When we last saw Tyrion, he was spitting righteous vitriol at his trial. The seventh episode “Mockingbird” shows a softer, more introspective man: basically, he knows he just signed his own death certificate and merely wants to make amends before his trial by combat. He admits to Jaime that he fell in love with a whore, and he chose not to cooperate with the deal Jaime made with their father out of spite. At his most powerless, Tyrion was still able to take away some happiness from Tywin, who was thisclose to having Jaime back as his heir. Tyrion goes on to tease Jaime about his foibles and penchant for incest, and oh, by the way, Jaime, will you be his champion?
Tyrion: “Even if you lose, imagine the look on Father’s face as you fall. Our family name, snuffed out with a single swing of the sword.”
Jaime: “‘Tis tempting.”
And just like that, they are just two brothers again, ribbing each other and their dad, until the rattling of another prisoner’s chains transports them back to their present grim circumstances. Jaime, missing his fighting hand, has the perfect excuse to bow out of the fight, thus staving off yet another confrontation with Cersei. Tyrion accepts this gracefully. Well, at least there’s still Bronn. He asks Jaime to have Bronn pay him a visit.
Enter… The Mountain. This beast is Cersei’s champion. She looks smug as she pays him a visit.
On to Arya and the Hound. They ride side by side now, true partners in crime. They encounter the ruins of a ransacked hut and have the bleakest, yet still humorous, conversation with the dying owner I have ever heard. Some gems:
Arya: “So why go on?”
Dying guy: “Habit?”
Dying guy: “Can I have a drink? Dying is thirsty work.”
The Hound and Arya kill two more people, then walk off together into the bleakness.
Cut to the Night’s Watch. Alliser Thorne is all “LOL NO DOGZ ALLOWED” regarding Ghost, Jon Snow’s direwolf. However, Ghost is the least of Jon’s worries, as he tries to convince Thorne to seal the tunnel to the North, as they are not prepared to fight against Mance Rayder and 100,000 Wildlings. Thorne dismisses his concerns, and once again, Jon Snow Haz a Sad.
Tyrion’s Parade of Dungeon Visitors continues with Bronn, now decked out in fancy clothes, courtesy of his new betrothed, Lollys Stokeworth. The match was made via Queen Cersei, so Tyrion now has very little in terms of bargaining chips. But what about their friendship? “Aye, I’m your friend, but when have you ever risked your life for me?” Touché, Bronn. Again, Tyrion takes it like a man. They shake on it, and Bronn looks at Tyrion woefully. The music turns funereal.
Tyrion: “I suppose I’ll have to kill the Mountain myself. Won’t that make for a great song?”
Bronn: “I hope to hear them singing one day.”
In Meereen, Daario sneaks into Daenerys’ private quarters and tries to woo the Mother of Dragons with some measly wildflowers.
“My sword is yours until the day I die.” Hint hint, Dany: he ain’t talking about his weaponry.
“Fine. Do what you do best.”
Quick cut to Melesandre in the bathtub. Darn it, writers, must you tease us like this? Oh well. Mrs. Stannis doesn’t understand why little Shireen has to come with them to battle. Melesandre says no, they need the girl. But who cares about this awkward conversation because as they’re droning on, Dany and Daario are banging!
Cut back to Meereen. Jorah catches Daario on his way out. “You here to see our queen? Well, she’s in a good mood.” Ouch! Poor Jorah, always the bridesmaid.
Apparently Targaryen pillow talk involves planning the slaughter of all the slave owners in Yunkai. Jorah is understandably against this idea, stating that slaughtering thousands of men like cattle, even if they were cruel, is not setting a good example to the freed slaves on how to govern themselves. So Dany relents a bit, agreeing to send an ambassador as well. The ambassador can speak softly, while Daario and his men can, um, carry the big stick. So to speak.
Somehow, during this intense political conversation, Jorah and Daenerys end up holding hands. “Tell Daario I’ve changed my mind. No. Tell him you changed my mind.” And Jorah is a merry knight once more.
Poor Hound. His wound is festering, and he won’t let Arya burn away the infection. He tells her the story behind his facial burns: his brother pressed him into the flames “like a mutton chop” after he caught the Hound playing with his toys. “The pain was bad, the smell was worse, but the worst thing was it was my brother who did it.” He then lets Arya tend to his wounds with water and catgut, which immediately makes me wonder if he’s going to die.
We now pay a visit to my current favorite duo of the series, Brienne and Podrick, on their way to find Sansa Stark. They stop at an inn, hoping a good dinner and a real bed will energize them. Brienne compliments the chef on a delicious kidney pie, and who would it be but…
Hot Pie, besides being adorably geeky about pie, tells Brienne that Arya Stark is indeed alive and was last seen with the Hound. That piece of intel, combined with Podrick knowing about Catelyn Stark’s sister living in the Eyrie, renews Brienne’s sense of purpose. Also, Hot Pie asks Brienne to give Arya this:
One last visitor for Tyrion: Oberyn Martell. Apparently, Cersei has been all up in his grill about how Tyrion should die. “It is rare, to meet a Lannister who shares my feelings for dead Lannisters.” However, Oberyn sees the trial by combat as the perfect first step in his quest for justice: The Mountain killed his sister’s children, then raped her before killing her. He will be Tyrion’s champion.
Now, one would think this has been plenty of action for one episode, but noooooo… now Sansa is playing in the snow!!! She finally looks happy, the poor little bird.
However, Robin, her cousin and betrothed, decides to mindlessly destroy her beautiful snow Winterfell because it doesn’t have a Moon Door.
Now, Sansa’s been through a lot, and up to now, has been passively accepting things as they come. But not this time. You don’t come between a Stark and her snow. So she smacks Robin, who immediately runs to tell his mummy. Lord Baelish then rushes over to reassure her, because apparently he stares at her a lot, then he professes his love for her mother, tells her that she could be his child, then KISSES HER.
And of course, guess who saw the whole thing? Yes, Creepy Aunt Lysa. She summons Sansa to the throne room, and then goes into full-tilt crazy mode, even holding Sansa by the hair over the Moon Door. Again, Littlefinger comes to the dubious rescue.
At first, he tries to calm Lysa. “I have only loved one woman, only one, my entire life.” She visibly softens, then he continues his sentence: “Your sister.” And with a shove heard ’round the Seven Kingdoms, Aunt Lysa falls through the Moon Door.
Awesome commentary from the Twitterverse:
Sadly, we will have to wait TWO WEEKS to see Oberyn take on the Mountain. See you all on June 1!