Video Podcast of Game of Thrones, Season 4 Episode 6, “Laws of Gods and Men”

Sorry for the delay…our recording was kidnapped by Ironborn pirates and had to fight its way out:

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32 thoughts on “Video Podcast of Game of Thrones, Season 4 Episode 6, “Laws of Gods and Men”

  1. John W says:

    As I watch this season I keep being reminded of you because they keep butterflying away events with all their changes.

  2. Sean C. says:

    Now that we’re reaching the endgame of the show’s revised Tyrion/Shae plot, I think the wheels are kind of creaky, though I guess much will depend on what sort of explanations are offered in the remaining episodes (mostly likely going to be saved until the final one). It was weird in episode 7 that Tyrion never asks Bronn about his delivering her to the boat, which I take it is probably the show’s final word on whether that character was involved. There’s also no real reason for Shae to betray Sansa, something the actress herself noted and objected to, but the writers plow ahead with the book version regardless.

    The rest of the trial worked well. The writers’ innovation with Jaime’s midtrial bid to save Tyrion was a neat one (indeed, it’s something the book version could have done, but never actually considered, as far as we know).

    The show’s take on Mace Tyrell bugs me. It’s a cheap laugh at the expense of characterization and plausibility. Mace is basically unexceptional in the books, but he has an ego that you have to stroke (indeed, it’s not at all clear why this version of Mace could ever have done anything that Olenna didn’t want him to), and in a patriarchal society, a house whose men were as blatantly disrespected as Mace is by everyone would not get anywhere, no matter how clever its women were.

    • I thought it was pretty clear that the Sansa angle was the part of the testimony demanded by the prosecution – Cersei clearly believes Sansa was in on it, wants her dead, prompted Varys to testify that Tyrion might have had northern sympathies, etc.

      I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch. Mace is a pretty obvious pompous idiot in the books as well.

      • Sean C. says:

        Mace is no genius, but he’s not the sort of person people can openly disrespect in public by treating him like an errand boy. He has a strong sense of his own importance (though I guess, as Lord of Highgarden, it’s not unwarranted), whereas in the show he’s a complete pushover who gets mocked to his face and just goes along with it.

        • David says:

          Seconded. One element of House Tyrell that I never found v. clear was the extent to which Olenna, as the presumed architect of their overall strategy, has brought each of her relations in on her plans – and the extent to which her plans have to adapt to family members’ initiative, rather than the other way around. As much power as the women of House Tyrell seem to exert over their male relations, the subtlety of their control imposes certain limits, as you noted. If Mace really, *really* wants something – like, say, to see Margaery crowned as a queen – it’s for Olenna to figure out a way to make it work. Genna Lannister sums up a similar situation in AFFC; “[No, my husband] has it in his pointed head that he will rule the riverlands, [so I can’t persuade him to take Darry instead of Riverrun as a safer seat.]”

        • JREinATL says:

          My favorite thing about Mace Tyrell is how he agrees with everyone at Small Council meetings, saying, “That’s what I would do,” even when the people he is agreeing with are presenting mutually exclusive options.

    • Chad says:

      I don’t think that Bronn turned on Tyrion until after he was arrested. One of the first things Tywin did after Joffery died was stop all the boats from leaving. Likely Shae was found on one of them by the Lannisters people.

      • Except that Bronn said he saw the ship leave with her on it.

        • David Hunt says:

          I don’t think that he did say that. IIRC, Tyrion asks him if he actually saw the boat leave and that’s when Bronn tells him he needs to drink until he convinces himself it was a right thing to do.

          • At 31:14 in Episode 2:

            “You saw her board the ship?”
            “Aye, she’s on it.”
            “And you saw the ship sail away?”
            “No one knows she’s there except you, me and Varys.”

            Note – all of this is well before Tywin’s order to seal the city, which didn’t reach the docks fast enough to catch Sansa and Dontos.

          • David Hunt says:

            Yeah, I was just saying my memory was that Bronn dodged explicitly answering the question about seeing the ship sail. I just rewatched the scene and was surprised to discover that Bronn actually did say “She’s gone.” I had interpreted this as Bronn just not being willing to admit that he didn’t wait around for the ship to sail. Now I wonder if gave her over to Tywin to buy some goodwill…

          • That was my thinking – basically, there’s only two explanations:

            1. Bronn sold Shae to Tywin/Cersei as part of his deal. Because let’s face it, refusing to fight the Mountain isn’t a huge ask and they already had legal leverage on him.

            2. Varys sold Shae to Tywin/Cersei as part of his plan to get Tyrion to kill Tywin and destabilize the Lannisters.

          • WPA says:

            Though on Varys (idea 2) hoping to destabilize Tyrion- wouldn’t he also possibly be aware (if one subscribes to the “Dead Man Shitting” theory) that the Red Viper was taking care of the Tywin issue in his own way?

  3. David Hunt says:

    Slightly off topic, but this always will be. All this talk about Mace Tyrell and how much or little of an idiot he is makes me wonder which of the Tyrells is going to appropriate Qyburn and his unnatural experiments, then use him to create humanoid replicants and the Tyrell Corporation.

    “Is the dangerous future of uncertain seasons and Omnicidal Others making life hard for you? A new life awaits you on the Offworld Colonies!”

  4. JT says:

    Alfie Allen (Theon) has done a spectacular job this season. I suspect the usual suspects (Dinkledge, Charles Dance, Massie Williams) will get the kudos, but to me, he’s been the standout. You can really feel how broken Theon is, and when he finally escapes and meets his sister next season, I think it will be a really nice moment.

