Game of Thrones S04
Game of Thrones S04E07: “Mockingbird”

Yet another eminently watchable episode building to something fantastic. Ever since the events of the Royal Wedding, we've been treated to clockwork machinations coming into play one after the other. Characters shine right off the screen, and not a second is wasted with pointless filler.

Rating  

The champions are named for the trial by combat.

[do action=”play-by-play-spoilers”/]

[do action=”moment” emo=”Bloody” title=”Gregor ‘The Mountain’ Clegane, ladies and gentlemen.”/]

I’ve read the novels and in general I feel the TV show has better characterization, pacing, and plotting than the books. But if there’s one thing I miss from the books, it’s Gregor Clegane, the Mountain that Rides. Clegane is the embodiment of everything that’s brutal and merciless about Westeros. This scene, one of the few featuring him in the show, is a great example of this, as he disembowels opponents with brutal efficiency. Having Cersei casually step over fresh spilled intestines was a really nice touch.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Badass” title=”Arya learns where the heart is.”/]

I should feel sad that Arya Stark, a mere child, is becoming so callous and bloody-minded as to watch a man die a slow and painful death; but you gotta admit it’s really cathartic, somehow. The Hound’s clever lesson on where the heart is was a cold, brilliant little moment of storytelling between the two.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Heartbreaking” title=”Not you too, Bronn!”/]

I didn’t care at all when Shae betrayed Tyrion. But Bronn? Man, that hurts. I love that they still settle the issue like gentlemen. And you gotta admit: Bronn makes a pretty good point regarding his odds against Gregor Clegane. Bronn has been such a refreshing character; honest to a fault, and honestly selfish. I hope we see more of him.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Interesting” title=”Ser Jorah changes Daenrys’s mind.”/]

I didn’t care for Daenerys lusting after Daario’s cock, but her discussion of mercy and the evils of slavery with Ser Jorah was really nice. I love that a small act of mercy by Ned Stark has led to Jorah potentially saving the lives of hundreds by swaying Daenerys’s opinion. It’s great to see Daenerys changing her mind instead of assuaging her divine rule and perfect wisdom like she always does. There’s still nothing here that greatly advances the plot, but it was a nice character moment all the same.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Intense” title=”‘The pain was bad. The smell was worse.'”/]

In an unexpected moment of tenderness, the Hound opens up to Arya by recalling how his brother Gregor Clegane burned off his face over a childhood misunderstanding. It’s a rare show of weakness for the Hound, which makes his and Arya’s messed-up friendship all the more fascinating. This pair is one of the most interesting this season.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Happy” title=”It’s Hot Pie!!”/]

Brienne and Podrick stop in an inn and run into none other than Hot Pie! Sweet. These two are having such a grand adventure, but I fear for the worst now that their road is leading them directly towards Petyr Baelish in the Vale.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Intense” title=”The Red Viper of Dorne will be Tyrion’s champion.”/]

What an amazing scene between Prince Oberyn and Tyrion. And now Tyrion has a fighting chance, although we can’t take anything for granted given who Oberyn is going to face. Let’s hope his reputation as a skilled fighter is well-deserved.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Quotable” title=”‘A lot can happen between now and never.'”/]

Ladies and gentlemen, Petyr Baelish, the most quotable character on this show. He just keeps hitting those out of the park. I’m always amazed, too, by how incredibly clever he is, yet when it all comes down to it, he’s guided by unrequited childhood love.

[do action=”moment” emo=”Triumphant” title=”Fly, Lysa Arryn!”/]

Of all the satisfying scenes in Game of Thrones, seeing Lysa Arryn tossed out of her own Moon Door has to rank way up there. I can’t believe that psycho woman was the great Catelyn Stark’s sister. The look on her face as Littlefinger told her he only ever loved her sister was worth all this build-up; and now, we can only hope her idiot son will follow her lead.


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