"Game of Thrones" recap: Tyrion goes on trial in "The Laws of Gods and Men"

Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister in a scene from the fourth season of "Game of Thrones." HBO

[Warning: This post contains spoilers for Sunday's episode of "Game of Thrones," so don't read if you haven't watched.]

Last week, I joked that "Game of Thrones" was channeling "CSI," with all the whodunit murder revelations. This week's episode, "The Laws of Gods and Men," was a bit more "Law & Order," serving up Westeros' brand of justice.

In King's Landing, Tyrion goes on trial for Joffrey's murder. Witness after witness comes before the three judges -- Tywin, Prince Oberyn Martell and Mace Tyrell -- and proclaims Tyrion guilty without much in the way of proof. Ser Meryn and Lord Varys both condemn him. Pycelle accuses him of stealing his poisons and Cersei reminds everyone her brother warned that one day her "joy will turn to ashes in [her] mouth."

During a recess in the proceedings, Jaime offers his father a deal -- he'll go back to Casterly Rock and continue the Lannister line if Tyrion can be sent to the Night's Watch instead of being executed. Tywin agrees, and for a moment it seems everything might be resolved. But if you think things will actually go down that way, you're watching the wrong show.

A final witness comes forward, and it's Shae -- apparently, that ship Tyrion sent her off on didn't reach its intended destination -- and the testimony she gives is damning. She lies that he and Sansa plotted together to murder Joffrey, and betrays him further by telling everyone about their relationship (twisting the facts to condemn him further). Tyrion begs her to stop, to no avail -- and then he reaches his breaking point.

"I saved you! I saved this city. All your worthless lives. I should have let Stannis kill you all!" he tells the assembled crowd. "I did not kill Joffrey but I wish that I had. Watching your vicious bastard die gave me more relief than a thousand lying whores."

He tells his father he's not on trial for Joffrey's murder -- he's on trial for being a dwarf, and has been his entire life. Knowing he won't get justice in this courtroom, he requests a trial by combat instead.

Other places and faces visited this week...

Davos and Stannis sail to Braavos and pay a visit to the Iron Bank, and get money to pay the pirate Salladhor Saan to join their cause.

Yara Greyjoy leads a group of ships to Dreadford to save her brother, but there isn't anything of Theon left to save. When she and her men come to rescue him, Theon (terrified it's a trap set by his captor/tormentor, Ramsay Snow) insists his name is Reek and refuses to go with them. Yara leaves and declares her brother as good as dead. As a reward for his loyalty, Ramsay draws Theon/Reek a bath but wants something in return -- can he pretend to be Theon Greyjoy?

And in Meereen, Danaerys is doing meet-and-greets with her now-subjects. One man says her dragons torched his herd of goats, which she remedies by offering to pay triple what they're worth. Then she receives a man whose father is among the leaders she had crucified on the signposts leading into the city. He wants the right to take his father down and give him a proper burial, which she allows. And there are another 200-something people waiting to see her. Being a ruler isn't as easy as being a conqueror.

Tell us: What did you think of this week's episode?

  • Jessica Derschowitz

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