This review contains MAJOR spoilers from tonight's episode of Game of Thrones. Consider yourself warned.
Ever since it first premiered in April 2011, Game of Thrones has been one of the most popular television shows to grace the small screen. Dark, daring, and contemplative, the award-winning fantasy drama owes much of its quality to the (mostly) phenomenal books upon which it is based, but there are some things the show excels at that the books can learn from. Whereas the books start strong but falter four installments in, the show kicks off on a high before getting better. This is due to the fact that showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are forced to take more than a few creative liberties with their adaptation in order to avoid the traps that Martin's story falls victim to. The show's stunning fourth season shows that these two TV titans will not hesitate to deviate from the source material if it means that the end result will blow viewers away, a decision that has repeatedly proven to be a wise one. This week's episode, “Mockingbird,” stands out as one of the most exciting episodes of the season (I'm pretty sure we said that about last week's episode too) and is currently driving us crazy with anticipation for the next episode.
“Mockingbird” checks in with almost all of the major characters, throwing in some tender character moments to offset the many upsetting events from the last few episodes. Arya (Maisie Williams) and Sandor “The Hound” Clegane (Rory McCann) share an emotionally satisfying moment that reveals an incredible kindness in both characters, a moment that we found to be the first of two highlights of the episode. The second highlight involves Sansa's (Sophie Turner) aunt Lysa (who's gone nuttier than squirrel poop) finally getting her comeuppance at the hands of the cunning Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen), who drops the bombshell that he never loved her before pushing her through the “moon door” and silencing her forever.
This week's episode serves as an excellent example of how well-written and well-balanced Game of Thrones is. Juggling a bunch of different character arcs that will eventually connect requires skill, patience, and extremely careful pacing, and luckily for us, the showrunners have once again proved themselves to be talented with all three. Adapting Martin's hefty novels is no small feat, and Benioff and Weiss have exceeded all expectations with their consistency and love for the source material.
Game of Thrones possesses the rare ability to tug at many different conflicting emotions in the span of an hour, and it's this blend of violence, political intrigue, and emotional resonance that keeps us watching and keeps us hooked. With only three episodes left in the season and just under a month until the season finale, sadness can definitely be thrown into that mix of emotions. On a more positive note, it's a safe bet that this season's final three episodes will probably be the most exciting entries in the series, so don't get too upset.
We've reached the final stretch, folks. It's been an amazing season so far, and we here at STARBURST are confident that we are not alone when we say that we'll be glued to our couches for the last breathtaking moments of the show's best year yet. Check out our review of the next episode, titled “The Mountain and the Viper,” when it airs in two weeks on Sunday, June 1st in the States and June 2nd in the UK. Until then, check STARBURST for all of your immediate entertainment needs.
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