‘Game of Thrones’ Season 4 Review: Oh My Gods

'Game of Thrones' Season 4 Review: Oh My Gods

New characters! New nudity! And probably some more dead people

The fourth season of “Game of Thrones” introduces lots of new characters, which is always disconcerting on “Game of Thrones”: Who might these people be replacing?

I've seen the first three episodes, but I wouldn't dream of spoiling anything for you. I'll just say I've never seen a season of the show start stronger.

Also read: ‘Game of Thrones’ Honest Trailer: A History Test With Dragons and Boobs (Video)

“Game of Thrones” is one of those shows I don't even feel qualified to critique — “Mad Men” is another — because everyone involved seems to be functioning at a higher level than I can understand. I don't know if the show's New Gods are at work, or the Old Gods. I'm just grateful.

This is a gorgeous spectacle. Aside from the “Star Wars” saga, I can't think of any on-screen story that creates such a vast, believable world out of imagination. The acting is delightful, the visuals are sumptuous, the stories couldn't be more surprising. If you want something to happen on the show, just convince yourself it could never happen.

Also read: ‘Game of Thrones’ Peter Dinklage Is Totally Up for Nude Scene

The dragons, by the way, look better than ever. “Thrones,” like “Star Wars,” has discovered that the key to a great visual effects trick isn't just visual — it's sound. You feel them breathing, hear the leathery flapping, almost smell what must be rancid breath.

There is one complaint that still feels valid. I've complained in the past, along with many others, that the nudity often feels salacious and titillating, rather than crucial to the story. That wouldn't be a problem except that the women bear the far bigger burden of unburdening themselves of their clothes.

Also read: ‘Game of Thrones’ Star Peter Dinklage Thinks George R.R. Martin's Books Are Too Confusing to Read (Video)

The balance tilts a little bit this season, thanks to the addition of Prince Oberyn (Pedro Pascal), the most intriguing of the new characters. He's bisexual in the way James Bond is heterosexual, and more male skin is exposed as a result. Here's to progress.

As for the rest, who am I to judge? Just sit back and enjoy the Gods’ creation.

“Game of Thrones” returns Sunday at 9/8c on HBO.

  • binkyspop2

    Well hopefully the series isn't as muddled as the books. Too many characters, too many plots, too many locations….

    • jack taint

      see thats what great about the show, it can trim the long drawn out traveling down the road chapters in a Feast for Crows etc. and pull from A Dance with Dragons instead.. Cant wait for tomorrow!

  • joemog

    ‘Star Wars'? I guess Mr. Molloy has never heard of Tolkien.

    • tim.molloy

      But I said “vast, believable” world. Lord of the Rings all looks like New Zealand. Nice place, but it's not a whole world.

      • joemog

        Go read the books.

      • Vin

        Mr. Molloy, The middle earth is probably the biggest universe created in literature. What George Martin has done with his universe is commendable but cannot even start to measure up to the depth of the Middle earth. Tolkien created tens of languages with unique scripts, family trees, and timelines that stretched dozens of millenia.
        So please read up before making shallow comments such as “Lord of the Rings all looks like New Zealand”.
        It makes me wonder how you get paid to write a line like that. Also, hope many well read people don't come across that. Your well written article may lose all credibility just because of that line.

  • Holly

    Who cares if there is excessive nudity? Prince Oberyn was choosing a prostitute, pretty sure he wanted to see her nude first. People are having sex, pretty sure they are naked for that too. They are not “nude just to be nude” it is believable story telling. Watching a show when people are “having sex” and a minute later you see them get out of bed with their underwear on; it is just silly.