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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Game of Thrones S04 E06: “The Laws of Gods and Men” (oh crap oh crap oh crap)

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(previous: “First of His Name”)

OMG THERE’S NEW STUFF IN THE CREDITS!

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OMG SOMEONE CHECK IF THAT STATUE HAS ONLY FOUR TOES!

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OMG MARK GATISS!

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OMG LIAM CUNNINGHAM HAS NO FINGERS!

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OMG THEON GREYJOY’S BADASS SISTER!

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OMG THEON LIKES HIS DOG CAGE!

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OMG A DRAGON!

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OMG QUEENING IS HARD!

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OMG PRINCING IS FUN!

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OMG VARYS WANTS THE IRON THRONE!

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OMG SHAE THE BETRAYER!

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OMG I KNOW, RIGHT?

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OMG TYRION’S RAGE!

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This episode has exhausted me.

(next: “Mockingbird”)


posted in:
tv buzz
  • Bluejay

    Oh man, that ending. Peter Dinklage is intense. Holy shit.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    The question of the week does seem to be “Can we just give Peter Dinklage his Emmy now, kthxbai?”

  • Bluejay

    Other thought: If Shae is still at Kings Landing, that means Bronn didn’t see her off to her ship, as he’d said. So is he a betrayer, too? Wouldn’t be a surprise, really; he’s always seemed to be good at looking after himself…

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    I’m not convinced that Varys, in either media, wants to sit the throne himself. I think he wants to control who does sit on the throne. Both the choice of king and the King himself.

    I’m not impressed with how the show has handled the Shae plotline. I think they were trying to make her less obviously conniving and mercenary, but instead made her too sympathetic, to the point where her betrayal stretches credulity.

  • Or it means that someone went and got her from wherever she ended up.

  • Which is why I’m unexpecting some long game is going on here: she is only *appearing* to betray him for some reason that will make sense and work to his benefit in the long run.

  • Bluejay

    True, but I also think it’s interesting to consider the possibility that Tyrion’s been entirely putting his trust in the wrong people — that, in the circles he runs in, there may not actually BE anyone to trust, no matter how intimate his relationship with them seems. That just makes his loneliness so damn hard to see.

    Betrayed by those he trusted; imprisoned; his story twisted; subjected to public vilification and a trial that’s a mockery of justice… despite how much less naive and more politically adept he seemed back in Season 2, he’s basically now in the same position as Ned Stark, isn’t he? I know no one’s safe on this show, but losing Tyrion would be very, VERY tough to take.

  • All true. But as Dr. Rocketscience says elsewhere in this thread, Shae’s betrayal seems very out of character from what we’ve seen of her previously.

    Of course, the writers did the same thing to Jaime, so perhaps we need to be talking about *their* betrayal…

  • Bluejay

    Shae’s betrayal seems very out of character from what we’ve seen of her previously.

    Does it, really? She’s always been very jealous of his attention and suspicious of any dealings he has with Sansa or other women. When he finally verbally abuses her to her face and calls her a whore, in an attempt to get her to leave the city, it really cuts her deep and you can see that she thinks HE’S betrayed HER. Her betrayal at the trial just seems like payback, to me. But I guess we’ll see.

    Re: Jaime: What he did to Cersei was despicable, of course, but was it really out of character? It seems to me his feelings for her have been intensely unhealthy from the start. We’re talking about a guy who pushed a little kid out the window in the first episode; no matter how complicated and sympathetic he gets (and I admit he does), he’s also a ruthless guy who won’t let anyone get in the way of him getting the woman he wants. Including, apparently, the woman he wants.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Unless Shae is a blithering idiot (which the show has gone out of its way to show that she is not), she has to know that her testimony is going to get Tyrion killed, or at best, exiled to place where his life expectancy is remarkably short. It also puts Sansa in even greater peril, despite Shae’s self-professed concern and fondness for her. The show has also gone out of its way to show Shae as temperamental, but not vindictive, nor particularly avaricious. So the “woman scorned” angle doesn’t play.

    Book!Shae was written in a way that always implied a strong possibility that she’s in it for the money. Her betrayal in that context is mostly about Tyrion not playing all the angles as deftly as one needs to win the game of thrones. He both underestimated her anger, and failed to pay her off richly enough to buy her silence.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Like what? And why would he need Shae for it? All of the other witnesses we saw either lied outright, or framed their testimony (or at least allowed it to be framed) in the most damaging way possible. Tyrion could have had is blow up and demand for a trial by combat at any point. And a trial by combat isn’t a long game. It’s a short term gamble. (Or a literal appeal to the gods, which is way OOC for Tyrion.) Tyrion could choose the greatest warrior in the world as his champion, and all he could do is tilt the odds slightly in his favor. Long games are about shifting the odds overwhelmingly, but doing so so slowly that no one notices.

    Of course, I suppose it might not be Tyrion’s long game. But even then, I can’t see how Shae is necessary. She’s not necessary to get him convicted. If the goal is to get Tyrion killed, executed or sent to the Wall are basically the same. Trial by combat doesn’t necessarily work to anyone’s advantage.

    A lot of things are going to happen between now and the end of the season that will, of you squint just right, look like someone pulling strings very deftly. Personally, I think it’s a lot of chaotic events – some of which work to some people’s advantage, others that benefit other people – to which everyone will be forced to react.

  • Nope, Shae playing a long game doesn’t make sense. That’s just *me* trying to make sense of this sudden shift in her character, which doesn’t feel plausible.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Thing is, show!Shae is different enough from book!Shae that it is possible she’s engaged in some sort of game. But I doubt it. I kind of think the show-runners wanted to remove her from the equation, but couldn’t come up with a good story that wouldn’t piss off the book reading purists. So they have her doing pretty much the same thing here as in the book, just with less motivation.

  • BrianJKelly

    Seems to me that her “I’m just a whore, remember?” line made it seem as if she really believed Tyrion’s ‘go away’ speech and took it to heart. More likely, tho, she’s being threatened with death and is choosing to live. As for why the crown needed her to testify — well, to hurt Tyrion, of course. Death is not enough.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    That would make Shae’s presence Cersei’s doing. Which is all well and good, but Tywin is the one running this show. He doesn’t need to hurt Tyrion. Nor does he need Shae to convict him, either.

    Then again, the whole point of the storyline is to teach Tyrion lessons in how better to play the game.

  • BrianJKelly

    Good point. I’ll be interested in seeing how this plays out.

  • If only Tyrion had been more honest with Shae about why he was sending her away…

  • Bluejay

    I have to say, I’m enjoying the alternate version of his speech as well.

  • BrianJKelly

    Yeah. That “you’re just a whore” speech sounded like something from an 80s movie. We’re still trying that “I’ll hurt you to make you leave?” ploy? Does that ever not backfire? =)

  • Bluejay

    I’m not remembering their conversations too clearly, but he MUST have tried honesty at some point, no? I feel like he must have said “You have to leave because you’re not safe here and I couldn’t stand it if you were hurt” at least once.

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