This episode is a perfect example of why I can never stay mad at David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. I want more of those. MOAR!
Across the Narrow Sea, your books are filled with words like usurper and madmen and blood right. Here our books are filled with numbers. We prefer the stories they tell. More plain, less open to interpretation. – Tycho Nestoris
Oh Stannis, you always look like so much fun whenever I see your face.
We find Stannis and Ser Davos as their ship arrives in Braavos. They pass under the great statue guarding the harbour. I really want to make a Colossus of Rhodes reference here, but all I can think about it whether or not they saw a giant pair of balls under there.
A bit later, Stannis and Davos wait for the employ… Coun… Bankers to receive them. Stannis is getting impatient but the men finally show up and OH MY GOD MARK GATISS PLAYS TYCHO.
Sorry, I may not be a fan of the man as a writer but he’s a great actor. Especially when he gets to play passive-aggressive snobs. Nobody does it like him. And thank god, we get to see him shine again here as he discusses matters of gold with Stannis. Stannis wants to borrow gold from the Iron Bank as the rightful king of Westeros. Needless to say that the bankers don’t care much about Stannis’ supposedly rightful claim to the throne. They speak in numbers, not in rumors. Stannis doesn’t have enough power or estate to interest them. Only Davos’ intervention, glorifying Stannis’ rigid morals and pointing out some very existing flaws in the Iron Bank’s current contract with the court of Westeros, grants Stannis the loan he was hoping for.
Davos meets his friend Sallhador Saan in the steamy atmosphere of a bath house, where the pirate is having himself some good times with two prostitutes. Sallhador Saan is not very happy to see that his friend has come to take him to war again, but gold quickly makes him change his mind.
My brother is dead. – Yara
ASHA! She’s one of my favourite. And when I say Asha, I mean Yara. Seriously, why the change of name? Yara makes me think of some kind of weird barbarian battle cry, like Balon Greyjoy saw his daughter and yelled « Yaaaaarraaaaaaa » and his wife thought he was naming her but he was really just feeling manly or something.
Anyway, Yara reads Ramsay Snow’s letter to the Ironborn, promising to send them Theon in bits and pieces if they don’t leave the main land and give up their dreams of conquest. She is therefore on her way to attack the Bolton stronghold while Ramsay is having sex with… seriously, who the hell is that lady and why is she not terrified of Ramsay? And why does she scream like Ramsay’s penis is covered in tiny thorns?
The ironborn get inside the place easily enough. I mean, it’s Yara we’re talking about. She quickly gets one of Ramsay’s men to lead her and the ironborn to where Theon is kept prisoner. The place, however, is not the dungeon but the kennels. Yara slays their guide but the hounds immediately start barking at her, waking up Theon. Ignoring her little brother’s supplications and generally traumatized demeanor, Yara tries to drag him out of his cell. Theon flails and clings to the bars of his cage, all the while yelling his loyalty to his master Ramsay. Yara finally manages to yank him away from the bars and, with the help of her men, immobilizes him. This is however the moment when Ramsay Snow comes in with his own men, covered in blood, which is hopefully the blood of his enemies and not the blood of the girl he was having sex with. The Bolton men and the ironborn get into a fight that looks more like Ramsay Snow gleefully slaying every man in his way, and Theon manages to bite his sister, freeing himself from her grip, before running back into his cage.
Yara fights well, but she soon finds herself standing alone with only two ironborn and when Ramsay releases his hounds on her, she finally gives up. Back to her ships, she renounces her little brother.
Do you love me, Reek? – Ramsay
Ramsay has a reward for his loyal Reek: a bath. Of course, getting him into the bath is one more occasion for Ramsay to humiliate Theon, as he has to take off his clothes in front of his master. If you needed one more confirmation of what Ramsay took away from Theon, Ramsay’s amused look down Theon’s groin should suffice.
