***Warning: Spoilers Be Nigh…***
All men must die.
The tag line for Game of Thrones’ fourth season doesn’t read like a warning so much as it does a maxim of inevitability. Last season saw the end of Robb Stark, along with his mother, Catelyn, his wife, Talisa, and an army of Stark banner-men, as they were slaughtered by Walder Frey and Roose Bolton (with a nice tactical assist from the Lannisters) at the now infamous “Red Wedding” (the second event, after the beheading of Ned Stark, that launched a thousand hilarious YouTube “reaction videos”). The Stark rebellion has been crushed, it seems, and there are no more imminent threats to the Iron Throne (unless you count that pesky “Mother of Dragons”, who still needs to cross a vast ocean in order to make a serious play). For once, the characters in the show (as well as the folks who root for them from their couches) can finally sit back and relax — nobody’s going to die anytime soon, it seems. The Lannisters are all in King’s Landing, settling into their domestic roles and midlife crises as their sneering boy king plans for his wedding.
But all men must die. And all peace, as well as the comfort that goes along with it, is only temporary.