The critics weigh in on Game of Thrones season 4
By Ours is the Fury on in Reviews.

Daenerys

The red carpets were rolled out, screeners were sent, and now the critics’ reviews for the fourth season of Game of Thrones are turning up…and the results are very, very positive.

Here are some of the highlights of what critics had to say about the new season:

  • Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter: “The first three episodes are predictably spot-on – action-packed, terrific scenes full of searing dialogue bumping up against others where volumes are spoken with facial features or silence. The consistent excellence in Game of Thrones is truly something to behold.”
  • James Poniewozik of Time: “It’s one tale, going into its 31st hour. So it should not be surprising to say that this season (judging by the first three episodes) is as good as the season that just preceded it, which in turn was the strongest of the series to date. But that’s not to say that themes don’t ebb and flow over the series, and in this new season thus far that theme seems to be cruelty and its consequences (or lack thereof).”
  • Brian Lowry of Variety: “As has become almost a pattern, the fourth season begins somewhat slowly – juggling a dizzying assortment of existing characters, while introducing new ones – punctuated by major events, serving notice nobody lives forever. Even when the pace drags, George R.R. Martin’s creation is consistently as big and brawny as television gets.”
  • Andy Greenwald of Grantland: “After watching Sunday’s premiere — no spoilers to follow, I swear on the Sept — I was reminded of how the real pleasures of Game of Thrones derive not from the swords but from the people swinging them. To me, the early episodes of the season always evoke the first day of summer camp — not just because it’s muddy and the rich blond kids are acting like bullies, but because they provide a wonderful chance to catch up on old friends.”
  • Sonia Saraiya of The A.V. Club (experts review): “George R.R. Martin himself wrote the screenplay for the second episode [...], and it’s easily one of the best hours of the show to date—a tight, beautiful episode that resonates after it’s over.” Saraiya notes that there are “some troubling missteps” in the first few episodes with the show’s penchant for sexposition still apparent, but that “Game Of Thrones was and is an astonishing achievement.”

  • Andrew Romano of The Daily Beast: “It is—and continues to be in Season 4—a total storytelling masterclass. Sometimes you want to ponder whether time is a flat circle. Sometimes you want to wonder why a good man went bad. And sometimes you just want to feel a perfectly-told tale click into place—and let it take you wherever it may. That’s Games of Thrones. It’s pure pleasure to watch.
  •  Louisa Mellor of Den of Geek: “The newcomers are broadly drawn, admittedly, but subtlety and nuance has never been Game Of Thrones’ purview. Sex, violence, intrigue and world-building is where it continues to flourish. (Incidentally, the new face of Daario Naharis, Michael Huisman, fits in seamlessly and is a vast improvement on last season’s Tyroshi lothario.)”
  •  Theresa Delucci of Tor: (Major spoilers for S4E1 “Two Swords” in this linked review) “Let’s just put it out there: Oberyn has one of the best introduction scenes in this show’s history. He’s built up in the beginning of the episode before we even see him and when we finally do meet this fabled hot-headed playboy prince of Dorne, he delivers.”
  •  Ed Cumming of The Telegraph: “Arya (Maisie Williams) and the Hound (Rory McCann) [...] still make a brilliant duo. Their first appearance began with humour and ended with some of the most brutal action yet. If series four can maintain the pitch they reached, we are in for a bloody treat.”
  • Willa Paskin of Slate: “It’s the particular power of Game of Thrones that as these characters descend further into the muck and the grime, the besmirching totality of violence, we’re still pulling for so many of them. Game of Thrones teaches us to look for even a hint of light in the darkness.” She notes however, that GoT “only occasionally puts together a satisfying standalone episode, and that in the season premiere, “we are shuffled from character to character, given not enough of some, too much of others.”
  • Don Kaplan of the NY Daily News: After summarizing the action of the season opener, Kaplan says, “All of this unfolds at a snail’s pace — at least in this first episode — and for some, that may be a bit of a let-down after last season’s violent conclusion. But that’s fine. This is a series that has already proven its mettle, and “Thrones” can afford to move its chess pieces around before the heads that matter begin to roll.”
  • Chris Cabin of Slant: “In its fourth season, Game of Thrones finally strides with the purpose and fearlessness of a great battle-tested behemoth through the sprawling, violent landscapes of Westeros. Where season three still showed some signs of the indecisive editing and troubled pacing that plagued the series from the start, the latest season moves with a thrilling decisiveness in both the cutting of the episodes and the adapting of George R.R. Martin’s gargantuan tomes.”

Every review has different degrees of spoilers, so please heed the various spoiler warnings given at the linked sites!

