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What Will Happen in Season 4 of Game of Thrones?
Can’t wait to find out what happens to Jon Snow after he makes his way back to Castle Black? Wondering what will become of Tyrion and Sansa’s marriage and how his whore, Shae, fits into the scheme of things? Hoping something bad will happen to Joffrey or Cersei and need to find out how everything will play out at King’s Landing? The following summary is a detailed synopsis of major events that will transpire in the first half, if not all, of Season 4. The third book was so large and so much occurs that the producers were unable to fit all of it into the third season. This outline includes everything that transpires in the remainder one-third portion of the third book and picks up directly where Season 3 leaves off.
Game of Thrones is an HBO television series that is now an international phenomenon.[i] It was nominated for a total of 42 Emmy’s after just three seasons and continues to grow in popularity with each passing year. The show is based on the book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, written by George R.R. Martin.[ii] The first five books are already completed with two more yet to be published. A total of seven books will finish the series, resulting in anywhere from eight to ten seasons of the HBO program. Each book is about 1,000 pages long, but they are written so well the story flows effortlessly. The following summary has major spoilers, so read on if you cannot wait until Season 4 airs next year. Though Season 3 has yet to be released on DVD, most fans have found the episodes streaming online and are now anticipating what might come next.
The first book, A Game of Thrones,[iii] was written back in 1996 and is largely based on Season 1, which was featured on HBO in the spring of 2011. The second book, A Clash of Kings (1999)[iv], is based on Season 2 and premiered the following year. Though there were minor discrepancies here and there, the first two seasons of the show pretty much follow the first two books verbatim. Season 3 is based on the first two-thirds of the third book, A Storm of Swords (2000)[v], but there is so much content, the show’s producers may have to incorporate the remainder of it with the first part of the fourth book, A Feast for Crows (2005),[vi] to complete Season 4 of the series. Season 4 is set to air in the spring of 2014. Since uncertainty remains where the cutoff for Season 5 will be (probably after the first portion of the fourth book unless they stop Season 4 at the end of the third), the following synopsis will include the first half, if not all, of Season 4. A future hub will include a synopsis of the fourth book, which may culminate in all of Season 5. A third and final article will incorporate a synopsis of the fifth book, A Dance with Dragons (2011)[vii], which should include all of Season 6, possibly a portion of Season 7.
Since there are some discrepancies and certain portions of the show take place in a different order than the books, not to mention Season 4 does not exist yet, the following summary is based primarily on the book. However, being a synopsis of major events, it should be an accurate portrayal of what will transpire on the show in April 2014. The order in which events occur is not critical considering Martin, himself, indicates each chapter of the book is not always sequential. Each chapter begins with a character name, for example Sansa, Arya, or Tyrion, and is told from their unique, third-person perspective. (Be sure to click on the map link below for reference on each character’s travels.)
[i] Game of Thrones, Alan Taylor, HBO, 2011
[ii] Martin, George R.R. A Song of Ice and Fire (Box Set). New York: Bantam Books, 2011.
[iii] Martin, George R.R. A Game of Thrones. New York: Bantam Books, 1996.
[iv] Martin, George R.R. A Clash of Kings. New York: Bantam Books, 1999.
[v] Martin, George R.R. A Storm of Swords. New York: Bantam Books, 2000.
[vi] Martin, George R.R. A Feast for Crows. New York: Bantam Books, 2005.
[vii] Martin, George R.R. A Dance with Dragons. New York: Bantam Books, 2011.
Interactive Map of Westeros & Essos Continents
- A Song of Ice and Fire: Map of the Known World
Source: http://kevinhatch.com/media/kh-asoiaf.pdf. Published by Kevin Hatch.
