Hear ye, hear ye! The trial of Tyrion Lannister commences in this episode of Game of Thrones. Let’s get to it.
The ever-dour Stannis Baratheon and sidekick Ser Davos sail to Braavos to request a loan from the Iron Bank. They are kept waiting for a good part of the day until, finally, Tycho Nestoris (Mark Gatiss) and his cronies enter. Tycho starts the meeting by greeting the would-be King “Lord Stannis,” which of course sets him on edge. Ser Davos tries to correct him by informing Tycho that Stannis is the true king.
The Iron Bank doesn’t care about all of that nonsense, only gold and those who ask for it. “Here, our books are filled with numbers. We prefer the stories they tell. More plain. Less open to interpretation,” says a very clear Tycho, letting the visitors know what the Iron Bank is all about. After a few questions, Tycho shuts them down and denies the request for gold, leaving the Onion Knight in a bit of a quandary, especially when he gets the side-eye from Stannis. Ser Davos makes a last-ditch effort to the Iron Bank, showing them his stumpy fingers for effect. The loyal Davos convinces Tycho that Stannis is an honorable man, a reliable leader and a good candidate for a loan. With their windfall, Davos finds his old pirate pal Salladhor Saan (Lucian Msamati), who is having the Braavosi version of a hot tub party. Knowing that Salladhor won’t sail anywhere unless he gets paid, Davos produces payment up front and announces they will be leaving at sunrise.
Yara Greyjoy is on her way to the Dreadfort to save her brother. She reads the letter Ramsay Snow wrote to her father after Theon/Reek was first captured to muster her men. While Ramsay a.k.a. the Mad Man is having very scary relations with Myranda (Charlotte Hope), Yara and her crew sneak into the Dreadfort. I have to say it, Myranda has some huge cajones to be able to have sex with a psycho like Ramsay. Anywho, Yara finds Theon/Reek sleeping in the kennels with the dogs. The poor thing is so damaged, he thinks Ramsay is playing a trick on him to test his loyalty and begins to scream, refusing to leave.
The Mad Man comes into the kennels covered in blood from his “fun,” and the fight begins. Theon/Reek, still freaking out, bites his sister’s hand and runs back to his cage. When the fighting ends, Yara demands the return of her brother, but instead has to run for the hills when Ramsay releases his dogs, aptly named “Bastard’s Girls.” Yara and the rest of her men hightail it out of there, leaving her brother behind. When someone asks, “What about Theon?” Yara honestly answers, “Theon is dead.” Afterwards, Ramsay rewards Theon/Reek with a bath, which is just another set up. He wants his pet to help him take Moat Cailin for his father, Roose Bolton. Ramsay tells him to pretend to be someone he is not: Theon Greyjoy. Will Theon/Reek be able to pull it off without turning into a puddle of crazy?
On the other side of the world, a goat herder and his son are in the field, watching over their flock. Just then, Drogon makes an epic appearance, flying over the terrified boy and burning up the flock. That dragon is huge!
Drogon grabs one of the flaming goats for later, giving the term “carryout” new meaning. In the Throne Room of Meereen, Dany is visited by the same goat herd, this time holding a blanket full of charbroiled bones. He tells Dany through Girl Friday Missandei that her dragon is the cause of his loss. Khaleesi offers to pay him for his trouble, sweetening the deal by offering him three times as much. Her next visitor is not so warmly received by the new Queen.
He is Hizdar zo Loraq, native of Meereen and son of a recently crucified master. Dany could care less until she learns that Hizdar’s father was crucified unjustly and not a master. He passionately asks for his father’s body, and those of the masters, so they may be buried according to Meereen’s customs. Dany agrees to Hizdar’s request to bury his father, but no one else.
In King’s Landing, the Small Council meets before Tyrion’s trial. Newly-appointed member Prince Oberyn has no love for the early meeting, especially since we all know where he likes to spend his nights. As the meeting gets underway, the group learns that the Hound has been spotted in the Riverlands and Dany is the new Queen of Meereen. Tywin thinks it is time for her to be “dealt with” and asks Lord Varys to send his little birds across the Narrow Sea. After the meeting, Prince Oberyn chats with Lord Varys in front of the Iron Throne. Varys is curious as to how the Prince is so familiar with the Unsullied.
Oberyn reveals he once lived in Essos for five years because he wanted to, telling Varys that “most of us live and die in the same corner where we were born and never get to see any of it. I don’t want to be most of us.” Prince Oberyn easily figures out where Lord Varys hails from, throwing the Spider off for a moment. He extends an invitation to join him and Ellaria at the pleasure house (of course), offering male companionship. But it is then the Prince who is surprised when he learns that Lord Varys desires neither males nor females. Lord Varys explains to the hot Prince, “The absence of desire leaves one free to pursue other things.” When Oberyn asks what, Varys glances at the Iron Throne and then walks away.
Jaime arrives at Tyrion’s cell, where he is handcuffed and taken to the Throne Room for his trial. King Tommen, already under Tywin’s spell, recuses himself from the trial and appoints his grandfather, Prince Oberyn and Mace Tyrell as judges. And so the farce begins. Ser Meryn Trant, Maester Pycelle, Cersei Lannister and Lord Varys all “testify” to Halfman’s guilt. Jaime watches on in horror, realizing that his brother is without a doubt going to die. During a break in the trial, Jaime pleads for his brother’s life, promising to leave the King’s Guard and rule at Casterly Rock. Tywin agrees immediately to his son’s compromise and states that he will allow Tyrion to spend his days as a brother of the Night’s Watch, leaving Jaime no choice but to keep his word.
Before the trial reconvenes, Jaime tells Tyrion of the agreement. The Kingslayer counsels his brother to behave himself so his life will be spared. But Halfman is no fool. He knows something is up, but isn’t sure what it could be. Unfortunately, he finds out when none other than his lady love Shae walks in. Tyrion is in shock and understandably hurt when he hears the woman he loves tell lie after lie, humiliating him in the process. Former endearments between the two lovers become fodder for the spectators at the trial.
At last, Tyrion has had enough. He states that he wishes to confess, but not to the death of his crazy nephew. Instead, he confesses his true feelings for the people of King’s Landing and their dead king. The words that came out of Halfman’s mouth after that were pure gold and one of the best speeches I have heard on the show. My favorite part of this episode came when Tyrion said, “I did not do it. I did not kill Joffrey, but I wish that I had. Watching your vicious bastard die gave me more relief than a thousand lying whores!” How many of you shouted a resounding “YES” at the television after hearing that? But he doesn’t stop there. Tyrion stuns everyone when he demands a trial by combat. Not only does he get to live for another day, but Halfman pretty much fouls up everyone’s plans, especially his father’s. Who will fight for him? Will it be the one-handed Kingslayer with the golden hand? Sellsword drinking buddy Bronn? Who will stand up for the Halfman? Stay tuned.
Game of Thrones airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.
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