Previously! Okay, that was a lie. Right? That wasn’t an hour? THAT WAS NOT AN HOUR. The first person who complains about this episode being filler gets my boot to the nethers.
If I was going to sum up my reactions, it would have been excitement over a new place on our opening map, exclamations at the cool shots of Braavos, and a lot of crying over Tyrion—seriously, that brought me to tears—and a wonder at why all of my favorite “warnings” were listed when it was just tits in a hot tub? Pfft. I CALL THAT A TUESDAY, OKAY? Also, dibs on the band name “Tits in a Hot Tub.” OH MY GOD. I JUST REMEMBERED RAMSAY. Riiiiight. Tits on a Ramsay. Reek! JFC, click the link and let’s talk because I need you.
The unfurling of Braavos in the opening credits gave me Steampunk Mousetrap feels. (The locking noise when the armored guard pulls sword? The coin as the tip off it’s the Iron Bank?? I could go on and on; I really freaking love the intro. My husband usually walks away when it airs because I have to hum and sway along. I never said I was cool.) The shot of Stannis’ ship overhead was awesome. The Iron Bank/Braavos matte shot was a thing of beauty. And I love the cool change in Stannis’ flag – the Lord of Light fire ring around the Stag, protecting it. Nice.
And we come to the ominous Bean Counters. They smirk and smile and listen to Stannis’ whole “but I’m the real king, etc” schpiel when the Head Bean Counter points out that Tommen Baratheon has the same claim. Huh. [draws finger down ledger and shivers. Accountancy is hot.]
HBC: [sings] A Braavos bank is run with precision! And King’s Landing requires nothing less. With Tywin discipline and rules must be the tools. Without them – disorder! Chaos! Moral disintegration! In short, we have a ghastly mess!
Stannis: So…that’s a no, then?
Stannis: Right, then. Hope you choke on your beans, asshole.
Davos: Err– [step in] He’s a bit of a hothead, but lemme ‘splain you a thing about things. Tywin Lannister. Old as balls, right?
Davos: Also, Tywin’s mouth is writing checks his ass can’t cash. Stannis, though… Check this. [shows mangled hand] That’s a debt collection you can take to the bank.
HBC: [begins mentally drafting new banking procedures involving hands as liens]
Never has a banker been more interesting to me, guys. I loved this scene.
Cut to Hot Tub Pirate Party when Salladhor is telling an old yarn to some ladies as Davos sneaks in.
“So I’m taking a whizz next to this Little Person dressed head to toe in green and he’s got the biggest wang I’ve ever seen. He catches me looking at him, and I point out that I wasn’t looking at his size, but rather his ‘size.’ His dong was longer than he was tall, you feel me? He winks at me and tells me he’s a Leprechaun. And as sure as he can grant gifts to others, he can grant them to himself. I asked him to give me a dick that big, and he said sure, but first I’d have to let him put it in me arse. Well, couldn’t say no, could I? So we go in the corner and he climbs up my back and starts going at it without so much as a slick finger, grunting and sweating, and starts asking me questions!
“’What’s your name?’ he asked.
“Salladhor, I says, fighting for breath.
“’And how old are you?’
“Forty-two, I reply, groaning a lot. He thrust in to the hilt and says–
“Salladhor, what’s a man of the age of forty-two still doing believing in leprechauns?” one of the ladies finishes for him. /trombone noise
Davos speaks up, wantng him to quit telling the same damn joke over and over and load up: they’s goin’ huntin’ for treasure. Yeah, that’s a no. Davos drops some serious coin down and saunters off with the assurance that he’s getting his way.
Guys? Everything about the Iron Bank and Braavos is making me happy.
You know what else is making me happy? Everything about Yara Greyjoy, because chick gets things done. She reads the “dick in box” letter to her men, ramping them up to save their prince, to save their name, to save their honor. This is all intercut with Ramsay getting some, and I have never had a more confused boner.
