Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Starks, Targaryens and Lannisters, oh my

Suzi Pratt/Wikimedia Commons
Suzi Pratt/Wikimedia Commons

Editor’s note: Spoilers for Season 3 of “Game of Thrones” are contained in this article.

After last year, I don’t think any of us are going to look at weddings quite the same. When “Game of Thrones” hosted the Red Wedding, it instantly became a fixture in pop culture lore, and not only because it murdered a slew of the show’s main good guys. Robb and Catelyn Stark’s demise sent unprecedented shockwaves through social media as fans grieved the downfall of Winterfell’s family.

Thenew season will have a lot to live up to. This season will focus upon roughly the second half of the third book in “A Song of Ice and Fire,” “A Storm of Swords,” which covers author George R.R. Martin’s finest writing in the series so far.

Because of the show’s sprawling ensemble and labyrinthine plot, here are just some of the plots brewing this year in Westeros and beyond.

In the North: Traitor Theon Greyjoy continues to suffer at the hands of Ramsay Snow, Roose Bolton’s sadistic bastard. Jon Snow returns to the Night’s Watch after jilting his wildling girlfriend, Ygritte. Jon’s half-brother Bran continues toward the Wall with Jojen and Meera in search of the three-eyed raven, while a massive army of White Walkers and their undead mercenaries inch closer to the Seven Kingdoms.

At King’s Landing: King Joffrey and Lady Margaery prepare to unite Houses Lannister and Tyrell with their marriage, while Ser Jaime returns to his beloved sister, Queen Cersei, sans sword hand. Their brother Tyrion takes on his new position as Master of Coin and faces a dwindling number of friendly faces at the capital.

A new face arrives in Oberyn Martell, also known as the Red Viper. One of the books’ best characters, he comes ostensibly to fill his sick brother’s seat on the King’s council, but has plans of his own.

Across the Narrow Sea: Daenerys Targaryen struggles to consolidate her rule over Astapor and Yunkai as she turns her gaze upon Meereen, the grandest of the slave cities. Meanwhile, countless assassins dog her trail. Ser Jorah and Ser Barristan continue to bicker for the Queen’s approval.

In the Riverlands: Arya and The Hound travel through a land unhinged by the War of the Five Kings. Most recently they turned away from the Twins, tragically too late to save her brother and mother. Ironically, The Hound is the greatest bodyguard she could ask for, despite her hatred for the burned knight.

This season’s most exciting addition has to be Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal). One of the Princes of Dorne, the hot-headed Red Viper holds the Lannisters in contempt for events during Robert’s Rebellion. In a world where you can never guess where allegiances lie, Oberyn’s plans will tie your brain in a pretzel before you can decipher his motivations or intentions.

Intrigue will boil over in King’s Landing as a fragile alliance emerges between the Lannisters and Tyrells. Last year revealed a few schisms between the Houses, most easily exploited by the hilarious Lady Olenna Tyrell (Dame Diana Rigg), who often blurts out what everyone’s thinking.

Amid these changing circumstances, Tyrion (the dependably amazing Peter Dinklage) finds himself lost in the shuffle, still demoralized from the Blackwater and his removal as Hand of the King. Producers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have promised that it’s Dinklage’s finest acting yet. Considering his work these past three years, that’s quite a vote of confidence.

Not to be forgotten is Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane), the grumpy Lord of Dragonstone who’s still reeling from his embarrassment at the Blackwater. His faithful comrades, Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) and the Red Lady Melisandre (Carice van Houten) engineer a new plan for the would-be King that will take the three to interesting (and freezing) places.

“Games of Thrones” was an audacious idea from the first shot of three rangers beyond the Wall. The hype never daunted Benioff and Weiss, who have handled Martin’s opus with the expertise and care of true fan boys. As frequent writers, they’ve produced a faithful adaptation that stands on its own as a crowning achievement in pop culture.

This season will have more action and intrigue throughout rather than reserving it all for later. Multiple major battles are slotted for Season 4, one of which the producers claim will dwarf the Blackwater sequence. And keep an eye out for Maisie Williams as Arya. She’s a young actress who gets better with each season and stands out in the main cast of nearly 30 names.

Still reeling from the Red Wedding? Don’t worry. Just because Robb fell doesn’t mean the Seven Kingdoms are at peace. The nuptials in Westeros aren’t over just yet.

Alex Frail can be reached at [email protected]

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Massachusetts Daily Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *