GAME OF THRONES – S4: Episodes 6 & 7 Review
Up until episode 5 of Season 4 of HBO’s amazing adaptation, GAME OF THRONES, things were going quite slowly and the overall show was quite dull. I’m glad to report that things pick up very quickly as the Season is about to wrap up. Episode 6, “The Laws Of God And Men”, sees Stannis Baratheon, the true king and heir after Robert, still continuing his desire to reclaim the throne. Stannis is now one of 2 who have rightful claim over the throne, after Danaerys. While she has Dragons on her side, he’s got creepy-ass magic with the Red Woman, who talks of the one ‘true God’. After his loss in Season 2, Stannis struggles with finding money and backing to support an army to reclaim Kings Landing. However, after a trip to the Iron Bank, this episode sees Stannis finally get funded which should change things up in the coming episodes, if Stannis decides to wage war on King’s Landing again by the end of this Season. The Red Woman makes an appearance in tonight’s Episode 7 as well, as she tells Stannis’ wife, that their disfigured daughter has a role to play in all this. I’m worried that she’s gonna want to sacrifice the young girl, or something similarly creepy along the way. The whole perverted magic, and launching shadow monsters from her vag, all seem too creepy for me, and I hope this weird magic angle, takes on more of a fantastical element geared less toward the ‘ew’.
The Greyjoys return in Episode 6 with Theon’s sister trying to rescue her brother, only to have a brainwashed Theon betray her and proclaim his loyalty towards Ramsay Snow, the guy who castrated him and basically made him his bitch. The completely brainwashed Theon is now on his side, causing his sister to disown him as she abandons the rescue. The programming of Theon into the mousey servant of Ramsay was hard to watch in Season 3, and his transformation in Season 4 is just as sad. Ramsay Snow is a supremely evil character, and I’m waiting for him to take more significant of a presence in this show. In episode 5, Ramsay, who wishes to control Winterfell & the North, suggests to Theon to pretend to be a Greyjoy (who he is) in order to help Ramsay take over Winterfell, which is currently held by Theon’s own people. So we should see another impending battle before this Season is over.
Danaerys proves again in both episodes 6 & 7 what a fickle minded queen she really is. After ordering the slave owners of the city she took over to be crucified, proclaiming justice of the ‘eye for an eye’ variety, she crumbles when one of the sons of those Masters begs for the return of his father’s body. After a mild argument justifying her own actions, she gives in, and allows the guy to bury his father how he wants. As awesome as Danaerys’ storyline is, she always comes off as the cliché of a woman in power. Trying very hard to seem dominant and powerful, but being ruled by her emotions, her fickle minded nature causing her to constantly changing her mind of earlier decisions, making idle threats while melting at compliments and gestures of nice-ness… it’s all very annoying. Danaerys is the only good female character in any sort of high status, and they are squandering her importance, as all the men around her repeatedly sway her decisions and cause her to second-guess herself. In tonight’s episode, she against gives into Jorah’s pleading of not killing every Master in yet another city, but to be reasonable. Danaerys’ storyline suffers from a trend I’ve noticed in GAME OF THRONES, where significant characters are given the short end of the stick, in order to make other characters gain prominence in the story. As I mentioned in earlier Reviews how this happened with Tyrion, and now with Danaerys.
Speaking of Tyrion: My prayers have been answered!! Episode 6 shows a badass return of our favorite little big man, as the trial of Joffrey’s murder commences. Being railroaded by a barrage of witnesses all proving beyond a shadow of a doubt of Tyrion’s guilt, the trial is a farce and Jamie can’t take it anymore. He pleads for his brother’s life to Tywin, and finally ends up making a deal in Tyrion’s favor. Tywin will allow Tyrion to join The Black and live out his life at The Wall, while Jamie gives up his position in the Knights’ Guard and take his place as heir of the Lannisters at Casterly Rock, something Tywin has wanted forever. However, Jamie’s deal comes crashing down when the next witness is called. Shae, Tyrion’s lover, and a former whore takes the stand and lies her ass off, blaming Tyrion for the King’s murder. After being sent away by Tyrion, for her own protection, a spurned Shae humiliates and betrays Tyrion, condemning him to death. Not being able to take it anymore, Tyrion launches into the most amazing speech that he’s done since Season 2, a tirade, spouting bitter hatred and everyone present at the trial… culminating in a demand to have a trial by Combat! It was an amazing moment of redemption for Tyrion, after 1.5 Seasons of being everyone’s punching bag, and taking whatever was thrown to him. An explosion of awesome-ness that resulted in one of the most memorable scenes of the entire show thus far.
