The Laws of Gods and Men

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"The Laws of Gods and Men"
Game of Thrones S04-E06-Tyrion Trial by Combat.jpg
Tyrion demanding a trial by combat. Dinklage's performance for this episode was praised by critics.
Episode no.Season 4
Episode 6
Directed byAlik Sakharov
Written byBryan Cogman
Featured musicRamin Djawadi
Cinematography byFabian Wagner
Editing byCrispin Green
Original air dateMay 11, 2014 (2014-05-11)
Running time50 minutes
Guest appearances
Episode chronology
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Game of Thrones (season 4)
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"The Laws of Gods and Men" is the sixth episode of the fourth season of the HBO medieval fantasy television series Game of Thrones, first aired on May 11, 2014.[1] The 36th episode overall, "The Laws of Gods and Men" was written by Bryan Cogman, and directed by Alik Sakharov.[2]

In the episode, Tyrion Lannister is tried for the murder of King Joffrey Baratheon. Despite his innocence, Tyrion realizes that the odds are stacked against him. At the Dreadfort, Yara Greyjoy attempts a daring rescue of her captive brother, Theon. Across the Narrow Sea, Stannis Baratheon and Davos Seaworth negotiate with the Iron Bank of Braavos, and Daenerys Targaryen faces a moral dilemma while governing Meereen. The episode's title refers to Tyrion's trial, whose outcome is said to be guided by the laws of the realm, and the laws of the gods.[3]

Plot

In Braavos

Stannis and Davos arrive in Braavos and meet Tycho Nestoris at the Iron Bank. Initially denying his request, Nestoris is persuaded when Davos mentions that the "true" power of Westeros, Tywin Lannister, is aging and will soon be dead. Davos finds Salladhor Saan, an old pirate friend of his, and informs him that he has the money Saan was promised and they will set sail the next day.

In Meereen

One of Daenerys' dragons attacks a flock of goats. Their owner presents a bag of their charred bones to Daenerys, who promises to compensate him three times over. Hizdahr zo Loraq requests to bury his father, one of the crucified Meereenese masters. Daenerys is reluctant at first, justifying her actions, but eventually agrees to the burial when she learns Hizdahr's father was a critic of the crucifixion of the slave children.

At the Dreadfort

Yara and her Ironborn soldiers attack the Dreadfort but Theon refuses her help, having become too psychologically traumatised, believing the rescue to be one of Ramsay's tricks. Ramsay and his men corner the Ironborn, who return to their boats. There, Yara declares that her brother is dead. Later, impressed by Reek's loyalty, Ramsay allows him a bath and asks for his help in retaking Moat Cailin.

In King's Landing

At the council, Varys tells Tywin of Daenerys' conquest of Meereen. Later, Tyrion's trial begins with Tywin, Mace, and Oberyn as judges. Several hostile witnesses are called, including Meryn, Pycelle, Cersei, and Varys. At recess, Jaime agrees to resign and go to Casterly Rock as heir if Tywin spares Tyrion. Tywin immediately agrees and says that Tyrion will be sent to the Night's Watch after being found guilty and then pardoned. Shae, the final crown witness, falsely testifies that Tyrion and Sansa planned the murder. Tyrion curses his accusers and demands a trial by combat to prove his innocence.

Production

Writing

"The Laws of Gods and Men" was written by Bryan Cogman, based upon the source material, Martin's A Storm of Swords. Chapters adapted from A Storm of Swords to the episode were chapters 66 and 70 (Tyrion IX and Tyrion X).[4]

Reception

Ratings

"The Laws of Gods and Men" was watched by an estimated 6.4 million people during its original broadcast.[5] In the United Kingdom, the episode was viewed by 1.657 million viewers, making it the highest-rated broadcast that week. It also received 0.1 million timeshift viewers.[6]

Critical reception

The episode received universal acclaim reviews from critics, with most reviewers singling out Tyrion's trial as the highlight of the episode, particularly praising Peter Dinklage's performance.[7][8][9] It has received a 94% rating on the review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes from 38 reviews with an average score of 9 out of 10.[10] On review aggregator website Metacritic, the episode holds a score of 8.6 out of 10 based on 17 ratings, denoting "universal acclaim".[11]

Matt Fowler of IGN gave the episode a 9 out of 10, called the final scene "one of the best things I’ve seen Tyrion do in a long while. He let a lifetime of hate ooze out of him like never before."[12]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref(s)
2014 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister Nominated [13]
Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards Outstanding Art Direction for a Single-Camera Fantasy Series Deborah Riley, Paul Ghirardani, and Rob Cameron Won [14]
2015 ADG Excellence in Production Design Award One-Hour Single Camera Fantasy Television Series Deborah Riley Won [15]

References

  1. ^ "Shows A–Z – Game of Thrones". The Futon Critic. Retrieved May 10, 2014.
  2. ^ "The Laws of Gods and Men". HBO. Retrieved May 12, 2022.
  3. ^ Meslow, Scott (January 8, 2015). "Game of Thrones recap: 'The Laws of Gods and Men'". The Week. Retrieved May 12, 2022.
  4. ^ Garcia, Elio; Antonsson, Linda (May 31, 2013). "EP406: The Laws of Gods and Men". Westeros.org. Retrieved November 11, 2014.
  5. ^ Bibel, Sara (May 13, 2014). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Game of Thrones' Wins Night, NBA Playoffs, 'Silicon Valley', 'Bar Rescue', 'Real Housewives of Atlanta', 'Mad Men' & More". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on May 14, 2014. Retrieved May 13, 2014.
  6. ^ "Top 10 Ratings (12-18 May 2014)". BARB. Retrieved January 19, 2017.
  7. ^ "Performer of the Week: Thrones' Peter Dinklage". TVLine. May 17, 2014. Retrieved May 29, 2014.
  8. ^ VanDerWerff, Emily (May 11, 2014). "Game of Thrones (experts): "The Laws of Gods and Men"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  9. ^ Adams, Erik (May 12, 2014). "Game of Thrones (for newbies): "The Laws of Gods and Men"". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
  10. ^ "Game of Thrones: Season 4: Episode 6". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  11. ^ "The Laws of Gods and Men". Metacritic. Retrieved May 16, 2022.
  12. ^ Fowler, Matt (May 11, 2014). "Game of Thrones: "The Laws of Gods and Men" Review". IGN. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
  13. ^ "Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series - 2014". Emmy Awards. Retrieved May 12, 2022.
  14. ^ "Outstanding Art Direction For A Contemporary Or Fantasy Series (Single-Camera) - 2014". Emmy Awards. Retrieved May 12, 2022.
  15. ^ "Winners & Nominees - 2014". Art Directors Guild. Retrieved May 12, 2022.

External links