End of Season 3 Recap
We were all mortified when Walder Frey had Catelyn, Rob, his pregnant wife, Talisa Maegyr, and his army slaughtered whilst guests under his roof during Episode 9 of Season 3. (In all actuality, Talisa is not a character in the book. She was revised in the show to replace his real wife, Jeyne Westerling. Jeyne was not pregnant and did not attend the Red Wedding.) We all knew something was amiss, but could not quite put our finger on it. Then the impossible happened to three main characters we grew to love, and we all sat watching in stunned silence as the volley of arrows began tumbling down from the rafters. This event takes place around page 700 of a 1,130-page third book. It’s a monster. New material incorporating the start of Season 4 begins around page 740 and continues through to the end. Leading up to that page sums up Jon Snow making his way back to Castle Black with a few arrows sticking out of him (courtesy of Ygritte), Davos Seaworth setting Robert Baratheon’s bastard son, Gendry, free on a rowboat, a hopeless Arya Stark leaving the Crossing with Sandor “The Hound” Clegane following the murder of her mother and brother, Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth arriving at King’s Landing, Bran Stark and Hodor making their way north of the Wall, and Daenerys “Stormborn” Targaryen freeing the slaves at Yunkai, afterward hearing them chant, “Mhysa, Mhysa, Mhysa…”
One major event left out of the third book is the capture and torture of Theon Greyjoy. It leaves off after he was taken from Winterfell and will likely pick back up with his torture and loss of manhood in the fourth book. The producers got a head start on this storyline, so it should free up space for other events set to occur in Season 4.
If you noticed after all hell broke loose in Craster’s tent toward the latter part of Season 3, Jeor Mormont, Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, told his dying wish to Samwell Tarley. It was for him to relay a message to his son, Ser Jorah Mormont (the one who guards Daenerys, aka Khaleesi), that he wants him to join the Night’s Watch. This is an important foreshadow to what might happen in the fourth book, following significant events occurring within Daenerys’ storyline below.
The following storylines take place from about page 740 to the end of the third book. Each section is grouped by characters and events relating to each other. For continuity’s sake and to make the storylines easy to follow, each part will be grouped with related characters from beginning to end. The pattern is repeated for each new section.
Which book series do you like better?
Davos Seaworth, Stannis Baratheon, Jon Snow, Samwell Tarley, and the Night’s Watch
*ATTENTION! Major Spoiler Alert*
Toward the end of Season 3, Davos sends former King Robert’s bastard son, Gendry (the one who befriends Arya on the way to the Wall under the pitiful protection of The Brotherhoods of the Night’s Watch), away on a boat to protect him from a sacrifice at the hands of Melisandre. Strangely enough, she protects Davos from Stannis’ wrath after he reads them the letter sent from Maester Aemon (the blind lord at Castle Black) and feels he has yet to play a part in the overall scheme of things. It is hinted Stannis will heed the call of the Night’s Watch.
Though the show portrays Sam Tarley, Gilly, and her baby reaching Castle Black ahead of Jon, the book does not have them arriving until well after Jon gets there. The continuity of this storyline may not be important and the producers will tie everything together appropriately enough.
After the arrows are removed and Jon’s wounds patched up, he informs Maester Aemon that Mance Rayder and the clans of the north will soon attack the Wall. He explains how he was ordered by Qhorin Halfhand to play turn-cloak and infiltrate the clan. They prepare for the coming battle and the attack comes shortly thereafter. Though Castle Black is heavily depleted and far outnumbered by thousands of men, they have the advantage of being protected by the Wall. The tunnel through it is equipped with murder holes where they sometimes drop burning oil, and the south side of the castle is barricaded against small groups of raiders, to include Jon’s girlfriend, Ygritte, attacking from south of the Wall. After heavy losses, the Wildlings retreat into the woods just north of the Wall and there is a break in the battle. Jon descends to the castle following the battle and discovers Ygritte’s body with an arrow stuck through her lung. He tells her to be still and that Maester Aemon will patch up her. Her dying words are, “You know nothing Jon Snow.”
The second attack begins much the same way as the first and the end-result is the same. Maester Aemon tells Jon he is now in command of the defense.
The third attack also ends with the Wildlings running back to their camp. The following morning, Ser Alliser Thorne, the commander who hassles Jon when he first arrives at Castle Black, returns from Eastwatch to accuse Jon of treason and desertion. Jon insists he was commanded by Quorin Halfhand to kill him, knowing he would be killed by Mance anyway, and to infiltrate Mance Rayder’s camp. Thorne orders he be seized and placed in a cramped cell.
