Editor’s Note: “The Eye of Newb” contains spoilers from the episode listed. If you have not watched the episode written about, you have been warned. But as Matt has not read the books (as of yet), you do not have to worry about future spoilers.
The Eye of Newb (Return of the Newb)
Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 6: Laws of Gods and Men
“I wish I had enough poison for the pack of you! I would gladly give my life to watch you swallow it.”- Tyrion Lannister
As a preface, Dear Readers… This, this here, is the episode the Newb has been waiting for. The full-on rage of the Dinklage. I will spill some details as we go along, for those rare few of you who may not yet have seen it. That said, if you haven’t seen the episode, don’t rely on me. Go. Watch it. Now. Especially the last 5 minutes. Yes, yes, I know I’m well behind any respectable kind of blogging schedule and this is probably unnecessary, but need I remind you that the culprits in that particular crime are cavalier and uncaring hotel managers in New York. I will go and sin no more.
Suffice it to say that for those of us who adore Tyrion Lannister, last week’s flaccid, Imp-less, tiresome three-toed sloth of an episode was worth soldiering through just to get to the end of this most recent installment. So very. I am now so primed for the next episode I’m practically tweaking at resonant frequency. And this coming Sunday, Newb will be on my own damn couch, with HBO blaring forth from the big-screen, anticipating greatness. Deliver, Producers… deliver, damn you!
Enough, for now, about my reaction to the episode, and let’s get to, well… uh… my reaction to the episode. There really is no elegant way to execute that hook. Never mind. Off we go!
- So Braavos gets its own spot on the map, complete with a popup man-bridge, but still no handy location for the Darth Pale’s Walkerplex 3000. Still annoying.
- The Onion and Stannis the Dour lead us straight into the Braavosi straits and beneath the giant bridge-man. How can they resist the urge to look up? I mean, c’mon, I know that they’re serious men on serious business and all, but a huge, lichen-encrusted stone butt is always funny, assuming one possesses an ounce of Y chromosome.
- This must be part and parcel of Davos’ stroke of insight from a couple of weeks back – go borrow some coin from Braavos. Clearly the Iron Bank is some otherworldly version of Goldman Sachs + the IMF.
- Heedless of their infernal power and bottomless coffers, Stannis is not a man who takes kindly to waiting, despite Davos and his attemts to soothe via the clever deployment of piratical tales.
- Oh, marvelous. It’s a stew of my least favorite things: condescending bankers, boardrooms, meetings and absolutists. Wake me when it’s over, please.
- Okay, so some parts of that were cool – f’rinstance, Stannis henceforward may never again speak down to the Onion as a worthless underling. He will anyway, but he shouldn’t. Davos just single-handedly solved that pesky army problem, thereby reanimating the “other” Baratheon’s hopes to grace the Iron Throne.
- Very interesting observation made in Davos’ impassioned speech about Tywin Lannister, as well. Foreshadowing perhaps? Can’t be. Altho-ough, now the Newb’s mind is spinning with the possible ramifications of a Lannister death that is not Cersei’s. If Tywin were to meet his end, King’s Landing would be thrown into paroxysms of chaos and the balance of power throughout Westeros would be well and truly screwed with. But that’s for later… and might very well be a head-fake anyway.
- In the here and now, Davos is courting my favorite pirate from the Blackwater siege season out of a steaming hot bath (that also has water in it) using the old ‘throw money on the table’ trick.
- Pirate humor. Heh.
- Cut to grey seas and Asha Greyjoy upon them, giving her men some fuel for the upcoming rescue mission. Curious relationships abound between brothers and sisters here in Westeros, Friends. Some, like Cersei, would marry one brother and kill another. Others, like Arya, want nothing more than to kill in the name of their brothers now deceased. Still others, such as Asha, wish to kill anyone and anything that chooses to stand between her and her brother. Just an observation.
- Nonetheless, I would not want to be Ramsay Snow right about now.
- Or maybe I would, what with the neck-rattling sex he’s having while his castle and keep are invaded by Ironborn. Good for Mr. ‘Call Me Bolton’, but that freakshow smirk of his has got to go.
- What’s up with Theon? Is he really so far gone that he’d refuse rescue from this smirking bastard?
- And what’s up with Ramsay, as well? I mean, I know he’s that far gone, but are those deep lacerations coital in nature or does he always fight sans shirt? Someone please kill this annoyance, please?
- As the dogs of war let slipped are… yeah that went sideways on me in a hurry… Asha beats a hasty retreat and lies about her brother’s mortality. That might just come back to haunt her.
- Uh-huh. It will. A skin-crawling bath scene with Ramsay and Reek. I need this visual like I need a sucking chest wound. Neither is much fun, and they both hurt to be around. Just. Eewwww. That said, now that the Ironborn believe Theon Greyjoy to be dead, what, pray tell, is Ramsay Snow going to give them? That’s right. Theon Greyjoy. More importantly, what will this bit of role-playing do to the former Ego King’s fragile psyche? It pains me to feel this much sympathy for Reekjoy, but I can’t stop feeling it.
