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15 May 2014 @ 03:25 pm
Game of Thrones: "The Laws of Gods and Men" Episode Review  
Game of Thrones 4.06 "The Laws of Gods and Men"

I want to talk about the trial, more specifically I want to talk about the changes they made the Shae.

I'm kind of disheartened that they altered her character to make it seem like she was angry with Tyrion for sending her away, making it seem like she believed his words. Even if she was heartbroken, she would have known that he was doing this not to be intentionally cruel to her. It seemed out of character since she has heard and witnessed firsthand the kind of people the Lannisters are. Of course while I can understand if she was coerced by Tywin to say these things, the fact that she betrayed Sansa like that is unforgivable. She would never, ever do that, no matter what her current feelings about Tyrion would be. It destroys everything that was originally setup with the relationship between Sansa and Shae within the show. Remember how they bonded, how Shae protected her, how she even admitted that she loved Sansa and would have killed for her? Where did all that go? Why would they spend time on developing that relationship if they weren't going to have Shae care about her at all during this scene?

The fact that the actress herself actually argued and fought with D&D over this particular issue, and was denied, speaks volumes.

What happens next is inevitable, I know that, but there were other ways of getting to that point without resorting to having Shae betray Sansa as well. She would have killed for her, and I would have believed that she would have accepted to testify if only she were to do so in protecting Sansa in the process. For it to happen this way that it did made no sense. Just, ugh. I'm very disappointed and upset over this, honestly. It was a beautiful relationship between those two girls, something that was changed from the books that I actually liked, so to change it to make it seem like Shae didn't care about Sansa if only to punish Tyrion was very stupid and idiotic for the writers to do.

But, just like with the horrendous rape scene between Jaime and Cersei, the show changes things that messes with even its own continuity. Sighs.


Having said that, though, here are some other things that didn't disappoint me in this episode:

++ The actual trial was nevertheless great to watch. All the tension, the facial expressions, the fact that we see Tyrion go through the motions and then his anger erupting towards the end. As much as I hated that Shae's character was butchered in such a way, Peter did a magnificent job at unleashing the venom when speaking to the people of the court, realizing that no matter what everyone who he thought was his friend was going to be turned against him (except for Jaime, who has been on his side and fighting for him to not be executed), and that he was going to be made out to be guilty no matter what.

++ Oberyn Martell continues to give me life. I wish we had more of Ellaria though, but his scenes are always a pleasure to watch. His scenes with everyone is fascinating, from him sitting in on the council, speaking with Varys, to his moments during the trial. And him leaning forward when Tyrion says that he would have a trial by combat was great.

++ Asha Greyjoy also continues to give me life. I'm glad that we got at least more than a few seconds of her, and we saw her in action trying to get her brother out. Though poor, broken Theon. :(

++ We're officially introduced to Hizdahr zo Loraq, who actually doesn't appear in the books until A Dance With Dragons, so this is definitely setting up for what will be happening with Dany's storyline later.

++ I liked that we're seeing Dany deal with the people of Meereen, fulfilling duties as a queen by hearing the words of the people, even if it's excruciatingly long and exhausting. She's trying to be a fair ruler of the city, even if she has to make some compromises. Also the dealing with her dragons, getting bigger and eating goats, which will cause much problems later. Her hearing and dealing with Hizdahr zo Loraq was interesting to see, as this won't be their only encounter.

++ Oh, and I like that we're seeing her whereabouts and what is happening with her being discussed in King's Landing.

++ Braavos looks amazing.


Overall: It was a good episode, my only issue with it aside. The trial was great, and I can't wait for the trial by combat. But it's actually the next episode that I cannot wait for, honestly, because SANSA! SNOW CASTLE! :D
 
 
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philstar22: GOT: Dany brings dragonphilstar22 on May 15th, 2014 10:32 pm (UTC)
The problem with Shae is that the show changed her character to make her more sympathetic and make her actually love Tyrion. But then they refused to change what happened in the trial to correspond with that. In the books, she was just using Tyrion and had no characterization whatsoever, so selling him out at the trial made sense. Here, though, they tried to have it both ways and it just didn't work. If they wanted to change her character, great, but then they needed to change the ending. And it was totally possible to do that, they just refused.

