Game Of Thrones season 4 episode 6 review: The Laws Of Gods And Men

Review Ron Hogan 13 May 2014 - 05:40

This week's Game Of Thrones enters immediately into its own hall of fame. Here's Ron's review...

This review contains spoilers.

4.6 The Laws Of Gods And Men

We've all seen a show have one or two good episodes, then kind of tail off into a status of eternal decentness. Never great, never bad, sometimes mediocre, and usually just kind of... pretty good. Game Of Thrones is not one of those shows. The first season was riveting, the second season became the showcase of Tyrion Lannister, the third season was the Red Wedding and the destruction of the Stark family. The worst episode, if you can call it that, is rated with an 8.5 on the IMDb.

That's a very high average, and a very high bar for the average episode of Game Of Thrones to meet, yet The Laws Of Gods And Men may have become one of the best episodes on the show's four seasons. Three or four of them are obvious: the ninth episode of the first three seasons (Baelor and the death of Ned Stark, Blackwater and Tyrion saving King's Landing from Stannis, The Rains of Castamere and the Red Wedding) and season four's second episode The Lion and the Rose (which took out the most popular bad guy in television history), and, if my ranking system is to be believed, and now, The Laws Of Gods And Men.

Game Of Thrones is a show that remembers its history, and it expects the same from the viewers. Certainly you'll get a nice opening “previously on” montage that will help refresh the memory, but after three and a half seasons, Game Of Thrones showrunners Dan Benioff and D.B Weiss are fully aware that if you're not involved by now, you're not going to get involved, and they're free to pitch to a captive audience and really unearth all the little moments throughout the show's run all at once, and these elements come back in a big way in Bryan Cogman's brilliant script.

Lots of faces we haven't seen for awhile make their return, from the pirate king and spectacular character Salladhor Saan (Lucian Msamati making a much-needed return as one of the most fun characters since the great Syrio Forel) to an incensed and vengeance-minded Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan). However, when it comes to blasts from the past, no one is reaping more of what he has sown than Tyrion Lannister.

Arrested for the death of one king by another kingslayer, he's facing a trial that will very likely determine his fate and live or die, every person Tyrion Lannister has ever wronged is ready to plunge a knife into his back. Meryn Trant (Ian Beattie) shows up to remind us all of the time Joffrey got dung thrown at him before being slapped twice by his uncle. Grand Maester Pycelle is finally able to get his revenge for being thrown in the black cells by the former Hand of the King, painting Tyrion as a poisoner. Cersei gets her digs in too, reminding us all of the time he told her that her joy would turn to ashes in her mouth. Varys mentions the joke about kings dying like flies. And Shae... well, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and she's able to not only paint Tyrion as a murderer by crafting a tale of revenge and marital strife that damns both Tyrion and the woman who took her Lannister lion away from her, but she also goes out of her way to humiliate Tyrion.

Peter Dinklage already has an Emmy for his work as Tyrion Lannister, and while he hasn't had as much to do this year as he has in seasons past, he's doing just as much with the words he's given as he possibly can, and it's sheer brilliance. Tyrion doesn't say a lot during his trial, but his reactions are priceless, and communicate the anger and hurt and helpless anguish that anyone would be feeling in that situation, and when Tyrion unleashes on the assembled crew of suck-ups and flunkies, he really lets them have it. Any scene with anger can be overplayed, but Peter Dinklage makes the most of his dialogue without chewing the scenery. It's a controlled, righteous fury, not some sort of coked-up Gary Oldman rampage.

It's the centerpiece of an episode full of brilliant moments. Varys is a clever and scheming as ever, and Conleth Hill proves his worth in a particularly good scene with Pedro Pascal's Oberyn Martell. The torture of Theon Greyjoy was a bit much to watch as it happened, but since Theon has become Reek, Alfie Allen's turned his acting game up to 11, selling every whimper, every tick, every tortured moment of conversation as a barely-repressed panic. Liam Cunningham's Davos Seaworth is one of the show's most underrated characters and he continues to improve the fortunes of Stannis the Mannis during a meeting with Tycho Nestoris (a brilliant Mark Gatiss in full flower). Even Emilia Clarke seemed to bring her A game during her scene in the great pyramid of Meereen, getting her first real taste of life as a queen rather than a conqueror.

