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Game of Thrones: Mockingbird

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Game of Thrones Mockingbird

A collection of small, yet brilliant moments made this an excellent Game of Thrones episode, all leading up to…well, a character death, if you can believe it.

We begin with Jaime visiting Tyrion in jail, angry that Tyrion screwed up the deal he negotiated with Tywin to save Tyrion from a death sentence. Tyrion points out that the deal served no one so well as Tywin himself. Tyrion knows it’s unlikely that Jaime will fight for Tyrion in the trial by combat, since it be a massive lose-lose for Tywin. Jaime wins, Tyrion sticks around, Cersei is mad. If he loses, Tywin loses both of his male heirs.

Just who will Tyrion’s champion be fighting against? Cersei has sent for Gregor Clegane, the Mountain That Rides. We meet him busily chopping up some skinny guys (nice practical effects, there, spilling his guts). We do get a sense of how imposingly huge Clegane is.

Speaking of Cleganes, we’re back the adventures of Arya and the Hound. These scenes are so darkly humorous. Arya learns from the Hound how to kill a man with a quick stab to the heart, and shortly demonstrates her newfound skill, eliciting a, “You’re learning,” from Sandor. In another situation, this would be a sweet situation, a mentor and his charge. But he’s teaching her stabbing.

Arya’s been learning some existentialism. “Nothing isn’t better or worse than anything. Nothing is just nothing.” Rorge and Biter make a brief appearance, then die. The Hound now knows that he’s under a bounty. Later, there’s an oddly touching scene when Sandor reveals how he was burned, and his anguish that it was his own brother who did it (and his own father who covered it up).

We get a peek at some nonsense at the Wall, Jon Snow trying to prepare for a wildling invasion and getting rebuffed by the idiots in charge.

Bronn visits Tyrion in jail, and Tyrion knows from Bronn’s new clothes that he’s been bought. Not just bought, but married off to a minor noblewoman. Bronn and Tyrion debate the finer points of agnatic-cognatic primogeniture and the limits of friendship when it comes to sword fights against massive brutes (“When have you ever risked your life for me?”). It was easy for Bronn to fight for Tyrion when he was just a random mercenary with nothing in particular to lose, a lot of confidence in his abilities, and a whole to gain. Now? None of those factors hold true.

Not long after, Prince Oberyn arrives at Tyrion’s cell. They have a long talk in which Oberyn describes how he saw Tyrion as an infant, how everyone, including his own family, called him a monster, but Oberyn was disappointed, because he was a merely a slightly unusual looking baby. As Oberyn describes it, his own need for Lannister vengeance rises. His eyes are inky black pools reflecting the torchlight. Gregor Clegane is the one who murdered his sister. It’s the perfect chance for revenge. He elects to be Tyrion’s champion.

Back in Mereen, Danaerys is getting on with queenly business, which means getting all female gazy with Daario and making bringing out his inner Wolverine (“Go on, do what you do best.”). Then she sends the Second Sons to Yunkai to recapture it from the slave masters, who will be slaughtered. Jorah Mormont convinces her this will do no good, so she agrees to send one of the children of the Mereenese masters to serve as ambassador. But really, that moment when she sits down, sips her wine, and orders Daario to take off his clothes? I guess it’s good to be queen.

Melisandre is interrupted in her bath by Stannis’ zealot wife. Melisandre tells her about some of the little tricks she uses to convince men of the truth of the Lord of Light, and oh lord does that woman look good naked. Selyse seems to agree to some extent. It seems God wants her daughter Shireen to accompany them to the Wall.

Pod and Brienne are a counterpoint to Arya and the Hound, as their adventures seem thoroughly lighthearted. They even meet Hot Pie, who won’t stop talking about his kidney pie, and who puts them on the proper trail of the Stark girls once Podrick puts it all together.

Sansa. Yes, Sansa. If you hadn’t been won over by Sansa yet, this episode should have done it. A snowfall reminds her of her home, Winterfell, so she builds a replica in the snow. Robyn comes along and does his “weird feeble terrified kid who knows he’s going to be a king” routine, and wrecks her castle. She slaps him. Littlefinger comes along and congratulates her for the slap, then slips her a real un-uncleish kiss. Lysa of course sees the whole thing.

Lysa summons Sansa to the Moon Door and talks at great length about bodies splattering on the rocks far below. No foreshadowing there or anything. She tries to force Sansa to the edge of the door, but Baelish talks her down. Then he delivers one of the most brutal lines of dialog ever. “I have only ever loved one woman.” Lysa smiles with glee. “Your sister.” Her face falls. Then so does she.

Now, in the novels, Baelish went to a lot of trouble to frame some random minstrel for Lysa’s murder. I wonder how that’s going to play out now.

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Posted by on Sunday, May 18th, 2014. Filed under Dark TV, Headline. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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