Ours is the Fury: Very encouraging results so far! As usual, some think the first episode is a little slow, but it sounds like that’s less of an issue this year. Can’t wait to see for myself. Just three days now!


126 Comments

  1. Greatness Arrisessss
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    OBERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRYN

  2. ebevan91
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    Hodor

    EDIT: you fucking fucker you beat me to first post.

  3. Greatness Arrisessss
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    ebevan91:
    Hodor

    EDIT: you fucking fucker you beat me to first post.

    Cry cry somewhere else

  4. GG
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    I know they released screeners for eps 1-4 last year. Is that the same deal this year?

    NOTE TO ANYONE WHO HAS A SCREENER OF EPISODE 2: I hate you.

  5. mariamb
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Oberyn has one of the best introduction scenes in this show’s history. He’s built up in the beginning of the episode before we even see him and when we finally do meet this fabled hot-headed playboy prince of Dorne, he delivers.”

    This makes me very happy. I’ve been waiting for Oberyn’s arrival for a long time.

    Has the NY Times published their (probably negative) review yet?

  6. Eddard Stark II
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    The anticipation!!!

  7. GibsonExplorer
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Finally, Andy Greenwald’s review is out. My personal favourite critic for the show.

  8. King DBC
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Oberyn should hang dong

  9. Greyscale FTW
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Excellent news! Love the Time (Poniewozik) review (even though HBO is owned by Time-Warner). It seems like most of the major reviewers are having a hard time being objective about GoT since most are fans themselves. The excitement is quite contagious! Thanks for this.

  10. Ours is the Fury
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    A lot of the time critics will have a couple negative points…but they’re basically like, “Screw it, I love the show anyway.” They get it.

    Except for the NY Times. I enjoy hate-reading their reviews.

  11. cosca
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    GG,

    It was episodes 1-3 this year

  12. cosca
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    Surely the NY times won’t give a negative review again.

  13. mariamb
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    cosca:
    Ours is the Fury,

    Surely the NY times won’t give a negative review again.

    I don’t know…I bet they will. Sometimes I wonder if they actually watch the preview episodes sent to them. It seems like they are predisposed to hate fantasy and to dislike anything that is this popular.

  14. Doritos
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Is it in the contract that they must use a photo of Daenerys?

  15. GG
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    cosca,

    And I am gonna hate everyone who has them for the next 12 days :( Lucky assholes

  16. Felt Pelt
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    I look forward to the NY Times review. I feel they’re at the point where they’ll start backhandedly praising it. “There’s good bits, it just doesn’t cohere,” that type of thing.

  17. Dan
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for compiling these. Just the thing to get my very excited about the new season!

  18. GG
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    There are “some troubling missteps” in the first few episodes with the show’s penchant for sexposition still apparent

    If Oberyn didn’t have a buttload of sex scenes with everything that moves(except for Loras. I swear, if Loras & Oberyn have a sex scene, I will flip my shit), they’d be doing it wrong :P

  19. cosca
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    mariamb,

    What gets me, is that it’s been a different writer each time, but they’v eall very critical. Is this some kind of editorial stance? I find it hard to believe that none of the people who write for that publication like the show.

  20. Neosmith
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Just wanted to correct a detail – Sonya Saraya did not review “Two Swords”. This is a review of Season 4 as a whole via the viewing of three episodes in its entirety.

    The regular critical recaps of individual episodes will be up after they air.

  21. Maxwell James
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    As a gesture of good faith, Martin recently posted a chapter from Winter on his website. Rather than instill hope, it had roughly the same effect as a finger being mailed to the family of a kidnap victim.

    Greenwald is such an ace.

  22. Marc
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Yup, all are agreed, Andy Greenwald is the one reviewer to rule them all. His writing is at a different level.

  23. MelFC
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,
    Tons of thanks for this and your other really useful posts. You made my day!

  24. Greyscale FTW
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Maxwell James: Greenwald is such an ace.

    Although, given that Greenwald has not “read a single page of Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire,” I find his “Mercy” comment odd. He must be reading the boards. Even so, it is a great review with tremendous insight.

  25. mariamb
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    cosca,

    Yes – a different writer each time and nothing positive is ever said. What I find troubling is the dismissive attitude in their reviews…and the fact that they can’t find anything good to say. Can’t imagine that it is an editorial stance (although, if true, would be an interesting development). Probably just an overriding need to be condescending.

  26. Sean C.
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Boy, that Grantland guy is in for a surprise concerning the story narrowing in terms of locations and characters.

