What To Expect in Game of Thrones Season 4

By Cian Gaffney on Jun 12, 2013 to Game of Thrones

Now that the third season of Game of Thrones has finally reached its conclusion, the production team must once again put their efforts into bringing us a similarly impressive fourth season. The most obvious question people may ask, in the wake of the Red Wedding among other events, is “What next?” Without explicitly giving away any book spoilers, it is quite safe to assume a number of things based on previous episodes.

Jon-The-Wall

The Night’s Watch – When last we saw Jon, he had narrowly escaped Tormund’s wildling party, being wounded by Ygritte in the process. Assuming that he survives, his arrival at Castle Black brings up a number of possibilities. How will they defend the Wall against Mance Rayder’s imminent attack, and with so few able men remaining? What will the older veterans of the Watch think of Jon turning his cloak and fraternizing with the wildling enemy? Will they let it slide, or will it be seen as a gross breach of the Night’s Watch oath? Similarly, how will Sam’s protection of Gilly play out? Is it possible that the other men of the Watch may become jealous that Sam is allowed to care for a woman?

The North – With Robb Stark and Catelyn Tully dead, along with the majority of the Stark loyalist forces, Roose Bolton was appointed Warden of the North for his part in contributing to Tywin Lannister’s war effort. It remains to be seen how Bolton’s treachery will be received in the North among the surviving lords and ladies, all of whom were fiercely devoted to House Stark. Roose may well find it difficult to consolidate his rule. Also, what becomes of Theon? When last we saw him, he was being systematically stripped of his identity by Ramsay Snow, Roose Bolton’s bastard son. Yara Greyjoy has disobeyed her father’s orders, and set sail with a strong force to lay siege to the Dreadfort, the seat of House Bolton. With all of this in mind, the Boltons may well find themselves in quite a difficult situation.

Beyond the Wall – Now that Bran has traveled beyond the Wall along with Hodor, Jojen, Meera and Summer, he is in immediate danger. By all of Sam’s logic, they should be heading south, yet he is convinced that it is his destiny-like quest to find the three-eyed raven. Whether the raven will help him hone his warging abilities to perfection remains to be seen, but Bran’s story promises to get more and more mystical. Also, Mance Rayder’s forces are amassing to assault the Wall, and could pose a threat to Bran and company. Ygritte and Tormund are still south of the Wall, however, and their part in the wildling attack will be interesting to follow.

bran-the-wall

King’s Landing – With the War of the Five Kings more or less over, affairs in King’s Landing look set to cool down somewhat. However, Jaime’s arrival should stir some things up. His oath to both Brienne and the late Catelyn Stark would have him release Sansa, but this brings up some difficulties. Sansa has been wed to Tyrion, and we know that Tyrion and Jaime both love each other dearly. Jaime would be reluctant to cause any affront to Tyrion, yet Tyrion may yet help Jaime, as he was vehemently against marrying Sansa in the first place. However, if Jaime is to honor his vow, what is he to do with Sansa? Winterfell is in ruins, her family members are either scattered or dead…things could become very difficult. Also, Jaime’s maiming may finally give Tywin the excuse he needs to have Jaime retire from the Kingsguard and inherit Casterly Rock. It still remains to be determined what will happen between Cersei and Loras, and whether they will be married at all. Also, where will Margaery fit into all of this, given Cersei’s open threat to her? The much talked about royal wedding is sure to happen very soon, and it promises to be a lavish affair. Given the announcement that casting for the Red Viper is underway, we will finally see the Martells of Dorne enter the mix. It will be very interesting to see how they fit into the politics of Kings Landing, given that Tyrion sent Myrcella to Dorne in season 2, yet the Mountain was the man who murdered the Red Viper’s sister during Robert’s Rebellion.