Four days later, Jon is pulled from his cell after Maester Aemon provides proof of his innocence. Thorne remains unconvinced and offers a condition to release him. He is to meet with Mance Rayder and discuss terms of surrender, and then murder him. Tormund Giantsbane, the red-haired character at the Wildling camp that first speaks with Jon after he “switches sides,” meets Jon and leads him to their camp. They have a good conversation on the way and Jon is treated with respect. As they enter his tent, he notices Mance’s wife, Dalla, will give birth at any time. He also recognizes the legendary warhorn, the Horn of Winter. According to legend, it was once blown to wake the giants from the earth. Legends say it could bring down the very Wall itself. Jon wonders why they didn’t just use it to end the battle quickly. Dalla speaks up and says if the Wall is destroyed, then nothing would stop the Others from advancing south. Mance begs Jon to tell the Brotherhood if they let them pass in peace, he will give them the Horn. Jon knows they will never allow the Wildlings to cross for fear of plundering, cannibalism, and because they would wreak havoc south of the Wall. Suddenly, an army is spotted coming from the east. The unknown army attacks until the Wildlings surrender. Jon notices the soldiers are chanting, “Stannis, Stannis, Stannis!” The “true” King heeds the call of the Night’s Watch.
Sam and Gilly make their way to Castle Black. Since Dalla died during the battle whilst giving birth to Mance’s son, her sister Val is entrusted to care for his baby while Mance awaits execution. Gilly agrees to nurse him since she has plenty of milk for both babies. The next task is for the Night’s Watch to vote on their new Lord Commander. Sam has a big part to play for whom they vote.
Melisandre approaches Jon to inform him King Stannis would like a word. Stannis admits if it were not for Davos, he would not have heeded the call to defend the Wall. Melisandre convinces him it is wiser to save the people to win the throne rather than win the throne to save the kingdom. Protecting the kingdom from the Others beyond the Wall is now paramount to Stannis’ cause, and Melisandre agrees. Though Jon is a bastard, Stannis offers him the chance to marry Val, ensuring an alliance with the Wildlings and the opportunity to rule at Winterfell. He feels it is high time to unite the north in an alliance against the kingdom’s true foe, the Others. Jon asks for time to consider the offer, and Stannis insists he make up his mind quickly.
King Stannis sends for Sam to inquire about the dragonglass he used to kill one of the Others. He also wants to know where the secret entrance (the Black Gate) through the wall is since he intends to set up quarters there while preparing for war with the Others. He calls them the “ancient enemy” and the only foe that matters. The entrance is below the Night Fort, which is the largest and oldest castle on the Wall. Maester Aemon, formerly Aemon Targaryen, is with Sam and asks Stannis if he could look at his flaming sword, Lightbringer, and Sam will be his eyes. For whatever reason, he appears very interested in the sword and asks Sam all kinds of questions, such as, “Did it generate heat?” “Was the scabbard wood and leather?” and “Did you notice if the scabbard had any burn marks?” Sam is then sent by Maester Aemon to convince most members of the Watch to vote for Jon. Stannis is getting angry they are taking so long to vote on the new Lord Commander and locks them in a room without food until such time as they do.
Jon is tempted by Stannis’ offer, but struggles with his decision out of guilt he doesn’t deserve the honor. He realizes Val is beautiful and their union would be good for the alliance, but wonders if he deserves to rule his father’s realm? All of a sudden, Ghost appears out of the woods and comes running toward Jon. They embrace and roll around on the ground together in the snow. His direwolf had returned. Jon enters the Hall during the argument over the vote. In the confusion, Sam notices Lord Mormont’s crow fly out of a kettle to land on Jon’s shoulder. “Snow,” he keeps squawking. They vote for Jon as the new Lord Commander and he now has a king to face…
Daenerys “Stormborn” Targaryen, Ser Jorah Mormont, and The Unsullied
Following the release of the Yunkai slaves, Daenerys sets her sights on sacking the next city, Mereen. By the time she reaches it, the slave masters had already left with what they could and burned the rest. They poisoned the wells and nailed up slave children to mileposts along the way to the city with their entrails hanging out. It was meant to send a message, but all it accomplished was inflaming her wrath. She must attack the city defenders and rid it of those masters left behind. Before the attempt, she discovers both Ser Barristan Selmy and Ser Jorah Mormont withheld the full story of how they came to serve Daenerys and how Mormont was Robert Baratheon and Vary’s informant. (In the book, Ser Barristan does not reveal who he really is until well after he joins her cause.) She temporarily sends them both away and does not care where they go.
