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Tonight’s episode marked the return of Arya’s quest in Braavos. Finally, we got our first introduction to Dorne and the Martell family. It was a character driven episode where some of the key players made unpopular decisions; ultimately affecting their leadership abilities. For others, their destiny is still undetermined as yet. Perhaps, there  isn’t a “grey” area; it just either black or white. Again, this episode was directed by Michael Slovis and written by Dan Weiss and David Benioff.
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Braavos
After last season’s finale, we find Arya sailing into Braavos aboard the merchant ship. For the first time, she isn’t afraid. As the ship’s captain rows her towards her destination, Arya is delighted by hustle and bustle of the harbor. She arrives at the House of Black and White to find the man she seeks. She knocks on the door but no one answers at first. After another attempt, an older man in a grey cloak answers her knock. Arya shows him the coin and asks for Jaquen H’gar. She is refused and told that she has somewhere else to go. Dumbfounded, Arya parks herself outside the door and recites her shortened death prayer. After a few days between the rain and the sun, she gives up waiting, tosses the coin and walks away.
Sometime later, Arya is roaming the streets of Braavos, catching her dinner. Out of nowhere, three soldiers corner her about her sword. She tells them to back off. Right behind her, the grey cloaked man appears, scaring them away. Arya turns and follows him. They end up back at the Black & White doors. The old man tosses the coin and changes his face. It’s Jaqen H’ghar. Stunned, Arya accepts it and her friend lets it be known that “a girl must become “no one”. She follows him through the doors.
A great start to Ayra’s storyline for this year. The death prayer was definitely shortened as most on her list have met their death. Reintroducing Jaquen H’gar worked for this segment as it gives us a plausible clause for Arya going to Braavos. Her journey in season five ought to take some really exciting turns as well as watching her persona change.
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Outside the Vale
Brienne and Pod come upon a small tavern to get a bite to eat. As the waitress serves them ale, Pod recognizes Littlefinger. Brienne instructs him to get another horse. Meanwhile, Sansa and Littefinger discuss matters over their meal. She tells him she saw him read a note. His reply is that is another marriage proposal
All of sudden, Brienne interrupts their conversation. She informs Sansa of her oath to her mother, Catelyn. Baelish mocks her abilities by bringing up Renly’s death. Sansa refuses her offer because she bowed to the King at Kings Landing. Littlefinger welcomes her to stay with him but Brienne refuses and she proceeds to leave. She is stopped by LF’s men and a chase ensues. Podricks horses runs off as Brienne kills two men. Pod advises her that both Stark girls have refused her help so her vow is completed. Her answer to him is whether anyone can trust Littlefinger. To which Pod answers “no’. Their mission is to follow the caravan.
This is the first time that two book characters have met on the show and not in the books. This segment was a little contrived for me and I didn’t buy because it was too soon for Brienne to meet up with Sansa. The writers have definite plans for Brienne to be the hero . It will be curious to see how this storyline pans out. It is a huge adaptation for both characters.
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Kings Landing
Cersei summons Jaime to her council chambers immediately as a gift from Dorne has arrived. As Jaime opens it; it is snake carrying the identical necklace that she gave to Myrcella. In her paranoid state, Cersei takes it as threat. She argues with Jaime that he has never been there for their children. Jaime decides to go to Dorne to get Myrcella back. Cersei advises him that he can’t take an army with him or Dorne will take it as a sign of war. Jaime retorts with “I never said I was going alone”.
We find Bronn courting Lady Stokeworth along the seashore as she is preparing for their upcoming wedding. As luck would have it, Bronn spots Jaime who has a mission for the sells sword. He convinces Bronn to help him by showing Lolly’s new marriage agreement. Bronn agrees.
Two bounty hunters show Cersei a head and it isn’t Tyrion’s. Qybyurn offers to take it so that he can study it more in depth. Both enter the small council chambers. The Queen Regent will now rule in her son’s place until he comes of age. She makes changes to the small council by adding the Master of Coin to Mace’s job as well as Qyburn, who becomes the Master of Whisperers. Pycelle objects to this. Kevan Lannister is present as well.. She asks her uncle to be Master of War. He flatly refuses saying if the King wants to ask him, himself, he’ll be at Casterly Rock.