The Riverlands – When last we saw Arya, she brutally murdered a Frey man-at-arms after hearing him and his comrades mock the murder of her mother and brother. Completely unfazed by her viciousness, she remembered Jaqen H’ghar’s offer to seek him out in Braavos should she ever wish to train as a Faceless Man. This could very well become Arya’s objective, as she has no reason to believe she will ever be reunited with her remaining family members. Her motivation going forward would seem to consist purely of revenge. Where the Hound plays into this remains to be determined, but one thing is for certain; Arya is on a very dark path.

the-hound-arya-riding

Dragonstone – By all accounts, it would seem as if Stannis has been convinced that the real war lies to the North, and it would seem that North is very much where he intends to go. This would bring him and his forces in direct proximity to the Boltons and the imminent clash between them and the Greyjoys, the remaining Northerns lords adjusting to the regime change, the imminent clash between Mance Rayder’s wildling army and the Night’s Watch, and the possibility of the White Walkers invading Westeros. It is clear that the situation in the North is about to get very messy. Whether Stannis will add to that mess or contribute in cleaning it up will become clear next season.

Across the Narrow Sea – Daenerys has managed to sack Astapor and conquer Yunkai in a short period of time, gaining an army of Unsullied in the process. She has just been proclaimed “Mhysa” of the freed slaves in Yunkai, and is hailed as their savior. Whether she will continue in her liberating/conquering mission will surely be revealed next year. However, despite everything looking up for here, tension is quite obviously strong between Jorah and Daario, and it will be interesting to follow how that relationship plays out. Despite having a large, elite army, and being loved by her people, all signs point to the fact that Dany will not be travelling to Westeros for some time yet, at least not until her dragons are grown. With this in mind, we can expect to see her possibly settling down in a city and attempting to rule her adopted people.

There are plenty of set pieces remaining in A Storm of Swords to make season 4 the most thrilling season yet, with the possibility of having at least one momentous event in each episode. Shooting is about to begin, and it won’t be long before Thrones is back on our TV screens. Until then, HBOWatch will keep you informed of any updates concerning the show.  We expect it to premiere in Spring 2014 so start the countdown!

Cian is a student of Theology and History. He frequently confuses the real world with Westeros, and if he’s not talking about A Song of Ice and Fire…he’s talking about Game of Thrones. Mainly interested in old HBO classics such as Rome, Deadwood and The Wire, he currently maintains a vested interest in Boardwalk Empire, Treme and Game of Thrones.

Cian on Twitter Cian on Google+

  • randy

    y isnt there more episodes,there should be at least 12 dang every other hbo hits has 12 to 13

    • The sheer amount of production that goes into the show makes an increase in episodes impossible.

    • john

      After watching True Detective, a show with quite possibly some of the best acting in tv history, and it’s only 8 episodes, sadly a GoT 10 episode season sounds like a lot now. If this was a marketing scheme by HBO all along, then bravo to them. I almost feel spoiled with that many episodes :P

  • William Steel

    this is the besy tv show ever i do like ever thing thats happen iam a stark surport asnd the rorth you have me fel happy angy sad hopefull i hated the imp but now i think more off him than the rest of the loins i love the show as in the show iam low boun this 3td season has set up season 4 to be very great i would not miss for the world

  • Ed Stockton

    Oberyn Martell is badass and his contribution to the story next seson should be epic in both dialogue and action.

  • Chuck Norris

    I am the rightful king of Seven kingdoms

  • rik

    they left out so much detail from the books in these 3 seasons. i wont be surprised if they miss out more in the next season and jump to the main scenes. you cant cram in a whole volume into 10 eps. i suggest people read the books when they can so you get a better understanding

  • 123sudoku

    Spring 2014 is so far away… in these troubled times will we still be around?

    • zico

      Exactly,its just too far away

  • Catalin

    too damn late till 2014 spring ! should be on 2013 fall … uhhhh

    no one thought to move on “on time” with this movie ? …

  • Patta

    i cann’t wait for the next season:)

  • Paul

    Excited for Dorne, and the Red Viper. Easily one of the best 2nd-tier characters in the books.

  • Steffen

    “it won’t be long before Thrones is back on our TV screens.” Are you kidding me??

  • Alya

    If you want to know what is going to happen, move your ass and your brain and go pick the books and read them… Just sayin’.

    • I have, many times. Some people, however, once they are invested in a show, prefer to see it out to the end rather than spoiling themselves otherwise. There’s no doubt that they would have a much richer experience via the books, but each to his/her own.

  • SerTahu

    WARNING: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN MINOR SPOILERS FROM A STORM OF SWORDS AND A FEAST FOR CROWS.

