This week's episode opens with brand new location, albeit one that we have heard of: Braavos. Stannis and Ser Davos have arrived there to meet with the Iron Bank to discuss a loan to hire sellswords. The head banker, Tycho Nestoris, points out the fact that Stannis only commands 4,000 men and 32 ships with no food to keep them alive. He respectfully yet bluntly denies them their loan. Ser Davos brings up the fact that Tywin is old and will be dead before long, and Stannis will be the only fit man to rule when that time comes.
Davos later goes to a bathhouse to meet an old friend. There, Saladhor Saan is telling that old joke about the pirate with the red shirt to a pair of Braavosi whores. He's surprised to see Davos, who he thought was still imprisoned at Dragonstone. Davos reveals they are leaving in the morning, much to the surprise of Saladhor. He is quickly persuaded to join, however, when Davos reveals coins from his newly-acquired loan.
Yara, making her first appearance of the season, reads Ramsay's letter to her men about Theon as they sail for the Dreadfort. She displays her axe-throwing skills as the scale the wall and make their way to the kennels. When they reach Reek's cage he believes it's another trick to make him attempt to escape. He tells Yara he is Reek, not Theon, and refuses to leave. Eventually Ramsay shows up, and the Ironborn and Boltons fight to a standstill. Ramsay releases his hounds and drives Yara back to her boats, where she tells her men that her brother is dead.
Later, Ramsay lets Reek bathe as a reward for his loyalty. The broken man is wary even of this gesture, and it takes Ramsay quite a bit of urging for him to get in the tub. As Ramsay washes his back, he tells Reek that there is a castle that some bad men have taken, and he needs Reek's help to get it back. In order to do so, he reveals that Reek will play the part of Theon Greyjoy.
Outside of Meereen, a young boy is shepherding a small herd of goats. He hears a strange noise and looks over an edge, only to have Drogon appear from below and roast the goats before flying off. In Daenerys' court, man is granted an audience with the queen, carrying a small bundle of rags. After stating necessary formalities, the man opens the bundle and reveals the bones of a goat. He tells Dany that it was her dragons, and he wants to be reimbursed. She agrees to pay him three times what they were worth, and the man leaves a happy camper. Two more men enter, one of which is Hizdahr zo Loraq, a noble of Meereen. He reveals that Dany crucified his father, one of the few slave masters to feel compassion for his slaves. He only wants a proper burial for his father and the other 162 Meereenese that Daenerys crucified. After some begging, Dany relents and grants his wish before meeting the next of the 212 to ask an audience.
In King's Landing, the Small Council is meeting with Mace Tyrell as its newest member. Word has reached the council of Sandor's king-defiling escapades in the Riverlands. Tywin orders a 100-silver stag bounty placed on his head. Varys then reports that Daenerys has captured Meereen with her army of Unsullied and sellswords, as well as her dragons. Tywin comments that dismissing Barristan was stupid, considering he did nothing to deserve it. Cersei isn't worried about a young girl with baby dragons, but Varys points out that the dragons have grown and she has two very capable knights counselling her, and Oberyn agrees she will be a problem. Varys can get his little birds in close to Dany, and Tywin wants a message sent.
In the Red Keep, Varys and Oberyn meet by the Iron Throne. It's revealed that Oberyn knows of the Unsullied because he spent five years in Essos. He also knows that Varys is from Lys, as he can still hear the remnants of Varys' accent. A quick history lesson reveals that Varys did not prefer boys before his castration, much to Oberyn's surprise, or even girls for that matter. He had no desires, so he was free to focus on other things. In this case, the Iron Throne.
Tyrion is brought up from his cell by Jaime, shackles and all. He is brought before the court and its three judges as Tommen excuses himself from the trial. The charges are read, and the trial begins. The crown's witnesses:
- Ser Meryn Trant, who tells of a number of situations in which Tyrion humiliated and threatened Joffrey. First was when he slapped and yelled at him following the riot in King's Landing, and the other was when he threatened both Joffrey and Ser Meryn when Sansa was being beaten. The latter time, he also compared Joffrey to Aerys and predicted the same fate for the boy king.
- Next, Grand Maester Pycelle testifies that Tyrion raided his poison store, and used a poison called The Strangler to do the deed. He provides Sansa's fake necklace, now recovered, as proof.
- Cersei then takes that stand, and tells of when Tyrion threatened her after she captured Ros after mistakenly believing she was Tyrion's whore.
- Varys, once considered an ally of Tyrion's, testifies next. He provides Tyrion's threats towards Joffrey following Robb Stark's death as evidence. As he steps down, Tyrion requests a word with the eunuch. He reminds him of when Varys said he would never forget what Tyrion did for the city. Varys replies that he hasn't, and he never forgets.
As the trial starts again, Jaime tells Tyrion the terms that Tywin agreed to, and advises him to keep his mouth shut. The crown calls its next witness. As Tyrion looks to see who it is, a look of shock appears on his face as Shae enters the throne room. She states her name and goes on to reveal essentially her entire history with Tyrion. However, she throws in a falsified piece to implicate him in the murder. She says he did it for Sansa because she wouldn't let him into her bed. Tyrion pleads her to stop, but she reminds him she is just a whore. Tyrion wishes to confess and comes up with perhaps his most badass moment yet. I'll just copy and paste it:
"I'm guilty for being a dwarf. I did not kill Joffrey, but I wish that I had. Watching your vicious bastard die gave me more relief than a thousand lying whores! I wish I was the monster you think I am. I wish I had enough poison for the whole pack of you. I would gladly give my life to watch you all swallow it!"
He then decides to let the gods handle his fate and demands a trial by combat.
We finally get to Tyrion's trial, and it did not disappoint! Everyone from Tywin to Shae played their part perfectly, and the cliffhanger ending was excellent. I can't wait to see the next few episodes.
Next week: Tyrion has a plan, Daario offers his services to Daenerys, Arya kills more people and Lysa snaps.