Ser Jorah Mormont leads the attack through the city sewers. Mereen is taken in less than a day. Daenerys put it off for too long and summons Ser Barristan and Ser Jorah to hear their side. Ser Barristan admits he helped the Lannisters usurp her father, the Mad King, Aerys II. She was unaware of how brutal her father had become and did not yet want to hear the rest of his story. She finally relents and allows him to swear fealty to her as he bends a knee. Next, it was Ser Jorah’s turn to defend his honor. But Daenerys discovers he continued lying to her about being paid by Varys, the eunuch at King’s Landing, to spy on her. He begs to stay with her, but for naught. She decides she cannot forgive him and sends him away in disgrace. She has no idea where he is going and no longer cares, but threatens he would be killed if she ever saw him again. She decides not to leave Mereen to corruption and stays to reign as Queen. How could she take Westeros just yet if unable to rule a single city? That and she needs more time for her dragons to grow.
Arya Stark and Sandor Clegane
Arya continues dreaming of running with Direwolves, much like her brothers Bran and Jon. It is apparent they are all Wargs and can enter the minds of other animals. The book focuses on more instances of this occurring than does the show.
After Arya and Sandor Clegane leave the Crossing (where Walder Frey slaughtered her family), they begin heading nowhere in particular; at least according to the Hound. One night, she dreams she is a direwolf that picks up her mother’s scent. (In actuality, she is having a vision since Nymeria, her direwolf she sent away during Season 1, is still alive and remains connected to Arya.) Nymeria finds Catelyn’s pale, white body in a river and pulls her to shore, a wide gash appearing across her neck. The direwolf is then scared off by men approaching on horseback. Clegane wakes her from the “dream” and their travels commence.
They make their way to an inn at an undisclosed town, but it is actually the Crossroads Inn. (This is the same Inn where Catelyn captures Tyrion before taking him to the Vale to stand trial.) Three of Ser Gregor Clegane’s men recognize him and go on the attack. (Gregor is Sandor’s older brother who burned his face in a fire.) Sandor is injured and while the Tickler is backing away from him with sword in hand, Arya sneaks up behind him and begins stabbing him to death. Sandor, though injured, manages to kill Polliver. The squire was injured too and begs for mercy. Sandor tells Arya he is hers. She recovers Needle from Polliver’s dead body and runs it through the squire’s heart. (They were the ones that killed her friend, Lommy, with Needle because he was unable to walk.) They leave the inn and she helps patch him up as best she can. But he starts to weaken and his wounds begin festering. She abandons him under a tree and leaves him to die, alone. Six days later, she makes her way to the Trident and the Bay of Crabs. She sells her horse to accrue money that would help her gain passage on one of the ships, but it was not enough. The ship’s captain was beginning to get impatient until she pulls out the iron coin that was given her by Jaqen H’ghar. (He was the shapeshifter who owed her three deaths and gave her the coin right before changing his face.) As she hands it to him, she yells “valar morghulis.” He replies with “valar dohaeris” and his tone and demeanor suddenly change. Not only did the coin buy her passage on the ship to Braavos, which is located on the Essos continent where Daenerys remains, but he also gives her a cabin.
