Game of Thrones 4.6 – The Laws of Gods and Men

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.

It's a little LoTR, but I don't care. This is BEAUTIFUL.

It’s a little LoTR, but I don’t care. This is BEAUTIFUL. Legit shivers over this.

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?

HBC: Correct.

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?

HBC: …yes?

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.

How you like me now?

How you like me now?

davos money 2

Quite a lot, actually. (This is the coolest transportation of coin I’ve seen.)

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.)

I'm not supposed to find him sexy, right? =/

I’m not supposed to find him sexy, right? =/

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.

God dammit, will this wonk ever stop embarrassing me?

God dammit, will this wonk ever stop embarrassing me?

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.

Jorah: [smirks]

...oops.

Feel bad, Dany? “Yeah.”

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?!

RECESS.

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!

Brothers don't shake hands! BROTHERS GOTTA HUG.

Brothers don’t shake hands! BROTHERS GOTTA HUG.

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?”

Tywin: Obv.

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.

If you look in the background, you should be able to see an Emmy.

If you look in the background, you should be able to see an Emmy.

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!

Please like & share:
  • Katy

    Varys ratting Tyrion out, no you didn’t forget an episode. THINGS are going to happen that are very interesting and VERY spoilery.

    SHAE. Poor Shae just trying to keep herself alive and she’ll be villified for it elsewhere. And poor Tyrion. GIVE DINKLAGE HIS EMMY NOW. PS very much looking forward to the trial by combat.

    Sooooooooooo much good stuff is coming up and as a book reader I cannot wait to see it on screen.

    • Okay, thank you for telling me that I hadn’t forgotten some Pivotal Scene – nd especially for not telling me what’s to come! Wow, this season is on FIRE.

      SHAE. I literally was sitting with a wobbly lip and tears in my eyes when she took the stand.

      Hahaha, my husband shouted, “NOOOOOO!” when it ended because he was expecting Something to happen. AND THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR KEEPING IT A SECRET.

      • Daniel

        As a book reader, I empathize with your husband.

        • HAHAHA! He had to go for a jog, he was so pent up. CLEARLY NEXT WEEK WILL BE AWESOME.

      • Lyanna Mormont

        We did have that scene in the beginning of the season, where Tyrion asks Varys to lie if he’s asked about Shae, and Varys says he won’t, because he only survives by telling the truth to the ones in power. I do believe there was quite a bit of that going on, what with his “Unfortunately I never forget” line.

        • Right, right. But I don’t know if that’s enough to turn Varys so sharply against him? Unless this is yet another long con of The Spider’s – this is one step of many to get to the end goal?

          • Lyanna Mormont

            Varys is one of those characters where you’re always left wondering what he’s really up to. He’ll tell you it’s “for the realm” or some such, but you just never know if he means that, and if so what he thinks is best for the realm, or WHO he thinks is best for the realm, or if it’s really all because he hates magic, or… Because he doesn’t give the long Bond villain monologues explaining everything. I love a villain who doesn’t monologue. (I’m looking at you, Littlefinger.)

            • Ivo

              He read the Evil Overlord List, didn’t he?

              #43: if the hero, prior to his execution, asks you to explain your Master Plan to him, say “no” and shoot him in the head. In fact, shoot him in the head and then say “no”.

              • Lyanna Mormont

                Varys WROTE the Evil Overlord list.

            • Varys really showed me how much he should be feared when we saw that sorcerer with is mouth sewn shut in a box. DAMN. I mean…I still sit with my mouth open and my head shaking over that one.

              • Ivo

                And dammit, we never got the rest of that story! Varys was about to tell Tyrion what really happened when he lost the Last Turkey In The Shop.

  • Ivo

    Yeah, that was a good one (said the bishop to the actress).

    Things I really liked: Obviously Tyrion. Obviously the Bankers of Braavos. Obviously Davos and Stannis because Davos and Stannis. Obviously Dany’s new throne room – Meereen has a serious pyramid fetish. Obviously Ramsey’s latest demonstration of being an utter, utter, utter (insert your favorite expletive here). I mean, that glance downwards and that smirk…Kill! Obviously anything with Oberyn because Oberyn. Pedro Pascal is just killing that role. He can write his own ticket after this. Charisma for DAYS.

    Things I like very slightly less: the anticlimactic (that’s a word, right?) ending to Yara’s Great Rescue Project. “Oh, you don’t want to go? Fair enough. kthxbye.”

    Great writing (although yeah I didn’t get the Ramsey sex scene bit either, unless it was to remind the dimmer viewers where Theon was?), great acting, great directing.

    If I was a goatherd I’d be wearing brown pants every day.

    • PEDRO PASCAL. Wow, I would watch him walk down the longest flight of stairs only to have him walk back up. Paint dry, read a newspaper, you name it.

      I actually enjoyed the Yara scene. I like that it shows her cognition in a pinch, her ability to process and make decisions. And while it’s terrible to leave Theon there, he was BITING her. Their lives were almost done for because they couldn’t get him to come with them. Well, now she’s seen for herself, and I can’t help but think this is setting us up for her realizing he’s damaged beyond repair when he goes back and acts like “himself.” Even though I really REALLY want him to pull a Jorah Mormont and deceive the deceivers.

      Same re: the Ramsay sex scene. It served the purpose of distraction so the Ironborn could get in.

      *snort* Goatherders should be required to wear brown pants!

    • Lyanna Mormont

      As long as we get more Yara later this season, I’m okay with this scene. But if that was it, I’m going to be seriously upset. I want MORE YARA!

      (Oh gods, Ramsay. So creepy. There are no words for how creepy he is.)

      • Ivo

        True, if there’s more Yara (and particularly more Yara and her ueber-creepy dad) I can deal with that. Perhaps the whole Theon Rescue Fiasco was necessary to set the scene for events at Pyke…

        • Lyanna Mormont

          This was a great character moment for Theon, I mean Reek. But I want the next one to be a character moment for Yara. I want her to be more than Theon’s sister who shows what he lacks.

  • Kit

    Another great review, as ever. And I love your love for Braavos–what a beautiful job the CGI guys did with that scenery. (And its bit in the opening sequence was so great–I wondered if they’d put it in there or not and I’m so glad they did, with the coin too, hee.) And the Iron Bank itself had such a pretty, austere set, and that scene was so, so great, acting and character-wise–Davos on fire for Stannis, Stannis awkward and determined, and Mark Gatiss being a perfectly smug banker with a hint of some serious intelligence. All the little bits of Braavosi worldbuilding–especially the coin carrier!–were great too.

    I love me some AshaYara, and I wish she had more to do here, but I love her love for Theon, and it was kind of heartbreaking to watch them meet here, even if only briefly. Theon is so, so broken and Alfie Allen is doing a great job of selling it.