I liked the Dany scenes as well. She's trying to do the right thing and be a ruler, and its going to end up coming back to bite her. I think that in this episode we got to see some of her youth and inexperience, which I liked.
Renée: Daenerys Targaryen.rogueslayer452 on May 15th, 2014 11:00 pm (UTC)
But then they refused to change what happened in the trial to correspond with that.

Exactly. It just doesn't mesh with the continuity they had already placed, and I'm glad that Sibel addressed this issue to them and argued her point in regards to her character. Too bad they didn't listen.

I think that in this episode we got to see some of her youth and inexperience, which I liked.

Yeah, I liked that as well. I mentioned previously that one of my concerns was not being able to see her inexperience and vulnerabilities fulfilling the role of a ruler, and seeing her reactions during her scene to what was being said was very nicely done. It shows that she's trying to fit the part, but it's being proven to be harder than expected. I know the Meereen storyline wasn't everyone's favorite from the books, but I'm excited to see how Emilia transfers Dany's emotions and uncertainty of what is happening around her, including trying to contain her dragons, and losing control of herself as things spiral out of control. I want to see how that translates from text to the screen, and despite my doubts, I want the show to do that justice.
philstar22: GOT: Danyphilstar22 on May 15th, 2014 11:02 pm (UTC)
I actually liked the Meereen storyline, even though I felt it went on just a bit too long. I hope we get some movement on her story in the next book, but I feel it was important to see her weaknesses and inexperience. A lot of people read Meereen as showing she isn't a good ruler whereas I think it shows that she has skill but is still a child and learning and growing into her abilities.
Renée: Daenerys Targaryen.rogueslayer452 on May 18th, 2014 06:54 am (UTC)
A lot of people read Meereen as showing she isn't a good ruler whereas I think it shows that she has skill but is still a child and learning and growing into her abilities.

My thoughts precisely. It is frustrating seeing the mistakes she's making, but that's kind of the point, isn't it? I think her time in Meereen is essential to her learning and understanding how to rule, what it means to rule, the politics involved, and realizing that it's incredibly complicated and there is no easy or simple answer to everything. She's young and inexperienced, and the fact that she's questioning herself on these issues, has fears and insecurities of the path she is currently leading and how she will regain control, is a good sign, imho.
Sylviarheasilvia on May 15th, 2014 10:36 pm (UTC)
Hey! :-) Just a plea - could you please mention if a GoT post of yours has book spoilers for plot that has not yet been on the show, and/or spoilers for future TV developments based on book developments? You know, the way this post does?

I managed to mostly avoid spoiling myself in this post by clicking out of it as soon as I realized, and then very carefully opening the reply page. I haven't read the books and want to be unspoiled for the series, so, yeah. It'd be good to have a warning.
Renéerogueslayer452 on May 15th, 2014 10:40 pm (UTC)
Where were the spoilers, though? I haven't mentioned anything specific of book spoilers, only things that have happened on the show and within the episode.
Sylviarheasilvia on May 15th, 2014 10:48 pm (UTC)
In that case I may have mistaken the fragments I read - that's entirely possible. It seemed to me that you were speaking of in what way the changes made to the character of Shae would inevitably impact the future plot with her.

As in, unlike in the book she truly believed Tyrion's lies intended to get her to leave, and meant what she said at court. Which, based on what I saw in the show, I hadn't actually thought in either case. I assumed it would be revealed in future eps that she was secretly helping Tyrion in some way. But after what you said about the actress' discussion with the director and that you mentioned the character could then go only in one direction (which I assume you went into at more depth, but here I managed to stop reading)... well, now I can't really believe that anymore. So, that's what I mean by spoilery.

Again, perhaps I misread, because I did only skim part of the entry. Thought I should mention it even so.
thekaiserchiefthekaiserchief on May 16th, 2014 01:38 am (UTC)
Poor Then. And when Asha goes back to the boats and says her brother is dead :(

Can't wait to see what Sansa is up to next week!
goldenusagigoldenusagi on May 16th, 2014 06:29 am (UTC)
I'm kind of disheartened that they altered her character to make it seem like she was angry with Tyrion for sending her away, making it seem like she believed his words.

From what I've gathered, the relationship (on Shae's side) was not as deep in the books? And that when Shae testified it was more about the money she was receiving to do so? Or was there other coercion?

