"A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client," the old saying goes. I would wager 20,000 Gold Dragons that this does not apply to Tyrion Lannister, who I would hire to defend me in court any day.
A round of applause, please, for Peter Dinklage, who may have just earned his fourth Emmy nomination with the scene-stealing performance he gave on HBO's "Game of Thrones," season 4, episode 6. Check out five highlights, plus a transcript of one of the most epic speeches ever heard in the realm.
1. Theon Greyjoy / Reek ... the spy?
After being tortured and having important parts of his body cut off for months, Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) has fully assumed his new nickname of Reek and has full-blown Stockholm Syndrome. When his warrior sister Yara (Gemma Whelan) shows up with soldiers to try and free him and bring him home, he, well, he bites her. Then his captor, the evil Ramsay Snow (Iwan Rheon), unleashes the hounds.
"My brother is dead," Yara later declares, as they retreat.
Speaking of hounds, Snow then rewards Theon with a "treat" -- a bath -- effectively stripping him of his nickname. In a rare display of tenderness, he wipes his back with a sponge and asks him if he loves him.
"Yes, of course, my Lord," he replies.
Snow then presents him with a task -- to assume the identity of his former self for a mission to take back a castle ...
2. Mycroft, helloo!!
It was lovely to see "Sherlock" star and executive producer Mark Gatiss make a cameo as Tycho Nestoris, a representative of the Iron Bank, who is of several who meet with Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) and Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane). Some people apply for house loans, others borrow money to pay for soldiers. It's time to up those numbers if you want to win the Game of Thrones. Anyway, Gatiss steals the scene and you can't help but smile.
3. It's amateur hour for Daenerys Targaryen
Danenerys Targaryen has decided to hang out in Meereen and rule as queen for a while. There, she's too busy rattling off her EIGHT titles (" Daenerys Stromborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons") to her disgruntled subjects to even think about how inconvenient she has made their lives.
Dany is implementing her new open door policy for the locals. A goat herder enters her throne room. One of Dany's three dragons made a Happy Meal out of his animals -- and he brings the bones to show her. Visibly embarrassed, Dany declares he should be compensated for his loss. The next visitor informs her that his father is one of the slave masters she had ordered to be crucified and that he was one of the kingdom's leaders who spoke out against the killings of the slaves. He wants her permission to give him a proper burial and she grudgingly agrees.
We later learn he is among more than 200 people waiting outside, about to throw off her groove. Pick a number. It's going to be a long day.
4. Shae -- NOOOOOO!!!
A trial that will determine that Tyrion poisoned King Joffrey finally begins. Yes, you read this correctly. The evil teen's uncle is even told by Jaime Lannister ( Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), his brother -- and the late monarch's secret father, that he will be found guilty and that if he pleads for mercy, his father, Tywin (Charles Dance), the judge, will spare his life and sentence him to serve in the Night's Watch. Tyrion points out how a similar plea bargain was offered to Ned Stark -- and we all know how that turned out. Jaime asks if he trusts him and he says he does.
Following testimonies by the likes of a warrior who "witnessed" Tyrion insulting the king (after he had Sansa Stark abused publicly) and his dear sister Cersei (Lena Headey), Joffrey's mother who is the key manipulator of the trial and would have annihilated about 97 percent of the realm with her glare if that were possible, a surprise witness is brought to the stand -- Shae (Sibel Kekilli), Tyrion's secret lover, who was visibly upset he had married Stark (although it was not his choice) and sent her away (to protect her).
She unleashes a slew of lies that twist their words and basically annihilate any chance the two had of being happy together. She acknowledges that she was his "whore" -- a word she's always hated -- and claims he forced her into a sexual relationship.
"I think it's not easy for her but I think at the same time, of course, it's kind of revenge," Kekilli said in a video posted by HBO. And she has to ... I think there is no choice. I think Cersei told her, so of course she has to do it."
"You can feel her anger," the actress added. "You know, she wants to hurt him, too. When she turns to him and says, 'I'm a whore, that's what I do,' it's like, 'You forced me ... to be in that kind of situation. You said that, so I'm here ... we could be in Pentos and you didn't come with me, so that was your choice."
5. Tyrion is mad as hell and not going to take this anymore.
Screw that plea bargain. Tyrion stands up and tells off his father, Shae and the people he had defended in battle -- who now wish to see him dead. Check out a transcript below of the epic speech that spurred the hashtag #TeamTyrion to trend on Twitter.
- TYRION: "Father, I wish to confess. ... I saved you. I saved this city. All your worthless lives. I should've let Stannis kill you all."
TYWIN: "Tyrion! Do you wish to confess?"
TYRION: "Yes, father. I'm guilty. Guilty. Is that what you want to hear?"
TYWIN: "You admit you poisoned the king?"
TYRION: "No. Of that I'm innocent. I'm guilty of a far more monstrous crime. I'm guilty of being a dwarf."
TYWIN: "You're not on trial for being a dwarf."
TYRION: "Oh? Yes I am. I've been on trial for that my entire life."
TYWIN: "Have you nothing to say in your defense?"
TYRION: "Nothing but this: I did not do it. 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 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. ... I will not give my life for Joffrey's murder and I know I'll get no justice here. So I will let the Gods decide my fate. I demand a trial by combat."
"The Shae testimony is the turning point in the entire season for Tyrion," Dinklage said in HBO's video (watch below). "There's no turning back after that because he loves her and he's completely, completely gone."