Sunday, 22 February 2015


Game of Thrones. Arguably the most anticipated show on TV right now and rightly so. Ever since Ned Stark's grisly fate way back in season one, Game of Thrones has continued to surprise, intrigue, excite and enthral in equal measures. Nine noble families fight for control of the mythical land of Westeros. We all have our favourites. I'm siding with the Lannisters for now but I do have a soft spot for Daenarys and the two Stark girls. Whether you're rooting for House Stark, Lannister, Baratheon or Targaryen, not to mention Greyjoy, Tully, Arryn, Tyrell and Martell, full-scale war is most definitely imminent. Which means, chances are, your favourite character won't make it. Season 5 starts on HBO on April 12, 2015, and in the UK on Sky Atlantic the following evening. Here's our pick of Season Four's greatest hits.

12/ Wights Attack Bran

Bran's storyline is moving a lot quicker than the other arcs in the show, and it appears we won't be seeing him at all in season five as the other characters play catch up. In all honesty, Bran isn't one of our favourite characters at TwistedWing, but we are loving the supernatural elements that his storyline brings. Episode ten is a great example of this, when Bran and his party come upon the large Heart Tree from his visions. As they arrive they are attacked by wights. Though Jojen is killed, Bran, Hodor and Meera are saved by a child of the forest who takes them to the three-eyed raven. Jojen wasn't aware of his death until he read the script, and in the books he is yet to meet his fate, but this brief action sequence is excellent stuff. Maybe we will fall under Bran's spell after all.

11/ Missandei Gets Naked

Nathalie Emmanuel isn't the first ex-Hollyoaks girl to arrive in Westeros, but ever since her first appearance - taking residence alongside Daenerys Stormborn - in season three, we have often wondered how long it will be before she gets her kit off. Let's face it; if they don't meet a nasty fate on GOT they do at least get naked at some point. This striking piece of television takes place in season four. While bathing nude in a stream outside the city, Missandei notices Grey Worm gazing at her. Surprised by this, she stands up, allowing him to see her (and us, the viewers at home) in all her fleshy glory. The pillar and the stones have your full attention Missandei. More of the same in season five please. 

10/ Aunt Lysa Meets Her Fate

I hate Aunt Lysa. There are a lot of evil characters in Game of Thrones, but at least with the likes of Joffrey there is something to admire about the little prick. Lysa has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. And don't get me started on her bloody son! In the Vale, Sansa is kissed by Petyr Baelish in the snow, igniting the wrath of Aunt Lysa, who witnessed the event and later threatens to push Sansa through the Moon Door. However, Baelish intervenes in time and instead pushes Lysa to her death. It's a great, air-punching moment, signalling renewed interest in the lesser of the two Stark girls. Sansa could play a big part in things to come. She should also wear black more often.

9/ Shae's Death

Tyrion is without a doubt the most cherished character in Game of Thrones, which means any scene involving him (and his potential death) is laced with oodles of tension. There are several great moments in episode ten and its easy to forget the smaller ones. Shae's death isn't a small moment as such, and the scene itself is packed with high emotion, but in the grand scheme of things, Shae's death feels less significant than some of the events surrounding it. Tyrion is released from his cell by Jaime and later finds Shae in Tywin's bed. He strangles her to death and everybody feels his pain. Not least his father, but we'll get to that one later.

8/ Daenarys Says Goodbye To Her Children

It might be our love of animals (and mythical beasts) that made this scene so touching, but in all honesty, it's been coming for a very long time. In Meereen, a distraught citizen brings Daenarys the charred remains of his daughter who was burned by one of her dragons. As a precaution, Daenerys chains her other dragons in the catacombs. It's an emotional moment for sure, but we all know they won't stay chained up forever. Can't wait to see how this one pans out, and what of Drogon? We get the feeling he'll be, um, spitting fire when he finds out.

7/ Arya Takes Her Sword Back

Buffy the Vampire Slayer had Mr Pointy, Arya - our favourite member of the Stark clan - has Needle. Or at least she did have Needle, until it was stolen from her by Polliver. Things come full circle in episode one of season four, and revenge has never been sweeter. Not only does Arya become the feisty warrior we had long suspected she would, but The Hound has one of his greatest moments too. In the Riverlands, Arya, accompanied by Sandor "The Hound" Clegane, reclaims her sword from Polliver, and uses it to kill him in the same way he murdered Lommy Greenhands. It's one of our favourite scenes at TwistedWing and Arya is one of our favourite characters. She could well take the throne for herself, now that would be a fitting finale.