The Ironborn sneak onto the beach at nightfall, the sounds of Ramsay’s enthusiastic sex drowning out their climbing the walls, and they kill several guards, making their way to the dog pens where Theon is kept. Oh, but Theon won’t leave. Theon has the biggest case of PTSD in all the land. Precious moments are lost trying to convince Theon to leave, giving Ramsay enough time to pull on his pants and grab some guards and weapons. (Wow, kitty has claws, by the way! I mean, I figured he liked it rough, but yeesh.)
The two sides fight, Theon slips back into his cage claiming he’s Reek, he’s a good boy, is Reek, loyal and true. The dogs are going bananas–the dogs trained to eat people–and Ramsay gets the chance to block Reek from Yara and waggle the key to the dog cages. “How fast can you run?” he asks.
Cut to Yara and her men running back to their ship. “My brother is dead.” Girl knows when to cut her losses. Ugh, this was so awful.
Ramsay wants to reward Reek for being so good. And so begins the most ominous tubby-time in the history of bathing. Is he going to hurt Reek? (Seriously: Theon is gone. That is Reek.) Is Ramsay going to drown him? …he actually has a lovely bath for Reek. Huh. And washes him off gently. Huh. Wow, is Reek scarred up. That PTSD is pretty understandable. We get to the reason for the niceties: Ramsay wants Reek to role play for him. Reek is going to pretend to be Theon Greyjoy and go back home. WOW. Theon just makes me sad, guys. What a freaking excellent sleeper agent, right?
I need a break from all of this dread. Enter: tranquil scene of wee baby goatlings bleeting happily in the sunshine, and one little boy with a golden throat heard yodle-odle-ady-odle-ay-heeHOLY SHIT THAT IS A DRAGON, and that dragon feels like having some cabrito for lunch, a little kid-flambe fresh off the hoof. Ahaha, oh my gosh, that was so awesome. And poor young goatherd. He’s going to need to change his trousers. Hey, at least Dany’s baby didn’t eat the kid, right? Err, the human kid. It most definitely ate the goat kid.
Cut to Dany seeing her new citizens and hearing their complaints. The worst part of being a ruler, right? Especially when one of them drops their charred livestock on the ground and mentions her baby did it? Hmm, better pay him three times the amount for his loss. Hey, this is easy!
Enter Hizdhar zo Loraq. “So…I’m all in favor of new leadership, big ups on the whole listening to people and stuff, my dad and I super love this city, so thanks for not destroying it.
Dany: Cool! And you’re welcome. I’d love to meet your dad.
HzL: That’s going to be tough because you killed him, and he was the one guy totally against that whole crucify thing. =|
Dany: …oh. Well, the masters were all bad with the killing children and nailing them along the roadside, so he’s bad by default. Or something?
HzL: I get how this works, so I’m not going to argue too much, just ask politely if I can bury my dad with dignity. I won’t try and excuse the others, just my dad. I’m a pretty solid guy, right? And handsome? And respectful?
Dany: Okay, so this is what Selmy meant by that whole leniency thing. Eesh. Yeah, you do that with your dad, um, sorry for killing the one good Master? [to Jorah] So this sucks.
We have Oberyn’s first meeting with the Small Council to enjoy, and he’s seriously the greatest thing on the show right now. On a show of great things, he is the greatest. Gotta love a prince who’s a good guy, loves boning, and is sarcastic. That’s a Hat Trick of perfection right there.
Also fantastic: the complete bootlick wonk that is Lord Tyrell, Lap Dog to Tywin Lannister, Kisser of Arse, First of His Name to Bow and Scrape So Completely. He is the ultimate Dork Dad. I half expected him to be wearing black socks with Velcro-strap sandals.
The meeting starts with a bounty on the Hound, a reminder that Dany is being bad ass and conquering things, has knights advising her, has the Unsullied and Sellswords – the best of the best of the Sellswords, actually. Cersei makes a joke about baby dragons not being threatening. WOMAN, YOU WOULD NOT SAY THAT IF YOU HAD BEEN THAT GOATHERD. Cersei, you are being very closed-minded about this Dany situation. Bitter, much?
Oberyn says, “The Unsullied I’ve seen first hand. They’re awesome on the battlefield. Less impressive in the bedroom.” Ahahaha.