    Emilia Clarke doesn’t always sell me on her Dany–I find her somewhat one-note, which I think is a combo of Emilia’s newness at acting and the writing for her–but she was wonderfully 3D and human this episode. (Plus her outfit was great, as was Missandei’s.) And I’m intrigued by Hizdahr–I didn’t always like him in the books, but he pops here so far, so kudos to the casting on that. The little looks Barristan and Jorah give Dany in places here–especially when Dany’s all “212 supplicants?!?” and Jorah’s like “Gurl, this is what ruling IS”–are great.

    And then the Lannister family dysfunction on show for everyone to see–perfect. Tyrion’s speech is ripped pretty directly from the book, IIRC, and Peter Dinklage sold that hard. I’ve wanted to see him give that speech since the show started, basically, so I’m glad he didn’t disappoint (not that I thought he would!) The bit players outside the family–Mace, Oberyn, Varys, Shae, Meryn Trant, Pycelle–were all done so well too. (I love Conleth Hill’s voice as Varys. TV characters don’t always jive with book imagery while reading and vice-versa, but both Tyrion and Varys look and sound a lot like Peter Dinklage and Conleth Hill, respectively, when I re-read now.)

    Good ep, and the promo for 4×07 has me squealing internally at Sansa’s storyline (my very favorite bit of it, I think, thus far), so more to look forward to next week!

    • Aww, thanks! And Braavos gave me CHILLS. It was huge!! A full, proper city – which makes sense, considering it’s the Bank for the world and has been there for centuries. Ugh, world building is my favorite! The marble halls, the ornate chairs, the stone bench for supplicants… AWESOME.

      Dany’s scenes have usually revolved around her standing proudly, standing defiantly, or standing and yelling. Not a lot of room to emote, I agree. But there was some worry, some second guessing, and some serious humble pie eating this ep, right?

      Oh, I’m happy to hear you were pleased with Tyrion’s speech! That had to have been an amazing scene to read, so that’s so great to hear it felt right. Conleth Hill is ASTOUNDING in this role. He utterly pulls focus in the best of ways, and I just want to crawl inside and see what makes Varys tick.

      I am going through massive withdrawals today. I NEED MORE STORY, omg. I cannot wait until next week!!

      • Ivo

        On an unrelated note, I found myself reading some Cordwainer Smith recently. If you like world-building….wow.

      • Ivo

        So far my favorite Varys moment is during the dwarf act at Joffrey’s wedding. One of the dwarves bumps into Varys and his face……

      • Kit

        Worldbuilding is my favorite, too (one of the major reasons why I love the books so much is their worldbuilding), and I love Braavos and…yes. Just yes, yes, yes. Good job, HBO. Great set design and all three of those men have such great voices, too–I kind of just wanted to sit in between them and let their voices wash over me while taking in the austere beauty of the Iron Bank. With peeks outside occasionally for that Braavosi skyline, yes good.

        I can’t comment too much on Dany this ep without falling down Spoiler Hole but, yes. Wonderful to see the humility/humble pie eating, and I’m glad to see Emilia doing it well so far.

        Conleth is AMAZEBALLS. So, so, so good. From his voice to his sneaky magnetism to his body language, just everything is perfect and quietly arresting and so well tailored to the character.

        I’m so glad to see non readers getting into this bit–it’s some of the rawest, strongest, meatiest material in the entire series, and I can’t imagine what it feels like to have to wait another week to see more, haha. (It was hard enough waiting the time it takes for your eyes to read and your fingers to turn the pages.) Kudos to you all on not losing your shit completely and just looking up all the answers right now.

        • Varys is just such a COMPLETE character. That is an actor who knows who he is playing inside and out, has considered every little detail. That’s what truly separates good actors from great actors. How do you stand when you’re listening? How do you listen? (Most actors think of their lines when so much can be said when you’re not speaking!)

          And for the record, I am having HEART PALPITATIONS over needing the rest. But I am strong and will not cheat! BUT IT IS KILLING ME.

          • Kit

            Yes, exactly. Master class in acting and character inhabitation by Conleth. <3

            Ahaha. Don't worry, Laura–I think you will be more than rewarded for staying strong.

            • Ha! YAY. I’m a big fan of rewarding good behavior!

          • Ivo

            Plus, it’s more fun to just make shit up! The hell with “getting it right” (particularly since the show seems to be going in places where the books never went, and good for them), just roll with it.

            I wonder if Littlefinger is ever going to act on the knowledge that Arya’s still alive (and last seen pouring wine at Harrenhall)? Because of course he recognized her…

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Oh, man. The Sansa/Lysa preview. *twitches*

      Conleth Hill is amazing. So are all the Lannister actors, but they get credit for that all the time. CONLETH!

      And yes, Braavo on Braavos.

      • Kit

        *froths at mouth about the Eyrie next week*

        Conleth is my king! And, heh. Braavo on Braavos. Maybe in modern times they have a TV station named Braavo as well. *rimshot*

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Yes, Jorah and Barristan have some of the best reaction moments. Those looks they exchange in the backgrounds say so much.

      And I loved that Barristan got some recognition from the Small Council! Varys all sneaking in a stab at Cersei for dismissing him, and Tywin agreeing. Being old doesn’t make him useless.

  • Magamus

    Varys lost his baby-maker when he was a kid, so that might be the reason to why he aint diggin the lollipop or the v-lips?
    Can’t wait for the next episode, shits getting real. The last two episodes have been really satisfying compared to the rest of them. (As a book-reader atleast)

    • I’m thinking the same thing – he don’t swing on the vine or lay on the rug because of his age. Then again, Grey Worm was feeling Missandei pretty hard, and he lost his tackle – pole and tackle? – really young, too.

      SHIT IS GETTING SO REAL, AGREED. I can imagine you book readers are bouncing in your seats, waiting.

      • Lyanna Mormont

        (Books say Unsullied are cut “root and stem.”)

        • Ivo

          And I think Varys said the same about his Close Shave.

        • GAH. And good to know! That’s how Varys was treated, so okay. That’s the preferred method in Westeros. *shivers*

  • Lyanna Mormont

    This episode. Actually, these last few episodes.

    (Hey, it’s really the Lannister sibs’ season, isn’t it? Two weeks ago it was all about Jaime. Last week was Cersei, and now it’s Tyrion’s turn.)

    Braavos was perfect. Well, the banker was perfect, and Davos, and seeing Salladhor Saan again. I wish Stannis had managed to cough up something more compelling than “my right! my blood!” – like something about they could be sure he’d pay them back, and then Davos could step in with his speech about his fingers – but that’s a minor complaint compared to all that was good.

