Game of Thrones: “Mockingbird” Season 4 Episode 7 Review

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A lot was packed into Mockingbird, but most of it was generally pretty rewarding material, also serving to set us up for the end of the season.

The location this episode went back to time and time again was King’s Landing. After Tyrion’s legendary explosion at the end of his trial last week, he must now search for a champion in his trial by combat. Jaime, obviously, cannot partake, as much as he may want to help his brother out. Bronn, sadly, realizes the chances of himself getting out alive, and refuses. Meanwhile, Cersei’s champion is quickly chosen to be the Mountain, brother of the Hound. But alas, there is one man left in King’s Landing that wants to see Lannister blood spilt. Season 4’s best new character, Oberyn Martell, visits Tyrion and offers to be his champion. It was a great setup for what will hopefully be an epic confrontation.

The only other set of characters we visited more than once this episode was Daenerys and her allies. Daenerys finally sleeps with Daario Naharis, to which Jorah (poor Jorah!) takes issue. Turns out he actually has some good advice about how to handle Daario and the retaking of Yunkai. Jorah’s way involves more suggestions and less blood. Again, this storyline was mostly just setup for whatever end of season climax is on its way for the Mother of Dragons.

The rest of the episode had short but significant visits with just about every other major group of characters, save for Bran and Theon.

Arya’s was probably the best. She and the Hound seem to be getting along better this week, coming across some men looking to cash in on the bounty for the Hound. But Arya recognizes one of the men as one of her captors from Season 2. In the best exchange of the episode, the Hound asks if he’s on Arya’s list. She says not yet because she doesn’t know his name. The Hound asks for his name, he gives it, and Arya immediately stabs him in the heart. The Hound nods in approval. How cute. Also, Arya finally got to kill someone on her list! Even if he was only on there for a few seconds.

The Vale had some of the most significant moments of the week though. Sansa runs into trouble at every corner, slapping her cousin and then being kissed by Littlefinger right in front of her aunt. In one of the few genuine (well, I guess we can never really tell) moments from Littlefinger, he tells Sansa’s crazy aunt that he only ever loved Catelyn, just before throwing her down that big hole. One less blood relative for the Starks, but I’m sure they’re all a bit better off this way.

Meanwhile, I have to say, I’m really enjoying Brienne’s travels with Podrick. The comic relief is much needed. Although this week, they ran into Hot Pie, Arya’s old friend. Now Brienne and Podrick are the only people in Westeros besides the Hound that can claim that Arya is alive. Sometimes the little things help.

Mockingbird also fulfilled this season’s creepy-nude-scene-with-Melisandre quota. This time she was telling Stannis’ wife how important their daughter is to the Lord of Light. Nothing compared to the leech scene from last season, but Melisandre is as captivating as ever.

Lastly and least significantly, Jon Snow returned to Castle Black and got scolded. Another story of setup for the week, although this was easily the least eventful.

So yeah, this episode put as many major character in as it could leading to the end of the season. Lots of it worked, but not all of it felt necessary. But the table is effectively set for some crazy end-of-season happenings. Grade: B+

By Matt Dougherty

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