Tyrion, Cersei, Jaimie and other Lannisters, Sansa Stark, and Characters at King’s Landing
Tyrion welcomes Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne, otherwise known as, The Red Viper, to King’s Landing for the upcoming wedding ceremony between King Joffrey and Margaery Tyrell. Dorne is just south of King’s Landing and where Cersei’s daughter, Princess Myrcella Baratheon, was sent to marry Trystane Martell, Oberyn’s brother, in order to win Dorne over to House Lannister. Oberyn’s sister, Elia, was murdered 16 years ago by Ser Gregor Clegane. (Ser Gregor, Sandor’s brother, was the monstrous knight that almost chopped a horse in half during the jousting tournament of Season 1.) It is said Tywin Lannister gave the order, which is one reason Myrcella was sent as a peace offering. At the time, Elia was married to Rhaegar Targaryen, eldest son of Aerys Targaryen, the “Mad King.” (King Aerys was slain by Jaime “the Kingslayer” Lannister and succeeded by King Robert Baratheon after the sack of King’s Landing, which takes place some years prior to Season 1.) The initial meeting was a bit shaky, but ends on a good note.
While Sansa is still in mourning, following news of her mother and brother’s death, Tyrion finds a hard time providing her any comfort. In the meantime, he continues his nightly trysts with his whore, Shae, and meets her under the castle to make love in a Dragon skull. Before departing, she expresses her love for her “Giant of Lannister.”
Sansa dresses and prepares herself for the wedding. The morning of the wedding was for presenting gifts to the King and Queen. Tyrion and Sansa’s gift was a rare, leatherbound book of only four copies in the world. Joffrey accepts it by slashing it to pieces with his new sword. Other gifts commence.
Tyrion and Sansa attend Joffrey and Margaery’s wedding and then prepare for the evening’s feast in the Hall of Kings. There is eating, drinking, singing, dancing, merriment, more eating and drinking and, as usual, a spat between Joffrey and Tyrion. Joffrey is extremely drunk and pours a chalice of red wine over Tyrion’s head. For once, Tyrion holds his tongue. Margaery does her best to distract her new husband before it gets out of hand. Joffrey orders Tyrion to refill his cup and serve him another chalice of wine in a degrading manner. Tyrion concedes as graceful as possible and Joffrey drinks most of it down. Tyrion then distracts him with the cutting of the pie. Apparently, humiliating him with the chalice of wine wasn’t enough, so he grabs a handful of Tyrion’s pie and stuffs it into his mouth. Soon after, he starts choking and coughing and struggles to breathe. Madness ensues as everyone tries helping him breathe. Soon after, his face turns purple and, after much gasping for air, he takes his last breath. (YEAH!) Everyone assumes he choked on the pie, but Cersei knows better. She announces he was poisoned and orders the King’s Guard to arrest the last person to touch his chalice…Tyrion. Sansa is nowhere to be found.
Sansa leaves the hall while Joffrey is on the floor gasping for air. It is too much for her to bear regardless of her ill feelings toward him. She leaves, sobbing. Knowing they will suspect her involvement as Tyrion’s wife, she realizes she must flee. Apparently, it was planned for her to escape King’s Landing that very night, but she wasn’t aware of any plot to poison Joffrey. She and Ser Dontos (the drunken fool she saved from Joffrey’s wrath in Season 1) had been planning to help her escape the city as a favor in return for staying Joffrey’s hand. (This minor storyline was left out of the show, so Dontos’ part in her escape may be replaced entirely with Petyr Baelish, aka Littlefinger. Petyr was the Master of Coin and a part of the King’s Small Council. He ran the whorehouse in King’s Landing and often had spats with Varys.) She meets Ser Dontos after grabbing a few things in haste, and they descend the rock face to meet up with Littlefinger and his ship. As they sail away, Petyr provides him with payment: a flurry of arrows in the chest. Sansa is distraught, but he convinces her it was necessary or else he may sell her out. They sail from King’s Landing in the cover of night.
At the end of Season 3, Jaime arrives at King’s Landing to surprise Cersei, apparently ahead of the marriage. In the book, he does not arrive until at least a day after the ceremony and subsequent death of Joffrey. However, they may put that storyline on hold at the beginning of Season 4 as though it was a precursor yet to transpire, and the producers may not go back to Jamie’s character until after the wedding. Either way, it may not matter when he arrives if they are able to tie everything together.