    I needed MORE Yara! It was heartbreaking to see her accept that Theon was gone, and even more so to see that Theon really IS gone and there’s only Reek now – “Reek! Reek! My name is Reek!” – but I need more Yara. Maybe in a later episode. And oh crap, that bath scene was the creepiest that ever creeped. Call it PTSD, call it brainwashing, call it Stockholm Syndrome. Making Reek PRETEND to be Theon… gah. And his eyes. And his scars all over. And the look of GLEE on Ramsay’s face when Reek took his britches off and he could see his handiwork. Gaaaahhhhh.

    Dany’s throne room, well, they sure managed to pack in a lot of hints of complications in a fairly short scene. And wow, did I call it with the question of whether she crucified the “right” masters or not. Although now I’m inevitably wondering whether Hizdahr zo Loraq is telling the truth, or just making himself look good to Dany. Always suspecting everybody, I am, and I blame this series for it! (Well, it hasn’t helped.)

    Oh God, Mace in that Small Council scene. Trying to throw his weight around with Oberyn, all “I’m the Master of Ships! I was here before you!” then getting cut off in his attempt to suck up to Tywin, then acting like it was an honor to be asked to fetch the quill and paper. (Look, Ma, he chose ME for this important task!) And Oberyn smirking all the way through it. And Cersei uninterested in everything because all she can think about is getting Tyrion executed for killing her son. And Tywin with the letter writing again. (Gah, Red Wedding flashbacks.) And Varys with all the information.

    Varys and Oberyn – I love it. I’m so happy when they give Oberyn scenes that are not just “Sex! revenge for Elia! more sex!” because it could so easily become one-note. But he gets to talk to Cersei, and Varys, and he writes poetry and talks about his daughters, and he’s a real damn character and not just Inigo Montoya. No, I don’t think Varys wants to sit on the throne. I think he’s very interested in being the power behind the throne. Which probably means he has an interest in who does sit the throne. (And also, asexuals represent! Now we just need a lesbian, and we’ll have the whole rainbow spectrum.)

    Oh, by the old gods and the new. That trial. Sorry, Jaime – I meant “that farce.” And all the witnesses are talking about things that actually did happen. Oh, Tyrion. All that cockiness we’ve loved so much is coming back to bite him now. And then Jaime made that deal with Tywin, and for a moment I really wanted Tyrion to go join the Night’s Watch and become the next Lord Commander, with Jon as the First Ranger. Surely with Tyrion and Sam together, they could figure out how to defeat the White Walkers. Tyrion and Sam! I could totally (friend)ship that. And Tyrion and Jon haven’t met since Season 1, but they were friends.

    But then Shae walks in, and the look on Tyrion’s face… Gods. My heart. And I’m wondering what they did to her, or threatened her with, or paid her, or promised her… It wasn’t ALL the broken heart, was it? Did she tell herself “Well, if I’m only a whore, I should get paid as much as I can”?

    (Honestly, though, Tyrion’s rant at the audience was the one part that took me out of it a bit. I found myself staring at Peter Dinklage’s exaggerated lip movements instead of paying attention to what he said. Everything else was brilliantly acted, but that part… Didn’t do it for me.)

    You could just see Jaime’s heart fall when Tyrion ruined any chance of that deal he’d just made with their father. And maybe wondering whether he could fight in a trial by combat with his left hand. And then we end on those four Lannisters staring each other down, with The Rains of Castamere rising in the background… Magnificent.

    • Ivo

      Fair point about Stannis and his one-note argument, but that is so him though. For Stannis, all this is really simple: he has the best claim so he should be king. He is unwilling/unable to come up with anything beyond that. Good thing he has Davos “Mini-digits” at his side.

      • Mike

        This was why I love the way they’ve written Stannis’ dialog for TV (or rather, NOT written too much). He’s right. That’s the end of the story. YOU should get it because HE gets it. No complain, no explain.

        • Lyanna Mormont

          You both make a good point. I just think that Stannis is very capable of saying that unlike others, he will make sure they get their money back. Sure, leave the singing of praises to Davos, but that much isn’t really beneath Stannis, is it?

    • That seriously was the creepiest, most ominous bath in the history of personal hygeine. Ramsay’s pleasure at the no doubt wicked-looking scar where Theon’s favorite toy once was… GAH. He is a monster, through and through. And a clever one, too, which is the worst kind.

      I’ll have you know that I was thinking of you when that scene with Dany played out! I wasn’t sure if that comment of Selmy’s was hinting at anything, and I will never doubt my smart readers again. :D

      My thought was Varys could get behind Dany as queen. Maybe when he sees the dragons in action he’ll sign on the dotted line. Or anyone Baelish roots for, Varys will try to destroy. Hahaha.

      Shae… Oh her heartbreak and devastation in being cast aside was so painful to see displayed in such a way!! Poor Tyrion. (And ha, I actually thought Peter underplayed the role this time! His accent has been slipping a bit in previous episodes, and I’ve been made aware of his Choices As An Actor with regards to inflection and physicality, but this time I was right there with him, as Tyrion. But to each his own!)

      If Jamie can’t stand in for Tyrion, there’s always Bronn! The final scene with the Lannisters angry and staring at one another with the Rains of Castamere playing – foreshadowing? They’ll be their own undoing?

      • Lyanna Mormont

        Oh, I totally bought the “confession” when it was aimed at Tywin. It was the “I saved you all! I should’ve let Stannis kill you!” that didn’t reach all the way to the heights I’m used to. (And yes, his pronounciation sometimes… the Os comes to mind. But everything else more than makes up for it.) But as soon as he locked eyes with Tywin, the magic was back.

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Also, somebody pointed out that this was the first episode ever that didn’t have a single Stark in it. I hadn’t even realized it, but it’s totally true.

      But we get Sansa next week! *twitches*

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Also also, Dynasty Schmynasty. The Moldavian Massacre had nothing on the Red Wedding!

  • LEW

    I think I mentioned before that the thing I really love about these are your honest and sincere reactions to this show’s big events. Good or bad. Joffrey’s death, or Shae’s return. The Red Wedding or the introduction of Prince Oberyn “Coolest Dude in Westeros” Martell.

    Anyway, I’m sure I’ve articulated that better in previous comments (or, you know, that one…)

    I too loved the Braavos scene. I think Stannis and Davos need to take their show on the road, or at least star in an MTV reality show called “Grumpy and Stumpy” (you know, because of Davos’s stumpy little fingers…okay, forget it.) Stannis will just pout pitifully in the corner, and Davos will throw truth and money around all smuggler-smugly.

