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GAME OF THRONES Re-Throned: “Mockingbird” (S4, E7)

GAME OF THRONES Re-Throned: “Mockingbird” (S4, E7)

Winter is coming, but not soon enough. So to help pass the time until season seven of Game of Thrones, we’re doing a weekly re-watch of the series, episode-by-episode, with the knowledge of what’s to come and—therefore—more information about the unrevealed rich history of events that took place long before the story began. Be warned, though: that means this series is full of spoilers for every season, even beyond the episode itself. So if you haven’t watched all of the show yet immediately get on that and then come back and join us for Game of Thrones Re-Throned.

Because the next best thing to watching new episodes is re-watching old ones.


Season 4, Episode 7: “Mockingbird”

Original Air Date: May 18th, 2014
Director: Alik Sakharov
Written by: David Benioff and D.B. Weiss

Following arguably the single-most memorable performance in the show’s history, Game of Thrones followed it up with one of its best episodes, the quiet, shocking, and powerful seventh installment of season four, “Mockingbird.” In fact, there are so many great scenes and moments we’re going to jump from point to point to cover the most important ones.

Last week, we discussed how Tywin Lannister’s lack of concern for his kids’ happiness brought about his own death—and possibly the end of his whole House in short order—so this episode began with Tyrion recognizing his father’s master plan to get Jaime back to Casterly Rock and be rid of T by sending him far away to the Wall.


“He knows I’m innocent and he’s willing to sacrifice me anyway. He’s willing to sacrifice any of us,” he told his brother. We know from his courtroom outburst just how angry Tyrion can be about his lifetime of shabby treatment, but his grasp of just how terrible his father is acting, in this case, seals the deal when he has that crossbow aimed at Tywin on the privy. Well, that and finding Shae in his father’s bed.

Another major moment? The traveling duo of Arya and The Hound. Coming across an old man dying from a stab wound to the stomach—his house ransacked and burned to the ground by bandits (who may or may not have been soldiers)—the duo talked to him about why he’s holding on even though he’s in so much pain, and discussed life and what might follow it. It’s understated and touching in the way only the worst moments can be.


Arya and the Hound have consistently been the show’s best insight into the true cost of war—the pain and suffering of innocent people who will never even meet their lord, let alone a king. These people pay for the wars of the rich and famous with their homes, their livelihoods, and often their lives, even though all they want is peace regardless of who gets to sit on a fancy chair.

The show has managed to incorporate the suffering of the common people without making it feel forced or heavy handed, and their losses have a real pay-off to the main story when we see the rise of the High Sparrow and the Faith Militant. Where else could they turn? The ruling class has failed them for so long.

On a more personal level, an equally powerful moment came from the Hound while he explained to Arya the source of all his anger and pain:

You say your brother gave you that sword. My brother gave me this. It was just like you said a while back, pressed me to the fire like I was a nice juicy mutton chop. Why? Thought I stole one of his toys. I didn’t steal it. I was just playing with it. The pain was bad. The smell was worse. But the worst thing was that it was my brother who did it. My father, who protected him—told everyone my bedding caught fire. You think you’re on your own?


We also saw Cersei recruiting the Mountain to be her champion for Tryion’s trial by combat. And even though we didn’t get Clegane Bowl last season like we thought we might, there’s a lot of evidence that such a showdown is still coming (even if the Hound has seemingly found a small modicum of peace from his time with Brother Ray).

Oh, yeah, they killed Brother Ray. What’s less than a modicum?

Elsewhere in the episode, Melisandre explained the power of lies to Selyse, discussing how certain potions can deceive men into accepting that the Lord of Light is the only god. “Once they step into his light, they will see the lie for what it was: a trick that led them to the truth.”

But considering how Melisandre will lose her faith when Stannis is defeated after sacrificing Shireen (which is strongly hinted at in this scene), it’s possible that her own powers have deceived her into accepting a false god. True, the old lady with the power to transform herself into a young beauty did produce a killer shadow baby, but the same god that gave her the ability to do those things also had her kill a child and burn innocent people alive. How is the Lord of Light any better or different than the Great Other the White Walkers follow?


What we’re saying is, Melisandre might have bought into a great lie the same way men do when she uses one of those potions on them. The coming war might not be as clear cut a battle of good and evil as Melisandre would have us believe, a sentiment expressed by Jorah in this very episode.

Speaking of Jorah, the man of Mormont convinced Daenerys not to kill all of the great masters of Yunkai in this episode, even though they probably deserve it. “It’s tempting to see your enemies as evil, all of them, but there’s good and evil on both sides in every war ever fought,” he said.


We know he’s talking about how best to rule Slaver’s Bay, but, considering there’s a great war between the living and the dead to come, the line stood out for other reasons. White Walkers were created from men, and yet we still know so little about them that it is possible our opinions of how evil they are could change dramatically by series end. George R.R. Martin loves to play against tropes, and considering Melisandre’s god hasn’t been any less evil than the blue-eyed demons, the ultimate showdown could reveal two sides that have more in common than we would think.

And we mustn’t forget Hot Pie! Hot Pie showed up here, too, explaining the importance of the gravy in a kidney pie, told Brienne and Podrick that Arya was still alive, and showed off how far his wolf bread making skills have come. It’s not really that important on a grand scale, but an appearance from Hot Pie deserves recognition.


In one of the most chill inducing moments from the entire show, Oberyn offered to be Tyrion’s champion at his trial (oh seven bloody hells that’s next week), but only after telling him how he’d met him as a baby. Oberyn heard Tyrion was a monster and couldn’t wait to see him, but was disappointed to find out Tyrion was just a slight, oddly shaped newborn, not a demon. But he did get to see an actual monster that day, when he learned how much Cersei hated her brother for killing their mother during childbirth. It’s a crushing scene, and, maybe even more so than the courtroom scene, it explains why Tyrion is the way he is.


Another major moment (jeez there were a lot of these, huh?)? When Baelish killed Lysa without any guarantee Sansa won’t turn him in for it. We know she won’t though: she’s playing the game now. And such a decision ultimately gave her a powerful ally in the new acting Lord of the Vale, but it also led to her being married off to Ramsay. Then again, it also gave her the Knights of the Vale who save Jon and his forces at the Battle of the Bastards, effectively saving her House and home, so win some, lose some?


Whether or not her choice to protect Littlefinger was a good one has yet to be determined, but seeing as how many of his allies end up being double crossed by him, she should still be wary. Yes, he loved her mother, but that doesn’t guarantee he loves her anymore than he can use and manipulate her for his own ends.

Also: seriously, Hot Pie is the best. Not only does he still not know the name of Arya’s home (he calls it “Winterhell”), look at this wolf bread now!


At least one character got a happy ending on this show.

But what did you think of this episode? Tell us in the comments section below what moment  stands out the most to you.

Images: HBO

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