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The Game of Thrones Continues with Season 4

Only one day after the USA premiere of the new season of Game of Thrones, HBO Hungary broadcasts the first episode of the channel’s second most watched show on April 7 to the delight of the continuously growing number of fans. Intrigue and politics, war and romance, loyalty and treason, dragons, suspenseful fight scenes, breath-taking locations and costumes – this series has something for everyone.

The big-budget TV adaptation of American author George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy novel series has not only become a hit with the audiences – holding the infamous title of “the most pirated show ever” – but was also nominated for Outstanding Drama Series at the Primetime Emmy Awards three years running, and received a Best Television Drama Series nomination at the 2012 Golden Globes. It has also bagged Emmy Awards for Visual Effects, Costumes and Makeup among numerous other technical nominations, and what is more, Peter Dinklage was awarded Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series at the 2011 Emmy ceremony, as well as the Golden Globe for Supporting Actor in 2012 for the role of Tyrion Lannister. The complicated plotline and the large number of characters can be quite challenging to pick up nine months after Series 3, so we will attempt an outline of the current situation and the main players of the leading houses of the realm.

The World of The Game of Thrones

Most of the action takes place on the continent of Westeros – roughly the size of South America – located in the far west of the known world and separated from the continent of Essos by a strip of water known as the Narrow Sea . The climate varies between extremes of heat in the South to arctic climate in the North, especially beyond the ancient ice Wall guarded by the Night’s Watch, which protects the Seven Kingdoms from raiding ‘wildlings’ and the evil threat of the White Walkers. These creatures are regarded as legendary, but the approach of a harsh winter – due to last several years – has woken them up. Essos, the other much larger continent, extends far to East and is home to the nomadic Dothraki tribes, the merchant Free Cities and Slaver’s Bay. Technology is more-or-less at the level of our medieval times, but magic also plays an important part in shaping the plot.

House Baratheon

Teenaged Joffrey Baratheon is king on the Iron Throne, which unites the seven old kingdoms of Westeros. Cruel and stupid, he only holds his position thanks to his immensely powerful and cunning grandfather, Tywin Lannister, who has already defeated two pretenders to the throne: Rob Stark, now dead, and Stannis Baratheon, Joffrey’s uncle, now regrouping his forces. Joffrey is to be married soon to Margaery Tyrell, daughter of the most powerful Southern family, after setting aside Sansa Stark, who was originally picked as his bride by his late father, Robert Baratheon. Stannis Baratheon is supported by Lady Melisandre, a powerful priestess of the Lord of Light, who can use magic to kill Stannis’s enemies.

House Lannister

The star of House Lannister is high at the moment: Tywin serves as Hand of the King, practically governing the kingdom instead of his grandson. His enemies either defeated or won over, he rules the country and his family with an iron hand. The Lannisters, however, are troubled by rumours that Joffrey is Cersei and her twin brother, Jaime’s bastard and not a Baratheon at all, and therefore, has no right to the Iron Throne. Tywin uses his children as pawns in the game of thrones, ordering Tyrion to marry Sansa Stark, who is now heir to the Northern kingdom. Jaime Lannister, the best fighter in Westeros, has his right hand chopped off during the war and returns from captivity to the capital. Intelligent Tyrion, detested by his father for his dwarfism, is bitter about being overlooked despite managing to defend the capital from Stannis Baratheon’s navy and also finds out about Cersei’s attempt to murder him.

House Targaryen

The Valyrian family conquered Westeros about 300 years ago with the help of giant fire-breathing dragons, which have since gone extinct. The last mad Targaryen king was overthrown by Robert Baratheon about 20 years ago and his children, Viserys and Daenerys grew up in exile. From a fearful girl married off by her brother to a Dothraki horselord in return for an army, she grows into a determined young woman and manages to hatch three dragon eggs. After losing her brother, husband and child, the charismatic khaleesi sets out to regain her throne in Westeros, raising an army and putting an end to slavery wherever she can. Her dragons, once grown, will be formidable weapons.

House Stark

After the honourable and just Ned Stark loses his head to King Joffrey’s whim, his eldest son, Rob leads a successful campaign against the Lannisters. He is, however, murdered by treachery along with his mother. With the two younger brothers presumed dead, young Sansa Stark is the heir to the North, held hostage by the Lannisters and married off to Tyrion. The younger sister, Arya is on the run from the Lannisters, and the two younger brothers part: Bran, blessed with strong psychic powers, goes north of the Wall as told by his dreams and Rickon goes into hiding. Jon Snow, Ned Stark’s bastard, who had joined the Night’s Watch, managed to infiltrate the camp of the Wildling army and brings news of their plan to break through the Wall in order to escape the White Walkers. With the main force of the Night’s Watch having perished beyond the Wall, they have hardly any chance to stop either the Wildlings or the far more dangerous army of walking dead. Jon’s friend, however, discovers that obsidian weapons destroy White Walkers, giving a glimmer of hope in the fight against evil.


intrigue – intrika
loyalty – hűség
treason – árulás
location – helyszín
big-budget – nagy költségvetésű
infamous – hírhedt
pirated – illegálisan letöltött
nomination – jelölés
plotline – cselekmény
current situation – jelenlegi helyzet
realm – királyság
arctic – sarkvidéki
threat – fenyegetés
medieval – középkori
cruel – kegyetlen
cunning – ravasz
pretender to the throne – trónkövetelő
late – elhunyt
rumour – szóbeszéd
bastard – törvénytelen gyerek, fattyú
pawn – báb
heir – örökös
captivity – fogság
dwarfism – törpenövés
to be overlooked – figyelmen kívül hagyják, nem értékelik
to conquer – meghódítani
to go extinct – kipusztulni
in exile – száműzetésben
in return for – valamiért cserébe
to hatch – kikölteni
slavery – rabszolgaság
weapon – fegyver
presumed dead – halottnak hiszik
hostage – túsz
psychic powers – jóstehetség
to infiltrate – beépülni
to perish – elpusztulni, odaveszni

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