Game of Thrones has come a long way since the show’s premiere in 2011.  Multiple story arcs and a myriad of characters outmatched only by the show’s gruesome death toll has rapidly made GOT one of the most popular and talked about television shows ever.

As the caption above implies, the family we love to hate – House Lannister will indeed pay (be advised as there will be lots of spoilers), as they finally took a hit after remaining (relatively) intact throughout 3 entire seasons while House Stark had been decimated.

Joffrey's death - one of the most anticipated moments, revealed early in season 4.
Joffrey’s death – one of the most anticipated moments, revealed early in season 4.

As it stands, all of the Stark men have been killed save for a bastard (Jon Snow) and a cripple (Bran Stark), leaving the fate of House Stark very much uncertain.  However, this season the tides had turned for the Lannisters with the shocking death of Joffrey Baratheon in episode 2.  Gleeson’s portrayal of the young inbred king has been so impressive that he has become perhaps the most hated villain of all time.  Fan favourite – Tyrion Lannister had been accused of assassinating Joffrey and sentenced to death, leading to a series of events that led to the nail-biting (and arguably most gruesome) – Red Viper vs The Mountain Battle.  Thankfully , Tyrion has survived season 4 with his head still secured to his neck, and in the process managed to kill his former traitorous lover Shae (strangulation) as well as his indifferent and elitist father Tywin Lannister shortly after (crossbow).

Tyrion's trial/speech, a hallmark of the series.
Tyrion’s trial/speech, a hallmark of the series.

In a strange twist, fans of the books had been clamouring for what was certain to be one of the most anticipated scenes – namely, the reanimated and vengeance-fueled Catelyn Stark but  were left wanting as she never made her appearance amongst the skeleton warriors scene in the series.  Apparently the producers had no intention of including this scene in season 4 though being a somewhat important plot device in the books (from what I understand) perhaps she will still turn up in season 5.  So with both Tywin and Joffrey dead as well as Cersei and Jaime’s ongoing incestuous antics, the future of the Lannister House is starting to look a little shaky too.

Meanwhile, The Hound is left for dead after a gritty brawl with Brienne of Tarth and Daenerys Targaryen has shackled 2 of her 3 dragons (presumably left for dead) and has exiled her (revealed to be a spy) right-hand man – Jorah Mormont.

The Red Viper vs The Mountain.
The Red Viper vs The Mountain.

Game of Thrones follows a 10-episode format with an approximate running time of 50 – 60 minutes per episode.  The show is estimated to have the largest cast on television (257 as of season 3) and has amassed worldwide acclaim as one of the highest rated and most popular television shows ever.  While the show’s myriad of characters and intertwining story arcs will demand your full undivided attention for the most part, audiences are rewarded with splashy, exciting (or long-anticipated) sequences such as the Battle of the Castle Black and the Wall (season 4, episode 9) and Joffrey’s death, all of which is done in spectacular fashion thanks to the series’ high budget.  There seems to be no slowing down for Game of Thrones as 4 seasons in the show remains satisfying, action-packed and interesting with no signs of slowing down or stagnation (the death of many a show).  Now, if George R.R. Martin could just stop systematically murdering all of his characters, that’d be great…