Keeping up with the Starks – and One Snow
Season Four was a big season for the Stark brood. All began their season recovering from the Red Wedding, and all ended the season having undergone major changes. Let’s dive in…
After spending time breaking all his vows with the wildlings and playing double agent, Jon is back at Castle Black and on trial for murdering Qhorin Halfhand. He warns the Night’s Watch council that Mance Rayder and the Free Folk are coming for them. Once they more or less give him a pass, he decides to return to Craster’s Keep to take down the deserters and just misses running into his brother Bran who, unbeknownst to him, is being held captive with his traveling crew of misfits.
When the wildlings initiate their expert attack, Jon is prepared to lead, and against all odds, the Night’s Watch holds the Wall. Jon’s love Ygritte is killed in the process, giving us all the feels as she dies in his arms. At sunrise Jon knows that he must kill Mance Rayder to end the fighting. After a parlay with Mance, Jon is surprised by Stannis’s army, which overtakes the wildlings. Stannis respects Jon for being Ned Stark’s bastard, and we’re left shuddering as Melisandre locks eyes on him from beneath her creepy bastard-loving hood.
Poor, poor Sansa. No longer a Stark and still reeling from the brutal murders of her mother and brother, she can’t even eat a lemon cake. While she does realize this season that her new husband Tyrion isn’t all bad, she doesn’t actually linger long in her new nuptials. After watching Joffrey sputter to death at his wedding, she’s whisked away by Ser Dontos to board a ship with Petyr Baelish. They end up at her Aunt Lysa’s in the Eyrie, but it’s clear quickly that Sansa is far from safe.
Littlefinger kisses Sansa in a snowy courtyard, much to the dismay of his wife Lysa who proceeds to thrust Sansa towards the moon door. Littlefinger flirts Sansa to safety and then pushes Lysa through it instead.
We see how much Sansa really learned in King’s Landing when she testifies to save Littlefinger from being convicted of Lysa’s murder with an Academy Award winning performance (I’d like to thank King Joffrey for tormenting me, Lady Olenna, for being my Meryl, and Shae, for the lemon cakes.) Watching her sweep down the stairs in her Maleficent dress leaves us wondering where exactly she's headed and what exactly she's capable of.
Welcome back to The Odd Couple: Arya & the Hound Style. On the King’s Road, after having shown up just in time to miss the Red Wedding, Arya and the Hound continue to hate each other and fight everyone. Over the course of the season Arya begins to kill with nearly as much ease as the Hound, a far cry from the terrified little girl who practiced water dancing with Syrio Forel.
Upon hearing the news of her Aunt Lysa’s death when they arrive in the Eyrie, Arya just laughs. Like, girl, we feel you.
Alas, the Hound and Arya reach the end of their journey together when Brienne of Tarth finds them and tries to take Arya with her to keep her word to Lady Catelyn. Brienne and the Hound battle it out, with the Hound being left to die on the side of a mountain. Arya dismisses Brienne and decides to venture forth alone, hopping on the Valar Morghulis Express to Braavos.
Bran and his crew continue on their road trip north, although it’s a little less fun without the car, Spotify playlists and food. Bran is spending a lot of time warging into Summer, and Jojen and Meera warn him against it before he forgets what it is to be human. He is about to give up on their trek when they find a Heart Tree and Bran has a vision of his father, a three-eyed raven, the shadow of a dragon soaring over King’s Landing, and apparently a vision of exactly where they need to go.
Eventually they’re captured and held prisoner at Crastor’s Keep, until being released by Jon Snow’s assault. Bran is desperate to see his brother but gives up because he knows that if Jon sees him, he and his not-so-merry companions will not be able to finish their mission.
They finally end up at an ancient tree where Jojen is killed by terrifying skeletons and they are led into the tree by one of the fabled Children of the Forest. Once in the treehouse, Bran meets the three-eyed raven who tells him that although he’ll never walk again, he will fly.