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[Warning: Spoilers ahead for Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones, “The Laws of Gods and Men”]
Oh Tyrion, you couldn’t just keep your mouth shut.
Lord Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) delivered perhaps his best speech of the series this week, but in the process destroyed the delicate peace Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) had brokered with Tywin (Charles Dance) to preserve his life.
But who could blame Tyrion, really? Shae (Sibel Kekilli) testified against him, revealing humiliating details (of varying truth) about their bedroom life and claiming that he was indeed guilty of regicide.
“I saved this city — and all of your worthless lives. I should have let Stannis kill you all,” he said to boos from the peanut gallery. He went on to confess he was “guilty of a far more monstrous crime” than killing Joffrey: “I am guilty of being a dwarf.” He said he wished he had enough poison to kill everyone in the room.
The kicker? Tyrion demanded a trial by combat, which in season one spared him from flying out of Lysa’s moon door.
The ending was so strong and so surprising, that it’s easy to forget how much other fantastic plotting occurred along the way. Earlier, it seemed that Tywin knew Tyrion was innocent all along and was just using the trial to manipulate Jaime to carry on the family line.
Tywin has always been a complicated character who dealt cruelly with his enemies (see: the Red Wedding), but he also showed mercy to the suffering people the Tickler was torturing in season two. Here, he showed what little regard he had for Tyrion, and to what lengths he’d go in order to protect his family name.
(It’s also possible Tywin truly believed Tyrion was guilty, in which case he used his grandson’s death to manipulate Jaime. Still sketchy.)
Far away from Westeros, Davos proved why he is the realm’s most valuable right-hand man. When the Iron Bank of Braavos rebuffed Stannis’ (Stephen Dillane) request for funds, Davos (Liam Cunningham) showed off his shortened fingers as evidence that Stannis “doesn’t just talk about paying people back.”
With the backing of the Iron Bank, Stannis is in the best position he’s ever been in. Like last week’s Littlefinger reveal, this week shook up the balance of power in Westeros in a major way.
Meanwhile, Dany (Emilia Clarke) learned ruling is a lot more boring that she thought.
Earlier, there was a Theon (Alfie Allen) bathtub scene that will surely rank as a classic. It’s the first time we see the full results of Theon’s torment. The scene was disturbing — first because, like Theon, we assume the bathtub is a new form of torture. But then Ramsay (Iwan Rheon) reveales he wanted Reek to “pretend” to be Theon in order to take a castle. The Bastard of Bolton is truly using every bit of Theon for his own advantage.
For more from the episode, read our Q&A with Game of Thrones director Alik Sakharov here, where he breaks down the bathtub scene as well as Tyrion’s trial. And check back to THR.com/GoT Monday afternoon for our interview with the episode’s writer, Bryan Cogman.
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