What up, Gameheads. Have you made plans for your Sunday
nights after #GOT is over? Just a few more weeks left (though it’s not on next Sunday, “The Normal Heart” will be on instead). It’s not like there’s not plenty of other teevees to
watch that night—Sunday
is overwhelmed with good stuff while there’s garbage on every other night of the week. We have free time on Tuesdays, you know!
So “Game of Thrones” has been exhibiting a director pattern
this season where specific directors have directed two back-to-back eps, which
makes sense, especially with the Joffrey death scene, which bled over into the
following episode, and other scenes that haven’t been contained to just one.
This week’s episode, “Mockingbird,” was directed by Alik Sakharov, who directed
last week’s strong episode, and this one is equally as compelling, a rather
talky ep, with some blood spatter to mix it up and keep things interesting.
We open on Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Jaime (Nikolaj
Coster-Waldau) working out the events of last week’s episode, wherein Tyrion demanded
a trial by combat for his wrongful prosecution of Joffrey’s death. Tyrion’s not
going down without a fight, and he knows the deal proffered by dad Tywin
(Charles Dance) is once again a raw deal for Tyrion, and perfect for Tywin’s
interests—getting his dwarf son out of sight and out of mind, and preserving the
Lannister name through Jaime’s rule at Casterly Rock. Tyrion wisely reminds
Jaime that he’s been able to get away with everything Tyrion’s been on trial
for—kingslaying, sisterfucking (well not that so much)—and Jaime levies
back at him that he’s his only friend, and his speech isn’t going to save his
neck, so mind his mouth. While Tyrion wants him to be his champion in the
trial, realistically, Jaime, with his limited abilities can’t pull off this
Of course, with whom Cersei (Lena Headey) has in mind as a
champion, they are going to need someone more than up to the job, because she’s calling
in The Mountain, Ser Gregor Clegane (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson, yes that’s his real name, he’s a 6’9″ Icelandic strong man, thank you, GOT Wiki), whose main pastime is skewering random
unfortunate souls and standing around with fresh blood glistening in his chest hair.
Yeah, Tyrion’s going to need a bigger boat … err, sword.
The next best candidate for Tyrion’s champion? Why Bronn
(Jerome Flynn), of course. He’s late, and also kitted out in new threads, as
he’s been betrothed to Lollys Stokeworth, a dimwit who comes with a castle in
the event of her sister mysteriously perishing (an engagement arranged by Cersei, no doubt). Bronn reminds Tyrion that he
always promised to double his price, and now that he’s got a fiancée with a
castle, Tyrion’s got a lot to double. While Tyrion makes promises about the
North, Bronn is all about what he has in front of him, Lollys or the Mountain,
one whom he can fuck and one whom will demolish him. He makes the salient point
that Tyrion has never risked his life for him. Bronn has always been a
businessman, pragmatic and unsentimental, so it makes sense he would make the
move that he does. Still though, it’s rough seeing Tyrion going through yet
another friend breakup. And who will be his champion now? This is just getting
Tyrion’s third visitor? Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal). He
admits that Cersei has approached him about her intentions for Tyrion—death. Oberyn
underscores this with an anecdote about how as a child, he visited Casterly
Rock, right after Tyrion’s birth. After having been told that Tyrion was a
clawed, red-eyed, tailed hermaphrodite monster, he was disappointed when Tyrion was revealed to be
simply a somewhat irregular baby who didn’t live
up to the hype. That’s not the point of the story though. The point of the
story is that Cersei was a sadistic baby cock-pinching, vengeful big sis from
the get go, resentful of Tyrion for killing their mother in childbirth. As
Oberyn recounts this tale, the camera rests on Tyrion’s increasingly upset and
teary face, knowing that his sister has been gunning for his death since birth.
He’s evaded her for some time, but perhaps not now?
