Tyrion, Tyrion, Tyrion. When will you ever learn to keep your mouth shut?
Based on the latest “Game of Thrones” episode, titled “The Laws of Gods and Men,” it might be far too late for Tyrion to ever learn another lesson again. After on the bravado he exhibited in front of his judge, jury, executioner and father, Tywin Lannister, it appears that Tyrion has made his final public stand — and depending on how it shakes out, it could be lights out for the Imp before long.
Here are our biggest questions about the episode, starting with the man of the hour:
1. Is Peter Dinklage Ready For Emmy #2?
Because he should be. Dinklage absolutely owned this episode of “Thrones,” more so than ever, and that’s saying quite a lot. As Tyrion Lannister, Dinklage consistently delivers the most dynamic character in Westeros, and the latest episode was no exception. His final moments on the stand, from suffering Shae’s betrayal to challenging the legal system itself, were some of the most powerful and profound beats in “Thrones” history. Credit the writing, the directing, the stakes of the situation — but don’t underestimate Dinklage’s pivotal performance, especially come awards season.
2. Shae, Do You Feel Shame?
Well, now we know what happened to Tyrion’s former flame. She did not get on a boat and sail away from King’s Landing, as Bronn previously reported. She remained in King’s Landing long enough to drive the final nail into Tyrion’s coffin. Does she believe the words she utters on the stand, or is she testifying under duress? Does she actually feel for Tyrion after all, or does she feel just as betrayed by Tyrion as Tyrion feels betrayed by Shae? Either way, it was a brutal moment for all of the characters involved, as well as the viewers, and easily one of the best scenes of the season so far.
3. Was That Tywin’s Goal All Along?
Before Shae took the stand, and before Tyrion’s outburst, Tywin made a deal with Jaime. If Tyrion admits guilt, Tywin will take execution off the table, and instead send the Imp to live out his life as a man of the Night’s Watch. In exchange for that, Jaime will forsake his vows as a member of the Kingsguard, and take his place as Tywin’s rightful heir. The plan is hatched far too quickly to be a spur of the moment negotiation between Tywin and Jaime. We have to assume that Tywin, whether or not he believes Tyrion is guilty, was angling for Jaime’s resignation as a knight this entire time. Pretty cunning stuff, but hardly surprising, coming from the architect of the Red Wedding.
4. Who Will Defend Tyrion?
Finally fed up, Tyrion decided to blow up the trial, opting instead for trial by combat. It’s his second time opting for such a measure, after letting Bronn serve in his stead during his trial at the Eyrie in season one. But now, Tyrion is in the belly of the beast, right at the heart of Westeros, where the greatest warriors known in the Seven Kingdoms will be lining up to claim Tyrion’s head. With that in mind, who could possibly defend the Imp from certain doom? Will Bronn step up to the plate again? Only if the money’s there, and even then, it’s a risk. How about Jaime? He’s missing his sword hand, and he has conflicts of interest, given his relationship with Cersei. It’s a sticky situation for Tyrion, with no easy answer… at least not yet.
5. Is Stannis On Fire?
Away from King’s Landing’s drama, Stannis Baratheon flirts with a different dynasty: The Iron Bank of Braavos. Thanks to Davos Seaworth’s skillful, Don Draper-inspired tactics, Stannis now has money on his side — enough to make him a real, legitimate threat against the Iron Throne again. Is this nothing more than a momentary boost in the “rightful” king’s cause, or a sign that Stannis is the mannis who will take the Lannisters down?
6. Is Theon Really Dead?
That’s what his sister, Yara, said, after leaving the rabid Reek to linger in the Dreadfort. After sailing halfway around Westeros to liberate her brother, it appears Yara has given up on Theon. But should she give up so easily? Ramsay Snow certainly seems convinced that there are shades of Theon lurking under the filthy Reek. Perhaps Yara needs to have more confidence in her brother’s capacity to return from the brink.
7. Is Daenerys In Over Her Head?
If she thought ruling as queen would be easy, Dany got a serious reality check here, meeting with over 200 different Meereenese about their varying problems since she came to town. One man in particular, Hizdahr zo Loraq, seems especially fiery in conversation with Dany. Beyond the individual problems of her new people, Dany also has to worry about her increasingly irascible dragons, Drogon in particular. It really does beg the question: Is Dany in over her head here, or will the Mother of Dragons get a hang of this “royalty” thing in due time?
Tell us what you thought of last night’s “Game of Thrones” in the comments below!