    Fun Fact: I actually got to watch this episode live on HBO because I was in a hotel room for my brother’s graduation, and my other brother there was next to me, waiting for Veep to start, and when the Dreadfort scene started, I was just begging, out loud, for Asha/Yara/ASHA, though! to kill Ramsay. Even though I knew it probably wouldn’t happen like that (stupid books!) and my brother thought I was a crazy person…

    “No. You just don’t understand! He’s- OH GOD, WHAT’S HE GOING TO DO NOW WITH THAT BATH? IS IT LYE? IT’S PROBABLY LYE! THEON, DON’T…NOOOOOO”

    I shouldn’t watch this show with other people.

    Then there’s Dany, being all totalitarian (in a semi-benevolent kind of way), but I kind of felt like she missed the correct comeback when that one guy (just kidding, I know him, I just don’t want to spell out that name) started talking about his SUPER-NICE slaver daddy who totally didn’t want to crucify those kids that he helped enslave with the other slavers.

    And the trial. I can’t really say (when I read it) that I expected anything different, and neither, I think, did Tyrion. You know as soon as the little shit raised his arm with his dying gasp and pointed at Tyrion that all of the slaps and the threats and the outsmarts were running through Tyrion’s head in a decidedly less-proud kind of way. This is where the best and worst of Tyrion’s Tyrionness (Tyriony?) comes back to haunt him.

    He wasn’t expecting Shae, though. Or that profound heartbreak. Or to finally deliver that speech he’s wanted to give his whole life…which was amazing.

    Which means I think Peter Dinklage can reasonably expect an Emmy.

    • Haha, it’s a good thing you don’t mind my spastic flailing, because that’s what you’re getting! :D Also, LOL at Grumpy and Stumpy. Nice.

      My husband is a good guy for putting up with me when I watch this show, I tell you. There’s a lot of shocked yelling, shocked pointing, shocked crying… I’m a mess, basically.

      And good point about HZL’s dad being nice BUT STILL A SLAVER.

      I didn’t expect anything good for Tyrion in this trial, either, and may I give you all the kudos for coining Tyriony? *kisses fingers* BRILLIANT. OMG, next week cannot come soon enough, let me tell you.

      • LEW

        Honestly, I prefer my flailing spastic. Otherwise, it just looks ridiculous. Or gets confused with typical, lackaday gesturing.

        Messy TV viewing is the best kind of TV viewing, in my opinion. I mean, it’s the kind that’ll get you yourself on TV, if those Red Wedding reaction videos are any indication. When I read the “Reek” chapters, I basically just had a disgusted snarl on my face that was not out of place among the happy subway commuters of this last Chicago Winter. Flailing and yelling and shocked pointing is much preferable.

        Even if your brother or husband or fell0w bar patrons judge you a little bit.

        If you use Tyriony in your next recap, I shall swell with pride. And then sue you. JUST KIDDING! FULL PERMISSION! I SWEAR!

        So who do you think the crown’s champion will be?

        • Ivo

          Hey, reading in public is fun with anything. I have fond memories of shocking my fellow BART passengers while reading Alan Moore’s “The Bojeffries Saga” and snorting coffee out my nose.

          “They come here, they eat our women, they sleep with our food…”

        • “When I read the “Reek” chapters, I basically just had a disgusted snarl on my face” – haha! WOW, DO I GET IT! I think the worst reaction to a book I’ve had yet was to physically fling Cold Mountain across the room when I got to the end, shouting HOW DARE YOU? Ooh, that was a bad one.

          I always credit jokes I steal! I mean, reference! Ahahaha. You know, I think Dany is going to win the gold. I mean: dragons. Plus, we were talking an ep or two ago about dragonfire most likely being a way to kill White Walkers, should they make it that far.

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Ramsay seriously makes me want to hide behind the furniture and peek between my fingers. Gah. And then he goes and gets even creepier with his gentle washing and “Do you love me, Reek?” and I just. I… If anything on this show was going to give me nightmares, that would be it right there.

  • Emma

    Ramsay is disturbingly sexy and that’s all I have to say about that.

    (The bf thinks this is a new low for my love for the bad boys.)

    I want Jamie to fight for the crown’s side and lose on purpose.

    • Ha! I am all about those nice boys, let me tell you. Oooh, give me a sweetheart that treats me fine! But…yeah. I know what you mean about Ramsay. I’d want to Black Widow him, though, if we slept together. I wouldn’t trust him! :D

      Oooooooooj, Jaime fighting on the crown’s side and losing! I didn’t even THINK of that! BRILLIANT.

      • Emma

        Just to not give you the wrong idea; in real life I’ll have me a good boy, panties hands down.

        On TV though… Logan Echolls…

        • Dear sweet eight pound baby Jesus, Logan Echolls. YAAAAASSSS.

      • Joshua

        Umm, yeah, hi… Just so you know Laura, a trial by battle is a fight to the death, so you might wanna re-think that…

        • GOOD POINT. Yes, do not want. No me gusta. Ich möchte nicht, dass. D:

    • Lyanna Mormont

      But isn’t trial by combat to the death? Or was that just in the Eyrie because Lysa is crazy? No, wait, the Hound/Beric duel was to the death as well.

      … Would Jaime give his life for Tyrion? He was willing to give up the life he chose for him, but he’d still have been alive.

      • I don’t think Jaime would give up his life unless something happened to Cersei, honestly.

  • Colleen

    LAURA IT HURTS!!!

    So the couples in Westeros that genuinely love each other, they usually wind up with one/both of them dead, but Tyrion and Shae, that’s the worst. It’s probably better to be dead than to have to tell vicious lies about the person you love. Is it ok to be mad at Shae there? Because she could have made EVERYTHING up, everyone would have believed her, but she didn’t, she put the real stuff in there and man if that doesn’t sting the worst. If Peter Dinklage does not will all the the awards, we must riot! … and eventually I must stop getting teary thinking about this.

    Oberyn! Yes! On this show of awesomeness he is by far the MOST awesome. I sincerely love how mind f**** he was by Varys’ asexuality. In Oberyn’s world, this is just an impossibility. It’s almost like he was Inigo Montoya “I do not think that means what you think it means…”

    Hooray for Mycroft the Banker! AGREED that everything about Braavos is awesome. Imagine how much cooler it will get when Tits in a Hot Tub releases their first cd and goes on tour?

    Also Ramsay, I’m confused about the scratches. Did his vicious archer girlfriend do that to him or did the Squids? I miss the Starks. We had no Starks. :(

    However, one thing towers above all other things this episode, and perhaps you and I can agree that it was Jorah’s sexy smirk?

