Kirk: Well I didn't think they'd get to the Tyrion trial yet. I expected that to take several episodes and to be more of like the season ender. The trial itself was mostly what I anticipated, being a ridiculous frame job, although the addition of Shae to that was kind of awful. But other than that a lot of things went as to be expected: it was a kangaroo court and Tyrion's father abused the problem to try to solve other concerns he had with Jaime, also extremely on brand. Tyrion's reaction was a little surprising and now I am curious about this trial by combat.
Been: When I first saw this episode I believe I said "Well that's an Emmy lock for Peter Dinklage." Because Tyrion: WOW.
Kirk: Yeah, that was quite the interesting speech. "I wish I was the monster you think me to be"? It's almost more interesting because like he wasn't around for several episodes or limited presence as I recall and then just suddenly like Kool-Aid Mans into the episode.
Been: Purely from an acting standpoint, House Lannister is STACKED. Like, the villainy has some fucking amazing actors on its side.
Kirk: I mean most of them are playing truly awful people but they're doing an incredible job at it, frankly. I mean Tyrion is playing the least awful, he's not great, he's sort of anti-hero vibe, but even that's incredibly well executed.
Been: And Cersei? Everyone hates her, everyone loves to hate her, nobody roots for her, but you HAVE to watch her. Lena Headey is a fucking powerhouse and in any other hands Cersei would be unbearable, not truly watchable.
Kirk: It's basically the incarnation of that phrase that you used "she's a character you love to hate". It's a really amazing job of portraying such an awful awful character and remaining engaging at the same time. I can't imagine how many takes some of that must require.
Been: I remember interviews with Lena Headey during the Game of Thrones heyday and she said she'd have people come up to her at signing and just spit at her "I hate you so much" and she just shrugged and said "I take it as a compliment to my work on the job."
Kirk: I mean I don't think anyone should have to endure that sort of treatment when they're out in public because they're an actor for a terrible person but I sure can see how that's almost complimentary.
Been: What is your view of trial by combat? I'm curious how you think that will play out.
Kirk: I'm torn here between two ideas. One is that Tyrion just reacted and can't take this nonsense anymore and is going to end up getting horribly murdered. The other possibility is that he had some sort of back up plan for this and it's Tyrion being tricky. Which is possible, I mean that's kind of his thing. I don't know which I think is more likely though.
Been: Ordinarily I would agree with you fully. But I kind of think this is Tyrion off book, so to speak. I think the betrayal by Shae really truly hurt him and he's just all reaction and no plan in this moment.
Kirk: That's definitely how I feel about the first part. The only reason that I think there might be some sort of plan is he might have had some plan that he can engage now even though this terrible betrayal happened. Not because of it but in spite of it.
Been: I must not say more.
Kirk: That's fair.
Been: *bites tongue hard* .... MOVING ON. Let's talk banking!!!
Kirk: I'd just like to point out that many episodes ago I said the Iron Bank of Braavos was going to turn out to be a major player and that Tywin in the last episode said that everyone is living under their shadow, just that most don't know about it. And now Stannis the Petulant seems to have secured funding in order to attack Westeros, signifying them taking a hand in the leadership of that kingdom.
Been: Ultimately the lesson here is that no matter what world you're in and what century it might be, capitalism is the worst. Also Stannis is the worst. That man is where charisma goes to die.
Kirk: Like we said during the episode, leaders theoretically should play to their strengths but he doesn't have any. Except Melinsandre maybe, and she's not exactly HIS strength.
Been: I'm the most shocked I've ever been that you just casually threw out Melisandre's name like it was no big deal but you can't fucking remember Ghost to save your life.
Kirk: Listen, that direwolf name is stupid! It's been struck from my memory because it's a terrible name and I need that memory space for more important things like where to get items in video games that are decades old.
Been: "Melisandre" he says, casually.
Kirk: *laughs* Frankly she's a more interesting character than the wolf. Or Jon. Or Stannis.
Been: So true. Okay then let's talk turkey (or goat) about our favorite pint-sized Hitler.
Kirk: I was a little surprised that she didn't just react to the goatherd by feeding him to the dragons. But she's still working to convince herself that she's the wonderful liberator.
Been: She only feeds slavers to the dragons, not random goatherds, even if they enslave the goats, because she's got, like, *hair toss* principles, okay? Like you can't just like burn everybody because then, like, who will listen to your long list of names and titles? You know? *hair toss* Omigod, like be real. Who is there to liberate if you kill them all? It's like basic, Kirk.
Kirk: Perhaps if that's her stance, she should have been a little more specific on who she crucified outside the city.
Been: WAIT, you mean like have an actual trial and hear evidence or something?
Kirk: Or go read records of the votes of the people who didn't want to do the atrocity? I know that's a lot of work, though. She's far too busy expanding her empire because somewhat like Rome the centre is falling apart and she has to keep expanding faster to keep ahead of the collapse.
Been: This now makes me think of Spartacus, which is a show that is arguably much worse but so much better than Game of Thrones, and I think actually Dany would have been very at home in that show because it's nothing but blood, tits, and swords.
Kirk: Seems like her kind of party. But were there titles? Really really long titles?
Been: No, nobody even had last names.
Kirk: Oh no, that's not okay then.
Been: Does she ever get to a point where she just says "I'm Danaerys of House Targaryen, Khaleesi of the... you know what? A lot" and leave it at that?
Kirk: I feel like the only way that will happen is if she manages to get literally every title in the world. So then she can just say "I have all the titles". And she'd still sometimes list them off. Or more likely make someone else list them off.
Been: It's a great time to get a snack, when she's listing off her titles. Because you don't miss anything.
Kirk: True story.