Three guys talking about comic books, sports, movies, TV shows and the numerous other pastimes that make us Gentlemen of Leisure.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Game of Thrones 4x06: The Laws of Gods and Men



Opening Credits Map
King's Landing -> Dreadfort -> Winterfell -> The Wall -> Braavos -> Meereen

Braavos
We start off with Stannis Baratheon sailing in literally the opposite direction of the White Walkers. Instead he’s entering Braavos to go to the Iron Bank. If you think that going to a bank in the Game of Thrones universe is any more exciting than going to the bank in real life then you’re about to be proven wrong!

Apparently, like all banks, the Iron Bank makes you wait interminably long too. Finally, Stannis and Davos get to meet with the heads of the bank. Stannis is in need of cash for all this world conquering he’s planning to do. So he applying for a loan. But he is denied. Obama’s America, am I right?

Davos isn't going to take no for an answer, though. He notes that Tommen is just a pretender to the throne and, regardless, Tywin is the one really pulling the strings and, due to his age, he isn't long for this world. Stannis is the only would-be-king in prime ruling-the-seven-kingdoms-age. Davos also notes that Stannis pays his debts unlike others who only talk about doing so.

I will say that there isn't a bath house filled with naked women near my bank. It appears that there is one in Braavos, though, which is definitely more exciting than real life banks! In this bath Salladhor Saan is continuing the time honored tradition of wooing women with poop jokes.

Davos interrupts Salladhor Saan's wooing to try and recruit Salladhor. Salladhor asks if Davos would like to join him with the women in the bath but Davos declines. Davos, I don’t think you’ll get Salladhor to join Stannis’ army again by showing such poor decision making. However, like everywhere else, money talks. So Davos drops a bag full of newly loaned coins in front of Salladhor and Salladhor is all, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!”

Dreadfort
Yara Greyjoy is on a mission to retrieve Theon. So Yara and her men easily sneak in and, after some killing and threatening, Yara is directed to Theon. The Dreadfort is a fort in name only because it's apparently not well defended at all.

Yara finds Theon but Theon is Reek and Reek yells for Ramsay Snow’s help. Soon enough, Ramsay shows up and really kicks some ass because he’s the boss of this level. The battle ends in more-or-less a stalemate so Ramsay takes a cue from Mr. Burns and releases the hounds. This causes Yara and her men to flee the Dreadfort sans Theon. On her way out Yara claims that "Theon is dead."

As a reward for Reek’s loyalty Ramsay bathes Reek. Personally, I wouldn't consider this a reward, Reek seemed indifferent to it and, frankly, I think Ramsay is the only one really enjoying it. But that isn't surprising. Anyway, the point of this scene is that Reek is going to have play the role of a lifetime: Theon Greyjoy. Me thinks usurper-to-the-throne Balon Greyjoy needs to be careful.

Meereen
A salt-of-the-earth shepherd is tending to his goats. Then, out of nowhere, this dragon comes swooping down and eats the shepherd’s entire livelihood!

Dannerys is hearing the complaints of her people. The first person we see is the shepherd whose flock was eaten. He tries politely as possible to tell Dannerys that dragons eating his flock isn't conducive to him making a living. Dannerys agrees and pays three times what each goat was worth. Sure, throw money at the problem. Don't let Fox News find out about that.

Next up is Hizadahr zo Loraq whose father was one of the crucified masters. Number of fucks Dannerys gives? Zero. Loraq then points out that his father was against the crucifying of the child slaves. Number of fucks Dannerys still gives? Zero. Loraq's real point is that he’d like his father and the other masters to receive a proper burial. Dannerys agrees.

King's Landing
The small council is meeting. Lord Mace Tyrell is hella excited about being master of ships and kissing Tywin’s ass. Oberyn, meanwhile, is leaning back and with his leg on the table showing off how cool and casual he’s taking all this.

After talk of Arya’s boyfriend wanton killing of soldiers they then discuss Dannerys. Varys goes over how she conquered Meereen with an army of Unsullied, the sell swords known as the Second Sons, advisers in Mormont and Selby and three dragons. Cersei once again proves her stupidity by saying, “Don’t tell me you’re worried about a child halfway across the world?” I repeat, this is after Varys mentioned the Unsullied, the Second Sons, Dannerys’ two experienced advisers and her three dragons.

