Game of Thrones is officially in the home stretch, and it started this week with “Mockingbird”, the seventh episode in its fourth season. This episode had a perfect mix of scenes directly taken from the books and completely new scenes that HBO thought up. Arya adding, and quickly erasing, Rorge from her list was a poignant and worthy addition to the series, despite not occurring in the books, capped off by the Hound saying exactly what we were all thinking: “You’re learning.”
Elsewhere in the black cells of King’s Landing, a perfectly recreated scene resonated louder than Lysa Arryn on her wedding night. Tyrion had three visitors last night, and the first two told him they couldn’t be his champion. (Jaime because he’s no longer a good swordsman, and Bronn because the for sale sign is no longer on his sword.) After it seemed like Tyrion had no choice but to fight Gregor Clegane himself, in struts Oberyn f**king Martell, ready to avenge his sister, her children, and all of Dorne. Judging by the previewed scenes of their battle, there’s no doubt in my mind that the directors will crush it.
Riser of the Week: Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish
A few weeks ago, I provided the backstory to Littlefinger’s methodic climb up chaos’s ladder, and he’s not done climbing. Don’t for one second believe that Littlefinger’s kiss with Sansa wasn’t planned. He knew Lysa Arryn was watching, and he knew how she’d react. He just needed her to start her confrontation with Sansa, and this was a surefire way to trigger that. He had everything planned, down to uttering “Your Sister” out of the side of his mouth as he pushed Lysa out of the moondoor. In a few short years, the son of a Braavosi sellsword has managed to become the Lord Paramount of the Vale, acting as its ruler for the foreseeable future until that little terror, Robert Arryn, comes of age. It’ll be interesting to see how he wiggles his way out of prosecution next week, but if anyone has proven capable of wiggling their way out of danger, it’s Petyr Baelish.
Honorable Mentions: Daario Naharis (wink wink) and Oberyn Martell (you killed my sister, prepare to die).
Faller of the Week: Lysa Arryn
Really, could it be anyone else? Don’t pity Lysa; she was not a good person. She lied to Catelyn about the Lannisters killing her husband, leading to Tyrion’s capture and (first) trial, causing Jaime to attack Ned, preventing him from talking to Robert and leading to pretty much everything that’s happened since. But it’s not just that. Once war started and Ned was beheaded, she refused to send men to fight alongside Robb. It’s one thing for Switzerland to remain neutral, but if Switzerland’s sister was fighting a war, I’m sure they’d send some troops.
Only one question remains now that Lysa took the plunge: how will Robert Arryn adapt to cow’s milk?
Honorable Mentions: Jorah Mormont (council is all he’ll give Daenerys) and The Hound (clean that wound, didn’t you see how Drogo died?!)
Backstory of the Week: Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane
You may remember Gregor from the tournament in Season 1 where Loras Tyrell unhorses him in a joust and he violently beheads his horse. Or you may remember him from Season 2 when he leads the band of torturers and thieves at Harrenhall when Arya is captured there. He wasn’t in Season 3. And despite being mentioned often this season, we’ve finally just seen him now. Even if you do remember the character, you definitely don’t recognize his face, as this is the third different actor to play the Mountain, making him the Bobby Draper of Game of Thrones. So whether or not you remember Gregor, let me give you a quick rundown on a character so hated and so feared that he humbles the permanently-cocky Jaime Lannister. Gregor is a member of House Clegane, bannermen to the Lannisters. During the final battle of Robert’s Rebellion, the sack of King’s Landing, Tywin Lannister ordered Gregor to find and kill Elia Martell and her two children. Tywin did this to prove to Robert that despite his late entrance to the war, the Lannisters supported him. Gregor was never brought to justice, and now, many years later, Oberyn plans to have his vengeance.
Object of Power: Bronn's Cloak
Back in Season 2, Tyrion asked Bronn if he wanted to become a Gold Cloak (the King’s Landing Police Force) and Bronn told him no. “A cloak slows you down in a fight,” he said, “Makes you move slowly.” Back in Season 2, Bronn still had reasons to fight. He wasn’t yet a knight; that happened after the Battle of the Blackwater. Now, Bronn has been paired up with Lollys Stokeworth, and if a certain older sister happens to break her beautiful little neck after falling from her horse, Bronn and his wife will inherit the Stokeworth castle and all its lands with it. There’s no more reason for Bronn to fight. And I don’t just mean against the Mountain, I mean in general. Bronn’s the brute version of Littlefinger—he’s risen way beyond his means. The difference is that the word “content” seems to be in Bronn’s vocabulary whereas it’s nowhere to be found in Littlefinger’s. So as Bronn visited Tyrion, it was no surprise that he was sporting a brand new outfit, complete with a cloak. Tyrion’s answer was there before he even asked the question. Bronn’s days of fighting are over. He’s ready to slow down.
Is there any area of the story you’d like explained further? Do you disagree with something? Let me know in the comments.
Joe Brosnan is an editor and writer for Criminal Element who graduated from Marist College. He spends his time obsessing equally over the Game of Thrones series and the New York Giants, and is only now realizing how weird it is to write in the third person. You can follow him on Twitter @joebro33.