As hard as it is to believe, we’re already approaching the business end of this series of Game Of Thrones (where have the weeks gone?). And what an end it promises to be – although there were no dragons in this week’s ep. #Disappointing…
Following Tyrion’s passionate outburst at the end of the last episode (which surely secured another award for Peter Dinklage), he is now facing the dilemma of finding someone to stand for him in his trial by combat. Not many are willing to step forward when they learn his opponent will be the Mountain (recast for the third time, and finally looking a ruthless, terrifying opponent). Both his brother and Bronn refuse to help, leaving a bleak death looking likely for Tyrion. However, that looks like it could change when the stand-out introduction of this season, Prince Oberyn, steps in, seeing defending Tyrion’s life as the perfect opportunity to reek revenge against Gregor Clegane. Surely he’ll have to win, but as Tyrion says: ‘If you want justice you’ve come to the wrong place’ . Could these prophetic words be a foreshadowing of his own death? Surely not!?
Meanwhile the Mountain’s brother, Sandor Clegane (AKA The Hound), continues his blossoming double-act with Arya. Definitely getting some of the best one-liners at the moment, he reveals the monstrous thing his brother did to him as a child, strengthening out loathing for the Mountain prior to his fight. Surely, just once, someone must get their just desserts in Westeros – but in G.R.R. Martin’s twisted mind who knows.
The show’s other pair, Brienne and Podrick, bump into an old show favourite who reveals Arya is still alive – there’s (almost) a touching moment when the musterious figure give them a gift to give the young Stark. It’ll almost certainly never reach her but hey, it’s the thought that counts…
Then we’re across the narrow sea, where Daenerys has fallen, quite predictably, for Darrio’s charms and accepts council from Jorah to show mercy to the slave traders. As good as her storyline can be, it has felt very padded at times this season; I think I speak for every fan when I say I have to resist the urge to shout ‘JUST GO TO WESTEROS ALREADY!!!’ every time she appears on-screen. Hopefully over the next few episodes things will start to move in that direction – but at the rate it’s going, Winter will have fully arrived before she does.
Elsewhere, we’re left in little-to-no doubt that Stannis’s daughter is probably in for a gruesome fate when Melisandre persuades her mother to bring her to bring her alongside the army do her lord’s bidding… In case you’re reading, Shereen, get out while you can!
Finally, the episode winds up at the Vale, where we see how Sansa is getting on with the increasingly creepy Petyr Baelish and her deranged aunt, Lysa. Following the revelation that he set the conflict between the Lannisters and the Starks in motion last episode, The ‘Mockingbird’ of the title is continuing to fill up the hated character role vacated by Joffrey. He not only kisses Sansa mere moments after saying in another life she could have been his daughter (er…), he then proceeds to push Lysa out of the much-loved moon door -seconds after it looked like she’d push Sansa through it. Too. Much. Dramaz. Role on next week!
Words: Peter Byrne