After weeks of watching, re-watching, live-tweeting, recapping, analyzing, and debating, the fourth season of Game of Thrones has finally come to an end, leaving a void in both our hearts and our Twitter feeds. Once the fanfare and discussions about the shocking deaths and the major changes from the books finally die down, we will be faced with an unbearable winter without Westeros. How will we carry on without Dany and her dragons? How can we stay calm when we don’t know what’s happening with Tyrion? How will we survive the long months before we get new episodes?
Well, by watching TV of course. Game of Thrones may have ended, but there are plenty more shows with all of the fantasy, politics, blood and nudity that we have come to rely on David Benioff and D.B. Weiss for, and we don’t even have to wait until next year to enjoy them. We've run down all of the shows airing in 2014 that will help fill the Westeros-sized hole in your heart, and how long you have to wait to get your fix. And if that doesn't work, there's still several thousand pages of George R.R. Martin's writing available for you to read. That should help pass the time.
True Blood How Long We Have To Wait: One week until June 22. What It’s About: The seventh and final season of the Southern vampire drama picks up with most of the characters dead or seemingly dead, an outbreak of Hep-V terrorizing the vampire population and everyone gaining and losing characters quicker than alliances shift on Game of Thrones. How It Will Fill the Void: True Blood and Game of Thrones have two key elements in common: blood and nudity. Expect plenty of both in the upcoming season.Airs: Sundays at 9 PM on HBO.
Tyrant How Long We Have To Wait: A week until June 24.What It’s About: The second son of a dictator leader of a foreign country returns from a self-imposed exile in Los Angeles, and must deal with the conflicts that arise between the culture of his homeland and the US and his oppressive father. How It Will Fill the Void: If you’re looking for political intrigue, culture clashes, a struggle for power and a father/son dynamic reminiscent of Tywin and Tyrion Lannister, this is the show for you.Airs: Tuesdays at 10 PM on FX.
The Leftovers How Long We Have to Wait: Two weeks until June 29.What It’s About: Set two years after 2 percent of the population disappears in the rapture, the series follows the rest of the world as they struggle to understand what happened to their loved ones, and attempt to move forward with their lives. How It Will Fill the Void: Like the White Walkers, the Children, and everything Melisandre is doing with the Lord of the Light, The Leftovers centers on a strange, unexplained supernatural phenomenon, and explores the personal drama that results.Airs: Sundays at 10 PM on HBO.
The Strain How Long We Have to Wait: Four weeks until July 13.What It’s About: Created by Guillermo del Toro, The Strain is about a viral strain that turns people into horrifying, bloodsucking monsters that are terrorizing the population. It’s also based on a trilogy of books by Chuck Hogan, in case you’re all caught up on A Song of Ice and Fire. How It Will Fill the Void: It’s got horror, terror, suspense, excitement, supernatural elements and – we’re assuming – plenty of gore. Plus, it has Walder Frey himself, David Bradley, presumably on a mission to traumatize as many viewers as humanly possible.Airs: Sundays at 10 PM on FX.
Masters of Sex How Long We Have to Wait: Four weeks until July 13.What It’s About: The pioneering work on human sexuality done by William Masters and Virginia Johnson in the 1950s. The second season will see Masters and Johnson grow closer, and the challenges it presents their personal and professional relationships. How It Will Fill the Void: All of the nudity and explicit sexual situations, but presented in a way that not only serves a narrative purpose and raises important questions about society and the human body, but also isn’t degrading towards women. What a novel concept!Airs: Sundays at 10 PM on Showtime.
Outlander How Long We Have to Wait: Two months until August 9.What It’s About: Based on the novels by Diana Gabaldon, the series follows Claire, a World War II nurse who is mysteriously sent back in time to the 1700s. There she is forced to marry Jaime Fraiser, a romantic and chivalrous Scottish soldier, and she is torn between two very different lives. How It Will Fill the Void: It’s a sweeping period epic that incorporates sci-fi, adventure, war, and romance that should help you move on from the tragic ending of Jon and Ygritte’s relationship.Airs: Saturdays at 9 PM on Starz.