Director Alik Sakharov has put together a brilliant episode, balancing things well between Tyrion's trial and everything else. It's not often that the shows have to balance so much, but while Tyrion gets the emphasis, the other stories don't seem to be neglected. Clearly, Sakharov knows how to handle his actors, as he gets great performances across the board, but the use of reaction shots is what really gets things going. In particular, the montage of reactions to Tyrion's demand of a trial by combat is a thing of beauty, as is Tyrion's reaction shots to the testifying against him. (Ditto Dany's pained expression when Missandei tells her she has several hundred more supplicants waiting to see her, belying a frustration rarely seen on the face of the young queen.)

Top to bottom one of the best episodes of the season and of the series as a whole, The Laws Of Gods And Men had something for everyone, from great writing and acting to a brilliant fight scene involving the Ironborn and Bolton's Bastard, heartbreak, a classic pirate joke, and a some of the best CGI in the show's run with both a flying dragon immolating a flock of goats and the Titan of Braavos rising over the sea. Very rarely does a television show stay this consistently good for this long, but four seasons in and Game Of Thrones is as strong and sharp as ever, much like a Valyrian steel sword. 

Read Ron's review of the previous episode, First Of His Name, here.

US Correspondent Ron Hogan is a huge fan of Peter Dinklage, and if there was an Emmy available for only one scene, Tyrion's courtroom outburst would win it. As it is, here's hoping Charles Dance finally gets his due. Find more by Ron daily at Shaktronics and PopFi.

Follow our Twitter feed for faster news and bad jokes right here. And be our Facebook chum here.

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That was much more balanced than Michelle Mc Laren's last two episodes. Some people didn't even get the importance of Littlefinger's revelations in last week's episode because of how casually it was structured. This week's episode is Game of Thrones at its core. When is Alan Taylor coming back?

Great episode. What are the odds on book readers bring up the book in the comments? Are they to complain again? Paddy Power need to get on this.

It's inevitable that people who have read the book will compare it with the series. It's not necessarily negative. This comments board is for everyone.

The first half of this episode was fairly dull all things considered. Is anyone really invested into Theon enough to care what happens to him?

Ramsay bothers me, his character is just frustratingly annoying. In a weird way I loved hating Joeffrey, but not so with Ramsay.

Stannis is incredibly dull, his biggest draw involves the God he aligns with and Davos. Strip that away and as a singular character he is just boring.

All credit due to the second half though, 10/10 for the trial, it was an incredible scene.

Wonderful episode. I really enjoyed it! My favourite moment was when Yara raided the castke, battle axe in hand. Yara (Asha in the books) is one of my favourite characters and in that scene I remembred why. She's so badass! Davos is also one of my favourite characters and Liam Cunningham is one of my favourite actors. Once I again I think he delivered tremendous work here. I'm really hoping a certain event later on involving Davos will make it into the show. But of course the crowning achievement the "mindblowing performance du jour" has to go to Peter Dinklage. His raging speech at the end of the episode was overwhelmingly, shatteringly dark. In the books Tyrion is a very dark and angry character, even cruel at tiemes and the show has downplayed that a lot but at that moment I saw the Tyrion from the books. Really curious to see where they'll take him next. So yes absolutely smashing episode. Already looking forward to next week. Season 3 stumbled a little in the beginning but since ep4 the show has really delivered this season.

Those last few minutes were incredible.

Mate I read the books first and I say ‘Go TV show!’ Martin’s
writing is actually pretty inconsistent and some characters (Theon in
particular) have been far better on screen. For someone who studied Literature
this may seem like blasphemy, but I love the show way more!

It's a shame UK viewers watching on Sky Atlantic don't get the "previously on" opening at the start of each episode like our American cousins (or those who torrent the US episodes) do. Especially when episodes like this reference characters we've not seen for a long time. Being a book reader definitely helps with identifying these returning characters!

Great review guys! I tune in weekly to see how you guys are responding to the season, and I'm glad that you're liking it so much so far!

