Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Game of Thrones 4.07: "Mockingbird"

“I suppose I’ll have to kill the Mountain myself. Won’t that make a great song?”

As per usual for “Game of Thrones” this season, in “Mockingbird,” the bulk of the action (other than visiting in briefly on many of the other ongoing plots) happened in King’s Landing. The most shocking moment of the episode, however, took place at the Eyrie. This, I suppose, shouldn’t have been surprising considering the episode’s title references Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, who is currently at the Eyrie with Lysa, Robin, and Sansa. The theme that tied this whole episode together was the ties between siblings. Tyrion and Jaime, Lysa and Cat, and even Arya and Sansa all were showcased in the stories of this episode. I know I’m kind of grasping at straws here for something to tie the episode together, but much like the previous episode, the individual stories were all compelling enough that I didn’t mind the disjointed style terribly much.

This episode takes place in the aftermath of Tyrion demanding a trial by combat after having been accused of Joffrey’s death. Early in the episode, Tyrion and Jaime talk strategy. Tyrion had been hoping Jaime would be his champion, but Jaime admits that his left-handed swordplay still isn’t good enough. Tyrion figures Cersei will choose a posh knight who isn’t a great fighter, and he also figures Bronn will fight for him again. Unfortunately for Tyrion, he’ll be wrong on both points. We learn right away that Cersei’s champion is none other than Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane. The Mountain is not going to be defeated easily. At all.

Meanwhile, Arya and the Hound have some more bonding time. They encounter a dying man by the side of the road. Arya and the Hound wonder why he hasn’t killed himself, since his wound is fatal, and the man says he’s staying alive out of habit, basically. The Hound mercy kills the man, but he and Arya are soon ambushed by one of the rapers who was traveling with Arya to the Wall back in season 2. The Hound makes a comment wondering why the raper wasn’t on Arya’s list, and Arya says she doesn’t know his name. The raper says his name is Biter, and Arya quickly dispatches him with Needle. Later, Arya wants to cauterize one of the Hound’s wounds, but he has an extreme fear of fire thanks to how the Mountain tortured him when they were kids. He tells Arya the whole story, which is kind of touching, I guess.

In the North, Jon is facing more trouble from Ser Alliser. I think Ser Alliser resents that so many of the Night’s Watch brothers volunteered to help Jon. Based on what Jon discovered during the raid on Craster’s Keep, he recommends that the Night’s Watch seal the tunnel that runs under the Wall. Ser Alliser doesn’t like this idea, probably because Jon suggested it. The argument he gives against it is that sealing the Wall would keep the Night’s Watch from being able to fulfill their sworn duty to protect the citizens of Westeros from what lurks north of the Wall. Ser Alliser asks for the opinion of the First Builder, since the Builders would be the one to actually do the sealing. Sensing that disagreement with Ser Alliser would be a bad idea, the First Builder nixes the tunnel sealing idea.

In King’s Landing, Bronn pays a visit to Tyrion so that Tyrion can ask him to be his champion. Bronn declines because he’s getting married. Cersei made the match, of course, to a woman who is second in line to inherit a decent sized holding. Cersei and Bronn figure it shouldn’t take too much effort to arrange an unfortunate accident for the older sister, and Bronn and his new wife will be set. Tyrion and Bronn haggle a bit (because Bronn always promised to fight for Tyrion if Tyrion could double the price someone else offered), but Tyrion can’t meet Bronn’s price this time. Bronn seems genuinely sad to be leaving Tyrion in the lurch. Luckily for Tyrion, he finds an alternative in Prince Oberyn. Turns out the Prince is a strict believer in justice, and he genuinely believes Tyrion didn’t kill Joffrey. He’s also always in favor of increasing Lannister family mayhem, since the Lannisters hurt his family back in the day.

Across the Narrow Sea in Meereen, Daario sneaks into Dany’s bedchamber. Dany is really pissed off about this, but she hears Daario out anyway. He complains that he knows two things well: war and women, and right now Dany just has him patrolling the streets of Meereen. His talents are going to waste. Dany understands what he’s saying, and at first it sounds like she has an enemy for him to slay. Then she tells him to take off his clothes. Daario’s hot and all, but the situation still seemed kind of skeevy. Dany didn’t seem to really want to have sex with him (she seems ashamed afterwards), but she does anyway. I guess I don’t really understand enough about her motivation to be able to judge. And should I even judge in the first place? Mostly it just bothers me that Dany, a powerful Queen and Mother of Dragons, would feel pressured to have sex with Daario if she didn’t really want to. Anyway, after Daario leaves, Dany and Jorah talk about Yunkai. Dany says she’s sending Jorah to kill all the Yunkai Masters. Jorah convinces her this is a bad idea, and Dany says that now she is going to give the Masters a choice to change their ways or die.

At Dragonstone, Melisandre is taking a bath when she is interrupted by Selyse (Stannis’ wife). Melisandre makes nice with Selyse by telling Selyse a bit about all the potions and poisons in the room. Selyse is nervous about taking her daughter Shireen with them when they head North, but Melisandre convinces Selyse that Shireen is needed. Because that isn’t ominous or anything! Meanwhile, Brienne starts telling the cook at the inn where she and Podrick are staying about her mission to find Sansa. Podrick thinks this is a bad idea. He thinks broadcasting the mission will make them targets. The cook happens to be Hot Pie, thankfully, and he says that while he doesn’t know about Sansa, he knows Arya because they escaped King’s Landing together.

We finish up this episode at the Eyrie. It’s snowing, and Sansa has been building a snow replica Winterfell. Sansa and Robin have what starts out as a sweet conversation, but things turn sour when Robin ruins Sansa’s Winterfell replica. The fight escalates, and Sansa slaps Robin before Littlefinger intervenes. In the aftermath, Littlefinger kisses Sansa, which was just gross. Unfortunately for everyone, Lysa sees this, and she doesn’t appreciate people kissing her new husband. She confronts Sansa by the Moon Door and almost pushes Sansa through it before Littlefinger again intervenes. After telling Lysa that the only person he ever loved was Cat, Littlefinger pushes Lysa through the Moon Door. This won’t end well, for sure.

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