It’s been almost a year now since Season 3 of HBO’s hit series, Game of Thrones, came to a close; and as it has been since it’s beginning, the wait is almost unbearable at times. However, HBO recently aired a short, 14 minute preview of Season 4 to whet our appetites, and whet our appetites it did. The preview, titled “Foreshadowing”, offered numerous glimpses into some of the pivotal moments that occur in the second half of A Storm of Swords, and as such, we’ve put together our top 5 most anticipated moments of Season 4…
*WARNING: HEAVY SPOILERS TO FOLLOW*
Dany’s dragons have steadily gone from relatively cute, (as cute as a fire-breathing reptile can be), to relatively intimidating throughout Seasons 2 and 3. However, it’s in the latter half of A Storm of Swords and the early moments of A Feast of Crows that the dragons truly begin to show their menace. We should finally start to see why three of these creatures enabled Aegon Targaryen to conquer all of Westeros; and I personally look forward to seeing Drogon, (believed to be the reincarnation of Aegon’s monstrous dragon, Balerion), in action. Luckily, the “Foreshadowing” preview ended with a short shot of Drogon, meaning there’s plenty more dragon carnage to look forward to in Season 4.
Yara Greyjoy had one of my personal favorite scenes, albeit brief, in Season 3. She announced her plans, to her disapproving father, to rescue Theon from Ramsay Snow and bring him home. Although in the books Yara, (named Asha in the books), fails to rescue or even find Theon, I’m excited to see how she marches on the North with her small band of Ironborn killers.
Now for the real list…
#5 Lord Littlefinger
In Season 3, Littlefinger continued his climb to the top by securing a marriage to Lysa Arryn, allowing him to claim Lordship over the Vale, at least until Robert Arryn comes of age. After a major series of events that I’ll be mentioning later, Littlefinger leaves King’s Landing and arrives in the Vale to assume his new role. However, it is the revelations that follow that make this one of my most anticipated moments.
One of the earliest story lines in the show revolved around the death, and apparent murder, of Jon Arryn. Up until this point in time, it is widely believed that the Lannisters were behind his murder, which largely contributed to Ned Stark’s distrust of the richest family in Westeros. However, unbeknownst to everyone that isn’t Sherlock Holmes, it is revealed that Petyr Baelish and Jon Arryn’s wife, Lysa Arryn, were behind the murder themselves. Not only do I look forward to this being revealed for all to see, I look forward to another revelation Petyr makes to Lysa, resulting in a rather unfortunate fall for her.
#4 Apparently Lannisters don’t shit gold
Again, following the events that I will be mentioning soon, Tyrion Lannister finds himself in a very precarious situation. Tyrion, learning a terrible truth about his past from his brother Jaime, storms The Tower of the Hand to seek vengeance against his own father, Tywin. In the tower, Tyrion finds much more than just his father. He finds his apparent love, Shae, in his father’s bed.
Infuriated by this, and the revelation Jaime had made moments earlier, Tyrion proceeds to strangle his ex-lover to death with a chain, before confronting his father in the restroom. Tyrion proceeds to produce one of the more shocking moments in a series of shocking moments, by shooting his own father to death with a crossbow. It is here Tyrion, in true homage to his character, thinks to himself the old saying that, “Lannisters shit gold”, yet on examining the evidence before him, finds this to be yet another lie. In a season that is shaping up too be full of traumatic moments, I look forward to seeing this scene play out.
#3 Different color, same wedding
Everyone under the Sun, whether they watch the show or not, has heard about the now infamous, “Red Wedding”, that brought Season 3 to a close. While the King in the North lay dead, the King on the Iron Throne was preparing for his own wedding. Although not named in the books, the wedding between Joffrey Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell has been dubbed the ,”Purple Wedding”, by fans, and has a similar outcome to that of Robb Stark’s.
Robb Stark is dead and the North defeated. Renly Baratheon is dead and Stannis Baratheon is severely weakend. Things are beginning to look up for the Lannisters in King’s Landing. However, in typical Game of Thrones fashion, things quickly descend into chaos when Joffrey is poisoned and dies at his own wedding. This results in the precarious situation Tyrion finds himself in, that I mentioned earlier, as he is blamed for the murder, imprisoned and put on trial.
This death finally rids the Seven Kingdoms of their malicious boy King, yet drags the nation into even further chaos, as the Lannisters now begin to attack themselves from the inside. While I’ve put it at number 3 on my list, I’m sure many, if not most, fans would put this at number 1 on theirs.
#2 The Viper and The Mountain
From what I’ve read on the internet, this scene is easily one of the top three most anticipated moments in Season 4, and rightly so. There have been a few personal battles throughout Game of Thrones so far, each memorable in their own right. Whether it was Jaime and Ned, Jon Snow and Qhorin Halfhand, Bronn and Ser Vardis or The Hound and Beric Dondarrion; each fight was unique and equally entertaining. However, none are on the same level as the personal duel between Oberyn Martell and Gregor Clegane that will occur in Season 4.
In Season 3, I was pleasantly surprised to see one of my favorite characters from the books, Ramsay Snow, perfectly portrayed by Iwan Rheon throughout the 10 episode story line. Similarly, I look forward to see how Pedro Pascal will take on the role of Oberyn, the Prince of Dorne, and appropriately nicknamed the, “Red Viper”. Oberyn has come to King’s Landing to, in his own words, attend the royal wedding and exact personal revenge against Gregor Clegane.
Gregor Clegane, called, “The Mountain”, for his unnatural size and strength, was responsible for the death of Oberyn Martell’s sister over a decade before the events of A Storm of Swords. During Tyrion’s trial for the murder of King Joffrey, he requests a trial by combat to improve his chances of survival. Gregor Clegane is chosen to fight against Tyrion’s champion, and Prince Oberyn happily volunteers to fight The Mountain.
What ensues is one of the most exhilarating and satisfying fights in the entire book series, resulting in the death of both fighters, which will surely make for a similarly spectacular sequence in the show.
#1 Lord Snow and the Wildlings
For my number one moment, I’ve technically gone with two separate moments, but I feel they can be justified to count as one. As we know from the previous 3 seasons, the wildlings beyond the wall, under the leadership of Mance Rayder, have been preparing to march on the wall to escape the dangers close behind them. Jon Snow, having spent time amongst the wildlings, has returned to Castle Black and warned his brothers of the impending threat that faces them.
With the help of the few Night’s Watch members still remaining, Jon Snow and the surviving leaders of the Watch stand off against the wildling forces that are attacking Castle Black. The impending battle is long and bloody, and the Night’s Watch are on the verge of defeat when Stannis Baratheon arrives with his forces and helps route the wildling warriors. The battle is won, yet with the death of Commander Mormont North of the wall, the Watch is left without a leader. This is where the second element of this entry comes into play.
In the wake of the battle, Jon is lauded by his brothers for rallying the Night’s Watch forces and helping lead them to victory in the battle. For this, and the behind-the-scenes workings of his trusted friend Samwell Tarly, Jon is almost unanimously, and surprisingly, elected as the 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. The sweet irony of the moment being that for all the abuse he received from Alliser Thorne during his training, being mockingly referred to as “Lord Snow”; he was now, beyond doubt, Lord Snow, Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch.
With it already confirmed that the all-important 9th episode of Season 4 will revolved around the Battle of Castle Black, these two combined instances make for my most anticipated moment in Season 4 of Game of Thrones.