Goodbye, Lysa Arryn. The hot-headed, foolish sister of Catelyn Stark who, alongside Littlefinger, orchestrated pretty much everything bad that’s happened on “Game of Thrones” got the justice she deserved in Season 4, episode 7 “Mockingbird”: She was sent flying out the Moon Door.
But the death of Lysa wasn’t the only important turning point in the episode, which arguably was the weakest of the season. Brienne and Pod were sent on the path to Arya and Sansa Stark by Hot Pie (Hot Pie!), Tyrion Lannister got his champion against the Mountain in the form of Oberyn Martell and both Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow are trying to position themselves to defeat their enemies.
Here’s what happened in Season 4, episode 7 “Mockingbird”:
Up in the Vale
Lysa Arryn’s concerns that there is something between Littlefinger and Sansa turn out to be warranted after all, but she is looking to blame the wrong person. It’s Littlefinger who wants Sansa, and he proves it by kissing her out in the Eyrie’s courtyard. Did he know Lysa was watching? Littlefinger always knows, so likely yes.
That kiss prompts Lysa to irrationally grab Sansa and hold her over the Moon Door with the threat of throwing her out it. Of course, that’s only set up for the main course: Littlefinger twisting the knife by telling Lysa he only ever loved Catelyn, and pushing her out to her death. Sansa already showed she would be a better mother to Robin when she smacked some sense into him earlier in the episode, so this is probably for the best for everyone involved.
The Moon Door scenes is one of the best deaths of the story (it is the main plot point that ends “A Storm of Swords” before the epilogue). The presentation here somehow seems lacking, and maybe the episode warranted more build up to Lysa’s death. It, more than any other big death on the show, has its consequences and repercussions not immediately present … though maybe that is part of the point, as three episodes still remain of Season 4.
At the Wall
Jon Snow has a good plan to hold off the Wildlings, and it likely would be effective if he could get anyone in the Night’s Watch to listen to him. He suggests that they destroy the tunnel which leads north of the Wall so the Wildlings can’t get through to Castle Black. Alliser Thorne is resistant, of course, and even Jon’s warning of giants breaking through isn’t enough to get anyone to see his logic. This scene ultimately doesn’t do more than remind viewers that the Wildlings are still coming.
Daenerys Targaryen is at the point in her reign where she takes what she wants, whether that is a city or a person. After about a season of intense flirting at her, Dany turns the romance with Daario around and tells him to have sex with her — which, of course, he agrees to. But of all the sex scenes to show, why not this one? Not even a kiss? Unless the audience is not supposed to view this relationship as romantic, which it certainly doesn’t seem to be.
Once again Dany shows she is a good conquerer, but is she a good queen? It takes one of her advisors — Jorah, this time — to prevent her from sending Daario to Yunkai to kill every single one of the Masters who have risen up against her. He reminds her that if Ned Stark had done the same to him when he was caught selling slaves, he wouldn’t be in Meereen to advise her. It’s a solid argument and one that sways Dany, but one she should have made for herself.
It’s getting increasingly hard to like Daenerys Targaryen in Season 4 as she walks down the same path viewers heard that Robert Baratheon took after he overthrew the Targaryens in Robert’s Rebellion. Thus far nothing in Season 4 has shown that Dany will make a good queen beyond the fact that she (sometimes) listens to her advisors. Hopefully she will shape up soon if she hopes to rule Westeros better than the rest.
In another scene purely for set-up, Melisandre gets naked (in the way Dany should have) and has a heart-to-heart with Selyse while the former is taking a bath. Melisandre tells Selyse that sometimes her magic must be emphasized with tricks, but that Selyse doesn’t need that sort of nonsense. Selyse, as we know, is a true believer — to the point that she considers her daughter Shireen to be a sometimes-heretic. But Melisandre says the Lord of Light has a purpose for Shireen, and thus the girl must come with them on their journey. This could end very badly for Stannis’s only child.
On the Kingsroad
The storylines of the two pairs traveling on the Kingsroad might not be the most significant in “Game of Thrones” Season 4, but they’re consistently the most interesting — and now they’re both heading to the Vale. Arya and the Hound continue their travels to the Eyrie, but are beset upon by Rorge and the Biter, who they promptly kill. They’re now both off her prayer murder list, but the Hound receives a pretty brutal cut on his neck before the men are defeated.
