives and queue book chapters. Locke, I feel has to be the one who kills Jon at end of Dance or at least involved. Think Thorne will have heroic death in Battle of the Wall, killing giant (?), and Slynt will be beheading as Jon's LC order.

If that doesn't happen, Locke will try and kill Bran at Crasters which will be what persuades Jon to let Bran leave for BloodRaven. Which would be a shame, as now really enjoying Locke's portrayal now, in place of Vargo Hoat.

I thought the final Other could be The Great Other, were it not for the other 12 of them. If he is the Night King, i'm torn if Others are in league with The Children. Like the idea that Bran is turning bad with BloodRaven (a Targ), maybe Others (Stark) aren't evil and instead are against BloodRaven/Dany? Sure there's more cohesive posts about which put more to this