A Song of Ice and Fire:
Show-runners DB Weiss and David Benioff have cut Martin’s third book, A Storm of Swords, in two: season three is the first half; season four is the second.
(Beware! Spoilers after the jump)
Game of Thrones – 4×01 Two Swords
Tywin Lannister oversees the reforging of Ice, the Stark ancestral sword, into two new swords. He gives one to his son Jaime, who tries and fails to return to his earlier life before the loss of his sword-hand. Prince Oberyn, brother of Prince Doran Martell of Dorne, arrives in King’s Landing with his paramour Ellaria Sand to attend the royal wedding in his place and is welcomed by Tyrion Lannister, and later reveals his true plans for his visit: revenge against the Lannisters for the rape and death of his sister, Elia. In the North, while Styr and his group of cannibal Thenns reinforce Tormund Giantsbane and the other wildlings, Jon Snow has returned to Castle Black and is released after confessing what he did during his stay with the wildings. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen leads her army on a march towards Meereen, the last of the three great slave cities. In the Riverlands, Arya, accompanied by Sandor “The Hound” Clegane, reclaims her sword Needle from Polliver, and uses it to kill him the same way he murdered Lommy Greenhands, to get belated retribution for her friend. (Explore the episode)
☞ The Hound: You’re a talker. Listening to talkers makes me thirsty and hungry. Think I’ll take two chickens.
Polliver: You don’t seem to understand the situation.
The Hound: I understand that if any more words come pouring out your cunt mouth, I’m going to have to eat every fucking chicken in this room.
Polliver: You lived your life for the king. You’re going to die for some chickens?
The Hound: Someone is.
☞ Jaime: I suppose you want the sword back.
Tywin: Keep it. A one handed man with no family needs all the help he can get.
☞ Tyrion: I didn’t know your brother. He seemed like a good man, but I didn’t know him. Your mother on the other hand, I admired her. She wanted to have me executed, but I admired her.
Game of Thrones – 4×02 The Lion and the Rose
Roose Bolton returns to the Dreadfort to meet up with his bastard son Ramsay Snow and sees first hand how Theon Greyjoy has been brutalized into a subservient persona, dubbed ‘Reek’. His next objective is to find and kill the remaining Stark children — Bran and Rickon, who threaten the legitimacy of his new title as well as reclaiming the territories under Ironborn occupation. Beyond the Wall, the visions of the Three-eyed Raven compel Bran and his companions to travel further northwards, despite growing hunger. At Dragonstone, Melisandre orders several people to be burned as a tribute to the Lord of Light, to the delight of Queen Selyse and the disgust of Davos and Shireen. In King’s Landing, Tyrion breaks up with Shae to protect her from his family and tries to ship her off across the Narrow Sea to Pentos. Meanwhile, Jaime begins discretely training his left-handed swordplay with the help of Bronn. Later at the Royal Wedding feast, tensions fly high between Joffrey and Tyrion. The feast is abruptly cut short when Joffrey succumbs to poison and dies. A grief-stricken Cersei accuses Tyrion of murdering the king and orders his arrest.
☞ Olenna: “War is war, but killing a man at a wedding? Horrid. What sort of monster would do such a thing? As if men need more reasons to fear marriage.”
☞ Melisandre: “There is only one hell: the one we live in now.”
☞ Jamie Lannister: “How can I protect the king when I can’t even wipe my own ass?”
