Game of Thrones Season 4 preview: deaths, dragons, and fugitives

Danaerys Targaryen's dragons are growing bigger and wilder in Season 4 of Game of Thrones.
Danaerys Targaryen's dragons are growing bigger and wilder in Season 4 of Game of Thrones. Photo: HBO

 SAN DIEGO, April 3, 2014Fans of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” have been waiting ten months and their patience will be rewarded on Sunday, April 6, as Season 4 debuts with the episode “Two Swords.”

Hardcore fans are watching the GOT Countdown clock on their desktops as the seconds click off.

It’s taken many fans all ten months to recover from one of the most shocking scenes in television history, the “Red Wedding” of Season 3 in which Robb and Catelyn Stark were murdered, dashing the hope Robb Stark would oust King Joffrey Baratheon from the Iron Throne and avenge his father, Eddard Stark.

What can fans expect this season? The 11 episodes cover the second half of the third novel in George R.R. Martin’s series “A Song of Ice and Fire.” There are dark days and challenges ahead for most of the major characters. Things get a lot rougher before they get better.

Without giving away any spoilers, here’s what viewers can look for this season.

Season 4 of Game of Thrones begins with another big wedding: King Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell.
Hiss! Season 4 of Game of Thrones begins with another big wedding: King Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell. Photo: HBO

The Lannisters remain firmly in control of the Iron Throne. With most of their enemies killed or vanquished, Tywin and his brood should be enjoying the spoils. But the Lannisters find their greatest enemies come from within. Jaime Lannister returns to King’s Landing and gets less than a hero’s welcome from his sister/lover, Cersei. Tyrion ends up in big trouble, and Tywin is angry with all of them.

Meanwhile, the clan prepares for another wedding, this time between King Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell. In its own way, the “Purple Wedding” will surprise viewers with a twist that propels the plot in an unexpected direction. Do people die? Of course they do, it’s Game of Thrones.

We meet a new character in the first episode. He is Prince Oberyn Martell, also called “The Red Viper of Dorne.” Oberyn bears a serious grudge against the Lannisters. He holds them responsible for the rape and murder of his sister, Elia, many years ago. After being cast aside by the Lannisters, Elia married into the Targaryen clan and bore children that became a threat; the Lannisters eliminated all of them in a bloody episode before the HBO series began. The Red Viper is invited to Joffrey and Margaery’s wedding. Let bygones be bygones, right? Nothing like a GOT wedding for making mischief.

Pedro Pascal plays new character Oberyn Martell, the Red Viper, shown here with his lover Ellaria Sand.
Pedro Pascal plays new character Oberyn Martell, the Red Viper, shown here with his lover Ellaria Sand. Photo: Helen Sloan, HBO.

Throughout Season 4, characters who didn’t get a lot of screen time last season reappear and drive major storylines. This includes Bran Stark, still on the road with the Reeds and Hodor. Also on the road is his sister, Arya, who we last saw fleeing the scene of the Red Wedding in the custody of “The Hound,” Sandor Clegane. The interplay between this pair changes the course of their lives.

Recall Melisandre’s blood prophecy about the three usurpers in Season 3. Two are now dead – but who is the third and what will happen to him?

Jon Snow, the only Stark heir (albeit a bastard) known to be alive, briefly appears in the first episode of Season 4, but will have a major storyline as he and what remains of the ragtag Night’s Watch prepares to go to war with the wildings at the Wall in the North. Losing is simply not an option for our handsome hero.

Yes, there are dragons too. Daenerys Targaryen is making her way back toward King’s Landing to reclaim the Iron Throne, but she’ll make a few stops along the way as she continues to conquer kingdoms and free their slaves. Her trio of dragons are getting a lot bigger, becoming unruly firebreathing adolescents. Their Mother faces the challenge of keeping them under control.

It’s going to be a wild ride and fans wouldn’t want it any other way. Join Communities for our first Live Chat of Season 4. Join the discussion with Game of Thrones fans from around the world as we live – and die –with our favorite characters through all of the plotting, prophecies, revenge and bloodshed.

Game of Thrones returns with Episode 1 of Season 4, “Two Swords” on Sunday, April 6, at 9 p.m. Eastern Time on HBO East and HBO Latino East (with Spanish subtitles); followed by airings on HBO West and Latino West at 9 p.m. Pacific Time. All four channels repeat the episode through the evening.

For more details, visit the official website at

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine and Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google +

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  • 21st Century Pacifist

    I have already set up to record all season in Windows Media Center so that I can watch over and over.

    • Excellent – it is often a good idea to watch episodes more than once. There is a lot to follow! I hope you’ll join us for our live online chat Sunday. Would love to have you there.

      • 21st Century Pacifist

        Will try. Will be on line, but don’t know how much I can contribute. Take care and thanks for an excellent article. Did you read the books? I did and still waiting the 6th.

        • Mario, if you read the books you have plenty to offer. I did as well, and re-read them all this summer. George R.R. Martin swears the next one will be out in 2015. We’ll see, he seems to be spending a lot of time at cons and media interviews. Get busy George!

          • TurtleKing

            I think we should let George work at his own pace, if I were a writer and my fans kept pestering me, I might grow stubborn and intractable… best to let him work at his own pace and bring out the quality work that he invariably seems to produce… if you are that eager to read then try something else there are plenty of other works out there that can divert your attention.

          • No disagreement, TurtleKing. GRRM should be flattered all his fans are anxious for the next installment. Speaking for myself and likely for many other fans, we’re teasing a bit and we’d rather have excellent than fast. I understand Martin and the HBO series producers have already talked through the plotlines Martin has diagrammed for the remaining books. I wonder if it’s possible the series will air before the remaining novels are published. Meanwhile, I’ve got plenty to read (and watch), no worries.

  • Harry Langdof

    Watch game of thrones on AccessTV. info

    • Richard Ilaner

      Nice quality 🙂