Monday, May 12, 2014

Game of Thrones - The Laws of Gods and Men (Episode 6 Season 4) [TV Review]

Finally a Sunday update for Game of Thrones.
And what an episode to start this on!
Here we go!

Welcome to Rhodes... I mean Bravos.
Before this episode aired, I knew a few of the events that would occur, okay, I know one event.

I knew the Trial of Tyrion.

That bit alone was Fantastic. I want to watch Tyrion's confession over and over.

4.5 out of 5 stars
Stannis and Davos. Two dour men.
So far this season, this is the best episode. I'm not even talking, at all, about the copious amounts of nudity either. I thought they put a significant number of those scenes in this episode because we'd had a limited run of those recently. They loaded up the nudity early on in the episode.

The blood and guts would come later, and the Trial, that would come much later.

Mycroft Holmes, Bank Manager!
Early on we are treated to a little scene between Stannis, Davos, and a new character from the Iron Bank of Bravos known as Tycho Nestoris. Tycho is played by none other than Mark Gatiss! Now, if you are a Whovian you should recognize his name from numerous writing credits - he wrote several episode from the 2005 reboot of Doctor Who. He wrote The Unquiet Dead (series 1), Idiots Lantern (series 2), Victory of the Daleks (series 5), Night Terrors (series 6), Cold War (series 7), and The Crimson Horror (series 7). He also acted in an episode from series 3, The Lazarus Experiment, and one from the sixth series, The Wedding of River Song. Of course you may also know him from his role in Sherlock. He plays Sherlock's older brother Mycroft Holmes.

Any show that has lots of British actors is eventually going to end up with someone from an episode of Doctor Who.
Dragons! He's hungry and wants some charred mutton.
The story this week contains four distinct parts.
The first part, we've just covered, occurs as Davos argues with the Iron Bank that backing Stannis financially is their best bet. The argument largely goes, If / When Tywin Lannister dies, who do you think will pay you back or even hold the Seven Kingdoms together? No one other than Stannis, Stannis pays his debts and makes other pay theirs.

Not a bad chunk of story. Very important in fact since we recently learned that the Lannisters are no longer mining gold.

Then we move to the Dreadfort. Yara Greyjoy has learned that Theon is being tortured (and flayed, and having his 'toys' taken away) by Ramses Snow. She goes to free him, but he resists because he is afraid it is a trick. Eventually Yara flees. The important bit comes afterward, when Ramses treats Theon, Reek, nicely (cruel psychological manipulation of the highest order), and tells him that he will have to pretend to be his old self, Thoen, to attack Moat Cailin.

Other than the violence and in order to see how broken Theon is, this scene was kinda the most unimportant.

Eunich, Old Dottering Man, and Easily Manipulated Dolt.
The third scene occurrs in Meereen. Here, Daenerys is trying to rule as Queen. The coolest bit occurs when one of her Dragons, the black one, decides to have a snack of charred mutton. The shepherd brings this greivance before Daenerys, and she pays him three times the flocks worth. Meh. Then we meet Hizadahr zo Loraq. We will see a lot of this character... and you will not like him if he stays true to book form. 

The Trial of Tyrion Lannister.
The scenes in Meereen are going to definitely drag. Trust me.

All the mediocrity, and anything else, of the earlier scenes are wiped right away by the Trial.

The Trial of Tyrion is amazing.  

King Tommen recuses himself from the trial, appointing as Judges in his place the hand of the King, Tywin Lannister, and two more; Prince Oberyn Martell, and Lord Mace Tyrell.

Tyrion in the dock.
Then the parade of witnesses for the prosecution begins. First up is the pompous and vengeful Ser Meryn Trant. Ser Meryn tells of the time when Tyrion slapped Joffery silly, and of the time when Tyrion threatened the King (as Tyrion was protecting Sansa). Then comes Grand Maester Pycelle who reads a list of poisons that have gone missing. He also reveals the necklace containing traces of the poison that killed the King was found on Ser Dauntos body. Then comes the Queen Regent, Cersei. She tells of the time when Tyrion told her that all her happiness would turn to ash. Then Varys testifies against him.

Tyrion knows he is doomed. Jaime can see that Cersei has set up all of this testamony, that everything is playing out perfectly against Tyrion. During the court's recess, Jaime goes to his father and pleads for Tyrion's life. He says he will give up his position in the King's Guard and becomes Tywin's heir at Casterly Rock in exchange for sparring Tyrion's life. Tywin agrees, saying that Tyrion can joint he Night's Watch once he has been found guilty.

This does not go as planned because a last witness is called up. It is Shae, the whore Tyrion loves, or at least has feeling for. She then lies and lies and lies on stand. She says that Tyrion plotted to kill Joffery for Sansa so that she would accept him. She has obviously been manipulated by Cersei, or someone. She has been manipulated. Tyrion finally breaks.

The speech he gives, his 'confession,' is just epic. It alone catapults this episode from a mere three and a half or four stars to a strong four and half stars. I was tempted to give it five, but I could not. Some of the early stuff was just not as powerful. This scene alone is five star quality. It was fantastic television.  

In fact, I'm gonna go rewatch that scene again, right now.

Read my past reviews for Game of Thrones:
Season 4:
- Two Swords (Ep1)
- The Lion and the Rose (Ep2)
- Breaker of Chains (Ep3)
- Oathkeeper (Ep4)
- The First of His Name (Ep5)

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