Editor’s Note: “The Eye of Newb” contains spoilers from the episode listed. If you have not watched the episode written about, you have been warned. But as Matt has not read the books (as of yet), you do not have to worry about future spoilers.
The Eye of Newb (Return of the Newb)
Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 7: Mockingbird
“It is rare to meet a Lannister who shares my enthusiasm for dead Lannisters.”- Oberyn Martell
So nice to be back on my own damn couch, Dear Reader, armed with a much better beer selection than Midtown Manhattan, comfortably awaiting the fallout from the Imp’s open declaration of war on his father. Fortified with a Young’s Double Choccy and giddy with the glee, Friends.
Thus, no lengthy prelude from yer Newb tonight, but rather straight into the action, already in progress… Off we go!
- We open with Jaime and Tyrion in the dungeons. The Golden Boy with the Golden Arm is pee-yossed! Fallout, stage one – Anger. Dinklage continues his run of phenomenal emotional range, only a bit more tightly controlled, all while he and his brother plot various insults to dear old Dad.
- The foreseeable upshot of the scene, of course, is that Jaime won’t be the Imp’s champion this time, either. Not out of misplaced loyalty or some such, but simply due to he knows that he can’t win. No shock there.
- Well, that, and the fact (communicated by way a deliciously gruesome scene of slaughter) that Cersei has chosen Gregor Clegane as her champion. Of course. Cruelty knows no bounds, and far be it from the Ice Queen Regent not to test them anyway. What fool would stand for Tyrion against The Mountain Who Rides? Here’s hoping that Bronn still has his legendary cockiness.
- Did anyone else, BTW, feel that Cersei was right at home strolling gaily through the viscera of doomed men? Just askin’.
- Cut away to Arya (yes! Arya!) and the Other Clegane riding up to a burning lodge of some kind. Complete with a gut-stabbed old guy. Festive!
- Very intriguing scene with the gut-stabbed dude The conclusion? Arya and the Hound should never, ever be allowed to work for the Westeros Suicide Hotline, Friends. Ev-ah.
- The Newb loved the commentary from the dying man about the whole world of Westeros being out of balance. That could portend the run of this whole tale – whomsoever restores balance to this world will also end the story. Or perhaps that’s crap and the Newb is merely waxing philosophical again.
- A drink, a quickened death, and a convenient anatomy lesson follow, only to be capped off by a wannabe vampire.
- What idiot tries to take down a man the size and strength of Sandor Clegane by biting him? The Black Knight? I thought he was partial to kneecaps.
- And the other dumbass, the one who – in a past life wanted to shove a stick up Arya’s nethers last season – gets a quick blade to the heart, as well. Arya… I think I love you. Even more. One day, dear girl, you will make an excellent Faceless Woman.
- We swing northward to Castle Black, and more of the Sno-Tep and Thorne Comedy of Errors Hour. One day, Alliser, the Wildings will arrive, and you, Ser, will get the sharp end of your comeuppance.
- A roomful of Crows get a quick lesson in exactly how screwed they are from Sno-Tep while Thorne plays politics and Rome prepares to smolder, or freeze… whichever.
- Cut back to Tyrion gazing wistfully up out of his dungeon at the lone slip of sunlight, and lo and behold, a decidedly more fashionable and less bloodthirsty Bronn arrives. I’ll be the first to say that that, there, ain’t no ‘I’ll be your champion’ ensemble. Here, at the end, Bronn quite sensibly wimps out. Dammit. WIll no one set aside plotting the demise of old, barren sisters-in-law long enough to fight for Tyrion?
- I will most definitely miss the Imp and Bronn Act. This feels like its end, tho. Sealed with a handshake.
- Off to Meereen. Ah, Gawd no. It’s Novartis again. This dude is just tiresome. And naked. Two qualities I have a great deal of trouble stomaching in a male character. Especially in a storyline this plodding, At the very least, Dany’s newfound maturity is showcased again – from quavering, young, beaten bride-to-be to badass Khaleesi who takes what, and who, she wants – in 4 short seasons. Impressive.
- From one naked, tiresome character to another loathsome naked one we go. Off to Dragonstone, and Melisandre in the bath with Lady Baratheon. Babble, babble, babble…what?! Do not hurt Davos’ reading teacher, you evil wench! She is the one bright spark left in the Onion’s life. Shereen must live, and her awful, awful mother must be thwarted before blood is drawn. Oh, and the Red Woman needs a swift kick in the teeth. Soon.
- Back over the water to Meereen. Jorah no like Novartis. Again with Dany sparring with a man only to relent at the last – but only a bit. Lather, rinse, repeat. Ser Jorah looks like a puppy with a treat as he leaves. Can we, for the love of all that’s holy, move on, please?
- Thank you! Off to Arya (yes! Arya again!) and the Hound, reciting a litany of interesting descriptors. This is an absolutely beautiful dialogue, Dear Reader. The Hound bares his soul to his captive – and practically has me in his pocket by the end. This guy had no chance. “You think you’re on your own?” I wish only good things for this foul man going forward – he’s paid enough already.
- On the flip side, if the Newb’s dear, darling, lethally awesome Arya still wants to kill the poor bastard, she can now. The Hound has allowed her in, allowed her to show him kindness and help.
- We sidle away to a nearby inn, replete with Pod and Brienne enjoying some kidney pie, courtesy of – hey that’s Hot Pie! Ooooh, and he’s a talker, ain’t he? And fiercely loyal, to boot – even when Brienne reveals the noble reason behind her interest in Starks.
- Poor Pod means well in his cautions to Brienne. How could he possibly know that he’s picked precisely the wrong conversation to caution her about? These two are gelling, and Brienne is beginning to take his counsel. Sweet! Plus, her “You were saying?” is spot-on pitch perfect.
- I wonder what will happen to the pair of them on that narrow valley-of-the-shadow-of-death passage into the Eyrie. (Shudder)
- Cut back to the mildly far-gone visage of the Imp in the dungeons of King’s Landing. And a surprise visitor! Yes! The New Boy! Well, Friends, I could’ve and should’ve called this as soon as the Mountain was pronounced Cersei’s champion. You go, Oberyn! Kill that big, ugly badass with your poisons and your prowess and your unbridled rage.
- Wow! Damn. Just… damn. Amazing monologue from Oberyn (and the line of the night, BTW), not to mention the massive range of emotions playing out just beneath the surface of Peter Dinklage’s craggy, flame-bathed face. Give this dude not one Emmy, but ALL of them. Ever. Now.
- There it is. