Game of Thrones: ‘The Laws of Gods and Men’ Review


The Scales of Misjustice

Tyrion's-Trial

This show is the best. Easily. It is leaps and bounds above all other competition and after last night’s episode, titled ‘The Laws of Gods and Men’, this was all but confirmed. Heck, we even got to finally see a new City during the title sequence…Welcome to Braavos folks. Also, does anyone else who has read or is reading the books notice how often George R. R. Martin describes food? Technically, there is only 4 books if you omit all of the food and drink descriptions. Hands down, these are the only books I have read that actually make me hungry. I just wanted to point this out in case any one else noticed this. Just make sure you have a cupboard full of munchies if you plan on reading them any time soon. You’ve been warned!

But back to ‘The Laws of Gods and Men‘ and all its epicness. The one amazing thing that this fourth season has been able to accomplish is that it has added completely new stories to fill in gaps from the books, which makes it fresh for those that already know the story. But it still does so in a way that keeps all of the main plots in tact, which is important when your playing the Game of Thrones. Every little move matters, especially when chaos is a ladder, right Littlefinger?

Further, we got ourselves a new city and character introduction but the big event of the episode was Tyrion Lannister’s trial and it did NOT disappoint, even if the entire trial was clearly a farce. Read the review below:

The Iron Bank Will Have Its Due

Bravoos

The Titan of Braavos! And doesn’t this city look absolutely stunning! If I weren’t confined to Planet Earth and there were ways to Westeros, I’d already be drinking a Strawberry Daquiri in the lagoons of Braavos! Of course, Stannis and Davos are here for completely different reasons. I guess a tan is out of the question!

You will also remember that a good friend of Arya’s, Jaqen H’ghar, is from Braavos as well so it is a Free City that has already been mentioned numerous times throughout the show and great on us that we finally get to see it in the flesh.

The episode opens up with Davos and Stannis sailing North to the Wall, but first a bathroom break in Braavos and a stop at the Iron Bank to open up a line of credit. Apparently war requires gold.

The scene was NOT in the books and, in fact, Stannis and Davos never go to Braavos to meet with Tycho Nestoris and the Iron Bank. That said, this scene was an absolutely perfect introduction to the City of Braavos. It also makes sense geographically since Braavos is on the way to Eastwatch (The Wall), which is where Stannis and his crew are headed.

They meet with some bankers, particularly this guy:

Tycho

I’m not quite sure if they even said his name but I can only assume that this was Tycho of the Iron Bank of Braavos. And he is unimpressed with the false King’s credit rating and rejects their loan application. Fuck, don’t you just hate the Bank. But then again, if you have no gold and are not producing anything that can be traded for gold at a later date–the basic principles of LENDING AND BORROWING–it is clear that you should probably not be at the Bank in the first place.

It also appears that Stannis still has the charisma of a dying sloth and cannot convince Braavos to fork over some gold, but luckily Davos steps in for some explaining:

Ser-Davos-Onion-Knight

The whole scene also reminded me of this hilarious banking clip from South Park:

After being denied, Davos gets persistent with the Iron Bank and a good thing too because Stannis’ pirate allies aren’t about to work for free. Sallador Saan (who you might remember from previous seasons), has allied with Stannis but without the coin to pay ’em, Stannis was pretty much looking at a ghost crew. And these are PIRATES after all, so you might wanna pay them for their services.

After their meeting with the Iron Bank, Davos gets all BFF with Sallador to ensure he won’t be deserting Stannis for lack of payment. Apparently, the Bro Code takes precedence over whores:

SalladorSaan

Exploring the Stannis / Davos story is what this show needs more of. Stannis, while lacking personality, is still a very interesting character. I still don’t know whether to call him a good guy or a bad guy, but Davos is just awesome so it’s hard to not cheer for one without the other.

At this point, all we know is that they are heading to the Wall but what I do find very interesting is that Sallador was never paid in the books from what I remember and he was f’ing pissed about it. I much prefer the TV series explanation on this as we got to see more of this Iron Bank plot that I can only assume will be more important in future seasons. Plus, IT’S FREAKING BRAAVOS!