Oberyn and Varys share a moment in the throne room. Not like that, you sickos. Oberyn outs Varys as being from Essos and then invites him back for some fun with boys. Varys declines since he’s asexual but notes his lack of carnal urges gives him time to chase other things. He then looks to the Iron Throne.

So, the trial of the century is about to start. Unfortunately Tyrion doesn't have Johnny Cochran to represent him. Instead Tyrion just has to sit and listen to witness after witness give half-truths or outright lie. Tyrion does get to ask Varys, who testified against him, if Varys forgot when he said that he’d never forget Tyrion’s actions at Blackwater. Varys pretty much gives a non-answer.

Recess! While everyone else is playing hopscotch and climbing the jungle gym, Jaime is talking with Tywin. In the end, it’s agreed that Tyrion can join the Night’s Watch as his punishment so long as Jaime gives up the Kingsguard and returns to Casterly Rock to give Tywin his lifelong dream of having non-dwarf-fathered heirs. Jaime tells Tyrion the plan and Tyrion skeptically agrees. No way this plan could go awry, right?

The trial resumes and who should be the next witness but Shea. Shea lies about how Tyrion plotted with Sansa to kill Joffrey and she knows this because she was his handmaiden and his whore. (And she makes it clear that that's all she was to Tyrion.) Tyrion is not pleased with this testimony to say the least.

Shea continues to twist the knife in Tyrion’s back and, eventually, Tyrion just friggin’ snaps. He’s like, "You're out of order! You're out of order! The whole trial is out of order! They're out of order! Did you order the code red? This time, will you please catch it with your left hand? Isn't the first cardinal rule of perm maintenance that you're forbidden to wet your hair for at least 24 hours after getting a perm at the risk of deactivating the ammonium thioglycolate? Now imagine she’s white.”

So, after wishing everyone dead, denying that he killed Joffrey but admitting he loved every minute of his death, Tyrion says that he’s sick this farce of a legal system. It’s time to go old school. It’s time for a trial by combat! Everyone else in the room is like W-T-F!?

Other Thoughts
So when sailing underneath the giant soldier statue straddling the waterway into Braavos, what do you see when you look up?

If I was Theon/Reek, I’m not sure I’d want my sister announcing to the world that I was castrated.

Why was Ramsay Snow covered in blood when he showed up to the cells? Was he already in a fight or did he kill the woman he had sex with after he was done with her because that's the kind of thing Ramsay Snow would do?

Ramsay Snow checking out Theon/Reek's non-junk was pretty disturbing.

Hizadahr zo Loraq was all high and mighty about the fact that his father was against the execution of child slaves...but his father still owned slaves. So congrats on him only being mostly evil?

Tywin says a dragon hasn't won a war in 3,000 years. But, a dragon hasn't existed in 3,000 years. Now three do. And if a dragon could win a war back then, why couldn't it now?

So Varys is from Essos. Did we know this already? I assume Varys' story of how he was castrated (by an evil mage) is accurate and that he wasn't an Unsullied.

Something seems off about Varys seemingly wanting to be king. His character always seemed above that. But perhaps that's just the game he's playing?

I thought it would be cool if Tyrion was found guilty and then Tommen, to the shock of everyone, gave Tyrion a full pardon (because he believed his uncle to be innocent). It would be the inverse of how Joffrey handled Ned Stark. I had no expectations that that would happen but I thought it would've been neat.

So Dontos' body was found with the poison necklace. I assume Baelish planned it that way?

I know it's kind of the point, but any justice system that doesn't even allow cross examination can hardly be considered justice at all.

When Jaime talked to Tywin he didn't even say that he thought Tyrion was innocent. I'm not sure if he didn't think it would do any good or does he actually think Tyrion did it?

So if Tyrion did go to the Night's Watch what would happen to his marriage to Sansa?

I'm confused by Shea's motives. Yes, she was hurt that Tyrion sent her away (and he did so by insulting her) but she had to understand his motives, right? Even if she didn't agree with him, she should have at least seen where he's coming from. Yeah, maybe she's mad about it, but mad enough to want to help him to an early grave? If she really took everything Tyrion had said at face value then that really makes her look stupid.

Maybe her life was threatened by the Lannisters but I always took Shea to be the type of person who would sacrifice herself for Tyrion. Maybe she just realized that Tyrion was going to be found guilty and executed regardless of her testimony so her refusing to testify and being killed wasn't going to do anybody any good. Then again, that kind of realistic, calculated logic is usually never found in fiction. Besides, if she was left with no choice but to testify then did she have to do so with such venom?

