Game of Thrones “Mockingbird”

Game of Thrones S4E7 “Mockingbird”

So many things have happened in this eventful fourth season of Game of Thrones including Joffrey’s poisoning, Sansa escaping King’s Landing, Tyrion’s riveting trial, and so much more is yet to come including Tyrion’s trial by combat and a likely battle at Castle Black between the night’s watch and the free folk. At some point, this season has to find some time to breath and “Mockingbird” provides the table setting that’s required for that in exciting fashion. In “Mockingbird”, Jon is reminded of his role, Arya and Sandor continue their wonderful adventures, Brienne and Pod get a new lead, Tyrion learns that the third time’s the charm, and Sansa has quite the eventful day at The Eyrie. Let’s get to it.

We kick things off at Castle Black and join in just in time to watch Jon and his party return from Craster’s Keep. Later on, Thorne hosts a meeting with the rest of the brothers and they discuss what to do about the incoming threat of the wildlings. Thorne sarcastically asks Jon what he thinks they should do but Jon gives a very serious answer. Jon thinks it’s best to barricade the tunnel that allows entrance north of the wall with ice and rock, to prevent the onslaught that the giants in Mance’s army will likely provide to the tunnel. Thorne reminds Jon that he’s just a steward and it’s the builders who get to decide what is done with the tunnel. The head builder agrees with Thorne that Jon’s plan is not the best course of action. Thorne does have a job that he feels like takes advantage of Jon’s intel on the wildlings. He assigns Jon and Sam to patrol duty atop the wall until Mance and the free folk army arrives. How fun.

We spend a fair amount of time with Arya and Sandor in this episode and that’s never a bad thing. As they continue their trek to The Eyrie, they stumble upon a man whose home has been raided and he now sits outside with a lethal wound, waiting to die. The man tells Arya and Sandor his story and recognizing that he’s not going anywhere, Arya and Sandor tell him both of their names. The dying man comes to terms with his inevitable death and Sandor gives him the gift of mercy, showing Arya precisely where the heart is.

This lesson in mercy killing is interrupted when a man comes from behind and viciously bites Sandor on the neck. While I imagine that it hurt, it wasn’t enough to knock Sandor down and that’s bad news for Biter because Sandor makes quick work of him shortly thereafter. Biter’s friend and accomplice, Rorge makes his presence known. Sandor assumes they’re trying to collect a bounty on him for leaving the kingsguard but Rorge clarifies that Joffrey is dead and the bounty on his head is for killing Lannister soldiers. Arya recognizes Rorge as one of the caged prisoners during their failed trek to the wall in season two and specifically the one who threatened to rape her. Arya shows she’s a quick learner by stabbing Rorge right through the heart, just like Sandor showed her. Not a mercy kill, but same application.

Sometime after, Arya and Sandor have set up camp and we see that Biter’s bite on Sandor got him quite good as the wound looks pretty bad. Arya tells Sandor that the safest thing to do is to burn away the rotting flesh and sew it up but Sandor refuses on account of his fear of fire. In a rare moment of Sandor opening up, he confirms that the story Arya heard from Littlefinger about his scar was correct, and he opens up even more of the story saying that their father passed it off as an accident that happened while Sandor was asleep. More than the pain or the smell, the thing that bothers Sandor the most about what happened is the fact that his own brother is the one who did it. Arya is surprised that Sandor just opened up like that and offers to wash the wound and sew it up for him, no fire. Sandor agrees to this one and thus ends the most fascinating chapter of Arya and Sandor’s adventures yet.

Our second travelling duo of Brienne and Pod run into some luck after running into some comfort. On their way up to the wall, they stop at The Inn at the Crossroads and enjoy themselves some kidney pie, which is cooked by a familiar face to us viewers, it’s Hot Pie! Brienne compliments Hot Pie on the food and Hot Pie takes the opportunity to go on and on about the difficulties of making a proper kidney pie, which quickly starts to annoy Brienne. She abruptly tries to end the conversation by stating they’re looking for Sansa Stark and asks him if he knows anything about her. Hot Pie nervously ends the conversation by calling the Starks traitors and returns to the kitchen.

