Tonight on Game of Thrones, new alliances were forged, and others were thrown aside. Check out our book readers recap and feel free to stop by our comments section below to let us know what you thought of tonight’s episode, “Mockingbird.”
Spoiler Note: This post is for those who have read the A Song of Ice and Fire series. As such the post itself and the comments will contain spoilers. If you haven’t read the books yet, you can discuss this episode in our non-book-reader recap. Thanks!
We start off this week’s episode in Tyrion’s prison cell, with Jaime giving his brother hell for throwing down the gauntlet at the trial. Tyrion admits he fell in love with Shae, and that his actions were partly driven by the desire to rob his father of the perfect deal he’d crafted; Tyrion won’t be exiled to the Wall, and Tywin won’t get to have Jaime as his heir after all.
But in spite of everything that has happened, Tyrion does still have faith in one person in the world- his big brother. When Tyrion expresses the hope that Jaime will be his champion, the Kingslayer’s forced to admit he’s still not able to fight well enough with one hand. He can’t do it, and so Tyrion has one person left to turn to- Bronn.
Jaime then reveals who his champion will be facing: the infamous Ser Gregor Clegane, also known as the Mountain.
Cersei approaches as the Mountain trains using captive peasants as dummies, disemboweling the men during his practice. She welcomes him back to King’s Landing for the duel ahead, and the knight makes it clear he doesn’t even care who he’s there to fight.
Journeying toward the Vale, Arya and the Hound come upon a gravely wounded old man who has already accepted his death. They exchange words, with Arya revealing her true name to the doomed man. The man asks for a drink from the Hound, who gives it to him- along with a clean stab through heart, ending the man’s prolonged suffering, and demonstrating to Arya the proper way to kill.
As the Hound stands, he is suddenly jumped from behind by Biter, the prisoner last seen accompanying Jaqen H’ghar in Harrehal. He lays his sharpened teeth into the Hound’s neck, but the Hound knocks him off, and breaks the man’s neck. His partner in crime from the Harrenhal days, Rorge, jumps into the fray with sword in hand, and reveals there’s a fat bounty on the Hound’s head now as a result of him killing the Lannister soldiers at the inn. Arya recognizes Rorge, though she doesn’t know his name and he isn’t on her list. He offers his name, and she immediately stabs him through the heart with Needle.
Jon and the surviving Night’s Watchmen returning to the Wall, with a less than warm welcome from Ser Alliser Thorne. The men of the Watch discuss the impending invasion and their potential weaknesses in a meeting, with Jon Snow pressing the need to seal off the tunnels under the Wall. Thorne opposes Jon all the way, enlisting the First Builder Othell Yarwyck in agreement, and dismissing Jon’s valid concerns.
Several days after Tyrion sent for him, Bronn finally stops by to see him, with his circumstances considerably improved, based on his rich new clothes. Bronn’s loyalty has always been for sale, and Cersei has apparently made an offer. The sellsword will be marrying the noblewoman Lollys Stokeworth, unless Tyrion can make a better offer. Bronn considers Tyrion’s possible future repayment of a debt, and acknowledges he might be able to take the Mountain if he tires the huge man out… but he might also get killed. He likes Tyrion very much, but he won’t risk his life for him. The two men part sadly, their friendly relationship irrevocably changed.
At night in Meereen, Daario Naharis sneaks into Dany’s chambers to present her with fresh flowers, but the khaleesi is not impressed. The man admits he is there to ask a favor: he is chafing at the inactivity, and wishes to do what he excels at, which generally involves fighting or women. He pleads to be sent to kill for her. Dany makes a counteroffer, and allows him to do what else he does best- and has him strip.
Queen Selyse visits Melisandre in her room and finds the Red Woman in her bath. In a change of roles, it’s the queen who is fetching items to bring to the other woman’s tub. Melisandre relaxes and attempts to joke with the stiff queen, with little success. The red priestess explains her array of potions and the nature of deceptions, and how it’s unnecessary for Selyse with her understanding of truth. Selyse is still concerned about Shireen coming with them when they depart, due to her lack of faith in R’hllor, but Melisandre shows Selyse the flames. Shireen must come with them on their journey.
The morning after her dalliance with Daario, Jorah spies the sellsword leaving her chambers. He questions the wisdom of getting involved with a man like him, but she informs Jorah she has sent Daario to retake Yunkai and slay all the Masters this time. Jorah counsels her to use restraint, as a model to the others in the city who have only known brutality, and Daenerys is swayed to his reasoning. Dany decides that Hizdahr zo Loraq will accompany Daario to Yunkai, and they will attempt to use persuasion on the Masters of Yunkai.