Still, the conversation switches to what Oberyn wants. He
wants justice, for his sister Elia and her children, raped and killed by The
Tyrion claims that King’s Landing is no place for justice, it seems as though
Oberyn and Tyrion’s needs and wants have lined up quite well, what with Cersei enlisting The Mountain to do her dirty work. With his own interests in mind, Oberyn volunteers as Tyrion’s champion, in one of the greatest fist pump
moments of the season. YAAASSS. Oberyn’s given a sanctioned forum in which to kill the Mountain, and he can save Tyrion to boot (that is if he can get past the massive dude).
Riverlands or Something, I Don’t Know, Jesus, On The Road Somewhere
Arya (Maisie Williams) and The Mountain’s brother, The Hound
(Rory McCann) come upon the smoking husk of a house, and decide to investigate
on the chance there might be food (or soldiers). They come upon a mortally
wounded gentleman whom they chat with about death and dying before the Hound
puts him out of his misery with a knife to the heart.
Almost immediately, the Hound is attacked from behind with a ferocious neck bite by some unfortunate bounty hunter, quickly dispatched with a fatal twist to the ol’ noggin. His partner informs the two that Joffrey’s been poisoned at
his wedding (one less for Arya’s list) and there’s a bounty for killing the
Hound since he murdered those Lannister soldiers. Arya quickly recognizes him as the
man who threatened to violate her bunghole with a stick, and as soon
as she learns his name, Needle goes right through his heart.
That neck biter took quite a chunk out of the Hound’s neck,
and while he and Arya are camped, she tries to convince him to cauterize the
wound, something a man who had his face pressed into a fire as a child isn’t
too keen on. In fact, he describes the incident to Arya, working through his
childhood trauma and anger at his brother and father. It’s a moment that
illustrates just how lonely and vulnerable The Hound is, and why he’s such a
defensive loner. One has to realize this is how Arya feels too. In this moment of vulnerability, he
allows her to clean and stitch his wound.
Also on the road somewhere? The Brienne n’ Pod Show! The
best show ever. This week, they’re eating kidney pie at an inn. And who made
that kidney pie? An extremely talkative Hot Pie (Ben Hawkey)! Yay Hot Pie! Remember Arya’s
friend who made her the wolf bread? He’s back, he’s making pie and he’s
chatting up a storm. To shut him
up, Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) lets him know they’re looking for Sansa
Stark, and Hot Pie denies knowledge of the family and peaces out.
The next morning, Pod (Daniel Porter) makes the extremely
relevant point that they shouldn’t go blabbing about their Sansa-finding
mission. Fortunately, it’s just Hot Pie they’ve spilled the beans to, and he
comes out to say he used to be buds with Arya, and she’s on the road with
Hound, dressed as a boy. He even sends them off with a wolf-shaped bread for
her (won’t that be stale by the time they find her? Come on). While Brienne
takes this as a victory for telling people their mission, I still agree with
Pod that it was rather foolish/dangerous.
And then, when they’re on the path, Pod demonstrates his
knowledge of the families of Westeros and their beefs, courtesy of Tyrion’s
schooling. He suggests that Sansa could be at the Eyrie with Lysa Arryn (GOOD GUESS), and
when he hesitates in how sure he is, they take the right fork in the road,
presumably away from the Eyrie?
The conquering heroes of Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and pals
return to a cold welcome from his rival Ser Alliser (Owen Teale) at the Wall. Though Jon has ideas
about sealing the tunnel against Mance Rayder’s giants, he’s undermined by Alliser,
who tests his knowledge and reminding him he’s a steward and nothing more. In
fact, he and Samwell Tarly will have to pull night duty on The Wall just for mouthing off. Rats!
Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) finds Daario Naharis (Michiel
Huisman) in her private chambers, wildflowers in hand. He’s antsy, you see, as
he isn’t using his talents of “war and women” in Meereen. He’s sworn his sword
to Daenerys, and she takes him up on the offer of demonstrating at least one of
his talents. He’s got more than two swords sworn to her now!
