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2014-05-14

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May 13, 2014 - 10:58pm

'Game of Thrones' RECAP: Dinklage steals the show in an already fabulous episode

BY CHLOE GILKE

HBO

Chloe Gilke: "This isn't a trial. It's a farce." Oh, you know nothing, Jaime Lannister. "Game of Thrones" continues its hot streak with another fantastic episode this week. We caught up with some crucial characters — Davos and Stannis at the Iron Bank, Dany realizing that ruling isn't all the excitement and fun she'd expected and a heartbreaking bath for Theon. (Two seasons ago, I'd have never thought I would use "heartbreaking" and "Theon" in the same sentence, but here we are.) The heart of the episode, though, was Tyrion's trial, in which he finally expressed all his pent-up anger. Give Peter Dinklage all the awards, please. He may not have killed Joffrey (he only wishes he had, just like the rest of us), but Dinklage is slaying his material this season. (I apologize for the pun.)
Alex Intner: Peter Dinklage is going to have a tough path towards an Emmy (beating Aaron Paul isn't going be easy), but this is going to make one hell of a submission episode. His speech at the end of the episode was one of the highlights of what's been a great season of "Game of Thrones" (so far). I was in awe watching Dinklage express what Tyrion had clearly wanted to say throughout the trial process. The emotion he conveyed through the speech was such that a lesser actor would not be able to do it. The speech not only served as a release of the tension that had been building throughout the trial, but also a release of what had been building over the past few episodes involving Tyrion.
Chloe Gilke: As any follower of @GilkeAsCharged might guess, I'm a pretty huge fan of Aaron Paul. But Dinklage's face as Tyrion's love lies with vitriol to send him to his death ... well, Jesse Pinkman had better watch his back. Even aside from Dinklage, the scene was executed beautifully. Charles Dance showed just a hint of manipulative gleam in his eyes before Jaime gave up the Kingsguard, but it was still a revelation when it was revealed he'd expected Jaime's chivalric reaction and orchestrated the whole thing. The camerawork, almost from Tyrion's perspective, painted Tywin as a tall and imposing figure on the Iron Throne, flanked closely by a council while Tyrion stood alone with the placid crowd seeming far in the distance. Let's also not forget Jaime himself, who gave up what little good graces he'd gained with his father in order to save Tyrion's life. After his attack on Cersei a few weeks ago and playing a more minor role in subsequent episodes, he's on a redeeming streak. Between expressing his admiration for Brienne and giving her Oathkeeper and now taking Tyrion's side, Jaime is engaging in dangerously kind behavior. Nice guys don't last long in Westeros, and I'm sure Jaime knows that. I'm curious about his motivations here. I'm interested to see if Jaime extends that kindness and regret back to Cersei.
Alex Intner: I'm also curious to see whether Tywin holds Jamie to his promise to move back to Casterly Rock and "take his place" as the head of the Lannister line. And, I agree that the entire sequence was so well directed and edited. The rest of the trial had its moments as well. Especially when we saw Shae (who Tyrion thought he would never see again) return to King's Landing and testify against Tyrion. The scene where Tyrion sent Shae away several episodes ago was heartbreaking, but watching Tyrion react to her testimony (the betrayed look he had on his face the entire time) was even more so. The constant cuts back to Tyrion as she spoke were perfectly inserted, as the show presented this reaction.
Chloe Gilke: I also appreciate that the entire sequence, like the Purple Wedding, was edited continuously, with no intercutting. But, that's not to say that the three subplots weren't just as engaging (only three subplots this week, which is super low for "Game of Thrones"). Dany's scene, in particular, had a solid arc even though she was onscreen for scarcely ten minutes. Her dragon overstepped its boundaries (RIP, goat), and Dany found herself dealing with the political consequences. Turns out, being a queen entails a long line of 212 citizens eager to voice their grievances. (Side note: I love all the comparisons between Dany and Selina Meyer that I've been seeing on Twitter and the like. For once, I understand why HBO paired "Game of Thrones" and "Veep" on the same night!) I'm interested to see where Dany goes in the coming weeks. The look she exchanged with Missandei explains it all — she had no idea what she was signing up for when she freed those people and agreed to be the unofficial Mockingjay of greater Westeros. Whatever she does, though, I hope it brings more dragon scenes. That dragon flying over the hill to torch the goat was just awesome.
