game of thrones

Every week we are going to have an episode review of Game of Thrones Season Four which will include SPOILERS for seasons One through to the last episode screened of Season Four. 

WESTEROS – This week’s episode of Game of Thrones –‘The First of his Name’ – began to take the piss, or water dance as George RR Martin likes to call it.

Tommen got a crown. Weddings are arranged. A keep is burned to the ground and Sansa is once more in trouble. The ‘A Lannister Always Pays his Debts’ Lannisters are in trouble with the Iron Bank. Mining output down, interest rates up, wasteful and inflated defense budget? The Credit Crunch has hit Westeros and Charles Dance is bricking them, but alas not gold bricking them. Okay, it’s a nice twist. But what’s this Daenerys Taragaryan has got a navy capable of carrying her unsullied army to King’s Landing and seizing it. Wooo Hoooo! Let’s go. Last one to decapitate a Lannister’s a rotten egg. But wait, what’s this Jorah? Daenerys? In danger of actually progressing some story here. Okay best not then. Might be in danger of a conclusion. 

‘I will do what Queens do. Faff about.’

But at least Jon Snow is going to attack Craster’s Keep where – as chance would have it – his long lost brother Bran and the family pet Hordor are captive. Great! There’ll be back together again and we can… no. No. No. Back off. That would be an end as well. Best to go on because of some LSD vision about a mutant crow. 

To be fair at least we found out that Arya is still water dancing (which is pretty good description of George RR Martin’s narrative elusiveness if you prefer not to go with piss-taking). And we get a huge revelation that Lord Petyr Baelish is a cad and that Lysa poisoned her husband at his instigation, given in a quick pre-coital exposition whisper. All but the most committed fans were probably thinking ‘erm…’ as they tried to remember Lysa’s husband and whether this information was as stupendous as it felt like it ought to be.

All in all the narrative incontinence of the books is beginning to take a toll on the series. The set pieces are still good (mouth sword action ahoy) and there is still some excellent dialogue: ‘Everywhere in the world they hurt little girls.’ But lots of stuff happening without the sense of a conclusion, or impending conclusion is beginning to make Game of Thrones the first fantasy soap opera. 

In next week’s episode Jon is worried about Bran and Arya gets into a tricky situation with her Hound. 

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