Game of Thrones 4×07, ‘Mockingbird’: I’ll fly away


Well, I guess I was a little too optimistic that we would start picking up the pace here, wasn’t I?  This is Game of Thrones, y’all!  I should know better!  Like Tyrion’s trial-by-combat was actually going to happen this week, pshh.  Week 7 brings us one of our most lurchingest, meanderingest, ploddingest episodes of the season, as seemingly everyone in Westeros gets two minutes of screen time — but not much more.  Ugh.  I keep hearing that Winter is Coming, but at this rate I’m guessing it’ll arrive somewhere around Christmas 2020. 

source: HBO

source: HBO

IN THIS EPISODE: Jaime refuses to be Tyrion’s champion; Lady Baratheon learns that Melisandre may be more of a clever scientist than an uncanny priestess of mystical forces; Arya stabs a dude while the Hound suffers an ugly wound; Bronn also refuses to be Tyrion’s champion, citing the precedent of The Mountain v. Everyone; Brienne and Podric eat the best pie, ever; Sansa slaps crazy cousin Robin for being a stroppy git, who then runs to mama; Dany continues to be the least interesting person on the show, despite bedding Dario and making everyone call her leadership into question; the Hound admits to some deep-seeded resentment toward his family for the way they treated him as a youth; the Mountain gets some pre-trial practice in by chopping several guys in half; Tyrion finally finds his champion in the hands of Oberyn Martell; Brienne and Pod change course after meeting an old friend of Arya’s on the road; Jon Snow is welcomed back to Castle Black as a hero, except for the elders, who persist in their ceaseless stupidity; Littlefinger finally reveals himself for the creep we all suspected him to be by forcing his face onto Sansa’s; Aunt Lyssa goes full-on cuckoo bananas before involuntarily taking the express elevator to the Eyrie’s street level.

This week everyone in Westeros is being forsaken by their trusted allies, only to find salvation in the of strangest places (and ways).  Tyrion this week is exactly where we left him, rotting in his cell and looking for a champion to help make his way out that keeps his dignity intact and his head affixed to his body.  Jaime and Bronn both remove themselves from consideration; Jaime for more obvious reasons due to his infirmity, but Bronn’s refusal was more painful to see.  Cersei had apparently made him a generous offer of potential title if he abstained from the trial, and the ever-savvy Bronn accepted because he was already going to turn Tyrion down one way or another; it hurt to see the dynamic duo of Tyrion and Bronn part ways, but when the sellsword tells his friend that the dependence in their relationship had grown too one-sided, it’s not hard to see the truth in it.  It’s a bittersweet scene, as Tyrion holds no grudge against his old pal and the two part on good terms, perhaps to never see each other again.  Thankfully, Prince Oberyn swoops in to save us all from a potential Tyrion/Mountain title card by accepting Tyrion’s burden, as we find out how deep Oberyn’s hatred of Cersei and her ginormous champion goes (answer: waaay deep).

source: HBO

source: HBO

I found Oberyn’s tale of being present at Casterly Rock shortly after Tyrion’s birth quite uncomfortable, and even without Lena Headey having much to do this week the presence of Cersei Lannister is ubiquitous in so many of our subplots; she is such a remarkable character, the apex of petty vanity in its truest, grimmest sense, and her empty ambition and selfishness has tendrils that reach into lives hundreds of miles away.  She is the Chaotic Evil, filling the void left by her dead son, and it’s shocking to consider how much of the strife in Westeros is due to her flailing and fumbling for more, more, more — but at this point if I would argue that if it goes on too much longer, it will begin to affect the integrity of the show, as the Lawful and Good elements within her sphere of influence (who are not necessarily inclusive and allied with each other) begin to understand how dangerous she is to the stability of the country.  While her meeting her doom at the hand of Olenna, Varys, Oberyn, or Littlefinger wouldn’t shock me, the odd thing is that if Tywin Lannister himself doesn’t address his daughter’s wake of calamity, there’s little else but to see him as other than a deluded old fool.  She is dangerous to everyone, and most of all him — at least financially.

Just as Tyrion sees the extent of the betrayal brought onto him by his family, poor Sansa is playing a similar game back in the Vale.  The Arynn home was suppose to be a refuge for this girl whose whirlwind through the insanity of the Lannisters has left her utterly shellshocked, and sadly she’s only come there to see insanity staring back at her once again in the face of the last remaining person who tied her to her old life.  To make matters worse, Petyr Baelish drops the pretense he’s held for four seasons now and gives Sansa an unplanned trip around the block on the ol’ moustache local.  Ew.  And yes, this is still all about Baelish not being over losing Catelyn Stark to Ned, and yes of course Lyssa saw him kiss her, and yes of course she went batzo nutzo and blamed Sansa for the whole thing, threatening to send her out the Moon Door for getting up on her Kool Aid.  Baelish, now of course Lord Baelish of Harrenhal and Regent of the Vale, does what he does to all chaotic forces within his sphere of influence: he pushes Lyssa out to the valley below, but not before giving her the gutpunch kiss-off of letting her know that he never loved her.  That Baelish, always classy that guy.

source: HBO

source: HBO

Of all things, this storyline has left me in the most suspense for the coming episodes due to the sticky position Sansa finds herself now in, possibly complicated even more by the pending arrival of Arya and the Hound, as well as Podric and Brienne.  Littlefinger has openly professed his plan finally, and it means nothing less than burning down everyone that’s ever stepped on his toes, starting with the Lannisters.  The interesting thing here is that he has shown himself to be just resourceful enough to make that threat a reality, and this week he possibly gains more power as control of the Eyrie now rests with him.  Where does Sansa go from here?  Baelish is an abusive perv and a murderer (who also got her dad killed), but he shares her goal of restoring the North and leveling the Lannisters and he might have the clout to make that happen.  Conversely, she can’t abandon him — he would find her, and anyway, where would she go?


There you have it, folks: Cersei and Littlefinger, the two most influential people in Westeros.  Ugh.



Next week, I have it on good authority we’ll actually see Tyrion’s trial take place (fingers crossed), and the preview makes it look like Ramsay Bolton may have designs on the Ironborn.  Yay.  Woo.  Yeehaw.  Seriously.  More Greyjoy and Bolton stuff.  Not boring and tedious at all.  No, sir.


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Atomika D.

is a writer and critic of TV and film since 2006, an alumnus of NYFA’s school of celluloid direction and production, and she once ate seven burritos on a dare. It was not pleasant. Read all about it on Tumblr.

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  • crowTrobot

    After almost 4 seasons, you seem to have no grasp of what this show is about. I suggest you find your entertainment elsewhere.

    • Atomika

      Well, that’s, like, your opinion, man.

      But seriously, don’t do the “it’s not for you” thing. It’s unbecoming.

      Bri K, I am wounded :(

  • Thirith

    I don’t mind the show’s meandering nature the way you do, but I do think that this season largely feels more meandering, even with the occasional plot peak (e.g. wedding shenanigans, Tyrion’s trial).