This week on Game of Thrones, Tyrion stood trial for the murder of Joffrey in King's Landing.
The familial circus being acted out under Tywin's tent took center stage, but was also used to make a very strong case in Braavos.
The shot of Staniss's ship sailing through its gates to open Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 6 gave some perspective to just how big and flourishing a city Braavos is. To reinforce the power of the Iron Bank, I thought it a nice touch how Stannis - a man who lays claim to the Iron Throne - was made to sit on a simple stone bench.
From his own lofted chair, Tycho the banker pledged his allegiance to Tywin and passed judgment on Stannis and his people.
Across the Narrow Sea, your books are filled with words like usurper and madmen and blood right. Here our books are filled with numbers. We prefer the stories they tell. More plain, less open to interpretation.Tycho Nestoris
As his request for support was denied, Stannis shot a burning look at Davos. He turned to walk away defeated, but then Davos spoke. He recognized that Tywin was a good horse to back, shrewdly reminding Tycho of how old the Lannister head was.
After Tywin, there is not much to expect in terms of leadership. To further make his case for Stannis, Davos removed his glove to show his severed fingers courtesy of the very man he was promoting.
He doesn't just talk about paying people back, he does it.Davos
Back at Meereen, Dany showed she also pays her debts and then some. Was anyone else surprised that shepherd was able to track down the charred remains of the goat taken by Drogon? What a scene that was prior, when the young boy threw that last rock and heard it land with a thud.
This, of course, made Cersei's dismissal of Dany's offspring, during the meeting of the Small Council, rather amusing. Tywin didn't seem too alerted at her potential threat either, but did make preparations to pen a letter which he asked Varys to get inside Meereen.
Tywin noted a war had not been won by dragons in 300 years, but he is too smart to simply dismiss Dany, having heard that latest update.
While the Lannisters prepared to put one of their brother's on trial, Yara Greyjoy prepared her group of Ironborn to rescue hers. It was interesting how she reemphasized that it was their prince that they were going to save.
When it came to almost certain defeat in the kennels of the Dreadfort, though, she turned and ran. Her iron resolve took a major blow after seeing the mental state of Theon Reek.
In case anyone had forgotten, Ramsay reminded us what a true sociopath he is. Safe to say the blood he was covered in, when he surprised Yara, belonged to the woman he was in bed with moments earlier. So even when he extended Reek a reward for his loyalty, I found myself flinching along with Theon as he settled into the tub.
Any glimpse of humanity Ramsay seemed to have vanished as he cruelly smirked at his handiwork when Theon was made to remove his clothes. He wants Reek to pretend to be Theon, but has he pushed his prisoner too far to act any different than what we saw in the kennel?
Tyrion kept his cool, even cracking a joke as Jaime's men moved to shackle him for the trial. It was that unbreakable spirit that Jaime seeked to spare when he asked his father's mercy.
Jaime should have thought out the deal he proposed to Tywin a bit more, but he did negotiate a way to let his brother live. All diplomacy went out the window, however, after Shae's surprise testimony jolted Tyrion into speaking his mind about Joffrey's murder.
Watching your vicious bastard die gave me more relief that a thousand lying whores.Tyrion
His request for a trial by combat prompted the obvious question: is who will he fight? My first thought was it would have to be Jaime to take up a sword against his brother, but now I'm betting this latest development will provide the stage for us to meet The Mountain.
Hopefully when the time comes, Tyrion's bite will match the bark we saw as he addressed Cersei and the people in the courtroom. What a powerful scene that was as he described his lifetime on trial for being a dwarf.
It was an episode where we were reminded just how complex all these characters are. On the lighter side of things, we got to see the normally diffident Davos in good spirits as he visited Salladhor in the pleasure house.
Having nailed his speech to the bankers, it was great to see him joke with his friend and even take in a little bit of the scenery.
Oberyn, who until now, seemed focused only on his revenge and his own pleasure, showed his inquisitive side as he questioned Varys about his origins. Despite being surprised at Oberyn's ear for accents - or lack thereof - Varys remained as cryptic as ever when he described what being free from desire can yield.
I get the feeling his glance toward the throne was less about him sitting there some day and more about alerting Oberyn to his potential.
The chain of events that would have to unfold for Oberyn to even be in line for the throne are too numerous to get into, but Varys has shown that the intel his birds provide would be invaluable to anyone who possesses that power.