Episode 7, “Mockingbird” continues the momentum from the last episode and pushes Tyrion’s story forward, while connecting it to other plot lines established thus far in this Season. It’s all coming together! While establishing that Jamie cannot be Tyrion’s champion during his Trial by Combat, we’re notified that Cersei has chosen The Mountain, Gregor Clagane, to be her champion, to fight on her behalf against Tyrion’s champion. The Mountain, for a quick recap, is The Hound’s hated brother, a force to be reckoned with, and also the main that Prince Oberyn holds responsible for the rape and murder of his sister; his whole reason for coming to King’s Landing, accepting Tywin’s offer to be a judge during Tyrion’s trial, is so that he can get the whereabouts of The Mountain, to take his revenge.
Speaking of The Hound, episode 7 reconnects us with him and Arya, as she continues her path of being a badass murdering bitch. Some character defining scenes show The Hound opening up to Arya, providing details about how his brother mutilated his face and some other touchy feely crap. The best part of this sub plot is the fact that Arya is being taken to The Eyrie, to her aunt’s place where, coincidentally, Sansa also is. Brienn & Podrick meet one of Arya’s former friends, who tells them of her… alive-ness, and they reach to the conclusion that Sansa and Arya could both be at the Eyrie so they too make their way their. It’s another damn tease this Season of yet another group of Starks possibly meeting up. I’m not holding by breath, as I’m sure Arya will get distracted and go on a killing spree or something and never being able to meet her sister… again. Bah!
In the meantime, in the Eyrie, Sansa’s aunt witnesses a creepy exchange between Littlefinger and Sansa. After an emotional revelation of how much he loved Sansa’s mother, Littlefinger lays one on Sansa, with her aunt witnessing it all. She freaks out and tries to throw Sansa down the hole in the Castle, hundreds of feet to her death, only for Littlefinger to stop it. After calming things down, Littlefinger throws the aunt down the hole in a moment, which, if this show played in Theatres, would invoke much-deserved whistles and cheers. The creepy aunt made me cringe every time she appeared on screen, which is a credit to the performance of Kate Dickle. As much as Littlefinger seems like a shady person, forever living in the grey area of all characters, some of his actions are fist pumpingly awesome! While this was the last scene of Episode 7, another development is even more exciting for me.
While being abandoned by his hired mercenary and friend, Bronn, Tyrion has no champion to defend him during his Trial By Combat. Bronn’s back turning wasn’t a betrayal, or even bad, given that his actions were consistent to his character, Even Tyrion saw them as such and the two parted friends. While being up shit creek without a paddle, a late night visit by one of his Judges proves to be a game changer. Prince Oberyn comes to Tyrion to chat, revealing how he met Tyrion when he was just born, and he experienced first hand how much the Lannister family hated Tyrion for being born a Dwarf. It was an emotionally intense scene, and showed great insight into both characters’ personalities. Tyrion’s constant inferiority complex and pity for his treatment by his family, and Oberyn’s hardcore need for justice and his indifferent resentment towards cruelty. In a shocking turn of events, Prince Oberyn of Dorne proclaims, that he shall be Tyrion’s Champion, if not for justice, but for a chance to take down The Mountain, the murderer of his sister.
All plot lines are converging slowly, into one magnificent high stakes finale, the outcome of which seems very far away so far.