We’re on the home stretch now with only a handful of episodes left. This week was another hour of rapid-fire scenes catching and setting up, with the last thirty minutes focussed on the Story A proper. I thought it worked better than “The Lion and the Rose”; this was almost entirely down to the acting chops of one Mr Peter Dinklage.

Stannis and Davos sail under the Titan of Braavos’s colossal crotch to meet with the Iron Bank. Apparently their letter addressed “Darling fascist bullyboy” with the text “Give me some more money, you bastard” and signed “Boom shanka & valar morghulis” didn’t produce the desired results. They meet with Mark Gatiss playing his smug Mycroft with a dash of possibly-cannibalistic Hilary Briss. Unfortunately, because Tommen’s father is his uncle, they don’t have much faith in Stannis’s handful of peasants and zero bushels of food to win the war/repay the debt.

This cues a passionate speech from Davos, and apparently bromancing the mighty Stannis name whilst showcasing his finger-nubs works, because he then goes to visit Salladhor Saan with a purse of money, which he IS going to give him. Despite the fact that he’s bathing with nubile young ladies paid to laugh at unfunny pirate jokes they’ve heard a billion times, he’s Salladhor: For Hire.

I’m not sure what was to be gained from juxtaposing the reading of Theon’s ransom note and subsequent rescue mission over Ramsay Snow getting sexy with his fellow sociopath. Here’s another storyline created for the series, as Book!Yara (who is actually Book!Asha) doesn’t really seem to care that much about her brother. She and her men are on the cusp of rescuing Theon – but Theon’s game is over, man, with only Reek to scrabble back in his pen among the hounds. Ramsay appears all bloodied (from sexytime BDSM? Self-harm?) to approve of his successful  Stockholm-syndroming of his pet. Yara and her men skedaddle just ahead of the wild dogs, and Reek’s left getting an upsetting bath from his tor/mentor. As he creepily (there’s that word again!) sponges Reek’s many scars, he asks him to do him a solid and pretend to be Theon Greyjoy, so he can capture a castle (Moat Cailin) for Big Daddy Bolton.

To goatherds! We all know innkeepers have the worst job in Westeros, but any smallfolk looking relatively peaceful is fair game for dreadful things to happen. This week’s peasant actually got off lucky with dragon-charred goat, which he offers up to Dany. She’s receiving a long line of supplicants and offers to pay three times the value of the goat, because Goatherd Dude totally won’t tell all his chums about this quick and easy way to make fast cash.

Up next is the smokin’ hot Hizdahr zo Loraq and if you don’t like him, then get used to it, Hitler, because he’s going to be around for a while (or at least talked about incessantly). His old man was one of the crucified masters  currently rotting in the sun. This “justice” was A Huge Mistake for Dany, but the closest she’ll get to admitting she was wrong is to allow HzL to take his father’s corpse down and give him a decent burial. Then she readies herself for the next lot of over 200 subjects. Being queen is rad! At least she has a new dress.

The All-New Small Council Troop meet with the following agenda items:

  • Sandor Clegane reportedly said “Fuck the King”; stupid person’s bounty set at 100 silver stags.
  • That Targaryen girl and her dragons are probably looking to Westeros, former spy Jorah Mormont gone dark; should probably look further into this.

Oh yeah – Jorah was spying for Varys up until recently. The Mother of Dragons can’t be consumed by fire, but this burn will need a salve.

Oberyn and Varys slink off to talk about sexuality (Oberyn = bisexual IN CASE YOU COULDN’T TELL); Varys = asexual. This leaves him to pursue other interests; namely gazing at the known world’s most uncomfortable throne and smiling schemingly.

Then the meat of the episode: Tyrion’s trial. Poor Tommen looks genuinely upset as he hands over the rei(g)ns to Tywin, Oberyn and Mace, knowing his uncle is doomed. Naturally a number of witnesses are brought before the judges to smack-talk Tyrion and his character/lack therof. Because Tyrion is Tyrion, he can’t keep his sassy mouth shut. Obviously Cersei remembers word-for-word the time Tyrion promised to make her joy turn to ashes in her mouth, and Pycelle’s got a small herd of beef, but Varys’s own-skin-saving testimony particularly hurt.

During court’s break Jaime pleads with his brother to quit the smart-talk,  beg for mercy and take the Black. Jaime’s love for and faith in his brother is evident, and Tyrion appears to take this to heart but upon return to trial, the betrayal of Shae is too much for him. His Emmy-worthy speech has echoes of Lana Parilla’s Evil Queen “Most of all, I regret not killing Snow White!” rant. He demands trial by combat, bitches! Oh man, what a way to end the show. This is GoT at its finest.  9/10

Sexy, Important Thoughts

  • This week’s alternate credits:  Game of Super Mario World.
  • The “previously on” was just pure time-filler, right? No one is starting from this episode, nor would it make sense if they had. If you missed last week’s show, then you’d catch up, right? I was always baffled when Buffy had series-spanning “previously-on”s as well.
  • It’s always fun to see a new location on the map, but I think Braavos is the best yet – the rolling coin representing the Iron Bank of course, but also the coin Jaqen H’ghar gave to Arya.
  • Ser Davos: seriously dude, why don’t you just MARRY Stannis already?
  • “You’re not my friend, my friend!” I do love Salladhor Saan.
  • I seriously thought Oberyn told the small council “I have been to ASOS”. No, but he has been to Essos.
  • Pycelle’s mumbled “how my lord uhmmm by force?” reminded me of Orson Welles disastrously drunken advert for Paul Masson (“aahhhh the French….champagne.”)
  • In last week’s comments, thefatgit pointed out that I’d neglected to mention the one smile we’ve possibly ever seen from Jon Snow , upon his reunion with Ghost. I was then reminded me of this gif.
  • The only way to make Tyrion’s speech better is this alternate ending.