I too think that they've knocked season 4, and especially this episode, out of the park. It's only episode 6, and already I have an episode that has ingrained itself firmly in my Top 5 Thrones episodes, with 4 more great ones to come! Peter Dinklage's acting was amazing, and that was the most powerful scene I have ever seen on screen- the only one I went back and rewatched as soon as it was over.

I'm glad that you also mentioned Alfie Allen (Theon/Reek), who has been the most consistently amazing actor on the show. Pedro Pascal, also, killed it as Oberyn Martell, and is undoubtedly turning into a fan favourite. OK, I'm going to stop now lest it look like I'm gushing too much (I am), but hey, I can't help it. Too much awesome every week. Bring on Episode 7, Mockingbird!

Tyrion has been a bit downtrodden off late, what with being forced to marry Sansa and no one recognising his contribution to defending King's Landing. Be good to see the old Tyrion now he's backed into a corner with nothing to lose. I reckon he'll work it so The Mountain is his opponent and Prince Oberyn is his champion...

Totally agree, one of my favorites. Dinklage is continues to be the best actor by far.

"Even Emilia Clarke brought her A game.." well.. quite. :)

Hands down the best episode yet of Season Four, and, if not in the top five, at (the very) least the top ten of all Thrones episodes.

I don't miss the "Previously on..." on Sky. I think sometimes you get signposts about characters that are returning that take away from the surprise of their actual appearance during the episode.


I was a tad annoyed last night when I saw the name of the actress who plays Shae in the opening credits, so that was spoiled for me. It's my own fault for never skipping the GoT titles. They're just too good.

One last thing... did you notice - no 'giant of Lannister' at all despite it's prominence in the novel, and they very much played up the 'guilt of being a dwarf' motif. This seems to me very much in line with 1. Giving Dinklage a real motivation to play the scene and 2. Not being offensive to those of a smaller stature by having a baying crowd openly mocking dwarfishness, which to me, wouldn't sit right with the actor. All of which I'm fine with, just thought it was interesting. Best ep of the season so far.

Dunno how you've done it, but you're right again. ;)


Yeah i think Americans need that special treatment, otherwise they get confused perhaps? Either this is true or it's what the TV company's believe! I remember when i had nothing better to do than watch Dexter and they would dig up something from 2 seasons (series, if your smart) ago, so it became obvious that this person was going to take the spotlight this episode.

I missed that in the titles, too distracted by the size of that statue in Bravos, so it was a genuine surprise when she appeared. You are right about the titles though..just too good.

GRRM has stated in the past, he finds the idea of redemption interesting. On one hand you have Jamie, who has done some truly diabolical things and on the other Theon, who said he had done a lot of bad things. Yet everyone is starting to warm to Jamie and hate Theon, but I don't think anyone would wish the horrors inflicted on him. Personally I find the reason of his betrayal of Rob easier to accept than half of the stuff Jamie has pulled (I also like Jamie)

Also Stannis is one of the few black and white characters in the story, rather than a shade of grey. I think Danni heads down this route a bit. Maybe it is a testament to the source material, and grrm ability to develop characters, that they are two of the most predictable characters.

Eeep! 'Trial by Combat' is like the penalty shootout of Westoros. Who knows what'll happen...(well, the book readers probably do).

spoiler aside it is a logical assumption to make given everything that has been setup....the look on Oberyn's face during it all is pretty obvious, we know what he wants, we know cersei isnt exactly going to pick some scrub etc.

seriously? wth does it have to do with being american...thanks we are morons. likely this is a broadcasting decision on whether to show it or not and it IS a common occurrence on HBO

Agreed Stannis is the kind of man bound by duty. It makes him seem a little dull by comparison but he's a great character as is Theon.

Got to agree, to a man, every one of my non-book friends missed that revelation. Unfortunately Alan Taylor seems very busy with a new blockbuster career, but there is some solace in the returning Neil Marshal.

Bring it!

I didn't make the initial comment, thus accept no responsibility!!!

