'Game Of Thrones' Recap: Prince Oberyn Becomes Tyrion's Champion; Littlefinger Offs Lysa
Game of Thrones episode “Mockingbird” began in King’s Landing with Tyrion getting a scolding from Jamie for his off-script monologue in the courtroom in which he admitted his hatred for his late vile nephew Joffrey, his sister Cersei and father, Lord Tywin.
Instead of going along with the plan Jamie (Nicolaj Coster-Waldau) had for him that would have seen Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) spared death and sent to The Wall in exchange for Jamie marrying and having sons at Casterly Rock, Tyrion demanded a Trial by Combat. Jamie can’t believe that Tyrion, known for his sometimes-ruthless pragmatism and wit, would risk losing his head for the sake of pride. He also tells his little brother that he won’t be his champion.
Though Jamie has been practicing sword fighting with his left hand with Bronn (Jerome Flynn), it’s still not good enough to hold off even the weakest of opponents. Tyrion, with a hint of seriousness in his voice, muses that there would be some delight in watching Tywin (Charles Dance) lose his cherished son the same day his dwarf son is put to death. As for whom Tyrion will have to fight should he not find a champion, Cersei (Lena Headey) has selected The Mountain.
Arya (Maisie Williams) and the Hound (Rory McCann) are still making their way across Westeros when they come across a man who is slowly dying. Arya finds it hard to understand why the man would continue to fight for his life, immobile, suffering, with certain death around the corner. The man replies that he fears that death could be worse than his suffering, to which Arya observes, “Nothing is just nothing.” After giving the man a sip of water, The Hound unsheathes his dagger and plunges it into the man’s heart.
Before they can get a move on, a man leaps onto The Hound’s back and bites into his neck. The Hound quickly dispatches the attacker, snapping his neck and then turns around to see the man’s comrade. Both men had apparently been seeking him so that they could return him to the Lannisters and receive the bounty on his head. Arya recognizes him and would have had him on her list had she known his name. As soon as she learns it, she walks up to him, whips out Needle and rams it directly into his heart. “You’re learning,” says The Hound.
The unlikely duo continues to bond later in the day when The Hound tries to care for his bite wound. Arya offers to sterilize it with some fire, but The Hound refuses to let it near him. Allowing himself to be vulnerable, The Hound reveals the incident that both scarred his face and made him fearful of flames. As a child, his brother, The Mountain, had held his face into the fire, believing he’d stolen one of his toys. Understanding, Arya insists that he at least let her wash the cut and sew it up.
Brienne & Podrick
The even more unlikely pair, Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) and Podrick Payne (Daniel Portman), dine at an inn, as the former is growing tired of Podrick’s poor cooking skills. Who serves them their kidney pie, but Hot Pie (Ben Hawkey). Brienne grows especially weary of the loquacious cook, who can’t stop yammering on about what goes into making the perfect pie. When Brienne asks him if he’s seen Sansa Stark, as she promised her mother she’d find her daughters, Hot Pie grows visibly uncomfortable. Before the two leave, he tells them he knew Arya and that as far as he knows, she’s still alive and with The Hound.
Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) is back at Castle Black after successfully overtaking the mutineers. At a meeting, Jon suggests that they seal up the tunnel to prevent the Wildling army from getting through. Alliser Thorne (Owen Teale) claims that the bars on the tunnel will hold up as they’ve held up for centuries. When he asks the builder what he thinks, it’s clear he agrees with Jon, but out of fear, he sides with Thorne.
It’s been a while since Tyrion sent for Bronn, but he’s just now coming for the visit. He’s all dressed up in new garments, gifts from Cersei, who has arranged for him to marry a Stokeworth sister of childbearing age and is already plotting the death of the elder so that Bronn can run the castle. Bronn doesn’t want to betray Tyrion, but Tyrion doesn’t have a better offer for him that would make him willing to risk his life to face The Mountain.
Daario (Michiel Huisman) comes to see Dany (Emilia Clarke), sneaking through her window and into her bedchamber. He tells her that he’s been growing restless since she’s decided to stay put and rule. Unless she lets him have her and/or send him on assassin missions, they’re going to have to part ways. In response, Dany tells him to strip. The following morning, Ser Jorah (Iain Glen) runs into a departing Daario as he’s going to see his queen and subsequently shows Dany his disapproval. He also disproves of her sending Daario off to kill the slave masters in Yunkai – council that Dany surprisingly heeds.
Sansa (Sophie Turner) is feeling nostalgic at The Eyrie, building a snow castle of Winterfell outside when her betrothed cousin Robin (Lino Facioli) comes to join her. Robin suggests that they add a moon door to her version of Winterfell and Sansa humors him. However, when he knocks down a tower, Sansa’s patience is gone and she reprimands him. He proceeds to destroy her work, leading her to slap him across the face. Petyr (Aiden Gillen) saw the whole thing, but doesn’t scold her. Sansa takes the opportunity to ask him once more why he had Joffrey killed. He says it was for her mother’s memory and then kisses her.
Lysa (Katie Dickie), watching from up above, saw the kiss. Later on, she calls Sansa to the airy throne room and leads her over towards the open moon door. Before she can toss her niece to her death, Petyr walks in and implores her to stop. He tells his wife that he’ll have Sansa sent away, which does the trick and Lysa releases Sansa. Petyr then slowly approaches Lysa, careful not to upset her. With her in his arms, he says, "I have only loved one woman. Only one my entire life.” As Lysa’s eyes start to shine, he adds "Your sister,” and pushes her down the moon door.
Back in his dimly lit cell, Tyrion is surprised to find Prince Oberyn (Pedro Pascal) at his door. The Red Viper settles down near Tyrion and launches into the story of the first time they met, when Tyrion was merely an infant and he and his sister had gone for a visit at Casterly Rock to see “the monster” child. Oberyn reveals that there was some disappointment when he saw him, as he didn’t think he was all that monstrous looking at all, but that Cersei abused him and confidently said that it wouldn’t be long before he died. “It doesn't matter, everyone says he will die soon,” the young Cersei had said of her little brother. “I hope they are right, he should not have lived this long."
Oberyn volunteers to be Tyrion’s champion, though not because of some long-harbored pity, but because he too hates Tyrion’s relatives. He too wants Cersei and Tywin to pay. He also wants The Mountain, who raped and killed his own sister, to die.
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