I guess the third option is that the Lannisters got her to testify by saying that if she didn't Tyrion would be executed but if she did Tyrion's life would be spared (probably via the Night's Watch). However, the whole scene was played like she was simply doing this out of spite. Which is dumb.

So, Tyrion finds himself in another trial by combat. In the the Vale of Arryn Tyrion was able to name a champion. Can he do so again? For some reason I got the feeling Tyrion himself will have to fight. But who? My first thought was Jaime Lannister but Tywin wouldn't allow that for several reasons beyond the fact that Jaime is missing a hand. My guess is either Loras Tyrell or The Mountain.

When Tyrion made his big speech at the end all I could think is that one word must be going through Peter Dinklage's mind, "Emmy!"

Davos: Well, strictly speaking, I didn't do the thieving. That would be the pirates. I just moved what they stole from one place to another.

Varys: The absence of desire leaves one to pursue other things.

Jaime: You are going to be found guilty.
Tyrion: Oh, you think so?

Tyrion: Watching your vicious bastard die gave me more relief than a thousand lying whores!

Season 4 Totals
Boob Count: 24 (Counting the boobs in this episode was like counting the Hodors in the last! By my count we've doubled the number of boobs this season with just this episode. And none of it was gratuitous rape!)
Full Frontal Count: 4 (3 Female, 1 Male)(One girl in the bath house.)
Butt Count: 7 (6 Female, 1 Male)(A couple in the bath house and one for the girl in the completely pointless Ramsay Snow sex scene.)
Coitus Count: 4 (One this episode. The above mentioned pointless sex scene.)
Main Character Death Count: 2 (Joffrey and Karl)(No one died this episode but Yara did say Theon was dead. But that doesn't count.)
Hodor Count: 40

6 comments:

  1. I find it interesting that the Lannisters always pay their debts, except, i guess, when it come to financial debts?

    I know Ramysay was rewarding Reek, but when you spent a lot of time dehumanizing him so he becomes your brainwashed slave, a humanizing bath seems a risky move to take, especially when it's clear that he's still sort of in there, based on his reaction to being told about Rob's death.

    Also, really Dany? 3x the worth of his goats? Just pay him the worth and some extra for time lost. Or maaaaybe 1.5 or 2x. But 3x? What's the point of that? Especially since those dragons are going to keep eating, which means they will keep decimating flocks, and you've now set a precendence. Dumb.

    There's no way Varys could ever achieve that throne. He's not noble and he's a eunuch. He has to know this, too, so it made me think that his blatant look at the throne was not a literal "i want the throne" and was instead a "i want power", which does fit in with his character.

    The Shea stuff also didn't make sense to me. Yes, he hurt you, but did he hurt you so bad that you want to see him executed, but also, before that, shamed and emasculated too? I don't know. That just didn't fit in with Shea's character thus far and her clear love for Tyrion.

    Also, i totally want one of those cylinders of coins. They were awesome

    ReplyDelete
  2. I will say that there isn't a bath house filled with naked women near my bank.

    You're going to the wrong bank, my friend.

    Soon enough, Ramsay shows up and really kicks some ass because he’s the boss of this level.

    Ha! Yeah, that scene really didn't do much for me. For one, I felt like the hounds shouldn't be *that* much of a threat. I mean, stab them? And since Ramsey was the only one left standing of his guys by the end, I dunno, stab *him* before he releases the hounds?

    My brother said that whole "Yara tries to rescue Theon, then gives up when she sees he's Reek" was fabricated for the show, which probably explains why it's so insular and ultimately pointless.

    Oberyn, meanwhile, is leaning back and with his leg on the table showing off how cool and casual he’s taking all this.

    I also liked that he didn't rise when Tywin entered, which echoed Tyrion's whole "slowly drag a chair across the room" bit in a previous Small Council meeting. Basically, Oberyn is the new Tyrion as far as Westeros government is concerned.

    Instead Tyrion just has to sit and listen to witness after witness give half-truths or outright lie.

    I don't actually think anything that was said was an outright lie - except, I suppose, Pycelle claiming Tyrion stole his poisons, which is just Pycelle slinging shit - just lots of half truths or full truths that lacked context (like what Joffrey was having done to Sansa when Tyrion threatended Meryn Trout), which I thought was a nice bit of writing (and emphasizes your point about the uselessness of a trial without cross examination).