- We cut to goats. Just goats. And a hillside waterfall. And a boy. And a dude chasing the goats. What the hell? Why should I care about goats? Oh. That. A dragon. A mighty big dragon. Barbecuing some goats. So, only mildly pointless.
- Quickly away to the Meereen throne room and Sweet Dany, the new Queen in Town. Damn, but she’s got a whole bunch of titular nouns and adjectives, which is a fun way to work ‘titular’ and ‘Danaerys’ into a paragraph. Nothing more. And there’s that goat-chasing dude again. Oh, I get it now. The bill has come due for that little goat-b-cue. In paying the goatherd back for his losses, Dany is proving her ruler’s mettle so far. No Baratheon’s Disease for this girl. Next test?
- A former Master of Meereen enters, earning Dany’s thinly-veiled contempt. This one’s a bit harder, as his plea serves to remind our new Queen of the unintended costs of the ‘justice’ she so recently meted out. She handles him with aplomb, as well. Next?
- Well, so far, despite the long list of supplicants, Dany is not succumbing to her desire to run like hell. It’s early yet, though. Throw a few thousand more audiences at her and see if she starts cooking random goats, too, says I.
- Back we swing across the Narrow Sea to the small counsel chamber in King’s Landing. All of the newly-minted members are in attendance, from the obsequious Lord Tyrell to the funny-as-hell Oberyn. I’m really growing to like this New Boy. He shares my disdain for the AM side of the clock.
- Interesting that Jorah the Andal has officially severed al ties with the Lannister clan. And did Oberyn just make a pass at Cersei, using the Unsullied as his pretext? No accounting for taste, I suppose.
- I wonder what Tywin has planned for Meereen and its new Queen that requires his quill and paper. Another failed assassination attempt, perchance? Not with Selmy around, surely.
- Woot! Off to Varys in the throne room. What a visual treat. Somehow hollow in Baelish’s absence, tho. Who will be the Spider’s sparring partner now? Oberyn seem game to try…
- Nice exchange. Not Littlefinger-caliber, by any means, but still nice. We learn a bit more about this fascinating spider. he is from a land where Oberyn has traveled, though it surprises him how easily Oberyn places him. Also, Varys is not only sexless but uninterested in sex. And thrones. Watch that “for the good of the realm” spiel fall away and his true lust for power come to the fore! Awesome.
- From the throne room to the dungeon, and big brother Jaime come to escort the Imp (yes! Impness!) to his trial. This oughta be interesting…
- So-o, as I mentioned in the intro, Dear Readers, the last 20 minutes of this episode are arguably the greatest, most epic and astounding bits of film the entire GoT series has produced so far, in the Newb’s humble opinion. Better than the golden crown. Better than the Blackwater. Better than weddings, were they Red or Purple. Not quite better than Joffrey’s choking death, but longer and somehow more satisfying. Dinklage is thoroughly, terribly awesome, in words, expressions and steaming, justified, volcanic rage.
- I won’t even try to capture the nuances. Just go watch it. Some standout highlights to whet your appetite:
- Oberyn jousting with Pycelle over poison.
- Cersei’s cravenly superior sneers. Bitch.
- Pycelle’s dreadful overreach regarding Joffrey’s nobility.
- Cersei’s outright lie about Joffrey’s whereabouts during the battle of the Blackwater, and Tyrions reaction.
- All things Varys, most notable his response to Tyrion’s lone question. Runner up (with a bullet) for line of the night: “Sadly, my lord, I never forget a thing.”
- Jaime dealing away his Sister-Concubine-Victim, or whatever she is this week, in return for his baby brother’s life. Jeebus. Tywin always gets what he wants, don’t he? Even if he has to pull heaven and earth asunder and threaten the death of his child to make it happen.
- Shae. Holy Gods, Shae. Did not see that one coming. Nor did I foresee the consequences…
- These last five minutes, tho… Holy freakin’ crap. Gotta dwell there for a bit.The Imp truly comes into his frightening own, finally spilling years of pent-up emotions that seethed just below his expertly controlled visage forth for all to see. It is thing sublime, done of mastery. From the drop into his seat at Shae’s first lies onward, Peter Dinklage rides us raucously off the rails, and parts us decisively with the tracks and ties entirely. So many potential lines of the night, Dear Readers. So very many.
- Basically… Just watch it. You won’t regret it.
So on to the denouement…
The Good – Sparring in the throne room and pretty much Dinklage in his entirety.
The Bad – Ramsay Snow’s sexytime clown face and Bankers Without Borders.
The Ugly – Theon Reekjoy. What. The. Hell. Is wrong with that boy?
Well, Friends, as I watch the glowering stare-down between a triumphant Tyrion and a mortified Tywin (again), Newb is deep, deep in for next week. I have to know where this crazy train stops. Have to. And thus, until next time, I remain your Faithful Newb.