One of the more surprising discoveries of my Easter holidays has been that practically everyone loves Game of Thrones. Sure, a glance at Facebook might tell me that most people in my demographic watch the show, but while catching up with my extended family I found that my relatives, from younger cousins to older aunts and uncles, all seem to be avid fans of the show. The show does have a lot to offer – high production values, a talented cast and, significantly, a dense, rich storyline: everyone loves a good story (the fact that it’s only gradually revealed its fantasy trappings – dragons at the end of season one, giants at the start of season three – can’t hurt).
For a show known for such a dense storyline, it was good to see the latest season begin with an unhurried, contemplative atmosphere, establishing character and setting without feeling rushed. Plenty of characters – Arya, Theon Greyjoy, Jamie Lannister – aren’t seen at all, and I appreciated that the show made good use of characters like Jon Snow and Daenerys, who didn’t have a lot to do last season. The episode’s mood and appearance was autumnal throughout, which seems fitting; after all, winter is coming.