"A small man can cast a big shadow," Varys told Tyrion, and in Sunday's episode of Game of Thrones, we certainly saw that The Imp has strengthened his power as the Hand of the King.
With his latest political triumph, Tyrion once again undermined his sister, Queen Regent Cersei and by extension, her teenage son, King Joffrey. Who else triumphed? Who suffered an embarrassing setback (besides Theon, of course)? Check out TVGuide.com's breakdown of the power shifts in "What Is Dead May Never Die":
Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage): Best. Hand. Ever. Tyrion tells Varys, Littlefinger and Grand Maester Pycelle plans to broker a political marriage for Princess Myrcella with the caveat that "The Queen mustn't know!" When Cersei herself confronts Tyrion about the Dornish plans, his masterful scheme is revealed: He told a different plan to each man, and since he discussed a Dornish marriage only with Pycelle, then the Maester is the Queen Regent's informant. Bye, bye, Pycelle! Enjoy prison.
Shae (Sibel Kekilli): The whore scores a sweet gig as Sansa's new handmaiden just because she withheld affection when Tyrion initially offered to get her work as a kitchen scullion. The Imp may be a strategist, but Shae knows how to play him.
Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie): This towering lady is more of a knight. Skilled at combat, she defeats Loras to win the tournament Renly holds and subsequently a place in his kingsguard. We think she and Arya would get along nicely.
Grand Maester Pycelle (Julian Glover): As mentioned above, Tyrion totally played the Maester and then humiliated him by busting in on him and a whore unannounced, slicing off his beard and packing him off to a cell. And for anyone who's counting, this is the second time we've seen the old dude in his nightshirt.
Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey): Dear little brother Tyrion has stripped her of yet another ally and her daughter.
Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen): We still can't get over Theon's "hands-on" approach to dealing with his family in the last episode, and he's not faring much better this time around. His sister Yara has been entrusted with 30 ships in order to attack Deepwood Motte in the North, while Theon only gets one measly ship, the Sea Bitch, to attack a seaside village. Also, Daddy Balon really, really doesn't love him.
Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony): How shall we say this? He couldn't get the royal battering ram to breech his wife Margaery's defenses. As she so wisely counseled him, "The best way to stop enemies is to [impregnate her]." Until then, the great political marriage he's made with House Tyrell doesn't mean much without a potential heir on the way.
The Night's Watch: Up north, Jon Snow's snoopiness gets the Watch thrown out by Craster, who has much-needed supplies and shelter. Down south along the King's Road, the Night's Watch recruits are attacked — some killed, some captured — by those searching for Gendry.
Power Outage, aka The Fallen
Epiosde 3: Yoren, Lommy
Episode 2: Rakharo
Episode 1: Daenerys' horse, Maester Cressen, King Robert's bastards
Bonus Episode Highlights
Spot the Whore! Whore Count: 2. We believe it's Daisy the whore who was warming Pycelle's bed, and of course there's Shae. Some argue that she's not really a whore. And though it's true she doesn't work as a straightforward prostitute like the ladies from Littlefinger's brothel, Bronn did pick her out among the camp followers to offer Tyrion companionship of a sexual nature.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.
What was your favorite highlight? Are you sad to see Yoren go?