Agreed, good character and a necessary contrast to some of the others.

its only logical/obvious if you know what is due to happen imo, ive read the books, my gf hasn't, she has no idea how that situation ultimately pans out (you should have seen her face during the red wedding, priceless!) but anyway GOTs fans are always so careful with spoilers, be a shame to stop now, just saying ..

As long as he fights one of the (numerous) Englishmen in the cast, then he should have no problems. *chortle*
Sorry, couldn't resist.

I really noticed this too. To me it was the most humiliating thing Shae said in the books as it really felt like she was trying to make him suffer even at Tyrion's lowest point. That being said I can see why they left it out and it was ani ncredible scene all round

I think Tyrion has already won this bout, I'll lay out why. By past experience at the Eyrie trial, the crown gets to pick their champion first. Tywin will never risk picking his son and heir Jamie (now left handed and not the fighter he was), but if he doesn't then Tyrion surely will, as he did last time. Jamie, as a man of honour, could not refuse. Its a lose-lose for Tywin, so all he can do it pick a sap as champion and let Tyrion win..

Don't get me wrong though, I have read the books and I loved them. Maybe it's sort of a favourtism of mine for the big favourites Tyrion, John and Ayra, so any focus away from them doesn't interest me as much. Which is rather silly on my part, but I feel thats how a lot of people may think.

Stannis in intentionally uncharismatic and unlikeable. The reason Renly was able to raise such a large army in comparison, even though he wasn't king by right of birth, is that he was much more likeable and politically motivated to make allies. Stannis sullenly demands allies as his birthright, which never works.

They were three of my favorites as well, I remember being desperate for the next Arya chapter. Just think you need the contrast to make the good bits better.

The whole show, every scene, was masterfully performed, but yes, the challenge by Tyrion really sets up a fantastic climax...and I haven't read the books, but I think there were plenty of clues planted for what's apparently coming next...

Yes, Yara's command while swarming the castle was brilliantly acted and the scenes (all of them) just flowed together so seamlessly.

I thought the scene in which Davos flipped the Iron Bankers to Stannis' side was so great on so many levels, not the least of which it is a metaphor for our own world's growing problem with bankers making all the real decisions...

Fantastic review Mr. Ron!

Not only was this the best episode of the
entire GoT series, I would even say it’s one of the best episodes on TV,
period. I’d rate it way up there with Ozymandias from Breaking Bad.

Maybe it’s because Tyrion has been out of
the spotlight pretty much since season 2 (he was so whiney during season 3,
often complaining about due credit that he never received), but it was simply
orgasmic to watch him tear down his audience and his father’s plans. Brilliant
acting, writing, direction and story.

I’ve read the books and I was still blown
away by this episode. *SPOILERS* So many foreshadowing moments, like Varys
glancing at the Throne and the goat bones… */LOVED IT!

I find the show and the books complement each other very well. The show is very close to the original work, usually mixing up 2-3 characters into one for practicality, or adding a bit of meat to flesh out a character that we wouldn't see enough of if only the books were followed (such as Bran at Craster's).

Dude, that's mean.

great episode and great review.
i agree on every point - but especially on the director Sakharov. there were some positively marvelous reaction shots in this ep with the framing, and clearly he had a vision of what he wanted for each scene. i loved the framing of the trial scene inparticular - how the witnesses were forefront to the right, but tyrion was also in the shot behind them, looking on....made even better by the way he was sitting. also - the facial shots jumping from tyrion to jaime to cersei to tyrion to tywin....they were fantastic! each reaction shot encapsulated the feelings of each character perfectly and their respective relationships with one another. that last stare off between tyrion and gave me shivers. tywin may loathe tyrion with every fibre of his being, but the true irony of it all is that of his children, tyrion's the one that is truely his father's son. there's is a battle of wits. they understand each other's level of cunning and are playing this off against each other on a higher plane than the others.

also - how awesome is oberyn?! everything he does is so damn cool and chilled out. coolest goddamn viper in the snake's pit. he's just made of win.

i couldn't agree more about how sakharov clearly has a handle on the actors - especially clarke! this was the first scene of hers in 3 seasons where i've enjoyed her performance. it was the first time she displayed any form of human-like nuance and emoting at all since S1, rather than the cold dead eyed robot schitk of old, and i thought she did very well with it. i actually recognised the character again. if this is what sakharov can achieve, then i pray we have more of him! clearly he has a better grasp of how these young and inexperienced actors (basically everyone outside of kingslanding) should be directed and taught in their craft than what D&D have ever had. more directors like him, and the likes of clarke can actually grow and blossem into a talented actress with a promising career....but with the boot lickers D&D she (and dany) just stays stagnant and wooden. i hope they don't direct again.