The highlight of this storyline was Kevan Lannister standing up to Cersei. He gets the award for “most courageous”. Finally someone put Cersei in her place and she didn’t expect it. It was also good to see a bit of the “old” Jaime come out as he manipulated Bronn into coming with him to Dorne. As for the Queen Regent, she is becoming more suspicious by the day thus, her decisions may have terrible results.
Outside Pentos
Tyrion and Varys are making their way to Volantis; a stop towards their journey to Meereen. Tyrion just wants to get some fresh air but Varys tells him to forget it as his sister has put a bounty on his head. All Tyrion wants to do is drink throughout the trip. Varys reminds him that he was a good leader and his abilities are of good use.
Again, the banter between Tyrion and Varys is well written dialogue that will make this journey enjoyable to watch. Dinklage and Hill are a perfect duo together.
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Dorne
At the Water Gardens, Ellaria watches Myrcella and Trystane enjoy each other’s company. Still grieving, she requests to see Doran. His guard, Areo Hotah stops her but Doran allows her to come in. He is watching from the balcony in his wheelchair. Ellaria informs him that she is hellbent on vengeance for Oberyn’s death and that she would like to send a message to the Lannisters via Myrcella. She says the Sand Snakes agree with her. Doran tries to calm her down by saying he is grieving as well but she must consider that Oberyn was killed during a Trial by Combat ; meaning he wasn’t murdered. Also, he tells her that no harm will come to Myrcella while he is still ruling Dorne. Ellaria storms off in a huff.
Ellaria is not taking Oberyn’s death lightly and the only thing on her mind is revenge. Doran, on the other hand, seems like a man of reason. He is the opposite of the Red Viper, who had quite the “Dornish” personality. There are definitely undercurrents of anger from Doran but he maintains a very shrewd cool. These segments will be intriguing to watch in future episodes. Bring on the Sand Snakes.
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The Wall
Jon is summoned by King Stannis, who is bitter that he killed Mance with an arrow instead of burning. Stannis needs the North’s support and offers Jon the Lordship of Winterfell if he bends the knee. He also promises him to change his name from “Snow” to “Stark”. Jon reminds the King he is man of the Night’s Watch. Also the leadership of Lord Commander is taking place later that night
Shireen is teaching Gilly how to read while Sam is engrossed in his books. They converse about Shireen’s grayscale as Gilly recalls how it affected her sisters. Queen Selyse interrupts them . She reminds her daughter that she ought not to be teaching the Wildings to read because they refused to bend the knee to her father.
Later, Jon confides in Sam about Stannis’s offer; however, he is going to refuse it because what kind of Lord would he be if he didn’t keep his vows. As the vote for Lord Commander commences, Alliser Thorne and Denys Mallister are nominated. A nervous Sam decides to nominate Jon for the job. Thorne doesn’t dispute Jon’a abilities but he does say that Snow is on the side of the Wildings. The vote takes place. Jon and Alliser are tied until Measter Aemon places his vote. Jon becomes the new 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. A smile creeps onto Jon’s face.
The Gilly/Shireen/Sam scene was definitely endearing as we see there is still good in the world from the point of view from Shireen. Stannis is determined to get the North on his side. Jon’s dream of becoming a “Stark” almost came true; however, his loyalty to his oath was weighing heavily on his mind. That is Stark honor. Now that he is Lord Commander, everything changes. And for whom?
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Meereen
Daario and Grey Worm hunt for the Sons of Harpy assassins. Daario teaches Grey worm that fear is useful as they find the killer hiding in a wall. At the small counsel, Mossador tells Daenerys that the Harpy intend to bring back slavery. The Khalessi isn’t sure what to do until Selmy discloses some insight on her father’s reign and how the people revolted against him. She decides on a fair trial.
Mossador kills the prisoner as a warning to the Harpy and the Masters. He is arrested and brought forth to the Queen to beg for forgiveness. An angry Dany tells him that the law is the law in Meereen so he’ll be executed as well. Once outside, the Masters and slaves gather to witness the event. The slaves are outraged at Mossador’s execution; they begin to hiss and throw stones at her. She is led back to the safety of her quarters.
A shocked, upset and exhausted Dany asks to be left alone. As she comes outside onto the balcony, she hears a familiar sound. Dany turns around to find Drogon waiting for her. As she tries to touch him, he flies away leaving her more confused than ever.
The toughest decisions aren’t always the easiest. Even with her army of Unsullied, nobody is safe. Drogon’s visit has shattered her bad day just a little more as he rejected her. This puts doubt in Dany’s mind and as for the dragons; they are becoming larger and unruly just like her subjects. Perhaps, she need to spend time with her children. Chaos is on the rise in Meereen.
Here is a preview of Episode 3:

