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'Game Of Thrones' Season 4 Preview

Ryan Bouziane |
April 4, 2014 | 1:10 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

HBO’s "Game of Thrones" returns this Sunday night at 9PM. The heart-wrenching and consistently enthralling series is based on a series of epic fantasy novels by George R.R. Martin. If you need a refresher course in order to get prepared for Season 4, HBO has you covered:

Last season, viewers were left with the devastation of the Red Wedding. This season picks up the pieces and arranges them in a veritable "Storm of Swords" – a powder keg just waiting to go off.

Westeros is eagerly anticipating the wedding between the brutal King Joffrey and the endlessly charming Margaery Tyrell. But something unpredictable is bound to occur, setting the stage for this season’s conflict.

Jaime Lannister, one hand down, has finally reunited with his sweet sister Cersei. But will she take kindly to having a brother/lover without all of his appendages? They have spent so much time apart since last seeing one another (roughly a year in narrative time), and Jaime has undergone a transformation of sorts, begging the question of whether things between the Lannister twins will ever be how it once was.

This is Daenerys Targaryen, mother of dragons, not 'Kelly C' (Twitter, @GameOfThrones)
This is Daenerys Targaryen, mother of dragons, not 'Kelly C' (Twitter, @GameOfThrones)
Daenerys Targaryen is still in Slaver’s Bay, on the far side of the world, doing her best Abraham Lincoln impression. She has already conquered two of the cities of this region, freeing hundreds of thousands of slaves in the process and earning the title “mother,” but will her desire to break shackles get in the way of her destiny? Is this the year Dany and her ever-growing dragons finally reclaim the Iron Throne?

Jon Snow has returned to Castle Black and The Night’s Watch after his season-long cave escapades with Ygritte and the Wildlings (not an alt-rock troupe). However, he is placed in an awkward position, as he will have to explain to his brothers in black exactly why he was spending time with the enemy. In caves. Doing things with his tongue. They had cave sex.

Arya Stark, everyone’s favorite preteen sociopathic killer, was last seen killing a Frey responsible for sewing the head of Robb Stark’s direwolf onto The King in the North’s lifeless body.  She’s riding around with the Hound (Sandor Clegane) and hopefully, this season, they are able to find a quiet inn to rest and start a peaceful existence.  Though, considering this is "Game of Thrones," perhaps it is more likely that Arya continues on the path Jaqen H’Ghar set before her. Valar Morghulis.

Tyrion Lannister and Sansa Stark remain the most unhappily married couple in Westeros. After the Red Wedding, you can’t really blame Sansa for hating Tyrion, as his father was responsible for the course of events that led to the deaths of her mother and brother. Tywin Lannister can wreak more havoc with a quill and some ink than most lords can with entire armies. What might he have in store this season?

Bran Stark is north of the Wall with Hodor and the Reeds (also not an alt-rock troupe) in pursuit of the Three-Eyed Crow – a mysterious presence which has been visiting his dreams since as early as the first season. I would update you on his brother Rickon’s whereabouts, but you probably already forgot that he existed.

Stannis Baratheon, Ser Davos, and Lady Melisandre ended Season 3 by looking north – toward The Land of Always Winter, and the true enemy: The White Walkers. They have been white-walking for a while now, perhaps this season they will make some progress.

Oberyn Martell, "The Red Viper," and his paramour, Ellaria Sand (Twitter, @GameOfThrones)
Oberyn Martell, "The Red Viper," and his paramour, Ellaria Sand (Twitter, @GameOfThrones)
This season will be introducing a new character – Oberyn “The Red Viper” Martell. The Red Viper is bound to do something badass with a name like that. He is our first glimpse of Dorne (the kingdom covering the southernmost region of Westeros), and will likely have his own set of motivations. His sister, if you recall, was murdered by one of Tywin Lannister’s henchmen (the Hound’s brother, the Mountain) before the start of the series.

Hundreds of millions of Americans are estimated to be watching "Game of Thrones" this Sunday night, and for all Sunday nights to come (this spring). This mass-viewing experience makes watching this show something of a cultural touchstone, a way to connect with people around the world from the comfort of your living room. If you aren’t watching "GOT" (whether because you can’t buy in to a fantasy story, or because you simply don’t watch television), you need to start. "Game of Thrones" may have dragons and other unrealistic fantasy elements, but it remains, at its core, an endlessly relatable story about the human condition. This show has become embedded into the very fabric of our culture, and if you’re not watching, you’re out of the loop.

Watch the trailer for "Game of Thrones" season four below:

Reach Staff Writer Ryan Bouziane here.



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