As someone that hasn't what do you think is coming next? I'm interested to see how non-readers interpret what's going on etc :)

* sorry that should read: "As someone that hasn't read the books what do you think is coming next"

i was waiting for that line with baited breath. it really stands out as such a cruel thing to say out of everything in the trial.
i imagine the reason they didn't include it as being much along the same line as your thinking - that perhaps they thought it was going a step too far.
which it may have actually been. it stands out to me so much in my head from the books even after all these years....imagine the impact it would have had on tv. honestly, the other lines with everyone laughing at him were difficult enough for me to take...
great line and i missed it at the time of viewing...but looking back now i think they probably made the right call.

I totally agree actually, it's quite funny for such a 'shocking' show, to see how sensitively they handle the delicate issues.

Oberyn is THE man, my fave character on the show ..didn't like him in the novels anywhere near as much...really hope he gets to stick around.

i think stannis is VERRRRYYY grey! he believes rigidly in justice and duty but he's willing to burn people alive. he himself is a atheist who has no interest in gods, but he immediately conforms to r'hollar and willingly burns the symbols of other gods while adapting the lord of light into his banners - not because he believes, but because he recognises that the red priestess infront of him genuinely has some form of power, and he needs to extort that power for his own gain.
he's incredibly misunderstood as being deeply unlikeable and a bit of a prick (and he kind of is tbh...he's a grumpy cat in human form), but essentially what he wants to do is SAVE the realm. good intentions - bad methods.
i actually think of stannis as one of the most grey characters in the series....

one of the best episodes ever!!!!!!! Did not want it to end!

Avoid reading the upcoming episode titles until you have seen them. Certainly episode 8's one is a big spoiler.

I've been underwhelmed by this season, even the wedding felt like an anti-climax, but this episode really felt like the show returning to it's strongest point. Game of Thrones without Tyrion wasn't anywhere near as much fun.

I love LOVE the character development of Jamie Lanister. I started the series hating him so much, and now I find I'm secretly rooting for him! (disclaimer: I did NOT read the books)

Fantastic article - you really hit the nail on the head, Mr Hogan.

your blaming the writing the director has no say over what they say

"stick" around... haha.

Seriously though, that actor is born for the part.

I've recorded Tyrion's speech and will in the future play it to anyone who upsets me at work..

Wow. Some review, you are very talented Ron and write with such elegance amongst the fountain of excitement aka Game Of Thrones, which fills us with an unsuppressible sense of eagerness each Monday here in the UK, its a wonderful feeling. Agree with everything. Peter Dinkage is one of the best actors, so much so you forget he is a dwarf, you see him for his aptitude and cant help but empathise with the doe eyed Tyrion and grow fond of him and forget about his size, it no longer draws attention, no longer something that stands out, he is familiar, endearing and oozing with talent. Amazing! The standard is the same accross the board. So much talent and delivered beautifully.

Not sure I like the whole idea of this Iron Bank

Don't mean to pee in the punchbowl, but I thought the off-piste Yara rescue was a total waste of space. They wouldn't've just punched Theon out then carried him? They're freaking Iron-born! They drown each other for baptism! The bastard goes shirtless against armored Iron-born and wins? How did they all get out of that dead end and back to their ship anyway? I don't mind the show going off book if it's for the greater good, but that little abortion felt about as valuable as Bran's Craster's sleepover. And I'm a Yara/Asha devotee.

And no-one present anticipated Tyrion demanding trial by combat when faced with prejudiced proceedings? It's not like there's a perfect precedent already...

