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It’s unlikely that anyone that frequents social media is unaware of the return of Game of Thrones. For weeks Twitter and Facebook have been bombarded with speculation and anticipation, it’s almost impossible to avoid the buzz and excitement that this series generates. This is however a television show that is worthy all of the praise and as the first episode of the fourth series ‘Two Swords’ proved. Few television series have managed to remain as consistently brilliant as Game of Thrones, other popular series such as The Walking Dead have faltered under the pressure of expectation. Game of Thrones on the other hand is if anything getting stronger with each episode.
The post Red Wedding world of Game of Thrones is a different place. The Lannister’s believe they have quelled the tide of rebellion and secured the iron throne for themselves. Of course in Westeros nothing is ever that simple and there are still multiple threats, including Prince Oberyn (Pedro Pascal) nicknamed ‘The Red Viper’ who appears to have revenge on his mind. It was great to finally see Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) back in King’s Landing after spending the last two seasons as a prisoner. We got to see some excellent scenes between him and his father, culminating in him being disowned.
Across the Narrow Sea we saw the perils of keeping Dragons as pets as Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) continued to cultivate an army in order to take back the throne that she sees as her birth right. Perhaps this is the only element of Game of Thrones that feels like it’s dragging its heels. Now going into the fourth season Daenerys still remains separated from the rest of the action and it means her scenes feel self-contained and at times unimportant in relation to what is happening elsewhere.
If the season four premiere had a fault it was that it felt like a set up episode. However if there were any fears that season four was going to be a slower paced affair they were quickly quashed in the second episode of the season “The Lion and the Rose”. After three seasons of being quite possibly the most hated character in all television King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) finally met his end. In what is quite possibly Game of Thrones’ most horrible death so far Joffrey choked to death for a solid minute, slowly turning purple. It was a fitting end to a truly brilliant villain.
Interestingly the second episode of the series was written by the writer of A Song of Ice and Fire – the series of books that the TV show is adapted from – George R.R. Martin. This definitely showed with this episode being a master class in building tension, we all knew something big was going to happen it was only a matter of when.
With the king dead that leaves a vacant iron throne, something that I’m sure many people will have a claim too. Only two episodes into the season Game of Thrones has already had more shocking moments that most television shows manage across a full season. The future of Westeros remains unclear but one thing is for sure there are plenty more shocks in store.