Game of Thrones Revisited: 4.06 The Laws Of Gods And Men

Game of Thrones, the critically acclaimed TV series by David Benioff and DB Weiss and developed from the best-selling series of novels by George RR Martin, has become a cultural icon. The tentpole of HBO's programming with a stellar cast and mix of medieval-style political drama and war with a healthy dash of fantasy, Game of Thrones has enthralled audiences worldwide. And in 2019, the show will come to a dramatic end in its final run of feature length episodes. In the lead up to season eight, I explore every episode leading up to the final battle for Westeros and the rest of the world, continuing with the epic trial of Tyrion Lannister...



Warning: There may be spoilers for seasons one to seven...

The trial of Tyrion Lannister for King Joffrey Baratheon's murder is the focal point at which season four gravitates. The attack on the Wall might be the big action sequence of the season, but it is the moments leading up to and following on from this episode that are tie it together. Joffrey's death in episode two, the fight between the Red Viper and the Mountain in episode eight and of course that final fateful confrontation with Tywin and Shae in the season finale. Season two might have been Tyrion's moment of glory, proving how good he was at being the Hand of the King, but this is the season that changes him forever.

The odds have been staked against him since his mother died giving birth to him; we have seen Tywin and Cersei's utter hatred for the dwarf that took her away and the humiliation and mockery laid upon him for his stature. Perhaps more than other character in Game of Thrones, Tyrion has had the most to prove, which makes his complete fall from grace this season and into the next all the more tragic. We see that hatred some vehemently laid bare during the trial; Joffrey is painted as a saint as Meryn Trant tells of Tyrion's abuse of the child king, Pycelle paints a convincing picture of how Tyrion stole the poisons from him that killed the king and Cersei lays on a sad story of how Tyrion gloated that he would have his revenge upon her.



But it is the testimony of Shae that is the most heart-breaking. Tyrion expected the rest but not from the woman he truly loves and was forced to send away to protect her. His face as she recounts how he and Sansa plotted the king's demise is full of anguish and pain, fuelling his subsequent 'confession'. Peter Dinklage can play charming, wise, whimsical and drunk Tyrion to perfection but this episode sees a new side to him. The fury as he confesses how he would have he wished he had not saved the city from Stannis, his desire to have killed Joffrey and everyone else with them is pained and passionate; the stand off between Tyrion and Tywin as he demands trial by combat is brilliant, Dinklage and Charles Dance both holding their own against each other.

It's perhaps the tipping point in Tywin's absolute grip on power. His plan to exile Tyrion to the Night's Watch and force Jamie into becoming Lord of Casterly Rock would almost have worked if Shae's testimony had not tipped Tyrion so far. It's an episode that does start to foreshadow Tywin's demise in the season's end. In Bravos, Stannis and Davos visit the Iron Bank to fund their quest for the Iron Throne (Mark Gattis making his debut as Tycho Nestoris) and talk turns to Tywin and his absolute grip on power. As powerful as he might be, his enemies are quick to surmise that his death will the opportunity they need. In fact it is suggested that the possibility of Tywin's demise is what convinces the cold, ruthless Tycho to fund the final Baratheon king.



And the world really is changing with old and new powerbases already crumbling. In Mereen, Daenerys finds her resolve already starting to crumble; her dragons killing the flock of a local shepherd will lead to their imprisonment and her temporary fall from grace as the saviour of Slaver's Bay. In nobleman Loraq, she is force to bend to his request to take his slaver father down from the spot he was crucified. The world might be largely black and white to the Khalessi, but events over the next two seasons will prove that is far from the case.

The are also some harsh truths for Yara, whose righteous quest to save Theon finds her brother now a loyal pet of Ramsey Snow.The attack on the Dreadfort is a brutal set piece but it is the grim truth that Theon is truly lost that is the most harrowing of all. Yara is forced to abandon him as dead while Ramsey's hold over him continues to grow more twisted. The scene where he bathes a scarred Theon and demands his love is a truly insidious moment.

Season four is the point at which Game of Thrones changes everything up. With the Starks defeated and the War of the Five Kings virtually over, this season sees the world irrevocably changed, from the death of Joffrey to the rise of Daenerys. But it is Tyrion's path that is perhaps the most changed; his loyalty to the Lannister family is broken and the pivotal moment of The Laws Of Gods And Men is the point at which he truly starts his path to becoming a proper hero. His betrayal by everyone he knows, particularly Shae, is heart breaking, but will lead to greater things once he finds himself on the path to serving Daenerys next season...



We'll be taking a short break on our Game of Thrones Revisits until January, where we'll be back to discuss the rest of season four and five, six and seven, before the final season airs in April 2019...

Game of Thrones

Based on the bestselling novel series A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin, HBO's Game of Thrones has revolutionised the fantasy genre for mainstream television. With new prequel series in the pipeline, the show bows out in 2019 with a spectacular six-part finale. Check out our extensive coverage of the show with our Game of Thrones Revisited, covering every episode from seasons one to seven.

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