It wouldn't be a Game of Thrones recap without SPOILERS! Don't keep reading if you aren't caught up to Season 4, Episode 7 of the show.
We have a major problem, and that is the fact that HBO has decided it needs to wean us off of Game of Thrones for two weeks before airing the last three episodes (something Robin definitely should have learned just in case his mom ever...well you know).
So "Mockingbird," which is the seventh episode of the fourth season, will have to hold us over for a while. An odd decision when you consider that it was an episode almost entirely filled with brilliant setups for the remainder of the season.
Though it lacked the action and climactic speeches we've grown accustomed to for the last few episodes, "Mockingbird" was by no means a filler episode.
It was just somewhat boring in parts.
As far as big setups go, our time in King's Landing ruled the episode. We watched (some of us with tears in our eyes) as even Tyrion's closest friends and even brother refused to be his champion.
If you recall from last episode, Tyrion's only hope right now is a trial by combat. Jaime revealed that Cersei has named Ser Gregor (The MOUNTAIN) as her champion, since she is the accused.
Jaime admits that while it would be poetic to fight for his brother (thus dooming Tywin's wish for an heir/Casterly Rock boss), his training with Bronn hasn't exactly paid off yet, what with his right hand still being M.I.A.
Speaking of Bronn, the old sellsword finally made a reappearance, strutting into Tyrion's cell with some fancy clothes and a can-do attitude. Turns out he's marrying Lollys Stokeworth, the youngest daughter of Lady Tanda.
We know quite a bit more about Lollys in the books. She is morbidly obese and hopelessly in love with Tyrion, and she was also raped 50 times during that scene when the mob attacked Joffrey back in Season 2. She survived and gave birth to a bastard child.
She's always in the background of major GoT events, though she's never properly shown in the show.
For Bronn, marrying Lollys is a great setup (devised by Cersei, of course) for him. He has the chance to inherit Castle Stokeworth now, which isn't bad for someone who isn't high born. Unfortunately for Tyrion, Bronn saw no reason to risk his life yet again now that he has pretty much everything he wants.
It was sad to see these two friends part ways, but I was impressed at how Tyrion handled it. He seemed to really understand that Bronn was about as willing to stick out his neck for him as he would be the other way around.
Finally, Tyrion received a visit from Prince Oberyn, who shared the story of how everyone perceived poor Tyrion as a tailed, red-eyed beast with a claw, but he and his sister were disappointed to find out that he was just a baby.
But the story also explained more of why Cersei hates her younger brother so incredibly. As Oberyn put it, Cersei chastised young Tyrion for "killing" her mother, and started to brutalize him until Jaime stopped her.
Afterward, Oberyn declared that he would be Tyrion's champion as a way to seek justice against the MOUNTAIN for killing his sister (which we all saw coming once it was decided that the MOUNTAIN would be Cersei's champion).
In other words, next (next) week is going to be intense.
Across the Narrow Sea
It was a game of friend zones in Meereen this week, as Dany was confronted by not one, but two men who clearly want everything to do with her. Daario was (obviously) the winner for her physical affections, but Jorah proved the most cunning as he used his friend zone status to rightly advise Dany's next course of action.
Daario had snuck into the chamber of the Mother of Dragons (not a euphemism) in an attempt to not only woo her, but petition she send his Second Sons on an action-adventure. She reluctantly agreed to allow Daario and his men to retake Yunkai, where the masters have taken over yet again.
Watching Jorah bump into Daario's walk of (not) shame was a treat, as he figured out what was going on in record time. Rather than be bitter, he used the opportunity to convince Dany she needs to rethink how she conquers Slaver's Bay. In this case, he persuades her that the slaves and masters need to be "retaught" how to live in this world if she truly wants slavery to be abolished. I wonder who Abraham Lincoln friend zoned for that sort of advice?
As a result, Dany changes her mind and chooses Hizdahr Zo Loraq as an ambassador to represent the masters who seek freedom for all.
No Stannis or Davos this week, but we did check in on Selyse and Melisandre, who discussed what to do with Shireen. It was eerie to watch these two women interact and dance around the fact that they've both had babies (arguably) with Stannis. But they don't just have the wannabe king in common--they're both hopelessly devoted to the Lord of Light.
