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    Top Ten Highlights of "Game of Thrones" Season Four

    “I’m going to break the wheel,” says Daenerys Targaryen in one of the trailers for the upcoming fifth season of Game of Thrones. Yes, after waiting for almost one year, the much-awaited television drama will return on April 12, 2015. But before that moment comes, let us have a quick recap of what had transpired in the previous season. Here are the highlights of the ten episodes of the fourth season of Game of Thrones: 

    Jon Snow’s return to Castle Black. In the pilot episode of the season, Jon Snow returns to Castle Black and divulge to the Night’s Watch all the information he learned about the wildlings. Ultimately, he and Ygritte and the rest of the wildlings part the hard way. In the King’s Landing, everyone prepares for an incoming wedding of which many royal bloods have been invited including Prince Oberyn of Dorne. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys Targaryen advances toward Meereen, the last of the three great slave cities. 

    Death of King Joffrey. The royal wedding between the House of Tyrell and the Lannisters, which began with much festivity, suddenly turns ugly when Joffrey drinks a poisoned wine and dies. Tyrion, who constantly threatens the King’s life prior to the marriage, is accused of murder by Cersei and is arrested. Lady Sansa Stark flees with the help of Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish. Meanwhile, Roose Bolton returns to Dreadfort to meet his bastard son Ramsay Snow and Theon Greyjoy A.K.A. “Reek.” Beyond the Wall, Bran and his team journey further north as visions of the Three-eyed Raven become more menacing. 

    Fall of Meereen.  Daenerys lays siege to Meereen and after Daario Naharis defeats the city’s champions, slaves rise up against their masters. The revolt leads to Daenerys conquering Meereen and nailing 163 masters to posts as justice for the slain slave children. In the King’s Landing, Tyrion faces an impending trial with Tywin Lannister, Oberyn Martell and Mace Tyrell as judges. In the Riverlands, Arya continues her journey with Sandor “The Hound” Clegane. 

    The conspiracy. In the fourth episode, Petyr admits to Sansa that he was responsible for Joffrey’s poisoning. Olenna Tyrell also confesses to the widowed Queen Margaery that she ordered the poisoning. She also encourages her to seduce Tommen, Joffrey’s brother who is groomed to be the next king, before Cersei turns against her. Beyond the Wall, Bran and his companions are captured by the Night’s Watch mutineers occupying Craster’s Keep. Jon and his men are also on the way to Craster’s Keep to repress the mutiny. 

    The new King Tommen. Consequently, Tommen is crowned as the new king of the Seven Kingdoms. In the Vale, Petyr takes Sansa to the Eyrie where she poses as his niece “Alayne”. On the same day of their arrival, Petyr marries Lysa Arryn who is suspicious of Alayne. Meanwhile, Brienne and her squire Podrick is on the road searching for Sansa. Beyond the Wall, Jon’s group successfully attacks the mutineers, but Bran runs away from Jon and continue his team’s trek northward.

    Shae’s betrayal. Perhaps one of the most heart-breaking plots in the season is the demise of the Tyrion-Shae affair. After Tyrion breaks up their relationship and arranges for her to be shipped, Shae disappears but suddenly emerges at Tyrion’s trial as one of the witnesses against him. Humiliated and angry, Tyrion demands a trial by combat. At the Dreadfort, Yara leads an attack to rescue Theon but fails when he, now completely brutalized and assumes the persona of “Reek”, refuses to come with her.

    Lysa’s death. After Lysa sees Petyr Baelish kissed Sansa in the snow, she confronts Sansa and threatens to push her through the Moon Door. However, Baelish intervenes and instead throws Lysa to her death. During the investigation, Sansa reveals her true identity to the Council and convinces them of Baelish’s innocence.

    A bloody combat. Cersei appoints Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane as her champion for the trial by combat. After Jamie and Bronn refuses to fight for Tyrion, Prince Oberyn steps up and offers his service. Having grudge for raping and killing his sister, Oberyn seeks vengeance against Clegane. However, he fails during the combat as he is brutally killed by Clegane by crushing his skull. As a result, Tywin sentence Tyrion to death for regicide. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys learns of Jorah’s secret as a spy for King’s Landing and she banishes him from Meereen with order to never return. Meanwhile, “Reek” disguises as his former self, Theon Greyjoy, and leads a successful takeover of Moat Caitlin, resulting to Roose Bolton legitimizing Ramsay. 

    Battle on the Wall. With the help of several giants and a woolly mammoth, Mance Rayder and the wildlings launch an invasion on the Wall. Many casualties die in the battle, including Jon’s friends Grenn and Pyp, and his love Ygritte. Distraught, Jon chases Mance but Stannis Baratheon and his army overrun the wildlings and take Mance prisoner. 

    The Heart Tree. Before the season ended, Bran and his group finally reached their destination – the large Heart Tree from his visions. However, Jojen Reed is killed during the attack by the wights while Bran, Hodor and Meera are saved by a child of the forest. In Meereen, one of the dragons burns a child, forcing Daenerys to chain the others. In Vale, Brienne and Podrick catch up upon Arya and the Hound. Brienne severely wounds the Hound, letting Arya escape. In King’s Landing, Tyrion is released from prison by Jamie. Before he escapes with Varys, Tyrion goes to Tywin’s room only to find Shae. Burning with rage, Tyrion kills her and later looks for Tywin and does the same.

    FINAL THOUGHTS. Undeniably, Game of Thrones ended the fourth season with so much excitement and anticipation.  As the stories are getting too complicated and unpredictable, the characters developed so gracefully and touchingly. For one, Tyrion has one of the best story arcs. From being the unloved rebellious child, he has now become an estranged lover and a dangerous fugitive. With Varys’ companionship, will his bitter and tragic experiences force him to go against his own family and the people of King’s Landing whom he once rescued? What future lies for Jamie Lannister, a kick-ass king’s guard who has now everything but one arm? And what about Cersei? Will she continue to be a hateful woman and a cunning mother to the new king? 

    For the Stark children, the incoming season may not be better for them. After her conniving act and drama, will Sansa Stark finally lose her innocence and succumb to darkness? With her buying a passage on a ship bound for Braavos, will Arya find herself in the world of assassins and death-chasers? According to news, Bran and his pack will be absent for the entire season (We’ll surely miss Hodor). As for Jon Snow, will his allegiance with Stannis Baratheon stop the wildlings and the White Walkers from invading the land, preventing “Winter” from coming? 

    Finally, what does the future holds for the Seven Kingdoms? Will Cersei retain her reign behind the king’s crown? Or will Baratheon and his army launch an attack against her? How about the new Queen Daenerys? Will she finally strike, now that her dragons have all grown up? Well, we can do nothing but wait for next season to commence. April 12, please come quick.


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