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Season 4 Impressions

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Personally, this is definitely going to be the high point of the TV show. The things which are coming. I'd say by episode 2 everyone will be hooked and they can really sell this show. I envisage only a few quibling issues, things like the changes to Jorahs story personally; but those are trivial issues of a book fan. It won't stop the show being great and successful.

The problem going forward is Danys arc. I think every Unsullied is thinking that Dany is, okay, still in Essos, but essentially getting ready to invade for next season. She has the army, she has the dragons and she has the will. They've got rid of Rob and theres nothing to oppose the Lannisters. Her sudden decision to stay in Meereen could kill this show. Even if D&D (and believe me they are) going out of their way to condense as much of that material as possible into season 5 so they achieve what GRRM could not and have the Battle of Meereen as the finale. The problem is that everyone knows that Essos is a sideshow and theres already a sense that the show is dragging its feet and that story out.

I only see two ways out of this: 1- They have to absolutely convince you that they will kill off Daenerys (something GRRM did not do BTW) that her decision to stay in Meereen could end in her death to create drama 2- Sell the fact that if you keep watching, Tyrion will meet Dany and make this explicit from the very beginning and for gods sake deliver on that promise (something GRRM was incapable of doing). Unlike GRRM who can write whatever unfinished crap he wants, the show is far more beholden to viewer ratings. If people get bored or frustrated, the show dies. They cannot sell Dany spending season 5 and potentially all or part of season 6 in Essos.

I believe they are wise to the dangers in the book Dany storyline. In an interview with Empre magazine they say the following (typing from the magazine)

"He and Benioff admit that certain aspects of the adaptation have become thornier as the show marches onward. The Daenerys thread, for example. In the books, as those Dragons grew bigger and fiercer, the all-conquering Khaleesi spends a long time away from the rest of the action, parked primarily in one place, the Slaver's Bay city of Meereen. "We obviously had to streamline that to a great degree" says Weiss. "We've tried to preserve the spirit of her storyline, and that involves changing some of the details in a way that makes them more commensurate with what television storytelling requires."

On the show they have a fairly unique opportunity with book adaptions, to surpass the book in Season 5. ADWD had some great chapters but its fundamental problem was Dany sitting in Meereen with all the knock on implications for other character's plotlines, like that of Tyrion.

I agree with your point 2. Bring forward Dany's plotline into S4, drag out Tyrion's KL material in S4 and have the two character meet, at the latest, by the end of S5.

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Yes, but if we go by what didn't appear on set to our knowledge we also have to assume MF is not going to be LSH this season. We don't know, because we don't know what they might keep under wraps.

There's plenty of reason to keep Uncat under wraps, but not really much reason to keep Gendry under wraps, especially when they feel comfortable teasing things as big as Tyrion being in jail. I'm not saying that it's a definite, but we've seen shots of Brienne on the road and she's only going to be travelling for a couple of episodes most likely, before getting caught up with the BwB.

Either Gendry somehow turns up at the end of Brienne's arc, or he's involved in another arc (and I can't think what that would be.). Or he's not appearing this season. One suggestion I did see is that he might cameo as a smith helping forge Oathkeeper and Widow's Wail, just so audiences knew he'd made it back to KL. But we would have heard of that by now from the previews.

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They'll never have regular/main characters disappear for long stretches of time or entire seasons. It's fine for the books, but it's just not the way television works. In the US at least, in the UK actors are contracted season by season, but GoT is HBO.

They should have thought about that before they promoted Varys to a regular character then, shouldn't they?

The story works better if Varys disappears and makes a dramatic return at the end of the season.

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There's plenty of reason to keep Uncat under wraps, but not really much reason to keep Gendry under wraps, especially when they feel comfortable teasing things as big as Tyrion being in jail. I'm not saying that it's a definite, but we've seen shots of Brienne on the road and she's only going to be travelling for a couple of episodes most likely, before getting caught up with the BwB.

Either Gendry somehow turns up at the end of Brienne's arc, or he's involved in another arc (and I can't think what that would be.). Or he's not appearing this season. One suggestion I did see is that he might cameo as a smith helping forge Oathkeeper and Widow's Wail, just so audiences knew he'd made it back to KL. But we would have heard of that by now from the previews.

The difference would be that Tyrion being in prison is by the books, whereas what they're doing with gendry is a bit of a mystery.

bib: I think the first 2 are more likely, because they don't seem to ever completely shelve characters for extended period of times, on the contrary they get given material they don't necessarily need. The last time we saw Gendry, Davos put him on a boat and told him to go to KL so my best guess is that we will know what happened to him sometime this season. We'll see.

I have to say I don't really understand this thing wanting characters to be left out for a while. I mean I do understand it as I hated all the unnecessary screen time Theon got last season for instance, but it's more wishful thinking because when there are real people (actors) involved with actual contracts they can't really get rid of characters and then have them reappear when they're needed, like in the books. It's one of the downsides of tv.

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The difference would be that Tyrion being in prison is by the books, whereas what they're doing with gendry is a bit of a mystery.

bib: I think the first 2 are more likely, because they don't seem to ever completely shelve characters for extended period of times, on the contrary they get given material they don't necessarily need. The last time we saw Gendry, Davos put him on a boat and told him to go to KL so my best guess is that we will know what happened to him sometime this season. We'll see.

I have to say I don't really understand this thing wanting characters to be left out for a while. I mean I do understand it as I hated all the unnecessary screen time Theon got last season for instance, but it's more wishful thinking because when there are real people (actors) involved with actual contracts they can't really get rid of characters and then have them reappear when they're needed, like in the books. It's one of the downsides of tv.

I wasn't one who was saying that Gendry needed to disappear. I was all for him being Brienne and Pod's travelling companion, but apparently that isn't happening for some reason even though it's by far the most logical choice.

However I do agree that characters should be left for a while for dramatic effect. There's no reason to have random scenes of Varys talking with Illyrio throughout season 5, or Brienne taken captive by the BWB. Jaime in S2 was probably the best example of keeping a major character off-screen for most of a season and I hope they're willing to do that sort of thing again.

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Yes, but if we go by what didn't appear on set to our knowledge we also have to assume MF is not going to be LSH this season. We don't know, because we don't know what they might keep under wraps.

I was a wee bit surprised to see Peter Vaughan and Patrick Malahide in season 3, no hint they had even been near the set, but then they probably only had to be around for a couple of days.

Funny Gemma Whelan (if I remember correctly) had mentioned doing some shooting in NI before last season.

....and we know she's in this season. (She did not make the NY red carpet for S4, but was at London one.)

Oddly Kate Dickie was on set for season 3 but her footage saved for this season, and then again she was on set for season 4.

Yet we have not see one microsecond of Lysa Arryn in any of the previews.

(Come to think of it Dickie ought to have more screen time this year than S1, yet, no NY red carpet for her either... tho we did see Diana Rigg there.)

Ciarán Hinds apparently shot some scenes during season 3 to be used in season 4.

Also apparently he was on set last year for season 4, we do get to see one microsecond of him in the previews.

D and D really struggle with Mance, a moderately prominent figure in the books but little time has been spent with Hinds.

Since the red carpet likes Natalia Tena (and other photogenic actresses) we did not see her anywhere near GOT 'premieres' seems she will not be in this season at all. Which will seem odd, since even tho , on the show, she is a secondary character we makes such an impression I am sure people will wonder where she is.

Poor Eugene Simon (Lancel Lannister) who really had a visible role in season 2 vanished last year, and by his account is not in season 4. I think this is a problem with contracts and speaking roles, can one have him in the background not ever saying anything?

As for Joe Dempsie who became more and more prominent while being still secondary , IMDB lists him as being in two other TV series and a movie recently, I only saw Tena and Simon asked about season 4 and saying they did not get a casting call.

No one ever seemed to ask Dempsie about season 4 , that I know of.

He sure was not on the red carpet at the NY premiere , that I know of.

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I don't think they saved the stuff they shot at the with Lysa Arryn and Mance was saved for this season. I think they were simply cut. We won't see any scenes between Littlefinger and Lysa before Sansa arrives at the valley.


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I wasn't one who was saying that Gendry needed to disappear. I was all for him being Brienne and Pod's travelling companion, but apparently that isn't happening for some reason even though it's by far the most logical choice.

However I do agree that characters should be left for a while for dramatic effect. There's no reason to have random scenes of Varys talking with Illyrio throughout season 5, or Brienne taken captive by the BWB. Jaime in S2 was probably the best example of keeping a major character off-screen for most of a season and I hope they're willing to do that sort of thing again.