Not much really happened in this scene except that Melisandre convinced Selyse that Shireen must go with them as they travel North, even if she is a heretic who teaches former smugglers how to read.
Hot Pie Inn
I don't think anyone in the world loves hot pie as much as Hot Pie. I get that it's his name here, but he really sticks to an identity and follows through. He runs into none other than Brienne and Podrick, who are still searching for Lady Sansa Stark. They have a lengthy (one-way) discussion with Hot Pie about how to make hot pies, until Brienne finally tells him that she's searching for Sansa Stark, which shuts him up (maybe on purpose).
Outside the inn, Hot Pie confronted the duo and let them know that Arya Stark was traveling with the Brotherhood to the Twins, accompanied by the Hound. He seemed pretty quick to trust these two with such dangerous information (and the responsibility of delivering his direwolf pie to Arya), but none of us in the audience complained. Podrick then deduced that Arya must now be headed for her last-living relative (with money): Lysa Stark.
Oh Lysa...we'll get to you.
On the Way to the Vale
It's been a while since we hung out with Westeros' most dysfunctional couple, but these two haven't missed a beat. This week, they're friends, so we had some great moments watching them bond over mercy-killing and speeches about apathy.
They came across a village that had been pillaged, complete with a man dying slowly by the wreckage. It wasn't an important moment, per se, but it helped cement Arya's theme this season, which is that she is becoming the most cynical of the Starks (and rightly so).
People will argue that the Starks aren't really the main characters of the show, and I get why they perceive it as such. They don't act like protagonists very often, and the story proceeds without them just fine. At the same time, you can clearly see that each Stark is meant to reflect a different personality that goes through certain trials based on who they are.
Ned Stark died for his honor after losing it, Catelyn and Rob died for family after losing it, Sansa will probably die for love after losing it, Arya may die for revenge after losing her chance to enact it and Jon may die for freedom while trying to win it. I guess you could say that Bran may die for destiny or something, but who knows when we'll fully understand what that kid is supposed to be doing once he finds that raven.
Where was I? Oh yes, while mercy-killing some guy, Arya and the Hound were attacked by Biter and Rorge (been a while!). The Hound was bitten, of course, and proceeded to snap Biter's neck. Arya also got in on the action and stabbed Needle in the heart, proving to the Hound (and us) that she's becoming the killer we've been waiting for.
But that's not all there is to Arya. Later, she sees to the Hound's bite wound, and he proceeds to open up about his past and what happened between him and his brother. It was jarring to hear the Hound actually talking about himself, but it makes sense when you consider how fragile his life has become. He's now well-aware that the crown has put a huge bounty on his head, and he's not really safe anywhere.
If you had told me four seasons ago that the Hound would be a character I both sympathize with and root for, I would have demanded a trial by combat.
What a surprise! Alliser Thorne still hates Jon Snow, who's trying his darndest to convince the Night's Watch that they don't stand a chance against Mance's army of 100,000 Wildlings.
Jon's plan is to essentially barricade the Wall by freezing the tunnels, but Thorne spouts something about how the Night's Watch has duties to duty or something and then punishes Jon for existing (again).
It turns out that Sansa can't even build a snowman without some heartless (expletive) (expletive)ing her life up. While trying to remember her home in Winterfell, Sansa built a well-done snowcastle of it. Robin showed up and let her know that when they're married, they're going to murder tons of people with their very own moon door.
I love how Sansa just went with it, knowing full-well that having a moon door would be the absolute best, but Robin wouldn't shut up about putting one in Winterfell. Within seconds, he demolished the snowcastle and Sansa slapped him, which was perfect.
But Sansa isn't allowed to feel good about anything, ever, so Lord Baelish showed up to start making out with her.
Lysa saw and later summoned Sansa to go "inspect" the moon door with her. But Baelish would have none of it, and in a moment that we all saw coming, he pushed her down the moon door and let her know on the way down that he's only ever loved Catelyn Stark.
Oh, and it looks like Winter is here.
What will happen to Robin? I can only assume that the brat will die of starvation now that his mother and her bosom is gone.
In case you're wondering, the episode is called "Mockingbird" because that is the sigil of Lord Baelish's house. Now that he has inherited the Vale through rite of wife-killing, he is now a major player in Westeros, complete with his very own Stark hostage.
So...what did you think of "Mockingbird?"