5.22.2014

Game of Thrones S4E7 “Mockingbird” [Thirteen Things]


SPOILERS AHEAD

1)   The Eyrie is still not in the opening credits!

2)   “No. Not Ser Meryn.” That’s a great scene between the Lannister boys, from their honesty about all Jaime’s done, to mutual spite for Tywin, all bouncing between small bouts of humor and a sense of dread. These Lannister boys are so entrenched in being Lannisters, and Tywin’s worldview, that it’s like they both have to hit rock bottom before their paradigms shift. I will say that I don’t like the new actor cast as The Mountain at all, he’s sort of cartoony big and simple, and doesn’t look like he could be related to The Hound as much as the old actor did.

3)   For some reason, I just really loved Arya and The Hound’s ability to be completely honest with the dying man. They’re honest about his prognosis, who Arya is, and what The Hound is doing with her. I love when the old man says “There’s no balance anymore.” No shit! Welcome to Westeros. Arya’s sense of fatalism is growing too, as is her swift skill, almost to the point you think she’s ready to fly solo. Once again, the show dupes us into rooting for her as she makes a glorious kill, and we really shouldn’t be.

4)   The Hound is also wounded. This is important. It’s one of only three moments that really push the show forward and set up things to come.

5)   “Have you ever seen a giant, Ser Alliser?” Jon is growing bolder, a man of experience rather than a man of position or titles, and you can almost sense the power dynamic shifting in his favor. There’s a moment of hesitation where the First Builder seems to want to side with him, but caves to pressure from Ser Alliser.

6)   Bronn is the ultimate sellsword. Zero Loyalty. At the end of the day, that lingering handshake is hard to watch, two men who totally get each other and can amicably part company. Tyrion respects Bronn for staying true to himself, even though Bronn doesn’t stay true to Tyrion. I like this succession of visitors to Tyrion’s cell as well, Jaime, Bronn, and Oberyn, all would-be champions with different outcomes.

7)   I like Dany’s power play. It’s SO sexy without even showing sex or a naked female. I try not to regurgitate what other writers say, but Sean T. Collins had a line about Dany staring at Daario’s exposed Naharis that I just can’t unhear now!

8)   Jorah and Dany have a really good scene, one that exhibits their complex relationship. Obviously Dany doesn’t quite reciprocate Jorah’s desires, but she also recognizes him as her most important advisor. They come to a philosophical compromise here as Dany understands that you can’t just kill everyone who disagrees with you, or eventually you’ll have nobody left to rule.

9)   HOT PIE! That was a fun surprise. This inn he works at is turning into something you’d see in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, The Inn At The End Of The World, a dark crossroads where all pivotal events seem to touch. Podrick and Brienne make such a good team, total buddy cop drama. I say we lobby for a remake of Lethal Weapon starring these two.

10) Prince Oberyn Martell’s story of meeting infant Tyrion is one of the most touching things I’ve heard from the show, enough that even Tyrion starts to well up. It’s a testament to Tyrion’s reality, about a poor guy who has literally been despised since birth, by the people who were closest to him and supposed to care for him. “That’s not a monster. That’s just a baby.”

11) As if the episode couldn’t pull at enough heartstrings, Sansa seeing snow and getting a small taste of home. Awwwww! I gotta’ say, I like Littlefinger’s parenting style if he approves of Sansa smacking Robin Arryn. Littlefinger tries to be so smooth here, his attempt to play Sansa by suggesting that the only reason he had Joffrey killed was because he’d slighted Littlefinger’s great love, Catelyn Stark, is a thing of manipulative beauty. Littlefinger’s ultimate play here is a good one. He’s just become the de facto ruler in The Vale, and since he assumes Tyrion will soon be dead, that frees up Sansa for a betrothal and an heirship to Winterfell. Petyr probably figures he’s going to rule the entire north, from Bear Island to The Fingers.

12) The Eyrie has quickly become Dysfunction Junction. Not a healthy pairing in sight. Lysa & Robin is creepy. Sansa & Robin is creepy.  Sansa & Petyr is creepy. Peter & Lysa is creepy. Sansa & Lysa is creepy. It’s all just chaos. Well, like Petyr said, chaos is a ladder. Or a Moon Door…

13) I think the dominant theme for this episode is truth. Blunt, harsh, unexpected, honest truth, that when uttered hits like a ton of bricks. Every scene is infected with it. Tyrion is honest with Jaime about who he is, Arya and The Hound are honest with the old man, Petyr is honest with Lysa about who he loves, Dany is honest with what she wants from Daario, Oberyn’s story is all about honesty vs. perception, Brienne is honest with Hot Pie, Hit Pie is in turn honest with Brienne and Pod, Bronn is honest with Tyrion, Jorah speaks truth to power with Dany, etc., etc., etc. When it’s all about truth, titling the episode “Mockingbird” is nothing short of genius. Well, with only three episodes remaining this season, I count at least three major events that still need to occur, or shoot – maybe four depending on how soon they’re going to (re)introduce something that spins out of The Red Wedding.

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