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- Episode: Mockingbird (Season 4 Episode 7)
- Starring: Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey
- Written By: David Benioff, D.B. Weiss
- Directed By: Alik Sakharov
- Network: HBO
- Studio: Home Box Office (HBO), Television 360, Grok! Studio
GAME OF THRONES: Mockingbird Review
GOT continues to raise the bar
By Jarrett Kruse
May 21, 2014
GOT is pretty fluent at setting up things for future episodes and tonight’s installment is no exception. Even what some fans may call “slow” episodes do a great job of weaving the complex narrative that makes for remarkable TV. That being said, GOT continues to raise the bar on what we have come to expect from the gold standard of pay cable. No one is safe in Westeros and that has become the edict by which the narrative unfolds. While I am sometimes jealous at the devout readers of the massive tomes and advanced knowledge of what comes next, I am always impressed by the time the credits begin to roll on the show.
So I really dropped the ball last week with forgetting about the two previous onscreen trials by combat and for that I apologize. The good news is I went back and re-watched the two episodes to bone up on the practice. Hey, we all screw up sometime and its pretty easy when reviewing GOT. In King’s Landing, Tyrion is back in the dungeon with Jaime who lets him know just how in deep he is after his powerful plea to the prosecution. By requesting a trial by combat, none of Tywin’s wishes can be achieved immediately. After all, the senior Lannister is the puppeteer of the clan and he was swift in striking an agreement with Jaime last week during a recess from the proceedings. I thought that it was another outstanding performance by Dinklage who shines as he tells his brother that he was the golden son, not him. In his eyes, this fate seems to be the foregone conclusion Tywin always hoped for his imp son that caused the death of his wife.
After balking at being Tyrion’s champion for the trial by combat, he is left to seek out someone for the task as they will be facing The Mountain. Naturally since he helped him before, Tyrion entertains a visit from his loyal friend Bronn. Showing up in new duds and a pending marriage, Bronn breaks it to Tyrion that he is not his man for the job. Not this time. I was not super clear on who was behind Bronn’s new fortunes but they do mention Cersei in the cell so its a good bet that its her. Near the end of the episode, Prince Oberyn visits Tyrion and tells him a heart-wrenching tale of when his family visited the Lannister’s years ago. The Prince regales his story and how a young Cersei was pure evil from the start. Oberyn and his siblings were promised to see a freak baby they had heard so much about. It was difficult to digest but Oberyn seemed to show genuine disgust at Cersei’s actions even after all these years. Tyrion crying was something I did not expect to see. Wasn’t full blown crying but the story Oberyn told was pretty tough to hear. Seeming to find a kinship (and maybe a death wish), Oberyn volunteers to be Tyrion’s champion. While that is good for now, taking on The Mountain will be no mean feat. Oberyn wants his revenge for his sister and he wants it sooner than later.
At Meereen, Dany is dealing with Daario after he gets into her secret chamber. After asking him to strip, I think its safe to say that Daario got into another secret chamber. Well, if they did it, it was offscreen. When Jorah comes to meet Dany, the advisor talks her out of slaughtering the masters of Yunkai. She is quick to note, “they can live in my new world or they can die in their old one.” Still, with only three hours left in the season, it may be time to stop posturing and lead her massive army to battle. Dany’s character arc continues to show great depth especially when you compare it to the first season.
The Hound and Arya are walking the beaten path when they come across a man stabbed through his belly. It appears that Tywin’s bounty for Hound has sent men looking for them throughout the countryside. After being attacked from behind, Hound kills one man when the other stands there scared. Arya recognizes the man as one of the prisoners from last season. Hound asks, “is he on your list?” to which she replies “I don’t know his name.” After divulging his name, Arya uses Needle to pierce his chest just like Hound taught her. It may be an odd pair but Hound and Arya have really had an interesting ride this season. When Hound needs help tending to a wound, the precocious Arya is eager to help him. It is sweet and innocent but also speaks to how they have become partners in this journey.
The Dragonstone storyline is starting to kind of annoy me. Besides an odd conversation between Melisandre and Selyse, their was really not much to take in. I know that something is brewing but its tough to focus on it. Hopefully we will see more witchy Red Woman spookiness before season’s end. Brienne and Pod are on a mission to find Sansa and upon stopping for food, they are introduced to…Hot Pie! Its been a while since we’ve seen him but it looks like he is doing OK. After going on and on about his kidney pie, Hot Pie unwittingly gives some information to the pair divulging that Arya is indeed alive. This new information leads Pod to tell Brienne that finding Arya and possibly Sansa lies with The Eyrie where the Stark girls only living relative resides—Aunt Lysa.
Sansa seems to be adjusting to life at The Eyrie as best she can when she sculpts a snowy version of Winterfell. Robin comes and ruins what she built by stomping through it like Godzilla. Is anyone else supremely creeped out by this kid? Maybe it was all that breastfeeding while standing that has made him so bizarre and weird. When Littlefinger sees what has happened, he consoles Sansa by planting one on her and telling the redhead how much he loved Cat. Off in the distance in a terrific shot is Aunt Lysa watching what looks like they are making out. Yikes. When Sansa is summoned to Lysa, the crazy aunt puts the poor Stark girl in harms way by holding her down over the Moon Door. When Littlefinger enters, what happens next was pretty epic and is sure to make some waves. I have to think that Lysa’s fate had been on Littlefinger’s to do list for a while now. No show next week because of the holiday but we’ll be back in two weeks.