  27. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Sean C.,

    Or, we are in for a surprise for not believing D&D + Cogman when they say that the world is narrowing and that tough decisions will be made concerning season 5-onward.

  28. Nick Larter
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Laughed my socks off at the description of Daario in the Tor one – please come back Ed!

  29. mariamb
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 3:05 pm | Permalink
  30. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Nick Larter,

    Please stay away cheesy actor with a terrible wig!

  31. Rygar
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    I actually like their reviews. Man we would be a perfect married couple.

  32. cosca
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    I can’t help but feel that some of the people saying that the old Daario was better are being contrarian because they really hate recasting.

  33. Sean C.
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Having looked at the storyline numbers, even if they started hacking with a meat cleaver they’d be hard-pressed to get below season 3′s number of stories.

  34. Annara Snow
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Gods, that AV Club review is so rubbish. And that’s “expert” review, supposedly. *sigh* I don’t know what to say about a person who’s supposedly read A Storm of Swords, yet claims that the series and the show should have trouble finding what to do after the Red Wedding.

    (Don’t get me started on the “Sansa Stark is now a Lannister” nonsense.)

  35. Nick Larter
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap:
    Nick Larter,

    Please stay away cheesy actor with a terrible wig!

    but…but… doesn’t ‘cheesy actor with bad hair do’ sum up book Daario to a T? ;)

  36. Tatters
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    mariamb,

    They framed the books as the best in the genre, they are just purists.

  37. Greatjon of Slumber
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    I’ve seen it. The premiere is to me better than Season 2 and 3 premieres, and it’s only “slow” in the sense that it’s the first episode of a season of Game of Thrones, and is naturally going to be concerned with catching up with a lot of people. I’d say it’s nearly on a par with “Winter is Coming,” except for the fact that at the end of all this, we’re going to look at that one like we look at George Washington – if that didn’t work, we were all screwed. (For the Brits, you may sub in William the Conquerer, unless you are partial to Harold of Hastings, which would then make William I into “The Usurper.”)

  38. Tatters
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Felt Pelt,

    They did interview Pedro, so it seems they are interested after all.
    I thought they wouldnt bother this year, to do us a kindness.

  39. mariamb
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Tatters:
    mariamb,

    They framed the books as the best in the genre, they are just purists.

    But are the book reviewers the same individuals as the TV critics? I don’t necessarily think so. I’ve never gotten a sense from past reviews of the show that the reviewers were book-readers. I could be wrong, of course. Anyway, I’m sure that we will have their review very soon.

    Alternatively, in a NY Times article from a few weeks back, Mohsin Hamid says, “Recently we’ve been treated to many shows that seem better than any that came before …the gripping fantasy of “Game of Thrones.” Here is the link to the full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/02/books/review/are-the-new-golden-age-tv-shows-the-new-novels.html?smid=tw-share.

  40. Dick of the Turncloak
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Ed Cummings? Poor, poor guy…

  41. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Damnit. I keep forgetting to change my name.

  42. Patchface
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Greatjon of Slumber:
    I’ve seen it. The premiere is to me better than Season 2 and 3 premieres, and it’s only “slow” in the sense that it’s the first episode of a season of Game of Thrones, and is naturally going to be concerned with catching up with a lot of people. I’d say it’s nearly on a par with “Winter is Coming,” except for the fact that at the end of all this, we’re going to look at that one like we look at George Washington – if that didn’t work, we were all screwed. (For the Brits, you may sub in William the Conquerer, unless you are partial to Harold of Hastings, which would then make William I into “The Usurper.”)

    What if I am partial to Harald Hardrada, should I still refer to William as ‘the usurper’? Wouldn’t George the Usurper work for all the Brits? Lol

  43. Valaquen
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Greatjon of Slumber:
    (For the Brits, you may sub in William the Conquerer, unless you are partial to Harold of Hastings, which would then make William I into “The Usurper.”)

    Alfred the Great, maybe.

    I love reading the reviews of non-book readers, especially those like Greenwald. They don’t whine and huff like some of the “expert” reviews. The AV Club’s newbie reviews are always more thrilling.

  44. mariamb
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    A thoughtful review by Maureen Ryan at Huffington Post

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/03/game-of-thrones-season-4_n_5085856.html

  45. Super Daario
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Everyone’s a critic they say. I ask myself this one simple question from Maximus in Gladiator; “Are you not entertained!” This should be a very entertaining season.

  46. Atomix
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    premature Hodorulation

  47. KG
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    I personally don’t care if critics like the show or not. *I* like it, and that’s good enough for me.

  48. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    KG,

    True. But it’s good to see the show get the accolades it deserves. 95 on metacritic is sweet.

