Game of Thrones (Series 4)

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If there is a single lesson to be learned from Game of Thrones after four seasons, it is: Never get married. If there is another: Don’t hesitate, just take the kill shot. The blood continues to flow in the seven kingdoms, surpassing, for the first time, the amount of skin that is exposed for salacious activities. And, oh my, there are some graphic and inventive deaths.

This was another power-house season for Game. But as the story-lines multiply the focus is getting very divided. A difficulty the books have as well. And now that we are well introduced to the main plots, though who ever really knows for sure with this show, the effect on the season was to make it feel as a whole like a bridge or soap opera rather than contained event. It neither moved very far forward nor very far back while it continued to set up whatever comes next. Mostly we got pieces re-positioned on the board (or removed from play).

I’ll admit, I’m hooked, so perhaps that subtlety holds no weight. But it is a bit of a shift in feel and tone that could cheapen the complexity of the world. We’ve another year to wait to see how it all plays, but it was nice to see some of the larger arcs pay off and others kick into high gear. Certainly series 5 is going to launch with a huge amount of tension already there. And, like this season, I expect another flock of great actors to work their way through (and hopefully no more recasting as this season’s change for Daario Naharis weakened the story for me–Michiel Huisman is good, but his presence has no where near the impact and thus no where near the believability). If the quality can be continued, Game will live a long a healthy life among the fans and zeitgeist. It is going to be a long year till next March!

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