In the morning, Daario runs into Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) on the way
out of her room, claiming “she’s in a good mood” and of course this makes Jorah all jealous and salty. He scolds her for screwing untrustworthy Daario and she lets him
know that she’s sending Daario to retake Yunkai and execute every slavemaster. Jorah
convinces her she needs to be less extreme in her “justice” as a learning
experience for the slavers, so she says that she’s going to send Meereenese
nobleman Hizdahr zo Loraq to explain the options (give up slavery or die) as a step
towards less bloody justice. She even credits Jorah with the idea. Oh happy day
for him! No way this plan won’t go horribly awry.
Melisandre (Carice van Houten) is taking a soak when
Stannis’ wife Selyse (Tara Fitzgerald) wanders in for a chat. Totally normal,
totally cool bath time chats. Melisandre tells her some garbage woo-woo Lord of Light nonsense
about baths and potions whilst wandering around nude, which Selyse doesn’t pay
attention to because LESBIAN SUBTEXT. She’s actually there to talk about her daughter Shireen,
as Stannis wants to bring her with them on their journey to … what? Taking over King’s Landing with their Braavosi loan? Lord of Light Land? Anyway, Selyse
thinks it’s a bad idea because of her “heretical leanings” like any normal tween.
Melisandre convinces her otherwise, saying Shireen should come with because “the Lord
needs her,” and I don’t know about you but I smell another leech barbecue
coming on for the poor girl.
Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) is happy to find snow falling at
the Eyrie, a reminder of home that inspires her to build a snow replica of
Winterfell. She’s joined by her simpleton cousin, and possibly future husband
Robin Arryn (Lino Facioli), who observes her model, though he doesn’t seem to grasp the nuance of why she isn’t there and the good and evil that she’s gone through. He’s like, “y’all should have a Moon Door!” and Sansa is
like “I know some people I’d like to Moon Door alright.” Still, when he knocks
over a part of her dumb snow model, the fight escalates too quickly (they are
children, after all), and Sansa ends up walloping the kid across the face.
Littlefinger (Aiden Gillen) quickly shows up and is all “his mom should have
done that a long time ago.” He reassures her about seeing Winterfell again, and
Sansa asks him why he really killed Joffrey. Littlefinger describes his deep
love for Sansa’s mother, Catelyn Stark, suggesting his killing was retaliation for
the Red Wedding and other atrocities against the Starks. He then creepily
suggests Sansa could have been his child, and then plants a big ol’ makeout smooch on her. Eww.
Of course Lysa Arryn (Kate Dickie), his creeptastic and jealous wife, sees the
Lysa summons Sansa to the Moon Door room, which like, come
on, if someone invites you to the Moon Door room, especially your creepy
jealous aunt whose son you just slapped and husband you just smooched, DO NOT
GO THERE. Predictably, Lysa tries to shove Sansa into the Moon Door, before
Littlefinger shows up and interrupts the assault. He claims he’s going to send
Sansa away and she releases her. Terrible idea. He goes to comfort her, saying
he’s only loved one woman … BOOM, HER SISTER, and then pushes her through the Moon
Door. COLD. BLOODED.
This episode was heavy on the memories of traumas past and
childhood events that shaped and structured the way that things are now—The
Hound and The Mountain, Tyrion and Cersei, Littlefinger, Lysa and Catelyn (that
Sansa is serving as a weird sort of sexual romantic proxy for her mom is gross,
but also makes sense, considering Littlefinger). It was a lot of talk and a deep psychological dive for many of our more fleshed out characters, and a welcome dive at that, especially in a season that has struggled with how to position some characters and their motivations (cough—JAIME—cough).
Can’t wait for next week when we get to see Oberyn pull out
his fancy swordsmanship (the killing kind of sword, not the fucking kind of
sword)! At this point, Daenerys’ storyline is so boring, just going back
and forth ruling these kingdoms, with no dragon action and no sexy Daario
action (that “sex scene” was a rip off). With so many people still wandering
in twos, it’s about time they all came together for a clash. Or a thud.
Or something. With only three episodes left, who knows how they will tie