  49. Delta1212
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    Annara Snow,

    I got as far as this:

    “This is even evident in the season’s marketing strategy/tagline, which has moved from “Winter Is Coming” to “All Men Must Die”—maybe fans got tired of waiting for winter.”

    Ignoring that Winter Is Coming wasn’t even actually the tagline in season 1 let alone since. In the words of Maester Luwin: A common saying, but not their actual words.

  50. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Annara Snow:
    Gods, that AV Club review is so rubbish. And that’s “expert” review, supposedly. *sigh* I don’t know what to say about a person who’s supposedly read A Storm of Swords, yet claims that the series and the show should have trouble finding what to do after the Red Wedding.

    (Don’t get me started on the “Sansa Stark is now a Lannister” nonsense.)

    I couldn’t stand that review either. What did we actually learn from that review about the new episodes? There’s sexposition, and for some reason never given the third episode is the weakest, in their opinion. Reviewers like this are so preoccupied trying to make a larger point that they forget to write anything that is helpful or contributes to a discussion.

  51. Super Daario
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Delta1212:
    Annara Snow,

    In the words of Maester Luwin: A common saying, but not their actual words.

    Nice usage of that line Delta. 20 internet points to you. Don’t spend them all on them “iTones” my grandma would say.

  52. Hand of the Kingslayer
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    mariamb,

    Good review

  53. ace
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Hodor Targaryen: I couldn’t stand that review either. What did we actually learn from that review about the new episodes? There’s sexposition, and for some reason never given the third episode is the weakest, in their opinion. Reviewers like this are so preoccupied trying to make a larger point that they forget to write anything that is helpful or contributes to a discussion.

    I do not see any issue with the review. It is a general impression of the first 3 episodes. I can understand that they cannot put further details on their impression as that would be spoilery.

    Are some of you disliking it, because it is one of the reviews listed that put in a bit of criticism of the episodes?

  54. Kyle
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    I’d really love to see some spoilery reviews of episodes 2 and 3.

  55. Chris Snow
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    Delta1212,

    I hope you’re trolling…

  56. Tatters
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    ace,

    I think it is because of the sexposition. Its always been there, and will continue to.

  57. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Sorry if this was posted elsewhere. Here’s a really funny video that reimagines GoT as an old sitcom. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEursnYll7w&feature=player_embedded Nick Waldo is a nice touch.

  58. Tatters
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Actually i think the lack of showing rape, but not other sex is the problem.
    It frames sex as titillation, not brutal honesty in its purpose, such as violence.
    So the sex is a really vo troversial aspect, until sexuality is presented in other ways.

  59. Valyrian Plastic
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    Haha, ‘reminds me of this old gem. I’m looking forward to its 20th anniversary ;).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fPgIIB67bw

  60. Easteros bunny
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    No doubt this will be the greatest season in the history of film television and pop culture!

  61. Daniellica
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    Tatters: I think it is because of the sexposition. Its always been there, and will continue to.

    Apparently exposition given by a bunch of men in skirts would be much more entertaining. Or maybe they’d prefer voiceover, because THAT always works. “Oh YAWN it’s people having sex again. Let’s have a treatise on Westerosi statuary, already!”

  62. Johan Sporre
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Fantastic opener – not slow at all.
    They didn’t touch upon Dario’s new face though. I wonder if viewers will connect the two characters.

  63. Hizdadfs zo Fazlofp
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Johan Sporre,

    No, they won’t. Viewers are stupid and will never notice that the character is Dario, even when other characters repeatedly use that name when they refer to him. Stupid viewers will definitely think that this is some new character called Dario, since the term ‘recasting’ is a term that belongs exclusively to the smart people who read books.

  64. StupidSexyFlanders
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Daniellica,

    You do realize that about 45% of their audience is females? How are us females suppose to pay attention? Since as you said, sex is 100% necessary for the audience to pay attention.

  65. David The Grey
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    mariamb,

    Thanks for finding that and posting it!

  66. Turncloak
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Can’t wait for the New York Times review… Blech

  67. Steven Swanson
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Annara Snow:
    Gods, that AV Club review is so rubbish. And that’s “expert” review, supposedly. *sigh* I don’t know what to say about a person who’s supposedly read A Storm of Swords, yet claims that the series and the show should have trouble finding what to do after the Red Wedding.

    (Don’t get me started on the “Sansa Stark is now a Lannister” nonsense.)

    I had the same thought, it seems they got somebody who doesn’t actually like the books all that much to do the “expert” review. Ah well, I always liked their unsullied reviews better anyway.