Later, Uncle Fester (Varys) and Oberyn have a meeting of the Mutual Admiration Yet I’m Still Skeptical And Leery Of You Society. And they’re leery with good reason. They both know things about one another that aren’t common knowledge. And then we learn that Varys is basically asexual, and not because of the forced castration. He’s just not into it. “The absence of desire leaves one free to pursue other things.” [glances at the iron throne] Oho!
…wait. Does this mean Varys wants to sit on the throne? Because I’ve always thought he just wants to control who’s there. He’s the better version of Littlefinger – manipulate and control from behind, but in Fester’s case, it’s so he can be happy and safe (and powerful) in a safe city.
Jaime goes to collect Tyrion for his trial, and I just love how we’re seeing that Jaime really does care for his brother.
Tyrion is led into the courtroom where it’s jam-packed. Big ticket in KL, this event. (Someone hollers “Kingslayer” from the audience. And ha, that could mean either brother, really.) Tommen, sitting on the throne, recuses himself from the trial, handing power over to GranPopPop Tywin. In that moment, Tyrion looks genuinely proud of his nephew–the good one–yet still manages to look resigned to his fate. Jaime stands to the side, visibly supporting his brother while Cersei sits opposite, grimly pleased with everything. Tywin takes his seat on the throne and feels the power shoot up his spine. This family is a hot mess.
This farce of a trial begins. First Witness, Ser Meryn.
Ser Meryn: He slapped Joffrey in the face twice, called him names, was sarcastic to me and made me angry when I was simply trying to beat a half-naked Sansa under my King’s orders. Kill him.
Tywin: Hmm, compelling evidence.
Grand Maester Flash: Wah wah wah wearing you all down with information wah poisons.
Oberyn: Get ON with it.
GMF: The imp had me imprisoned, made fun of my wrinkled dinkle, stole from my stock of ingredients, and the king was without question poisoned. Hey, here’s a necklace that was Sansa’s, found on the Drunken Jester’s body [WAIT. HOW DID IT GET BACK? Ooooh, Littlefinger!! Does that mean the Maester was in on it? I’m calling it: Littlefinger got his poison from GMF, and had the body of Drunken Jester delivered back to KL, to GMF in particular.] and traces of The Strangler–the poison that killed our most glorious, precious King, that dear sweet boy, the KINDEST CHILD WHO HAS EVER SET FOOT ON THIS-
Everyone: Dude. Come the hell on.
GMF: [mumbles and trembles and wets self as he steps down]
Cersei: Yeah, he’s told me over and over that he wanted my children to die (well, okay, just Joffrey) and wanted me to suffer. I don’t need to explain why he was pushed to say all of that, but you see my point. He made me mad, so he should die.
Oberyn: Uh…you said he said ‘a debt will be paid?’ [Let’s hear it for Oberyn not being just a pretty face!] What debt?
Cersei: He was keeping whores in the castle and I said to stop it.
Oberyn: That’s just how you keep a castle properly stocked, where I’m from.
Varys: Heeeeey, Tyrion… Remember how you thought I was on your side? I’m just going to relay everything you’ve said to me, but it will be delivered in a way that puts you in a terrible light, sorry.
Tyrion: OH MY GOD. You know that I saved this city, and you thanked me for it. Did you forget?
Varys: Nope [pops the P]. I don’t forget anything.
Clearly I do, because I feel like this is in reference to Varys being slighted somehow by Tyrion? Am I misreading that? Did I forget an episode?!
Jaime visits his father and begs him to stop this kangaroo court. In fact, he’ll stop being a Kingsguard, will go back to Casterly Rock, marry someone (BRIENNE. I VOTE FOR HER – just because they would make beautifully majestic and tall warrior babies), and carry on the Lannister line. Tyrion can spend the rest of his days at The Wall, alive. DONE, his father says, and wow, who wants to put money down on this whole farce of a trial being so farcical as a way to push Jaime into doing what Tywin wants? That’s where my money is.
Side note: Brits? Is that how you pronounce “dynasty?” DIN-astee? We say “DYE-nuh-stee” in the states. And we had a soap opera called that, so I’m pretty sure that’s the right way. Hahaha.