I agree. What they did with Jaime in season 2 is the amount of screen time Theon should have got last season, everything more wasn't needed. Still, Jaime's scenes were spread throughout season 2, they were minimal for the most part but he certainly didn't disappear for any extended period of time (not more than a bunch of episodes), and that's what I'm trying to say. Varys, Brienne, Gendry, Bronn and whoever isn't quite needed in a certain season, might definitely get less screen time. But if people think they're going to have characters actually disappear and turn up again (when we're talking regular/main cast, guest starring is different) like in the books, well... I think that's just wishful thinking and it won't happen, because these actors have contracts.

[snip]

I don't think whether actors are present to red carpets mean anything, many were notably absent. A lot of the actors you mentioned are also guest starring, which is different and they're easier to drop when needed (Natalia Tena is sitll guest starring, for instance).

I don't think they saved the stuff they shot at the with Lysa Arryn and Mance was saved for this season. I think they were simply cut. We won't see any scenes between Littlefinger and Lysa before Sansa arrives at the valley.

Oh yeah Mance! Is he even still around? He's been such a disappointment, and he's also wifeless and childless, still.

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What accounts? We don't know. Chances are he'll be be around this season, just not as much as season 3.

Extremely low chances. If he were in this season, why didn't they mention him in the press release alongside all other regulars? It's not like his appearance would be a super secret like Michelle Fairley's, he did not die.

The difference would be that Tyrion being in prison is by the books, whereas what they're doing with gendry is a bit of a mystery.

Why are they showing Yara in the previews then? And why wouldn't they put Joe Dempsie's name on the cast list in the press release? It would just get people interested. They aren't hiding other deviations, either, like Stannis and Davos going to Braavos.

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I agree. What they did with Jaime in season 2 is the amount of screen time Theon should have got last season, everything more wasn't needed. Still, Jaime's scenes were spread throughout season 2, they were minimal for the most part but he certainly didn't disappear for any extended period of time (not more than a bunch of episodes), and that's what I'm trying to say. Varys, Brienne, Gendry, Bronn and whoever isn't quite needed in a certain season, might definitely get less screen time. But if people think they're going to have characters actually disappear and turn up again (when we're talking regular/main cast, guest starring is different) like in the books, well... I think that's just wishful thinking and it won't happen, because these actors have contracts.

Well Theon was slightly more difficult because he was completely isolated, whereas Jaime was with Robb. When Jaime was offscreen, Robb and Cat's story could just continue on as normal. So having just two or three Theon scenes would have rather jarring. I think the amount of screen time Theon got was fine, it's just what they did with it was awful. They could have had Ramsay hunting Bran and Rickon, they could have introduced Jeyne as a fellow prisoner of Ramsay's for example. But instead we just got several isolated torture scenes.

Oh yeah Mance! Is he even still around? He's been such a disappointment, and he's also wifeless and childless, still.

I'm getting rather worried that they might just cut out Val, Dalla and the baby switch entirely and just switch out Gilly's angst with general postpartum depression. Though what I'm hoping will happen is that Val will be introduced as Mance's wife at the beginning of S5, have the baby and then the baby-swap happens in the first few episodes with Sam leaving for Oldtown in like episode 3.

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Extremely low chances. If he were in this season, why didn't they mention him in the press release alongside all other regulars? It's not like his appearance would be a super secret like Michelle Fairley's, he did not die.

Why are they showing Yara in the previews then? And why wouldn't they put Joe Dempsie's name on the cast list in the press release? It would just get people interested. They aren't hiding other deviations, either, like Stannis and Davos going to Braavos.

Idk, we'll see. I'm all for speculation, but I think some just take it a bit too far with cut this, cut that, cut that character and bring him back in 2 seasons, the never ending discussion of when is LS going to pop out etc. We don't know, I don't see these things you mention as evidence of anything. for all we know Gendry might have been added to some new plot, or it's not very interesting so they're not promoting it. Could be many reasons.

I'm getting rather worried that they might just cut out Val, Dalla and the baby switch entirely and just switch out Gilly's angst with general postpartum depression. Though what I'm hoping will happen is that Val will be introduced as Mance's wife at the beginning of S5, have the baby and then the baby-swap happens in the first few episodes with Sam leaving for Oldtown in like episode 3.

