Well that’s one way to stop rabid Tyrion fans from complaining about his absence last week on Game of Thrones. Tyrion’s brutal trial was the centerpiece of a great episode that finally introduced viewers to the Iron Bank of Braavos, fully defined the life of Theon Greyjoy, and possibly gave viewers a bit of foreshadowing for Dany in Meereen. It was a great episode that built to the final moments of Tyrion’s trial.
Let’s start off talking about #DragonProblems. Dany might be the new ruler of Meereen, and holding one of the longest titles on the show, but there are still cracks in her armor. Her Dragons are growing completely out of control. One of them ended up attacking a flock of Sheep, nearly killing a small boy in the hunt. The Dragon style of lighting the ground and prey on fire below them before lifting them into the air is particularly hard to explain to your new subjects. Later on Dany pledged to pay the farmer for his lost flock, but that won’t stop the Dragons from doing what they please.
Dany was then visited by the son of one of the Meereen Masters she nailed to the mile markers leading into the city. He begged her to let the men be cut down and properly buried. It was a clear sign that even though Dany sits on the Meereen throne, she still doesn’t fully control the city. Her exploits are reaching the ears of King’s Landing, but she’s still far off from making a turn towards the Iron Throne.
Stannis and Davos were also realizing how far away they are from ruling Westeros when they visit the Iron Bank of Braavos. The bank has been a big topic of conversation this year on the show. Tywin let Cersei know that the realm owes big money to the Iron Bank for funding the war against the Starks, and that the Lannister fortune is a house of cards. Stannis tried to get the bank to loan him funds, but they were quick to point out his flaws. The bank’s representative, played wonderfully by Sherlock’s Mark Gatiss, wasted no time in quantifying his hope for the crown, and the numbers were not in his favor.
It took a final pledge from Davos about the strength of Stannis’ word. He showed off his fingerless hand (was I the only one who was disappointed in the CGI in that scene?) and explained how Stannis always does what he says. If the Iron Bank expects to get their loaned funds back then the right man to support is Stannis. I hope we get more Gatiss in the last few episodes of the season.
Theon Greyjoy’s sister Yara finally arrived at the castle he was being held at. It took them a while to get there. Must have booked on Spirit airlines. Anyhow Yara leads her team confidently into the castle, but when they arrive at the dog pen where Theon is kept they encounter a problem. Theon is not only scared of his 0wn sister, but refuses to leave with them. He yells and screams as loud as the dogs in the kennel next to him. It doesn’t take long for the creepy Ramsay Snow to arrive on scene with his men. Ramsay’s got a bad body for the beach. He’s a cutter after all. Ramsay fights off Yara who flees the castle knowing that her actual brother is already dead.
That led to the creepiest moment yet in the Ramsay/Theon relationship when Reek was invited to take a bath in Ramsay’s bedroom. It turns out that Ramsay needs Reek to pretend to be Theon Greyjoy again in order to take back Moat Cailin. We will see how long this nice Ramsay remains in place. He’s broken down Theon to such a point that now he can use a softer touch.
All of this action was a mere trifle compared to what happened during Tyrion’s trial. Tyrion knows that this is a rigged trial, but he’s powerless to stop it. One by one his old King’s Landing friends appeared to testify against him. His old friend Varys, a man who can see which way the wind blows, turns the knife on him in his testimony. Then there’s the Old Maester Pycelle getting his revenge on the man who locked him up.
Eventually Jaime Lannister realizes that this is a show trial, and demands his father stand up for Tyrion. That leads them to a deal. If Tywin allows Tyrion to take the black as punishment for his crime then Jaime will leave the Kingsguard and return to run the Lannister family. It’s almost as if this was Tywin’s plan all along. The man has a long history of thinking far ahead of others. Now he has Jaime back where he wants him, and a chance to extend the Lannister family name.
Jaime tells Tyrion about the deal, but then things go very wrong. The next witness is Shae, Tyrion’s whore mistress. She paints a picture of Tyrion as a monster. Shae reinforces every myth and legend around the life of the Lannister Imp. It’s not just hearing himself described as a monster, but the words coming from Shae that push Tyrion over the edge. He’s supposed to take the same deal offered Ned Stark, but he too can’t contain himself. Tyrion launches into a acid laced speech, perfect for an Emmy reel, against the people of King’s Landing. He saved them all at the Blackwater so they could still think of him as this lethal animal.
Tyrion not only wishes death on the attended crowd, but also forgoes the plan for him to take the black. He demands a trial by combat, just like in the first season where Bronn defended him at the Vale. We have no idea who he will pick as his champion, but the smart money is on Jaime Lannister. It would be the perfect way for Jaime to restore his lost face in the capital. The questions of course would then be on who Cersei will find to kill not only her twin brother, but also her perceived life long tormentor in Tyrion.
What did everyone think of The Laws of Gods and Men? Can Tyrion get out of this jam once again?