In this episode we saw the beginning of the build up to the end of the season. We only have three more episodes! Remember at the end of the last episode, Tyrion demanded trial by combat. Jamie, somewhat lame now without his right hand will not be able to act as Tyrion’s champion. Meanwhile, Cersei has chosen the horrific Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane to be her champion. The same man who once stuck his own brother’s head in a fire because his brother was playing with one of his toys….
That badly burned brother, Sandor “The Hound” Clegane, continues to give Arya life lessons. Jon has to deal with the ridiculous politics of the Night’s Watch. Danaerys continues to grow as a leader. Melisandre shows some of her parlor tricks to Stanis’s wife. Brienne finds out some new information that steers her toward her goal. Even though Cersei buys off Bronn to make finding a champion near impossible for Tyrion, a champion is found regardless, and in the most unlikely of people…Meanwhile, Littlefinger shows his true colors.
When I first started writing regularly for tvfortherestofus and veering away from writing for thewinchesterfamilybusiness, it was because my passion had become Revolution. I loved that show. I still do and although I know that the chances of it getting picked up by another network are slim at best, I can’t help but hope that it is still possible. That on some other channel we might continue to see the Matheson/Monroe struggle to make the world better. I bring up Revolution now because one of the constant concerns for me with the show was the lack of balance in the storytelling juggling all the different storylines. It seemed like there were too many things going on—too many characters we had to follow—too much time taken away from story lines we wanted to know more about leading to undeveloped or in some cases story lines dropped entirely. When I see a show like Game of Thrones, I want to get the writers to write for Revolution or at least show the writers how to intertwine character arcs, how to fuse character story lines even when they seem so scattered. Writing this review and reading my notes taken while watching, I am amazed at how many characters we saw in the episode, how many stories lines we got pieces of during this one hour show. Watching it the show didn’t seem scattered. I had forgotten just how much all the story lines advanced in just this one episode.
In “Mockingbird” we saw a lot of characters all on their own paths with very little overlap yet. Things are working toward each other. The episode started with Jamie and Tyrion. What I love about these scenes is that Jamie always seems like a better person when he is around his brother. Tyrion seems to bring out the best of Jamie. We realize this here, when Tyrion is trying to explain why he couldn’t do what Jamie asked, but also when Oberyn tells Tyrion the story later of first meeting Tyrion. We find that Jamie was protecting Tyrion and defending Tyrion from their sister even then. Jamie tells Tyrion that Cersei has chosen the Mountain as her champion. Essentially because the Mountain just likes mutilating and killing things. He is happy as long as he is able to inflict pain and death on others.
A bit of a scary thing was how easily Arya was able to kill the guy that they found at the scene who had inflicted pain and trouble on the group Arya had been with. She took the knowledge just given to her by the Hound as far as where the heart was and just killed him that quickly. Arya isn’t entirely a killer though, she didn’t kill the man that had been hurt and left for dead. The Hound felt taking him out was a mercy. Arya seemed to agree, although she didn’t just kill him. I can’t help but think that being around the Hound the amount of time she has been isn’t very good for her personality or her idea of morals.
Jon made it back to the Night’s Watch, much to the chagrin of Sir Alliser Thorne, but as his name implies, he continues to be a thorn in Jon’s side (sorry, I couldn’t help myself). Sir Alliser won’t heed Jon’s advice, and makes sure that no one else will side with him as well. But Jon knows what he is talking about. Manse and the Wildlings are coming. And they are coming for Castle Black. Sure Castle Black and the Wall have stood for thousands of years and the Night’s Watch have defended it during that whole time, but never has the Night’s Watch been so few, never have they had so much of the Wall unmanned.
Tyrion is again visited, this time by Bronn, who is sporting a new look, and speaks of his impending marriage. Cersei has paid him off to make sure that he does not act as Tyrion’s champion. Bronn shows up to see if he can get more out of Tyrion ,who just doesn’t have anything he can offer Bronn.