After they arrive in the city, Loras Tyrell approaches Brienne to ask her why she killed the late Renly Baratheon. (Renly was assassinated in front of Brienne and Catelyn Stark by the shadow Melisandre gave birth to during Season 2, in accordance with orders from his brother, Stannis Baratheon. Both men were Robert Baratheon’s brothers and both tried laying claim to the throne after it was given to Joffrey. Remember, all three of Cersei’s children…Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen…are of Jaime’s seed, not Robert’s, as most of the kingdom is led to believe.) Jaime defends Brienne and her honor but agrees to let Loras lock her in a cell until the ordeal is sorted out. He finds Cersei and comforts her in her time of mourning. At first, she does not believe her eyes but then starts accusing him of not getting there sooner to protect Joffrey. He expresses his doubts regarding Tyrion’s involvement, but she has none of it. They end up making love quickly for fear they might get caught. Jamie feels they should get married and announce their love for each other to the world, but she thinks he is out of his mind. He argues the Targaryens always married their brothers and sisters. His insistency angers her, and she storms out. Jaime meets up with his father, Lord Tywin. He explains to Jaime that Ser Gregor Clegane overtook Vargo Hoat (the “Goat” who cuts off Jaime’s hand) at Harrenthal and found him alone with a festering wound after his men deserted him. Clegane had his feet and hands removed, but kept him alive because he was amused at how he slobbered when he spoke. Lord Tywin argues Tyrion was the one who poisoned Joffrey, but Jaime remains unconvinced. He insists Jaime return to rule Casterly Rock and House Lannister. Jaime declines and demands he remain at King’s Landing as Lord Commander of the Kingsguard. After a long silence, Tywin states he is no longer his son and should return to his duties.
Tyrion is held in a cell anticipating his trial. His uncle, Ser Kevin Lannister, is there to help him with his affairs and attempts to find witnesses in his defense. He calls for his former squire, Podrick Payne, to fetch his former sellsword, Bronn. Bronn is now a knight and promised to marry Lollys Stokeworth, so he cannot help fight for him in a trial by combat. It appears Cersei got to him as well. Bronn walks out for his new life and never sees Tyrion again. The trial begins and witnesses line up against him, many paid off by Cersei. After the first day of trial, Kevin begs him to accept a plea bargain offered by Lord Tywin and take the Black as a member of the Night’s Watch. Tyrion says he will think about it. Shortly thereafter, Prince Oberyn of Dorne visits him in his cell. Oberyn declares he will fight Ser Gregor Clegane on his behalf, if only to avenge his sister’s murder.
Petyr Baelish sails Sansa to his old home, the Fingers, and informs her he will marry her aunt, Lady Lysa Arryn, after they arrive. (Lysa is Catelyn’s sister hiding out at the Vale and the one who almost dropped Tyrion through the Moon Door so her son could “see the Imp fly.”) Petyr explains to Sansa how he poisoned Joffrey with help from his new wife’s grandmother, Olenna Tyrell. She was not about to let Joffrey harm her granddaughter, Margaery, after Sansa was entrusted to tell her the truth of his vile behavior. It is eight days before Lysa will arrive and, when she does, starts gushing all over Petyr. She was more than pleased to accept his hand in marriage. He makes her scream that night in his bedchamber and the music of the celebration is not enough to drown out her pleasure. The day following the marriage, Petyr tells Lysa the truth of Sansa. They are all set to leave for Eyrie and the Vale, but Lysa seems troubled by how much Sansa resembles her mother. She informs Sansa she will wed her eight-year-old, sickly son, Robert, shortly after they arrive.
