When watching Game of Thrones, I find myself thinking (more times than I’d like to admit), “Wait, who is this? Which house? Why is he killing that guy?!” Now that the exciting fourth season is about to start, I would like to prevent further recurrences of this awkward moment for people like me (as in, those who are watching five different shows simultaneously). So, where were we?
The night is dark and full of spoilers.
The first thing that comes into my mind when thinking of the third season is that it felt, at least to me, like an “obliged step.” During these ten episodes, all of the characters were on separate journeys building up to what will hopefully be a satisfying climax. Some were alone, carried by events and casualties, while others joined together in order to accomplish their goals.
The situation at King’s Landing has been totally changed, with essentially a wedding a day in order to restore the balance of power in the Seven Kingdoms. King Joffrey has married Margaery Tyrell, a beautiful and very clever young girl, intent on being the embodiment of an ideal Queen, while Tyrion, the Imp, had to marry poor Sansa Stark, from whom he must bring forth an heir to to rule over Winterfell. Even the cold and callous Cersei ended up collapsing under her father’s will and marrying the young Ser Loras.
In the meantime, Robb Stark, with his wife, Talisa (one of the few marriages created out of love instead of convenience), his mother, Catelyn (made prisoner since she released Jaime Lannister), the northern bannermen, and Walder Frey’s army, was planning on taking over Casterly Rock. After yet another wedding, Robb, his men, Talisa and Catelyn were betrayed by Frey, suffering one of the most shocking, gruesome fates every put on television.
The blond and handsome Jamie Lannister was carried off by Brienne of Tarth, a strong, somewhat masculine woman ordered by Catelyn (prior to death) to take the knight to King’s Landing in exchange in exchange for Sansa Stark and and her younger sister Arya (she doesn’t know it yet, but they only have the first of them). After an exhausting and twist-filled journey, Jaime lost his right hand, the one which he wielded swords with. This should prove to be an interesting plot point in the coming season.
Arya Stark found her own way, first with a good friend, Gendry (a bastard son of the old king, Robert Baratheon), then with one of her worst enemies, Sandor Clegane, often referred to as the Hound, a cold-blooded killer who originally intended to take the girl back to Robb Stark, but now…
…where will they go?
Gendry, after being told of his noble origins, was taken by the Red Priestess, Melisandre, to Stannis Baratheon’s fortress, were he became the means for a curse over the Iron Throne’s usurpers.
On the other side, Jon Snow joined the army of Mance Rayder to go over the Wall. During this adventure, he found love in Ygritte, a wildling woman. He was eventually forced to leave her due to a “loyalty crisis” finding safe haven at Castle Black.
Heading in the same direction (not long after a fiasco wherein the men of the Night’s Watch, the guardians of the Wall, slaughtered one another over the supplies stored in a wildling’s house) were Samwell and Gilly, with her newborn baby. They ended up meeting the courageous (and somewhat mysterious, due to his ability to enter the minds of animals) Bran Stark, escorted by Hodor, his mentally challenged companion. The two had just separated from Rickon, Bran’s littler brother, and Osha, a wildling woman who promised to keep the boy safe.
The steadiest one was the unlucky Theon Greyjoy, doomed to be brutally tortured for the whole season until his sister, Yara, finally decided to intervene. We’ll see the results of that soon enough.
Last but not the least, Daenerys Targaryen, the Mother of Dragons, has been and is continuing to construct the deadliest army in the Seven Kingdoms, followed by Jorah Mormont and Ser Barristan Selmy. Not only that, with the liberation of countless slaves through the use of ruthless yet effective tactics, she has become one of the most beloved characters in the series.
All in all, I’d say everyone’s right where they are supposed to be now. Even if, at times, one episode felt a little too slow or complex, or maybe we had to, as always, bawl our eyes out at the loss of characters who felt like family, these sacrifices have been worthwhile in preparation for another epic season of Game of Thrones.
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