Season 4 Episode 6. Warning: This article contains spoilers for screened episodes which some readers may wish to avoid.
Justice (or the sheer lack of it) was a hot topic in the most recent visit to Westeros. While Danaerys was discovering that dealing with the aftermath of her bold actions was harder than anticipated, Tyrion faced the sham of the century in the form of a devastatingly unbalanced trial.
Still, as proceedings commenced, everyone’s favourite whore-mongering dwarf did his aloof best to remain impassive to the injustice. As witness after witness took the stand to condemn him, a knowing but bitter smile remained on his lips as he saw the trial playing out exactly as he thought it was going to.
The performances during the whole extended scene were exceptional, with particular mentions to Peter Dinklage as the tortured Tyrion and the sinister Charles Dance as Tywin, the man who is always in the driving seat and looked very comfortable in the iron chair vacated by his barely pubescent grandson. The entire trial was a compelling and gripping piece of drama which proved what many dismissive critics of Game of Thrones refuse to see – that this is a show about way more than throat cutting and exposed lactiferous ducts.
The sheer agony on Tyrion’s face as Shae, the woman he truly loved, reappeared and effectively condemned him to his doom was torturous to behold. Peter Dinklage has made Tyrion, a man with plenty of flaws and foibles, one of easiest characters to empathise with and, having followed his journey over almost four seasons now, this is an actor who truly understands his character… and he plays a blinder. Never more so than the final five minutes of the trial episode, where his struggling indifference manifested itself into a meltdown of epic proportions. Tyrion let rip at the travesty of injustice before demanding, like he did all that time ago, for a trial by combat.
Daenerys meanwhile was playing judge in her new kingdom, as over two hundred residents sought an audience with her. The first chap was somewhat peeved that the new queen’s dragon had made goat-meat of his small flock of animals, a visual tragedy we were treated to at the start of the sequence. Daenerys solved this one by throwing gold at it, but the next one wasn’t quite so simple: a resident begged her for the mercy to allow him to bury the father she recently had crucified, before letting her know that he was always against what the slavers were doing. Daenerys was slowly realising that it is all very well dealing out justice to each kingdom she finds, but the consequences and aftermaths are a different beast altogether.
Theon made a reappearance and was in as much of a state as ever. When his sister made a rescue attempt which he himself foiled, he was treated to a bath. Even a simple gesture such as this seemed to be a trap which induced terror into Theon, proving just what a mess the character has become. He is played well – heart wrenchingly so, as he is not a character I ever thought I’d have sympathy for.
Meanwhile, Stannis was finally off his arse and doing something, as he went to the bank to make a withdrawal.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Comments welcomed, as always, below.
Posted by Our Man In The North