Sleepy Hollow How Long We Have to Wait: Four months until September 22.What It’s About: The surprise hit of last year centers on Ichabod Crane, who is sent forward in time to 2014, where he solves supernatural crimes with Det. Abbie Mills, and the two of them attempt to stop the apocalypse. How It Will Fill the Void: Witty banter, well-matched partners, a supernatural threat, colorful characters, a spooky witch you should probably be wary of and some truly gruesome crimes – throw in a giant and it’s practically Game of Thrones’ fourth season.Airs: Mondays at 9 PM on Fox.
Gotham How Long We Have to Wait: Indeterminate, although it’s likely to premiere in September or October.What It’s About: Before Bruce Wayne grew up to be Batman, it was Det. Jim Gordon who cleaned up the crime and corruption on the streets of Gotham, even if that meant taking on some super villains of his own. How It Will Fill the Void: Like Ned Stark in King’s Landing, Jim Gordon is a noble man trying to bring justice to the murder, manipulation and scheming that runs amok in the city. Let’s hope he fares a bit better.Airs: Mondays at 8 PM on Fox.
Better Call Saul How Long We Have to Wait: Six months until November. What It’s About: A spinoff of Breaking Bad that focuses on Bob Odenkirk’s Saul Goodman, a lawyer who will do anything to keep his operations running smoothly. How It Will Fill the Void: You’ll probably become addicted to it, just as you were to Breaking Bad, which will help pass the time until Game of Thrones returns. Airs: On AMC, although a night and time hasn’t been revealed yet.
Weddings, wildlings, and water — oh my! After a walloper of a Game of Thrones last week, Sunday night's episode could've easily fallen by the wayside and disappointed. But luckily this isn't just any TV show, it's an epically-scaled magical fantasy sojourn about power, family, and dragons. And it rules. Allow me to introduce myself — my name is Alicia, and I am a huge nerd for the realm. Old gods, new gods, or no gods. As long as it keeps going as well as season three has gone, I'm game for you, whether you're iron born or dead and can never die.
"Kissed by Fire" took a step back from the theatrics and got in heavy with the dramatics. And what's more dramatic than the words of others? Everyone loves to make a promise, but nobody loves to keep a promise unless it gives them an edge. Politics be political, my dudes. Maybe if people in Westeros took their promises as serious as their hot tubs, we'd have a much higher-functioning monarchy on our hands.
I mean, seriously though, if this episode was made as an 80s movie, this would be the soundtrack:
But let's get down to it, shall we?
Boyz in the CaveWe start off the episode in one of the best places to be: by Arya's side. Because no matter what happens — and crazy shit, when it happens on this show? It HAPPENS — she's going to be fine. Arya is just fiiiiiine. We worry so much about her, but she's the one on this show that feels most likely to survive anything. Poor Arya. She is getting the s**t end of every stick. First, The Hound gets set free, then her Baratheon bastard boo has decided to bro out with the Banner Free Boyz. Maybe in a few years when Arya's a teen she'll be gettin' a kiss on the mouth from Gendry, but for now he's really into eyepatches and immortality so he has to go on with the dudes. No wonder the poor gal's all hoo-hum thinking about her dead dad (can't get any sadder for this girl) next to the dude who keeps on living, despite all odds.
Not having the best day ever was The Hound: off to be be judged by the one true god, thanks to the Brotherhood Without Banners. Only things didn't go as well as the bloodlusty Ms. Arya Stark seems to have wanted, because this one true g.o.d. is apparently more of a watcher than a doer, so The Hound may have gotten himself a notch on the Beric Death Belt, but he was ultimately released.
Ain't no firesword gonna hold him down! No siree. Ain't nobody got time for that! That's just some predated technology for the lightsaber s**t. But Beric sure does have a fun lil party trick on his hand (pun intended, obviously) if he can light s**t on fire with his own blood. Tip for all you folks ready to hop on the Banner-less bandwagon: never hang around a firesword fight in a cave (That's like rule number one), because odds are you're going home at least seriously maimed. Not that a critical injury ever kept Beric down — and with such panache, to boot!
