TV Review: Game of Thrones Season 4 (Mockingbird)

Mockingbird by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss

Warning: Major Spoilers!

This episode had the highest viewing figures of any Game of Thrones episode so far, and its a pretty deserving 50 minutes.

Leading on from last part of The Laws of Gods and Men, a major chunk of this episode was spent on Tyrion’s hunt for a champion to represent him in the trial by combat. It doesn’t prove as easy as he’d hoped, as Jaime refuses because he can barely fight with his left hand and worse, the man Cersei has chosen as her champion is none other than the Mountain (the Hound’s older brother) who Jaime stands no chance of beating. Tyrion’s hopes are further dashed when his mercenary friend Bronn also declines, having become engaged to Lollys Stokeworth, a daughter from a rich family, and thus doesn’t need Tyrion’s money any longer. Bronn’s clearly sorry for Tyrion but as he says ‘i like you, i just like myself more’ unwilling to risk his life against a fighter as strong as the Mountain (who is first shown in this episode slaughtering a load of prisoners in spectacularly brutal fashion, and then proclaiming to Cersei it doesn’t matter who he fights, the result will be the same). However Tyrion’s salvation arrives from an unexpected quarter: Oberyn Martell, who wants to use the trial by combat to kill the Mountain after getting him to confess to Oberyn’s sister’s murder. The relief on Tyrion’s face is perfectly played by Peter Dinklage in this scene.

Elsewhere there were some amusing scenes; Brienne and Pod encountering Hot Pie, one of Arya’s friends from seasons 2 and 3, who (after droning on about kidney pie for an eternity…) helps set them on the right path. Funnier still was the scene where Daenerys finally slept with Daario (my flatmate Jaz couldn’t stop laughing at two lines – Daenerys telling Daario ‘take off your clothes’ and Daario gleefully informing Jorah the next morning that ‘the Queen’s in a good mood’). The best other storyline of note was when Arya and the Hound encountered an injured old man, who after a brief discussion the Hound mercy killed, only to be attacked by Rorge and Biter, two murderers who got on the wrong side of Arya in season 2. The Hound kills Biter after being wounded, and Arya recognises Rorge, who isn’t on her list because she doesn’t know his name. After Rorge tells her, Arya coldly stabs him through the heart (another villain bites the dust) in one of her most ruthless moments. She then attempts to help the wounded hound, who won’t let her close the wound in his shoulder because of his fear of fire. The relationship between the two of them is still one of the most compelling pairings on the show.

It’s the final part that this episode will be remembered for, as events take a sinister turn in the Vale with Lysa, Sansa and Littlefinger. Amongst such arch villains as Cersei, Ramsay and Walder Frey, Littlefinger isn’t always given the credit he deserves as a great villain (after all, as i reminded my flatmate, he is indirectly responsible for virtually everything from the war of five kings to the death of Ned Stark in series 1. Here he once again shows his true colours as he passionately kisses Sansa and admits he helped kill Joffrey partly to avenge her mother. Needless to say this doesn’t go down well with Lysa, who promptly confronts Sansa and holds her over the edge of the Moon Door, threatening to send her plummeting to her death (i played a cruel prank on Jaz here, commenting ‘well no starks have died yet this season…’ which immediately made her think Sansa’s time was up). Fortunately, Littlefinger talks the deranged Lysa down by saying how he has only loved one woman his entire life…her sister. Lysa however doesn’t have much time to be outraged/distraught/betrayed as the episode ends with Littlefinger shoving her out the Moon Door to her death… villains are dropping like flies this season!

Overall a great episode with a very strong ending, setting the stage nicely for the final trio of episodes.

Rating: 5 out of 5!

Next Time: The Wildings attack Mole’s town, Sansa makes a critical decision and the Viper and the Mountain face off with Tyrion’s life in the balance…

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One thought on “TV Review: Game of Thrones Season 4 (Mockingbird)

  1. patricksponaugle

    Tyrion had three great scenes in the cell, Jaime would help him if he could, but he can’t, and there’s his conflict of interests between himself and Tyrion and Cersei. Bronn and Tyrion have a really subtly emotional scene. We know Bronn’s a mercenary, but he is fond of Tyrion. I kind of choked up when Tyrion commented on should the Imp kill the Mountain what a song it would make, and Bronn replied “that’s a song I’d like to here.” It was very cool how those two parted way, with a certain understanding without judgment.

    But the electric scene was certainly Oberyn’s declaration that he would champion Tyrion. First from the really powerful story the Viper told Tyrion about meeting him at Casterly Rock when he was a little baby, and offended by Cersei’s cruelty. When I read the books, Oberyn’s decision to champion Tyrion was so surprising but totally believable. He wasn’t doing it for Tyrion, he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to combat the Mountain, his sister’s killer. Totally works.

    Thanks for putting out such a solid review of a great episode.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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