Game of Thrones‘ third season featured a whole lot of treachery, back-stabbing, and duplicitous action that gave rise to bloody murder, even by the ultra-popular HBO medieval fantasy/intrigue drama’s standards. It’s no wonder then that nearly everyone in Westeros is looking for some kind of vengeance, retribution or similar form of payback as season 4 picks up. (Well, unless you’re King Joffrey, in which case you’re waving around unearned bragging rights about having already won the war for the Iron Throne.)
Of course, Tyrion Lannister has shared a few key words of wisdom on that subject: “If you want justice, you’re come to the wrong place,” which is a hard lesson that remains to be learned by the remaining Starks, even as events conspire to reveal the true allegiances among King’s Landing’s residents – meaning that Joffrey could soon get the punishment he deserves, though it won’t necessarily be for reasons that have anything to do with moral righteousness.
The list of those still playing the game grows shorter every season, though we still count Peter Dinklage (X-Men: Days of Future Past), Lena Headey (Dredd), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Oblivion), Emilia Clarke (Terminator: Genesis), Kit Harington (Pompeii), and Maisie Williams (Gold) among its contestants.
No one is truly safe on Game of Thrones this season, as even those who don’t wind up kicking the bucket can suffer in other ways. For evidence of that, see the mounting emotional trauma that’s been inflicted upon Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), or the permanent debilitating physical injuries that Jaime Lannister (Waldau) and Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) were dealt last season.
Meanwhile, as the latest trailer and past-unveiled previews for season 4 alike have reminded us, there are far greater developments unfolding in the southern and northern portions of the Game of Thrones universe. Dany’s habit of conquering every kingdom that crosses her path – coupled with her increasingly large (and uncontrollable) dragons – will eventually make the various machinations at King’s Landing seem rather trivial. On the other side of the world, though, there’s not just an army of Wildlings ready to storm The Wall, but also a legion of White Walkers lurking out in the bitter cold.
Question is, by the time that winter does finally arrive (figuratively and literally), will there be so many players left standing? If not, well, at least all those invaders from the North and South will have all that lovely countryside to appreciate by themselves – and then fight each other to death while claiming it for themselves, naturally.
Game of Thrones season 4 begins airing on HBO on April 6th, 2014.