Stannis Baratheon looked for a loan, Yara Greyjoy went to rescue her brother and Daenerys Targaryen found ruling isn’t easy in Sunday’s “Game of Thrones.” But, the show’s most dramatic moments belonged to Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), who finally went on trial, accused of King Joffrey’s murder.
Here’s our blow-by-blow recap of “Game of Thrones” Season 4, Episode 6 – “The Laws of Gods and Men”:
King Stannis Baratheon & Ser Davos Seaworth: Stannis may be a king, but at the Iron Bank of Braavos, he can wait like the rest of them – and he does, giving Davos a glare when the Onion Knight tries to calm him with some small talk. Finally, the bankers come in, led by Tycho Nestoris (played by “Sherlock’s” Mark Gatiss). “What can we do for you, Lord Stannis,” Tycho asks. Davos quickly corrects the banker, noting Stannis should be addressed as king. Unimpressed, the banker points out that Tommen is on the Iron Throne, and all this talk of the young King being the spawn of incest is a lie made up by a jealous uncle (Stannis). With a King they have confidence in already on the throne and Stannis’ forces depleted, the Iron Bank rejects Stannis’ request for a loan. As Stannis prepares to leave, Davos gets up and makes a strong case for his King: Tywin is 67. The bankers aren’t likely to get their money back from a child of incest or a queen mother (Cersei) whose people despise her. “When Tywin’s gone, who do you back,” Davos asks, noting that Stannis lives up to his word. “He doesn’t just talk about paying people back, he does it,” Davos says, holding up the stubby fingers of his hand (the ones Stannis had cut off for his crimes way back when) as proof.
It’s clear Davos was successful at winning the Iron Bank over when he strolls into a bath house where his pirate pal Salladhor Saan (Season 2) is enjoying the company of some women. “We sail at sunrise,” Davos says giving Salladhor a box of gold.
Yara Greyjoy (Theon’s sister): On a mission to save her brother, Yara reads out Ramsay Snow’s letter (the one that came with the box containing Theon’s “favorite toy,” which was sent to her father) to her men. “They mutilated my brother, your prince,” she says. “Everything they’ve done to him, they’ve also done to you.” While Ramsay’s otherwise engaged, Yara and her men sneak over the castle walls, and have a guard lead them to where Theon is being kept – the dog cages. Terrified, Reek/Theon thinks it is just a trick and won’t go with his sister. The time they spend arguing gives Ramsay’s men a chance to find them and the two sides battle it out before Yara and her Iron Born are forced to flee – without Reek/Theon. “My brother’s dead,” Yara says, as she hops into her boat.
Proud of Reek, Ramsay gives him a bath, and then brings up his next plan – Reek will impersonate his former identity – Theon Greyjoy — to help take a castle back.
Daenerys & Company: Seated in her throne room in Meereen, Dany receives those who have requests. One man points out that her dragons barbequed his herd of goats. She announces he will be paid back three times what his goats were worth. Another man walks in with a more challenging request – Hizdahr zo Loraq. Son of one of the nobles she ordered to be strung up as a mile marker (in payment for the nobles/masters having done the same to the slave children), he asks for his father to be taken down so he can give him a proper burial. Would he have come to her for the slave children, Dany asks Hizdahr (who notes his father was against stringing up the children). His response? He comes to her just as a son — a son who wants to bury his father. She agrees and tells him he can.
The King’s Landing Small Council: Prince Oberyn and Margaery’s father, Mace Tyrell, are now on the Small Council and taking their first meeting with Tywin, Cersei, Grand Maester Pycelle and Varys. It is here that Varys reveals that Sandor Clegane has been spotted in the Riverlands. “My birds tell me The Hound slaughtered five of our soldiers. I believe the phrase, ‘F*** the king,’ was uttered,” Varys recounts. Tywin decides that 100 silver stags shall serve as the bounty on The Hound’s head. Another update from afar comes from Varys – Dany has an army (the Unsullied), a sellsword group (the Second Sons) and two seasoned nights (Ser Jorah and Ser Barristan) at her side. Grand Maester Pycelle asks if Ser Jorah is still spying on Dany for them. “No longer,” Varys reveals. “He appears to be fully devoted to her.” Cersei is not worried about Dany, but everyone else on the Council seems to be. “She must be dealt with,” Tywin says.
