This week’s episode of “Game Of Thrones” is all about trades. People trading identities, trading their souls, trading one form of justice for another. And it all ended with an amazing cliffhanger that has us begging for the next episode.
Here’s everything you missed on “The Laws of Gods And Men:”
Everything’s Bigger In Braavos
They’ve been teasing it all season, and this episode we got our first glimpse at a major new location in Westeros: the Iron Bank of Braavos. The stronghold on the island nation is run by none other than Sherlock’s older brother, Mark Gatiss: a man who prefers numbers to rumors.
“I prefer the stories they tell. More plain. Less open to interpretation,” Gatiss (who probably has a character name, but whatever) says. That’s in reference to Stannis’ assertion the Bank should give him money because Tommen is a bastard. Instead, Davos shoots back a few numbers of his own, convincing the Bank to give a loan, and pirate Salladhor Saan to give up his naked lady bath for some more ships.
Though this is only a short interaction, we can’t imagine an actor of Gatiss’ stature showed up for one short scene. Expect plenty more from the bank — and Braavos — in upcoming episodes.
Dog Day After-reek
Picking up on the end-of-season three promise, Yara heads to Ramsay Snow’s keep to free her mutilated brother Theon. Unfortunately, Theon is full-fledged Reek now, preferring to sleep in a dog kennel than be freed. He even bites Yara, which is a far cry from when he tried to do something that rhymes with finger-fang her back in season two.
In return for staying loyal, Ramsay gives Reek the world’s creepiest bath, and then tells Reek he needs him to get a castle for him by pretending to be someone else: Theon Greyjoy. If this wasn’t all so horrible, it would be a great set-up for a French farce.
Night Court Of Thrones
Now officially Queen of Meereen (and why they don’t sing-song rhyme that more often is beyond me), Daenerys spends her day seeing supplicants, and honoring requests. The first one is from a man whose sheep were burned and eaten by the now giant dragon, Drogon. This one is easy: pay the guy three times as much for the sheep.
Less easy? Smooth-talking Hizdhar zo Loraq, who requests to have his father buried properly after Dany, you know, crucified him. She eventually relents, but it seems like this being a Queen thing is way harder than she thought it would be. Looks like she’s still got some growing up to do, if this was an ’80s comedy.
Oberyn Is The New Littlefinger
After Littlefinger’s shocking reveal that he’s behind literally every major event that’s ever happened on the show (in the last episode), now Varys seems to imply he’s also gunning for the Iron Throne. At least, that’s what occurs when Oberyn has a patented, “standing in front of the Throne not really saying what we mean” talk with Varys mid-way through the episode. So is Oberyn the new Littlefinger?
This switcheroo is backed up by Oberyn’s new position on the small council, prompting the Red Viper of Dorne to quip, “Does this mean I’m a master of something now? Coins? Ships?”
The Trial Of Tyrion Lannister
Legally, you need to arrange a trial in order of how heartbreaking the witness’ testimony will be for the defendant. That’s lawyering 101.
The first witness is Ser Meryn, a character so important that I had to look up his name because I completely forgot what it was.
Next up is the slightly more recognizable Maester Pycelle, who accuses Tyrion of stealing his poison to murder Joffrey. “This man killed the most noble boy who ever lived,” Pycelle says, followed by the longest reaction-shot pause in the history of television.
Cersei also shows up to discredit Tyrion, which is par for the course, and she’s definitely hamming it up for the crowd.
The next one hurts though. Varys betrays Tyrion, suggesting he may have been in league with The Starks. Tyrion begs his father (who is the lead judge) to ask Varys one question. He asks whether Varys remembers telling Tyrion that he saved the city, and Varys would never forget that.
“Sadly, my lord, I never forget a thing,” Varys says. Tyrion’s face falls, as he realizes that Varys knows he was used multiple times by Tyrion, and never stopped resenting him.
Jaime Makes A Deal
In order to save Tyrion’s life, Jaime tells his father Tywin that he would quit the Kingsguard and start a family, to continue the Lannister name. “Done,” Tywin says immediately, and it becomes abundantly clear that this was Tywin’s angle all along.
As long as Tyrion keeps his mouth shut and begs for mercy, he’ll be sent to the Night’s Watch, Tywin explains… And soon after that, Jaime gets shipped off to Casterly Rock to start making some babies with a lady who isn’t his own sister.
A Low Down, Dirty Shae
Sadly, the chances of Tyrion keeping mum drop to zero when Shae goes on the stand. She tells everyone that Tyrion and Sansa planned the murder together. And then she humiliates him in front of the crowd, detailing their sexual exploits in the worst light possible.
“I am whore, remember?” Shae says, looking right at Tyrion, reminding him of the words he used to try and drive her to safety.
His reaction, from absolute grief to rage in mere moments was one of the most gut-wrenching, excellent moments this show has ever done. And it only builds from there.
“I saved you. I saved this city. All your worthless lives. I Should have let Stannis kill you all,” Tyrion spits at the shocked crowd, before saying to Shae, “Watching that boy die gave me more relief than a thousand whores.”
And the capper? Looking right at his father Tywin, who can barely contain his rage, Tyrion demands trial by combat.
Once again, Tyrion has out-maneuvered everyone… Or has he?
What did you think of “The Laws of Gods and Men?” Let us know in the comments below.