    • SHAE!!!!!! You could see that she still hurts, that she’s still angry – furious with him – and so very, very hurt by his dismissal. She’d been led to believe she could forget her “whore” status and was just his lover, his LOVE. And he threw the whore line at her to make her leave, and oh, how that stung. She’s stinging back, but I will eat my computer if someone isn’t behind this, maybe even saying this will get him out of KL for good where she can have him, spend the rest of their long lives together making up for it?

      You can totally be my bassist in Tits In A Hot Tube. Our bumper stickers are awesome. :D RAMSAY. Gorl, those were sex scratches! Those were made by her clawing and scratching at him, because they are fuh-REAKS in the sheets.

      NOT A SINGLE STARK TO BE FOUND. But the sexy rumble and playful smile from my One True Voice Love Jorah made up for that. Especially him all cleaned up in his armor, YES PLEASE.

    • Kit

      “Mycroft the Banker” oh god /r/gameofthrones had a great thread on puns/cross-quotations off of this theme. “Caring is not an advantage, Stannis” was my favorite, but I also liked “Stannis, how are you enjoying your exile?”/”It’s only been four books!” (Entire list is at http://www.reddit.com/r/gameofthrones/comments/25bla1/season_4_spoilers_premiere_discussion_406_the/chfkqjq, my HTML skills are lacking unfortunately. No book spoilers yet and people are pretty good at blacking out over there but hey.)

  • Ivo

    But giving up his life wouldn’t have helped Tyrion, it simply would have meant two dead Kingslayer Brothers. I’d also bet money that the Kingsguard has a non-compete clause or something.

  • Colleen

    OMG Kit you just made my day with that!! Laura, I am going to go learn bass now, Braavos or Bust!!

    • Kit

      Haha, glad I could amuse someone! I busted out laughing at “brother deer,” so hey.

  • I was cheering for Tyrion at the end of that one – SHIZZLES GONNA GO DOWWWNN. And yes, that is how you pronounce dynasty, we invented the language in Ingerland-Land so we must be right.
    Also, I’m wondering whether Littlefinger and Varys collaborated together to meet their own agendas – but no, right?

    • OMG, I lol’d at “we invented the language” YOU’LL NEVER GET ME TO PRONOUNCE IT YOUR WAY! Then again, I live in Texas where most of our places are Spanish-named or from the native people, so it’s fun for me to hear people try to pronounce “Bexar” or “Nacodotches.” :D

      I think Littlefinger and Varys are absolute rivals, myself. I don’t think they’d DARE show a card from their hand to the other!

  • JadedDM

    “Hey, at least Dany’s baby didn’t eat the kid, right? Err, the human kid. It most definitely ate the goat kid.”

    Fun fact: In the books, it was the human kid. I guess they changed it because that was too gruesome even for HBO?

    • Oh, no way!! Ahahaha. I mean, why WOULDN’T the dragon eat that tasty treat?! Then again, that would be another human on Dany’s hands, so I see why they went with the goats as a morsel.

    • Ivo

      *arm-flapping hush gestures*

      Shhhh!

    • Jeremey

      Idiot. The story, it is not done.

      • Ivo

        “Fun fact” indeed. Fun for whom?

      • Hey, thank you for looking out for me! (But let’s not call people idiots. If they come back with more “helpful hints” then I’ll conk ’em with the Ban Hammer.) <3

        My regular book readers = awesome peeps.

        • JadedDM

          I’m not a book reader; I’m in the dark as much as anyone else. Someone else told me about the ‘fun fact,’ I didn’t realize it somehow constituted as a spoiler. Sorry.

          • No worries! You didn’t spoil the Red Wedding. :) and I cautioned the other person about name calling. We don’t do that here.

            Thanks for coming to clarify, too! Carry on with your awesome self! <3

  • Maxwell James

    Shae. Damn. I knew that scene would hurt, and did it ever. Dinklage was fabulous of course, but Sibel Kekilli was also tremendous, and has done fine work in what could easily have been a thankless role.

    Westeros needs more bands like Tits in a Hot Tub (whose music I imagine as oddly soothing, Beach House-style dream pop). Too many of the bands they have are so very sad.

    • I’m not using hyperbole when I say that scene with Shae and Tyrion had me in tears. Oh, they NAILED that scene and it hurt so, so much. Sibel is mesmerizing and crawled right into me with her portrayal of Shae. Her eyes flitted between lost and so, so sad and righteous fury – I was blown away by her.

      Tits In A Hot Tub – they’re just a party band, you know? Out to have a good time? They’re seriously underground, though, because the currents tastes are all that angst-metal (aka, the clashing of swords) that’s all the rage. Westeros kids these days…

  • Ivo

    And they only have two songs!
    Actually,there’s lots of good Westerosi bands:
    The Kingslayer Brothers
    Stormborn
    Fuck the King
    etc, etc…

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Two songs and some religious hymns.

      And now I’m remembering Sam singing about how much the Father loves his children to Gilly. Was that the worst choice ever or what?

      I bet one of those bands – Fuck the King, probably – could do to a song of the Seven what Sex Pistols did to God Save the Queen.

  • Ivo

    “Now playing at the Red Keep, LIVE, it’s FUCK THE KING ohnowait, they’re arrested and dead.”

    • Lyanna Mormont

      “Instead, we offer new band Brotherfucker… Nope, not them either. Um, is anyone still alive there?”

      • Ivo

        *cricket sounds*
        *tumbleweed blowing across stage*

  • Porkpie

    Excellent review, as always. :)

    And now may I politely request whenever the HBC speaks that you invoke the George Banks talk-sing extravaganza?!?! That made my morning.

    I thought of you when I watched the ep last night with my weekly viewing party, specifically when Tyrion and Jaime were walking down the aisle to face trial. When the townspeople cried “Kingslayer!” we all quipped for about five minutes about which brother they were calling, and then proceeded to try and one up each other, debating whether Jaime should now be called “Kingslayer Classic” and if they would have performed the “Who me?” skit from Night at the Roxbury, if given the chance. . .

    CANNOT WAIT until next week!!!

    • Ahahaha, I’m so glad you got the George Banks reference! :D

      Tyrion Lannister in Kingslayer Part 2: This time they mean it!
      Jamie Lannister: The Kingslayeriest!
      [forties PSA voice] Don’t settle for imitation! Four out of Five Westeros Kingdoms recommend the original Kingslayer, Jaime Lannister! He gets the job done. [Jaime turns to the camera and his teeth gleam]

      IS IT SUNDAY YET??

      • Lyanna Mormont

        So next, we get Return of the Kingslayer?

        • EPISODE SEVEN: THE KINGSLAYER STRIKES BACK. And slays yet another king!