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Season 5, Episode1 – “The Wars to Come”

When you play the “Game of Thrones”; you live or you die.  Another shift in power is rising in Westeros as Tywin Lannister’s body lies in state.  As loose ends are tied up, it becomes very apparent many players are moving into position.  Even in the east, Dany has new troubles brewing as her liberation of Meereen has dire consequences.   This episode was directed by newcomer Michael Slovis.

Kings Landing

Kings Landing

Season 5 opened with a flashback of a young Cersei meeting Maggy, the witch, who predicted that young Lannister would one day be a Queen; however, she would be replaced by a much younger one. She would bear 3 children from gold and whose shrouds will be their crowns. Perhaps, not knowing your future is a good thing.

Fast forward to present day and she makes her way to the Sept amongst those paying their respects to her late father. Margery Tyrell is first in line. Jaime is worried about the family’s position since “it’s at stake”.  The Queen Regent is hellbent on the fact that Tyrion, the monster, is roaming around a free man. As much as they hated their father, both are lost without him.

As people pay respects, Loras tries to console the grieving Queen but she intently watching Tommen and Margery at the Sept.  As she looks out the tower, Lancel pays his respects. He confesses the dirty secret about their love affair as he is the one who was responsible for Robert’s death. He begs for her forgiveness because he has converted to the Faith.  Cersei denies any involvement whatsoever.  Kevan Lannister interrupts them.

Sometime during the day, Maregery walks in on Loras and Olyvar. She advises her brother to be more discreet about his affairs. Loras doesn’t care who knows about him. Margery reminds him that they are to have dinner with their impending in-laws.  He retorts that his marriage to Cersei is most likely cancelled now that Tywin is dead.

This is going to be the year of Cersei Lannister.   With loss of Tywin, everything is going to crumble around her.  She may have the control at the moment but even that has its limits; especially the Crown’s debt. Her relationship with Jaime is becoming more distant and aloof. Kings Landing is going to be one the focal points to watch.

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Pentos

A return to Pentos (remember season 1 with Dany) has Tyrion rolling out of crate after a long voyage. Thanks to the assistance of Varys, the Spider. The only thing on his mind is a drink as he commiserates his future except the drink comes back up.  It’s hard to live with the fact he killed his father and his ex-lover.  At this point, everything is unclear for Tyrion.

But don’t count out the Spider because he already has a backup plan. His goal is to bring peace to the realm and the Seven Kingdoms. He entices Tyrion to assist him by revealing that he could help Daenerys.  See power doesn’t always reside with men; power can be a woman with dragons.

The best part about this segment was the well written dialogue between the characters. The banter between them is priceless.  It was reminiscent of Season 2 however; the roles are reversed just a little.

 

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Meereen

Over in Meereen, more statues are coming down.  An Unsullied soldier named White Rat visits a brothel. As his head is stroked, his throat is slit by golden masked man.  As Daenerys hears of this news; she demands a proper burial for the solder in Temple of Graces.  Missendi asks Grey Worm why the soldier would go to a brothel but, he has no answer for her.

Daario and Hizdahar return with news that Yunkai has been liberated once more. The only concession is to reopen the “Fighting Pits”. The Khalessi won’t hear of it.  Daario tries to convince her that the pits are the livelihood of the people (slaves) through his own personal life story.  The sellsword reminds his queen that she has the power of dragons so no one will fear her. 

Dany goes to visit Viseron and Rhageal, the dragons she locked up.  Her children aren’t happy to see as she is greeted by fire. Both dragons have grown.  They sense her fear.

The Sons of Harpy are definitely Meereen’s foe but the question of opening Fighting Pits is on everyone’s mind. These scenes ought to be exciting this season.  And who can forget those dragons!

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The Vale

A dark haired Sansa watches intently as Robin Arryn learns to fight.  Littlefinger receives a note as Sansa watches from the corner of her eye.  As far as Littlefinger is concerned, names mean everything.  He leaves the little Lord in Lord Royce’s Hand.  As for Sansa, he is taking her out west so that Cersei can’t find her.

Somewhere outside the Vale, Brienne is polishing her sword.  Still disappointed that Arya wouldn’t come with her, she set her sights on finding Sansa.  Pod tries to calm her but to no avail.

It maybe that Brienne and Pod could cross paths with Sansa/Littlefinger at some point. This segment is hard to figure out at the moment.  The question on everyone’s mind: Where are Sansa and Litttlefinger going to?