After the meeting, Oberyn and Varys chit chat in the Throne room. Oberyn gets a little personal when he suggests Varys preferred boys before he was made a eunuch. Varys says he preferred neither boys nor girls. “When I see what desire does to people, what it’s done to this country, I’m very glad to have no part in it,” Varys says. “Absence of desire leaves one free to pursue other things.” “Such as,” Oberyn asks. Varys turns his head toward the Iron Throne.
Tyrion Lannister & His Trial: “Let me guess, I’ve been pardoned,” Tyrion jokes, as his brother comes into his cell. Jaime chains together Tyrion’s hands and leads him into the Throne Room for his trial. Someone shouts “Kingslayer” as the brothers walk in, and it’s not clear which one they’re shouting at.
King Tommen announces the start of the trial, but recuses himself and appoints his grandfather, Tywin, in his place. Tywin is quickly joined by Prince Oberyn and Mace Tyrell, who take their seats as judges.
“Did you kill King Joffrey?” Tywin asks Tyrion, who stands in the defendant’s box. Of course not, Tyrion tells the judges. “Did your wife, Lady Sansa,” Tywin then asks. “Not that I know of,” Tyrion says, already the questions getting on his nerves.
Witnesses quickly take the stand – Ser Meryn Trant goes first, then Grand Maester Pycelle, who shows off what’s left of Sansa’s necklace. They found it on Ser Dontos’ body, Pycelle explains, and it contains remnants of poison – poison he claims Tyrion stole from his own workshop to kill Joffrey.
Cersei and even Varys testify too, repeating speeches Tyrion said over the seasons, speeches that are now being used to make him seem guilty.
During a recess, an angry Jaime goes to strike a bargain with his father to save Tyrion’s life, but Tywin appears as if he is unwilling to make a deal. “What happens to my dynasty if I spare the life of my grandson’s killer,” Tywin asks. “It survives as me. I’ll take your place as your son and heir if you let Tyrion live,” Jaime offers his father.
“Done,” Tywin says, almost a little too quickly. The plan is then laid out – once Tyrion is charged as guilty, Tywin expects his youngest son to plead for mercy. He’ll offer leniency by sending him to join the Night’s Watch. Then, Jaime will go home to Casterly Rock, “marry a suitable woman” and have “children named Lannister.” “You have my word,” Jaime tells his dad.
Pleased that he’s found a way to save his brother, Jaime tells Tyrion the details of the deal. “Ned Stark was promised the same thing and look how that turned out,” Tyrion says. But Jaime reminds Tyrion to trust him. “Keep your mouth shut. No more outbursts. This will all be over soon,” Jaime says.
But it isn’t – not at all. As Tyrion stands in the defendant’s box, he is hit by the cruelest blow of his life – the next witness is Shae. His former mistress and the love of his life introduces herself to the court as Sansa’s handmaiden. “I know that he is guilty. He and Sansa planned it together,” she says, forcing Tyrion to stumble as he hears her words. Tyrion was happy to help Sansa (who blamed Joffrey for Ned and Robb’s deaths) plan the murder of Joffrey, Shae tells the court. Surprised, Oberyn asks how she could know such things. Then, Shae reveals she was Tyrion’s whore.
Gasp! The crowd is scandalized. Twisting the knife further, Shae repaints her history with Tyrion. “He stole me. I was with another man,” she tells the judges of how she came to be his whore. “I was his property. I would wait in his chamber for hours so he could use me when he was bored,” she goes on. “I took his face in my hands and said, ‘I am yours and you are mine.’”
It’s too much for Tyrion to bear. “Shae,” Tyrion says. “Please don’t.”
He’s broken, and this final betrayal causes Tyrion to lash out. “Father, I wish to confess,” he begins, turning to face the nobles of King’s Landing, all gathered for this farce of a trial. “I saved you. I saved this city, and all your worthless lives. I should have let Stannis kill you all,” Tyrion spits out, referencing the Battle of Blackwater.
Not guilty of murdering the king, “I’m guilty of a far more monstrous crime,” Tyrion tells them. “I’m guilty of being a dwarf. … I’ve been on trial for that for my entire life. … I did not do it. I did not kill Joffrey, but I wish that I had. Watching your vicious bastard die gave me more relief than a thousand lying whores,” he says, adding he wishes he had poison for everyone at his trial, so he could watch them all swallow it.
And then, he shocks them once last time before the episode ends. “I demand a trial by combat,” he states.
“Game of Thrones” continues Sundays at 9 PM ET/PT on HBO.
-- Jolie Lash