6/ Tywin Dies On The Other Throne

Talking of characters we love to hate, Tywin Lannister is one of Game of Thrones greatest villains. Charles Dance may play a small part in that. I hope the show doesn't miss him too much, I'm guessing there is still enough evil to go round, but Tywin's death is about as undignified as it gets. Tyrion is released from his cell by Jaime, and after killing Shae in Tywin's bed, he then confronts his father in the privy and shoots him with Joffrey's crossbow, before escaping the city with Varys. It's a gripping scene, arriving late on in the action-packed season finale. Nobody is safe in Westeros, that much is clear. You can't even take a dump for Christ's sake. What a shitter.

5/ The Hound vs. Brienne

Another great, not to mention surprising, moment from the season finale. Such a shame that it marks the end of one of Game of Thrones best-loved characters. Or does it? It's not like we actually see him die. Or are we just being hopeful? The relationship between The Hound and Arya will be sorely missed however, after all, their partnership brought much needed humour to the show, and this fight scene is one of the most exciting sequences of the series. Not least because it involves a showdown with Brienne, another popular character on the show. In the Vale, Brienne and Podrick come upon Arya and the Hound. Brienne mortally wounds the Hound, while Arya escapes. The battle is brutal but it's the aftermath - in which The Hound tries to convince Arya to finish him off - that hits hardest.

4/ Joffrey's Death

Another day. Another wedding. I'm sure this one will have a happy ending, right? I'm afraid not. The biggest surprise is that Joffrey's death takes place in episode two, setting up several key character arcs for the rest of the season. We all wanted Joffrey to die, let's face it, and we wanted it to be as merciless and painful as possible. He's the one character we all loved to hate, but his twisted sense of humour provided the show with so many great moments. Not least his own wedding and the banquet that follows. The feast is cut short when Joffrey succumbs to poisoned wine and dies. A grief-stricken Cersei accuses Tyrion of murdering the king and orders his arrest. Joffrey succumbs to an agonizing fate, and the camera lingers for what seems like an eternity. Great stuff.

3/ Tyrion's Speech

Not all the best scenes involved death and mutilation. One of the most powerful cliffhangers was provided by Tyrion Lannister as he defended his honour in court. Tyrion is brought to trial for Joffrey's murder. However, of all the witnesses brought in to testify against him - including Meryn Trant, Pycelle, Cersei, and Varys - it's Shae's false testimony that angers him most. Angry and humiliated, Peter Dinklage has never been better. It's another air-punching moment as the episode draws to a close and Tyrion proclaims, "I will not give my life for Joffrey's murder. And I know I'll get no justice here, so I'll let the Gods decide my fate. I demand a trial by combat."

2/ Battle At Castle Black

We're cheating a little bit here because The Battle of Castle Black runs the entire length of season four's penultimate episode. However, there are so many great moments, it seems harsh not to mention them all. Directed by Neil Marshall (The Descent), The Watchers on the Wall is one of the best episodes of Game of Thrones yet. The wildlings attack from both sides, with one army climbing the wall and Ygritte's army attacking Castle Black. Wooly mammoths, scene-stealing giants, the best death-by-arrow sequence yet and a giant scythe bid for 'Coolest Moment in Game of Thrones History', and that's only half the story. Pyp is shot by Ygritte and dies in Sam's arms. After watching Jon kill Styr the Thenn, Ygritte prepares to kill Jon, but is shot by Olly, who finally gets revenge on Ygritte for killing his family. Jon holds Ygritte in his arms as she dies, and we all join in as she whispers, "You know nothing John Snow". It's a poignant end to a stunning piece of television. Which means...

1/ The Mountain & The Viper  

What's truly impressive about this sequence of events is the way in which Prince Oberyn was able to win our hearts in such a small space of time. Introduced in the first episode of season four, Oberyn proved to be one of the most captivating characters in the series. Which makes his death scene all the more shocking. During the trial by combat, Prince Oberyn gains the upper hand, but allows his enemy to get the better of him while trying to force Gregor Clegane to confess to his sister's rape and murder. Just when you think Prince Oberyn is going to reign victorious, the severely wounded Mountain catches him off-guard, killing him in the most disturbing way imaginable. The Mountain pushes Oberyn's eyes into their sockets, crushing his skull with the ickiest of explosions. I'll never forget watching it for the first time. The credits rolled and we sat in silence as our jaws hit the floor in horror. Brilliant. 

So what next for the inhabitants of Westeros? The season ends with Arya buying passage on a ship bound for Braavos with the coin Jaqen H'ghar gave to her. We'll be joining her on her travels from April, on tenterhooks no doubt, breathing a sigh of relief if our favourite characters make it to the end of an episode. Welcome back Game of Thrones. We sure have missed you. 

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