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The Wall

Meanwhile, at Castle Black, life is supposed to be getting back to normal. Jon is training recruits. Gilly and Sam are hanging out. Slynt and Thorne discuss who ought to be Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Melisandre appears and summons Jon to see King Stannis. As they ride to the top of the Wall, Melisandre is aroused by Jon.  He asks her if she is cold but her reply is that she is always warm, thanks to her Red God.  Stannis informs him that the Boltons have taken Winterfell as Wardens of the North. He enlists Jon to convince Mance to bend the knee before sunset so he can have an army to take the North.

Jon visit Mance in his cell. The King Beyond the Wall refuses to bend the knee for King Stannis. Jon thinks it is pride stopping him but Mance won’t let his people enlist in a foreigner’s war.  Jon warns him if he refuses that he’ll burn. Mance accepts his fate.

Later that night, Mance is paraded to the grounds at Castle Black where he is asked to bend the knee to Stannis. He refuses and led to his death. Melisandre proudly exclaims that this punishment for refusing the King.  As the Wildings, Night’s Watch and Shireen & Selyse watch as Mance burns. Jon walks out; only to shoot Mance with an arrow saving him from a horrifying death.

The scenes at the Wall are going to be thrilling to watch. Jon is becoming a leader. The looks between Jon and Melisandre are creepy . Finally, Stannis has taken charge with a purpose, asserting his position.  Now where does that leave Davos? Let’s not forget there are wildings at the Wall. The tension is going to build all season long.

Tonight’s episode was long but a necessary exposition.  With the shift in power changing, many are already marking their positions.  And this is only the beginning. It seems that many characters are going to intertwine through storyline this season. The definite highlight of the season opener was the Cersei’s flashback; it set the tone for the entire episode.

Next week, we’ll catch up with Arya, the Boltons and Dorne.

Here is Epsisode 2 promo:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJiWbV3C1

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Season 5 is here!!

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With just hours left before the Season 5′s big premiere episode tonight, the buzz around the Internet is growing with anticipated excitement. Facebook and Twitter are buzzing about online leaks.

Let’s take a minute and  breathe. And talk about which storylines we are looking forward to watching this evening.

So jump in, get comfortable and let’s chat!

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The Winds of Winter – New Sample Chapter!

Yesterday, GRRM released a new excerpt for the impending sixth book of  the series on his website.

Here is the link:

http://www.georgerrmartin.com/excerpt-from-the-winds-of-winter/

 

Book readers, please use the book forum to discuss theories in order to keep the main page spoiler free!

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The Year of Tyrion Lannister

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Season 4 was a tumultuous year for Tyrion Lannister. First, he was sent to greet Oberyn Martell, instead finds him in a brothel.  He worried about Sansa’s state as she was still in mourning. Next, a breakfast with Jamie, where they toast to their family honor as well as finds him a new dueling partner in Bronn. Shae tries to seduce him but he refuses. Varys warns him that Cersei knows about Shae so Tyrion decides to send her away.

At the pre wedding feast, he presented Joffrey with a book. Joffrey cuts it up with his new sword. Tyrion and Sansa attend the Royal Wedding.  During the feast, he tries to excuse himself with Sansa but Joffrey won’t hear of it as he insults him with wine.  As Joffrey lies choking on the ground, dying; he points to Tyrion.  Cersei screams and demands that her brother be arrested for his murder.

Pod visits Tyrion in his cell and lets him know that Sansa is nowhere to be found. He also informs his Lord that he has been bribed to conspire against him. Jamie drops by as he convinces his brother that he didn’t kill Joffrey nor did Sansa.

At his trial, Mervyn Trant, Pycelle, Cersei and Varys testify against him. He does question Varys, who replies he does remember everything. During a break, Jamie tells his younger brother not to worry because he has handled everything while escorting him back to the stand. A surprise witness appears; Shae, who gives damaging evidence about the Imp (and Sansa). This sends Tyrion over the edge to the point where he demands a trial by combat to prove his innocence.

Tyrion is later visited by Jamie. He requests to see if Bronn will champion for him. Finally, Bronn appears with news that he is engaged to Lady Stokeworth; so he is out. They wish each other luck and part ways. An unexpected visitor arrives in the form of Oberyn Martell. He becomes Tyrion’s champion.  A sense of relief washes over Tyrion’s face.

Right before the trial by combat, Tyrion and Jamie recall their cousin, Orson and his like of beetles. Jamie escorts him to the arena while quietly wishes him luck. Tyrion is perplexed as he finds Martell drinking and not wearing armor before the big fight.  As the combat progresses, Tyrion looks pleased with the Viper until the Mountain smashes head into the cement. The life goes out of Tyrion as he is sentenced to death for regicide.

