Game of Thrones Recap: Trial By Fury

Game of Thrones Season 4 RecapTyrion’s sharp tongue, the asset that has gotten the quick-thinking Lannister son out of some very tight situations over the past three seasons, becomes a liability in this week’s Game of Thrones.

Every single thing he says is the gods’ honest truth – and needs to be heard — but given the way things turn out, maybe he could for once let discretion stand as the better part of valor?

Sigh. Tyrion is probably my favorite Thrones character, and this is going to hurt. Read on as we review the regrettable events of “The Laws of Gods and Men.”

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HOUSE “THERE IS NO THEON” GREYJOY | Yara rallies her men to free Theon from Ramsay Snow by reminding them that “everything they’ve done to him, they’ve also done to you.” Her group successfully infiltrates the castle and finds her brother sleeping in a cage alongside the dogs. But when she opens the door and tells Theon she’s there to bring him home, he insists he’s Reek – and always has been. He resists her and her men as they try to bodily remove him, which buys just enough time for Ramsay to finish giving some girl the ol’ Snow job (is that the girl from the woods? Hard to tell amid the grunting and the thrusting and such) and bust into the kennel room, shirtless, bloody and spoiling for a fight.

Theon, completely brainwashed into Reek-dom, bites Yara’s hand to get away and then scampers back into his crate like a pooch who just ate a pie left to cool on the windowsill and knows punishment will soon follow. There’s some fighting, Ramsay releases the vicious dogs from their pens, and then Yara and her men retreat to the boats — alone. Someone wonders why Theon’s not with her. “My brother’s dead,” she says flatly.

As a reward for his “loyalty,” Ramsay draws Reek a bath and orders him to disrobe. This gives us an almost-complete view of what the sadist has done to his prisoner’s body; thankfully, the camera skips his most crucial of cuts. There are scars, wounds, dirt and some impressively chiseled abs – nice to see that Reek’s imprisonment hasn’t interfered with sticking to his P90X routine. A highly freaked Reek slips into the tub and can’t figure out why Ramsay’s being so nice to him, but he nevertheless pledges his love when prompted. Snow seems pleased as he creepily sponges Reek’s back; he’s got a job for his smelly underling. They’re going to go to battle, and he needs him to pretend to be “someone you’re not: Theon Greyjoy.”

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HOUSE BARATHEON | Stannis and Davos sail to Braavos, where the Iron Bank is less than receptive to their request for funding to overtake the Iron Throne. Stannis protests that Tommen is a bastard, and that as Robert’s brother, he is the rightful ruler. “Yes, we have heard this story,” one banker replies dispassionately, more concerned with the quantities of men, ships and food available at Dragonstone. (For the record, those numbers are 4K, 32 and none, respectively.) When the money men turn Stannis down, Davos makes an impassioned plea for his boss, using his amputated fingers as proof that Stannis pays people what they’re due. Next we know, Davos is finding mercenary captain Salladhor Saan (remember him?) and tossing a bunch of coins his way. Guess we’re setting sail for King’s Landing pretty soon!

HOUSE TARGARYEN | Daenerys sits her throne and holds an audience with all of the supplicants waiting to see her. The first one is mad that her dragons barbecued his entire herd of goats; she offers him three times what the animals were worth and he gladly accepts. Dany looks around with a self-satisfied little smile as if to say, “This ruling thing isn’t so tough.” Just wait, honey. Her next appointment is the son of a nobleman who is one of Meereen’s most lauded architects. When Dany says she’d like to meet his dad, he’s all, “Well, you can’t, because you crucified him on a mile marker.” Oops. She tries the righteous indignation tack… but it loses power when he states that his father argued against the killing/public display of the slave children but was voted down. Chagrined, the Mother of Dragons allows the man to give his father a proper burial, then wearily prepares to see the hundreds more in line seeking her ear. Queenin’ ain’t easy, eh?

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HOUSE LANNISTER | A meeting of the small council kicks off our time in King’s Landing this week, but there are much bigger problems on the Lannisters’ plate, so I’m just going to give you the minutes: Oberyn Martell, Grand Maeester Pycelle, Cersei, Varys, Mace Tyrell and Tywin attend; the biggest deal is that Varys offers an update on Daenerys, and Tywin is concerned enough to ask The Spider to install a few of his “little birds” in Meereen. Meeting adjourned.