  68. Greenjones
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Ours is the Fury,

    As I said on a previous page: FUCK THE NEW YORK TIMES!

    Even if they like the show this year, the damage is done. Condescending weasels.

  69. House Mormont
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    It’s now the last consensus show on the air, a pan-demographic Goliath that successfully juggles the adrenalized whomp of a summer blockbuster with the attention-demanding intricacy of a prestige drama.

    I like this man

  70. Delta1212
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Chris Snow,

    Season 1 was “You Win or You Die”

  71. Ozymandias
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    95 on Metacritic with 18 critics. That’s really impressive right now.

  72. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    Ozymandias,

    The NYT review will drop it to a 91-92.

  73. King Stannis
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    The Sex is what is killing the show. Overall is an amazing series with a great story but the sex is a distraction especially when is not needed. I don’t mind Robb and Talisa or Jon and Ygritte scene or (: Margary’s boobs :) but damn almost every episode is like, let me see whose tits we will throw this time.
    Who gives a shit about the audience, majority of them watch it because of how fantastic the story is. If the audience want to see boobs the click of a button is not far and the size are bigger :D

  74. cosca
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Ozymandias,

    yeah, that is pretty damn impressive.

    I’m surprised they marked the Slate review as 70. It seemed more positive then that, even if she went on and on about how violent the show was.

  75. Tyrionisthebest
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Hizdadfs zo Fazlofp,

    Please tell me this is a joke and you actually are not that shallow and condescending in real life .

  76. Ozymandias
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Tyrion Pimpslap,

    Yeah. They are the party crushers but still it’s great to see so many positive reviews for the show !

  77. Tyrionisthebest
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    King Stannis,

    You clearly have not seen Spartacus or other Starz series if you think sex is o much present in GOT . Why dont you mention that last season they had the least screentime for sex scenes than any seasons for example ?

  78. Hodor Targaryen
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    ace,

    I think you can say, generally, something like “the newest member of the cast, Oberyn Martell, makes a strong opening,” without getting too spoilery. Or say something like “Nothing of much consequence happens at the Wall,” or “There is no clear narrative in Danaerys’ storyline,” I could go on.

    The review itself predicts how good the season will be based on their knowledge of the books. It says very little about the quality of the episodes they are actually reviewing. Even when they do, it’s something very vague like “the third episode is the weakest,” without giving a single reason as to why. By that criteria, a “review” of the episode could just say “It was pretty good,” and be a decent review.

    The Slate article says some critical things about the first three episodes, but was able to give reasons for why she she made these criticisms without getting spoilery. I see her point and understand her argument. I understand nothing the AV Club’s criticisms or compliments because they don’t give even the most basic explanation for their thoughts, besides mentioning that there is too much sexposition.

  79. Greg
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    There was one scene I hated, a few scenes produced no strong reaction, and a couple scenes I absolutely loved. Also a bunch of laughs believe it or not.

  80. House Mormont
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Tyrionisthebest,

    people overreact, I think it’s because 1) At the beginning of the first season there is a lot of sex… and it’s only ever doggy style so it’s more noticeable and 2) The media plays it up, so people have this idea in their head before they watch it, and as soon as a boob is out they’re screaming SEXPOSITION IN YOUR FACE SEXPOSITION because that’s what they were expecting the show to do

  81. cosca
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    Greg,

    What scene did you hate?

  82. haltwhogoesthere
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

    Doritos,

    Probably. Lots of people have hardons for that irrelevant character played by a poor actress, if you can believe it.

    I didn’t know NY Times gave a bad review. Bad reviews of popular stuff usually amuse me because they seem like they’re written by crotchety old people lol

  83. Snapbackd
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Greg,

    What did you hate?? Could you explain it with minor spoilers?

  84. king Stannis
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Tyrionisthebest,

    Never really seen it as whole but I believe you, my first glimps of that show after a two minute preview was a whole lot of boning when I went to a friend house once lol. Still Game Of Thrones don’t need all those nudity scenes since it’s already a strong series that can stand on its own without it.

  85. Tyrionisthebest
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    Snapbackd,

    I am guessing its the Sansa and Tyrion scene from the first episode .

  86. Alan
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    King Stannis:
    The Sex is what is killing the show. Overall is an amazing series with a great story but the sex is a distraction especially when is not needed.I don’t mind Robb and Talisa or Jon and Ygritte scene or (: Margary’s boobs :) but damn almost every episode is like, let me see whose tits we will throw this time.
    Who gives a shit about the audience, majority of them watch it because of how fantastic the story is. If the audience want to see boobs the click of a button is not far and the size are bigger :D

    Nothing is killing the show. The show isn’t dying in the least.