The Flayed Man and the Kraken

Iron-Born-Ship

Well, it took her the first 5 episodes to get to the Dreadfort but at least she finally made it. Yara returned in a big way, leading her Ironborn to take back her little bro, Theon. Yara has a great speech too, riling up her troops and motivating them to take out the Flayed Men of House Bolton and return Theon to his rightful place back in the Iron Islands.

Yara-to-the-rescue

As you can see above, Yara is instantly regretting her decision to save her little bro after getting a whiff of him. And Theon pretty much decides that he can’t go with her, which is obviously due to the fact that Ramsay has both tortured and brainwashed Theon into thinking he is Reek.

theon-rescued

And during their rescue, they are rudely interrupted by Ramsay and his crew…

Ramsay-snow-bloody

…who is not too happy about their Sausage Party being interrupted. A fight breaks out but Yara and her Ironborn are able to escape Ramsay’s hounds. So ya, that was pretty pointless, right Yara?! And I swear to the Seven, if she simply just goes back to Pyke, concluding that Theon is a lost cause, I’m going to lose my shit because that would make NO SENSE AT ALL!

That said, I think she is going to go back to the Iron Islands and this will lead us to some new character introductions from House Greyjoy, as well as a new conflict between the Bolton’s and the Greyjoy’s. It’s about time these two houses are back in the midst of our epic story! Weclome back, Yara!

Baa Baa Black Sheep

Meanwhile. back in Meereen, some goats were having a nice, quiet grassy dinner, farmers were herding their flocks in the sun and kids were playing in the fields, throwing rocks off the cliffside…

kid-throwing-rock

…and all was calm and all was bright. Til said kid decided to throw said rock off said cliffside, which woke this:

dragon-kid-and-goat

If I’m that kid, I’ve already pooped my pants. Drogon looks so bad ass and this show has done a phenomenal job making the 3 dragons look as realistic as possible. When that thing flew up from below the cliff, I knew we were all in for a treat:

drogon-burning-goat

And by treat, I mean charred goat. I won’t bother describing Drogon’s meal since George R. R. Martin has already supplied ample descriptions of every meal in Westeros and Essos. But that said, this scene tells us a couple of things. First, these dragons are a helluva lot bigger than they used to be. Remember when they were just cute, little pups. Awwww. Well, not no more. Second, these dragons are becoming a handful for Dany to tame and now appear to be having an influence on the innocent, which kinda goes against everything Dany believes in. So Dany holds court and the first to see her is the G.O.A.T. herder with his bag ‘o bones:

dany's-court

Dany, being the nice, awesome Queen/Government that we all wish we had, decides to pay the dude THREE TIMES what he lost. If only there were more Dany’s in this world! But clearly this is going to create more problems than solve. The dragons are going to be killing more goats, obvs! They are growing boys after all. And with that, there is also likely to be an increase in settled lawsuits for Dany.

The other problem facing the City at the moment is the stinky, rotting corpses Dany has neglectfully hung up all around the City. We also get to meet a new character who is an extremely wealthy merchant, the honorable Hizdahr zo Loraq:

Hizdahr-Loraq

This guy is going to be sticking around for a while. Another absolutely stunning scene, it illustrated the problems with Dany’s current plan. It seems that no matter how hard she tries to help, she simply cannot please every single person. Even Hizdahr presents a new problem: while Dany was busy hanging all the masters, what she didn’t realize was that some of the masters were actually fighting for the same thing she is, and Hizdahr’s father supposedly paid the price for that. Call it collateral damage I guess, but I’ll assume there are going to be trust issues between Hizdahr and Dany going forward.

With Yunkai and Astapor already reverting back to their old ways and now Dany accidentally fucking good people over (or so we think based on what Hizdahr had to say–this is GoT and I don’t trust anyone), things might be getting a bit messy in Meereen.