Then, it’s time for Tyrion’s so-called trial to begin. As we’ve known for weeks, it’s a total sham, which starts when Tommen recuses himself and installs Tywin in his place alongside the other judges, Oberyn Martell and Mace Tyrell. Jaime is given the unenviable task of escorting his accused brother to the throne room, where he’ll face his fate; the looks the pair exchange are heartbreaking, because both know that Tyrion is (literally) royally screwed.

Those testifying against the “imp” include a member of the Kingsguard, Pycelle, Cersei and Varys, all of whom speak to past threats/possible crimes that the former Master of Coin carried out against his bratty nephew. A few notes: Pycelle calling Joff “the most noble child the gods ever put upon this Earth”? OBJECTION. Also, there’s so much gloss on Cersei’s retelling of Joffrey’s Blackwater performance that I could check my make-up in it. Finally, isn’t it impressive how everyone has such crystal-clear recollection of past episodes’ dialogue? They must have an HBO Go subscription.

Anyway, It’s all going very badly by the time Tywin calls for a break, and Jamie knows he has to do something to save his younger brother. “He killed his king,” Tywin asserts. “As did I!” the aptly named Kingslayer protests. Jamie offers to leave the Kingsguard, marry and carry on the family name if Tywin allows Tyrion to live… and the older man shocks him by saying, “Done.” (Take a screen grab of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau’s face right here, and paste it into your dictionary under the entry for “gobsmacked.”)

After a guilty verdict, Daddy Lanister says, Tyrion should ask for mercy, and he will be granted a lifetime sentence of service as a man of The Wall. Jaime relates this hopeful development to his younger brother, who (understandably) isn’t psyched – after all, Ned had the same deal right up until the axe severed his spinal cord. Still, Tyrion agrees to keep quiet…

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HOUSE LANNISTER: POINT-OF-NO-RETURN EDITION | … until the court calls Shae to testify. Oh, ow, ouch. Her speech is full of lies and delivered in a stilted fashion, as though the prostitute is making very sure to remember all of her lines. It literally takes Tyrion down; he slumps as she says she was his whore – “He ordered me to call him ‘My lion,’ and so I did’ – and that he and Sansa planned the murder. Peter Dinklage kills me with his soft, “Shae, please don’t,” right before all hell breaks loose.

Unable to contain his anger and hurt any longer, Tyrion pipes up that he wishes to confess. (If Jaime’s face were captioned, it might say, “No no no NO NO NO NO!”) “I saved you,” he growls to those gathered. “I saved this city and all your worthless lives. I should’ve let Stannis kill you all.” He adds that he didn’t kill the boy king – “but I wish that I had” and that his guilt is of the crime of being an imp, the perceived monster running amuck in King’s Landing. “I will let the gods decide my fate,” he finishes fatalistically. “I demand a trial by combat.” And over in the corner, Jaime gulps nervously, flexes his one good hand and wonders if Bronn is available for an emergency training session.

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!


Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Joey says:

    Main thought: Theon my poor bby. D:

  2. Doug says:

    Peter Dinklage absolutely killed that last 5 minutes

  3. Joey says:

    Also as someone who knows what’s going to happen, I was going to question a few of your predictions, but I figure it’s better to let you see how everything plays out. :P

  4. Heather says:

    It was nice to see Mycroft on an undercover assignment.

    • Alice says:

      He basically WAS Westerosi Mycroft. I enjoyed it.

    • Rich Abey says:

      Hahaha! So looks like the United Kingdom is about to enter the Westeros scene in the foreseeable future. Do they want the throne for themselves? What’s their plan for the White Walkers (The Others)…use Sherlock to ‘argue them to oblivion’?

  5. DT says:

    That final scene should be Peter Dinklage’s emmy submission. Words can’t give that brilliant performance justice. Killed it.

    • Joey says:

      As far as Emmy-worthy material goes, I really wish that Alfie Allen had gotten nominated for his work as Theon, especially for season two. Since his scenes are a little divergent from the books, I’m not all entirely sure what’s coming for him the rest of this season, but I hope he gets some more juicy material to work with.

      Personally I thought Peter Dinklage took it a little over-the-top in some parts tonight, but in general he’s about as top-notch as it gets in the show.

