Remind me to never be accused of murder in Westeros. Based on what we saw in last night’s episode “The Laws of God and Men,” they don’t hold fair trials. But before we get to that (and trust me, we will), let’s cover what happened earlier in the episode.
Remember Stannis Baratheon? Yeah, he’s still around, but this time he is listening to the advice of his Hand Davos, not Miselandre. Upon realizing that the only way to win the throne is with money and men, Stannis and Davos set sail to Braavos where they visit the Iron Bank. They hope that the Iron Bank will stop supporting the Crown and throw their weight (and gold) behind Stannis and his cause. At first, the Iron Bank is hesitant to switch sides. They are loyal to Tywin Lannister. It takes Davos and his impassioned speech about Stannis paying his debts (and a little help from his missing digits) to convince the Bank to consider their offer.
Following the meeting, Davos goes to a brothel where he meets up with his pirate friend Salladhor Saan. He presents him with money to buy his services.
For the past few weeks, fans have been complaining about the lack of dragons. We’ve had plenty of storylines in Mereen, but Daenereys’ three babies have been absent. Well, there’s a reason for that. They have clearly been growing. In an awesome introduction shot, we see one of Dany’s dragons fly to a cliff, snatch up a goat, and make his way back to the Capitol of Mereen.
Meanwhile, Dany is making good on her promise to rule Mereen and attending to the concerns of the small folk. Her first issue arises when the goat farmer seen in the previous scene arrives in her throne room with the charred remains of his goat. Dany apologizes for her dragon’s action and promises to pay the man three times what his herd is worth.
Hizdahr zo Loraq follows the herder with his own request: he wants the opportunity to bury his father, who Dany crucified when she first arrive at Mereen. Hizdahr insists that his father was against slavery and though Dany doesn’t seem convinced, she allows Hizdahr to bury his father. The encounter takes a toll on her, and Dany wearily asks her advisors how many more people she must see. There are two hundred waiting in line. I think the honeymoon is over and Dany is really starting to realize how hard it is to rule a kingdom.
Yara, Theon’s sister, reads a letter from Ramsey Snow that details Theon’s torture. As a nice gesture, he even sent Theon’s private parts in a box. She leads a group of men to storm Dreadfort to try and rescue Theon. Everything goes well at first until they discover Theon in the kennels. He refuses to go with his sister and instead bites her hand and runs back into the cage. Ramsey comes to fight Yara and eventually sets the hounds on her. She leaves and tells her men that Theon is dead.
After the attack, Ramsey rewards Theon for his loyalty with a bath. While he scrubs him down and in a creepy manner, Ramsey asks Theon for a favor. He needs him to pretend to be Theon Greyjoy in order to seize a castle for him. As if Ramsey hasn’t tortured the poor boy enough, Reek agrees to act as his former self even though he doesn’t seem to remember he was Theon Greyjoy.
Prince Oberyn joins Tywin Lannister, Cersei and others for his first Small Council meeting, although he doesn’t seem pleased that it takes place so early in the morning. Though they talk about many things, the most pressing manner is that of Dany. Tywin is concerned that she is not only ruling Mereen, but has an army of Unsullied and three dragons. Cersei isn’t bothered by the would be queen, but Tywin is not so easily swayed. Something needs to be done about her, so he orders Mace Tyrell to get him parchment and quill.
Later, Prince Oberyn meets Varys in the throne room. Varys is staring longingly at the Iron Throne. Oberyn inquries about Varys’ knowledge of the Unsullied. It is revealed that Varys came from Essos and that he has no desire for either men or women. To him, desire is the root of all evil in the Seven Kingdoms. His lack of desire allows him to pursue other interests, like the sitting on the Iron Throne.
So the trial begins. After Tommen leaves the throne room and the judges take their places, the I-Hate-Tyrion-Show begins. Witness after witness including Grand Maester Pycelle, Cersei and Varys, take the stand and recount every single time Tyrion threatened them. What they conveniently left out is that they deserved it. For the most part, Tyrion seems unaffected by their claims.
When the court takes a recess, Jamie, who looked conflicted the entire trial, goes to Tywin and pleads for his brother’s life. He points out that if Tyrion dies, so does the Lannister name. If Tywin keeps Tyrion alive, Jamie promises to leave the Kingsguard and take his place at Casterly Rock. Tywin agrees to send Tyrion to the Wall and the trial resumes.
Jamie tells Tyrion about the deal he made with Tywin. He advises his brother to keep his mouth shut. For a few moments, it looks like everything will work out, until Shae walks into the room. The look on Tyrion’s face speaks volumes. It’s clear that his careful plan to send Shae to safety was spoiled. His former lover coldly takes the stand and gives a damning testimony. Obviously, Shae is still smarting from the argument she had with Tyrion early on in the season. She not only reveals the details of their pillow talk, but accuses Tyrion and Sansa of conspiring to kill Joffrey. Tyrion is heart broken by Shae’s betrayal and confesses, not to killing Joffrey, but rather to being a dwarf. He turns his attention to the audience and tells them that if it wasn’t for him, they would have been killed by Stannis. One of my favorite lines in the episode is when Tyrion says “I wish I was the monster you think I am.” It’s tough to watch Tyrion, a fan favorite, receive so much hate from the court when he’s clearly one of the only decent people in King’s Landing. Just before the episode ends, Tyrion demands a trial by combat.
So what do you guys think? Is the show going to follow the books and have a certain prince by Tyrion’s champion, or will they throw us for a loop and have Jamie fight for his brother? Sound off in the comments below.