The Rains of Castamere has played inside of my head for the past three and a half weeks, having spent the better part of the end of February catching up on homework (Seasons 1, 2, and 3) and March in an edit bay, with a single monitor dedicated to looping Game of Thrones Season 4’s “Two Swords,” “The Lion and the Rose,” and “Breaker of Chains.” The melody resonates in these episodes, serving as a reflection on our current point in the overall story and position in the development of particular characters, as they find a place in this world building so violently toward Winter. These are an organized handful of thoughts generalizing the palette of emotion we’re meant to experience in our history’s story of the television show Game of Thrones as it enters its fourth season, under heavy anticipation to translate what George has written beyond the events of Season 3’s painful conclusions, to screen.
The show has continued to improve from season to season on several technical levels (and in many visual attributes), but there is a noticeable confidence in the approach to certain scenes, clearly visible/audible/feelable(?) that the ones behind what is being created at that very moment are equally if not more excited to see this finally being created for the lot of us to see. The Game of Thrones directorial debut of show’s co-creator DB Weiss in the first of the three, was outstanding. Increased levels of polish to the show’s already shining (armor) quality of work can be seen immediately, directly following that particular episode’s opening scene, with the smoothest transition into a title sequence made on this planet. His approach to sequences that are rudimentary in visual representations of a story set in this era of technology feel very fresh. Fresh to the show even, expanding the scope, done very well. The expansion of this world (and the approach to familiar places with more dollar bills in the equation) will undoubtedly bring new obligatory and beautiful frames of vast and detailed geography, but even more so than it ever has before, the show does a highfive-worthy job with making it feel supplemental to the danger (or etc) in the current setting.
On Thursday, Fury posted a collection of thoughts from a small selection of critics, weighing in on (the show as a whole, in some cases) the events in what we’ve been able to see thus far in Season 4, only to the degree in which has been approved, of course. To me, it would be a terrible waste to divulge oriented (or disoriented) details that may give confirmation of events to come, with a very large portion of this website’s active community having done their own scholarly pursuits in the world of Ice and Fire. The buzzing excitement of a viewer when characters who have been established over a span of hours and years finally reach one another, sharing in exchanges put into being by the ghosts of seasons past, there are few words. The careful detail put into these three episodes, highlighted by subtle artistry in George’s own words (throughout episode 2), give much weight to the decisions and actions of both established and new characters, and in the ways they interact with one another. A character like Jamie, who has suffered considerable pain and loss (separated from his family for a lengthy run of the show) finally returns to familiar faces, the kinds of faces with much to talk about, that can bring about the type of conversation we’ve been unable to share in as an audience since the first season. And that is only a piece of the small victories we’ll share in this new season.
It feels very seamless. Much more seamless than it has before, and I’ve considered this show to be the most well made of its class in television since the first 15 minute preview HBO provided us all of those years ago. Small things, the decision to capture a certain row in a certain style, or the weight of the camera’s motion as it speeds along a dense wooded scene — with it all, the pounding reminder of drama from an already excellent soundtrack, and the melodies that welcome Season 4’s new characters. Game of Thrones will continue to raise the bar in so many different ways with the coming of this new season, now only two days until it all begins. A looped version of The Rains of Castamere has played inside of my headphones for the past several minutes. Everything is quiet now, which probably means it’s time for me leave this collection of words behind and prepare to join the rest of you this Sunday evening, to finally see the ruddy thing in fullscreen, minus one row of immovable serial numbers.