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Westeros

Season 4 Impressions

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We’ve been so busy these last weeks—with getting things ready for this new season, arranging the new server setup to handle the traffic load that we expect this season, and so on—that the thought of writing a season 4 early impressions piece, based on our viewing of the first three episodes (courtesy of HBO), never really crossed our minds. It was what we had done in past seasons, certainly, but each season seems to leave us busier and busier.

However, we had enough requests for our impressions that we decided to throw something together… but unlike the previous, written ones, this is a video that we’ve thrown up on Youtube. You can find it over at our Feature page, along with a great deal of other features we’ve done over the years, or you can see it below. These are basically spoiler-free general impressions, where we mull over various things that we felt were worth mulling over. For those who want hardcore spoilers, this will likely just be an exercise in frustration, so beware!

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What I've read about the sept scene troubles me. If they butcher Jaime for the sake of Cersie's "motherly image" I will be mightily vexed.


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On a different topic, I spent so much time thinking how terribly boring the Martell stuff will be in season 5 (I'm guessing) that I just realized that D&D could very well turn Dorne into Sexposition Land.


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On a different topic, I spent so much time thinking how terribly boring the Martell stuff will be in season 5 (I'm guessing) that I just realized that D&D could very well turn Dorne into Sexposition Land.

Oh, I see it so differently! I'd love to see Dorne! Can't wait to see it, hope we get to see it?

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On a different topic, I spent so much time thinking how terribly boring the Martell stuff will be in season 5 (I'm guessing) that I just realized that D&D could very well turn Dorne into Sexposition Land.

Heh, when Arianne and the Sand Snakes are likely to be heavily involved in the sexposition, I am totally fine with it :D

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Many things mentioned in this video suggest to me that this is going to be a frustratingly disappointing season. It sounds like they're amping up the needless sex, further diverging from the spirit of certain elements of the book(s), and continuing to pad the shows with filler despite having an embarrassment of riches in the source material.



Perhaps I'm reading too much into filtered impressions based on a partial viewing, but I am concerned nonetheless.


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Oh, I see it so differently! I'd love to see Dorne! Can't wait to see it, hope we get to see it?

Well, I mean, I don't hate Dorne that much, and I think we'll see it in the show. In fact, I think it could work better cutting some elements (I'm looking at you, superfluous Sand Snakes), but I'm worried that D&D could use the supposed debauchery of the Dornish to crank the sexposition up to 11

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Heh, when Arianne and the Sand Snakes are likely to be heavily involved in the sexposition, I am totally fine with it :D

Depends who they cast in those roles. Not to be shallow or anything, but Arianne has to be smokin hot, that's like her defining trait. I'm indifferent to the Sand Snakes, to be honest

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I'm not going to comment on anything that I haven't yet seen, but consider the amount of book material that D&D have to cut out of the show due to time restraints. This is often to the detriment of character or plot development, so every minute of gratuitous sex that WASN'T in the novels is a big negative in my mind. And I have nothing against a little titillation per se, but I do like to see the show be as faithful to the novels as possible.



The torture porn is the worst; I found the novels very effective the way that Reek's situation was all presented after the fact and hinted at more than explicitly described. We didn't have to see that, nor the sadistic murder of Ros by Joffrey.



I'd really like to see them get away from that, and concentrate on telling the story.


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Many things mentioned in this video suggest to me that this is going to be a frustratingly disappointing season. It sounds like they're amping up the needless sex, further diverging from the spirit of certain elements of the book(s), and continuing to pad the shows with filler despite having an embarrassment of riches in the source material.

Perhaps I'm reading too much into filtered impressions based on a partial viewing, but I am concerned nonetheless.

If I may say, and no disrespect intended, Ran and Linda are hyper-critics of the show, because they're hyper-fans of the books. For a more measured over-all view of how critics are reacting to Season 4, take a look at WinterIsComing. Season 4 is getting a 95 (out of 100) so far in early reviews, mayhaps moving up to 96 or better. Can't get much more exciting than that. (PS: Don't kill me, Ran! Truth is truth!)

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Depends who they cast in those roles. Not to be shallow or anything, but Arianne has to be smokin hot, that's like her defining trait. I'm indifferent to the Sand Snakes, to be honest

Oh yeah, they definitely need to be very selective in their casting of the right Arianne (we need dem large brown nipples after all :P jks). I too am indifferent to the Sand Snakes, since I don't like any of them personally, except maybe Sarella, but I find Tyene to be weirdly hot, maybe cause she has this whole facade of innocence, and you just know it's all fake and she is as sultry and sexy as Nym.

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lol the gratituous nudity and sexposition is the major complaint of the show every single season....does that stop them from making it less sexist or increasingly more equal?? no it does not.

they're gross fucks who want to make $$$$ from this show from shock factor, and how "edgy" it is. all i know is that when that scene airs (and if it does go the way that Gran De Lys described it...) then there will be MANY people who will talk about how cersei should have ~given some~ to jaime all along especially since ~he murdered people for her~.

Sorry, only by a vocal minority.

Snore.

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iheartseverus speaks the truth. Critics who know TV really well and understand the medium tend to like the show. And that means most of them, I cite metacritic to prove this. That means something.



By all means quibble away once it airs. That's our prerogative but at least make the concession that the show IS well-reviewed.


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Elio and Linda, thanks for the video and all the other hard work. I appreciate how you articulated the feeling that "book people" have regarding the show remaining true to the characters, while still dealing with the realities of turning a huge literary series into a large TV series without bankrupting Time Warner.



I agree that season 2 was the low point for the show from a "character" standpoint, though it certainly had some high points.



Regarding sexpostition, I have no problem at all with it when it makes some kind of sense for the characters involved, and gets crucial information out to the viewers. In the first season, I thought some scenes like Viserys and Doreah in the bath were very well used for that purpose. It's the "sex with no exposition" scenes like Theon and Ramsey's girls from season 3 that I am less fond of.



I hope that they can continue to keep the series true to the characters while working within the context of TV making reality.


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I wonder if Oberyn will namedrop any future Dornish characters we'll be seeing in season five....I can't wait to see how they depict Dorne, and what they'll do with Euron and T-Victarion.


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I wonder if Oberyn will namedrop any future Dornish characters we'll be seeing in season five....I can't wait to see how they depict Dorne, and what they'll do with Euron and T-Victarion.

At the very least he should namedrop Doran and Arianne, and make a passing note of how well Myrcella is doing there, to remind non-readers of her existence. I actually think they should have introduced Quentyn this season as one of Oberyn's companions and have him fleeing to Essos after the trial. That way non-readers would have a familiar face during his journey to Slaver's Bay

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@Jon


Great ideas, especially the Quentyn one. Did they ever cast him? It would make for an interesting surprise in the later episodes should they choose to pursue a similar Q angle.


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Pad the shows with filler.

I have to speak against that, and thought we already made this point: Other than a couple of relatively short scenes early on which genuinely feel like they just wanted to put some characters together but didn't actually have anything for them to really say to one another that advanced or enriched their characterization, or moved the plot, or at least revealed some interesting setting detail, there really isn't any filler.

I would not mind seeing Dorne, even with my concern about their likelihood of simplifying it to Sexy-people-being-sexy-land, because, well, I'm a fan of Dorne. But... yes, it's a concern.

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I would be very surprised if Quentyn isn't cut. Also, a show doesn't hire an actress like Indira Varma just for one season, I don't think. I would expect her to take on the role of the Sand Snakes.


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