GAME OF THRONES: Season 4 (2014)

Recently crowned as the most watched show in HBO history (edging out THE SOPRANOS), GAME OF THRONES has proven itself time and time again as one of the greatest shows ever on television. Season 4 is no exception. Not only does it build off the strengths of the previous seasons but also it takes the entire series to higher emotional heights and raises the stakes while staying fixed and focused on the greater narrative. 

I will do my best to avoid SPOILERS but I highly suggest you skip this review unless you’ve watched the entire Season, as it’s nearly impossible to discuss certain aspects without ruining a few of the surprising twists and turns. 

Season 4 picks up in the aftermath of the notorious “Red Wedding” that all but decimated the Stark family and their chances of reclaiming the Iron Throne. There are mixed feelings about the incident that has further divided the resident’s of King’s Landing. 

But with a wedding to plan for King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), The Lannisters are hoping to put that all behind them. Unfortunately things don’t go as planned andTyrion (Peter Dinklage) winds up being sentenced to death for a crime he didn’t commit. 

Meanwhile The Wildlings are mounting an attack on Castle Black and Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) may be the only one to stop it. His sister Arya (Maisie Williams), devastated by the brutal murder of her mother and brother finds a new companion in her captor, The Hound (Rory McCann). Recognizing a kindred spirit, he decides to teach her the true ways of the world.

Across the sea, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) is continuing to expand her army by freeing more slaves. She soon learns that this all comes at a price and that being a leader requires more than just the ability to win battles. To make matters worse, as her dragons grow, they’re becoming more unruly and dangerous even to the people she has sworn to protect. 

George R. R. Martin’s world is epic in scope with more main characters than you can count. Credit goes to Producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss who have managed to keep this fantasy realm grounded in genuine human drama and emotion while presenting a truly epic tale. 

Every episode is a thrill to behold, an expert juggling act that is performed with ease and where a ball is never dropped. It’s a simply amazing achievement and if you are not watching the show by now, you need to clear your schedule and make the time. There is NOTHING on TV that rivals GAME OF THRONES in quality and satisfaction. 

If for no other reason, you must experience Peter Dinklage’s emotionally devastating turn as Tyrion Lannister this season. There is true pain about being “The Imp” that erupts from his soul, the kind that he only touched upon in THE STATION AGENT (2003). I can only hazard a guess that he is pulling feelings from his own life. I will be shocked if he doesn’t win an Emmy Award solely for his performance in Episode 6: “THE LAWS OF GODS AND MEN.” 

It will be another long wait until Season 5, but as always it will be worth it.

JUNE 15-19, 2014