The next day, Brienne and Pod are preparing to get back on the road. Pod tells Brienne that he doesn’t think it’s a good idea to openly say that they’re looking for Sansa because the Lannisters have allies everywhere and there’s a huge ransom on her. Brienne doesn’t need to defend herself because Hot Pie does it all for her. Hot Pie approaches them and comes clean about his time with Sansa’s sister, Arya. Brienne is a bit skeptical at first about his story since Arya has been presumed dead for years but decides that his story checks out and it even gives them a new lead. Hot Pie mentions that when she left, The Hound was there as well and Podrick figures that he’s going to ransom her off. When Brienne and Pod reach the crossroads between the north/south and east/west road, Pod’s knowledge of houses, family members, and alliances and rivalries of the great houses comes in huge as he deduces that since Lysa is wealthy and Arya’s aunt, that’s where Sandor would go to ransom her off. It seems like a good guess (and it’s right) so the two decide to take the eastern road to The Eyrie. Will they run into Arya and Sandor? I can’t wait to find out.

We switch continents and check in on the city of Meereen. Dany returns to her chambers after a long day and is surprised to find Daario waiting for her. Daario complains that their current situation doesn’t allow him to put his best and only skills to use, seducing women and fighting men. Daario’s requests are duly noted and Dany allows him to put the former skill to use, ordering him to take his clothes off.

The next day, Jorah arrives at Dany’s chambers for a report and runs into Daario in the hallway, buttoning his shirt and he tells Jorah that Dany “is in a very good mood”. Putting two and two together, Jorah casually brings up the subject when he sees Dany and becomes less casual when he asks Dany if they should really be trusting him. Dany tells Jorah that she’s sent Daario to Yunkai along with The Second Sons to kill all the slave masters for coming back to power in the city. Jorah echoes Barristan’s calls from a few episodes ago and tells Dany that sometimes, you have to show mercy. He notes that he himself was a slave trader once upon a time and if Ned Stark punished him the way Dany is punishing the slave masters, he’d be long dead. Dany concedes and tells Jorah to notify Hizdahr zo Loraq that he will be going with Daario to Yunkai as an ambassador to the slave masters there and deliver them a choice, peacefully step down or die. Offering a way out doesn’t guarantee that the slave masters will actually take it so we’ll see what happens her in Slaver’s Bay.

Up in the mountains we go, it’s snowing in the Eyrie which delights Sansa very much, reminding her of home. The snow makes her reminisce about home so much that she makes a snow sculpture of Winterfell and it’s pretty damn good. Robin comes along and seems impressed with his cousin’s work. Robin actually seems quite normal now and the two cousins share decent conversation. Robin still does obsess over the moon door though, and asks Sansa if he can put one in her snow sculpture of Winterfell. Robin inadvertently knocks down a tower and Sansa says he ruined it. We then see Robin still is a bit crazy and he throws a temper tantrum over it and it results in Sansa slapping him on the face. Robin leaves with tears in his eyes to go tell his mother what Sansa did. Littlefinger was watching the whole thing and comes down to talk to Sansa. She apologizes for what she did but Littlefinger says there’s no need to, he’ll explain it to Lysa and feels that Lysa should discipline her son anyway. Littlefinger then gets super creepy, talking about how in an ideal world, he would be Sansa’s father, but because they aren’t, he can say that she is extremely beautiful and tops the creepiness off with giving Sansa a kiss on the lips. Sansa pulls away after the surprise sets in but neither of them noticed that Lysa was watching them.

Lysa summons Sansa into the main hall and Sansa assumes it’s about hitting Robin. Lysa could care less about that and brings Sansa to her knees and holds her over the moon door. She tells Sansa that she saw her kissing Littlefinger and tells her that everyone who stands in the way of her and Littlefinger has been thrown through this door. Littlefinger walks into the room in complete shock, and tells Lysa to let Sansa go. He promises to send Sansa away if that’s what she wants and approaches his wife to give her a comforting hug. Littlefinger then destroys her world when he tells her that he’s only ever loved one women, and it was her sister, Cat. Lysa can’t even begin to react to this news because Littlefinger immediately pushes her out the moon door. Good bye, Lysa, can’t say I’ll miss you.

