I Believe I Can Fly
A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
Well, wowza. The Eyrie is a prime location this week, unsurprising given that title, but I don’t know how many non-book readers were predicting that final wallop. Lysa Arryn is dead and I’m pretty sure no one sane is mourning her, although Kate Dickie’s performance will be missed. Mockingbird was quite the stacked hour, typical for a Thrones episode. We meet the Mountain again, Daenerys plots, Jon is trying to convince the Night’s Watch that he knows something, Arya and the Hound face trouble, and the episode tantalizingly promises the best showdown ever between the Mountain and the Viper. But we have to wait two weeks before that because of Memorial Day Weekend (HBO is airing the AIDS film The Normal Heart in its stead). Let’s unpack the hour.
Jamie is furious at Tyrion for throwing away the deal he had brokered, and rightfully so. Tyrion defends himself, stating that he couldn’t listen to Shae’s lies and that it felt good to snatch away Tywin’s dream scenario right out from underneath him. He expects Jamie to fight for him, but Jamie says he can’t beat a stable boy with his left hand. Tyrion asks him to find Bronn instead, hoping that Cersei’s champion would be Ser Meryn. It’s not. The Mountain comes back, recast for the third, fourth, or possibly fifth time (just a joke). The great opening shot is of a barely alive body being lifted by a bloody sword impaled through its back. Cersei watches in satisfaction as he slaughters several prisoners. He asks Cersei who he’s fighting. “Does it matter?” she asks. The Mountains shakes his head no.
Arya and the Hound’s journey became perilous this week after Tywin’s 100 silver dragons (great currency name, by the way) come into play. They find bloodied man lying on the ground. Arya asks him why he’s wanting to go on if he thought of suicide. “Nothing is just nothing” she claims, a darkened phrase for a girl so scarred. He moans about his life’s ideology of fairness before the Hound gives him water and grants him a quick death with a sword through the heart. They get attacked by two men wanting Tywin’s bounty and the Hound snaps one’s neck despite being hit himself. The Hound asks Arya if his partner (who had threatened to f*** Arya bloody with a stick back in Season 2) was on “her little list”. Awww. Arya says she doesn’t know his name. The Hound asks and Rorge reveals his name right before Arya sticks him with the pointy end right in the heart. The two even wipe the blood of their swords in the same manner! Later on, he continues his love of the c word as Arya teaches him how to tend to his nasty-looking wound. Fire would help, but he viciously walks back from it, commenting how much worse Arya had made his position. He reminsicend about how her brother had given her a sword and how his brother had scarred his face. The pain was terrible, he said, and the smell was worse. But nothing had pained him as much as knowing that his brother had done that to him over a couple of toys he was playing with and that his father had protected him, claiming the Hound’s bedding had caught fire. She washes it and sews the wound together amidst the grass and rocks. Tremendous performances by Maisie Williams and Rory McCann this week and in my opinion Mockingbird marks Rory’s best performance yet and that’s saying something.
Jon Snow repeats his warnings about the wall, but no one pays attention. You think they would at this point, but whatever. Having defeated the mutineers, he was expecting quite the different reception. Commander Thorne threatens to stew Ghost (who’s as large as some of the men). Dick. Jon suggests barring the tunnels to stop the giants in the wildling army. Of course no one listens to Jon now that he’s actually making some damned sense. We all know the strength of Mance’s army coming even if we haven’t seen them for what seems like forever and it would be great if the damned Night’s Watch leadership (outside of Maester Aemon) bit it. The morons.
Bronn arrives all fancy like in Tyrion’s cell, announcing his marriage to Lollys Stokeworth. He even announces his intention to kill Lollys’s older sister for the castle and the inheritance. He’s also afraid of the Mountain but he refuses to fight him on Tyrion’s behalf, asking when Tyrion had helped him. Bronn is sorry, you can see it in his face. But above all else, Bronn, like so many Tyrion had relied upon throughout his life, is ultimately a survivor. It’s a bittersweet ending to the relationship and Tyrion became even more lonely than ever before. He morbidly talks about fighting the Mountain himself and the songs that people would sing if he won. Bronn says he wants to hear those songs one day and with a wistful looks he leaves the dungeon, leaving behind a truly forlorn Tyrion in his wake.
Daenerys plots while wearing a new dress. The Perks of Conquering a City, am I right? Daario entreats her to send him to do what he does best, and she agrees, even though she is not happy with his window climbing and flowers. She pours herself some wine (she and Cersei are Pen Pals, apparently) and orders Daario to take off his clothes. He undresses with a slight smile and in a Thrones rarity, we see Daario’s ass but Daenerys keeps her clothes on. She surveys his front with a pleased look on her face as the cup of wine swims tantalizingly in front of her. Afterwards he runs into Ser Jorah, looking obviously like he’s just had sex. The matted hair, the sweat, and the jumbled up clothes that weren’t properly put on. Oh, and he says “She’s in a good mood.” Jorah immediately deduces what had happened. When he approached Daenerys in her very sexy new dress that had incredibly sharp edges that symbolize that she’s still quite dangerous, he says “Khaleesi” in the most forlorn way possible. I wanted to give him a hug. We’ve all been there, brother. They argue about Daario, but Daenerys makes it clear he’s there as a boy toy and she’s not stupid enough to trust him. She reveals she has sent Daario and the Second Sons to retake Yunkai and slaughter all of the slave masters to avoid the city falling again. Jorah makes a case for the gray areas in war and that cruelty to all the masters wouldn’t do anyone any good. If Ned Stark had done to him what she suggested for the masters of Yunkai, then he wouldn’t be there. Daenerys considers his suggestion and in her mind Hizdahr from last week comes back to mind. The crucifixion was a mistake and she stops, understanding that in her rashness she was about to commit the same mistake again. She decided to send him as an ambassador to Yunkai and explain to the masters the choice they have. “They will live in my new world or they can die in their old one.” Well, there’s a compromise and smart move to send someone of the Yunkai masters’ own category so to speak. Ser Jorah smiles when it becomes clear that Daenerys values him above everyone else by taking his suggestion of mercy. She tells him to tell Daario that she had changed her mind. “No.” she declares as he begins to walk away. “Tell him that you changed my mind,” His smile grows wider and she smiles back. See, Jorah? She won’t have sex with you, but she trusts your judgment that much. And that means something far more precious.
Melisandre and Selyse have the creepiest friendship on the show, or somewhere near the top, anyhow. Melisandre attempts humor, which was hilarious in how not a joke it was. Selyse admits that humor isn’t her strongest suit. Truer words were never spoken, sister. Stannis apparently wants to bring Shireen for the journey and Sylese doubts that is proper. Ever a great mother, she doubts if Shireen’s doubt with the Lord of Light is real or just meant as a spite against her. Melisandre suggests that Selyse never needs deception because she is strong enough to see the truth. There was no spite. And Shireen had to go with her and Stannis. “The Lord needs her” she whispers and all the viewers immediately shrank with a morbid fear as the two women stared into the flickering flames.
Brienne and Podrick continue their lovely journey through the lands in search of Sansa Stark, her demeanor especially snarky. HOT PIE comes back!!!!!!! HOT PIE! He still loves to talk, though. He hadn’t seen any Starks, although it was clear he was hiding something. He calls the Starks traitors for safety and Brienne quickly puts that notion to rest, citing her loyalty to Catelyn Stark. As they’re leaving, Hot Pie comes running out and says that he found Brienne trustworthy. He mentioned he knows Arya, their escape from the Lannisters and their run-in with the Brotherhood. He asks Brienne to give Arya something just in case she found her. It was another wolf-bread, but this time much more well-definied and with carved designs, too! Awww. My heart. Podrick mentions the Eyrie being the last safe haven for the Stark sisters with Lysa being a blood relative and hating the Lannisters, citing his political training from Lord Tyrion. And then they’re off.
Champions are selected for the trial, and I almost wish that they had picked out the names from the goblet. Tyrion is waiting in his dark cell, his face illuminated by Prince Oberyn’s torch. He mentions how he saw right through Cersei’s talk and how he loved that Lannisters wanted dead Lannisters as much as he did. Oberyn remembers the first trip he took to Casterly Rock as a child, his first trip outside of Dorne. All the way he tells Tyrion how rumors spread of the monster born to Tywin Lannister. He and Elia were really disappointed when they finally saw baby Tyrion. Neither of them thought that Tyrion was truly a monster. He was just a baby. But little Cersei had yelled “He killed my mother” and how she wanted him to die. “Sooner or later, Cersei always gets what she wants” Tyrion says quietly. Oberyn says he wants justice. “If you want justice, you’ve come to the wrong place” Tyrion remarks dryly, and one can hardly blame him. “I disagree. I’ve come to the perfect place” Oberyn retorts. He wants justice and he will get it, starting with Ser Gregor Clegane. “I will be your champion.” Tyrion’s face breaks with relief and his eyes spark again.
The Eyrie gets its first blast of winter and the shots of the Eyrie in the snow are mind-numbingly gorgeous. Sansa becomes homesick, the frigid flurries reminding her evermore of Winterfell. Alayne begins making snow castle that slowly forms into her home that now lies in smoke. It’s a great turning point for Sansa. The pampered princess who wanted nothing more than to escape the North and become a Lannister Queen in the South now longs for the wood and stone fortress more than anything else. And my heart broke for her, helped by the somber Stark score in the background. Robyn talks to Sansa and she does her best to be sweet to him. “I’ll never go back.” she muses. Robyn asks if Winterfell had a moon door and he makes one when Sansa says there wasn’t one by destroying the top of a tower. “You ruined it” Sansa remarks quietly as a quiet joke and Robyn proceeds to destroy the whole castle, yelling that he mad it better by making a moon door. Sansa slaps Robyn across the face, an action Littlefinger approves of by stating calmly that his mother should have done that instead many years ago. Sansa looks at him steely and asks him why he really killed Joffrey. Simple enough answer. He loved Catelyn more than she could ever know. “Given the opportunity, what do we do those who hurt the ones we love?” He proceeds to notice that she’s more beautiful than Catelyn and he kisses her. Lysa witnesses it, a great sudden camera shot by Sakharov and wonderfully scored in the background with Ramin Djawadi’s composition “Black of Hair”, originally played when Ned went through the lineage book that Jon Arryn had used during his own investigation. How ironic and fitting that that piece be used here with Jon’s true murderers.
Ah, the Moon Door. What a great contraption. It always seemed that more than one person in the series’ run would fall out of it and Mockingbird in this regard does not disappoint. It’s enthralling. Sansa walks back, disgusted by what just happened at Lysa’s beckoning. She talks about how far the fall from the Moon Door. She has a way with words, I’ll give her that. She accosts Sansa, grabbing her by her hair and forcing her to look down the Moon Door, yelling that everyone who stood between her and Petyr died. Lysa screams at Petyr after he tells her to let Sansa go. He promises on his life that he would send Sansa away. Lysa breaks down, and you almost feel sorry for her before you remember what the two of them had caused. He comforts Lysa and tells her that “I have only loved one woman, only one, my entire life.” She smiles in expectation like a little child and it’s almost sympathetic. “Your sister.” Littlefinger finishes coldly. Lysa’s eyes widen in shock and then out she goes, tumbling through the moon door, her body becoming more and more insignificant the further she falls.
Written By: David Benioff and D. B. Weiss
Director: Alik Sakharov
Image Courtesy: Fanpop