Game of Thrones – The Laws of Gods and Men

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It’s official…we are on the downward slope of the fourth season of Game of Thrones! I’ll do my best to hold back the tears if you’ll do the same. Ha! This season feels like it has absolutely flown by; seriously, didn’t the season just start like…a week ago? Oh well, without further ado, my recap of episode six: The Laws of Gods and Men. Pro/Con style…because that’s always fun, right?

Pro – The episode opens on a boat; Stannis and Davos are sailing into the harbor of….Braavos! We’ve got a new city. Granted, we all knew this was coming because 1) It was in the preview last week and 2) The city popped up on the map in the credits. And it looks incredible! As with almost every location on this show, I wish I could book a trip to each of them – but while most of the locations on Game of Thrones are based in reality, Braavos was created completely with CGI effects. *sigh* See you in my dreams.

Game of Thrones - Season 4 Episode 6 - Video Preview - The Laws of Gods and Men
Braavos! Y’all – so cool, so cool.

Con – Stannis is in a mood because they’ve been waiting since mid-day to meet with a representative from the Iron Bank of Braavos. But wait…when is Stannis not in a mood?

Pro/Con – Look – it’s Mycroft! No wait, it’s just Mark Gatiss playing Tycho Nestoris…a stiff upper lip type who decides who the Iron Bank will dole out money to. Basically he’s Mycroft but in a different outfit, in a different place, with no Sherlock or John to pester. Also, he tells Stannis and Davos – NO – the bank will not fund them because the stories of King Tommen’s illegitimacy cannot be proven and they’re already committed to the Iron Throne through the Lannisters.
Pro – Davos makes a rousing speech; his first point is that Tommen is a child being puppetted by a 67 year old man who will die and leave the entirety of Westeros in the hands of a little boy. His second point is that the Lannister house motto may (jokingly) be “A Lannister always pays it’s debts” but they aren’t actually paying back what they owe but Stannis Baratheon always makes good on a deal. His example of this? He whips off his glove and shoves them the four shortened fingers that Stannis gave him as punishment for being a smuggler.

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It’s Mycroft…oops…wait, no. It’s Tycho Nestoris, representative of the Iron Bank of Braavos.

Pro – The impassioned speech must have worked because Davos seeks out the not too often seen pirate captain Sallador Saan, presents him with rolls of coins and tells him they set sail in the morning. Saan seems less than enthused about this, but the money tips the scales.

Con – We jump over to the Dreadfort, which is always a con for me because Ramsey Snow is awful and poor tortured Theon/Reek always makes me slightly on edge; you never know what Ramsey is going to do to him next. It makes me nervous. 
Con – The Ironborn are back; everyone seems to love Yara (Theon’s sister) but I have only ever been mildly interested in the whole group of Ironborn and so I don’t exactly jump with joy when they all pop up on screen. Oh well. I guess we have to include ALL the characters. Yara makes an impassioned speech (those are a theme this week) about saving Theon from the Northmen and they storm the Dreadfort; where Yara thinks Theon will be in the dungeon. He’s in the dog cages. Bless him.
Pro/Con – Yara breaks the chain on his cage and tries her best to rescue him, but he’s so brain-washed at this point that he just screams at her that he is NOT Theon, his name is Reek and he knows to behave. She wrestles him out of the cage right about the time Ramsey and his thugs burst into the room and all hell breaks loose. In the commotion of the ensuing battle, Theon/Reek bites his sister’s hand, effectively loosening her grip on him and he scurries back into his cage to shirk and shiver in the corner, shrieking that he knows his name and he knows to obey. The only reason I marked this as a pro is because Alfie Allen can act the mess out of some scenes; he is excellent!

Game Of Thrones spoilers: Laws of Gods and Men - Jaime defends Tyrion, on Beamly
Joffrey was the worst…until he died. It seems Ramsey is taking his place…

Con – Ramsey threatens to release his dogs on Yara and her remaining men (remember from episode two, they completely ate someone…alive) and they flee the Dreadfort; Yara telling her men that her brother is “dead” as they disappear into the night. Poor Theon/Reek…he was thisclose to being rescued. 

