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20 June 2014 @ 07:24 pm
Game of Thrones Season 4  
Since I was always late to see the episodes and didn't have the peace and quiet to write about the individual episodes, I thought I do a an overall review of the season now that I have seen it all.

The key piece of the show was Joffrey's murder and Tyrion's subsequent trial and escape. I mean Peter Dinklage was great from the start but in this season he could really shine. His speech at the trial, all the conversations with Jaime in the dungeon and finally his last scene with Tywin.

They changed the Shae plot quite a bit and I can see why, even if I am not fully happy with it. In the books we see Shae only from Tyrion's perspective. And Tyrion's backstory with Tysha plays heavily into it.
I had the impression that even though he thinks that Tysha was an impostor and did not actually like him, what Tywin and he did to her, weighs heavily on him. His only real experience of love was with a whore and if maybe Shae, who he knows to be a whore could love him, then maybe Tysha did too, or something of the sort. It's pretty twisted, but one of those things that make sense in the very personal perspective we get on him.

So more and more he lets himself believe that Shae loves him. She doesn't. In the books it even looks like she might have been on Tywin's payroll from the beginning.

On the show, where we actually see Shae, it would have been obvious if they played it like in the books, also they would have had to keep all of Tyrion's sex scenes.

Shae in the book testifies falsly against him for gold, while Shae in the show does it out of scorned love? And possibly fear? It's not that clear.

Then in the end, before breaking him out, Jaime comes clean and tells Tyrion that Tywin made him lie, that Tysha had actually loved him. And calling Tysha a whore is what Tyrion kills Tywin over. I see why they cut that, because the viewer has a relationship with Shae but not with Tysha. Still I thought the book version made slightly more sense.

Murdering Shae is dark in the books, moreso because she is sleeping. Shae on the show is at least awake and fighting, but her doing what she did out of love not just greed makes murdering her way darker.

I wished, they had changed Oberyn Martell's fate. He was so lovely on the show! I would have liked to watch him for ten more seasons.

I liked the Arya-Hound road movie a lot, both actors did a brilliant job with that and I also found it a very good addition to have Brienne actually meet them, instead of all of them wandering around aimlessly and the hound dying (or not)of a festering wound.

I also love the Tyrells on the show. They are cool in the books, but they never get a POV character so they remain distant. I guess it can't count as a spoiler that I'll be very interested to see Maguery and Cersei interact next season, now that Cersei can do whatever she pleases, with Tywin out of the picture.

Maguery is basically what Sansa could have been if she was a bit older an someone taught her to scheme properly (as Littlefinger now does). Btw. Sansa's plot has reached basically the end of the book material, has it not? I can't remember anything more really happening.

Also there is not much more left for Bran to do. But maybe he can really break for a season and return as grown up whatever he will become.

I don't remember the wall events so well from the books but they changed a few things I think. There is one big thing that I think they still plan to include, so I wont talk about it.

I really liked the idea that Stannis goes to the wall to aid them. The only king to answer their distress call. It's one of his few redeeming qualities that Stannis is actually aware of the duty a king has to his realm, and it is not half bad a descision strategically.
The north is pretty much leaderless, and they are likely to respect someone who deals with the perils coming from beyond the wall.

If I never hear of the Theon-Ramsay plot again it will be too soon, but I guess I will have no such luck.

Oh Dany, I almost forgot her. I guess it makes sense to watch her grow into being queen. She is a natural leadem but she still has a lot to learn and before going to the unforgiving shores of Westeros, she learns the ropes on the other side of the narrow sea. Still the whole slaver's bay plot is so drawn out.

Shapinglight: blue seashapinglight on June 20th, 2014 07:06 pm (UTC)
I think your thoughts pretty much echo mine, especially when it comes to Oberyn.

I so wish the showrunners had just decided he was too good a character to kill.

This is also the first time that Dany's plot hasn't been my favourite.
flake_sakeflake_sake on June 20th, 2014 07:20 pm (UTC)
I agree. But it is really hard to keep him around and keep his daughters plot intact.

Dany was one of the characters that really had this growing up problem.

Initially GRRM planned to do a break between Storm of Swords and the rest of the series, where the children would grow up. So Arya would have returned from her stay in Bravoos. Sansa would presumably have become some sort of Littlefinger associated masterschemer and Dany a powerful queen with grown dragons, Bran a tree wizard and so on. But now he put those bits all into the books and compared to the rest of the books that makes them terribly slow.
Shapinglight: stroppy teenage dragonshapinglight on June 21st, 2014 09:16 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I think he should have stuck with plan A.
Beer Good: GoT-slapbeer_good_foamy on June 20th, 2014 10:10 pm (UTC)
I only realised after they killed him off that Oberyn's actor was on Buffy too. (And died pretty quickly there too.)

Agreed re: Shae. That was one of those moments in the show (much like that Cersei/Jaime scene) where I felt a complete disconnect between what the writers thought they were doing and what actually happened on screen.

I wouldn't mind Bran taking a break either. Maybe he can give Hodor some time off to go and have his own adventure?
flake_sakeflake_sake on June 21st, 2014 12:31 pm (UTC)
Yes, I looked him up. This one grew up nicely!

and re:Shae, yes, that's a very good way of putting it. It just doesn't properly resonate emotionally. Martin with all his horror and gore has a few thin lines he doesn't cross. The show just stomps over them at points.

Hehe, like the Hodor fanfiction:
Beer Goodbeer_good_foamy on June 21st, 2014 02:04 pm (UTC)
Hehe, like the Hodor fanfiction:

Heh. Reminds me of the best "Which character are your" quiz I've seen:

Which GOT character are you?