A late night calling has Varys and Jamie helping him escape from his beheading the next day. As he says good bye to Jamie one last time, Tyrion makes a detour to the Hand’s Tower. He discovers Shae in his father’s bed thus, strangling her. Then the Imp grabs the crossbow and heads to the privy to find Tywin. His father pleads for his life; Tyrion fatally shoots him in the groin.  Varys packs him into a crate aboard a ship bound for Essos.  As the tower bells tow signaling death, the Spider hops aboard the ship as well.

The Story

Tyrion’s crowning moment was his epic, jarring monologue at the end of his trial.  The dialogue was cleverly written by Bryan Coogman (author of Episode 6) who must know the books verbatim.  The intensity of the trial was clearly communicated by the looks between Cersei, Jamie and Tyrion. Alex Sakharov did an outstanding job of directing that particular scene. Even though some parts were a bit contrived during certain episodes; it worked  for Tyrion’s storyline. And who could forget the season finale when he killed both Shae and his father; a superlative conclusion to this season.

The Character

Tyrion has shown many sides of himself this season. His wits and charisma never left during the worst possible moments such as his trial or being ridiculed by Joffrey at the wedding feast.  He has a certain dignity about him as he made sure that Pod left safely out of KL yet, said goodbye to Bronn without remorse. Also, Tyrion honored Sansa as best he could even if she couldn’t return the affection.

His emotional pleas to Jamie never fell on deaf ears as his brother aided him in the end. Oberyn Martell was his champion until the fateful trail by combat.  As for Shae, he truly loved her but in the end she did turn against him (with needling from Cersei and Tywin). And it hurt him to kill her but he realized she was who she was. One of the most memorable moments was his showdown with Tywin in the privy. The looks on both character’s faces was priceless. Peter Dinklage has come into his own as Tyrion Lannister, making him one of the most popular characters on the show and in the books.

What to Expect Season 5:

Where in Essos, will Tyrion land?

What adventures will follow Tyrion next? 

Will he be an outlaw?

Will Varys be with him?

Will he ever be reunited with Sansa?

 

 

 

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Tywin, Cersei and Jaime Lannister

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Power?  Control?  Greed? What word could aptly describe the Lannisters? Season 4 proved that the political upheaval in Kings Landing included a wedding, multiple deaths, a trial and one dubious battle. At the forefront, Tywin was control of everything especially his children. Cersei was a close second with Jaime, left in the dust.

Jaime

Back in Kings Landing, Tywin tries to convince him to become heir of Casterly Rock and forsake his duties as a Kingsguard since losing his hand. Jaime refuses along with a new sword. Cersei had a golden hand made for him as he questions their relationship. After a breakfast with Tyrion, he finds a new sparring partner in Bronn. And to make matters worse, he is chastised by Joffrey for not being around during Blackwater. Brienne continuously reminds him of his oath to Catelyn Stark.

During the wedding feast, Jamie confronts Loras. He notices Cersei talking to Brienne as well as witnesses Joffrey choke to death. As Joff lies in state, he and Cersei have words that lead to desire.

As they continue to train, Bronn guilts Jamie into seeing Tyrion.  During that first visit, he is convinced that neither Tyrion nor Sansa poisoned Joffrey. He tries to persuade Cersei; who is only interested in him killing their brother and his wife. Jaimie makes an executive decision to give Brienne a new sword and armor; entrusting her to find Sansa, in order to protect her from his sister (honoring his vow to Catelyn).

He is present at Tommen’s coronation. At the Tyrion’s trial, the Kingslayer concedes to his father’s request that he become heir to Casterly Rock in order to save Tyrion.  Jamie tries to tell Tyrion to plead guilty but he is stunned by his brother’s sudden outburst. Unfortunately, Jamie can’t champion for his brother. Just before the trial by combat, the brothers recall their cousin’s like of beetles. Cersei pledges her love to him.

Yet again, he comes to his brother’s rescue by helping him escape before his beheading. They say their goodbyes.

Cersei

The Queen Regent gives her brother a new gold hand while thwarting off his advances. At the wedding breakfast, she points out Shae to Tywin.  As the wedding feast proceeds, she deals with Oberyn & Ellaria, Brienne, and Pycelle. But to her horror, Cersei watches her son, Joffrey, die in her arms thus; accusing Tyrion of killing him.

As she and Tommen grieve while Joffrey lies in state, she has words for Jaime about killing their brother. It gets heated as they give in to their desires. Next, she tries to convince the Kingslayer to kill Sansa but they leave on bad terms.