    Contrary to a lot of people, believe that season 4 will contain little to no material from books 4 and 5, except for maybe Bran’s storyline (and we might get Arya’s first chapter from AFfC, and Daenery’s first chapter from ADwD). In fact, I believe that, as far as the north is concerned, some plot points may even be held back for season 5 (namely the election for the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch). And given the filler that is happening with Yara and the Bolton’s, it is almost confirmed that the kingsmoot storyline will not take place until season 5. Overall, I believe that this is shaping up to be one epic season of television while managing to keep a lot of material for later seasons.

    • Thanks for giving your input without spelling out spoilers. Too many book readers attempt to flaunt their “knowledge” of the books by pointlessly spoiling the plot. Oftentimes their comments have nothing to do with the article itself. Yours did, and you made an effort to conceal spoilers. Your contribution is appreciated!

      I would also add that Brienne’s arc from AFFC could possibly be introduced towards the end of season 4. Given Jaime’s early presence in King’s Landing, I can see him sending her on her quest after the royal wedding.

      • SerTahu

        Thank you, and good point with Brienne! I personally try to be very careful when it comes to spoilers. Before I read the books I had been spoiled on the Red Wedding (which was still shocking, even after I was spoiled), so I don’t want to ruin the enjoyment of others in turn. Admittedly, it is rather tricky on HBOwatch as there are no spoiler tags (like winteriscoming), and it isn’t a book reader site (like westeros) :P.

        Anyway, I honestly forgot about Brienne, as I honestly didn’t find her storyline in AFfC particularly interesting (in fact, I consider it the most boring part of the series to date). I am very curious as to what will happen in the first few episodes of season 4, though, given that Brienne and Sansa will be in the same city. Perhaps Brienne could be imprisoned for her allegiances to Renly and later Cat? And then Jaime might free her and send her off after the wedding (which I predict to be in episode 4)? It will be interesting to see how they handle the situation, at any rate. Also, given how much material she has in AFfC (or rather how much she doesn’t have), I would not be surprised to see her take a more secondary role from here on, with some filler added in to pad out her storyline.

        Also, another thing that I neglected to mention (and which wasn’t mentioned in the original post) is Rickon (who is living up to his reputation as the forgotten Stark :P). As there is no POV for his storyline in the books, I am very curious to see what the show comes up with. It has been suggested on other sites that they might add in a storyline where Ramsay tries to find Rickon, given that he knows that the Stark boys are alive. Another detail which could be interesting is the fact that they are heading towards the Last Hearth, which was never mentioned in the books. Although he isn’t likely to appear much in season 4, I am very curious to see what the writers do with him.

        • John

          I’m about 70% thought AFFC, and I am loving it. I find Cercia’s story line a bit dull at the moment, but I am loving Arya’s and Jamies (With them just outside of Riverun). Looking forward to the next season and seeing what they pull off.

  • Dan

    We all read the damn books, YOu can too.

    • I have also “read the damn books”, hence why I alluded to the possibility of giving away book spoilers, spoilers I wouldn’t have knowledge of unless I had read said books.

  • Eleonora Iafano

    Fabulous article, Cian! My heart just bleeds for Sansa being stuck in King’s Landing. At least she has Tyrion. As for Arya: she can take of herself and the unflinching way she offed that Frey soldier, well, I see a future Faceless assassin in training. Can’t wait to see how Jaime’s story evolves. As for Cersei, well, I don’t like her or trust her. She is not a good role model for any woman in power. should be interesting to see how her storyline with Margaery plays out!

  • eBeth

    It’s Yara Greyjoy on the show, Asha in the books.

    • Thanks, that damn name switch still frustrates me to no end.

      • SerTahu

        That’s why I have now taken to calling her YarAsha. :P

  • Brytard

    No mention of the Brotherhood Without Banners?

    • I didn’t include them because we were given no real hint in the show that they may be significant going forward, and I am trying to avoid delving into spoiler territory.

      • TheNorthRemembers

        Well you did point out all of the plots in your article and left nothing to the imagination. “Without explicitly giving away any book spoilers”… I think you failed to do such. I don’t want to name anything in particular to avoid the spoilers but you did just describe everything that will pretty much happen.

        I personally think it would of been amazing to throw the audience off guard with Stannis intent to head North, the way it did in the books.










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