The holidays always mean hectic schedules and compressed timetables – well, not to mention merriment, time with families, and copious amounts of food and drink, but of course – so the crows on the Wall weren’t able to fully devote themselves to the conversation at hand.
But that’s all right, since we have a bite-sized morsel to chew over, anyway, and we all still wanted to deliver one last murder for everyone to sit back with and enjoy as the holiday season – and the year that was 2014 – finally recedes into the oblivion that is called the past.
Thank you for joining us with these (still) somewhat experimental roundtables, specifically, and the entire Watchers on the Wall site, generally. It’s been a great ride so far… but you haven’t seen anything yet.
I’d like to do a retrospective on the year that was, particularly since this was the single biggest year for Game of Thrones yet. What do you think the most important development has been – the fourth season episodes themselves? Casting announcements/leaks for season five?
Telltale’s Iron from Ice? Or something else entirely?
I think the fact that Bran and his crew are skipping a year was huge news on the season five/filming front. That and the news that proved Arya’s story was well into her Winds of Winter material – so the show is clearly passing the books and is heading deep into TWOW territory, blowing George R.R. Martin’s wishful thinking out of the water.
For me, it was the show surpassing the published material of the novels for several characters by the end of season four, thus ushering in unpublished/original material for season five.
Season four had truly gripping moments because some of what we saw was new, giving novel readers the first taste of the uncertainty, dread, and excitement for what is to come that is always with the Unsullied.
The fourth season actually being – in my personal view – better than the third season was actually the biggest thing for me, because I didn’t expect that at all. (If season five is better than four, I’ll eat Bex’s cardigan collection.) The Sand Snake casting was exciting; Myrcella’s re-casting was not. I really enjoyed Telltale’s Iron from Ice, and finished episode one in one sitting.
A few of my thoughts:
In the meta-verse, the biggest event was, of course, launching WatchersontheWall.com. But that goes without saying.
In show news, what others have already mentioned is all important. I add to that the unprecedented simultaneous pickup of the next two seasons. This planning ahead helped the re-negotiation of contracts with the principal cast and demonstrated once more the commitment of HBO to see the whole project through and done properly (not that there were many doubts, but still).
On a personal level, I liked the juicy video announcement of new characters and cast best – Alexander Siddig and Dorne for the win!
The one memory from this past season that really sticks out to me is the end of the fourth episode, “Oathkeeper,” where we saw what happens to all of those babies Craster’s been leaving in the woods. Traveling to the Land of Always Winter and watching some kind of royal While Walker change a human baby into an Other was a game-changer for me.
It was the moment that finally solidified that the show was really going to start passing the books – something that I hadn’t anticipated happening as early as it will be.