Why all the haters of Theon (still)? He was basically disowned by his father, never knew his sister, was taken in by the generosity of the Starks, only to be sucked back into his father's iron world through the mischievous deviousness of his sister, only to be betrayed, captured, tortured, having his manhood manhandled from him and then enduring the psychological terror of a confused and mind as he spiraled into insanity. If ever there was a time to understand the world of such a misunderstood soul it is now. I not only feel for him, but I want his eyes to be opened and for him to exact revenge (I too have not read the books, nor have I looked ahead. Just surmising here).

Like Valint and Balk in the Joe Abercrombie novels. The faceless, gazillionaire financial conglomerate secretly controlling everything. The ultra baddie of so much modern fiction beamed to a quasi-medieval setting. I can see how the devise appeals to the writer, but it doesn't work for me in this context. In these worlds of such savagery and brute force diplomacy, a nation with a potential army of millions is going to lose sleep over loans owed to a bunch of quill-pushers? Long-term foreign currency credit ratings?

Blount or Trant could do it, mentioning the Mountain, a character we haven't seen in 2 seasons, only heard of... I'm pretty sure most viewers who haven't read the books must think he's a plot hole by now. Not logical reasoning at all. This guy spoiled it, and he knows it.

I welcomed this. Asha wants to save her brother but gets sidetracked by other events. By considering Theon "dead", Yara can move on towards that storyline. Again, this is more meat added to an otherwise thin character story. I agree though that her escape was badly handled. How did she run away from a pack of hungry psycho wardogs??? And shirtless Ramsey... I just wish they'd showed us a bit more of how he got all that blood on him. He's nuts!

Racism aside, for anyone who doesn't binge-watch shows, it's sometimes convenient to have a reminder of what happened before, like when you haven't watched for a while, maybe got into another show, etc. Just because it doesn't apply to you, doesn't mean it's not useful for someone else. After all, you're not alone on this planet...

Dude, he murdered two little kids cold, and a bunch of Winterfellians (there's your "generosity of the Starks" repaid). He's gotten some serious comeuppance, yes, but he should've found the stones to pop his own clogs before becoming such a wretch: he's Iron-born!

Plus he was always really weasally-looking.

That's no different to Jamie Lannister tossing young Bran Stark out of the castle window and yet people are now saying they like his character.

Bran was witness to Jamie's high treason. It was the kid or the twins man!

And Theon couldn't even find the stones to cut Ramsey's throat and go down in a hail of razor fire.

As you say, this was a nice addition they've made to the source material in terms of how it develops Yara's storyline.
But aside from your own questions, my main one was this: how did they sail to the Dreadfort? That's one hell of a coastline to circumnavigate. For people trying to get to grips with the geography of Westeros from scratch, that little discrepancy can't have helped.
Makes for good storytelling though...

I would say that Alfie Allen, who plays Theon Greyjoy, deserves credit too. He makes his scenes delightfully painful to watch. Also, NCW as Jaime is great- the bathtub scene last season was the only one (along with Michelle's Red Wedding) that rivalled the trial in terms of awesome acting.

I take your point on his use of the gods. As you say though, this comes from pragmatism rather than faith. I think Stannis believes that burning them is just, although conflicted on the matter, and uses Davos as his counter-balance/get out of jail card to Melisandre. It is you and me that

that think it isn't.

He does get a hard press. I just find him frustrating and predictable, only in the best way, like Ned (how many times was he warned??). Plus he gave us the onion knight, my favorite, again one of most grey. A smuggler who believes in a just king.

I do wonder if I'm the only person on the planet who doesn't like Game of Thrones.

And when last we caught up with everyone's favorite schlong-slasher he'd just been dispatched to Moat Cailin by Roose to have a crack at wresting it from the GreyJoys.

You may not be aware of it in the US but internationally you have a bit of a reputation for preferring your entertainment a bit more spoon-fed than some other cultures do. For reference compare the original version of The Office with the US adaptation

No. There are millions of other people who don't like it. You just don't see them often lurking around on Game of Thrones posts...


Now that I'm done hyperventilating over the GIANT FREAKIN' DRAGONS...that episode was near perfect in my book. All the best characters (and no Starks or half-Starks, phew) and some of the best acting we've ever seen in the show. Take a bow, Peter Dinklage.