    • Summer says:

      Knowing the Dink, it’s only going to get better. There’s no telling how “bad” this will look compared to later in the season.

  6. Ana says:

    I just really loved that last scene with Tyrion and Jamie’s scene with Tywin before that. I like that Tyrion and Tywin share this bond that not even Cersei can touch.

    • Sparky says:

      As a late comer to the GOT party Tyrion and Jamie are my favorites!!!! I had to read the spoilers to find out what happens next…..couldn’t wait a whole week!

  7. Alice says:

    Was the Braavos coin “bank” in the credits there last week and I missed it? Because that is my favorite credit gimmick since they had smoke coming out of Winterfell in season 2.

  8. MoshiMoshi says:

    Great episode!!! Peter Dinklage was brilliant!!! Another Emmy on the way for him for sure…

  9. Jesse says:

    Just give Dinklage that Emmy already.

    Quick pointer on the last quip of your recap: since Jaime is a member of the Kingsguard, he would not be allowed to fight for Tyrion, only for the other side that probably won’t use him since he lost a hand ;)

    • M3rc Nate says:

      Interesting…im very curious to see who he (Tyrion) chooses then…assuming it goes that far and he can choose. I would assume Bronn, but id be a bit surprised considering he was used last time, and the assumption would be that he would win considering hes such an amazing fighter, also it would seem to me they have been building up to something on purpose, regarding Bronn teaching Jaime how to fight with his left hand.

      • M3rc Nate says:

        Lol nvm, just read a quick wiki post on who is chosen and who volunteers etc….makes the most sense and also something fairy simple to have seen coming.

        • jag says:

          i love when people her predicts. It creates possible or alternate outcome. If they follow Martin’s book, the chosen would be very unlikely but highly reasonable and interesting. Martin is realy good at underwhelming important points to create shock values. Lysa killing her husband, Littlefinger orchestrating the entire conflict, the red wedding, the firebirth of danyand the dragons, beheading of Ned and the purple wedding. Expect the unexpected and be creative but reasonable and you’ll guess right.

          • Brenda says:

            Lol so true jag, so true. But then again people went crazy about the Jon/Bran divergence and the White Walker baby makers so we never know ;-)

    • If Jaime cannot fight for Tyrion, my bet is the he fights for the crown and Bronn fights for Tyrion. This gives meaning to the otherwise meaningless subplot of the fighting lessons.

  10. abz says:

    I thought it was a pretty meh episode until the final 10 minutes. I’m new to the GoT world so I’m not familiar with the books, but I hope they get rid of the Theon character soon. I don’t find his story interesting at all. The only character I find interesting with his scenes is Ramsay, but that’s it. He’s just hogging screen time.
    Peter Dinklage is amazing. Tyrion is my favourite character on this show. He killed that final scene. Cersei seriously needs to get what’s coming to her soon. I can’t stand her face!!

    • Joey says:

      Well, I can’t speak for other show watchers, but Theon is one of the main reasons to watch. I find his storyline extremely interesting, and I really really enjoy Alfie’s acting. Also, assuming his storyline /generally/ follows his arc in the books, he gets some really interesting stuff coming up. Most book readers tend to agree he has the best arc in the fifth book out of all of the characters.

      • abz says:

        Okay, well I hope some interesting stuff happens soon if he’s staying. He’s definitely not a reason I got hooked on the show (that honour goes to Tyrion who I think is the best character on the show personally), but I can understand that some others like Theon.
        What book is the show on right now? Third? I read somewhere that certain character’s stories on the show are moving more quickly through the books than others, but not sure if it’s right.

        • Joey says:

          Well, I’d say that the main plotline of the show remains in King’s Landing, and that is finishing off the third book with this season (also Sansa is finishing the third book as well, but given some casting announcements, I would say her storyline will venture into the fourth book). Some of the other side plots are extending into the fourth book (i.e. Arya, Brienne), whereas other plots (i.e. Bran, Theon, Daenerys) are extending into the fifth book. It might seem strange, but it makes more sense when you realize that the plotlines of the fourth and fifth books run concurrently but with different characters’ POVs. For example, the fourth book tells a number of Wall moments from Samwell’s perspective, but the fifth book has moments from Jon’s perspective instead.

