'Game of Thrones' Recap: The Trial of Tyrion Lannister
Sunday, May 11, 2014
Peter Dinklage won an Emmy Award for his work in the first season of Game of Thrones. After this week's episode, we can all agree that he deserves a second.
The second half of "The Laws of Gods and Men" is devoted to the trial of Tyrion Lannister, and it ends with Dinklage delivering the best performance this show has ever seen. He's defiant, strong, terrifying and a total bad-ass. Just thinking about it give me goosebumps.
When Tyrion is finally brought to trial for killing Joffrey, it's a total farce. Witnesses are called and blatantly lie to make him seem guilty, all without Tyrion getting a chance to defend himself.
It gets so bad that, during a recess, Jaime begs his father to show mercy. He strikes a deal that if Tywin agrees to let Tyrion join the Night's Watch instead of executing him, then Jaime will leave the Kingsguard and father children so the Lannister name lives on. Tywin accepts, but Tyrion isn't so willing.
The final witness is...Shae! Yes, she didn't actually leave and she's a woman scorned after Tyrion yelled at her to get her to leave. She tells the court that Tyrion and Sansa worked together to kill Joffrey and even talks about how she was his whore, getting laughs from the audience. It's heartbreaking and embarrassing, and it's the straw that breaks Tyrion's back.
"Father, I wish to confess," Tyrion mutters under his breath. That's when Dinklage's second Emmy Award begins to appear on his mantle. He confesses not to killing Joffrey, but to saving everyone at the Battle of Blackwater, and now he wishes he didn't. He wishes he let Stannis invade and kill them all. And he wishes he actually did kill Joffrey, because watching Cersei suffer as her son died in her arms gave Tyrion so much joy.
It's the scariest Tyrion has ever been and a scene that is so perfectly acted that all you can do is sit back and admire how brilliant Peter Dinklage is. But he's not done yet. The episode ends with Tyrion demanding a trial by combat! Will his brother Jaime be his champion? Will Bronn?
Whatever happens, this scene was, for me, even better than Joffrey's death. Tyrion refused to go quietly and watching him go off on his sister, father and the entire population of King's Landing was priceless.
Small Council Matters
In non-"Tyrion is awesome" news, the new Small Council met to go over important items like the Hound being on the run and everything that Dany has been up to for the past two seasons. Afterwards, Oberyn and Varys have a nice chat about desires and passions. I don't know what Varys is up to, but it's definitely something.
The Iron Bank
Stannis goes to Braavos to try and get a loan from the Iron Bank. The bankers aren't too keen on the idea until Davos steps up and gives a speech about how, once the old Tywin Lannister is dead, the Iron Bank won't be very interested in backing Tommen, Cersei or anyone else in King's Landing.
Yara's Rescue Attempt
Remember Yara Greyjoy, Theon's sister. Well, she finally gets around to trying to save her brother by storming Ramsay Snow's castle. She attacks and finds Theon in a dog cage, but he refuses to leave because now he's Reek. Ramsay, shirtless, bloody and post-coital, arrives for an epic fight that ends with him channeling Mr. Burns by releasing the hounds. Yara flees without her brother, saying that he's dead.
Reek, however, is very much alive, and for his loyalty, Ramsay lets him take a bath in a creepy scene that thankfully did NOT include a shot of Theon's penis-less private area. Ramsay decides that he wants to strike back against Yara, so he tells Reek that he has an important assignment that involves "pretending" to be Theon Greyjoy again.
Finally, Daenerys learns that ruling isn't so much fun. Now that she's the Queen of Meereen (and about a thousand other titles), she has to listen to complaints like a goat herder bitching about how the dragons are burning and eating all his goats.
There's also a man who's dad was crucified, wrongly, by Dany, and he begs to let him be buried. Dany reluctantly agrees, realizing that her version of justice may not have been so just before having to deal with 212 more citizen complains. Dany should really call up Leslie Knope to run a town meeting to deal with all of this crap.
(Image courtesy of HBO)