Full spoilers for all of Game of Thrones follow.
Ok, I mean it this time, Game of Thrones season four is the best season. I know I’ve spent the last three weeks explaining why each of the three previous seasons are the best, but I’m pretty confident that I’m right this time. Five reasons why season four is the best coming up!
Watchers On The Wall
After two seasons of building towards the wildling attack on The Wall by Mance Rayder and his 100,000 strong army, the climactic battle that unfolds in this season is one of the greatest visual spectacles in not just Game of Thrones, but all of television.
On one side you have the men of the Night’s Watch flinging projectiles at the assailing army of Wildlings below whose giants are attempting to breach the gate guarding the tunnel through the wall. On the other you have a splinter force of Wildlings who climbed the Wall in the previous season attacking Night’s Watch brothers within the walls of Castle Black itself. Both sides of the battle are excellently shown, and the fact this is the only episode of Game of Thrones to focus entirely on one location means full justice is delivered when it comes to the scope of the spectacle.
Despite Oberyn Martell being both introduced and killed off in season four, his presence carries a weight that is felt several seasons later. With his skull crushed by The Mountain in what is likely the most stomach churning death in all of Game of Thrones, the resulting story of revenge by the Sand Snakes pushes Dorne to side with Daenerys when she reaches Westeros, and also in the death of Jaime and Cersei’s daughter, Myrcella.
Having watched the disarray Kings Landing falls into under the weak hand of King Tommen, in retrospect Joffrey was a much more capable king than we realised. Yes he was a bastard son of incest who enjoyed cruelty and generally being the worst kind of person imaginable, but it is indisputable that the High Sparrow wouldn’t have lasted five minutes in the city during Joffrey and Tywin’s rule.
Joffrey’s sudden and surprising death, just two episodes into the season, at his own wedding feast was a truly unpredictable move if you hadn’t read the books. Without the gift of hindsight illustrated in the previous paragraph, Joffrey was not mourned by characters (except Cersei) or viewers of the show. His treatment of Sansa Stark, from having her father beheaded to threatening to rape her at her own wedding, was nothing short of abhorrent, so watch him choke to death on his own bile and blood will live on forever as one of the most justified deaths in TV history.
There’s a reason I keep bringing up Tyrion in these articles, and that’s the fact all his appearances are incredibly enrapturing. Framed for Joffrey’s murder and facing either a life on the Wall or immediate execution, Tyrion demands a Trial by Combat to prove his innocence. The speech he delivers, possibly Tyrion’s best ever, where he tells the court of how his planning saved the city from being sacked by Stannis Baratheon has the audience hanging onto every syllable.
Littlefinger Pushing Lysa
While it is not until close to the end of Lysa’s screen time that it transpires she was responsible for the death of her husband, Jon Arryn, just before the first ever episode, she isn’t guilty of anything other than being an overly protective mother. That said, she is incredibly hard to like in her brief appearance in Game of Thrones as she declines support to her sister, Catelyn Stark, when called on in her time of need during season one.
Littlefinger rescuing Sansa from being thrown through the Moon Door by her aunt was already an intense scene, but while he is succeeding in his attempts to reassure Lysa that he does not love Sansa, he has to slip in his sly comment ‘Your sister’ when telling her he has only loved one woman in his whole life. The look of shock and bitter betrayal in her eyes as she is pushed is absolutely perfect, and brings the end to an incredibly irritating character.
Bonus Entry – Sansa Slapping Robin
I hate that kid, and I hate how he survives the entire show with this slap being the only pain he has to endure (other than his mothers ‘suicide’ but he never seems bothered about it on screen). I would have liked to see Robin thrown into combat against the Mountain or the Red Viper. Then we’ll see how smug you are you little shit.
There you have it, undeniable proof that season four is the best season of Game of Thrones. I’m about to start season five now, so maybe I’ll be back next week if I change my mind yet again about the best season. Only time will tell, so in the meantime thanks for reading and I’ll catch you again next week.