Monday, May 12, 2014

Game of Thrones, Episode 4.6: The Laws of Gods and Men

Welcome to my Game of Thrones Recap. I love the Song of Ice and Fire series, and I'm loving (for the most part) how HBO is handling turning it into a live action series. In these posts, I recap the most recent and discuss what I thought of it, how it relates to the book, etc. Warning: This post is pretty much 100% spoilers, so read at your own risk!

Episode 4.6: The Laws of Gods and Men

We start out with Stannis and Sir Davos going to the Iron Bank in Bravos. They are asking for financial help with their war. They are categorically denied, based on how bleak their chances of winning the war are. Davos then gives a surprisingly compelling speech on Stannis's behalf. We aren't privy to whether the speech swayed the Iron Bankers, but after that, Davos goes into a bathhouse and invites his pirate friend to come sail with him. Davos seems pretty chipper, so I'm assuming something good came of it. This wasn't in the book, but obviously we're setting up Stannis's Next Big Move. 

Next we find Yara, Theon's sister, heading for the Dreadfort to rescue him. But Theon's a creepy mess, now. Yara manages to locate him in the kennels, rather than the dungeons, but he is afraid of her and won't answer to Theon, insisting his name is Reek. Eventually Yara gives over, going back to her boat and telling the soldiers that Theon is dead. She's not entirely wrong.

Ramsey Snow then rewards Theon/Reek with a bath and says he needs a favor. He needs Reek to pretend he's someone he isn't: Theon Grayjoy. Obviously, like Stannis, Ramsey is getting read to make a move.

Dany, ruling in Mereen, has to see 212 supplicants in a single day. One had his herd of goats eaten by her dragons. She pays him well so he can get his livelihood back. This is somewhat of a speeding up of Dany's story line. This isn't exactly what we see happen in book 5, but it's quickly leading up to it. Another supplicant wants to bury his father, who Dany had crucified. We're seeing the beginning of Dany's troubles as a ruler. She wants everything to be black and white--answering injustice with justice and such--but she's starting to learn that things are generally not that black and white for a ruler. Especially one who is trying to change a culture of slavery to a culture of freedom overnight.

Back in King's Landing, the small council, which now includes Oberyn, meets and discusses Dany's activities across the Narrow Sea. She's becoming a real threat and Tywin says she must be "dealt with" while Cersei, as always, insists a child on the other side of the world couldn't possibly be a threat. (Please don't EVER let Cersei rule!) Varys and Oberyn then have a little chat in the throne room. It was interesting, but it's unclear what it might be leading to.

Then we come to the crux of the episode: Tyrion's trial. Poor Tyrion. He never had a chance. He's taken in shackles into the throne room where Tomon, obviously under Tywin's shrewd eye, recuses himself, leaving the trial in the hands of the judges: Oberyn, Tywin, and Mace (Margaery's father). From there on, many witnesses come forth, including Cersei, Pycell, and others, who twist facts and conversations to give very one-sided but damning evidence against Tyrion.

During a recess, Jaime goes to Tywin and scorns him for the farce of a trial. He offers to leave the Kingsguard, marry, and give Tywin some Lannister heirs if only Tywin will allow Tyrion to live. I gotta say, I think this was very big of Jaime. This showed a great deal of loyalty to Tyrion on his part. Jaime goes and tells Tyrion to stay calm. He'll be found guilty but be allowed to plead for mercy and go to the Night's Watch. Tyrion seems relatively amenable to this, his only worry being that Ned Stark was promised the same thing, and look how that worked out.

This might have been a viable solution...until they call Shae as a witness. She gives the most damning testimony by far, but it's worse than just her accusations. She takes things that were sweet and emotionally intimate between her and Tyrion and twists them, making them sound perverse and using them against him. Poor Tyrion couldn't be more heart broken. More than in the books, the HBO series made Shae's character sympathetic. It made it seem like she genuinely cared for Tyrion but was angry at being sent away. So theoretically, this was a woman scorned sort of thing, but that doesn't make it any easier on Tyrion. 

The hurt from Shae's testimony brings out Tyrion's rebellious side. He indicts the entire court for their corruption and ungratefulness of the fact that he saved all their lives when Stannis invaded. He says he wants to confess, but not to killing Joffery. He confesses to being a dwarf. Tywin then says that he's not on trial for being a dwarf, but Tyrion says his father is wrong. He's been on trial for being a dwarf since the day he was born. I loved this! They did this scene perfectly and most of the dialogue was straight from the book. So compelling! 

Tyrion says he didn't kill Joffrey (for the last time already!) but he knows he will get know justice in his father's court. He demands trial by combat, and let the gods decide his fate (as they did at the Eeyrie when Bron was his champion). 

Dun, dun, dun!

Over all, a great episode. Though we missed out on lots of our favorite characters (and heaven knows I'm not a Theon Grayjoy fan) this was still a very emotional, compelling episode. I totally loved it!

What did everyone else think of this episode?

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