  • aw, Braavos looks cool, and yes someone shares my appreciation on how they designed the coin transport bag.

    poor goat kid.

    little catch: Note that Littlefinger mentioned earlier in the series about how he’d have young boys for Varys, and now Oberyn knows that Varys isn’t interested in -that- way in anyone. So, people think Varys meets with the boys for one reason, when really it’s another, less icky purpose…

    • The tubes to contain and still display the coins PLUS the awesome leather box/container = so, so cool. Money-money-money-MON EH! MONey!

      Varys uses little boys as his little BIRDS. *taps side of nose* He’s such a fascinating character.

  • Richard

    This show just blows my mind in terms of casting choices. From the kid actors to veteran thespians everyone is just peeking their roles at the right time. Tyrion had been relegated to the bench for much of the story after his Blackwater (sort of like how Jaime rotted in a cell for an entire season). Yet from his “I’ve been pardoned yes?” to his epic rant it’s just a forceful reminder that he could be the “lead” of this massive cast. The raw pain and venomous rage was oozing from my TV as he finally came out and told them EXACTLY how he felt.

    I wouldn’t bet against your prediction Laura about how this was all part of Tywin’s “plan to get Jaime back”. considering how fast he said “Done”, and the look of disbelief on how easy it was from Jaime (when he realized he just got played by his father). It certainly looked staged. Tywin doesn’t deal with single moves, and getting Tyrion sent to the wall while getting Jaime and Cercei sorted out seems the kind of thing Tywin would do.

    It’s sad that the real truth behind that rant was altogether familiar. Would Tyrion have been dealt differently if he was a handsome tall blonde Lannister like his siblings? I certainly would like to think Tywin (despite Tyrion killing Tywin’s love of his life) would have given his second son another chance. It’s the fact that he was different which really is why everyone persecuted him his entire life. It’s kind of odd but I had a flashback to Zach Snyder’s 300 Spartacus philosophy when dealing with “imperfect beings”. Toss em from the top of the cliff, cause we only have room for perfect tall muscular warriors in this society (and these were the good guys lol).

    On a side note, it really didn’t feel like 50min had passed. Either the editing/pacing was excellent or we’re seriously not getting enough story every week. I know HBO keeps insisting that it’s impossible to do more than 10 every year but I’d love it if an industry insider broke down the numbers to see how much a 12~15 episode season would cost over the current system.

    I could seriously spend an extra 15min listening to all the regal titles everyone has been accumulating (imagine Tommen commands his courtiers to announce Ser Pounce FIRST OF HIS NAME, SLAYER OF MICE, POUNCER OF JUSTICE, FIRST PET OF HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS KING OF THE ANDALS AND THE SEVEN KINGDOMS etc… Or seriously spend more time with Sallador tell more corny pirate jokes while uhh attended to his needs. Sigh if only…

    • Good night, it is the TRUTH, the actors in this show are in a league of their own. Excellence from person to person. (And the writing is very good, too – they’re all unique individuals!) Tywin, Tywin, Tywin… That man is a crafty one. To be a warrior as he is and to live as long as he had – and amassed the fortune he once had? He is definitely someone who knows how to move the pieces around on the board to trigger an action that benefits him.

      There’s definitely a point to be made about the treatment of people who are atypical in their bodies. Tyrion would absolutely not be treated in any such manner had he been born looking like another Jaime, in my opinion. And he’s spent a lifetime gaining every knowledge he could, living his life as if it would end by morning, and it still hasn’t made him happy, because he just wants to be a person and not a monster. “I wish that I was the monster you believe me to be!” Because then it wouldn’t hurt so much, would it?

      UGH, PETER DINKLAGE. YOU ARE KILLING ME. <3

      While I absolutely wouldn't argue against more episodes or longer episodes, I really think the editors should get massive props for how quickly paced the show is - and it works. As I watched this again, I was keeping in mind "where is the fat I would have trimmed to give me more courtroom drama?" And I couldn't think of a place. I loved the pirate joking in the tub. I loved the fact that Ramsay can go from a bout of lovemaking (ha) to fighting in the blink of an eye. Stannis waiting to be seen at the Iron Bank - all of those moments serve a purpose and didn't dawdle. Just my two cents. AND YES, GIMMIE 15 EPS A SEASON!

      Oh my gosh, there was one point where I worried that we were going to get Dany's lengthy introduction for each supplicant, so that was a relief. :D And your Ser Pounce title cracked me up! Hahaha.

      • Lyanna Mormont

        What I’ve always heard is that it’s not money that’s the obstacle to more episodes in a season, it’s time. Between writing, pre-production, shooting, post-production and editing… it takes up a full year, and then it’s time to start over again with the next season. The show runners pretty much live and breathe GoT 365 days a year. (Well, maybe they get a week off between seasons. You know, to spend some time with their families.)

        • Plus, there’s SO MUCH production that has to happen so we can get things on screen. They’re filming three action movies every year, essentially. :(

  • Ivo

    I just had to steal this from the Guardian comments, can’t resist a People’s Frnt of Judea reference:

    Tywin: So what does this girl have to threaten us?
    Varys: 8000 unsullied
    Oberyn: Oh yeah, I have seen em, very good with a spear
    Varys: And a pissed off Ser Barristan:
    Pycelle: Oh yes… Ser Barristan, Ty, you remember him, best fighter in Westeros, got mugged off by Joffrey:
    Tywin: All right, I’ll grant you that the 8000 unsullied and Ser Barristan are two things that she’s got.
    Cersei: And 3 dragons.
    Varys: And Ser Jorah
    Oberyn: And The Second Sons:
    Tywin: All right… all right… but apart from 8000 unsullied and two knights and 3 dragons and the second sons what does she have to threaten us?

    • Lyanna Mormont

      “Her main weapon is the army of Unsullied. And the Second Sons. Her TWO main weapons are the Unsullied and the Second Sons… and two knights. Her three most important weapons are the Unsullied, the Second Sons, two knights, and three dragons. Dammit! Amongst her weaponry….”

      • “Oh, but if I went around saying some fiery bint threw a dragon’s egg at me…”

        Tyrion: Help! I’m being repressed!

      • Ivo

        *swoon*
        I knew it.

    • OMG, that scene in The Life of Brian is BRILLIANT. And I’m just mad that I didn’t think of using a similar joke. ;D

      • Ivo

        There was actually a bit of a Monty Python shout-out in one episode, when little Shireen Baratheon chided Davos that he shouldn’t pronounce “knight” as “kuh-nigget”.
        “Now go away or I shall taunt you again.”

        • Maxwell James

          And there was this!

          (Which is admittedly cheating since it’s in a made-up language. But still.)