* Note that Bronn trains with Jamie Lannister, not Syr Ilyn Payne as in the books (**)
♫ It’s a nice day for a purple wedding ♫
Game of Thrones – 4×03 Breaker of Chains
Tyrion is immediately arrested and imprisoned under suspicion of Joffrey’s murder while Tywin begins to groom Tommen to be the next King. Meanwhile, Sansa is smuggled out of King’s Landing with the help of the fool and former knight Dontos Hollard, who brings her to Petyr Baelish’s ship. In the Riverlands, Arya and the Hound continue their journey, where they meet a kind farmer and his daughter. However, the Hound robs the farmer, much to Arya’s shock. At Dragonstone, Davos tries to figure out how to replenish Stannis’ depleted forces, and requests a loan from the Iron Bank of Braavos to pay for a new army. In the North, Sam, fearing for Gilly’s safety, has her moved out of Castle Black to Mole’s Town, despite Gilly’s desire to stay. Meanwhile, the wildings continue to raid northern villages. Jon warns them that the wildings want to lure the Night’s Watch brothers out of Castle Black, and they should instead focus on fortifying their defenses. However, they then receive word that a band of Night’s Watch mutineers have set up camp at Craster’s Keep. Jon tells the Night’s Watch to organize a party to attack the mutineers, as they cannot risk having any information about the weakness of Castle Black’s defenses leak to Mance Rayder’s approaching army. At Meereen, Daenerys lays siege to the city, and after Daario defeats Meereen’s champion, she tells the slaves to rise up against their masters.
☞ Petyr Baelish : Money buys a man’s silence for a time. A bolt in the heart buys it forver.
☞ Tywin : Some believe the King choked.
Oberyn : Some believe the sky is blue because we live inside the eye of a blue eyed giant.
☞ Arya : You’re the worst shit in the Seven Kingdom!
The Hound : Plenty worse than me. I just understand the way things are. How many Starks do they gotta behead before you figure it out?
☞ Tywin : The king is dead, the Greyjoys are in open rebellion. A wildling army marches on the wall—and in the east, a Targaryen girl has three dragons.
☞ Tyrion : Pod, I’m giving you an order.
☞ Daenerys : “I am Daenerys Stormborn. your masters may have told you lies about me, or they may have told you nothing. It does not matter. I have nothing to say to them. I speak only to you. first, I went to Astapor. those who were slaves in Astapor, now stand behind me, free. next i went to Yunkai. those who were slaves in Yunkai, now stand behind me, free. now i have come to Meereen. I am not your enemy. your enemy is beside you. your enemy steals and murders your children. your enemy has nothing for you but chains and suffering, and commands. I do not bring you commands. I bring you a choice.”
☁ Why did D&D have the Cersei and Jamie scene in the crypt play out as a rape scene rather than as in the books? It doesn’t with fit either character. (**)
Game of Thrones – 4×04 Oathkeeper
Daenerys successfully captures Meereen, and immediately seeks justice for the slain slave children by nailing all the the masters to posts. At sea, Petyr admits to Sansa that he was responsible for poisoning Joffrey, despite his alliance with the Lannisters. In King’s Landing, Olenna encourages Margaery to seduce Tommen before Cersei has a chance to turn him against her. Jaime meets with Tyrion, and is convinced he is not guilty. However, Cersei is adamant about Tyrion’s guilt, and orders Jaime to hunt down and kill Sansa. Jaime instead tasks Brienne with finding and protecting Sansa, and sends Podrick along with her. In the North, in an effort to get rid of Jon, Alliser allows Jon to lead an expedition against the Night’s Watch mutineers occupying Craster’s Keep. Meanwhile, Bran and his party stumble upon Craster’s Keep, where they are captured by the mutineers, and Bran is forced to reveal his identity to them. Further north, a White Walker takes Craster’s last newborn son to a secret ritual site, where another White Walker touches the baby’s face, turning its eyes blue.
☞ Grey Worm: “No one can give you your freedom, brothers. If you want it, you must take it.”
☞ Sansa : “And what do you want?” Petyr Baelish : “Everything”
☞ Tommen : “Ser Pounce”
☞ Tyrion: As for Cersei, she’s probably working on a way to avoid a trial altogether by having me killed.
