We are 7 episodes into the 4th season of the Game of Thrones and it is time for an update, a chinwag and ponder on what is yet to come.
This season has started off with a bang. It seems as if George R.R. Martin has an issue with weddings in general or at the very least enjoys turning them into an event of historical and epic proportions, often laden with tragedy.
Not that killing off Joffrey is a tragedy, in fact I am glad someone finally had the balls to rid the world of the boy most likely to become a sadistic serial killer. I had my own list of suspects with Cersei, Tywin and Grandma Tyrell at the top, so Littlefinger came as a bit of a surprise.
Cersei may be playing the grieving mother, but I think deep down inside even she is just a tad happy that the nutcase she sired has been relieved of his royal duties. Not that she would ever admit it, but his death is actually a blessing in disguise. What a great way to rid herself of the annoying Imp, her brother Tyrion. The bane of her existence, the proof that her family is capable of something less than perfection and one of the few who dares to stand up to her.
So poor Tyrion ends up accused of regicide.The perfect patsy is someone everyone wants to get rid of and he certainly fills those shoes. It is bad enough Tyrion has to fight for respect and recognition among his peers and the common folk, but having to fight to get it from his family is quite another thing.
The trial is a complete farce with misconstrued statements, false testimonies and with a lot of behind the scenes string pulling dictating the end result. We all know what the end result is supposed to be until his brother Jamie makes a deal with the devil himself to save his brothers life. All sorted. Done and dusted.
Except for one tiny detail. Tyrion wouldn’t be Tyrion if he didn’t manage to do the last thing you expect him to do and at the same time the one thing you wish he had done in the first place.
Tyrion goes apeshit.
He loses his cool and let’s the whole room know what he really thinks. Kudos to Peter Dinklage, the actor who plays Tyrion Lannister. The courtroom scene is one of delectable acting, a performance par excellence. His face actually seems to darken and twist with the anger he feels.
I don’t think anyone was expecting his request for one on one combat by trial. You can see them all looking at each other thinking ‘does he know he is a dwarf?’
They must have forgotten what a deep sense of self preservation Tyrion has. He is always ten steps ahead of everyone.Can you tell I am rooting for him? I must admit he is one of my favourite characters.
I will come back to Tyrion in a bit with definitive proof that underestimating his intelligence and expertise in survival tactics is going to be the downfall of quite a few people. In fact I do believe he will finally show his father just how much of a Lannister he really is.
Meanwhile beyond the Wall it turns out the Craster babies aren’t being used to make shish kabob for the Whitewalkers, instead they are being turned into Whitewalkers. I can’t decide whether that is better than them being eaten as a snack. By the way, creepy baby alert.
Jon Snow is trying to convince the powers that be that Mance Rayder is not only on his way over the Wall he is coming with a massive army. Some of those Crows just don’t get it. Like many other men in power they think they are indestructible.
Methinks they are in for a shock, especially after that scene where one of the Wildlings is literally having a piece of Crow for dinner. Probably tastes like chicken, possibly pork then again that should be the last thing on my mind.
One of the most intriguing relationships unfolding is between Arya Stark and the Hound. The two of them have great chemistry, which makes their quips and insults pure comedy.
Arya is evolving into a killer. Not just any old killer mind you. She is learning from the Hound, her environment and her experiences. Deep inside her is a will of iron and the determination worthy of an army.
Each night before she sleeps she says the names of the people she is going to kill to avenge her family. The last name she utters each night is the Hound. The two of them have bonded in a way which resembles that of a child and a father. They have rescued each other and killed for one another.
Somebody asked me the other day whether I thought that relationship will eventually stop Arya from taking revenge on him. Whether their bond is and will become so strong that despite the utterance of his name upon her lips each night, she will pardon her friend for his sins against her.
My answer to that question was: ‘I think she will kill him. He might be the last on her list, but she will eventually take her revenge and he is the one teaching her the skills to do it.’
Across the sea Daenerys is learning the hard truth about freeing people from captivity. Just because you cut off the head of the dictator snake it doesn’t mean it isn’t a hydra. People need a leader. They need someone to rule and that is what she decides to do. At times we see the petulant child, the impatient girl and the young woman who just makes it up as she goes along. Slowly the understanding of her lack of control over the dragons is also seeping in. They will obey, just don’t touch their food or you might find out what it feels like to be a toasted marshmallow.
Littlefinger has wormed his way into the Eyrie by marrying Catelyn’s kookie sister Lysa. His endgame appears to be a replacement for the love of his life. Sorry Sansa looks like he would really like you be Mrs Littlefinger.
Baelish is such a snake I am surprised he doesn’t hiss when he speaks and I am sure I can see a double tongue flitting in and out of his mouth. Technically he has just become the ward to the Lord of the Vale, because Lysa has just done a flying angel right out of the moondoor, with a little help from Littlefinger.
While all this is going on Lady Brienne and Pod are wandering around looking for the Stark girls. The two of them are an interesting combo. Pods awkwardness paired with her sarcastic view of life in general, not as funny as Tyrion with Pod, but certainly worth keeping an eye on.
What can I say about poor Theon Greyjoy? I started out wishing some great evil would befall him and now it has I feel sorry for him. Nobody deserves to be locked up with psycho Ramsey Snow.The Boltons seem to be infected with a particular brand of madness.
Last week we saw Yara try and rescue her brother Reek, formerly known as Theon. It didn’t go very well at all, and Reek is still with his weirdo master Ramsey. It might have been my imagination but I am sure I saw some message pass between Yara and Theon/Reek. Was there a slight nod in each direction or did I just blink and squint the wrong way?
Now let’s come back to my flavour of the year, Tyrion lord of his own prison cell and a half-pint worthy of a knighthood. Trial by combat, eh? Jamie can’t fight for him with one dodgy hand and one steel hand, Bronn has been bought off with the offer of a dim witted willing woman with the possibility of inheriting a castle. At least he is honest about his loyalties and his chances against Cersei’s champion.
Ser Gregor Clegane aka The Mountain, brother of Sandor Clegane aka The Hound, is a fierce bloodthirsty warrior with penchant for violence and destruction. he is also built like a brick wall.
Cersei certainly wants to win at any cost. Just how much is revealed in a scene between Prince Oberyn and Tyrion in the 7th episode.
Oberyn talks about meeting the Monster of Casterly Rock (Tyrion) when he was a young boy. He reveals the depth of hatred Cersei has felt always felt towards her younger brother, because their mother died giving birth to Tyrion, ergo in her eyes he killed her mother.
Oberyn describes her abuse of the boy even as a baby and the way Jamie intervenes to stop her. I think this is the story of their life together. Jamie seems to be the only one in the family who has Tyrion’s back, albeit often after something has happened.
Then the unexpected happens, all of a sudden Tyrion-no-hope-at-all Lannister becomes Tyrion-with-a-fighting-chance Lannister. Prince Oberyn wants the chance to avenge the deaths and rape of his sister and her children, who were tortured and slaughtered by Ser Gregor. Oberyn offers to fight for Tyrion. Take that and shove it Cersei!
The next episode is going to be great. The epic fight between The Mountain and The Red Viper promises to be an exhilarating event. Without revealing any spoilers (which is super hard by the way), Tyrion is about to show us just exactly how much of a Lannister he really is. He is going to make his Daddy very proud indeed, not that Tywin will enjoy it, but hey if you can’t beat them join them.
Looks like the little Lannister Lion has not only started to roar, he is also getting ready to bite!