ByTom Burton, writer at
Pure Cumberbitch!
Tom Burton

With the wheels of Season 6 beginning to turn, now is a good time to go back and review season 4 of the series. If you wish to see other GOT Season reviews, then click on my home page and look for the season you wish to visit.


At the start of Season 4, Tyrion welcomes a guest to King's Landing. At Castle Black, Jon stands trial for his actions for the wildings. Daenerys is pointed to Meereen, the mother of all slave cities. Arya runs into an old enemy.

There's no reason to mince words at the start-that was an absolutely fantastic opening episode. It began with two swords, it ended with two swords, and in between it was a near-perfect re-entry into the world of Westeros.

Pivotal Characters

Tyrion Lannister

After the events of season 3, Tyrions days go from bad to worse as he is accused of the murder of King Joffrey by Cersei Lannister. During the trial Tyrion snaps and expresses his desperation to see everyone in that room killed, and then demands a trial by combat.

During that trial by combat, Oberyn Martell acts as his champion, but is defeated after lingering too long without striking a fatal blow. And then Tywin sentences Tyrion to be beheaded. A day before the execution, Jaime Lannister goes to the cell and released Tyrion, but Tyrion replies by killing Tywin Lannister on the toilet, and then gets on a boat with Varys, sailing for the east.

Tyrion Lannister reached new depths this season, a man who for most of the season acts out of desperation, yet still continues to play the game with a very intelligent attitude, and manages to take a little bit back for himslef after he kills Shae and Tywin Lannister.

Just like his character, Peter Dinklage also reached new depths this season with his acting abilites, to convey a character who's continually spiraling down a hole to which their is more difficulty to get back, which makes it more engaging for the audience.

Oberyn Martell

A new character in Game of Thrones, and only stayed alive for 8 episoded, and yet he made a greater impact than most. A prince of Dorne who seeks revenge for his families trauma, who arrives to King's Landing for the Royal Wedding and is initally accused by Tywin Lannister for the death of King Joffrey, but successfully defends himself and is rewarded by having a seat on the small council and be a judge for Tyrions trial.

Later, Oberyn volunteers to be Tyrion's champion for his trail by combat, but Oberyn suffers a shocking defeat, and is murdered by 'The Mountain.'

Oberyn Martell was something that the fans of Game of Thrones have never seen before because he was dangerous, ruthless, but caring all at the same time, and come sometimes act a little crazy. It was something that everyone enjoyed, especially when talking to the likes of Tyrion Lannister.

Pedro Pascal receiving high praise for his performance as Oberyn Martell, his performance even convinced the creators to show a lot more of Dorne and their people in Season 5.

Jon Snow

As Jon Snow returns to Castle Black, he is immediately accused of being a traitor, with the likes of Aliser Thorne wanting him dead, but with Ed and Grenn's return from Craster's Keep, the Night's Watch learn of the mutiny and the death of Lord Commander Mormont, and so Jon Snow sets out to kill the mutineers, whcih he successfully does.

But as the Wildings attack Castle Black, Jon Snow leads the men after Thorne's injuries force him to fall back, and everyone responds well to Jon Snow. Despite Grenn and Pyp's deaths, they manage to hold back the force for one night, so Jon Snow goes to Mance's camp to kill him, only to be greeted with Stannis' army that stops the wildings from attacking again.

Jon Snow has a much more engaging season than the previous two, he is much better at Castle Black than anywhere else, and it shows again here. His character starts to shine as he starts to lead the men in the wilding attack.

Kit Harrington makes leaps and bounds in his acting abilities, and it shows this season, he continues to provide a conflicted character whose honor comes out on top in the end.

Daenerys Targaryen

After a great Season 3, Dany continues to Liberate slavers bay by moving to the biggest of them all, Mereen, and manages to Liberate that city swiftly and without mercy. But unfortunately that comes with the heads of rich families angered by the injustice caused to people who did not take part in the slavery.

Meanwhile, Dany discovers that Jorah Mormont was spying on her when she was married to Khal Drogo, angered by this, Dany banishes Jorah. Also, Dany is forced to chain up to of dragons as Drogon goes around the east burning everything, which breaks her heart as she is doing it.

Dany's character slows down this season is comparison to last season, but she experiences the political side of ruling, which is something we have not seen before, and made the audience interested to see how it turns out for Dany.

Emilia Clarke, just like the others, continues to develop her acting skills. She manages to convey a character who struggles to assert her power without her dragons, and without Jorah Mormont.

Pivotal Episodes

The Lion and The Rose - Episode 2

In this episode, it is Joffrey's wedding, and during the feast, he and Margaery have pie and Joffrey notices Tyrion leaving. Joffrey tells him to give him his wine. Angrily, Tyrion picks up the goblet from the table and hands it to his nephew. Joffrey drinks from it, and promptly dies. Horribly. He points out Tyrion with his last breath. Cersei loses her mind and the guards seize Tyrion. A man grabs Sansa's arm in the confusion and spirits her away, saying she has to leave.

The Laws of Gods and Men - Episode 6

In this episode, it is Tyrion's Trial, at the start of the trail, Tywin asks if Tyrion killed Joffrey. He says no. He asks if Sansa did it. He says not that he knows of. He blames the pigeon pie. Witnesses such as Cersei and Pycelle come forward to rip Tyrion apart, for actions he did in previous seasons.