          Another issue with Theon in the books is that all of the torture scenes we saw last season, we never witness any of that in the books. Until the fifth book, Theon disappears after Ramsay takes Winterfell (and even that happens a bit differently) at the end of the second book. In the third book, Roose Bolton reveals that Theon is being held by Ramsay at the Dreadfort, and in the fourth book, the Greyjoys generally just assume that Theon is dead. By the time he appears in the fifth book, he’s been completely dehumanized by Ramsay and he’s already in his Reek persona.

          • abz says:

            Thanks for the explanation. That really is odd that they run concurrently. If you didn’t tell me, I would have assumed that each book was just progressing the events from the previous book and going into new stories.
            And oh if that’s true I seriously hope the show deviates from Sam’s perspective entirely. Useless character that hogs unnecessary screen time IMO like all those boring scenes with that girl with the baby. If I was forced to choose, I would rather have all his screen time devoted to Theon than to him. The only interesting thing that Sam’s done on the show was killing that White Walker.

          • Joey says:

            This is just an aside, but on one of the ASoIaF websites, it allows people to rate the chapters of the books out of 10 points, and at one point, I just went through and took the averages of every POV character’s chapters, and for characters that had at least five POV chapters throughout the series so far, the POV characters with the most popular chapters were Eddard, Davos, and Theon. Take it for what you will. :P

            Granted, this is the books, not the show, and they’ve differed enough so it’s kind of an apples and oranges comparison.

    • tv2day says:

      I agree. I have no interest in the castrated theon storyline. Pretty uninteresting to me. I didn’t care when he took the stark castle 2 seasons back either but at least it was interesting.

  11. Stannis isn’t going to King’s Landing. Last season specifically had them talk about being needed at the Wall. Though I’m sure temptation will be there…

  12. Nice to see Ramsay still kicking and effectively filling in the role of complete psychopath to replace Joffrey, since you know the show needed at least one. Hell Ramsay’s like Joffrey if he was smart and lacked power…

    Pity most of the major plot-points outside of the trial were pretty much going through the motions, as the scenes were still pretty good. Stannis had to get his loan, Dany had to learn being Queen wasn’t easy (you think she just wants to ride her bicycle?), and Yara had to fail to rescue The Artist Formerly Known as Theon. Nothing wrong with those scenes, just the way the plot was going you kind of knew what would happen and it didn’t seem likely for a twist to happen. The trial you knew would be good… Seriously, from the moment Shae walks in, pure gold. The music with the scene worked perfectly.

    • Joey says:

      As far as the trial goes, I wish that the show would have taken Sibel Kekilli out of the opening credits so that those of us who connect the actress with the character would have been surprised at her appearance (granted I wouldn’t as I’m a book reader and knew this was coming… :P).

      • The credits have been wrong before. The actors playing Varys and Brienne were both credited for episode 3 I think and neither one was in it. Then Varys was at Tommen’s coronation (no speaking) and wasn’t credited, although Jamie (who also didn’t speak that week) was. Olenna in theory left for Highgarden in ep 4 but was still there for the coronation, although didn’t speak and wasn’t credited. Mormont (Iain Glen) on the other hand keeps getting credited for episodes in which he stands there like a stuffed dummy.

        Maybe there’s a lot of last minute changes. I know the show shifts chunks in and out of episodes. I heard there was one episode (last year maybe?) where the credited director for an episode had only filmed like 10% of the material that ended up in it.

        • Joey says:

          Such a shame Varys isn’t in every episode. His dialogue and delivery are amazing in pretty much every scene he’s in.

      • Even knowing she would appear though it is hard to say you knew what she would be doing. I’m sure someone hoped she’d be elsewhere, aware that Tyrion was in trouble and scheming a way to perhaps rescue him before it is too late. I hear you though, sometimes just a credit can be a spoiler…

  13. tebe says:

    Here’s a question, will Loras Tyrell ever do/say anything this season anymore, or will he continue to be a pretty wallpaper?

    • Brenda says:

      If Davos/Stannis & co. depart from Dragonstone to sail into battle or to the North. Then yes we will see Loras do SOMETHING by season end, but more likely his biggest scenes are yet to come. It just depends how fast the story moves along this season. :-)

      • Joey says:

        Hopefully the zinger he threw at Jaime during the wedding isn’t his only real line this season. :P

      • L says:

        Loras doesn’t do much in the books either… or we don’t get to “see” what he does we just hear about it from other characters.