As it stands in the show, it makes no sense to me that she was so upset by Tyrion sending her away that she comes back to lie and frame him for regicide, probably ensuring his execution. That seems like an overreaction.
Renéerogueslayer452 on May 16th, 2014 07:10 pm (UTC)
Yeah, in the books it's implied that Shae never really loved Tyrion and was only using him for her own personal gain. The show, however, changed and deepened that relationship so that they both genuinely fell in love with each other, so much that they would do anything for the other if it came right down to it. What's more is that Shae doesn't just love and care for Tyrion, she also loves and cares for Sansa too. That relationship never existed in the books, and it's a change I was very pleased with.

The way her testimony happened on the show does happen in the books, however that's when it all falls apart because it doesn't make sense based on the relationships already created and established within the show. I can buy her being coerced into speaking against Tyrion as blackmail, but not against Sansa. And I'm glad the actress even mentions this and tried to fight it against the writers/producers because even if it does happen in the books, it wouldn't happen the same way in the show.
noybusiness: WolfCubsnoybusiness on May 16th, 2014 12:48 pm (UTC)
I wasn't too upset about Shae's behavior at the trail, because I got the impression that Cersei had gotten to her with threats, on top of her feeling bitter about Tyrion. Who was it again that told Tyrion that Shae had been safely gotten out of King's Landing? Varys or Bron?

Edited at 2014-05-16 12:49 pm (UTC)
Renéerogueslayer452 on May 16th, 2014 06:35 pm (UTC)
It was Bron. Varys had warned Tyrion to get Shae out of King's Landing because of Tywin knowing about her.

While I believe her behavior could have been out of coercion to go against him and her feelings are quite complicated, particularly after their last meeting, I think my main issue is about her going against Sansa. Regardless of her feelings towards Tyrion, the show made Shae love and care for Sansa, she defended and protected Sansa many times, even made the comment that she would kill for the girl. This trial isn't about pinning the murder on Sansa (even if they are suspicious considering her abrupt disappearance after Joffrey had been poisoned, and Cersei would gladly have her head on a spike if she could no matter what), it's all about Tyrion. And Shae would have done anything to protect Sansa, which was my original prediction of how they were going to do these scenes in preparation for what is to come. So while I buy her going against Tyrion out of coercion, I don't buy her going against Sansa.

Idk. It felt like the show is trying to have it both ways, in regards to what was specifically built within the show and what's in the books, but it just doesn't work because it messes with its own continuity.
noybusiness: WolfCubsnoybusiness on May 16th, 2014 06:49 pm (UTC)
I think she said that about Sansa because it's what Cersei wanted her to say, and the fighting spirit has gone out of her.
Renéerogueslayer452 on May 16th, 2014 07:16 pm (UTC)
Maybe. I don't know. I just feel like there were other ways of going about this particular situation to make it make sense. Idk.
noybusiness: Torynoybusiness on May 16th, 2014 07:52 pm (UTC)
I'm reserving judgement 'til we see more of her.
Piedwheatear on May 16th, 2014 06:13 pm (UTC)
I thought Shae had been coerced. That, and she was mad at Tyrion so she obviously had a lot of complicated emotions. Idk, I bought it.
Renée: House Stark. Winter is Comingrogueslayer452 on May 16th, 2014 06:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, I definitely believe she was coerced, but I don't believe she would have gone against Sansa like that. The trial was about Tyrion, and with Cersei and Tywin knowing about her previously definitely had a way of getting to her to go against him, which given their last encounter I can buy. But I don't believe she would even try to pin the murder on Sansa, even as a conspiracy or whatever.

She loved Sansa, and even if she was mad at Tyrion and had all these emotions and had been coerced by the Lannisters to testify against him, she wouldn't want to put her in danger. That's what I'm most upset about, tbh.
ramasi: Lokiramasi on May 17th, 2014 04:20 pm (UTC)
That's a pity, about Shae. I have to say, I really liked how in the books her betrayal didn't seem at all personal: Tyrion, against his own better judgement, made himself believe the two of them had a real relationship and – we never find out about Shae's feelings, it's just that it's perfectly possible that they never did, there simple was no deeper bond, not on her side, and that's a bit heartbreaking but – fine. I think the books are generally very good at not giving characters a deep connection sometimes, and I like that because sometimes that's how it is.
~** The Queen of Peace **~: The night is darkmeri_sielu on May 19th, 2014 06:30 pm (UTC)
Are they bringing it forward i.e Sansa? I love that scene so much. <3 I'll be watching it later so I'm sure I'll have things to say about it later on. :)