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GAME OF THRONES Recap: Never Mock a Mockingbird (Unless You Have a Deathwish!)

Holy Game of Thrones was that ever an episode, Batman! The gift that keeps on giving, this week’s installment of the HBO Sex-and-Murder-Palooza showed us the power of influence and what happens when you’ve got yourself a champion. The Stark girls are growing up. Little by little — for better or for worse (cough, Arya) — they’re learning the cruel, cruel ways of the world and how to operate within it. Lessons by the pound where lofted upon Sansa and Arya in particular this week, with Bran nowhere to be seen (let alone Rickon), and Jon Snow getting forced to swallow his pride in the face of antagonism. But perhaps the most important lesson of all? Never cross a mockingbird — you’ll get a whole lot worse than mocked. But we’ll get to that later.

After “The Laws of Gods and Men” showed humanity at its worst, “Mockingbird” is giving us something else entirely: a weird little bit of hope.

GOING DOWN IN MEEREEN:
You know what’s going down in Meereen? DAARIO NAHARIS IS GOING DOWN IN MEEREEN. Oh shiiiiiiiiiiiit! Get it, Dany: get it. Seriously, though, the face she made when she saw that sweet, sweet Tyroshi wang was something most ladies (and some gents) could understand. It translated to “oh yeah it’s ON now” and no doubt she was ready when it came her way (Khal’s been dead awhile now, y’all).

But Daario’s influence almost sent her down the wrong path. (The bloodlust is strong with this one. As well as all the other lusts.) Thankfully, before sending Daario off to Yunkai to kill all the masters and return the slave city to the fold — ruin her image forever in the process no doubt — Jorah convinced her to send Hizdahr zo Loraq from last week’s episode to explain the Meereenese cautionary tale that is what happened to their masters with Khaleesi in charge. Hopefully she stays on the right path and doesn’t lose sight of the necessity of mercy.

HEADING NORTH TO THE WALL:
Not much went down with Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch — they spent the entirety of their (very limited) on-screen time fighting over the merits of blocking the tunnel that separates The Wall from those oncoming Wildlings. Of course, the old fuddyduddies cared not for Snow’s very reasoned and logical suggestion, pushing our favorite brooding broodster to Defcon BROODOUT.

STANDING STILL IN THE RED KEEP:
Tyrion Lannister is waiting for his trial by combat but has nary a champion to ride into battle for him. Cersei had The Mountain (The Hound’s terrifyingly large and super-evil older brother) wrangled to be hers, but Jaime and Bronn — Tyrion’s go-tos — are both out of the running. Jaime because his left hand still hasn’t caught up to his old sword one, and Bronn because well, he’s a swellsword first and Cersei’s Lannister money works just as well as Tyrion’s. And, y’know, Lollys Stokeworth’s status as nobility with a castle certainly doesn’t hurt either.

But thankfully there is a man of influence whose heart is run by vengeance and his name is OBERYN MARTELL. Yes: the Viper is going up against The Mountain. That one is sure to grind those Lannister gears. (Get ‘em, Oberyn! Get ‘em!)

GOT407 Pod Brienne
ON THE ROAD:
Podrick and Brienne are at a crossroads (literally) after running into the one, the only, HOTPIE! Aww, and he gave them not only a bunch of key information (Arya is alive! She likes wolf-shaped bread!), but a major lesson on the merits of gravy in meat pies. Did they head north to The Wall or east to The Eyrie (where Podrick correctly surmised Sansa may be)? Ahhhh hurry up next week!

Elsewhere on the road, Arya and The Hound are up to their killing ways, although it was far more about mercy this go-around. Surprising, coming from The Hound and serial murderperson-to-be, Arya Stark. To see them help a man nearly dead, well, die — it was a lovely moment from a pair of rambling killers. But Arya needed to learn at least a bit of mercy, as right now all she’s learned from The Hound is ruthlessness.

Although we’re not so convinced Arya is out of the going-to-maybe-one-day-be-a-sorta-bad-guy clear just yet (or, really, ever — let’s be real): her new life mantra? “Nothing isn’t better or worse than anything. Nothing is just nothing.” Considering how successful she’s been at pretending to be nothing special, we’re not really all that surprised.

OUT EAST IN THE EYRIE:
While Arya’s lesson of the night was understanding how to be nothing at all (perfect for someone who wishes to learn the ropes from the Faceless Men of Braavos, eh?), Sansa’s was more about manipulation. And who better to learn that from then the master himself, Petyr Baelish. Oh, Littlefinger you scallywag, you!

Of course, Littlefinger, in his ongoing Catelyn Tully obsession, has taken a certain predilection for Sansa — though knowing him it’s just until he takes Winterfell as his own and gives her over to the White Walkers. After Robin Arryn throws a nice little fit, causing Sansa to give him a long (long, long, long long long) overdue smack across the face, which you know totally turned Littlefinger on. His penchant for violence and harming people all but assures that.

It’s sort of rich that he’s taken the mockingbird as his personal crest (not a fan of the Baelish sigil I guess?), considering the symbolism (yup: we’re going there) associated with it. Namely that of innocence. Yeah: pretty sure the man behind the deaths of at least one king and one hand, is far from an innocent dude. Especially after he pushed Lysa out the Moon Door while telling her he never loved her — because, you know, her existence wasn’t a lie enough already.

Stuff and Things and Other Loose Ends

- Why do we think The Lord of Light needs Shireen?
- Does that mean she’s going to die soon?
- (That means she’s going to die soon, doesn’t it?)
- The Hound is totally going to die from that flesh wound festering, isn’t he?
- Nothing makes me happier than a boy reunited with his direwolf.
- Brienne to Pod: “You’re not interesting enough to be offensive.” UM THAT IS 100% NOT TRUE, Brienne.
- We love you Pod!
- Where the heck is Rickon?
- Seriously though: WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO RICKON.

What’d you think of this week’s Game of Thrones? Do you have some theories (non-spoiler-y of course, you book fans) on what has happened to Rickon? Let us know in the comments.

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