I read a possible spoiler yesterday

about a possible story change that would leave Mance/Dalla/Val out

, BUT I'm really unsure about it. :unsure: But a part of me do think that storyline will be changed considerably because of what they've done so far.

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I'm getting rather worried that they might just cut out Val, Dalla and the baby switch entirely and just switch out Gilly's angst with general postpartum depression. Though what I'm hoping will happen is that Val will be introduced as Mance's wife at the beginning of S5, have the baby and then the baby-swap happens in the first few episodes with Sam leaving for Oldtown in like episode 3.

From books 1 to 3 D and D have talked about what they like, and kinda sorta most of that has been translated to the show.

It's also been stuff that I liked in the books.

I liked the some what sort of complex narrative of things that happen after the Battle for the Wall.

Val plays an important part in that.

It's the kind of story that D&D, whatever changes they make, seem to like.

At one time I thought that Ygritte might be substituted for Val, but now I think they will follow the book and Rose will be gone after this season.

Either they are going to change things totally, and that will be in season 5, or Val will magically appear!

I can't think who will take her place considering the speaking parts they have for the wildlings now.

Val was always an odd character definitely a wildling but more sophisticated and and almost like a Westeros high born.

Val is as giant a puzzle as is what D&D are going to do about the Greyjoys.

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I read a possible spoiler yesterday

about a possible story change that would leave Mance/Dalla/Val out

, BUT I'm really unsure about it. :unsure: But a part of me do think that storyline will be changed considerably because of what they've done so far.

I don't know about Dalla and Val,but Ciarán Hinds (Mance) was in season 3 and has been seen in a preview for season 4.

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Savages roast a human arm over the fire in anticipation of a choice meal.


Bodies of slain children take the place of a road's mile markers.


A frightened girl is forced into a human version of a fox hunt. Her pursuers eventually set the hounds on her and watch as the beasts rip her apart. ( from my San Antonio review of first 3 epsiodes commenting on some of the cruelty)


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I did hear speculation that one of Craster's wives would take the place of Val, but that really doesn't make any sense and doesn't solve the lack of baby swap. I think they may just be holding off on her for as long as possible. My scenario would be that in S5 it will be revealed that Mance has a wife who's been resting in some secluded grove while she's pregnant. At the start of S5 she'll have heard about all the commotion at the Wall and will turn up there in episode 1 about to have a baby. She can have the baby in E1, we can get some Mance/Val interactions in E2 and then the baby switch and Sam leaving can happen in E3.


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The Walking Dead had 13 episodes of the main characters doing fuck-all at a farm, and then one and a half seasons of them doing slightly more at a prison, and a lot of viewers were very bored and frustrated at this, yet the show is still insanely popular, and shows no signs of decreasing in that popularity. I think people are exaggerating how severe this drop in excitement and pacing will be. And they can sell people Dany sitting in Meereen that whole time. Look what they've done with King's Landing in season 3. Barely any plot development occurred, just a lot of scenes of people talking about stuff. A lot of people like Dany, plus the show will have the whole Daario love interest plot, as well as growing and more dangerous dragons, and an impending siege, and the arrival of Quentyn, which connects the two stories - Westeros and Essos - considerably. People will be less annoyed and bored at this than you think.

I disagree. For example the romance with Daario can happen anywhere, you don't need to confine Danys story to slavers bay in order to do that. As can Quentyn going to visit Dany. Theres also no reason he cannot arrive with her on the road to Westeros and refuse to marry him due to Daario. Plus, he is very likely going to be cut at any rate. D&D have already said season 4 is where they stop adding characters and the series starts to contract; that's code-word for cutting the fat.

In season 2 they could at least make the case that Dany lacked the means to go back. Her dragons were too small and she lacked an army and any allies. In season 3, they had the excuse that we get to see her acquire the means and by the start of season 4 her dragons are obviously on the cusp of reaching fighting age. The problem is that those excuses will no longer apply. Dany has the army. She has the dragons. Theres little to no justification in keeping her stuck in Meereen on a subplot which I don't think most people relate to except in a very superficial manner; freeing slaves. D&D will be accused of dragging their feet and making more series because they can. I already read one review of season 4 where its already been said that Danys freeing slaves "for some reason". Keeping her away from Westeros where all the action is won't work and is going to get frustrating for show viewers. I genuinely think that if all the books had been written they would skip Meereen entirely.