    Varys pretty much gives a non-answer.

    That was curious. Part me wonders if maybe Varys has some kind of plan in motion to prevent Tyrion's death, like secreting him away before an execution, and was just playing his part publically. Then again, maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part because I kinda like Varys and he was the only one who seemed to appreciate what Tyrion did for the city in season two, and I'd hate for all that to have been a lie.

    No way this plan could go awry, right?

    I appreciated that Tyrion pointed out how Ned was basically given the same deal on paper, and look how that turned out.

    Also, it seemed pretty obvious from his quick acceptance of Jaime's offer that Tywin had been manipulating events since the murder to get to that outcome. Like, whether he believes Tyrion or not, he's leading the prosecution against him because he wants Jaime to reclaim his inheritance.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So when sailing underneath the giant soldier statue straddling the waterway into Braavos, what do you see when you look up?

    Junk 'n' stuff. Also, I had the same thought.

    Why was Ramsay Snow covered in blood when he showed up to the cells?

    I took it that he had fought his way past some of Yara's men that she had stationed along the way to/outside the kennels.

    but his father still owned slaves. So congrats on him only being mostly evil?

    Yeah. It's like the antebellum slave owners that tried to take the moral high ground by saying they treated their slaves well.

    And if a dragon could win a war back then, why couldn't it now?

    Also, I think Tywin is underestimating how big Dany's dragons are, because dragons got progressively smaller as they neared extinction. They aren't as big as the original dragons, but they're pretty big, and still growing. I could easily see them razing King's Landing if Dany is able to train them up.

    Something seems off about Varys seemingly wanting to be king.

    Like Sarah, I took his glance less to mean he wanted the actual crown/throne, and more just that he wants to control it, be the power behind the throne, so to speak.

    If she really took everything Tyrion had said at face value then that really makes her look stupid.

    It does, and the impression I got was that she was so hurt by Tyrion's "be mean to get her to leave and save her life" routine that now she's all "eff him, let him die", which is indeed stupid. Unless, of course, it turns out she's been on Tywin's payroll, so to speak, all this time, a longer and more elaborate version of the whole "tried to marry a whore who was only paid to love him" episode from Tyrion's youth.

    ReplyDelete
  4. So when sailing underneath the giant soldier statue straddling the waterway into Braavos, what do you see when you look up?

    According to the books, it's a manned defensive emplacement, and you see people staring down at you, which sounds like something guaranteed to make its way into your darkest and most Freudian nightmares.

    @Sarah Ahiers

    I find it interesting that the Lannisters always pay their debts, except, i guess, when it come to financial debts?

    Ah, but therein lies the rub. The Lannisters always pay their debts (though I'm not sure they necessarily do so promptly), but Tommen is nominally a Baratheon, and when the Iron Bank lent money to the first Baratheon to sit the Iron Throne he pissed it away like he was a riot hose and the King's Landing whores were peaceful protestors. I've no doubt Tywin has told the Iron Bank he'll be paying them on an instalment plan now he's back in charge (and indeed we know from last episode that he intends to do that using Tyrell gold), but Davos' whole point here is that statistically Tywin won't live for all that much longer (even if he weren't a major player in a political game that's seen one Hand and four kings dead in the last three seasons), and Tommen himself can't be trusted.

    Which is a nice irony on the story's part: the best way to reassure the Iron Bank would be to appeal to the historical fiduciary trustworthiness of a House they cannot admit Tommen fully belongs to.

    Also, really Dany? 3x the worth of his goats? Just pay him the worth and some extra for time lost. Or maaaaybe 1.5 or 2x. But 3x? What's the point of that? Especially since those dragons are going to keep eating, which means they will keep decimating flocks, and you've now set a precendence. Dumb.

    I had that same thought, though of course as Queen she can revoke a precedent any time she chooses. But yes, I see a lot of conveniently burned sheep in the next few weeks.

    (Which rather reminds me of this, actually:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66SQKEf7UIs
    )

    @ Teebore

    Part me wonders if maybe Varys has some kind of plan in motion to prevent Tyrion's death, like secreting him away before an execution, and was just playing his part publically.

