A Game of Thrones-Season 4-Episode 1

It’s about people who live in castles and how they plot and scheme about other people who live in castle who are plotting and scheming against them. That is how George R.R. Martin’s books in his “Song of Ice and Fire” were described by a friend at my birthday dinner back in 2011. It wasn’t really meant as a glowing endorsement but it certainly sparked the interest of my husband. A year later he became absolutely obsessed with the world created in those books. As he tore through the books he also bought the first season of the show on DVD, since at the time we didn’t have HBO.

I was slightly interested in the show but I always have so many interests so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to add another TV show to my plate. I decided to give it a go and I tore through the first season in ten days around Christmas of 2012. Although I was into the show I had a difficult time keeping all of the characters straight.

As soon as the second season of the show came out on DVD my husband snatched it up and watched it over the course of about two and a half weeks. Then came the gap. My husband had read all five of the books and watched the first two season of the TV show in a pretty short period of time but he suddenly found I’m self as caught up as he could possibly be.

Since I had not read the books he went to great pains to keep me from getting spoiled on the third season of the show. So much so that I actually ended up feeling a bit underwhelmed at a key episode of the third season

We had planned on waiting until the third season was released on DVD to view the third season but then last summer we found ourselves on a ten hour plane ride from Los Angeles to London where one of the viewing options was the first three episodes of season three. My husband watched all three and I watched the first two.

Getting that tiny taste of the third season was enough for me to give in and order HBO so that we could watch the rest of the third season on HBO GO. I loved the third season but my husband had put so much effort into not letting me get spoiled that when I finally saw the red wedding I wasn’t that devastated. As I’ve said to multiple people, the red wedding was awful but my husband had hyped it up like it was going to be World War 2 and it was only Vietnam. Don’t get me wrong Vietnam was horrible but it wasn’t World War 2.

As the fourth season premiere has drawn nearer the amount of Game of Thrones viewing in my household has been insane. Although he had all of the episodes of season three at his finger tips on HBO GO my husband had to buy it the day it came out on DVD. I am re-watching the first season in Spanish, in order to give myself more exposure to Spanish in preparation of my trip in Peru in June. Then HBO started with their marathons. All weekend long Game of Thrones was one. I latterly woke up last night at 1:30 am with the theme song going through my head.

Of course all of this lead up to the season 4 premiere last night. This is the first time I’ve watched Game of Thrones the night it airs so it was exciting to feel like I didn’t have to try to avoid spoilers today.

I enjoyed the premiere but as a casual fan of the show it still can be overwhelming to try to keep track of everything. Right before the show began there was a recap and I wondered why things from the second season were being recapped. Of course now I know…There are just so many characters in that universe that you have to remind people that some exist you because you haven’t seen them in a while.

Like everybody I have characters I love and characters I hate. Instead of writing about them I’m going to start with one that falls somewhere in the middle. Sansa…I used to utterly HATE Sansa. I found her to be a weak, whiney victim. My husband doesn’t feel the same way; he believes Sansa has a quiet strength. He has done a great deal of lobbying on her behalf and I have to admit that I have softened on her a bit. I do find her to be weak but I recognize that her operates and survives in a world that her sister couldn’t survive in. Sophie Turner did a great job in last night’s episode of showing Sansa’s heartbreak over the death of her brother and mother.

As for her sister…I absolutely love Arya. I really can’t ever get enough of her. I would love to see an entire show just about her. I’ve always loved her obvious strength but last night’s episode was sad. This poor girl has been through so much and she definitely crossed a point of no return last night.

I also adore Daenerys Targaryen. Like Sansa she started off as very meek in the first season but I have loved her character arc and watching her grow into a powerful leader. I did love seeing Dany with her dragons last night. It will be interesting to see if her biggest weapons become a liability at some point.

As for the Lannisters…It’s obvious to hate Joffrey and Tywin. I actually haven’t hated Cersei as much as her father and son. I think she is a product of her family and as basically Sansa twenty years later but corrupted.  Tyrion is great and I got back and forth on how I feel about Jamie. Last night I did feel sorry about Jamie. There is no doubt that he very much loves his family but his family’s reaction to his return was quite sad. It was almost as if, with the exception of Tyrion, they would have preferred if he had died than return to the capitol with one hand. It will be interesting to see what happens in upcoming episodes in terms of how his family treats him. Will he remain the shamed cripple who should have just died with honor?

Then there are the Tyrell’s…Up until last night I have liked Magarey. I get that her family is very ambitious and that above all else she wants to be Queen. However, when Brienne came to talk to her about the death of Magarey‘s first husband Renly in the second season it seemed that Magarey couldn’t be bothered. It was like Brienne talking to her was a waste of her time now that she has moved onto bigger and better things like being on the verge of marrying Joffrey. While I get that Magarey never loved Renly it was sad to see her brush aside Brienne who clearly did.

My husband assures me that that there is much more drama to come and that the red wedding was only the beginning. I’m looking  forward to next week and more from the crazy world of Westeros.

***-It should go without saying if you read this blog entry that I haven’t read the book so please do not comment with any spoilers.

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