Caution: Spoilers for every GoT episode up until now, but nothing that hasn’t happened yet in the books will be spoiled.
Really, the only disappointing moment in this whole episode was when the screen cut to black at 9:52, eight minutes before I expected. Nothing goes by faster than an episode of Game of Thrones, and this particular episode felt like a sitcom (in length, not in tone).
The episode starts off with a quiet scene featuring Davos and Stannis meeting with
Mycroft Holmes Tycho Nestoris, where Davos got to show off his best bro skills as he gave a monologue about how great of a King he [Stannis] would make, which convinced them to loan him money. I would’ve done a fist bump if not for the fact that I’ve always believed Renly would’ve made a much better King. #TeamRenly4Life
Meanwhile, Yara goes on a mission to rescue Theon—sorry, I mean Reek—only to fail in a scene remarkably similar the episodes in the Simpsons where Mr. Burns releases the hounds. At first glance this scene seems like pointless filler, since there were no real consequences for either party. I mean sure, Ramsay lost a lot of men, but I doubt he ever placed much value on human life to begin with, and Yara’s back in the exact same place she started. But the real point of the scene was to show just how much of an effect the months of endless torture had on Theon. When there’s finally a chance for him to escape, he doesn’t take it because he thinks it’s some sort of trap, which is frustrating and heartbreaking at the same time.
(Side note to all the aspiring authors out there: If you ever want to make an unlikeable character sympathetic, just have some crazy psychopath torture him for a year or so.)
The bath scene afterwards was all types of creepy and depressing, and it made me realize just how great of an actor Alfie Allen is. Too bad The Dinklage had to steal the spotlight near the end. On the bright side, I’ll be shipping Theon and Ramsay for now on.
I loved the scene with Daenerys, because now it seems that the rules of aSoIaF, that cause the suffering of every other character in the show, are finally applying to her. She faces two difficult moral problems in a row, only to find that she has to listen to over 200 more whiners? Even worse: she has to listen to Missandei repeat all her titles over and over again all day? I’d rather be Theon.
Then we get to the juicy part of the episode: the trial. All of Tyrion’s past moments of awesomeness come back to haunt him, as he is betrayed by both Varys and Shae, and has to put up with Grand Maester Pycelle’s, Cersei’s, and Meryn Trant’s obvious exaggerations and lies. (Really, Pycelle? Joffrey was the most noble child the gods ever put on this good earth?)
Peter Dinklage deserves not one, not two, but TWELVE Emmys for his acting in this episode, most notably from the moment Shae showed up in court until his big speech at the end. “Watching your vicious bastard die gave me more relief than 1,000 lying whores.” “I wish I had enough poison for the whole pack of you.” Oh, snap. Shit just got real.
I like how Tyrion called for the trial by combat with no real hope that he’d win. After all, his two most likely champions are Jaime and Bronn. The former has lost a hand and the latter has been mysteriously absent lately. Plus, they’ll have to face Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane, (is this a spoiler? I hope it’s not.) who is described in the books as being seven feet tall and more muscular than the Hulk and I (that’s right, me) combined. Tyrion did this because it’s the only option in which Tywin had no control over, and it completely ruined the whole “ship Tyrion off to the Night’s Watch” plan, which we all knew wasn’t going to happen anyway. I’d be happy for Tyrion if it weren’t for the fact that he’s probably going to die soon. No spoilers there; that’s just fake speculation.
The show hasn’t really gotten the point across that the Mountain is a horrible person, in my opinion. In the books, I hated him more than I hated Joffrey, and that’s saying something.
Other things of note:
- How do you TV only viewers feel of Shae? While betraying Tyrion wasn’t the nicest move, it’s not like she had much of a choice in the matter. I doubt she knocked on Tywin’s door and offered to be a witness for the trial. But from the look she gave Tyrion you could tell she’s at least partially doing this for revenge.
- I have theory that Daenerys is actually Yara Greyjoy in disguise (or vice versa). Think about it: you never see them in the same scene, and they’re both around the same height, so… yeah. I’m calling it.
- I love how casually Yara slit that man’s neck. She’s the best.