The Queen stands by Tommen during his coronation. Then Cersei chats up Margery about a marriage to the new King. Tywin educates her about the Crown’s debt to the Iron Bank. She tries to convince Oberyn of her brother’s guilt while gifting her daughter a boat because she misses her.

At Tyrion’s trial, she testifies against him and gives him a merciless smile during Shae’s testimony. The  Queen welcomes the Mountain to Kings Landing as her champion. Cersei is pleased with the outcome between the Mountain and Viper. She has Qyburn take care of the Mountain’s injuries.

She spills the beans to an unsuspecting Tywin about her and Jaime’s relationship so she doesn’t have to marry Loras.  She visits Jaime, confessing her love for him.

Tywin

Tywin’s opening scene this season started off with the melting of Ned’s sword ice into two new swords and throwing the wolf pelt into a fire. He instructs Jamie that he’ll be dismissed from the Kingsguard due to the loss of hishand. He gives his son a new sword. Jamie says no.

At the wedding breakfast, he gives Joffrey a new sword and tells Cersei to bring Shae to his quarters. Some cold pleasantries are exchanged between him and the Red Viper. He also has words with Olenna during the walk to the wedding feast. He orders the city closed while Joffrey chokes to death.  The dutiful grandfather begins to counsel Tommen about his future as the new King.

Tywin interrupts Oberyn at the brothel asking him to be a judge during Tyrion’s trial. The Red Viper questions him about his sister’s death. He instructs Cersei to marry Loras after the next royal wedding while informing her of the Crown and the Lannister debt. At the small counsel, he puts a bounty on Hound’s head.

Tywin proceeds to govern over Tyrion’s trial. Jaime offers to leave the Kingsguard in order to save Tyrion as the senior Lannister agrees to. At the trial by combat, he sentences Tyrion to death.  Cersei confronts her father about her secret and how it will ruin the Lannister name, in order not to marry Loras.

In the end, Tywin comes face to face with Tyrion while trying to persuade him from using the crossbow. It doesn’t work and he is killed by his own son.

The Story

One of the highlights of this story had to be the melting of Ice by Tywin marking the shift of power. This storyline was hugely adapted for television that worked for the most part however; the Jamie/Cersei scene in the sept was the most controversial scene of the season sparking outrage with viewers and book readers alike.  It was a departure from the books because the scene is written in Jaime’s POV after the Purple Wedding.

The location shoot in Drubonik brings the Kings Landing to life cinematographically. Most importantly, it’s the excellent dialogue from the writers as well as directing that makes the scenes at the Red Keep memorable.

The Characters

Tywin, the ultimate tyrant, thought he had the control of his children, Kings Landing and Westeros.  His smirk when Jaime agrees to leave the Kingsguard (to save Tyrion) is a good example of his manipulative nature.  In the end, his undoing was his children’s love/hate relationship of him. Not only does he discover the true nature of his grandchildren’s parentage but; he can’t talk his way out of Tyrion killing him using a crossbow. The moral of this story:  Don’t assume you have ultimate control. Charles Dance will be missed as Tywin Lannister.

Cersei has become the Mother of Madness.  She enjoys the power and control she exudes. Her relationship with Jaime took many different turns this season. Tywin’s approval was always forefront in her mind. She despised Tyrion because he saw right through her. Her only redeeming quality is the love of her children and it was heart breaking to watch Joffrey die in her arms (even though he deserved it). Her character really began to lose it. During the trial, the looks between Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion were piercing to say the least. Lena Headey did an outstanding job as the Mother of Madness.

Poor Jaime had a miserable year coming back to Kings Landing. After his redemption, the previous season, it seems like he was swept aside at times. There were some amazing scenes such as his good bye with Brienne and Tyrion in his cell. Those are the most memorable parts for this character this season. And yes, he did keep his oath to Lady Cat. His on/off again relationship with Cersei was troubling at times which made it confusing to watch; but, it is his loyalty to Tyrion that still makes Jaime, honorable.

What to expect in Season 5:

Tommen’s marriage to Margery Tyrell. Cersei and Margery fight over Tommen.

Cersei assuming control and power since Tywin is dead. Tywin’s funeral at Kings Landing

Cersei and Jamie’s relationship, what will happen with that?

Will Jaime still want to be part of the Kingsguard?

Changes to the small counsel under Cersei’s leadership.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Purple Wedding

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Season 4 brought us the Purple Wedding, and another glorious death; hence the motto, “All Men Must Die”. This particular episode, “The Lion and the Rose” was penned by GGRM, himself. It focused on the wedding between King Joffrey and Margery Tyrell.  Alex Graves directed this episode.