Exactly. It's a time of brute force and allegiances made via royal weddings. But we are meant to believe that the leaders of a country have to show up at the Iron Bank and ask a bunch of bankers for credit? I find this whole concept more far-fetched than having dragons in the story.

Oh I know, I just mean in general. Like I'll be talking to a group of friends and one of them will mention Game of Thrones and I'll be like "i haven't seen game of thrones" and they're all like "WHAT, HEATHEN" and I feel like a larry.

In my darkest thoughts after last weeks show I thought the hodor chokeslam was going to be the moment that GOT jumped the shark. Never in my life have I been so happy to be so wrong, in my opinion the best episode yet and the first not to feature a member of the stark family.

at least he's not a rapist in the books (or at least not to the point which i've read thus far)

Ditto - me too!

And the locations especially compement the books - the Great Sept of Baelor set was breathtaking - my imagination couldn't have come up with anything as good!

Well the title of episode 8 gives it away somewhat ...

LOL! "manhood manhandled" - nicely put!

I don't miss that at all. I pay attention. I'd much rather have 10 mins of new stuff. Anyone else think that this episode was a lot shorter than previous ones?

I don't think this is a spoiler - there's been plenty of mention of the Mountain by the Hound in S4 and Oberyn's made no secret that he wants revenge for his sister - it wouldn't be too much of a leap of logic. It would have been a spoiler if it had been mentioned last week - before trial by combat was mentioned. And in any case, the title of Episode 8 gives it away so it's a moot point.

Nope- there are a few who don't like it. There are millions of others who have never tried it due to inaccessibility, not liking the genre, or having never heard of it.

Bryan Cogman himself said in an interview that the purpose of that scene is to make Yara's journey appear pointless (which, he said, will be addressed later on), and to give us an insight into Reek. There are no unnecessary scenes here :)

But he is. You can clearly read in the chapter that Cersei is resisting him in the beginning. Anyways, that doesn't matter.

It was clearly established by all those involved that no, it was not rape. Not in the book and not on the show.

This. I completely forgot about this little detail.

I've read the books twice, and thought that this was awesome. They got the trial absolutely spot on. Dinklage was brilliant, and I love the way that though they are diverging from the books, they are doing it incredibly well. The Yara plot didn't make a lot of sense, but as Theon and the Iron Islanders are 'off screen' for the entire third book, you have to find something for them to do.

I haven't read the books but hope Jaime steps in and fights for him, freeing Tyrion and regaining his mojo in the process.

But he/she has a huge say over how that line is delivered, and how much importance is placed upon it through editing.

Only read the first book. It's great but the TV show is better.

The TV show is one of the very best I've ever seen. The first novel is no way one of the best books I've ever read.

Fair point but you can create a character who is extremely unlikeable but still a great character and entertaining presence on-screen. Indeed, this very show probably created (and recently killed) the greatest example of this ever seen on TV.

Stannis is uncharismatic, dull and pretty much bores the pants off me. In a show littered with great characters, he is definitely the worst, in my opinion.

Spoiler prick.

To be fair, you could've ignored what he said and we would've never known it was a spoiler.

Of course its a spoiler. Revealing things that are going to happen before they do is always a spoiler.

I had no idea whatsoever that was going to happen, and I've read the episode titles.

Agreed, massively valuable Reek development. He's gone. Turned down his sister to stay with his torturer.

If you haven't seen it, how do you know you don't like it?

You probably would - at least 90% of people who watch it do.

Another spoiler, then? Thanks very much.

I watched a few episodes and hated it.

The Iron Bank concept is more unbelievable than the existence of dragons.

Nah it was rape.

OMG! Are you guys kidding me? I love, love Stannis. I love his character even it is unlikeable to some. He is a total bad ass and interesting character.

It was not meant to be rape in the books. In the show, it clearly came across as rape (though apparently that wasn't intentional).

Out of interest, did you read first or watch? Having just started a feast for crows, I prefer the books.

I watched the series first. I enjoyed the first book but would never call it one of the greatest books I've read.

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