Jaime: Well now that you mention it, she did ask …
☁ Hodor? (**)
Game of Thrones – 4×05 First of His Name
Tommen is crowned as the new King. Meanwhile, Cersei meets with Margaery, Tywin, and Oberyn, where she discusses matters about her children. At the Vale, Petyr takes Sansa to the Eyrie, where she is to pose as Petyr’s niece. While hospitable at first, Lysa quickly grows suspicious of Sansa, who she fears is attempting to seduce Petyr. Petyr is then pressured to marry Lysa that same day. In Mereen, Daenerys decides to postpone her invasion of Westeros in order to bring order to the Slaver’s Bay and pronounces herself a Queen. On the Kingsroad, the Hound catches Arya practicing her water dancing, and he angers her by saying how that fighting style, and by extension her teacher Syrio Forell, are worthless. Brienne and Podrick are also on the road, where Brienne finds out her new squire is not very good at practical skills like cooking. However, she’s impressed with the fact that he killed a Kingsguard in order to protect Tyrion. Beyond the Wall, Jon’s group attacks the mutineers in Craster’s Keep. Locke attempts to kidnap Bran in the confusion, but is killed when Bran wargs into Hodor. Bran and his company then leave while Jon kills all of the mutineers and burns down Craster’s Keep.
☞ Cersei : He’s only a boy. A good boy, a decent boy. He always has been. Who was the last decent king, I wonder? He could be the first person to sit that throne in fifty years who actually deserved it…He will need help if he’s going to rule well.
☞ Tywin : The Iron Bank is the Iron Bank, there is no someone.
☞ The Hound : Your friend’s dead and Meryn Trant is not because Trant had armor and a big fucking sword.
Game of Thrones – 4×06 The Laws of Gods and Men
In Essos, Stannis and Davos travel to Braavos to appeal to the Iron Bank to grant them a loan. While the Iron Bank is reluctant at first, Davos manages to convince them to back Stannis. In Meereen, Daenerys attempts to take on her new role as Queen as she listens to the requests of her subjects. At the Dreadfort, Yara leads an attack in an effort to rescue Theon but fails when Theon refuses to come with her. After seeing Theon’s current state as Reek, Yara tells her men that Theon is dead. In King’s Landing, Tywin puts a price on the Hound’s head and instructs Varys to continue spying on Daenerys. Later that day, Tyrion is brought to trial for Joffrey’s murder. However, all of the witnesses brought in testify against him, including Shae. Angry and broken, Tyrion demands that his fate be determined in a trial by combat.
☞ Jamie: “This is not a trial, this is a farce.”
☞ Tyrion: “I did not do it. I did not kill Joffrey but I wish that I had. Watching your vicious bastard die gave me more relief than 1000 lying whores. I wish I was the monster you think I am. I wish I had enough poison for the whole pack of you. I would gladly give my life to watch you all swallow it.”
Tyrion's champion for the trial is...Justin Bieber! Because even if he dies, everyone wins! http://t.co/51ycbzlCV4—
George RR Martin (@RealGRRM) May 12, 2014
☞ Tyrion: “But I will not give my life for Joffrey’s murder and I know I’ll get no justice here so I will let the gods decide my fate – I demand a trial by combat.”
Game of Thrones – 4×07 Mockingbird
After learning that Cersei has appointed the vicious Gregor Clegane as her champion in the upcoming trial by combat, Tyrion is desperate in searching for someone to stand for him. When both Jaime and Bronn refuse to fight for his cause, Oberyn Martell steps up, seeing a chance to get even with the murderer of his sister. Daenerys has sex with Daario, before sending him off on a mission to deal with the resurgent slavers at Yunkai. Melisandre and Selyse prepare for their leave of Dragonstone and Jon Snow faces off against Alliser Thorne over the incoming Wildling threat. Arya and the Hound come across some people from her past: Rorge and Biter. The Hound is wounded but refuses treatment with fire to cauterize his injury. Also on the road Brienne and Pod meet another of Arya’s companions, Hot Pie, and learn of her survival and her time with the Brotherhood. They then resolve to travel to the Vale, reasoning she would go there in search of living relatives. Meanwhile in the Vale, Sansa is unwillingly kissed by Petyr Baelish, raising the wrath of her Aunt Lysa, who threatens to push her through the Moon Door. However Baelish intervenes and shoves Lysa from the Eyrie to her death.