At the break, Jaime goes to speak to Tyrion and tells him to ask for a formal plea for mercy and get sent to the Wall. He tells Tyrion no more outbursts and this will all be over soon. The next witness is Shae. She says Tyrion promised to kill Joffrey so Sansa would sleep with him. Tyrion snaps, and says he wants to confess. Not for killing Joffrey, but for being a dwarf, he says he wished he had killed everyone. He says he knows he will get no justice here so he'll let the Gods decide his fate and so he demands a trial by combat.

Also in this episode, Stannis Baratheon and Ser Davos travel to Bravos to visit the Iron Bank, when they do, they are initially denied a loan in order build up an army. But Davos makes the point of Stannis being the only person who can pay them back, as Tywin is getting old, and the men of the Iron Bank seem to be convinced.

The Mountain and The Viper - Episode 8

Tyrion is brought out to stand by Oberyn for the trial by combat. When the Mountain arrives, they fight, Oberyn finally gets the upper hand and stabs the Mountain several times and has him down on the ground, but he hasn't struck the mortal blow. He keeps demanding that he confess. The Mountain suddenly gets a second wind and flips Oberyn over and presses Oberyn's eyeballs back into his skull and brains until Oberyn's head explodes. Tyrion has his eyes closed in shere shock, Tywin stands and says the gods have spoken and that Tyrion will be put to death.

Meanwhile, Lord Barristan gets a note with a seal on it. Barristan goes to Jorah with the note. It's a royal pardon signed by Robert Baratheon. It is Jorah's pardon. Barristan knows Jorah spied on Dany. Jorah goes to the throne room to speak to Dany. He begs for her forgiveness. She says he betrayed her to the man who killed her father and stole her brother's throne. And as she lays out his other crimes he continues to beg for her forgiveness and list the things he's done to help her and that his loyalty is to her and that he has loved her. She then banishes him from the city. We see him ride his horse away from Mereen.

Watchers on the Wall - Episode 9

In this episode, the wildings begin to attack Castle Black, as the small group at the south gate, and large army at the wall. Those on top of the Wall regard them. Sam and Pyp take up a position and start trying to kill people. Pyp gets one and then is shot in the neck with Ygritte. Sam comforts him in death.

Grenn arrives at the inner gate and as the Giant is still trying to bust through the main gate, he is successful. It falls behind him. He runs towards the inner gate and the men begin to chant the vows of the Night's Watch preparing to fight him off. Ygritte is on the move and spots Jon Snow. They take a moment, both overwhelmed by emotion. Suddenly she has an arrow through her chest. Olly, whose family he saw Ygritte help kill, shot her. Jon grabs her as she falls. He cries over her body as the fight rages around him.

As morning light breaks and the bodies are piled up Sam and Jon survey the wreckage. Jon says he's going to go kill Mance, Sam says he'll never get within yards of him and they will not only kill him but boil and flay him and make it last days. Jon agrees it to be a bad plan. They go to the gate. Grenn is dead but killed the Giant so he was successful. Jon says they need to burn the bodies. They walk towards the outer gate. He gives Sam his sword. As a farewell, Sam tells Jon to come back.

The Children - Episode 10

In this episode, Jaime enters Tyrion's cell to spring him, and they go through a series of tunnels to make it to a stairway where Varys is waiting for him. They hug goodbye. Tyrion thanks him for his life. Instead of taking the stairs, Tyrion goes to his father's bedchambers. Shae is in his bed, he chokes her to death. He then grabs a crossbow from the wall and goes his father's restroom. After Tywin trying to delay him, Tyrion shoots him, and then shoots him again, this time dead. He finally makes his way to Varys, who both escape onto a boat.

Meanwhile, Jon Snow marches out of the gate in the Wall and enters Mance's tent and Jon proposes the Wildlings turn around. Mance knows Jon could probably kill him before his men could stop him, but he asks if Jon is capable of this. Then Stannis and Ser Davos arrive with an army. They approach and Mance drops his weapons. Ser Davos asks what Jon is doing with the Wildlings. Jon then explains his mission. Jon then tells Stannis to burn the dead before nightfall, all of them. The Maester at the Wall speaks over the bodies of the dead at Castle Black before they are burned. Sam and Jon put the torches to the pyre and everyone watches them burn.

Also in this episode, Brienne and Pod find Arya Stark, Brienne realizes who she is and tells her of the vow she swore to her mother to bring her back safely. The Hound accuses her of working for the Lannisters. Brienne and the Hound get into a fight with both getting in good hits but Brienne coming out the victor and pushing the Hound off a cliff edge. Arya heads down to the Hound who begs her to kill him but she simply takes his bag of silver and walks off as he screams. She then gets on ship heading for Bravos.

Season Positives

This season has kept up the pace of the previous, if not more. Tyrion Lannister and Jon Snow's storylines prosper up to the point of nail-biting moments virtually every episode, with the final few episodes being filled with heart-breaking and tear-filled episodes.

Season Negatives

My main negative has to be (one again) Bran's storyline. The premise continues to sound very intriguing, but the execution continues to fall. This would probably be cause by the very slow pacing of the story, it felt repetitive when it should be going at a more efficient pace, so it does not lose the audience halfway through the season.


Overall, despite Bran's storyline, the rest is breathtaking, heartbreaking, awe-inspiring and addictive, it remains one of the most remarkable feats of television, increasingly admirable for its ability to grow rather than sustain. It's a lot to digest, but well worth the effort.


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