While Game of Thrones isn’t exactly lacking in excellent episodes, The Laws of Gods and Men is one of those that really stands out above the others. Containing one of the best speeches in the entire series so far, it’s filled with poignant moments and big changes as plot threads that have been bubbling up over previous weeks start to boil over into actions.
After receiving a severed piece of Theon, his sister Yara makes a move on the Dreadfort to free him… Her efforts fall on deaf ears however as the horrors that Theon has endured has taken its toll. He’s a husk of the man he once was, now fearfully quivering in a cage and fully convinced that he is indeed ‘Reek’. It’s the conclusion to all of those torturous moments from the previous season that had audiences grimacing in disgust, and it shows. After Yara fails and declares her brother ‘dead’, Ramsay rewards Reek with a bath. He visibly recoils from the gentle touch of a sponging rag, his eyes constantly darting around in panic and fear of Ramsay’s possible motivations.
Over in King’s Landing the trial of Tyrion Lannister for the murder of Joffrey finally starts to get underway. Several characters are brought to the witness stand to testify against him as Cersei smiles on with glee as her plan starts to come together. It’s all a little unsettling as it quickly becomes clear that there’s no justice to be had here. Feeling uneasy about the injustice unfolding before him Jamie tries to strike a bargain with his father Tywin during a recess in the trial, agreeing to give up his position in the Kingsguard in exchange for saving Tyrion’s life. It’s a tender moment of brotherly love, even if he’s unable to do as much as he wishes.
Yara Greyjoy raids the Dreadfort in an attempt to free Theon but he remains loyal to Ramsay as Reek, Ramsay rewards Reek with a bath and plots his next move, the trial against Tyrion begins, Shae makes a reappearance in the court, Tyrion musters an impressive speach, Stannis Baratheon and Ser Davos visit the Iron Bank, and Daenerys starts to discover the difficulties of rule.
However, things don’t go to plan as Tyrion’s ex-lover Shae makes a surprise appearance to take the stand against him. The whole scene is heartbreaking, as you watch Tyrion’s world completely fall apart around him while he pleads for her to stop. As she speaks Tyrion snaps and, out of spite, says he wishes to confess, but what follows is one of the best speeches of the entire series so far. As he chokes back his anger, he turns to the crowd and verbally rips into them. You can feel the emotional tension flood the courtroom as Tyrion defiantly stares his sister and Father down and everyone gasps in horror. You can’t help but cheer him on.
Elsewhere Stannis Barratheon and Ser Davos make a trip to the Iron Bank of Braavos to fund their campaign. Somewhat unsurprisingly their request for a loan is rejected, however after Davos points out that backing them is the best way to get back all of the gold that the Lannisters owe them they approve the funds. At first this moment seems a little out of place compared to the excitement of Tyrion’s antics, but, as we’ve become all too familiar with when it comes to Thrones, it’s often the smallest of actions that set the biggest of wheels in motion.
Meanwhile Daenerys is learning that being a leader isn’t just about barging in and overthrowing cities, as the consequences to all of her actions thus far start catching up with her. While she deals with an endless stream of people with problems in her new Kingdom, her dragons are growing ever larger and unruly. While little happens here in comparison to the earlier courtroom drama, the uncertain glances from Daenerys say it all. Everything is not quite as well as it seems in Meereen and trouble is brewing somewhere on the horizon.
|Episode 4.06||The Laws of Gods and Men|