With Season 3’s “Red Wedding” episode, HBO’s Game of Thrones went from being a ratings behemoth to a pop-culture touchstone. The outrage heard around the world at the death of Robb Stark, his pregnant wife and his mother only fueled the ratings fire, so HBO has something serious to live up to for Season 4—which is, technically, the last half of the third book in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice series.
There are so many characters and so many scenarios at play in Thrones, it’s nearly impossible to tell where any of this is going (unless, of course, you’ve read the books; but even then, Martin’s been changing things here and there). But here are five storylines we at Weekly can’t wait to see unfold—and one we’d rather never seen again:
What’s going to happen to the Starks now? The Stark clan is starting to dwindle, and in Martin’s largely chaotic world, they’ve become de facto heroes for millions of fans. Here’s hoping Arya Stark becomes a serious badass and begins avenging the deaths of her father, brother and mother. Stark bastard Jon Snow has reached the Wall, so we know he’s relatively safe—at least, for the time being. Hell, we’re even pulling for Sansa, although let’s face it, she’s largely been a whiny waste of space up to this point.
When is Dany going to attack King’s Landing and get her throne back? The show has been hinting for years at her ultimate return as heir to the throne, which is currently occupied by the Lannisters. She’s certainly gathering a formidable army, including those ridiculous Unsullied dudes. And she’s winning hearts and minds, to boot! The sooner she invades, the better.
What’s next for Tyrion and Sansa? Talk about the oddest coupling of the year, considering that Tyrion’s family killed most of Sansa’s family. But this forced wedding is actually looking like it was a good idea—for now.
When is Joffrey going to freaking DIE? In a way, I feel sorry for actor Jack Gleeson, who has hinted he will retire from acting once his stint on Game of Thrones is over. I can’t say I blame him. He’s playing one of the most vile characters to ever grace a television screen, and it will qualify as one of the most satisfying moments in television history when he finally meets his end. And c’mon, guys—bring it on soon!
Where is Bran off to? He’s finally made it to the north side of the Wall, thanks to Samwell Tarly’s help. But what now? In some ways, this feels almost like the most important thing that’s currently happening on the show.
And one storyline we’d like to never see again is:
The torturing of Theon. Really, guys, this is Game of Thrones, not Saw. No more mutilation scenes. And at this point, what more does Theon have that could be cut off anyway? On second thought, don't answer that, please.