The next day’s trial features Tyrion’s beloved whore, Shae, as a witness set to testify against him. On the stand, she lies and says he and Sansa plotted the whole thing. (Perhaps she should have accepted the bag of diamonds from Varys and left King’s Landing when she had the chance, which is why this part of the story is so surprising. The offer from Varys was not in the book but something they added to the show, perhaps to give viewers the impression she would die for Tyrion.) She claims Tyrion forced her to be his whore and that she is afraid of him. Arguing he raped her in the dragon’s skull and was made to call him her “giant of Lannister” was all Tyrion could stomach. He rises and shouts for them to get this whore out of his sight, and that he will now confess. He insists he is guilty, but not of killing Joffrey. Rather, he is guilty of being born a dwarf. He swears he is innocent of poisoning Joffrey but now wishes he would have. He demands trial by combat. Ser Gregor Clegane will fight for Joffrey and Prince Oberyn of Dorne will fight for him. The battle begins the next morning. During the fight, the Viper keeps taunting Clegane and demands he admit to raping and murdering his sister and her children. It wasn’t until Oberyn gets the best of the hulking beast and has him on his back with a spear sticking out of his stomach that he finally admits to the deed. His mistake was getting too close to his face. Clegane’s hand grabs Oberyn, gouges his eyes out and smashes his face while he explains, in detail, what he did to his sister. Tyrion loses the trial, so they take him to the Black Cells in the dungeon below the castle to await execution.
Jaime’s primary job is to guard Tommen for the next eight years until he is old enough to rule on his own. In the meantime, Jaime helps him with kingly affairs and Tommen’s favorite part is pressing the royal seal onto official documents. One of Jaime’s immediate duties includes seeing off “Arya Stark” to marry Roose Bolton’s son, Ramsay. (Lord Bolton was the one who conspired with Walder Frey. In the show, Catelyn pulls up his sleeve to notice the chain mail under his clothing right before the slaughter begins. His son, Ramsay, is the one that tortures Theon Greyjoy and turns him into a eunuch.) It was all a ruse since the real Arya is lost, but her replacement was trained and educated in all things Stark. (If only this girl knew to whom she was being sent.) Jaime discovers from his father that Gregor Clegane was not doing so well and would not recover from his wounds. He then meets with Cersei and she is angry that he refuses to return to Casterly Rock and rule in their father’s stead. Lord Tywin was making Cersei return there as well and insisted she remarry, but Cersei was more distraught that he demanded Tommen remain and marry Margaery since Joffrey was now dead. Cersei leaves in a huff after insulting him as a cripple since he refused to leave the King’s Guard and go with her. Jaime calls Brienne forward. He compliments her as best he could and she was surprised he told Loras Tyrell she was an honorable knight and had nothing to do with Renly’s murder. Jaime had a gift for her, but on one condition. (It was the ruby-encrusted sword crafted for Joffrey’s wedding that he used to hack up Tyrion’s book.) She was to find Sansa and get her somewhere safe so she could make good on her vows to Lady Catelyn. Jaime names the sword Oathkeeper. She leaves with her head held high.
As Tyrion sits in his cell awaiting the executioner at three hours past midnight, the door creaks open and a shadow emerges. Instead of Ser Ilyn Payne, the one who hacked off Ned Stark’s head at the end of Season 1, Jaime emerges to set him free. Varys was responsible for the sleeping guards. During their walk through the corridor, Tyrion thanks him for his life. Jamie tells Tyrion he owed him a debt that is now repaid. When pressed, he admits Tyrion’s former wife, Tysha, was not a whore. He confesses their father forced him to lie and that he never bought her for him. Tyrion slaps him across the face hard and Jaime agrees he deserved it. Tyrion asks Jaime if he is able to use his left arm. When he says no better than he, Tyrion threatens a battle of the cripple and dwarf should they ever meet again. Jaime asked if he really killed Joffrey. Tyrion is so disgusted that he lies and leads him to believe he did. Jaime walks away and Tyrion soon finds Varys. As they make their way through the dungeon, he asks Varys to show him the secret entrance to his former room. Reluctantly, Varys shows him the ladder leading up to his old bedchamber, which is now his father’s quarters. He tells Varys to wait while he ascends the endless rungs. Upon reaching the top, he finds the iron latch opening the hearth. As he steps through, he spies Shae in his father’s bed. She is frightened and insists she truly loves him, but that Cersei made her lie under oath. He gently puts his hand on her cheek, then grabs the thick gold chain around her neck and twists until she no longer drew breath, tears streaming down his face. He then grabs his father’s dagger and a crossbow hanging on the wall. Tyrion finds Lord Tywin in the privy tower and bows to him curtly after entering the chamber. Tywin tries not to act surprised and insists he was going to send him to the Wall rather than have him executed. After Tyrion asks if he had his first wife killed, Tywin refers to her as a whore, and Tyrion warns him not to call her that again. After he does, Tyrion’s finger slips, sending an arrow through Tywin’s gut, just above his groin. Tywin sits down in incredulous shock, looking at the arrow sticking out of his belly, and Tyrion tells him to die quickly because he has a ship to catch. He did just that.