Well, Jon Snow Know at Least One Thing...The Wildings and Mance were on their way south to The Wall at the beginning of this episode. But the only thing we really want to talk about is Ygritte gettin' some of that vow-broken Crow wang — not any of that strategy talk. And does she ever! Jon Snow just might be a magical being after that "Oh, I know nothing, do I?" tonguing. I mean, he must be magical because that's the only explanation that would give him some sort of tonguework superpower out the gate. I mean, Ygritte might be a lady in the streets, but she's a wildling in the sheets, y'all. She's seen things. Penis things. But somehow Jon Snow has the ability to turn this seasoned pro into a quivering mess.
Which means two things: 1.) most people watching this show are so jealous right now, and 2.) can this show stop glorfying the sexual abilities of male virgins? Podrick was one thing, but Jon Snow knows nothing — how you gonna try and tell me that he suddenly knows a thing or two about goin' down on a lady? Also pretty sure "kissed by fire" isn't a code for redhead, it's a code for "please get yourself checked out at the ye ole STD makeshift tent." And while we're at it, that bath should've definitely happened before the sexy times that weren't nearly sexy enough. Give us naked Jon Snow or give us death, HBO! What are you good for if not for giving us all of the skin?
Also, how was that magical hot spring grotto (you takin' notes, Hefner?) packed with people? You are Beyond The Wall up there: warmth is hard to come by (ba-da-ching)!
Kingslayer: An Origin StoryJaime and Brienne ended up at the doorstep of Roose Bolton's pad and are also getting in on the naked hot water times. Not sexually, though, guys: these two don't ride that way. But back to this Roose Bolton guy. I'm not sure how to feel about him, but he l-ov-e-d twisting Jaime around on that sister tip.
Jaime was taken to Qyburn, that one guy who was the only one found alive at Harrenhal. He was formally a maester now stripped of his license because of his love of radical medical experiments. The interaction of distrust between the two over the Milk of the Poppy was a fun one, eh? Man, that Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has had one hell of a season; somebody get him a nomination when that stuff gets started. Also, at Qyburn's hand Jaime might end up with new missing parts so I'm sure he was more than keen on staying awake rather than pain management.
But back to that bath. Unpopular opinion alert: not as great as it could've been. Ugh, I don't know, it started so strong, but I just sort of hated how hokey it drew to an end. For me it felt like a loud ending when it should've been soft. Especially because Jaime spent his time opening up more than just his pores (C'mon! Bad jokes are my thing) in that hot water. The relationship between Brienne and Jaime just continues to develop in complex and interesting ways. I mean, to make Jaime Lannister come across as someone worthy of sympathy and respect? No easy feat, my dudes. And Brienne! Poor Brienne, really rung through the ringer. She's so fierce and fearless, but the horror on her face as she listened to Jaime's take on the true story of how he got his Kingslayer moniker almost made her look as though she was losing her innocence. Turns out Jaime is one parfait of a person, and I am thoroughly confused as to how I should feel about the Lannisters. Brilliant. But yeah, the cutaway felt a bit over the top.
It's a Tyrell World, You Just Live in ItEvery week someone new gets to bask in the glory that is Diana Rigg as Olenna Tyrell. Homegirl has no shame and ain't scared of s**t. I mean, literally: she talked about her pooping habits with Tyrion about 13 seconds into their first conversation. If that doesn't show you this woman means the bidness, I don't know what will. She gives none of the f**ks because she's a boss b**ch, y'all. She knows her worth and she knows what she's giving the Lannisters by hopping on board. Which is why she was able to so brilliantly remind Tyrion of all her family has given the castle right before graciously accepting taking on half the cost of the royal wedding and insulting him for not being who she hoped he'd be. She's not the Queen of Thorns for nothin', y'all.
Robb's Feelin' PunchyThe young Lannister squires held captive at Riverrun went and got murdered. It was a really crazy scene that was masterfully played: you really felt how scared and unsettled it was to be in it, from the kid's point of view.
But seriously: what was up with Robb Stark tonight, huh? Is someone feeling slightly emasculated? Whatever the case, homeboy wants to make sure everyone knows he's the king, and that means he's in charge. Why else would he change his tune of rational thinking just to behead Karstark? Robb, feeling fiesty and kingly in his power decides that all the henchmen involved in the murder of the Lannister boys get the noose as well. One whiny little brat gets all "Oh, but I just watched!" and Robb's all "This one is the watcher... hang him last so he can watch the others die." Drop the mic, walk out the room: damn son, you tell 'em how to run that Realm! Too bad it looks like he totally f**ked himself over with that move in the end. Hello big Frey showdown on the horizon.