  87. Maxwell James
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Greyscale FTW: Although, given that Greenwald has not “read a single page of Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire,” I find his “Mercy” comment odd.

    I don’t. That chapter release got an insane amount of attention, much of which showed up in feeds about the show. It doesn’t surprise me at all that he would have noticed.

  88. Greg
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Snapbackd,
    cosca,

    I don’t want to spoil anything, but it was kinda like a sexposition scene, although they don’t actually start having sex yet lol. And I normally don’t have a problem with the sex stuff, I just hated this particular scene. Maybe when I get to re-watch the episode on Sunday I won’t dislike it as much.

  89. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    Greg,

    You didn’t like Oberyn’s introduction? Your the first person I’ve seen who didn’t. Or was there a different sex scene in the episode? I don’t recall any of the reviews mentioning another one.

  90. Kessell
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    Nick Larter: but…but… doesn’t ‘cheesy actor with bad hair do’ sum up book Daario to a T? ;)

    totally agree

    I’m sorry to hear that new-Daario isn’t warming all the reviewrs hearts, but to be honest I feel he looks more like 3-4th choice Jorah than Daario. What i liked about Ed was that he walked, talked and looked like a comically douchy ‘bad boy’. The point is that Dany likes him because of that and how that shapes her arc going forward.

  91. gewa76
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

    HBO has been known to bring back actors as different characters in a series. e.g. Garret Dillahunt in Deadwood. Let’s face it. They should have brought Momoa back to play Daario. Just make it clear that to Dany he resembles Drogo, but he is not Drogo in disguise or some such.

  92. JamesL
    Posted April 3, 2014 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    It’s kind of disappointing how many of these critics have read the books. It seems like almost every review I read is from a book reader. I would like to see reviews from more nonreader critics.

  93. JamesL
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 12:09 am | Permalink

    Kessell,

    I can tell I’m not going to like the Daario recast either. He is handsome but also really dull and generic. Original Daario was a good choice, he had the cocky swagger necessary for the role. It sucks they recast him, it would be even worse too if it turns out D&D fired him and he didn’t choose to leave.

  94. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    Did anyone stop to consider that, much like Shae, they want Daario to be likable in the show? I just finished a rewatch of the series and Skrein’s Daario was so cheesy and out of place on the show. I did not for one second buy that he was a sellsword captain. And he made Kit Harrington look like Daniel Day Lewis. The show is well rid of him.

  95. Tyrion Pimpslap
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    JamesL,

    Then try reading the Andy Greenwald and Tim Goodman reviews from Grantland and The Hollywood Reporter.

  96. gewa76
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 12:25 am | Permalink

    I think Skrein played Daario just the way he was supposed to. As so over-the-top cheesy that we’re all like Jorah. Rolling our eyes and saying “really Khaleesi? This f—n’ guy??” In fact, I can think of only one reason why Daario even exists: George hates Jorah.

  97. R+L
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 12:31 am | Permalink
  98. JamesL
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    King Stannis,

    Really? Sex is killing the show? Strange considering the universal raves the show receives and it’s massive popularity world wide that continues to grow. The show is one of the most buzzed about shows in the world and this season the show will become the most popular show HBO has ever made. Looks like the show is doing fine just the way it is and they don’t need to change a thing. People on websites like this may whine about the occasional glimpses of nudity the show features but the majority of the fanbase has no issue. And when it comes to actual sex scenes, there was about 2 last season but it seems some won’t be happy until the show is completely neutered.

  99. gewa76
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    I, for one, am looking forward to Melisandre and Missandei’s rumored bathing scenes this year.

  100. JamesL
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    gewa76,

    I think you mean Daenerys and Missandei, I don’t think we’ll be seeing Melisandre and Missandei bathing together unless they really plan on going off the books lol. Unless your referring to 2 separate scenes and there is rumored Melisandre bathing scene I haven’t heard about.

  101. gewa76
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    JamesL,

    I meant 2 separate scenes. Carice said in an interview that we’ll see her doing normal things this season, like eating and bathing.

  102. Connie
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    Kessell,

    From what I’ve seen, the majority of reviews have been very positive, save for one or two, including reviews from fans who went to the advance screenings of the first episode. In addition, being a huge fan of Michiel’s from his previous work, I definitely wouldn’t call him a “4th or 5th” Jorah, if only for the fact that he has a very different swagger and charisma than Iain Glen. And I think that’s why they recast the role with Michiel, because you believe that Dany would fall for this type of Daario versus the Daario of old. Maybe book Dany wouldn’t have, but show Dany? That’s for all of us to wait and see. From what I’ve heard there is definitely more chemistry there now and I wouldn’t be surprised. From his previous roles, Michiel could have chemistry with a lamp post, he’s that good.