Trial By Cersei

cersei-testimony

And of course, I saved the best for last: Tyrion’s trial. Or farce of a trial, as Jaimie pointed out. It was pretty clear that the ‘Queen of Being a Cunt’ Cersei had ensured that Tyrion would not be getting a fair trial. But, at least in Westeros, there is always the option of Trial by Combat. And did I mention that you can ask for this at any point in your trial. So if, at any point, it’s not looking good for you in court, you still get one more chance. Too bad our legal system doesn’t, at least, give us this last option!

And give Peter Dinklage an Emmy immediately for his performance. Pure awesomeness all around. As someone who read the book, I can tell you it is no easy task playing Tyrion Lannister but we get literal perfection at the trial because of the insanely epic and awesome monologue at the end. Even the story, with Jaime telling Tyrion to accept his fate and confess to the crime. But of course all that is instantly shattered when the Queen of the Whores walks through the door to testify against our lovable Imp:

where-whores-go

Shae…you dirty, dirty whore. And this was the exact moment where Tyrion changes his mind about accepting ‘mercy’ from his father. And who the hell can blame him. He has pretty much lost EVERYTHING he has ever had in his life, except Jaime who seems to be the only one who actually gives a damn about his little brother.

Shae’s desertion was easily the breaking point for Tyrion but there were many other notables on hand, all former friends of the dwarf, building the case against Tyrion (and, I assume, all paid by Cersei). First up, Meryn Trant, who is also on Arya’s kill list:

meryn-trant

Meryn tells us the story of when Tyrion bitch-slapped and threatened Joffrey, which apparently happened all the time because, well, Joffrey was a spoiled little douchebag. Tywin also shuts up Tyrion before he can explain WHY he was doing it in the first place (Meryn was beating up poor Sansa on Joff’s orders).

Next up was Pycelle. The old Maester basically lets everyone know that Tyrion had taken possession of all his poisons, including the same poison (The Strangler) that was responsible for Joffrey’s death. Now if there was only a potion to get rid of that cat pee smell:

Pycelle-and-Poison

Varys, one of the most fascinating characters in this story, was next up. I will also mention that his conversation with Oberyn Martell in front of the Iron Throne could be seen as a new clue because Varys is still a mystery to me and to probably everybody else, and now it seems that he might actually be up to something so he can sit his own behind on that Throne.

Varys Testimony

After Varys and Cersei, Shae finally makes her surprise entrance and pretty much ends the trial. And I think the funniest thing about this entire situation is that the Tyrell’s and Littlefinger can just sit back and relax while Cersei and her goons do the rest. Who would have thought framing someone for murdering the KING would be so damn easy!

In the end though, it was Shae who was responsible for convincing Tyrion to forget about begging for mercy. It was easily the most beautiful and more complex scenes of the series and the writers and actors pulled it off flawlessly. Plus, I hate Shae and can now freely call her a WHORE.

After his convo with Jaimie, it was pretty obvious that Tyrion was going to confess for a crime he didn’t commit, knowing full well he would be heading to the Wall and not the Seven Hells. Shae, however, changed all that and with her betrayal, Tyrion quite possibly forfeited his own life by leaving it to Trial by Combat. But what an epic speech, Tyrion said it best when he said he was only on trial for being a dwarf. He pretty much lost everything he loved when Shae walked through the throne room doors, so what the hell, might as well roll the dice, right?!

trial-by-combat

The word FAIL comes to mind when I think of the entire farce of a trial and the Westerosi justice system but that word also comes to mind when I think of our OWN justice system. Besides, at least in Westeros, the guilty get to choose Trial by Combat if they know they’re going to lose their case which is perfect for us loyal viewers who now get to see Tyrion’s fate decided by one-on-one combat. Get ya Pigeon Pie ready!

Next Week

The Laws of Gods and Men was an absolutely epic hour of TV! With only four more episodes left and still A LOT more that has to happen, I can assure all of you that these will likely be the best back-to-back-to-back-to-back episodes yet. In fact, I pretty much GUARANTEE it. So check out more from next week’s episode, titled ‘Mockingbird’ which also happens to be the sigil for Littlefinger’s house. It looks like we are heading back to the Eyrie, and I think the Moon Door might be making an appearance. Check er out:

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