Theon gets into the bath and Ramsay calmly sits near the bathtub, seizes a wet cloth and washes Theon himself. I don’t know why but I can’t help thinking about L and Light, when I see this scene. You know what scene I’m talking about, the one in the last episode of Death Note. Yes, I said last. Well, that bath scene reminds me of that ambiguous massage scene between L and Light. It’s the same kind of weird tension, except L was definitely into the massage and Theon flinches every time Ramsay moves. So in the end, those scenes have nothing to do with each other except for men tenderly touching one another.
Ramsay explains to his Reek that he needs his help to take a castle back and to do so, he will need his help. Reek obliges, asking what he will need to do. Ramsay, with a mad smile on his face, tells him that he will just need to play the role of Theon Greyjoy.
Is it justice to answer one crime with another? – Hidhar zo Loraq
Somewhere in the mountains near Meereen, a shepherd and his kid guard their adorable little goats. The animals graze while the kid throws rocks in a river further down. His third rock, instead of making the water splash, hits something hard. Intrigued, the kid looks down. The goats freeze. Half a second later, they’re all running away as Drogon the motherfucking dragon appears. He flies over the herd and barbecues himself a goat that he then carelessly grabs by one leg before flying away.
Later, the same shepherd presents himself in front of Daenaerys to show her the calcined bones of one of his goats. Readers of the book, be happy that the show chose to keep it PG-ish for once. That or they’re saving the other burnt bones for later down the line. Daenaerys proves herself a generous new queen to the poor man. She promises him that he will be paid the value of his lost animals three times over. The man withdraws, thankful, leaving Daenaerys satisfied with her ruling.
The identity of the next visitor quickly wipes Daenaerys’ smile off her face. Hizdhar zo Loraq presents himself as an heir to one of the noble families of Meereen. Daenaerys tries to act light and charming until he reveals that his father was one of the men she crucified. A man who, according to Hizdhar’s words, spoke out against the crucifixion of the slave children. The exchange raises the question of whether or not Daenaerys was right to crucify all the old masters without distinction. To be honest, I kind of side with Daenaerys on that, mostly because I hate Hizdhar zo Loraq. I hate this character with so much passion that the fact that he is played by a yummy actor leaves me indifferent. He does obtain that Daenaerys let him bury his father though. When he withdraws, the already tired queen asks how many supplicants are yet to be presented to her. 212. Daenaerys sighs and asks for the next one to be sent in.
When I see what desire does to people, what it’s done to this country, I am very glad I have no part in it. – Varys
Oberyn I Want It That Way Martell sits sexily at the table of the Small Council. He asks around if he’s going to be master of coins or ships, to which Mace Tyrells answers with one of his only sentences of the episode. A sentence interrupted by the arrival of Lord Tywin. Lord Tyrell tries to thank him for the seat he granted him on the Council but is interrupted again by Lord Tywin, who reminds them that since the trial will take place in the afternoon, they only have the morning for the affairs of the state. The Hand Of The King decides to place a reward on The Hound’s head to ensure that he won’t keep going around slaying the King’s men. The main affair, though, concerns Daenaerys and the worrisome amount of power she is accumulating on the other side of the narrow sea. What will Tywin Lannister do about her?
After the Small Council, Oberyn I Just Need Your Body From Dusk Til Dawn Martell joins Varys as the gazes upon the Iron Throne. The scene is delightful, partly because we get some more Oberyn sexy sassiness, but mostly because we rarely get any quality time with Varys. Oberyn guesses Varys’ origin without one hesitation, which surprises the Master of Secrets. Oberyn offers Varys for some wine and pleasant conversation with him and Ellaria. He tells Varys they have some nice boys but, afraid of offending the eunuque, Oberyn wants to make sure that’s what he used to like. To the prince’s great surprise, Varys liked neither boys nor girls nor anything else. What drives Varys, then, if not sexual desire? The Spider leaves Oberyn wondering after giving a longing look to the Iron Throne.