Back to court, but before it gets going, Jaime tells Tyrion to just hang on, to keep from smarting off, and this whole thing will work out with Tyrion becoming a Black Watch Knight. Aww, brothers!
AND THEN THE WORST THING EVER HAPPENS, OH MY HEART. Shae. Shae!! Oh, blessed, broken-hearted child of summer who loved Tyrion with everything in her. Someone has gotten to her, has threatened her, has exploited her hurt in some manner, because she turns on Tyrion in the most agonizing way ever. She says right off that he’s guilty, and that’s just the start. She insults him, lies about him, dishonors him, dishonors the love they shared, hell, she even dishonors Sansa, and Shae adored her. Oh, Shae! This brought me to actual tears, watching Tyrion’s heart shatter all over again, his quiet pleading for her to just stop. This is the last straw that will break his back. She even lies about why she called him “My Lion.” D: <– actual representation of my face.
Only good moment in this whole thing: when Shae says she first came into Tyrion’s service by him saying “Fuck me like it’s my last night in this world,” Oberyn asks her if she did with a naughty grin. I like how he pays attention to the things that are important.
And there is enough truth in what she’s saying, enough that is twisted, to make this whole deception cut as deep as possible. “I took his face in my hands, and I said I am yours and you are mine.” If you listen closely, you can hear the last pieces of Tyrion’s heart shatter when she says that. (Me, too!!)
He begs her softly to stop.
She turns back to the court and says he killed Joffrey to get Sansa to take him to bed.
SHAE. How could you?!
Tyrion quietly says he wishes to confess. Oh? Yes. He turns to the crowd and hisses, “I saved you. I saved this city… all your worthless lives. I should have let Stannis kill you all.” The crowd yells. “I’m guilty. Is that what you want to hear?”
Tyrion: Fine. I’m guilty of being a dwarf. [OOOH.] That’s what I’m on trial for, and have been my entire life. For being a disappointment, for killing my mother by the act of being born, by not looking how you want me to look. I didn’t kill Joffrey, but I wish that I had! Watching your vicious bastard die gave me more relief than a thousand lying whores! I wish I was the monster you think I am. I wish I had enough poison for the whole pack of you. I would gladly give my life to watch you all swallow it.
The crowd goes wild. I can barely catch my breath because Tyrion has wanted to say this since Day One. He has wanted to call people out on all of their prejudice his entire existence, and do it when they couldn’t turn away, couldn’t dismiss him, wanted to cut them as deeply as he’s been cut his entire life.
“I will not give my life for Joffrey’s murder,” he snarls at his father, “and I know I will get no justice here. So I will let the gods decide my fate. I demand a trial by combat.”
Jaime’s heart sinks, Cersei looks angry, and Tyrion…Tyrion is a ball of righteous fury.
How much do you want to bet that he’ll call Jaime to fight for him? Oh my god, that would be amazingly painful and wonderful. I have no idea if that’s possible (and don’t tell me if you’re a book reader, gah!) but wouldn’t that be the most wonderful wedge driven into House Lannister?
Guys, this had me wrung out. It wasn’t a full hour, not by a long shot (running time was what, 44 minutes?) but it felt like two. And I would have happily sat for another hour.
I still think Oberyn knows Tyrion isn’t guilty, but what does that matter now? Oh, I want Tyrion to make it, want him to systematically snap the necks of those who stood against him (but not Shae!) and I want to know who got to Shae to make her betray her Lion. [gross sobbing]
And I want a giant relief table with the map – especially Braavos – on it so I can play with the rolling coin, too. The graphics in this show are simply outstanding. My stomach is in knots, I am desperate for the next episode, and I swear to the gods of your choice, if Tyrion dies, I REVOLT.
Were you as blown away as me? (Obviously book readers aren’t shocked.) Oh, and that’s my reminder for you all that I am spoiler-free, cool people aren’t ruiners, and we love friendly chatter here that doesn’t ruin the discovery for folks like me. Now, if someone could give me a hug, I’m still smarting over Shae. CLICK HERE FOR THE NEXT EPISODE!
OH. Before I forget: next week I’m leaving early in the morning for a much needed vacation, so my goal is to get a recap written Sunday night OR record a video recap. But I will not forsake you, friends!