Daario visits Danaerys and she actually does take him up on his offer. It is interesting seeing her wield her power this way. In the beginning with Drogo, she had no control over her sexuality, and definitely no power over it. She learned more about that as things went on and found the power she had. Now, she has gotten to the point where she isn’t just using sex to have power in the bedroom as a way of pleasing her husband but is learning how to use sex to exercise her power in general. Here she shows her ability to manipulate a situation, and uses this power. In that sense, she has power over at least two men. Daario, who she really cannot trust, as he was a sellsword. Does he feel he got his way? Does he think he has power? Danaerys just sent him on a mission to take out the Masters in the cities she already conquered to make sure they don’t take over the cities and enslave the people again.
The other person Danaerys has power over is Joras, who was not in the least bit impressed with Danaerys sleeping with Daario. He did come off as jealous, or maybe closer to envious, as Danaerys is not interested in him that way, other than as her advisor. At first, he assumed like any would that Danaerys had fallen prey to Daario’s charms . He learns that she did not, that she is using Daarion for a mission. But he sees that what her idea for keeping her people whose chains she broke free is also tyrannical. What I thought was great was that Danaerys actually listened to him. He presented a solid argument and it changed her mind. Well, not entirely changed it, she did still want Daario to go but the Masters wouldn’t just be murdered on the strength of them being Masters. If they chose to go by what Danaerys wanted them to do, they would not be harmed.
Brienne in her usual belligerent way brings up Sansa at a tavern to see if she can find out information on where she is. I agreed totally with Pod, who felt that Brienne shouldn’t be shouting out the name of someone wanted by the Lannisters so freely. It could get them killed. Brienne’s straightforwardness pays off though. They don’t find out information on Sansa Stark, but Brienne now knows that Arya is still alive and that the Hound has her and is going to ransom her. Pod explains that the only place to bring her would be to her last remaining family member—her Aunt Lysa, Catelyn’s sister. This gives Brienne a direction…
Meanwhile, at the Eyrie, Sansa gets into an argument with Robin, who ruined her snow castle of Winterfell. Littlefinger kisses Sansa and reveals that he loved Catelyn and that Sansa is more beautiful than Catelyn ever was. Lysa saw the exchange and overcome with rage threatens Sansa with the moon door…Littlefinger, as he is always able to do, calms down Lysa and then happily tosses Lysa out the moon door.
But since I didn’t really like crazy Lysa anyway, I think the thing that was the most moving for me was the wonderful scene between Tyrion and his final visitor in the episode—Oberyn Martell. Oberyn talks to Tyrion about seeing Tyrion for the first time and what a disappointment he was. He was promised that Tyrion was a monster, and it turns out that he was only a little baby. A little baby that the world and his own sister, tormented merely for being born a bit different. Oberyn wants revenge for his sister Elia’s death…specifically, the death of her children, then her rape and eventual murder. And since these acts were done by the Mountain, taking out the Mountain is a perfect place to start for his vengeance. Oberyn tells Tyrion that he will be Tyrion’s champion. It is a wonderful moment. Also a moment where I have to say that I really have fallen in love with Pedro Pascal’s acting. I love the complexities of Oberyn, and Tyrion. I think Pedro and Peter Dinklage are both amazing in the fullness they have brought to both of these characters. Here we have two men who delight in the fine points of life, and it becomes clear as we learn more and more about them that they do in an effort to escape their always running brain. Both of these men are too smart for what is probably their own good. I love how both are so underestimated. People are quick to think “simple minds, simple pleasures” but that isn’t the case. I think that it takes over-thinking and obsession to make you truly appreciate the little things and the simplicity they offer—an escape from the over analyzing recesses of our minds. I am so excited for next week’s episode I’m actually very sad over the fact that there is no new episode this week!
Let me know what you thought of the episode! Screencap from grandecaps.tumblr.com