The title of Game Of Thrones‘ latest episode ‘Mockingbird’ refers to Littlefinger’s personal and fitting emblem, a crest of a black mockingbird, and Petyr Baelish really stepped out of the shadows and into the light this week. Not only did he let Sansa know that he doesn’t think much of her nephew Robin, he also told her that he killed Joffrey to avenge Sansa’s mother Catelyn, and that Sansa is more beautiful than her mother ever was before he went on to kiss her. As if that wasn’t enough his action got Sansa in trouble with her crazy aunt Lysa who was about to throw her niece down the moon door when Baelish showed up, calmed Lysa down, and then pushed her down the hole instead. While we knew Littlefinger is a man who takes what he wants, he’s always gone about achieving his goals through others, by pulling various strings and influencing people. Not this episode: he got his hands dirty, didn’t hesitate for a second, and he’s even scarier for it. I’m curious to see what this will all mean for Sansa and for Littlefinger’s position of power. On a side note: before all hell broke loose it was nice to see a childlike glee and smile from Sansa when it started snowing, something that reminded her of Winterfell and happier times.
No happy times for Tyrion though: locked up in the dungeon he had a hard time finding someone who was willing to fight Cersei’s champion the Mountain for him. First his brother turned him down, because Jaime admitted that he really isn’t a good fighter with his left hand, and then later Bronn said no too. While the scene with Jaime was quite tender, the one with Bronn was painful to watch: Bronn basically told his friend that he can’t best the Mountain, that he looks out for himself first and foremost and that that was the reason he accepted an offer Cersei made, which got him a “soft and warm” woman and a castle. While his first argument made sense, the fact that Bronn effectively took Cersei’s side visibly hurt Tyrion, even though the two subsequently parted ways amicably. After that Tyrion was at a low-point, but the he got a surprise visit from Oberyn. It led to the best scene of the episode: Oberyn recalled the childhood memory of visiting the Lannisters shortly after Tyrion’s birth, a birth that cost Tyrion’s mother her life and forever made Cersei resent him. Tyrion was called a monster, but when Oberyn laid eyes on the baby he saw just that, a baby, and the cruelty of the Lannister family. It’s something he’s always remembered and now Oberyn saw an opportunity to not only finally kill the Mountain, but also hurt the Lannisters by becoming Tyrion’s champion, the one Lannister he likes. The scene was beautifully acted by Pedro Pascal and Peter Dinklage, saw both men go through various emotions that could all be read in their eyes and on their faces. It was stunning and the pay-off satisfying. Next week: Oberyn vs. the Mountain, and let’s hope Oberyn will come out on top.
‘Mockingbird’ contained two other great moments: firstly Daenerys heading the advice of Jorah, secondly a moment between Arya and the Hound. Jorah’s moment followed on the heels of Daenerys spending the night with Daario and sending him to Yunkai to kill the masters, who’ve reclaimed their power. Jorah obviously didn’t like the fact she slept with Naharis, but also tried to reason with her regarding her decision to slay every master in Yunkai. Jorah, a reformed slaver himself, told Daenerys she now has the chance to show slaves something other than cruelty, something they’ve known all their lives. She thought it over, agreed with him, and sent Jorah after Daario to inform him of her change of mind: to present the masters with a choice to live in her new world and follow her rules, or die in the old one. It was good to see the friendzoned Jorah finally get some recognition and a pat on the back, and to see that Daenerys is still willing to listen to words of the wise. The other scene was a small one of the Hound opening up to Arya, about what his brother did to him as a child, and while viewers already knew that story, Arya didn’t and it made her see him in another light. It was a nice moment that developed their dynamic and ended on a sweet note: Arya treating his wounds and taking care of him.
What didn’t quite work were the Dragonstone and Castle Black scenes. These scenes felt unnecessary, did very little to move the plot forward or add depth to the characters, and actually took away from the episode’s pacing. The Dragonstone part was also jarring because of Carice van Houten’s forced and wooden acting, something the show tries to make up for by having the actress show up naked time and time again. It’s entirely unneeded and this week it really slowed the episode to a crawl.
‘Mockingbird’ contained a lot of strong moments that caused shifts in power and alliances. Unfortunately there’s no Game Of Thrones next week, which makes the wait for ‘The Mountain And The Viper’ excruciatingly long. After this week I’m ready for that fight and I can’t wait to find out what it means for Tyrion. 8/10