Well, we mustn’t disappoint father. – Tyrion
Jaime has the great honour to have two guards cuff Tyrion before they take him to his trial – Tywin’s orders. Once Tyrion is chained at the dock and Tommen, like the obedient boy he is, recuses himself to let Tywin Lannister, Oberyn Martell, and Mace Tyrell judge in his place, the trial begins. Tyrion replies to each of his father’s questions with sarcasm, telling him to accuse the pidgeons of killing Joffrey if that leaves him out of it. Then, the parade of the witnesses begins.
Of course, that is when each and every one of Tyrion’s best moments for us the audience come back to bite him in the ass. When he slapped Joffrey after the riot, when he saved Sansa from Joffrey’s abusive behavior, when he threw Pycelle in a dungeon cell or rightfully threatened Cersei. The poison that killed Joffrey came from Pycelle’s collection and was smuggled inside Sansa’s necklace and his threats now sound like he was the only one to despise the king, despite Tyrion being too bright to clearly announce his murder plans and, you know, the WHOLE FUCKING KINGDOM’s hatred for the late Joffrey. Tyrion even has to listen to Varys suggesting that he became a traitor because of his marriage to Sansa Stark. He obtains the right to ask one question to Varys, asking him if he has forgotten that Tyrion saved King’s Landing. Varys answered that, sadly, he never forgets a thing, proving that the trial is but a farce.
I saved your life so you could murder my brother? – Jaime
Jaime talks to his father in private while he is eating. Tywin tries to convince his son that the trial is fair and square, but Tywin should probably not try to do that while eating like it’s the most joyful day of his life. Jaime reminds Tywin that he, too, murdered his king, right after he ordered him to bring him back Tywin’s head. The argument doesn’t sway the King’s Hand. Jaime then finally resigns to his version of the ultimate sacrifice, out of sheer love for his brother. He promises his father to give up his white cloak if Tywin lets Tyrion live. Tywin accepts, so quickly that this may have been his plan all along. If Tyrion asks for mercy, he says, he will be spared and sent to the Wall, on the condition that Jaime becomes the lord of Casterly Rock and fathers Lannister children with a suitable woman. Both heartbroken and relieved, Jaime leaves, letting his father savour his personal victory.
I saved you. I saved this city and all your worthless lives. I should have let Stannis kill you all. – Tyrion
In the general turmoil of the people returning to the court, Jaime talks to Tyrion. He promises him that he will be sent to the Wall if he behaves during the rest of the trial. Tyrion, unnerved but trusting his brother, accepts.
This, however, happens before the accusation calls its next witness. Tyrion sees her before we do, but the look of pure despair on her face is revealing. Shae. When she states that Tyrion is guilty and planned Joffrey’s murder with Sansa, Tyrion lets himself sink into his seat. He listens to the rest of her testimony in a state of shock. Shae declares that Tyrion stole the poison from Pycelle tu put in the late king’s wine. Oberyn asks how she would know all of this. Shae then proceeds to further humiliate Tyrion, stating that he used her as a sexual slave to make himself feel grand, before getting the hots for Sansa and promising to kill Joffrey so she would let him into her bed. Tyrion has had enough. He interrupts the testimony by proclaiming that he wishes to confess. Tywin lets him. Jaime senses that his brother is going to make a mistake but is powerless.
Tyrion finally confronts his father, throwing at his face that the only reason he is judged is because he is a dwarf. I did not want to quote his whole speech but damn, it felt so good and it was so brilliantly acted and perfectly executed that those words deserve to be in my little corner of the internet forever.
« 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. I wish I was the monster you think I am. I wish I had enough poison for the whole pack of you. I would gladly give my life to watch you all swallow it. I will not give my life for Joffrey’s murder and I know I will get no justice here so I will let the gods decide my fate. I demand a trial by combat. »
I demand that Peter Dinklage get all the awards.