    JamesL,

    You can tell from the 30 second clip that they played during Emilia’s interview on Fallon? Or have you seen the first episode? If you have, fair play – you’re entitled to your opinion on new Daario. However, if you haven’t and you’re looking for cocky swagger, Michiel has it in droves. And don’t take my word (although they brought his character back on another TV show of his just to romance another of its leading ladies), EC and DB confirm in this interview: ‘Game Of Thrones’ Q&A: Michiel Huisman On Daario. Plus people are already falling over themselves for him on the other show he’s going to be on, Orphan Black. He was a sought after commodity and that’s why DB and DW signed him for the fifth season ASAP.

  103. JamesL
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Connie,

    He just seems like he is more fit for the lead in a movie like the Notebook than for a character like Daario, But I hope your right and I’m proven wrong about him.

  104. Ommegang
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    GibsonExplorer,

    By far Greenwald’s the best critic writing out there

  105. Daniellica
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    StupidSexyFlanders: You do realize that about 45% of their audience is females? How are us females suppose to pay attention? Since as you said, sex is 100% necessary for the audience to pay attention.

    Where did I ever say or imply that sex is any percentage necessary for the audience to pay attention? And you do realize that “Danielle” is a female name, and “Daniellica” is a riff of “Danielle,” thus I am female? And are you implying that females can’t pay attention to sex? Or that females don’t like sex? This female thinks that is hilarious!

  106. Connie
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    JamesL,

    Haha. I can definitely see that and you’re quite perceptive as he is currently shooting a movie that kind of sounds like that with Blake Lively, Harrison Ford, and others. But I’m glad you’re going to give him a chance! I certainly hope he does the part justice!

  107. Khal_ Rhaego
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Eddard Stark II,

    Weren’t you aborted at a wedding?

  108. Paul
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    haltwhogoesthere:
    Doritos,

    Probably. Lots of people have hardons for that irrelevant character played by a poor actress, if you can believe it.

    I think you are suffering from opposititis .How about a very good actress playing a very relevant character? Some treatment might help.

  109. haltwhogoesthere
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Paul,

    I admit the quality of the actress is debatable, but it’s odd to suggest she isn’t irrelevant. She has had nearly nothing to do with the other characters thus far in the show, and she was only just beginning to interact with the other characters in book 5 . So I’d say she’s pretty irrelevant.

  110. cosca
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    Still 95 on Metacritic, with 26 reviews.

  111. Tatters
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    haltwhogoesthere,

    “With this much smoke there must be a great fire burning in the east”
    Who is more relevant.

  112. Anvil
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 6:45 pm | Permalink
  113. AnneMarie Bowman
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    Matt Zoller Seitz’s review is up at Vulture. Now I’m just waiting for Alan Sepinwall’s at HitFix.com

    Seitz on Game of Thrones Season 4: TV’s Most Exhilarating Nightmare:

    http://www.vulture.com/2014/04/tv-review-game-of-thrones-season-4.html

  114. cosca
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Anvil,

    I don’t know, this seems more positive then their past reviews.

  115. gewa76
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Anvil,

    I’m surprised the Times even reviews tv shows. Surely their readers don’t even own televisions.It must have angered them to no end that some opera may have been pushed back so filth like GoT could have its premiere at Lincoln Center.

  116. Tatters
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Anvil,

    Hey, its not bad, they actually has good things to say.

  117. Anvil
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    cosca:
    Anvil,

    I don’t know, this seems more positive then their past reviews.

    Maybe, but the only things Hale acknowledges are Arya, the production side, as well as Mr. Dinklage because he’s the only amercian actor in the ensemble. The rest of the review seems pretty unenthusiastic to put it mildly (dull King’s Landing intrigue, overall talkiness etc.). It probably comes down to a 50, which is on par with last year.

    I don’t care much for all these raving reviews, but it boggles my mind why some people have to write about a show they are clearly not interested in. I know, it’s part of the job but Hales review reads forced.

  118. mariamb
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

    Here is the review from the NY Times : http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/05/arts/television/game-of-thrones-opens-a-fourth-season.html?ref=arts&_r=0

    Not particularly complimentary; dismissive as in the past. I guess this statement is their form of praise:

    This narrative pokiness is redeemed, as usual, by the machine-tooled professionalism of the production, the lavish attention to the mock-medieval costumes and setting, and the mostly crisp, understated acting by the international cast.

