Conversation around this week's 'Game of Thrones' revolved around a certain character that fans loved to hate. As the Internet erupted in celebration and speculation, the show's stars paid tribute to their fallen comrade and discussed what else about the show has them cheering. Here's what they loved to love this week:
Sigur Ros' fandom underscored their cameo.
"We would do it again in a heartbeat," Georg Holm of Sigur Ros says about the group's cameo at Joffrey's wedding. "It felt like a natural thing to make our version of 'Rains of Castamere.' …It is maybe not the happiest wedding song, but we think that it fit the scene very well."Read More
"There is only one god, and his name is Death," Syrio Forel tells Arya Stark in Season 1 of 'Game of Thrones.' This reverence for mortality embodies 'Beautiful Death,' artist Robert Ball’s illustrated series of the show’s fatalities. When it comes to paying tribute to the dearly departed, Ball says, "I don't take it lightly. With a phenomenon like 'Game of Thrones,' you have to do justice to not only the books and the TV series, but the fan base."
The artist shared details about rendering some of GOT's most iconic moments:Read More
Beyond the tension permeating King Joffrey's wedding, another element caught everyone’s attention: the outfits. Costume Designer Michele Clapton details how the characters' motives influenced the day's fashion.
Explore more from this episode on the Game of Thrones Viewer's Guide.
by Katie M. Lucas
Can't wait until Sunday for more 'Game of Thrones'? Pass the time by reading up on your favorite characters. Find out who becomes a leader, who loves playing the bad guy and who drank too much on set:
Pedro Pascal respects Oberyn Martell's attitude.
"This is the way he understands life, to live it to its fullest. And to limit yourself in terms of experience doesn’t make any sense to him – what’s beautiful is beautiful… He’s a lover and a fighter. He's going to do it, everything, to its fullest. So why leave out girls or boys, you know what I mean?"
Maisie Williams is betting on Arya Stark's survival.
"I don't know if Arya is going to die, but I like to think that she won't. I like to think George has a soft spot for Arya, but then I'm like, 'Why? Why do I think that?' … He can do whatever he wants!"
Emilia Clarke finds Dany's intentions inspiring.
"Her ultimate goal is entirely selfless. It feels much more of a bigger idea than simply: I want to sit on the throne because I want to sit on the throne. She would like to rule and create an equal world."
Gwendoline Christie discusses Brienne's experience in the capital.
"The world of Kings Landing is not a world that Brienne is used to. It's a world of words and of whispers and secrets... So seeing her attempting to navigate that world and some of the treacherous characters that make up its foundations is certainly a little bit heartbreaking."
The premiere episode had Rory McCann turning green.
"When I had to drink in that tavern scene, that's [series creators] David and Dan going 'Give him another beer!'… I was really fit at the time, wasn't drinking, working out – and suddenly I had six or seven liters of flat ginger beer that day. I had to go off into the woods to make myself sick."
Jack Gleeson enjoys Joffrey's dark side.
"It’s interesting sometimes when an audience can empathize with a villain. But to get completely lost in it, it’s exciting just to be intrinsically evil and not have a speck of good or humanity in their bones."
by Katie M. Lucas
"The war's not won," Jaime Lannister tells King Joffrey in Sunday's episode. What’s bad news for the realm is good news for fans; HBO has renewed 'Game of Thrones' for Seasons 5 and 6. The Season 4 premiere was seen by 8.2 million viewers, delivering the network its largest audience since the finale of 'The Sopranos' in 2007.
The battle for the Iron Throne continues on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET.
by Katie M. Lucas
The fourth season of 'Game of Thrones' begins with the same notes that cued the Red Wedding. "The Rains of Castamere," the ballad of Lannister power, plays as Tywin melts down Ned Stark's greatsword, leaving no doubt that the Lannisters' are keeping their grip on the kingdom. "Tywin understands how power works instinctively in a way that few men in this world do," series creator D.B. Weiss explains in this week's Inside the Episode. Notes the A.V. Club's Todd VanDerWerff, "This is now the Lannisters’ world; the other characters are forced to live in it."
Enter Oberyn Martell, who made quite the first impression. Vanity Fair is already "obsessed" with the Dornish prince. Actor Pedro Pascal tells Rolling Stone about his character's distinct swagger: "All of his danger, all of his lust, all of his rage, comes from a very specific emotional truth." Like so many in Westeros, Oberyn is fueled by tragedy; his mission is to avenge his sister's death. (Explore his backstory and get to know House Martell with the newly-expanded 'Game of Thrones' Viewer's Guide.)
While Oberyn is setting the scene for revenge, Arya is making it happen. Christopher Orr of The Atlantic praised Arya and the Hound's unlikely partnership: "They’re developing quite the rookie-cop/grizzled-vet chemistry, aren’t they?" Working together, they both get what they want – the Hound gets his fill of chicken, while Arya rides off on a white horse with her sword Needle in tow. "She looks downright happy, for once, and there's something dispiriting about that," Entertainment Weekly notes.
Actress Maisie Williams tells New York Magazine that Arya's "got a hole in her heart. She fills it with all these eyes that she's going to shut forever." That darkness raised questions for audiences. Rolling Stone asks, "Should we stop to think that an abused child turning into an accomplished killer is deeply sad, no matter how much her victims deserve it?" New York Magazine calls the scene's rendition of theme song "still triumphal, but now a little sad. Arya’s smiling to herself, but what exactly has she won?"
Rewatch the scene below and share your interpretation in the comments:
NOTE: This clip contains graphic content and language and has been approved for mature audiences only.
Icing on the Lemoncake:
Not everyone is anti-Lannister:
Someone is all grown up:
The Iron Throne has a new contender: