The Ninjabot

Watch Your Step Out the Moon Door! Game of Thrones, “Mockingbird” Review

Posted on May 19, 2014 at 10:43 am by Amanda Andonian

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Although it probably goes without saying, there are show spoilers (but not book spoilers) ahead in the following review. For those who have read A Song of Ice and Fire and know what’s coming next, please don’t jump the gun in the comments or pick apart this review based on knowledge of the books. It’s purposely written for those who have not read the books.

This week on Game of Thrones, “Mockingbird,” it was a Stark-tastic episode. Arya learned more about killing people, Sansa got a lesson in that too, and Jon was thanked for his service in the Night’s Watch by being thoroughly ignored. Meanwhile, the Red Woman got naked, Tyrion exhausted his extremely short list of allies while looking for a champion, and Danaerys got her groove back.

Spoilers Ahead!

Last time on Game of Thrones, we were left with a stirring speech from Tyrion condemning his accusers and demanding a trial by combat. Jaime is furious, of course, after having his brother throw their father’s olive branch back his face, but it doesn’t take him long to come around to Tyrion’s way of thinking. Yes, Tyrion could have pled guilty and gone to the Wall, but then Tywin would have won, and there’s little that Tywin’s children hate more than letting their father win.

Unfortunately, this moment of brotherly bonding is quickly shattered by Tyrion’s realization that Jaime can’t possibly be his champion. It’s actually somewhat heartwarming (if saddening) to see the hope in Tyrion’s eyes, still illogically convinced that his brother can save him at the last moment. Jaime brings his younger brother back down to earth, however—there’s no way he can beat a stableboy with his left hand, let alone the champion that Cersei has in mind. In a move that says, “I’m not taking ANY chances that my brother will survive this,” Cersei brought the Mountain That Rides back to King’s Landing: the monstrous Gregor Clegane.

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If the scene in which he slaughters relatively helpless prisoners was not enough to convince us that Gregor Clegane is a psychotic killer, we then turn to Arya and the Hound on their travels. In a moment of rare vulnerability, the Hound admits to Arya that his older brother was the one who gave him the horrible burn scars on his face. It wasn’t just the reality of his face burning off that hurt the Hound—it was the awful realization that his own brother would do something like that to him over something as inconsequential as sharing toys. It almost makes Cersei look like the “sweet sister” Tyrion sarcastically labels her, if not for the fact that she’s doing everything in power to make sure he dies.

In her quest to ensure that Tyrion has no one to stand for him, Cersei even buys off Bronn, answering the question of whether he’d serve as Tyrion’s champion again. Although it’s a little sad to see Bronn go, we’re also reminded that he’s still a mercenary, and thus really only out for himself. Bronn may have served Tyrion well in the past, and even become something of a friend, but he was happy to do so only while Tyrion’s star was rising. With no one left to stand for him, it seems that Tyrion is as good as dead. Or is he?!? Enter Oberyn Martell, who’s finally found the opening he needs to get revenge for his sister. The Mountain will fight on the side of the Crown? Then Oberyn is more than willing to stand up as Tyrion’s champion for the chance to kill his sister’s rapist and murderer.

While that offer is the climax of an incredibly tense moment, it’s Oberyn’s story of Cersei’s childhood cruelty, when Tyrion was just an infant, that truly carries the scene. Even as it gives us further insight into the rivalry between Tyrion and Cersei, it also uncovers the pain and misery that both siblings have suffered all their lives. For Tyrion, nothing has hurt him more than the knowledge that his family hates him and blames him for the death of his mother. To hear those words from the mouth of a relative stranger only rubs additional salt into a wound that had never really healed. Though it’s appalling to hear that Cersei would torture an infant the way that she did Tyrion, we see that her viciousness was borne out of grief over her mother’s death. She’s still far from sympathetic, but perhaps Cersei never had a chance to become a good person at all?

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Finally, the real “holy crap” moment comes! Back at the Eyrie, Sansa is growing more accustomed to her new life up in the mountains, making snow castles and generally having a good time until her cousin has a tantrum and destroys her mini Winterfell. She slaps him, he runs to tell mommy, and Petyr Baelish creepily comes out from spying to make a move on Sansa mere moments after opining that she might have been his daughter in another life. Not gross at all! Apparently everyone likes to spy on each other in the Eyrie because Lysa sees the whole thing and then threatens to throw Sansa out the Moon Door. Subsequently, in a move that elicited cheers from everyone everywhere, Petyr gets all Medieval on Lysa’s ass and throws her out the Moon Door instead; but not before sticking the proverbial knife in her back by telling her he never loved her. Damn that’s cold, Littlefinger.

Oh, and this stuff happened too:

  • Danaerys and Daario had one of the most passionless hookups I’ve ever seen on HBO. Come on, guys, we know you can do better.
  • Jon gets back to Castle Black where Allister Thorne is still being an asshat, and the other brothers of the Night’s Watch refuse to listen to Jon’s advice about shoring up their defenses in the face of 100,000 wildlings. That can’t possibly end badly!
  • Brienne and Podrick run into Hotpie, who tells them he saw Arya. They decide to head to the Eyrie, figuring that it’ll be the most likely place to find a missing Stark. And they’d be right!
  • Melisandre takes a bath. I honestly don’t know what the point of that conversation was, except to show her topless. Maybe the writers should have used that time to convince us that Danaerys and Daario actually like each other instead?

What did you think of last night’s episode? Tell us in the comments!

“Mockingbird” – B

Game of Thrones: Season 4 Episode 7, “Mockingbird” aired May 18th, 2014 on HBO.

You can follow Amanda on Twitter at @reiko516 for more geek news.

Please Note – Due the nature of this show being inconsistent with the books’ timeline in terms of plot, we want to remind everyone that there is a zero tolerance policy regarding spoilers in the comments. Keep discussions relevant to the show only!

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