Alex Intner: I could imagine Dany walking around cursing at Tony Hale while he tries to remember all the names. (Actually, I would watch that crossover!) And, I wish dragons weren't so damn expensive so we could get them every week. It helps that with each appearance they get bigger and gain more power. I guess this time it meant killing a bunch of poor goats in a bunch of amazing CGI. Last week we saw Dany start to learn that just because you conquer a kingdom, doesn't mean everyone just accepts you as leader. This week, she learns that being a leader is not just looking powerful and sitting on the throne, you actually have to help your people. It seems like we're getting an arc with Dany about learning to be a leader, before she goes in and conquers Westeros. I'm happy to watch that continue. (Also, I love the Mockingjay comparison! That's another crossover I would watch.)
Chloe Gilke: Yara also had a rude awakening this week. Her glorious rescue of Theon ended quite sadly, with her realizing that Theon (sorry, Reek) suffers from Stockholm Syndrome beyond repair. Ramsay has Reek in the palm of his hand now that all hope of his returning to the Iron Islands is gone. The captor showed a moment of sickeningly sweet mercy when he drew a warm bath for Reek, but leave it to Ramsay to make it super-creepy by also caressing Reek's shoulder. He demanded that Reek strip and climb into the tub in his full view, and I'm beginning to wonder if there's something else besides pure jealousy at play here. Sure, Theon was born into a good (if not as eminent as they once had been) family, and bastard Ramsay has plenty of reasons to envy him. But by castrating Reek and making sure that the only loving touch this former casanova of Westeros felt was that of another man ... Ramsay is one sick, manipulative bastard.
Alex Intner: Like I said back in Theon's last appearance (of which he's only had two this season), now that Joffery is dead, I submit Ramsay as the show's resident piece of shit. He has pushed Theon so far that he is completely gone. Yara coldly stating "my brother is dead" only further hammered home that point. And, now he's going to take advantage of Theon to attempt to hurt the Grayjoy's. He wants his father to be proud of him, but is this really the way to do it (especially given his fathers complete rejection of his presence before)?
Chloe Gilke: Ramsay's desperate attempts to get his father to accept him make him pretty much the polar opposite of Tyrion (who would do anything to avoid being his father's target). Where Tyrion suffered, though, Stannis had a pretty good week. Davos showed off his fingerless hand as proof of Stannis' trustworthiness, and they worked together to gain Tycho's trust. (Side note: Google confirms that Tycho was indeed played by Mark Gatiss, also known as Mycroft from Sherlock. Another crossover possibility?) As much as I love seeing Sweetheart Davos reading with Shireen, this return to Competent, Argumentative Davos has me cheering. The Onion Knight is a loyal hand to Stannis above all, and he really showed his value this week by winning Stannis a loan from the Iron Bank and by stealing the loyalty of the Iron Bank from the Lannisters (they might not even notice, since they have plenty of other problems over at King's Landing). This is an enormous win for Stannis, who has seen many setbacks in his run from the Iron Throne.
Alex Intner: Davos had been trying to work his way back into Stannis's good graces and getting Tycho back was an important step on that front. Stannis' story hasn't been the most interesting this year (the better stuff in Dragonstone has come from Davos and Shireen interacting). However, with all the talk of the Iron Bank last week, it was interesting to get a look inside and meet the people in with (possibly) more power than anyone else in Westeros, given that they control the money of the kingdom. And, I could imagine Sherlock Holmes walking in and solving Joffrey's murder. (Imagine him interacting with Tywin!)
Chloe Gilke: Sherlock vs. Littlefinger would be the ultimate battle of wits (I'm not even sure who would win in that scenario).
Alex Intner: As sad as I am to say this, Littlefinger would win. (He'd use all the dirty tactics Sherlock wouldn't).
Chloe Gilke: I was nervous watching this episode, and kept expecting Littlefinger to appear. I can't remember the last time no one spoke of him (or one of his plans fell into action), so if anything, I guess that means that next week will have plenty of Sansa and Littlefinger. As great as all the action in King's Landing is this season, sometimes I find the action north of the Wall to be a bit lacking. Bran and Jon's storylines were slow to develop earlier this season, but after that big bloodbath, things are sure to really get rolling (This is a half-attempt at a beheading joke. I'm sorry. I need coffee.) With only four episodes left this season, we're coming in for the big stretch of craziness. The back half has brought us such gems as the Baelor beheading, the Battle of the Blackwater, the birth of the dragons and, of course, the Red Wedding. A certain, um, reappearance of a favorite character has been spoiled for me, but I'm excited to see what else this season has in store. Hopefully, the reappearance of Ser Pounce is in the cards.
Alex Intner: There were no Starks in this episode for the first time. Next week, we'll hopefully see more of them. I'm looking forward to seeing what develops there and north of the wall during these last four episodes. We'll be back next week to talk about "Mockingbird". Talk to you then!