Hers is definitely the problem arc to adapt and I think the show has already demonstrated that by pushing far ahead with her story as early as season 3. If she marries Hidzhar in season 4 and from comments about her learning to rule. It sounds like season 4 will see the bulk of her Meereen story anyway.

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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.

What???? They already murder Jaime????

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Besides Peter Vaughan and Patrick Malahide, there’s been at least one exception to the “don’t let the actor sit on his bum for year” principle. They had Ian McElhinney sit out a series as Barristan Selmy.



In the first series, he was a third-string character, and now he’s second-string. Once Jorah Mormont gets exiled — well, re-exiled, as it were — Ser Barristan’s rôle can only increase. By the time My Little Targaryette goes for a joy ride, he takes center stage in Meereen, first with the defeat of Khzrhzrzrrzzz and arrest of Her Darling zoo-Lorax, then taking the lead with the Battle of Fire while his queen is AWOL.



But that is a bit different. They didn’t know when they first contracted McElhinney that they’d actually be successful enough to have a third and subequent series. By now they know they’ll without doubt need Conleth Hill (whose name sounds like he’s a Lannister bastard) later on for Varys’s game-changing moves at the end of Dance and beyond.



The one I just can’t figure for the life of me figure out how they’ll ever pull off is getting Ciarán Hinds to pull off the ruse to play Able, the plucky and nimble troubadour who infiltrates Winterfell for the other Roose’s big snowed-in slumber party there. Grim Caesar becoming a merry minstrel is not a transformation that comes easily to the mind’s eye.


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Season 4 will see the exit of more major characters - especially in regards to screen time - then they will have to cast for season 5, even if we assume that they adapt all the story lines of the books.



We'll lose Joff, Tywin, Shae, Ygritte, Oberyn, Balon, and Lysa, and there are a number of characters that may disappear for a while (Varys), or may very well be killed as well in the show (Bronn, Green, Pyp). They will have to cast a lot more people to fill the gaping holes these characters leave...


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I disagree. For example the romance with Daario can happen anywhere, you don't need to confine Danys story to slavers bay in order to do that. As can Quentyn going to visit Dany. Theres also no reason he cannot arrive with her on the road to Westeros and refuse to marry him due to Daario.

Yes, there is a very good reason that cannot happen, namely the fact that it would be 100% different from Dany's motivations in refusing Quentyn and 100% different from what Dany actually did (marry Hizdahr for political reasons/to ensure peace, despite her feelings for Daario, and send Daario to the Yunkai as a hostage). I can't believe that you would actually suggest that D& D should completely change characters' motivations and the nature of their actions and that that wouldn't make a difference. Really?

In season 2 they could at least make the case that Dany lacked the means to go back. Her dragons were too small and she lacked an army and any allies. In season 3, they had the excuse that we get to see her acquire the means and by the start of season 4 her dragons are obviously on the cusp of reaching fighting age. The problem is that those excuses will no longer apply. Dany has the army. She has the dragons. Theres little to no justification in keeping her stuck in Meereen on a subplot which I don't think most people relate to except in a very superficial manner; freeing slaves. D&D will be accused of dragging their feet and making more series because they can. I already read one review of season 4 where its already been said that Danys freeing slaves "for some reason". Keeping her away from Westeros where all the action is won't work and is going to get frustrating for show viewers. I genuinely think that if all the books had been written they would skip Meereen entirely.

*facepalm* I don't know whether to :bang: or :rofl:

Why the hell should the show strive to accommodate people who can't think of a reason why someone would want to free slaves?!

Not to mention, how can someone be interested in Dany's storyline if they don't even get that she's the kind of person who wants to free slaves and save the victims of abuse (which she was even trying to do in season 1, as soon as she had any kind of power)? Or do they just want to see the cool dragons?

Dany had excellent reasons to stay in Meereen. Staying in Meereen showed that she had matured and started to realize that she cant't just free slaves and stop their abuse and then leave and expect everything to be perfect. When you overturn a bad regime, you need to put a new social structure in its place. So instead of "oh great, I've freed these slaves, let's go now and start an invasion of Westeros", she feels responsibility to those people and stays. And "how can I rule the Seven Kingdoms if I cannot rule a single city" is an excellent question.

I guess that doesn't mean a thing to those who watch the show (or read the books) just to see Dany setting her dragons on the Lannisters or "dragons vs iIce zombies!" but I think they're following the wrong series in the first place.

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