May 19, 2014
Game Of Thrones Recap: Trial Of The Century
We were all ready for some serious blood and boobs, given that Game of Thrones has trained us to expect those things, like good little pavlovian dogs. However, we were thrown a curve ball this week, where we encountered drama. And not just a little drama, but lots of drama. We were also reunited with characters we haven’t seen in a while. We got to see Salladhor Saan, pirate friend of Ser Davos, as well as Theon Greyjoy’s sister, Asha. Plus, you will never guess the surprise guest at the end!
Oh, there were also some fights, blood, and boobs, too, because this is Westeros after all! Let’s recap!
We begin on a journey across the Narrow Sea. Is Daenerys taking her dragons to King’s Landing? No, no such luck there. We see King Stannis (haha, “King”) and Ser Davos sailing to Braavos to visit the Iron Bank. They need gold, and lots of it. They start by defaming Tommen as the child of incest and as having no right to the Iron Throne. The bankers are unconvinced, as Stannis barely has an army or any ships to speak of. Clearly Stannis is a terrible negotiator, unable to get even a copper coin from the bank.
However, Davos is much more convincing. He discusses how Tywin Lannister is the real power, and when he dies (because he is old), there will be chaos. No one will follow Cersei (drunken bitch despised by all); Tommen is an adolescent; Jamie is most famous for being a Kingslayer. Tyrion was once again overlooked as even a possibility.
Cut to our favorite mercenary-sea-captain-slash-pirate, Salladhor Saan. Remember him?
Last we saw him, his ships were sinking to the bottom of Blackwater Bay. He seems to have recovered, as we find him in a public bath with two naked women telling bad pirate jokes. Ser Davos enters, and manages to hire Salladhor, with lots of coin. Success at the Iron Bank. Could Stannis be a threat to the throne?
Next we have Asha Greyjoy sailing to rescue Theon from that sociopath Bolton bastard. We are reminded that Ramsey Snow tortured Theon and even cut off his Mr. HappyNiceTime. After fighting through some guards at a castle, Asha discovers that Theon is not in the dungeons, but rather sleeping in the cages with the dogs. She tries to rescue him, but Theon refers to himself as Reek, his new name from Ramsey Snow, and refuses to leave.
After dispatching with his lady friend, Ramsey shows up in the kennel, and a fight ensues between the Ironborn and Ramsey’s men. Theon/Reek bites his sister’s hand, and runs back to his cage. Also, Ramsey Snow might be insane, but he is a badass barechested killing machine. Asha leaves without Theon, declaring that her brother is dead.
Ramsey rewards Reek with a proper bath, and then says that he needs Reek’s help. Reek will have to pretend to be Theon Greyjoy. Oh how delightfully twisted!
Ok, now we need to calm down a bit. Oh good, a goatherder and his son, with some goats in a pasture. Nothing to worry abou – HOLY FUCK THERE BE DRAGONS!
Daenerys’ dragons have grown, and are hungry. This one takes a goat, and happily leaves the child to live.
Next, we see Daenerys doing what she claimed she would do: rule. She is hearing petitioners, and looking every bit the QILF we would expect her to be. The first petitioner is a goatherder, who no longer has any goats due to recent dragon activity in the area. Daenerys apologizes, and offers him three times their value, which seems mighty generous.
Then, the son of a noble enters. Dany learns that his father was crucified despite speaking out against killing all those slave children. Daenerys is beginning to learn that her harsh and swift justice might be a tad too swift, and burn some of the wheat along with the tares, if you will. She eventually grants the son’s request to take his father down and give him a proper burial. This whole queen thing might be harder than expected for Dany.
Moving across the Narrow Sea, we see Prince Oberyn at his first Small Council meeting. While everyone elses rises when Tywin Lannister enters, Oberyn remains seated. Bold, this one.
We learn that Tyrion’s trial is beginning in the afternoon. Then Varys reports that The Hound has been spotted in the countryside, prompting Lord Tywin to increase the reward for his capture/death to 100 silver pieces. They also discuss how to deal with Daenerys, who Varys has learned is ruling in Mereen. They don’t want war, but Lord Tywin is interested to see if Varys can get anyone into Mereen quietly. Assassination, perhaps? We don’t know.
Next, Varys and Prince Oberyn have a cryptic conversation in the Throne Room, where Varys seems very focused on the Iron Throne. For himself? For someone else? Very cryptic.