At the pre wedding feast, Joffrey receives some gifts from his family. Mace gives him a goblet, Tyrion; a book and Tywin; a new sword of Valyrian steel. Joffrey names the sword, “Widow’s Wail” and promptly shreds the book.

The royal wedding commences at the Baelor’s Sept to everyone’s delight. Tyrion quietly remarks to Sansa, how lucky it isn’t her.  As the guests walk towards the feast, Olenna remarks to Twyin about the Crown’s debt to the Iron Bank.

Lady Olenna expresses her condolences to Sansa over the death of her mother and brother while examining her necklace. During the wedding feast, a musical band is playing, “The Rains of Castamere” much to the annoyance of Joffrey.  The new Queen announces that the leftovers will be given to the poor as Cersei looks on with a fake smile. The Queen Regent orders Pycelle to feed it to the dogs or he’ll be executed.

Joffrey dismisses the musicians and brings out a playing troupe of little people that reenact the War of the Five Kings making fun of Renly, and Rob.  This affects Sansa and Loras. Joffrey mocks Tyrion by asking him to join the actors however, Tyrion refuses. Instead, he berates the King about his swordsmanship abilities. Joffrey is humiliated and orders Tyrion to kneel as well as being his cupbearer.

Suddenly, the pie arrives and as they newlyweds slice it open, doves fly out. As Joffrey takes a bite of the pie and sips his wine, he begins to choke. Margery screams in horror as Joffrey falls off the dais. Olenna yells for help. Sansa escapes the pandemonium.

Cersei cradles Joffrey in her arms as he lays there choking to his death as his arm points to Tyrion. A grief stricken Cersei accuses her brother of murdering her son and he is arrested.

The Story

And this why it is known as the Purple Wedding! Again, it was another shocker that occurred earlier in the season. The adaptation due to GRRM’s clever scripting made this episode memorable.

During the wedding feast, there were a few subplots such confrontations between Jaime/Loras and Brienne/Cersei.  Words are exchanged between Tywin/Cersei and Ellaria/Oberyn and former are reminded that Myrcella is still in Dorne.

The Characters

Most fans are relieved to finally see the end of Joffrey. He was a sadistic, spoiled child who inherited the throne through birthright. Unfortunately, he was mad as the “Mad King” Aerys, himself; who had no regard for the people of his Kingdom.

It was a sad moment for Queen Cersei as she watched her son die whilst lying in her arms. For Tommen, he became the heir apparent. As for Margery, she lost another husband.

 

 

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The Tyrells Still Want Power

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Revenge can be a curious thing especially for the Tyrells in Season 4. Margery prepares for her upcoming wedding with assistance from Olenna. She is visited by Brienne who sets her straight about Renly’s death but Margery is now focused on her upcoming nuptials.

Her wedding day arrives. Olenna has words with Tywin, Loras with Jamie during the feast.  The new Queen tries to temper down her new husband as well as graciously announcing feast leftovers will go to the poor.  As luck would have it, Joffrey dies from choking leaving Margery widowed once more.

Margery, broken hearted confides to her Grandmother that she is cursed. Another marriage not yet consummated. Olenna assures her that House Tyrell is in a better position than before. Olenna also informs Margery, she is returning to Highgarden. She instills some grandmotherly advice about Tommen before Cersei can influence her last surviving son.  Thus, Margery visits Tommen in his quarters that night. She even warms up to Ser Pounce. 

At Tommen’s coronation, Cersei has a heart to heart talk with Margery about another marriage between the families.

Mace serves on the small counsel as well as a judge presiding over Tyrion’s trial. All are present at the fight between the Mountain and the Viper.

The Story

The Tyrells started off strong in storyline this year nevertheless, they faded into the background by the end of the season. As secondary players in GOT, they do have immense power and money that influences those at court.  The adaptation of Margery’s visiting Tommen worked for her storyline.

A special mention to Michele Clapton who designed Margery’s wedding dress. It was an exquisite piece of work. As well, the  the wedding feast decorum was outstanding; another highlight from GOT’s art department. It makes the characters stand out in the episode.

The Characters

For Margery, her dreams of being a Queen were short lived as she lost another husband.  There was a definite rivalry between her and Cersei for Joffrey.  She did heed her grandmother’s advice about Tommen which worked to her advantage.

