As one of the few, but rabid, Sansa Stark fans, “Mockingbird” was the episode I was most looking forward to this season. The title alone, which represents Littlefinger’s house sigil, promised a deeper look into her situation at the Vale with her crazed aunt and pedo-tastic white knight. But I was also skeptical. The show has a tendency to take some of the biggest non-wedding moments from the books and makes them smaller than they should be. Since the show has been switching around the timeline in order to stuff as much action as possible into a single season, it was a little disappointing that the events that were among the final pages of the third book would come 3 episodes before the finale. Still, I was hopeful that the show would do right by some of the most exciting material the series has to offer.
Here are the best and worst moments of “Mockingbird.”
- Jamie is understandably pissed that Tyrion just threw away his chance at survival, which Jamie was willing to bargain for in exchange for everything that made him happy. Tyrion points out that Tywin was getting everything he wanted: Tyrion out of the way where he can’t be a shame to the family and Jamie back in his rightful place as the Lannister heir. It felt as good for Tyrion to take that away from him as it was for us, as viewers, to hear it last week.
- The brotherly bonding moments between Jamie and Tyrion are increasingly adorable. Tyrion wants Jamie to fight as his champion, but Jamie doesn’t feel confident in his ability to fight with just his left hand. Tyrion points out that it’d be pretty hilarious if Mr. Big Plans Lannister not only didn’t get things to go his way, but he also had to watch as his family’s best chance as an heir died right in front of his face. They both laugh at the thought, even though it would mean the end of both of them. But it’s clearly not going to happen, so Tyrion asks for his second best choice: Bronn.
- The Mountain, who Cersei has chosen to fight on behalf of the crown, kills a bunch of people for (probably) no reason at all. Cersei watches wistfully from a safe distance, like she’s watching a new pet wag its tail. “Who am I fighting?” The Mountain asks. “Does it matter?” she responds. Nah, bro. Whoever The Mountain ends up fighting is gonna end up in pieces.
- This exchange between Arya and a mortally wounded man. “So why go on?” she asks him. “Habit.” “Nothing can be worse than this.” “Nothing is worse than this.” “Nothing isn’t better or worse than anything. Nothing is just nothing.”
- While The Hound is distracted putting the wounded man out of his misery, a man jumps on him and bites his neck. The Hound kills him in two seconds flat. He finds out from a second man that Joffrey is dead and there is now a price on his head. The man had previously taunted Arya but hadn’t made her list of people to kill because she didn’t know his name. The Hound asks “What’s your name?” “Rorge,” he answers. Arya thanks him and then stabs him to death.
- Arya tries to cauterize The Hound’s wound, but he’s too afraid of fire. (How much you wanna bet that this is going to bite him in the ass later?) He tells her about what happened to his face, how his brother put his face to fire because he borrowed a toy. “The worst thing was that it was my brother who did it. My father protected him.”
- Tyrion finds out that Bronn won’t be his champion. Cersei has arranged for him to be married to the dim witted Lollys, who is the second in line to inherit a castle. (And Bronn is more than willing to arrange that she becomes the first in line.) He tells Tyrion: “I’m your friend. And when have you ever risked your life for me…I like you and the little sh!t that you are. I just like myself more.” What’s striking about this scene is that Cersei probably tried to get him to testify against Tyrion, but Bronn likely refused. Sure, he’s not standing behind his friend, but Tyrion can respect that Bronn is choosing a respectable life over certain death. He shakes his hand. “I guess I’ll have to slay The Mountain myself.”
- NOPE! Oberyn comes to Tyrion in his cells and tells him about the first time they met. Oberyn and his sister were sent to stay with the Lannisters for a bit and they were so excited when they heard that the third child, just born, was a monster. They were told tales of a baby with a tail, claws, red eyes, and other monstrous features. When they finally got a chance to see the baby Tyrion, they were disappointed. Oberyn told little Cersei, “That’s no monster. That’s just a baby.” She responded that he killed their mother and she hoped he died soon. It’s a little insight into this volatile sibling relationship. Tyrion had no chance with his sister because she was dead set on hating him from the start. Oberyn tells Tyrion that he wants justice for his sister. “If you want justice, you’ve come to the wrong place,” Tyrion says. “I disagree," replies Oberyn. "I’ve come to the perfect place.” Oberyn agrees to be Tyrion’s champion. Cannot wait.
- Oberyn: “It’s rare to find a Lannister who shares my enthusiasm for dead Lannisters.”
- Sansa asks Littlefinger why he really killed Joffrey. He says, “I loved your mother more than you could ever know. Given the opportunity, what do we do to those who hurt the ones we love?” I really hope that’s foreshadowing for her future.
- “Silly woman…I’ve only loved one woman. Only one. My entire life…Your sister.”