Finally, time for the trial! What will happen? Will another head roll? Suspense builds as Jamie retrieves Tyrion from his prison cell and marches him through an audience in the Throne Room, where Tommen is sitting upon the Iron Throne. Tommen hands over authority for the trial to Tywin, and the trial begins. Tyrion claims he had nothing to with Joffrey’s death.
As expected, everyone Tyrion has ever pissed off over the past few years comes to testify. Everything Tyrion has said is twisted to make it sound like he is guilty. Guards recall when Tyrion slapped Joffrey; Grand Maester Pycelle accuses Tyrion of stealing poison. He then pulls out Sansa’s necklace, claiming that there was poison residue on the necklace, which is how Joffrey, “the most noble child the gods had ever put on this earth,” was killed. And of course, Cersei Lannister talks about the threats that Tyrion made. And of course she lies all about the Battle of Blackwater Bay, making Joffrey out to be a hero, that sniveling little shit. And Cersei brings up Tyrion and his whores. Tyrion sits through the witnesses stonefaced.
Then Varys testifies, which is kind of a surprise. We thought he and Tyrion were closer, so the testimony can’t be good for Tyrion. It’s almost like the trial is rigged or something! In any case, Varys relays threats that Tyrion has made, including noting that “Kings are dying like flies.” He accuses Tyrion of becoming disloyal, positing that, “perhaps his marriage to Sansa Stark made him more sympathetic to the Northern cause.”
After Tyrion asks a question, we take a recess in the trial. Jamie begs his father to let Tyrion live. In fact, Jamie promises to relinquish being a Kingsguard and take his rightful place as heir to the Lannister dynasty, playing to his father’s desire to keep the Lannister family strong into the future. Tywin accepts in a heartbeat, promising that when Tyrion is found guilty, if Tyrion begs for mercy, he will be merciful and allow Tyrion to go to The Wall and be a part of the Night’s Watch. Jamie relays the news to Tyrion, where Tyrion half-jokes that Ned Stark was offered the same deal.
One more witness for the crown. Tyrion’s eyes widen, and we see the witness walking into the Throne Room. Who could it be that shocks Tyrion? Yep. That’s right.
Shae takes the witness stand. And boy, it’s not pretty. Throughout the testimony, Tyrion looks like he is going to cry. Shae discusses being handmaiden to Sansa, and accuses Tyrion of plotting Joffrey’s death with Sansa. She describes how she met Tyrion, leading to this gem of an exchange:
Shae: You belong to me now, he [Tyrion] said. I want you to fuck me like it’s my last night in this world.
Prince Oberyn: And did you?
Shae: Did I what?
Prince Oberyn: Fuck him like it was his last night in this world?
Shae: I did everything he wanted.
Poor Tyrion. Betrayed by the one person he truly loved. Shae claimed he promised to kill King Joffrey for Sansa, because Sansa refused to share her bed with Tyrion.
Tyrion calls out to his father, saying that he wishes to confess! CONFESS! Never saw that coming! But rather than confess to killing Joffrey, he lashes out at the audience and all those in the Throne Room.
“I saved you. I saved this city. And all your worthless lives. I should have let Stannis kill you all.”
He then confesses. Not to killing the king, but of being a dwarf. He says that he has been on trial for being a dwarf his entire life. After asked if he has anything to say in his defense, he rises, anger seething from him, some spittle flying from his mouth:
“I did not do it. I did not kill Joffrey, but I WISH that I HAD.” He then turns to Cersei, glaring daggers, and continues: “Watching your vicious bastard die gave me more relief than a thousand lying whores.” He then addresses the crowd, “I wish I was the monster you think I am. I wish I had enough poison for the whole pack of you. I would gladly give my life to watch you all swallow it!”
The crowd gasps and is muttering angrily as Tywin tries to regain control. The scene ends with Tyrion demanding a trial by combat. And that’s the end of the episode.
Holy crap, you guys. Peter Dinklage (Tyrion) is amazing. His speech is the best few minutes of television you will watch this year. We’re voting for him to win an Emmy, a Golden Globe, a Tony, hell, even a Grammy. All the awards, just for this performance. Fucking amazing.
Are you drained? We were drained. Best trial ever. Way to bring it this week, Game of Thrones. Next week, we continue the drama in King’s Landing, check back in with Arya and the Hound, maybe see The Mountain, and see what Sansa and Littlefinger are up to. Here’s the preview:
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