Sansa was very lonely at the Vale. It begins snowing, so she goes outside and starts building a snow castle of Winterfell. Petyr Baelish was absent as of late, but returns and finds her in the snow. He helps Sansa finish the castle and then kisses her suddenly. She is shocked and aghast, telling him he is married to Lysa and should not have done that. Lysa’s son (Sansa’s husband to be) appears out of nowhere and exclaims, “A castle!” Robert takes the doll that never leaves his side and declares a giant has come to destroy the castle. She tries to stop him and, instead, grabs his doll, ripping its head off. He shrills and throws a tirade. The serving girls come to take him away and give him something to calm down. Later that afternoon, Lady Lysa summons Sansa to the High Hall. She tells Sansa she saw her kissing Petyr, not the other way around. It was useless for Sansa to convince her otherwise and Lysa starts throwing a tirade of her own. She drags Sansa to a barred door and makes her remove the bars. (The Moon Door, as it is known, was actually a well-like structure in Season 1 where Prince Robert wanted to see Tyrion fly. Perhaps the producers felt it would have more of an effect if placed in the floor of the High Hall.) After she opens it, there is nothing but sky below. Lysa yells for her singer, Marillion, to come and sing a song during her hysterical fit. She grabs Sansa by the hair and drags her toward the opening. Petyr arrives and tries to talk some sense into her. It took some pleading, but she finally relents. He promises he would never leave her again and to come give him a hug. She lets go of Sansa and clings to his embrace. He admits he only ever loved one woman. She asks if it was really true and he replies, “Yes…only Cat,” and gives her a light shove through the door. She doesn’t even scream. The singer is stunned and Petyr calmly tells Sansa to hurry and let the guards in because the singer just killed his lady wife…
The last chapter of the third book begins with Walder Frey’s son, Merrett, and his duty to ransom his nephew, Peter Frey (aka Peter Pimple), from the band of outlaws. Peter was captured by them, otherwise known as the Brotherhood without Banners. (They are the ones who captured and protected Gendry and Arya and were set to ransom her to her brother before Sandor Clegane kidnapped her. Their leader, Beric Dondarrian, was brought back to life after Clegane won their swordfight.) Merrett meets the outlaws with gold in hand. When he asks to be taken to Peter, they take him to where he is hanging from a tree. At this point, he is petrified. They wrap a noose around his neck and fling the other end over a tree branch. In the background stands a woman wearing a hooded cloak. They tell him this is about vengeance, not gold. He tries to argue all he did was drink during the Red Wedding, and that he had nothing to do with murdering the Starks while they were supposed guests under his father’s roof. He argues they had no witnesses. They disagree. The hooded woman steps forward and removes her hood. He sat staring at her in disbelief, unable to breathe. A grotesque and ravaged face with milky white skin and a slice across her throat was staring back at him with nothing but hate and contempt. Her eyes glowed red. Though she could not speak because the cut was too deep, she was aware. The brotherhood asks her if he was involved, and she nods without taking her eyes off him. (It is thought she was brought back to life much the same way Beric was several times prior.) They then pull on the noose and watch him hang.
It should be noted it may be possible for the producers to stretch out the remainder of the third book to encompass all of Season 4 considering the overwhelming amount of material, and because the fourth book is nowhere near as large as the third. However, they may incorporate the remainder of the third book with all of the fourth to encompass all of Season 4. What a cliffhanger it would be for Season 4 to end with Catelyn Stark returned from the grave…