BEWARE OF SPOILERS
Sex, dragons, blood and gore: You know what that means.
“Game of Thrones” premiered its fourth season Sunday night to a record high 6.6 million viewers, crashing their streaming site, HBO GO, and leaving countless, poor souls fanatically refreshing their browsers as a gray pinwheel of death circled endlessly on their screens.
While a lot happened in this episode, I think the major theme hinged on death and the end of family lines. The opening scene showed Tywin Lannister callously melting down Ned Stark’s great sword to forge a new blade from its precious metals. Nothing is sacred, and no relics remain once a family line has been extinguished.
In one wrenching scene, a knight turned drunken fool gives Sansa his family jewels, the last remaining relic of his once great name, soon to vanish forever. Sansa knows all too well the tragedy of a broken family; in the aftermath of last season, the Starks are all either scattered or slaughtered.
The Lannisters too share the loss of hope of the continuation of a family line in this episode. Although Joffrey continues his reign of terror over King’s Landing following his blubbering defeat of Stannis, Jaime’s maimed return brings doubt to the future of the family. Tywin wonders what use he will be as a fighter missing his dominant hand and is fixated on his sister, who now snuffs his advances. Even little Tyrion is revealed to be impotent, as he rejects the advances of his mistress.
Daenerys played with her giant CGI dragons and flirted with some dude who will probably become more important later on. He’s quite possibly the cutest guy since Khal to come into her life and Jorah’s pained frowns are teetering on comical at this point. Also, I’m pretty sure Daeny was wearing jeans at one point under a dress, and I didn’t know they had those in Westeros.
Arya probably had the most bloody plot line this episode — kicking butt with The Hound, avenging her friend’s murder and scoring a pony.
As for the other stuff that happened, I’m sure if it’s important later on they will show it to us in the preview for next week. There’s a lot of long-winded conversations that seem to take up this show, and I tend to zone out and gloss over all of the scenes that don’t involve prostitutes or sword fights.
If season three concluded with jaw dropping carnage, season four seems to be easing in like a panther, with maliciously calculated and eerily quiet steps. Some of us still haven’t recovered from the Red Wedding, so maybe it’s a good thing we’re easing into this season. However, even when nothing goes down, this show sets a foreshadowing, catastrophic tone, so there is never a lack of tension, even when the action is slow.
Even if pacing itself slowly at first, I think we are in store for a promising season, and it will be interesting to see whose names get written in blood this season.