Loras had a quiet season. He didn’t do much other than to verbally spar with Jamie at the wedding feast over Cersei. Well, there was the look from Oberyn.

Olenna still has her wits about her; even with her sharp tongue. Her scenes were always enjoyable whether she was japing at Tywin, amused by Brienne or shooing away Mace. She is one shrewd Lady because she doesn’t miss a beat. And obviously, she knew that the Lannisters would pay the price for the upheaval they caused last season. Her real intention is to assert their position in Kings Landing. Her indirect confession regarding Joffrey’s death is just one example of this. Diana Rigg will be missed as Olenna.

Mace Tyrell was the newest member of the family to grace Kings Landing. His role was quite small this season although; he had important duties such as the small counsel and as a judge at Tyrion’s trial. Roger Ashton-Griffiths, was the newest cast addition as Mace Tyrell.

Looking forward to season 5:

Margery and Tommen’s wedding. Will she able to influence her new husband?

What will Mace’s role be on the small counsel now that Tywin is dead? How will Cersei handle that?

What new role will Loras have in Kings Landing?

Will Olenna return for another wedding?   

 

 

 

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Oberyn Martell Comes to Kings Landing

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The Red Viper from Dorne graced city of Kings Landing; it was short lived but, intriguing nonetheless.  Tyrion came to welcome the Dornish prince, only to find him making himself comfortable in a brothel. Along with Martell, we were introduced to his paramour, Ellaria Sand.  At the Royal Wedding, Oberyn and Ellaria were greeted by Cersei and Tywin where chilly undertones were exchanged.

After Joffrey’s death, Tywin visits him in the brothel requesting he be a judge at Tyrion’s upcoming trial. Oberyn agrees but; on the condition that he deals with Mountain regarding his sister’s death. Also, Cersei comes to have a chat with Martell with a gift for Myrcella as a way to persuade him against her brother.  He attended a small council meeting and met with Varys in the Throne Room discussing their common interests.

As a judge during Tyrion’s trial, Martell witnesses the corruption in Kings Landing. He comes to Tyrion’s defense as his champion for the upcoming Trial by Combat after an emotional confession. Fast forward to the day of the fight, Ellaria tells her man not to leave her; while Tyrion worries that he isn’t protected enough. The duel commences between the Mountain and the Viper as he (The Red Viper) appears to have the upper hand with his spear and swiftness. The Dorishman taunts his opponent about his sister, Elia’s murder while implicating Tywin. Within an instant, it all changed as the Mountain grabbed onto his foot; smashing the Viper’s head into the ground thus, killing him. The crowd was stunned as Ellaria screamed in horror while Tyrion shook his head in disbelief.

The Story

Finally, Dorne arrived! They are a kingdom, unlike any other in Westeros with their own culture and traditions. It was very noticeable in the dress and decorum in which Oberyn and Elleria arrived. In season two, Tyrion sent Myrcella as a political move while he was acting Hand much to Cersei’s dismay.

There were some riveting moments such as Oberyn’s speech to Tyrion in his cell as he agrees to be his champion. The well-crafted fight scene between the Mountain and the Viper was intense with a spectacular view of the sea in the background. It was an amazing scene to watch.

The Characters

Oberyn Martell was a welcomed addition to Kings Landing; although it was brief. He came there with motives of his own, particularly; vengeance for his sister (Elia) and her children’s deaths. He blamed Tywin for their deaths. His presence seemed to add some spice to the drudgery of Kings Landing. The Red Viper was also charming but quick witted and worldly as his conversation with Varys proved.  His true love was Ellaria but that did not stop him from other desires. In the end, he did have respect for Tyrion as they had a lot in common as second sons in their respective families.  Perhaps, the Viper could “sniff out” the corruption in Kings Landing. Pedro Pascal became the Viper thus, a fan favorite in season four.

Ellaria Sand, Oberyn’s paramour, was a stunning accessory for him. And in Dorne, status didn’t matter; everyone was equal. The Viper loved her free spirit and tenacity while she loved him unconditionally. Their union produced several daughters. Indira Varma was intriguing as Ellaria.

Things to expect in Season 5:

The introduction of Dorne and the Martell family.

Will Ellaria want vengeance for Oberyn’s death? His daughters?

How Myrcella is surviving in Dorne?

Perhaps, some unexpected visitors will arrive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Just announced today HBO and Apple reveal the new App, “HBONOW”. For $14.99/mo you can download the app on any Apple device .  The service will be available in April.

More details here: https://www.apple.com/appletv/hbo-now/

And just in time, another Season 5 Trailer #2:

 

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