Last week’s episode brought us several people being called to task for various things they had done (or hadn’t such as it is). Stanis is trying to get money to take the Iron Throne and he is being called out on whether or not he has any claim to it. Yara attempts to save Theon, only to find out that her brother is not recognizable as the man she knew. Danaerys must deal with some very unhappy Meereenese, and Tyrion’s trial is, unsurprisingly, a travesty of justice.
Stanis and Davos have gone to Braavos to petition the Iron Bank for money. The Iron Bank seems to be fully behind Tommen, and in that sense, they have put their faith in Tywin. Stanis is not much of a politician. He believes the rightness of his actions and his beliefs and thinks they should speak for themselves. Davos, however, winds up playing salesman, selling Stanis’s cause to the Iron Bank in a way that they can understand that maybe they are betting on the wrong horse going in with Tywin.
Knowing how much debt Tywin owes the Iron Bank, it makes sense why they would stay with Tywin, hoping that eventually the investment will pay off. Davos was trying to make them see the error of their ways—that maybe the need to stop their support of Tywin and go with the man who will actually pay them back. I’m sure the men at the Braavos Bank know the common saying “a Lannister always pays his debts”, so Davos is really making a gamble here.
Theon is now in such a dark place from being tortured at the hands of Ramsay that he no longer seems able to find himself. That he doesn’t recognize himself as Theon Greyjoy makes sense, in a psychological way—that he has been through so much, that the man he was seems like a different lifetime. Here he won’t even allow himself to be rescued by his sister. Does he truly not know that he was Theon Greyjoy? Or is it more about knowing the way the Iron Born are? Does Theon understand that his father won’t recognize him anymore as his offspring? His father barely acknowledged him before. That his sister came to save him and his father did not also probably speaks to him as far as what he could expect if he left. Aside from that, there is also the classic kidnapped mentality of being afraid that he doesn’t belong anywhere else but with his kidnapper/torturer anymore. Maybe he can’t see beyond it. Maybe on some level he has Stockholm Syndrome…It will be interesting to see what Ramsay has planned for him now that he thinks Theon is completely on his side. It sounds like Ramsay has designs on the Iron Islands. I guess we will just have to see where he goes with his plan!
Danaerys’s dragons are becoming quite big and destructive. They go out for their own food, and we see where they have been killing herds of goats from local farmers. They like to cook their food before eating it, too. Which means they are charring herds of animals. Danaerys pays back the farmer for his lost herd, but of course the problem will be that if she is spending the money that way, how will she be able to keep up everything else? Additionally, if the dragons are eating all the livestock, what will the people eat? Danaerys can pay them back money, but what if there isn’t any livestock left? Her subjects cannot eat money. Her resources are not limitless. The truth is, the dragons are costly and impossible to control. I remember some coming incidents from the books that will continue along this theme.
We also meet the son of one of the Meereen nobles who was crucified. Danaerys feels completely in the right with her actions to crucify all those nobles who ruled, but this man adds some doubt. His father spoke out against the crucifixion of the innocents along that trail. He was overruled. Yet he got punished like the rest for an action he did not sanction. This is where a trial might have come in handy…and where one was not given by the Breaker of Chains. Danaerys also finds out that there are over 200 other supplicants who desired an audience for a grievance. Here we see further evidence that she must learn that being a leader means accepting responsibility for those she rules…And in looking beyond what is right in front of her before passing judgment.
Back in King’s Landing, I think we get a healthy dose of why Cersei should not lead. Anyone. Cersei claims she should be the one to lead (well, more so in the books—she speaks about how Tywin should have focused on her instead of his two sons), but every step she makes she proves that she is just not capable of leading. She does not understand the importance of what Danaerys is doing in the Free Cities. She also appears to think that baby dragons aren’t unlike geckos. She doesn’t understand the threat. She is so wrapped up in this idea that she has power that she cannot see how easily that power can be taken away from her. She has learned nothing from Joffrey’s death and instead only sees it as something that was done to hurt her. In that respect, she has let her grief for her son and her hatred of her brother blind her to the truth of the situation. Last episode, she didn’t seem to see that Margaery was manipulating her. All Margaery wants is to be queen. If not Joffrey, then Tommen will do. It doesn’t seem like it even crossed Cersei’s mind that Margaery and the now conspicuously absent Olenna Tyrell might have had something to do with what happened.
Jamie again shows a soft spot for his brother…a soft spot that Tywin full well knows about and probably planned on. His deal with Jamie would mean that he gets Jamie to do what he has wanted Jamie to do all along—leave the Kingsguard and take his place as Lord of Casterly Rock— and get Tyrion out of the way forever by sending him to the Wall. It probably would have worked, too, if Shae hadn’t taken the stand. I can only think that Cersei must have found her and paid her well. Tyrion loved Shae, and her betrayal sent him over the edge. He was saddened by Varys’s betrayal, but he knew the Spider was going to save himself. Tyrion tried to shelter Shae from this though—that she came back and gave this kind of testimony was really like driving a huge spike through Tyrion’s heart. Now, he has stepped up and put a crimp in Tywin’s plan. How can Tyrion ever hope to win a trial by combat? If he takes a champion, who will be his champion?
Peter Dinklage did a wonderful job in the episode. I really hope the court scene isn’t dragged out any longer—I need for this to get moving! The other character I have really developed an intrigue with is Prince Oberon Martell. I really enjoy seeing Pedro Pascal on my television. The oversexed prince who is in love with life seems to have a great deal of insight into things. I think this is why he seems so fascinated with Tyrion at the end there. I miss Jon Snow when he is not there. I hope for more of a storyline for Jon soon.
Another great episode! Screencap from grandecaps.tumblr.com