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Game of Thrones: The Laws of Gods and Men

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Game of Thrones, The laws of Gods and Men

Tyrion’s on trial, Stannis bets on himself, and the war continues in the north on this week’s Game of Thrones.

Is Tywin Lannister the key to Lannister power in King’s landing, or will it all crumble if he dies? Stannis is betting big that it will crumble, and that Tywin’s age (67) means he won’t be around long. Stannis can’t press his claim on the kingship without an army, and he can’t hire an army without gold. So he and Davos sail to Braavos to get a loan from the Iron Bank. Not only was the strait-straddling Titan of Braavos impressive as hell, it turned up in a new segment of the opening credit too.


Stannis crappy holdings and weak army lead the Iron Bank to reject his loan request, but Davos suggests that when Tywin dies, the Lannister kingship will crumble and the bank will never get back all the money they loaned Tywin for the war. He’s successful, shortly thereafter visiting his old smuggler friend Salladhor Saan to recruit him and his band of pirates and mercenaries.

Meanwhile, Yara Greyjoy arrives at the Dreadfort to rescue her brother. Her Ironborn troops mount a fairly successful raid, but Theon won’t join them, cowering and calling himself Reek. There’s a showdown with Ramsay Snow, and they leave with Yara declaring Theon dead. Later, Ramsay sends Theon out on a mission where he’ll have to pretend to be Theon Greyjoy, not Reek, again.

In Mereen, Danaerys is experiencing the joys of rulership, hearing a long, long line of supplicants. Her dragons are eating goats. The sons of the masters she crucified are upset. She has no bureaucracy to deal with this stuff. Good times.


In the morning, the small council meets. Prince Oberyn Martell seems disinterested, but he interjects with keen observations when appropriate (he does the same later, at Tyrion’s trial). There’s a lot of distress about Danaerys’ growing power, and Cersei idiotically shrugs it off. Tywin does not. He also places a 100 silver bounty on Sandor Clegane’s head.

Oberyn and Varys have a short talk in front of the Iron Throne. How many conversations have we watched with that throne in the background?

The bulk of the episode was taken up by Tyrion’s trial. It is essentially a farce, a parade of people bad-mouthing Tyrion and telling outright lies. He’s barely allowed to speak in his own defense. I wonder why Varys seems to have turned on him so thoroughly at this point.

During a break, Jaime pleads with Tywin to save Tyrion’s life, even offering to leave the King’s Guard so he can take his position as heir to the Lannister line. Tywin agrees, since this is the one thing he truly wants. Tyrion must plead for mercy, and Tywin will allow him to take the black and go to the Wall. It’s quite a noble deed by Jaime, virtually completing his turnaround (if we just ignore that stupid rape scene, and I mean that in a storytelling sense, not a “rape isn’t a big deal” sense).

Tyrion isn’t quite able to go along with that plan, however. They bring out Shae as a witness, and she betrays him utterly, humiliates him, and claims she knows he plotted to murder Joffrey. Oberyn seems skeptical of all this, but the betrayal and humiliation is too much for Tyrion. A lifetime of mistreatment at the hands of his family and everyone else, even after he saved the city when Stannis attacked, boils over. Tyrion proclaims his innocence, but that he wishes he’d killed Joffrey, and that he wishes he could poison everyone in the gallery. Instead of relying on Tywin’s “justice,” he requests a trial by combat.


It will be interesting to see how this plays out compared to the novels. There, the trial took two days, and Tyrion had a visitor during the night that has bearing on the combat.

Peter Dinklage stole the show, of course. He teetered on the verge of overacting, but never went there. Instead he poured out all the rage that’s been building within Tyrion since the series began. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a man snarl so well. “I wish I was the monster you all think I am.” A grim and shattered Tyrion with nothing to lose could be a truly dangerous thing.

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Posted by on Sunday, May 11th, 2014. Filed under Dark TV, Headline. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.