Arya tries to cleanse the wound with fire, but the Hound’s fear of flames is enough to overpower his rational instinct to know the bite must be treated. He tells Arya his side of how his face was burned by Gregor Clegane — another excellent reminder this season of why the Mountain is the worst — and Arya seems to have some sympathy for him. The big question between this pairing remains, though: Are they truly allies?
Then there’s Pod and Brienne, who take a break from the road at an inn with an excellent chef who just so happens to be … Hot Pie! It’s nice to know he is still thriving after leaving the Brotherhood Without Banners in Season 3, and even is better at making wolf-shaped loaves of bread.
It’s Hot Pie who shares the important information that Arya is still alive, considering everyone in King’s Landing assumed she died around the time Ned was beheaded back in Season 1. That leads Pod to convince Brienne that they will have better luck going to the Vale to find Sansa and Arya instead of to the Wall — and he, as audiences know, is right.
In King’s Landing
If Tyrion Lannister’s trial monologue
was Peter Dinklage’s Emmy tape, then the scene between him and Oberyn Martell when the Red Viper tells the Imp about the first time he met him is Dinklage’s award clincher. That scene was the most powerful and effective of the episode, as it reveals to audiences just how deep Cersei’s hate for Tyrion runs, and for how long the world has considered him a monster.
“Mockingbird” contains three Tyrion scenes: Two where he meets with the men he thinks will act as his champion — his brother Jaime and his sellsword Bronn — and one with the man he doesn’t expect to show up — Oberyn. The first two exchanges are heartbreaking, as the audience can see Tyrion’s hope sliding away when Jaime reveals he isn’t good enough to fight with his left hand and Bronn says nothing Tyrion can offer him is worth throwing his life away against the Mountain.
But for Oberyn, that’s exactly what he wants. His “only a baby” line perfectly encapsulates all the torment Tyrion has gone through his entire life, and the Red Viper’s offer to defend Tyrion is filled with equal parts revenge and empathy. Of all the storylines in “Mockingbird,” this was the strongest, and is the perfect set-up for episode 8, “The Mountain and the Viper” (which we’ll have to wait a week for as it airs June 1).
– The main complaint book fans of “Game of Thrones” will likely have with the Moon Door scene is Littlefinger’s final line to Lysa. While in the show it’s “Your sister,” in the books it’s “Only Cat,” which has become a fan-favorite over the years.
– Remember the singer, Marillion, whose tongue Joffrey cut out in Season 1? In the books, he is still a part of the story up through this point, and actually is in the room when Littlefinger pushes Lysa out the Moon Door. That’s important because Littlefinger blames the murder on Marillion, and without him it is unclear how Petyr Baelish will try to explain the death.
– Did that Daario and Dany payoff seem quick to you? Well, it sort of was. In the “A Song of Ice and Fire Books,” the pair does sleep together (and more than once), but it’s only after a lot of indecision on Dany’s part in “A Dance With Dragons.” Similarly, she doesn’t send Daario or Hizdahr zo Loraq to Yunkai, and Daario doesn’t end up there until much later in the story. This storyline in the TV show seems to be a pretty big plot deviation from the books.
– It’s nice to have Brienne actually on the right path to find Arya and Sansa, isn’t it? Especially since that also wasn’t the case in the books. Brienne always was looking in the wrong place for Sansa, and didn’t actually know Arya was still alive. Instead, she traveled the countryside around Westeros on what the reader knew was a fool’s quest.
Tyrion to Jaime: “You’re the golden son. You can kill a king, lose a hand, f*** your own sister; you’ll always be the golden son.”
Melisandre to Selyse: “When I looked into the flames this morning, the Lord spoke to me. He said, ‘Tonight you will have your last good bath in a long while. Make it count.'” [awkward silence] “A joke. Not a very good one, I’m afraid.”
Oberyn of Cersei: “It is rare to meet a Lannister who shares my enthusiasm for dead Lannisters.”
Robin to Sansa of Winterfell: “Why did you leave?”
Sansa: “It’s a long story.”
Littlefinger before pushing Lysa out the Moon Door: “Oh, my sweet wife. My sweet, silly wife. I have only loved one woman. Only one, my entire life. Your sister.”