Pro/Con – Ramsey offers Theon/Reek a bath; which he clearly hasn’t had in what looks like weeks, if not months. As he takes off his clothes, you can see the scars that crisscross his body; scars that let you know he has endured untold hours of endless physical torture…but the mental torture has just begun. Theon/Reek is obviously on edge, waiting for Ramsey to inflict physical pain on him, but it’s a different sort of trick this time, a mind game. Ramsey needs his help to take back a castle and needs him to play a part for him; he needs him to pretend to be someone he’s not: Theon Greyjoy.

How’s being a Queen going? 

Pro – We go to a field, where a man and his son are herding goats and as the little boy tosses rocks off a cliff, the last stone “thunks” against what doesn’t sound like stone…. Cue Drogon rising out of the gorge, wings spread wide and tail whipping in the breeze. The child runs for his life as Drogon swoops down on the herd of goats, roast one and scoops it up as he flies away. The dragons are getting big…and they’re getting more hungry. 

Pro – Daenerys is holding court in the Great Pyramid of Meereen and she certainly looks impressive doing it. The goatherd comes in and shows her the charred bones of the goat that Drogon carried off. Daenerys tells the man she’ll give him three times what the goat was worth, which causes him to sing her praises (in Low Valyrian) and he shuffles away excitedly. Daenerys smiles somewhat smugly, as if being a Queen is much easier than she thought it would be.
Con – The next petitioner is the noble Lord, Hizdar Zo Loraq (these names…oh my gee…) and he tells her his Father restored and cared for many of the finest buildings in the city of Meereen, including the Great Pyramid that Dany now lives in. Dany tells him she would love to meet his honorable Father…but he tells her there is a hiccup in that plan; she crucified him because he was one of the slave masters. Daenerys thinks this is an easy moment to teach and tells him she crucified his Father because he allowed 163 slave children to be crucified…but oops, he actually voted against doing that buy was overruled by other slave masters. All Hizdar wants is to be able to bury his Father properly and you can see Daenerys weighing the request in her mind before agreeing – Dany does just fine when the problems are black and white – the gray area stumps her.
Con – Hizdar takes his leave and Daenerys asked Missandei how many more petitioners there are to see her – 212 is the answer. She sighs and you get the distinct feeling Daenerys is about to learn that being a Queen isn’t as easy as she thought.
Pro – The back half of the episode is spent in King’s Landing (yahoo!) and we see the first meeting of King Tommen’s new small council: headed up by the Hand of the King, Tywin Lannister. He’s joined by Lord Varys, Grand Maester Pycelle and his daughter; the Queen Regent as well as newcomers Mace Tyrell and Oberyn Martell..the latter of which seems completely unfazed by his new position. The main point of conversation is that Daenerys is ruling Slaver’s Bay from Meereen and has three growing dragons; Tywin asks for a quill and paper – which is always dangerous – and we move on from the small council meeting.

Game of Thrones - The Laws of Gods and Men
Let the games…eh…the trial…begin…

Con – Jaime goes to retrieve Tyrion from the dungeon; he’s hand-cuffed and marched through the throne room before being hand-cuffed to the stand he’s placed on. The facial expressions between Jaime and Tyrion in these scenes are heart-breaking; the facial expressions between all four of the Lannisters in this episode are all fantastic and run the gamut from the heart-breaking to stone cold. Excellent.

Con – The first proof that the trial will be nothing short of a complete farce is that King Tommen recuses himself from the trial and Tywin Lannister sits as a judge in his stead. Tyrion gives his young nephew a sad smile as he leaves; he knows the boy can’t help it.
Pro – I do have to say, Tywin Lannister is the only person who has ever sat on the Iron Throne and actually looked like he belongs there. Tywin Lannister has ice running through his veins and the Iron Throne looks like it was custom made for him. It’s chilling the level of power he has…and it’s meant to be.

Game of Thrones - The Laws of Gods and Men
Jaime bargains for his brother’s life…

Con – The trial begins and every single person called to testify against Tyrion manages to take actual incidents and turn them into what seems like damning evidence against Tyrion. Did Tyrion slap Joffrey? Oh yes, more than once…but Joffrey always deserved it. Which makes it all the more ironic when Grand Maester Pycelle calls the late, not-so-great Joffrey “the noblest child to ever grace this Earth..” Can we all gag together? 