    However, the last part of the article reads like a homage to Peter:

    It appears that Tyrion Lannister, the noble dwarf played by Peter Dinklage, will be even more central to the action than usual. Perhaps this is simply a consequence of following Mr. Martin’s story, or perhaps it’s an acknowledgment that Mr. Dinklage’s captivating performance has taken over the show and that the action seems to drag whenever he’s not on screen.

    The only American actor playing a significant role in the series, Mr. Dinklage is simultaneously more magisterial than his British and European counterparts and more restrained; his baleful eyes contain the emotion that’s otherwise conveyed in soap opera terms.

    Seriously? I love Peter but has this reviewer (Mike Hale) seen the performances by Charles Dance, Michael McElhatton or Conleth Hill?

  119. WildSeed
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Most reviews read quite in favour of the season thus far. With quotes like ” astonishing achievement “, more viewers will definitely tune in even for the first time. Don Kaplan
    had issues but didn’t dismiss entirely.

  120. Boojam
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Anvil: Yeah, the New York Times did it again: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/05/arts/television/game-of-thrones-opens-a-fourth-season.html?ref=television

    Well the first year they had Gina Bellafante who seemed genre averse.

    Has it not been Mike Hale as the reviewer for seasons 2 and 3 also?
    He is less biased than Gina Bellafante , he still has his odd quibbles that do seem genre hostile.
    The main thing is he seems to have an irrational case of impatience with the show… it’s very odd. I guess Hale must leave Hamlet after the 1st act!

    For the life of me I don’t know why they don’t have Dave Itzkoff , who is genre friendly write the reviews.

    Its funny, the N. Y. Times reviews of GOT have gotten to be a source of derision by several sources now, many different places, I saw ,I think ,one in the Guardian just last week.

    Actually Itzkoff, mentioned above, had, last year, a long positive essay about GOT on the Times Entertainment page even tho it was not a review.
    So the NY Times seems schizophrenic about the show.

  121. cosca
    Posted April 4, 2014 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Boojam:
    Has is not been Mike Hale been the reviewer for seasons 2 and 3 also?

    Mike Hale wrote the review for Season 3 and 4, but Neil Gezlinger wrote it for Season 2. It was still negative. 3 reviewers in 4 years, all of which gave the show the most negative reviews on Metacritic. It’s getting silly at this point.

  122. Winter Soldier
    Posted April 5, 2014 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    Mike Hale gave GoT S4 a 60 and Camelot s1 a 70.

    …Yeah. Someone made the New York times angry.

    He also gave True Detective a 50.

  123. Boojam
    Posted April 5, 2014 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    cosca: Mike Hale wrote the review for Season 3 and 4, but Neil Gezlinger wrote it for Season 2. It was still negative. 3 reviewers in 4 years, all of which gave the show the most negative reviews on Metacritic. It’s getting silly at this point.

    Ah yes Gezlinger, forgot that, well both Bellafante and Gezlinger were quite negative on seasons 1 and 2 , I thought Hale was a tiny bit more positive.
    The thing that is infuriating is that in all cases the analysis is so sub par for The Grey Lady.
    Even Hale seems kind of bumfuzzled by the show. It’s ok to be critical but lets have some better reasoning than all the NY TV critics have given.
    It’s odd because for film criticism A.O.Scott , Manohla Dargis and Stephen Holden are very good , even their second stringers.
    I don’t read all their TV reviews , mainly because I just don’t watch all that much TV, I have not even watched Breaking Bad yet, I get to those shows later.
    So I don’t really know if the NY Times have some worthy TV critics or not!

  124. Boojam
    Posted April 5, 2014 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Winter Soldier: Mike Hale gave GoT S4 a 60 and Camelot s1 a 70.

    …Yeah. Someone made the New York times angry.

    He also gave True Detective a 50.

    Mike Hale made Breaking Bad number 12 on his ‘best’ list for 2013 , and that seemed grudging. Not sure he ever reviewed the show.

    Yeah NY Times reviews of GOT have become a joke among other publications , mostly on the WEB but some in print.
    It’s hard to know if anyone at the Times ever notices or even responds.

  125. Josh
    Posted April 6, 2014 at 12:35 am | Permalink

    JamesL:

    I admit the quality of the actress is debatable, but it’s odd to suggest she isn’t irrelevant. She has had nearly nothing to do with the other characters thus far in the show, and she was only just beginning to interact with the other characters in book 5 . So I’d say she’s pret

    Original Daario couldn’t act his way out of a paper bag. He was terrible.

  1. […] Thursday, Fury posted a collection of thoughts from a small selection of critics, weighing in on (the show as a whole, in some cases) […]


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