GAME OF THRONES: SEASON 4: EPISODE 8

WESTEROS – Early last year I had the opportunity of leafing through some early screenplays for this season of Game of Thrones. At several points I saw the slug line ‘insert WTF moment HERE’. At the time, I was bemused as to what this might mean but when I watched this week’s episode The Mountain and the Viper, I fully understood.

Knowing they had a WTF moment on the way, the show allowed itself to plod along with some of the less interesting taking care of business material. Conniving Worm Finger and his consequence free murders, Arya and the Hound’s Vladimir and Estrogen routine, a bit of eunuch love and Danerys sitting on a chair for a bit could all be dispensed with. The utter drama-less-ness of Sam Tarly worrying about the woman and child he sent (for safety) to the village outside of the fortress (then attacked and massacred) was stultifying: ‘It’s my fault’ he whined – no shit Sherlock. For all his book knowledge, Sam hasn’t read the books.

And anyone else who hadn’t was in for a nice shock as well. The gore quotient has been exceeded and now it isn’t so much who dies – it was a duel to the death so it wasn’t exactly a shocker that one of them should go – but how they died, and from the direction of France I swear to God I heard Gaspar Noé hoot. For all its narrative slackness at times, this season has still managed to provide us with those visceral moments which keeps us coming back. Most of us have guessed now that the story itself really doesn’t know where it is going – George RR Martin is a great short story writer pretending to the epic – there are enough WTF moments going to keep us tuning in.

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