Before we begin, every week I see “Editor- Crispin Green” in the opening credits, and every week I’m like “Crispin Glover!? Oh, wait…” That is all.
Previously on recapping Game of Thrones: Mid-season brought mid-term grades for everyone (and a mid-life as a blogger crisis.) This week…
Season 4, Episode 6: The Laws of God and Men
Who do we see first of all people, but Stannis Baratheon. Stannis Baratheon: riding on ships. Stannis Baratheon: having an icy glare. Stannis Baratheon: probably sneaking a peak up that giant statue’s giant man skirt, just out of curiosity to see if the sculptor bothered to sculpt giant genitalia. Turns out he and Davos are off to The Iron Bank, which does not actually seem as faceless and scary as Tywin Lannister made it out to be. In fact, the representatives who we meet seem rather harmless and pleasant. Just a few nerds who majored in finance at Giant Statue University, and love breaking things down to the numbers. And for Stannis, the numbers just do not add up to something worth funding, which I think we all could have told them, based on the number of minutes devoted to building Stannis into something more than a name with an icy cold glare that may have at one time fathered a shadowy vagina monster and by the way have you met his disfigured daughter?
We don’t even get to see Stannis do something with his gold, it’s all Ser Davos posturing in the hot tub brothel with his pirate friend. In fact, if not for Davos doing literally everything, bearing his stub fingers as proof of his Lord’s reliability (or something,) Stannis would be walking away with nothing. Because you know what’s not going to get you a loan or anything from anybody? Silence and lack of eye contact while a thief with 1.5 hands pleads your case for you. Though I’m sure Stannis will deliver some compelling content of his own in the near future. And when he does, we will all be at our televisions to see it.
Speaking of characters finally getting up to something, remember Yara Greyjoy? Gets mistakenly groped by her brother, then is a real jerk to him, but then is like, “I have to save my brother,” and you were like, “Yeah, go do that!”? You know, Yara. Well, six episodes in, she finally gets to where she is going: non-descript castle, U.S.A. where Theon sleeps in a cage next to two dog roommates, who probably make a lot of noise and never clean up after themselves. I mean, the places you’re forced to live these days as a young adult trying to make it in this world. Anyway, after a short massacre, Yara reaches Theon, only Theon isn’t Theon anymore, he’s Reek and Reek is quite happy with his living situation: he gets complimentary baths for good behavior here. Reek, much like a scared dog would, bites Yara, this person he does not recognize. (Wow, they are really laying it on thick with the Theon as dog analogy, huh?) “My brother is dead,” remarks Yara upon returning to her boat empty-handed. Glad that that story thread is all wrapped up! Bye Yara!
We venture across the Narrow Sea, where the death of a goat will haunt me until the day I die. Watching that goat get snatched up and wail as it was killed by Red Dragon was really disconcerting to me. (Cut people’s throats, stab pregnant women in the stomach? “Sure! Give me more even!” Kill a goat on screen? “No thank you! Where is your decency, sir?!”) It was all just a disturbing means however, a means to show that Daenerys still has lots to learn about being an effective ruler: “Dragons killed a man’s entire herd of goats? Pay the man back for each goat, three times their worth (tune in next season when Daenerys pays a little visit to The Iron Bank, am I right?) Crucified an innocent man due to a misplaced sense of what actual justice is? Well, you can give him proper burial, I guess.” And on and on for 212 more people who have complaints about what a sub-par job Daenerys is actually doing. Good thing she was convinced to have this dry run at being a Queen in Slaver’s Bay, eh? Could you imagine if she was absolutely ruining the lives and livelihoods of people in Westeros that we are actually supposed to care about?
Sure was nice of Varys to catch the rest of the Small Council up with everything Daenerys has been up to with her “baby” dragons. Remember all the fun times we had over there with the sand, and the walking, and that time Jorah was a spy but changed his mind because he’s totally in love? Also sure was nice of the show to include a scene with Varys and Oberyn, two characters with ambiguous motives talking circles around each other. They touch on Oberyn’s talent for spotting accents and for spotting what accent someone used to have even though that accent is long gone (it’s a real talent, you guys,) and how Varys’ lack of desire (sexual or otherwise) allows him to focus on more important things, like pursuing The Iron Throne. Though Varys himself would never explicitly state that beyond staring at the throne longingly after making a point. Where would all the mystique he has built up around himself go if he just went around stating everything he thought?
Tyrion’s trial is the real meat of Episode 6 though. In a long proceeding, somewhat reminiscent of Albert Camus’ The Stranger (Literary snob drop! Also I just read it for the first time!) every little insignificant action, or off-hand comment, or idle threat Tyrion has made throughout the course of the series is coming back to bite him, to make him appear like the type of man that could murder his nephew-king. After being subjected to Pycelle claiming that he stole “The STRANGLER” poison that killed Joffrey, Varys conveniently omitting the part where he saved King’s Landing, and surprise witness Shae selling him up the river and breaking the hearts of millions of viewers (some of whom would surely go on to write hateful things about a fictional character on Twitter,) Tyrion realizes that he is guilty. But not of the murder he wishes that he was monstrous enough to commit. No, Tyrion realizes that he is guilty of being a dwarf. He’s been treated like crap and disrespected his whole life because he’s different, and this farce of a trial is no different; just an excuse for the Lannisters to rid themselves of the disgrace that they perceive Tyrion to be. “I wish I was the monster you think I am,” Tyrion snarls at the courtroom, as Peter Dinklage gives us his Emmy Reel clip and one of the best moment’s of the season so far. Tyrion wishes it was his idea to poison Joffrey because, what a great idea! No one liked that guy anyway. He wishes he could poison the whole lot of King’s Landing, the ungrateful sheep. There is only course of action left to take against the injustice of this justice system. The return of TRIAL BY COMBAT!!!! *cut to black, roll the credits, cue the standing ovation.* Granted that this is the first time I am actually watching the show as it airs, but this is the first time where I cannot wait to see where this goes next week. FREE TYRION!
Random points to carry us home:
– Daenerys’ interactions with her people summed up: “Yes umm, excuse me? Mother of Dragons? Yeah, how about you be an actual mother to your dragons and teach ’em to be respectful of others’ property by keepin’ ’em off my damn land! Oh and uh, thanks for crucifying my innocent father, bitch. Thanks, I love you! Gods be praised!” *Walks out of room in reverse, because reverence* It’s interactions like this that make me write these posts.
– Of all the castrated characters on his show, Varys is by far the most put together.
– Speaking of which, Theon now gets to flex his tormented brain and body even more by pretending to be Theon. If he nails this, maybe they’ll invent the shower for him just so he can take one as a reward for being such a good boy. Also, wasn’t Ramsey supposed to capture some land for his dad or something like four weeks ago? What is going on in this story arc anymore?
– Seriously though, what was with shirtless and bloody comic book villain Ramsey Snow easily chasing off Yara and her Iron Born friends with two dogs? “How fast can you run?” said Ramsey eyeing his dogs, which though angry, seemed rather normal dog size. “Well we did just kill dozens of your men and are still armed with deadly weapons, but I think we’ll pass on having to fight these dogs. Thanks bye,” retorted Yara. This is this season’s “Robert Baratheon gets mortally wounded off-screen.” WHAT IS GOING ON IN THIS STORY ARC ANYMORE?
– Based on this episode, it unfortunately looks like The Kingslayer Brothers is not going to get ordered to series. Jaime is likely off to be the leading man on his own vehicle Casterly Rock ‘n’ Roll, while Tyrion’s future remains very much in question. Sometimes, a great name means nothing. Characters on this show would do well to learn that lesson.