How satisfying was Tyrion’s emotional blowout in this episode’s final moments? Everything about Peter Dinklage’s performance was just fantastic, particularly since we’ve had to endure people walk all over him and belittle him for being a dwarf for the past four seasons. The script did a fine job of building up to this moment, especially with the use of Shae who (undoubtedly under duress) threw her love under the bus and called herself nothing but a “whore” in a heartbreaking sequence. Tyrion’s final demand of trial by combat is also a stunner: bring on the chaos because I can hardly wait.
I love that Jaime has become so likeable again. Watching him fight so hard for his brother and even agree to live out the rest of his days in Casterly Rock was beyond touching. Obviously, this did not come to pass thanks to Tyrion’s outburst, but it’s great that Thrones continues to subvert our expectations and keep us on our toes regarding our feelings towards previously loathsome characters.
Yara’s rescue mission also took center stage, and it was painful to see her fail. Ramsay’s total and utter brainwashing of Theon is immensely disturbing, made even more unsettling by the sight of the psychopath bathing Reek like his very own puppy. Props to Alfie Allen for turning in a nuanced performance that capably showcases the range of traumas he’s endured.
Finally, I do love it when Dany learns a lesson or two about ruling, and watching her try to navigate the people of Mereen and the repercussions of her sheep-torching dragons (not to mention her crucification rulings) proved extremely compelling.
Bits & Beheadings
– Fascinating scene with Stannis and Davos visiting The Iron Bank and compelling them to support their cause. Not bad Davos! And look at that, Salladhor Saan is back!
– The moment Dany realizes there are 212 people still waiting in line to see her. Damn.
– I just love whenever the council discusses Dany and her growing army/dragons every once in a while. They keep underestimating her and she’s coming for them all!
– Interesting to note: Varys tells Oberyn that he was never interested in males or female. His only desire is the throne. I suddenly find myself imagining the series finale with him in the top spot. Hmm…
– Someone calling out to Tyrion and labelling him a “Kingslayer”. I never realized both he and Jaime can share that title now.
– The visual of Tywin taking his place on the Iron Throne (after Tommen recused himself) was badass.
– The trial contained so many continuity nods to previous episodes that I lost track. This is one show that never forgets a single line, and I couldn’t be happier.
Kings & Quips
Oberyn: I have been to Essos and seen the Unsullied firsthand. They are very impressive on the battlefield. Less so in the bedroom.
Oberyn: You are from Essos. Where? Lys?
(Varys is impressed)
Oberyn: I have an ear for accents.
Varys: I’ve lost my accent entirely.
Oberyn: I have an ear for that as well.
Tywin: How would you say he died, then?
Tyrion: Choked on his pigeon pie.
Tywin: So you would blame the bakers?
Tyrion: Or the pigeons. Just leave me out of it.
Tyrion: I’m guilty. Is that what you want to hear?
Tywin: You admit you poisoned the king?
Tyrion: No, of that I’m innocent. I’m guilty of a far more monstrous crime. I am guilty of being a dwarf.
Tywin: You are not on trial for being a dwarf.
Tyrion: Oh, yes, I am. I’ve been on trial for that my entire life.
Tywin: Have you nothing to say in your defense?
Tyrion: Nothing but this– I did not do it. I did not kill Joffrey, but I wish that I had. Watching your vicious bastards die gave me more relief than 1,000 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.
It might not have been too eventful, but Tyrion’s trial is incredibly engrossing. I’m eager to see what comes next!