        • Brenda says:

          Well “L” given the way the show moves differently from the books’ POV, then yea we might see what happens with Loras as the Yara tries to save Theon thing WASN’T in the books.

  14. Apples says:

    All the awards for Peter Dinklage. Immense,

  15. Megan says:

    Wow that last scene. Chills. So good. Peter Dinklage was fabulous. Can’t wait to see what happens next! I wish these seasons were longer though.

  16. CourtTV says:

    Kimberly Roots: “They must have an HBO Go subscription.” Ha.

  17. rachelle says:

    I have so many thoughts, but I’ll only say three things: 1) Shea is a total See You Next Tuesday; 2) masterful performance by Peter Dinklage once again. I’ll hate it if Tyrion dies. 3) Oberyn Martell is so sexy! I love his fluid sexuality, his openness, and his confidence. It’s no wonder why he can pull both men and women.

    • NikNac says:

      That was my thought on Shae the entire time she was on the stand. I know she is pissed at Tyrion’s parting words to her, but she has to be a complete idiot to not see that he was trying to get her to leave for her own good. Aside from Tyrion, Oberyn has become my new favorite character. I love his humor, and his looks aren’t bad, either ;)

      • CountryQueen says:

        I agree that she is an idiot. What he did to her, to get her to leave, was the equivalent of Aria throwing rocks at her direwolf to get it to leave. I wouldn’t be sad if she died.

  18. tv2day says:

    Glad I didn’t read the books. I can enjoy the show fully without knowing what’s happening next and comparing everything to the books. Some idiot on another board got upset for being obnoxious because he felt that sense he read the books everyone’s opinions were wrong. He told everyone joffrey was going to die from poison at his wedding. Killed the “epicness” of that moment for many.

    • NikNac says:

      I agree. I was tempted to start reading the books, but then I realized that I like the suspense of not knowing what comes next. I cheated and found out who was behind Joffrey’s murder, so I wasn’t surprised when we found out on the show. I was disappointed that I didn’t have that surprise, so I decided not to look up spoilers anymore. I am anxiously awaiting the next episode to see what happens with Tyrion. I hope he doesn’t die, because he is an amazing character.

      • Reading the books never spoils anything, and especially with GoT, it enhances the experience. Seeing your favorite passages put to film, is an incredible experience. You can feel so much joy and also disappointment in seeing how things have changed, or what things were altered or left out, that there is plenty of suspense to the sequences, even if you’ve read ahead. This is SO much more true with GoT because of the sheer amount of material is being used throughout a whole season of episodes, compared to movies where you only have a limited 2-2.5 hours of visual time. Even books that are thinner in their content, like the Hunger Games have so much more removed, that make everything WAY more enjoyable to the story. I would suggest to anyone, always read the original content, no matter how much you feel it’s spoilery before you begin, it makes things so much more enjoyable in the end.

        • CountryQueen says:

          But if I read the books I won’t get the “jump off my couch screaming” moments that I get now. The Red Wedding was the best surprise I’ve had on TV in a long long time (Jamie getting his hand chopped off was great too). A moment like that is why I am forcing myself to wait to become obsessive with these books. It will be great fun to read these books, and watch the series when they all complete. :)

      • Melanie says:

        That pisses me off as well. Even on this comment section of TVline some people post what is going to happen. I mean, I like reading fan theories and try to guess how it will happen, but when someone rains on your parade of guessing with what is happening on the books,

        • NikNac says:

          There have been a few comments that seem like they are heading toward a spoiler in the first sentence or so, and I’ve had to quickly scroll past before reading any further.

  19. Tyrionistheboss says:

    I think it will be the mountain who is chosen to fight against tyrion, however this would give oberin martel a huge reason to fight for tyrion, aswell as him wanting to hit Turin where it hurts, and also he seems to see between the lies that shay is telling….. I think oberin knows tyrion is innocent.

  20. Tyrionistheboss says:

    Tywin* not Turin haha

  21. waterbug says:

    Peter D. was fabulous in this episode. I think my favorite was when he locked eyes with Tywin, his father, as he made his challenge. Amazing acting.