      • Laura Rezko

        I was going to make a Monty Python joke for the second episode. It went something like this: Why is there all this mystery around Joffrie’s death? It was the salmon mousse(should’ve used fresh!).

  • Gail

    Aw man, I’ve been dreading this moment with Shae for multiple seasons now. It hurts just as much as I thought it would. :( *has emotions, huddles with you and cries*

    I am soooooo in love with Oberyn, oh my god.

    If Peter Dinklage doesn’t get an Emmy nom, I’m done with the Emmys forever. (Not that I actually care about them, hah. But if he gets snubbed I will be full of righteous anger.) His speech is the most intense thing I’ve seen in a really long time! And it was really cathartic to hear.

    This show. Man. *endures more emotions*

    • *hugs it out* Ugh, Shae! I can’t imagine how much it must have sucked to see what a wonderful job the actors have done all along with these characters only to have it ripped away!

      Could Oberyn be more perfect? /Chandler voice

      For a moment you could believe that was Peter throwing that at everyone who has treated him poorly throughout his life. God, what a talented actor he is. Had me in the palm of his hand the entire time.

      • Gail

        She’s one of the characters who translated better on the screen than on the page. So when I started to really get into her relationship with Tyrion, a little piece of my heart screamed “NO GAIL, THIS WILL ONLY LEAD TO SORROW!” :'(

        Guh, Oberyn. Biggest ensemble darkhorse character in the whole series (to use a TV Tropes term!) and Pedro Pascal is just perfect in the role. I am so thrilled that he’s so well-characterized. With his every appearance I’m just like *grabby hands*, haha! He and Ellaria Sand are just THE HOTNESS. Guh.

        When the episode ended, I made this whiny sound. Fastest hour of television indeed!

        • Oh, my husband and I looked at each other in shock when the credits rolled, sat completely still for a moment, then my husband shouted, “NOOOOOOOOOO!” I kept rewinding, making sure I hadn’t accidentally skipped ahead! I WANT MORE MORE MORE. :D

  • Christian

    Aaaaaw, you still think there’s good people on this show, that’s adorable…

    Also if this D: is what your face actually looked like, where’d your nose go!!!

    Anyway, I’m really looking forward to this episode, heard a lot of good things about it, if you ignore the usual complaints about deviations from the book.

    Braavos is also something I’ve been looking forward to – that shot from the trailers was beautiful. Do we get to see more of the city, or is it just Iron Bank interior?

    I’m gonna stop for now and read the rest of the comments later, the cell reception on this train is terrible. Thanks for your insight and some good laughs!

    • Where…where did I say there are still good people? Au contraire! What I love most about this show is how everyone is a villain and a hero. (Then again, I’ve said that several recaps ago, so unless you’ve been playing along the whole time, you might think me naive!) I just love to love, Christian. I’m a lover, not a hater. I’m masochistic like that. :D

      (And we don’t talk about me losing my nose. It involves a gripping tale of espionage, the perfect cup of tea, and a pliers-wielding piano tuner.)

      Wow, wasn’t Braavos awesome looking? I would LOVE it if we went back. I love swooping through the cities, seeing the hidden pockets where lovers – well, Bronn – hide out, their temples and gardens, GIMMIE GIMMIE!

      Thank YOU for hanging out! There are usually some fun comment parties around here.

  • Cee

    As a book reader, I was seriously dreading the scene with Shae testifying, possibly more than anything else that happens this book/season. I was tempted to watch it on mute. I brazened it out in the end, but MAN! Hard to read AND hard to watch!

    Very, very off topic: every time Margaery and Tyrion are in the same room together (which is almost never, oddly enough), I can’t help thinking about the time she told Sansa how hot she thinks he is!

    So many key players were missing this week: all the Starks (including Jon Snow), plus Brienne, Olenna Tyrell…pretty much everyone who adds any levity/hopefulness to the proceedings. Thank God for Oberyn Martell!

    • Those moments that must have been so heartbreaking to read… To see if acted out so painfully on screen must have been torture, because you KNOW it isn’t going to turn out the way you want. :(

      Hahaha, oh believe me, I haven’t forgotten that Margaery admires both sides of the court!

      What’s cool (for me, at least) about having so many key players missing this particular episode: it didn’t feel like we were leaving things out. I mean, give me more story, of course, but I didn’t feel like anything was wasted. I was breathless by the end, on the edge of my seat, filled with antici-

      wait for it

      -pation, to the point where I didn’t even realize we’d gone Starkers. Starkless? :D

  • Lee No

    Great recap as always :)

    As soon as the intro started I was desperately hoping for Braavos to appear – I love this map as much as you do.

    I first thought the Yara rescue mission was a bit of a fail on her part (though she was badass), but then I thought about it and apart from her recognising that isn’t her brother anymore you have the whole Ironborn True Warrior of Steel thing that she lives much more than he ever did, so she can probably makes hard choices very quickly/doesn’t want the Ironmen to see what Theon has become. I love how evil and creepy and dare I say charismatic Ramysay is. It’s so twisted.
    Reek twitchily staring around in the bath scene with a giant flashing Admiral Ackbar sign in his head, poor guy, he gets stockholm’d really badly.

    Cut to: Oberyn’s boots on the table with him asking everyone to stop yelling so loundly and asking for coffee, haha :D
    I interpreted Varys’ glance to the throne not as him literally wanting to sit on it. He’s probably too much of a realist to think that a foreign eunuch who might be useful but isn’t really respected by anyone (because they are idiots) could actually be king. He just wants to be around the centre of power, influencing it, playing the game, imo.

    And then THE TRIAL..!!!!!!! Peter Dinklage that performance seriously killed me. Were you, for a brief moment, hoping/thinking Tyrion is going to join the Night’s Watch and go party with Jon, Ghost and Sam? BETRAYAL! All the outrage. The hurt. Gah! That scene. Who do you think got to Shae? I think the way they portrayed it she was very much the spurned lover (“If you don’t want me, I’ll kill you”). I don’t think she would have turned against Tyrion against her will.
    …and then I also screamed NOOOOOOO WHY IS IT ALREADY OVER I NEED MORE!!!??!!!?!

    • Lee, you and I are the official Presidents of the Westeros Moving Map Fanclub. We have enough in our budget this week for nachos and a pitcher of margaritas while we talk about how awesome it is.

      I’ve actually been surprised to see people dismissing Yara (not you! In Adventures On Other Websites) saying she pussed out (hurr, chased away by dogs) or that it was a cowardly act. I saw decision making skills at their highest. “This person is going to get me and my men killed. And he STILL won’t come. Consider this bait cut.” She is PURE steel inside, isn’t she? Ironborn to the hilt, from what the show has taught us about them. Didn’t her own father do this when he got the box? “Well, that’s done. He’s useless.”