Con – Lord Varys, Meryn Trant and Grand Maester Pycelle all offer plenty of evidence to make Tyrion look fairly guilty and then Cersei takes the stand and recounts what Tyrion told her way back in season two: “A day will come when you think you are happy, and suddenly your joy will turn to ashes in your mouth…and you will know the debt is paid.” Nothing sounds worse than that…right? 
Pro/Con – The court goes to recess for one hour and Jaime approaches his Father, Twyin about the trial – he tells him the whole thing is farce and he has been out to rid himself of Tyrion since the day he was born. Tywin insists he is only trying to achieve justice for his departed grandson but Jaime doesn’t buy it. Jaime argues that if he kills Tyrion, the Lannister name will never live on because as a sworn knight of the Kingsguard, Jaime is forbidden from marrying and having children…but, if his Father will promise him that Tyrion can take the black and spend the rest of his life at the Wall, he will give up his gold cloak, take up the seat at the Lannister home of Casterly Rock, marry and have children – becoming Tywin’s heir. Tywin agrees immediately and one has to wonder if this was part of Tywin’s plan all along – since he is a master manipulator. 
Pro – Jaime tells his brother that he must be willing to confess, but in doing so he will be spared if he’ll only beg for mercy. Tyrion looks long and hard at his big brother and Jaime says “do you trust me?” Tyrion agrees and settles in for the rest of his “trial”.

A person can only take so much….before they lose it…

Con – Tyrion is doing well…until they play the trump card and in comes…Shae! Shae, who was supposed to be put on a boat and be halfway to Essos by now, but here she is…called to witness against Tyrion in the trial. The saying “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned” has never rang more true; not only does Shae spin an elaborate lie about Tyrion and Sansa conspiring together to kill Joffrey but she also reveals the intimate details of their relationship, making the situation all the worse by telling the court she was a whore that Tyrion stole and he forced her to do horrible things with him.

Con – A person can only take so much before they break…and this is the proverbial straw that breaks the camel’s back; he first pleads with Shae, begging her “Shae..please don’t” to which Shae cruelly replies “I was a whore” and continues with her testimony. She spills her story in stilted fashion; which should make it obvious that she’s speaking lines from memory and her gaunt appearance has to make you wonder if she’s been held in a dungeon and tortured until she agreed to tell the story just the way someone wanted her to…
Pro – Tyrion finally snaps – jumping to his feet and demanding he’d like to confess. He proclaims that he wished he’d let everyone in King’s Landing die when Stannis Baratheon attacked the city; he wished he had enough poison to kill every one of them and that while he didn’t kill King Joffrey, he tells Cersei that “watching her bastard die gave him more pleasure than a hundred whores ever could have”. It’s important to note he calls out Joffrey as a bastard – a rumor long circulated through King’s Landing but never actually confirmed until now. Whether anyone chooses to believe what Tyrion says is doubtful since he’s on trial for murder.
Pro – Tyrion says he wishes he had been the monster everyone seems to think he is but in reality what he is really on trial for is being a dwarf; he’s been a disappointment to his Father since the day he was born and he’s finally being made to pay for it. He knows he’ll get no justice here, so he demands a trial by combat.
Pro – The crowd present at the trial gasps in shock at Tyrion’s demand, Tywin and Tyrion stare one another down; Tyrion has taken his fate into his own hands and Tywin begins to realize he may not win this battle. Jaime looks crestfallen – he now has no way to save his brother; he can’t fight well enough with his left hand to defend anyone…let alone in a battle to the death. Cersei also begins to realize that no matter how much she has schemed to take Tyrion down, he may still find a way to freedom…the episode fades to black to the sounds of the Lannister song, The Rains of Castamere.
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Outtake – obviously no one is this excited to be on trial…ha-ha!
This episode started slow but ended on a sort of tour DE force; Peter Dinklage owned that final scene and I can’t wait to watch the last four episodes of the season play out. People that have never read the books have no clue what’s coming…there are only four episodes left this season and there is a huge moment in each one. Brace yourselves…season four is ramping up to the final blowout for the end! I can’t wait!

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