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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Game of Thrones S04 E07: “Mockingbird” (a million ways to die in Westeros)

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(previous: “The Laws of Gods and Men”)

Someone on Twitter called this episode “A Million Ways to Die in Westeros.” I wish I’d thought of that. Cuz it’s perfect. So I’m stealing it.

You can be killed as an act of mercy as a surprisingly “kindness” by one of the most vicious men in all the lands. You can be killed as an act of vengeance by a little girl with a little sword. You can be killed by this guy:

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just for “volunteering” to be his exercise sparring partner. You can be killed by getting thrown out a window in the floor of a castle thousands of feet above a rocky precipice by your own husband, whom you would have known not to trust if you hadn’t been so delusional about him:

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And those are only the actual deaths in this episode. Then there are all the future deaths very likely being set in motion by stuff that happened here. You might be killed by failing to heed Jon Snow (who might, in fact, know a thing or two) when he warns about the unstoppable force heading directly at the Wall you’re supposed to be guarding. You might die because you (or your mother) believed the seductive flattery of a witch when she told you (or your mother) that you (or your mother) were too sophisticated to require lies and tricks and potions and such

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to see the “truth” about things, like how you need to get on that warship that’s leaving soon.

This guy

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is almost certainly going to get himself killed doing something grand and violent that he believes will impress Daenerys.

The Hound could very well die from an infection caused by that human bite on his neck that he refused to let Arya sterilize with fire. That would be a fairly ignominious end for him.

I don’t see how Oberyn, as Tyrion’s champion, is not going to be killed by Cersei’s Mountain of a champion.

I don’t see how Tyrion is not going to kill Cersei after hearing that horrific story that Oberyn told about “meeting” Tyrion when he was a baby, and how cruel Cersei was to him. (If you were not already convinced that Peter Dinklage is a god, the reactions on his face in that scene should do the trick.)

I would fear that both Baelish and that psychotic little monster Robin Arryn will never die, but I figure one of them is gonna have to kill the other — I really was hoping it would be Robin who would “fly” in this episode — and soon.

Oh! And you might just die — if only metaphorically — of culinary boredom if you “gave up on the gravy.”

(next: “The Mountain and the Viper”)


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  • LaSargenta

    I’m not watching this, haven’t read the books; but reading this post makes me want to go back to the Sunshine and see Only Lovers again.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Evidently, the scene with the dying old man borrowed several lines of dialog, and an acclaimed actor, from “Waiting for Gadot”. Which is almost a shame, since that line, “Haven’t you had enough?” is just so perfect coming from Clegane. I don’t really credit this show for a lot of sophisticated symbolism and metaphor* but that scene was really Sandor meeting himself.

    I also don’t credit this show with moving me emotionally very often** but I must confess I teared up for Arya. The interwebs like to talk about what a badass she’s becoming, but what I see is her slowly turning to stone, and it’s heartbreaking.

    * Others disagree, but to me it’s all pretty much exactly what it says on the tin.

    ** Except for Peter Dinklage, who can contort that funny, rubbery face of his in the most subtle and marvelous ways.

  • These posts must be quite mysterious to you. And yet you read them anyway…

  • LaSargenta

    Yeah, I’m weird like that.

  • Dinklage has been especially great this season. Can’t wait for the last episode (even though I will have to wait a few more weeks for it). Yes, I’ve read the books so I know what happens there!! It’s my second favorite thing after…the death everyone cheered so much over earlier this season.

  • Bluejay

    The Hound could very well die from an infection… That would be a fairly ignominious end for him.

    Reminds me very much of Khal Drogo. This story isn’t afraid to let warriors die lingering, unwarlike deaths.

    Not really digging the Daario replacement. The original actor had an interesting kind of oily narcissism going on. I don’t see anything in the new guy at all. Or maybe it’s just that the script isn’t giving him that much to say or do.

    Nice to see Hot Pie and his pastry wolf again. And I have no words for how good Dinklage has been this season (and all through the series, really).

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