Thursday, May 15, 2014

game of thrones — all dinklage, all the time

O.K., that may be a bit of an exaggeration. There are many fine actors/characters in Game of Thrones. Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister, is just one of them. A main character for sure, but part of an ensemble. But his raging soliloquy at the end of Sunday night's episode, “The Laws of Gods and Men” was so good, so riveting, so emotional — it just made everyone else fade away just a bit.

As usual, there were some other things going on during the episode:

A nice exchange between "Lord" Varys (Conleth Hill, always good) and Prince Oberyn (Pedro Pascal, who just keeps getting better and better), reminding viewers that the politics of Thrones is just as important and frequently more fascinating than all of the blood and guts confrontations.  
A rescue attempt by Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan) of her brother Theon (Alfie Allen) found that he had for all intents and purposes disappeared. All that was left was Reek, ripe for the latest mind games from the creepy and evil Ramsay Snow (Iwan Rheon). Or do we have to call him Lord Bolton now?  
Daenerys's (Emilia Clarke) dragons are getting bigger (and cooler-looking) and out of control, and Dany may have made a new adversary or ally in Hizdar zo Loraq (Joel Fry). 
It was also very cool to see Braavos and the Iron Bank (and especially guest star Mark Gatiss), but the Stannis storyline is still as dull as Stannis himself. 

A young goatherd watches a not-so-friendly neighborhood dragon scorch the countryside

But once that was all out of the way we could get down to the meat of the episode — Tyrion's trial and the never-ending drama that is the family Lannister.

Cersei (Lena Headey) was predictably evil condemning her brother. Papa Tywin (Charles Dance), as head judge, tried to appear fair, but clearly wanted to get the trial and Tyrion over with. Tyrion's real words and contempt for Joffrey were cleverly thrown in his face. Undeniable, but hardly evidence of murder. Only big brother Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) seemed to care about Tyrion, and he finally gave his father what he had been long waiting for — he promised to step down from the Kingsguard and take up residence at Casterly Rock if his father would assure him that Tyrion would not be executed. A ray of hope, but quickly dimmed by the appearance of Shae (Sibel Kekilli), who not only lied about Tyrion and Sansa's involvement in Joffrey's death, but shared intimate details of their relationship with the tittering onlookers. This caused Tyrion to understandably lose it, and gave Dinklage the opportunity to spew forth years of hatred and frustration at how he has been viewed and treated by the world at large, and especially, by his father. It was amazing, and all the awards should just be mailed to his home forthwith.

Tyrion has had enough, with father Tywin watching him, in the background

Just as viewers were trying to catch their breath the screen went black, and now we all have to wait until next week. Even if one is a reader of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books and have a general idea of what is coming next, show runners David Benioff and Dan Weiss continue to keep adding just a few new scenes or twists on characters to keep us all guessing. It's making this season more fun than could have ever been anticipated. In a recent EW interview, Game of Thrones writer Bryan Cogman hinted at what's still to come in the final episodes of the season, as a result of Tyrion's melt-down, so buckle up Game of Thrones fans, it's going to be a bumpy ride:

"Tywin’s plans, for once, were foiled, and now Tyrion has to deal with this rather rash decision he made. You’re going to see how that plays out. Also, expect the appearance of characters who you did not see this episode. That’s something we’re trying to do more this year too — less cutting back and forth to a lot of places. Do more quality vs. quantity. ... It’s relentless from now on. There’s no going back now for a lot of these characters. The rest of the season is based on the last third of A Storm of Swords, so it’s one big climax."


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