Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT! (For the show, NOT the books)
I could seriously watch a whole season of this show comprised only of conversations. Sure all the sex and violence is a major part of the show but boy do they throw together some great dialogue. I mean, around 90% of this episode was just people talking, and it was great all the way through. Just seriously good television here.
Arya’s time spent with Tywin Lannister is one of the best pairings the show has ever had, but her unlikely alliance with The Hound is quickly catching up. She probably still wants to kill him, but for now their trip across the countryside is providing her with a wealth of life experiences. She’s already grown up a lot since we first met her in Winterfell, but now she’s starting to look like she has what it takes to survive on her own in Westeros. The only question is what it will cost her in the end. She’s already lost most of her family, and on the evidence of how quickly she killed Rorge, she’s well on the path to becoming someone like The Hound in a way.
Their run-in with the dying farmer was a great moment, with Arya questioning his reasons for staying alive and The Hound putting the man out of his misery, while using the moment to teach Arya where the heart was. Having them suddenly be attacked by Biter and Rorge was a good surprise, and an effective way of reminding us that there’s a bounty on The Hound’s head. This all lead to their best moment together yet as The Hound opened up about his brother’s attack on him all those years ago that resulted in his scarred face. It was an unexpectedly tender moment between the two of them, as Arya proceeded to clean his neck wound.
We got a little bit more action this week as we learned that The Hound’s brother himself, The Mountain, would be the one to face Tyrion’s champion. By the way, your eyes were not deceiving you, that was indeed a new actor playing The Mountain. Hafthor Bjornsson is now the third actor in four seasons to play the same role. He certainly is a mountain of a man anyway, as evidenced by his utter annihilation of those poor prisoners. I’m looking forward to seeing him in action properly soon enough.
Speaking of the trial and Tyrion, he got to have three excellent conversations this week, with Jaime, Bronn and Oberyn. The first two conversations didn’t offer him any hope at all as first Jaime informed him he could not fight for him, and then Bronn told him he would not fight for him. The revelation that Bronn was turning his back on him was heartbreaking, but in the end it was a complete betrayal. Bronn simply didn’t believe he could definitely defeat the Mountain, so his thinking was why should they both end up dead? Of course he got a nice deal from Cersei to sweeten the pot, but in the end Tyrion and he parted on good enough terms.
Oberyn’s visit lead to the most surprising revelation on Tyrion’s side of things as Oberyn agreed to be his champion. We’ve known Oberyn has had his own anti-Lannister agenda since his arrival on the show, along with killing the man who killed his sister and her children was too good of an opportunity. We don’t know too much about how formidable Oberyn may be on the battlefield but it’s obvious that “The Red Viper of Dorne” versus “The Mountain That Rides” shall be a very entertaining fight indeed.
Daenerys got a little bit more screen time this week as things progressed within her kingdom and her bedroom. Daario has been a bold presence on the show this season and after sneaking into her chambers late at night, Dany found herself giving into his charms. Poor Jorah wasn’t too pleased to run into Daario leaving the next morning, but he soon rebounded by convincing his Queen to show mercy to the slavers in Yunkai. Instead of massacring them, Daario will now offer them a chance to survive. It was a nice moment for Jorah, but with Daario firmly in the picture now it’s safe to assume tension may start to mount.
A few other characters got some brief time this week too. Jon returned from the ranging to find Thorne still acting like an idiot. He unsuccessfully appealed to have the tunnel beneath the Wall blocked and now he and Sam have to await Mance’s arrival on the top of The Wall. Melisandre had one completely naked scene with Selyse Baratheon in which we learned that Shireen would be accompanying them on a journey. Finally we also caught up with Brienne and Pod who continued their search for Sansa. After running into Hot Pie in a tavern, they learned that Arya is very much alive and they deduce that she may be on her way to The Eyrie. With Sansa already at The Eyrie, it’s exciting to see Brienne hot on their trail, but there’s a long way to go for them yet.
The biggest twist of the week was saved for last, as we joined Sansa, Littlefinger and the craziest Mother and Son team in Westeros. After Sansa gave Robin a very satisfying slap, Littlefinger decided to creep all over her and lay down a big sloppy kiss. It’s wrong in a whole load of different ways of course, but none of that matters right now as Lysa witnessed the whole thing and proceeded to try and throw Sansa out of The Moon Door to her death. Littlefinger, always the silver tongued devil, managed to talk his wife out of it… right before admitting the only person he ever loved was her sister and shoving Lysa to her death! Littlefinger has really lit up the screen since returning a few episodes ago and this was yet another example of how far he is willing to go to get exactly what he wants.
A quiet week on “Game of Thrones” can sometimes amount to a great week and that’s exactly what we got here. A few major moments surrounded by quiet conversations that helped wrap up stories, enhance others and give us a whole load to look forward to. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to wait a little longer than usual for the next episode as the show takes a break next week, but “Mockingbird” did it’s absolute best to ensure the wait will be excruciating.
What was your reaction to the “push?” Did your mouth water at the sight of dire wolf bread? Stick the comments with the pointy end below? (PLEASE, NO BOOK SPOILERS!)
The Night Of: “The Call of the Wild” Review
Vice Principals: “The Foundation of Learning” Review
The Night Of: “Ordinary Death” Review
Joe Hill’s ‘The Fireman’ Review
How Speedrunning Changed My Perception of Games
Vice Principals: “Circles” Review
The Night Of: “Samson and Delilah” Review
‘Batman: The Killing Joke’ Review
Vice Principals: “Run for the Money” Review
The Night Of: “The Season of the Witch” Review