Lastly, we’ll check in with King’s Landing, or Tyrion’s cell if we’re being precise. Tyrion receives three visits in his cell and the first of which is his brother Jaime. Jaime berates Tyrion for throwing away his life by demanding a trial by combat instead of going through with the deal in place. Tyrion retorts that he doesn’t have a whole lot left to live for anyway but watching Tywin’s face as the deal he perfected to get Jaime back and banish Tyrion fall through was well worth it. They turn their attention to the trial by combat and Tyrion asks Jaime if he’ll represent him. Jaime seems like he wants to but he admits he simply isn’t good enough with his left hand. Tyrion understands and asks Jaime if he can send for Bronn to come so he can ask him.

A few days later (Much to the disliking of Tyrion who was expecting him the first day) Bronn shows up to see Tyrion and he’s all decked out in fancy lord clothing. Tyrion asks what’s up with his wardrobe and Bronn tells him Cersei has arranged for him to marry Lollys Stokeworth, who lives in a nice castle by the sea. Tyrion tells him that Lollys has an older sister so the castle won’t pass to her and Bronn but Bronn has a plan for that (doesn’t he always). With the small talk done, Tyrion asks Bronn if he’ll fight for him again, offering him an absurd amount of gold and a large piece of land in the north once he rules it in Sansa’s name. Bronn tells his friend that he won’t do it. Cersei is naming The Mountain as her champion and the guy is so big and strong that one misstep and you’re dead. Bronn declines Tyrion’s request in an almost apologetic way but Tyrion tells him not too, Bronn’s lack of sympathy is what he likes best about him anyway. These two really did become true best friends and when Tyrion jokes that he’ll have to fight The Mountain himself and have songs sung about him if he wins, Bronn tells him he wishes to hear it sung. I hope that isn’t it for Bronn and Tyrion but it sadly very well could be.

Tyrion’s third visitor is a surprise but it turns out to be a very pleasant one. Prince Oberyn pays Tyrion a visit and he recalls the time that he visited Casterly Rock as a child. Everyone kept saying Tyrion was some sort of monster and even back then, Cersei couldn’t stand Tyrion, wishing he was dead even though he was just a baby. When Cersei finally let Oberyn see Tyrion, all he saw was a normal baby. Oberyn then tells Tyrion that he’s come to King’s Landing to seek justice. Tyrion tells him he’s come to the wrong place if that’s what he’s looking for but Oberyn counters that King’s Landing is  the perfect place. First and foremost, Oberyn is here to bring The Mountain to justice and now that he’s Cersei’s champion, Oberyn sees the perfect opportunity. Oberyn announces to Tyrion that he will be his champion and Tyrion can hardly believe it. The way the first scenes were going, you figured Tyrion would be screwed, but now he has the Red Viper of Dorne fighting for him. Tyrion may not be dead just yet.

Other Thoughts

If you didn’t already think Oberyn was awesome before this episode, I don’t know what you were thinking, but you can’t deny it anymore. The man is just too cool.

Tyrion was kind of joking about representing himself, but Oberyn was a complete surprise. He may very well would have had to fight The Mountain himself if Oberyn didn’t champion for him.

Death by The Mountain looks like a brutal way to go. I suppose it’s quicker than death by moon door though.

There’s nothing more Littlefinger than marrying into a major house and then killing your spouse shortly thereafter, effectively making yourself lord of that major house.

Nearly forgot, there was a brief scene at Dragonstone. Selyse interrupts Melisandre’s bath to tell her she doesn’t want to bring Shireen with them when they set sail but Melisandre insists that Selyse brings her daughter. “The Lord of Light needs her”.

Sandor opening up about he and his brother’s awful relationship just makes you want to see them fight again like they did in season one, doesn’t it?

Don’t get Hot Pie started on the gravy. You’ve been warned.

“Mockingbird” prepares season four for its end game, as many characters and plot lines are put in position to soon reach their conclusion.

Grade A-

 

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