  5. Karl says:

    Is anyone else feeling like the trial of Tyrion is really drawn out? Not just in episodes, but in story-time? It feels a little odd to have so much time between the murder and the trial, the invoking of trial by combat and the actual combat, and then more time before the execution. Granted, my only experience with medieval trials is ASOIAF, but were they more like this one or the one at the Eyrie, where you show up, hear the accusations, and die?

  6. WPA says:

    Now that we’ve seen Stan and Dave Go to Braavos and the Iron Bank has been introduced properly…

    What’s the going theories on the Iron Bank’s relationship with the Faceless Men? Do they simply have a longstanding in-house relationship with that order (sort of like using them as a contracting service for their collections department, considering their enormous resources of capital)? Considering the price of hiring a Faceless Man- presumably the Iron Bank’s one of the few entities that can do so regularly- hence their high record of extracting their due… Or is the Iron Bank itself an offshoot of the Faceless Men – all that assassination money had to go somewhere and the Iron Credit Union of Braavos doesn’t seem to have the same ring to it. Possible start-up side-venture turned international finance titan? Regardless- I find it highly coincidental that the known world’s most feared bank arises from the same city-state as the most celebrated/feared order of assassins.

    • Petyr Patter says:

      I think they are almost entirely separate entities. The Faceless Men offer death for the right “offering,” while the Iron Bank builds its reputation on always getting its money back. If there is one way to escape a debt, it is death. Sure, heirs could be shaken down, but this really isn’t progress. Intimindation would be progress, but the Faceless Men don’t do intimindation, they just kill with as little notice and as much anonymity as possible.

    • JT says:

      Speaking of the Iron Bank, somebody pointed this out to me – in the books, the Iron Bank gives Stannis money because the Lannister regime defaults on their debts, and he’s agreed to honor those debts if he can take the throne. That seems sensible.

      In the show, Stannis goes to the Iron Bank (the Lannisters haven’t missed a payment yet) and tells the bank that as long as he draws breath and isn’t king, Westeros won’t be at peace. In that scenario, it seems like the easiest way for the Iron Bank to stabilize it’s investment is to have Stannis killed, not pump more money into extending the war on the chance Stannis can take the throne. Once Stannis is dead, the war ends and the realm is at peace – meaning it’s much more likely that their debts are paid back.

      Seems like a little bit of a plot hole.

      • Karl says:

        When Tyrion was Master of Coin, he indicated that the crown has two main creditors- the Iron Bank and The Lannisters. He wasn’t worried about the Lannisters demanding collection, but the Iron Bank needs to be paid back. And now that we know Casterly Rock is tapped out, there’s no one (other than the Tyrells) to float them the cash to keep the bank happy. So I don’t think it’s a plot hole- they are arguing the payments dry up (if they haven’t already) when Tywin dies.

  7. Petyr Patter says:

    If I may pose a question not specifically related to the episode, but keener eyes than mine (cough, westeros.org posters, cough) have noticed Sansa continues to wear a ring with a lion insignia on it, specifically on her ring finger.

    Were rings a medieval symbol of matrimony? Should we read anything into the fact Sansa continues to wear her ring? Is it actually a lion ring? I’ve never gotten a good look at it beyond the fact it look really gold.

  8. JREinATL says:

    Better strategy for rescuing Theon: Sailing around an entire continent (just to sneak into the Dreadfort on foot), or moving in on foot from Moat Cailin?

    • Sean C. says:

      If you’ve got the time, sailing. The enemy has no naval strength to speak of, so as soon as you get back in your boats you’re home free, so to speak, and the element of surprise is virtually guaranteed. A land approach leaves you vulnerable to being spotted beforehand, and you have to worry about pursuit over hundreds of miles of hostile terrain even if you do pull off the actual rescue.

      • JREinATL says:

        So then it really depends on how you’re valuing time: Get there quickly before more horrible things happen to Theon, or get there slowly, because we’ve got 6 episodes to keep Asha/Yara busy ;).

        • Yep. Same reason why Craster’s Keep happened this season – needed to give Jon and Bran something to do before the climax of the season.

        • Sean C. says:

          The episode count wouldn’t really be the determining factor there, since travel times (land or sea) in the series are entirely dependent on story needs. It’s taken Arya and the Hound the better part of a season to walk from the Twins to the Bloody Gate, while Davos sent a message to Braavos, got a response, and then sailed there in person with Stannis over only three episodes. Or, for that matter, Bran and co. having traveled only sixty miles beyond the wall in the month plus that must have elapsed between episode 3.10 and 4.04.

          • RIght, but there’s a link between story needs and episode counts – Jon’s big moment is in episode 9 because it’s the big event of the season, so you need something there.

            In this case, Yara’s arrival fits in an arc from Theon/Reek starting out a cowering servant, then as Ramsay’s barber, then rejecting rescue, now taking Moat Cailin – showing a complete transformation.

          • Sean C. says:

            Yeah, I agree. I was just addressing the earlier poster’s seeming suggestion that having Yara go by sea was a delaying tactic, which only makes sense if you believe that logically she would have had to have gotten there much quicker by land. When Bran hasn’t even gone sixty miles by land in the same timeframe, that clearly isn’t true.

          • JREinATL says:

            And obviously my original question was a total book-nerd question, as I’m sure that well over 50% of the TV-only audience has no understanding that the trip from the Pyke to the Dreadfort is something like sailing from Ecuador to Venezuela sans the Panama Canal.

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