(Note: to help clear up the discussion thread congestion, we’re publishing two Game of Thrones recaps this season, one for book readers and one for non-book readers. Doing it this way means those who have read A Storm of Swords and A Feast for Crows don’t have to begin every conversation with “SPOILER,” or those who haven’t won’t need to worry about learning something they shouldn’t.)
Only once has Game of Thrones spent a whole episode at a single location. That would be “Blackwater” and its titular battle — it begins with Davos and Stannis leading their men into the Bay, and ends with KABOOM, “f*ck the king,” etc. I wish last night’s “The Laws of Gods and Men” had followed the same unusual structure. That’s not a knock on the episode, not at all, but compared to Peter Dinklage giving a mic-drop of a performance, well, Reek looks meek (and Dany looks…granny? Damn, lost it).
Alik Sakharov’s direction and Bryan Cogman’s script do two things very well. The former’s cutaways to a disgusted Jaime accentuate just how much of a sham the latter’s trial is. Tyrion has no chance of being found innocent. The best he can hope for is to spend the rest of his life at the Wall with the Night’s Watch, hanging out at Mole’s Town and listening to the Cure with Jon Snow. And all he can do is silently hear the out-of-context evidence of the times he’s wished Joffrey dead, which, I mean, who hasn’t done that? Except they’re not the ones on trial for killing the king, he is, and it was hard watching him hold back his trademark wit while being slandered by witness after witness. The exposition got a little too, well, exposition-y — it reminded me of the Seinfeld finale — but then walked in Shae.
That’s when an embarrassed, broken Tyrion’s cat-like mew turned into a lion-ish roar, not only at his whore, but at Tywin, Cersei, hell, everyone in King’s Landing. He was being judged not as a human, but as a monster who happened to be born a dwarf. The trial didn’t matter; everyone there had already made up their minds. So he gave them what they wanted: a confession. No, he didn’t kill Joffrey, but he wish he had — he wish he poisoned the whole lot of ya. But just as quickly as the episode kicked into another gear, with Tyrion requesting a trial by combat, it was over. So much of what makes Game of Thrones great is the waiting, as discussed last week, but a part of me wishes this episode had contained both the trial and the combat. Us impatient fans can’t get no justice, y’know.
At least we’ve got a killer sword fight to look forward to. I’m thinking Bronn vs. Ser Pounce.
-The Internet is already clogged with Mycroft/Davos cosplay, probably.
-Does the Iron Bank have a sad looking bowl of lollipops, too?
-We should all be so lucky as to have a Davos in our lives.
-Speaking of, who knew he was such a horndog?
-Alfie Allen was tasked with the thankless chore of acting like a bug-eyed heroin addict who looked into Satan’s bunghole this episode, but he did a very good job with it, as well as during his demure scenes.
-To quote another Allin (close enough), “I got scars on my body and scabs on my d*ck.”
-When Drogon gets a tattoo of his mom’s name, it’s going to run the entire length of his tail.
-Awwwww, look at that goat. I think everything’s going to be OOOOOOOOOK for him.
-Oops. (It was really hard not making this the banner image.)
-Oberyn’s leg-on-table sitting style is the new backward chair.
Book Readers Spoiler Section: they really piled on the Shae betrayal, didn’t they? I haven’t re-read the chapter lately, but I don’t remember book Shae being nearly as cruel and hurtful as TV Shae. No one’s going to be crying for her when she’s found on Tywin’s bed…Also, RED VIPER VS. MOUNTAIN CAN’T BE HERE SOON ENOUGH, he says now, forgetting how bone-crunchingly horrifying the scene is.