The Hound is especially irritable when we see him and Arya on their travels again. The wound Biter left on his neck may be infected, and he cannot tolerate fire anywhere near him to help cleanse and close the bite. The Hound shares with Arya the cause of his horrible scars and his fear of fire, and that the culprit was his own brother, Gregor. Affected by the tale he tells, Arya tends to the Hound’s wound.
After a few weeks on the road, Brienne and Pod stop at an inn for a hot meal and encounter a chatty employee that viewers will recognize as Arya’s pal, Hot Pie. Brienne questions him if he’s seen a girl matching Sansa’s description. The baker boy recognizes the name Stark, but clams up suspiciously. Brienne tries to reassure him, by telling Hot Pie she pledged herself to Catelyn, but he hurries off.
Pod senses that openly mentioning Sansa Stark may be a mistake, given the current situation. As they saddle up, Hot Pie runs after them outside and tells them about Arya, last seen with a man they realize must be the Hound. He presents them with a piece of wolf bread to give to Arya. Pod and Brienne decide that the Vale is where they’ll head next.
Tyrion receives a third and somewhat surprising visitor in his cell- Oberyn Martell. The Dornishman tells the tale of how as a child he met baby Tyrion, after having heard tell of the monster that had been born to the Lannisters. Young Cersei presented her little brother to the Dornish children cruelly, Oberyn relates, telling the others how Tyrion killed their mother, with her pinching the baby until Jaime made her stop. It seems that Cersei really has hated Tyrion his entire life.
Snow has fallen on the Eyrie, and Sansa is playing like a child, rebuilding Winterfell as a snow castle. Her cousin Robin joins her, and proposes building a Moon Door in her snow Winterfell. The situation escalates when the boy destroys a tower. Sansa admonishes him, and he lashes out, kicking the entire Winterfell recreation to pieces. Sansa slaps him and regrets it, but the boy runs off, crying.
Littlefinger finds her outside distraught, and reassures her that Robin needed a slapping. Sansa questions Lord Baelish frankly as to why he really killed Joffrey, and he admits, “I loved your mother more than you could ever know. Given the opportunity, what do we do to those who hurt the ones we love?”
Drawing closer to Sansa, Littlefinger kisses her.
And from above, Lysa sees.
Summoned to the main chamber of the Eyrie, Sansa finds Lysa standing by the Moon Door, ruminating over its height and the devastating effect of the fall on bodies.
Lysa confronts Sansa about her actions- not hitting Robin, but kissing Petyr. Dragging Sansa to the edge, Lysa is heartbroken and screaming at her niece, with her holding Sansa’s head over the Moon Door. Littlefinger arrives in the nick of time and demands his wife let Sansa go. Lysa breaks down sobbing, and throws Sansa back from the edge.
Littlefinger takes her into his arms and comforts Lysa, telling her, “I have only loved one woman. Only one my entire life.”
And with that, he shoves her through the Moon Door, to her death.
What I Liked
Tyrion’s Cell Scenes– The three scenes seeking a champion were all very strong, with the Tyrion-Oberyn scene my favorite scene of the episode. The look on Peter Dinklage’s face when Oberyn was telling the story about baby Tyrion was a heartbreaker. And the farewell for Tyrion and Bronn’s friendship was just right, in character and not too maudlin.
Restoring the Hound’s story– Never did feel right, letting someone else tell his story. I’m happy Rory McCann finally got a crack at telling the origin of the Hound’s scars. It’s good timing of course, with Gregor’s return. Which reminds me…
The reintroduction of Gregor Clegane– It’s not the most subtle way to reestablish someone is a Bad Guy, chopping up peasants, but then the Mountain never was a subtle villain. Just brutal carnage and very suitable for the introduction of Hafthor Bjornsson in the role.
Using faces we know– If you’re going to show people traveling through Westeros and encountering someone, why not show a familiar face like Hot Pie? It was a neat surprise. With the same logic, it was good to use Biter and Rorge in the Hound and Arya’s story if we weren’t going to be getting the entirety of Brienne’s journey.
The Eyrie’s creepy shenanigans – Kate Dickie is wild fun as Lysa, and Littlefinger is doing his thing, and I love seeing Sansa on her toes, at her best.
What I Didn’t Like
“Your sister.” – Yes, this is a major nitpick and it will not ruin this scene at all for me. But I just don’t see the point in changing the quote from “Only Cat” to “Your sister.” It’s not like the audience doesn’t know who Cat or Catelyn is anymore.
Muddled Melisandre scene- Was there a point to having her be in the tub in that scene? I’m not opposed to nudity in general but the whole scene was strange, with the priestess seeming far more casual than her usual self. She’s laying out all her secrets as far as the powders and how she’s creating illusions, and just assuming Selyse will be fine with having been deceived about some of her abilities? Perhaps she wants to keep Selyse off-balance, so that’s why she was erratic, but the scene was just weird.