      Now I’m going to hear Theon say “It’s a trap!” in Ackbar’s voice all day. This is not a problem.

      Oberyn has not one fuck to give. Not a one. He’s so smug and confident and sarcastic and that combination is deadly for me. DEADLY. And your thoughts on Varys were what I had believed, too. That’s a director’s thing, though, to have the audience interpret intent from a look/cut away shot. BUT YES. Varys wants all the good things from power and none of the figurehead duties.

      Lee, I 100% was hoping he would go to the Wall and be BFF with Sam (how amused by Sam’s virginity in all things would Tyrion be?!) and forge a wary alliance with Jon until Jon realized that Tyrion had been framed for Bran, etc., and that Tyrion was a good guy? Then Tyrion would meet Ygritte and waggle his eyes at Jon and be all, “Oho! Is it true what they say about Wildlings?” and then they mount horses and ride the countryside solving mysteries and ending every episode with quips and mead. *sobs*

      Who do I think got to Shae? My first instinct is Varys. :( My second thought is Tywin, because Cersei has been too preoccupied with her own rage to handle this. My third guess is Littlefinger, manipulating once again. WHO. KNOWS. I just know that it huuuuuuuuurt.

      • Lyanna Mormont

        I want to join the Moving Map Fanclub!

        I frequently rewind and watch the intro sequence one more time before getting to the episode itself, just to make sure I saw which castles were shown so I’ll know what’s likely to be in the episode. (Yes, I’m a nerd and a geek. And proud of it!) It’s been seriously annoying me that until this episode, the map hasn’t changed this season. Why not show the Eyrie? These things matter!

        • [anoints you VP of Snacks and Fun Times for our club]

          Hahaha, I do the same thing! They’re smart and set us up for where the show is going that ep by what’s shown on the map, typically, so I love watching the intro for multiple reasons. But yes, I’ve been upset they’ve not shown the Eyrie either? I WAS SHOCKED, ACTUALLY. Hmm, maybe next week it’ll be there? Maybe they didn’t want to reveal the surprise of Sansa arriving? I WILL BE WATCHING.

  • lightandstars

    Greetings all – lovely to have this site for hilarity and of discussions of my favorite show. Laura, love your take on things. Loved the whole episode, every portion.
    Tyrion wasn’t the only one who had something he once did or said come back to bite him. (Aside from Yara being physically bitten by Theon, of course.) Both Queens, Cersei and Dany, get chastised, Cersei for letting Selmy go, and Dany for killing the slave masters.

    I was so excited that Yara was coming back – Yay, Yara, great speech, (dick-in-the-box letter, great LS ) hell yeah, we’ll go get Tyrion, Yay. Then … oh no, Yara, DON’T leave him. Knock him out and have someone carry him. I was sure that seeing Theon in such a horrid situation would gear her up even more, but no. Dead, wtf Yara? What about the flayed Iron Islanders? damn girl. You gotta go back. That can’t be all of Yara we’re going to see this season.

    Even though Sansa wasn’t actually in the episode, one result of Shae’s testimony is that Sansa is now officially f***ed. Throughout every season, she’s been the daughter of a traitor, but still sweet, innocent, pretty Sansa, the little Dove. So she lived. Miserably, but she lived. Now there will be a price on her head and like zero hope for her future. Littlefinger has her in such a mess, she has no choice but to stay with him and crazy Lysa. I mean, who else could it be that engineered her being officially accused of plotting Joff’s demise? How else would Pycelle have Dontos’ body and that damned ugly necklace? Maybe one good thing, she won’t have to marry Robin. I can’t imagine that Ma would think a woman with a price on her head would be good enough for her sucky darling.

    Tyrion, oh yes, Tyrion was excellent. Tyrion bites back. Shae was the last straw. He has to cut her at least some slack, no? He realized that Pod would be forced to alter testimony, and sent him away with best wishes. How could it be any different with Shae?

    Tyrion is scarred inside and out from his dedication to those he loved, yet still has to stand there and take nonsense from every direction. He did get in a few hits of his own – the vicious bastard part directed at Cersei actually outed her childrens’ lineage. Joff wouldn’t be a bastard if he was actually Robert’s son.

    There was a question of whom he might call upon to do battle for him. The first thought would be Bronn, but where is Bronn? There is trouble in that direction anyway. Rewatch the part from the episode where Bronn is supposed to have put Shae on the boat. Tyrion asks Bronn directly if he actually saw her get on the boat. Bronn hedges the answer, doesn’t say yes, but tells Tyrion to quit thinking about it. So, did Bronn betray him as well?
    Ah, Tyrion, fight like hell. You can’t let this nonsense stand.

    • I howled in shocked amusement when Reek bit Yara’s hand! YOU DON’T BITE THE HAND THAT FEED- Oh, right. She doesn’t feed him. :)

      I had a convo with Lee above this one about Yara and why I liked her decision to drop Theon – Theon IS dead. (But I won’t belabor the point when I’ve said it already.) I think this is all setting us up for a big battle between both houses instead of two wee raid parties. So I’m all for that!

      I’ll have you know I snorted coffee up my nose at you calling Robyn Aryn “sucky darling.” Ahahaha. POOR SANSA, INDEED.

      If someone had gone with Shae, I doubt this would have happened. But then, that means Tyrion would have been without Bronn. (I don’t think Bronn betrayed him. I CANNOT THINK IT, even though, yeah, that’s likely. But…hmm. Let me think this through. If Bronn turned on Tyrion, then his name is shit. Anyone who paid him off now knows that anyone with MORE money could buy his loyalty, and that’s worthless. So no, I still say Bronn didn’t betray Tyrion.)

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Actually, I think Bronn said yes to “Did you put her on the ship?” and then doesn’t actually say he saw the ship leave the harbor. That’s when he starts telling Tyrion to get drunk. So if we’re to believe Bronn, he did put Shae on the ship – and then someone got her off that ship. Or she left it on her own. Tywin did have orders out to have her brought to the Tower of the Hand that night. Maybe Bronn spotted one guy following him but missed another?

      Aside from the question of who fights for Tyrion, there’s the matter of who will fight for the other side. It was Cersei bringing the accusation against Tyrion – does that mean she chooses a fighter? Or since it’s the king he’s accused of having killed, does that mean the new king chooses? Or the Hand? Maybe it has to be a member of the Kingsguard? If someone is named to fight for the accuser, can they even turn it down?

  • Ivo

    I’m not totally sure but I think a champion has to be a volunteer. Tyrion’s list of volunteer friends must be very small by now. Good thing Pod is out of town because he’d totally volunteer and last about 0.15 seconds.