☞ Littlefinger : My sweet silly jealous wife, I’ve only loved one woman, I promise you.”
Lysa Arryn : “Only one? Oh, Petyr, do you swear it? Only one?”
Littlefinger : “Only Cat.” *push*
Game of Thrones – 4×08 The Mountain and the Viper
The wildlings arrive in Mole’s Town and massacre the entire village. Gilly is discovered by Ygritte who spares her once she notices the infant she is holding. News of the attack reaches the Wall where Sam laments his decision to leave Gilly there, as he believes her dead. Ramsay forces Reek to masquerade as his former self, Theon Greyjoy, and orders him to get the Ironborn to surrender Moat Cailin in return for the safe return of the Ironborn to the Iron Islands. The initial leader refuses, but the Ironborn kill him in hopes of returning home. However, after they open the Moat’s gates, the Ironborn are flayed and slaughtered by Ramsay and his army. As a reward for securing the Moat, Roose, using his power as Warden of the North, legitimizes Ramsay and makes him a true Bolton as they arrive at Winterfell. Across the Narrow Sea, Missandei and Grey Worm deal with the sexual tension between the two of them. Ser Barristan is delivered a letter intended for Ser Jorah which pardons him as a reward for spying on Daenerys. After confronting him, Ser Barristan gives the letter to Daenerys, who orders Jorah to leave Meereen and never return, officially ending their partnership. In the Vale, Sansa reveals to a council investigating Lysa’s death her true identity and convinces the council of Littlefinger’s innocence. Outside the gate of the Vale, the Hound and Arya arrive and are informed of Lysa’s death. Meanwhile in King’s Landing, Jaime and Tyrion share one final philosophical conversation as the trial by combat looms and arrives. Prince Oberyn and the Mountain fight. Prince Oberyn lands some hits on the Mountain and is able to stab him, greatly wounding him. As the Mountain appears to be mortally wounded, Oberyn tries to get him to confess to his crimes. As Oberyn circles him however, the Mountain grabs Oberyn’s foot and before confessing to killing Elia and her children, gouges his eyes out and crushes his skull, killing him. The Mountain, then suffering from his severe injuries, collapses to the ground. Tywin rises and sentences Tyrion to death for regicide.
“Hello, my name is Oberyn Martell. You raped my sister; you murdered her; you killed her children. Prepare to die.”
☞ “Elia of Dorne,” they all heard Ser Gregor say, when they were close enough to kiss. His deep voice boomed within the helm. “I killed her screaming whelp.” He thrust his free hand into Oberyn’s unprotected face, pushing steel fingers into his eyes. “Then I raped her.” Clegane slammed his fist into the Dornishman’s mouth, making splinters of his teeth. “Then I smashed her fucking head in. Like this.” As he drew back his huge fist, the blood on his gauntlet seemed to smoke in the cold dawn air. There was a sickening crunch. Ellaria Sand wailed in terror, and Tyrion’s breakfast came boiling back up. He found himself on his knees retching bacon and sausage and applecakes, and that double helping of fried eggs cooked up with onions and fiery Dornish peppers.
— George R. R. Martin – A Storm of Swords
Pedro Pascal (@PedroPascal1) June 02, 2014
i shit you not, i can't get rid of this headache.—
Pedro Pascal (@PedroPascal1) June 02, 2014
☞ Sansa : I’m sorry, Lord Baelish. I have to tell the truth.