Stannis Baratheon, Tea Party King?Feeling like he's betrayed is wife, Stannis takes a trip to visit the locked-up-in-a-cell wife and daughter. (It's so totally weird that he would think they feel betrayed, right? When he's kept them in such posh, befitting-of-a-royal-family digs!) Not that she seems to mind, it seems. Yep, Stannis' wife is a stone cold fanatical weirdo that's totally OK with her husband having smoke babies with Melisandre. Excuuuuuse me with your unborn babies in canister bulls**t right now, Selyse Florent?! Seriously? These two. These f**king two, am I right? They're downright terrifying with their fanatical misinterpretation of religion. And while we're at it, way to enforce that "gingers have no souls so they feed on the souls of others" stereotype, Melisandre. The only takeaway I have from all of this is if you want to start a fanatical cult, Stannis' family should be stop number one on your tour of potential converts.
Their daughter seems like a sweet little thing, though lord knows how that's possible with those two cuckaroos they call her parents. Shireen has remnants of her battle with the greyscale on her face, which looks more brown and tree bark-esque than I imagined it would be. Her desire to teach our fair Onion Knight how to read is precious. I like you, girl, but I worry about you and not because of your face.
Khaleesi's Got GameGood LORD I love me some Daenerys. After last week's truly outrageous (might as well call her Jem) — in the BEST way — episode, it was a bummer to see so little of her this go-around. You're giving us blue dragon balls, HBO! The moment she had tonight was worth it, though: her continued compassion for the Unsullied (and all slaves/innocents, really) soldiers is good stuff and continues to push her narrative towards what I am hopeful is a dragon-filled long game. I mean, Beyoncé has a poster of his b**ch on her wall — that's how serious this is. Oh and blah blah, Ser Jorah and Barristan Selmy had a nice little talk there, too.
Loras Gets SomeLittlefinger got a favor asked of him because Cersei is on the warpath against the Tyrells, so he used a lil fella named Oliver to get close. The two have a knightly romp betwixt the sheets pretty quickly thereafter. There was one very naked man... and Loras clothed in the nudity clause held within his contract. Loras doesn't seem to be too concerned about modesty in any other instance of his life, so I'm not sure why he's being so tame now behind closed doors. But while his pants might not be loose, his lips sure were: he was pretty quick to point out that his wife-to-be (Sansa) doesn't even know he likes dudes. What Loras doesn't realize is that she's literally the only one. But with the beans spilled, the stage is set for...
Big Daddy and His IssuesMan, that Tywin Lannister is one motherf**ker of a father, eh? What a ruthless, power-hungry manipumonster. No wonder these Lannisters are so messed up (excluding you, of course, Tyrion, because you're perfect but I'm also convinced you're not a Lannister because I don't want you to be). And his obsession for power and control certainly isn't for his family (as evidenced by, oh, every single action he's ever taken) since he clearly hates his children. I guess that fancy lion on the family crest and its legacy are far more important than everything else in the world.
So in order to beat the Tyrells at their own game, Tywin decided that Tyrion should marry Sansa and have it announced before Joffrey's wedding. All smug and chuffed, Cersei looks on at Tyrion, so happy to have orchestrated his good news. But shocker of all shockers, something Cersei pushed for ended up biting her in the ass. In one of the most perfect TWIST! moments, Tywin casually mentions that Cersei will also get tossed aside — as scraps for Loras. Because nothing says "let's try and convince everyone you aren't f**king your brother" by marrying you off to the gayest man within the walls of the Red Keep. She went from ain't-havin'-none-of-this-s**t to are-you-serious-right-now in nanoseconds. It was AWESOME.
So...we've got some weddings on the horizon, eh? Next week's looking pretty serious, too — the episode is titled "The Climb" and something tells me Miley Cyrus won't be in the soundtrack.
What did you think of this week's Game of Thrones? Let us know in the comments.
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More: 'Game of Thrones' Recap: And Now His Watch Is Ended'Game of Thrones' Recap: Walk of Punishment'Game of Thrones' Recap: Dark Wings, Dark Words
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