Catching Up With ‘A Game of Thrones’

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So, my friends, another season of Walking Dead has come to an end but fear not, because Season 4 of A Game of Thrones starts this Sunday. In preparation for the new episodes, I have been going back to HBO on demand and binge watching the first three seasons of the show and I’m so glad, too.

Because I love the show so much, I have decided to wait on reading the books and the comics, too, which I have been collecting since they first came out. Even though it seems from the covers that the comics are a little behind the show, I am very wary of spoilers, so I put them away as soon as I bring them home.  I have been told that the show does a great job of following the books. George RR Martin must be a genius because there is so much going on that even though I have watched every episode already, more than once, when I went back and started watching season one I realized there was so much that I somehow missed, references characters made to other characters, character and plot development, and foreshadowing that went over my head or simply forgot about because I didn’t know what was going to happen later.

For instance, early on, one of Daenerys’ handmaidens tells of meeting a man who can change his face like most people change their clothes. That was a direct reference to Jaqen, if you remember, the mysterious assassin that Arya saved who gave her three lives (people that he would kill for her) in return at Harranhal. Arya doesn’t meet Jaqen until season 2. But he changes his face before they part ways. Did you get the feeling that wouldn’t be the last time we see him? Me too. And then, curiously, a strange man named Daario Naharis shows up with the Titan’s bastard toward the end of season three. He’s really good at combat, a little on the handsome side, and he immediately jumps right into Daenerys’ good graces.  At one point, he speaks in third person, very briefly and even says “Valar Morghulis” when he wins the coin toss. That is the same phrase Jaqen told Arya to say when he gives her the coin. Coincidence?

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Then there’s King Robert’s bastard son. When he gets traded by the brotherhood to Stannis Baratheon’s witch so they can bleed him of his royal blood and sacrifice him to their red god, I remember wondering how they knew he was King Robert’s bastard. But again, if you go back and watch season one, Eddard Stark sends a message to Stannis after investigating what the former hand was doing right before he was murdered. Eddard is shown writing and then sending the message to Stannis right after he meets Gendry. He doesn’t come right out and say “I’m telling Stannis who Gendry is” but if you rewatch the scenes, it all makes sense.

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Something else that comes to mind from season one is Ser Jorah. I never trusted that guy. He always seemed shady. Eddard didn’t like him, said he was a traitor and banished him for owning slaves. If you remember, as soon as Daenerys’ handmaiden tells Ser Jorah that she is with child, he takes leave of them and says he’ll rejoin the horde later. Meanwhile, King Robert gets a message that Daenerys is preggers, and right before the assassination attempt happens, Ser Jorah receives a full pardon and an invitation to go back home. So while he’s standing around feeling guilty, he notices the wine merchant about to give Daenerys poisoned wine and stops the thing he set in motion from happening. Now, I wonder how she’ll feel about all that if and when she finds out. He betrayed her trust and even though he saved her right after, I don’t know how forgiving she’ll be. She’s going around freeing slaves and he used to be a slaver. I’m thinking not very forgiving.

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One last question looming over my head is Jon Snow’s parentage. The story of his birth never sat right with me. Again, I’ve never read the books so this is pure speculation. But if you go back and watch the scenes from season one where Bran is unconscious and Cersei goes in to speak with Lady Catelyn, listen to the story the queen tells of her son who died as an infant. He had black hair so clearly not her twin brother Jamie’s son. (Eddard read in the genealogy books that all of Robert Baratheon’s line had dark hair). Cersei mentions that they took her son away and she never saw him again. Then who does the next scene cut to? That’s right, Jon Snow. Also, if you watch his interaction with Tyrion the imp, there seems to be a sort of kinship between them, an unspoken connection that can happen between family members. I just think it’s really suspicious how Eddard came back with Jon as a baby with nothing but a story about how he got him.

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But this is all just the mark of good storytelling. So many plots and sub-plots, so many characters intermingling… Who knows what season 4 has in store for us? Here’s what we know for sure… Tyrion is no longer the Hand and his gf Shay has turned down the eunich’s offer to leave the realm. I’m thinking her days are numbered but the trailer hints at a new knight in shining armor. Eddard got a lot of offers to leave, too, before he ended up as palace wall décor so we’ll have to wait and see. Robert Baratheon’s illegitimate bastard Gendry is set adrift and Daenerys is getting ready to send her army across the sea. Will she pluck him out of the ocean? Good grief, he definitely doesn’t want to go back to King’s Landing, of all places, after the Lannister’s have already rounded up all of King Robert’s bastards and killed them. The Hound and Arya are back on their road trip, Bran has gone north of the Wall to find the 3 eyed raven from his dreams (which I think is metaphorical, not literal), Jon Snow is back among his brothers, Theon Greyjoy is about to be rescued by his big sis, Jamie has been reunited with Cersei missing his manhood (his right hand-sheesh- he’s a knight), and Joffrey is about to get married to a manipulative, but likeable, gold-digging ladder-climber. The dragons are getting bigger and winter is coming…

Is it Sunday yet???

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