    Well, we know he could do it, from his appearances in Ned's cell back in Season 1. The question is whether doing so would be of any benefit to whatever plans he has (which after three and a half seasons we still can't adequately describe beyond a) helping out the Targaryens and b) dicking over Littefinger), or if not, whether his professed gratitude from the end of Season 2 will come into play.

    Yeah. It's like the antebellum slave owners that tried to take the moral high ground by saying they treated their slaves well.

    I loved this scene, because so many conflicting things come out of it. So yeah, he was one of the better Great Masters, but he was still part of the ruling class of a slave power. He's clearly guilty by association. But does owning slaves necessarily warrant crucifixion? What about if he'd been working to reform Meereen? What if Great Master is a title that doesn't require you to own slaves? How far does a man have to divorce himself from his slave state before his guilt is significantly lessened? Is it better to give up and move elsewhere in protest, or are you obligated to remain where you are and try to use your power to effect change? Was this guy a George Washington, or an Abraham Lincoln? And even if we had more info, how much can we believe the testimony of his own son anyway?

    ReplyDelete

  5. Why did Yara just stand there facing a barely armed, bare-torso'd Ramsay, waiting for him to let those dogs out of their cages? I'm pretty sure there were archers with her. Also, I know that the whole rescue attempt was probably a necessary plot point, on the face of it as well as how it set up this next scheme of Ramsay's, but seeing Yara and her men get right back in their boats with nothing to show for the escapade felt like a complete narrative waste of time.

    I'm with you about Tywin's and Cersei's reactions to Daenerys' armies, dragons, and general conqueritude. Tywin, at least, should be smarter than that.

    Shea is apparently just stupid, although the fact that she didn't get what Tyrion was doing in pushing her away was at least set up by her jealousy and feelings of inferiority (not in terms of actual [self-]worth, perhaps, but station) regarding Sansa.

    // Unfortunately Tyrion doesn't have Johnny Cochran to represent him. //

    "You-all found the necklace. The dwarf ain't that reckless!"

    // So when sailing underneath the giant soldier statue straddling the waterway into Braavos, what do you see when you look up? //

    If the sculptors were feckless, he's probably schmeckless.

    ReplyDelete
  6. @Sarah: "Especially since those dragons are going to keep eating"

    I really don't mind the 3x the price if this was a one time thing. But Dannerys should really figure out how to feed her dragons without impacting other people.

    "was not a literal "i want the throne" and was instead a "i want power""

    Yeah, in the end, that's how I took it. Now the question is why he wants to be pulling the strings. Is it for the altruistic reasons he has espoused or is it for more selfish reasons?

    "Also, i totally want one of those cylinders of coins."

    They were cool, but the almost seemed too modern to me.

    @Austin: " I dunno, stab *him* before he releases the hounds?"

    But...he's a main character!

    "Basically, Oberyn is the new Tyrion as far as Westeros government is concerned."

    Yeah, but Tywin seems more tolerant of his behavior than Tyrion's. Probably for the obvious reasons.

    "I don't actually think anything that was said was an outright lie"

    As you said, I think Pycelle was lying. And I was probably lumping Shea's testimony in with that statement too.

    "Unless, of course, it turns out she's been on Tywin's payroll, so to speak, all this time, a longer and more elaborate version of the whole "tried to marry a whore who was only paid to love him" episode from Tyrion's youth."

    That would be interesting but that doesn't seem to be Tywin's style. Like he cares about Tyrion's happiness.

    @SpaceSquid: "What if Great Master is a title that doesn't require you to own slaves?"

    I would think if he didn't own slaves that's what Hizadahr zo Loraq would have lead off with. But I'm with you, it is interesting to think of all the implications.

    In the end, I'm not going to feel sorry for slave owners being crucified. At the same time, I don't think it was the best decision by Dannerys. You can't beat equality into people. You need to change their entire outlook on the issue which, obviously, is a tall order. But by crucifying the masters you're drawing a line in the sand. You're separating people instead of bringing them together.

    @Blam: "Tywin, at least, should be smarter than that."

    I would think. It's like saying, "an atomic bomb has never one a war before" before WWII. It's true...but only because they hadn't existed yet.

    "You-all found the necklace. The dwarf ain't that reckless!"

    Nice! I was trying to come up with a joke along those lines.

    ReplyDelete

Comment. Please. Love it? Hate it? Am mildly indifferent to it? Let us know!