Game of Thrones – 4×09 The Watchers of the Wall
The Night’s Watch prepare for the coming invasion by the wildlings. Gilly arrives at the Wall shortly before Mance Rayder’s army. The wildlings attack from both sides, with one army climbing the Wall, and Ygritte’s army attacking Castle Black. After Ygritte and her army get through, a bloody battle ensues. The wildlings attempt to break through the tunnel leading into Castle Black with the help of several giants and a woolly mammoth, but are stopped by Grenn and five others, who die holding the tunnel. Alliser Thorne goes down to the main level of Castle Black to fight, leaving Janos Slynt in charge. However Slynt proves to be incompetent as a commander, and is tricked into going down the main level, effectively leaving Jon in charge. Pyp is shot by Ygritte and dies in Sam’s arms. After watching Jon kill Styr the Thenn, Ygritte prepares to kill Jon, but is shot by Olly. Jon holds Ygritte in his arms as she dies. With the help of Jon’s direwolf, Ghost, the ground level of Castle Black is secured by the Night’s Watch. The wall climbers are sliced apart and completely obliterated from a massive scythe that acts as the Wall’s secret weapon. The wildlings retreat, but, Jon predicts, not for long. Seeing no other choice, he goes beyond the Wall to find and kill Mance.
☞ “You’ll see a hundred castles,” he promised her. “The battle’s done. Maester Aemon will see to you.” He touched her hair. “You’re kissed by fire, remember? Lucky. It will take more than an arrow to kill you. Aemon will draw it out and patch you up, and we’ll get you some milk of the poppy for the pain.”
She just smiled at that. “D’you remember that cave? We should have stayed in that cave. I told you so.”
“We’ll go back to the cave,” he said. “You’re not going to die, Ygritte. You’re not.”
“Oh.” Ygritte cupped his cheek with her hand. “You know nothing, Jon Snow,” she sighed, dying.
Game of Thrones – 4×10 The Children
Jon Snow treats with Mance Rayder, but their negotiations are interrupted when Stannis Baratheon and his army suddenly arrive, defeating the Wildling army and taking Mance prisoner. Later, the Night’s Watch burn the bodies of their dead while Jon burns Ygritte beyond the wall. Bran and his party come upon the large Heart Tree from his visions, but as they arrive they are attacked by reanimated skeletons; though Jojen is killed, Bran, Hodor and Meera are saved by a child of the forest who takes them to the Three-Eyed Raven. In Meereen, Daenerys reluctantly grants a former slave’s wish of being sold into slavery again. The next citizen brings her the charred remains of his daughter who was burned by one of her dragons. As a precaution, Daenerys chains and locks her other dragons in the catacombs. In the Vale, Brienne and Podrick come upon Arya and the Hound. Brienne mortally wounds the Hound, while Arya escapes. With the coin Jaqen H’ghar gave her, Arya buys passage on a ship bound for Braavos. Meanwhile in King’s Landing, Cersei orders Qyburn to do anything to save the Mountain. She confronts her father and refuses to marry Loras, threatening to reveal her and Jaime’s incestuous affairs if she is forced to. Tyrion is released from his cell by Jaime, but he later finds Shae in Tywin’s bed and kills her in a struggle. He then confronts his father in the privy and shoots him with a crossbow, before escaping the city with Varys.
☞ The Hound: “SAFETY? WHERE THE FUCK’S THAT? Her aunt in the Eyrie is dead, her mother’s dead, her father’s dead, her brother’s dead, Winterfell is a pile of rubble. There is no safety ya dumb bitch. You don’t know that by now…you’re the wrong one to watch over her.”
☞ Tyrion: “Lord Tywin Lannister did not, in the end, shit gold.” (A Storm of Swords)
♫ Game of Thrones Season 4 Soundtrack
SERIES VERDICT: ★★★★★
 Game of Thrones (season 4) [wikipedia]
 Game of Thrones: Seasons: Episodes [HBO]
 Official Blog for Season 4 [HBO]
 Game of Thrones: Viewers Guide [HBO]
 Game of Thrones [YouTube]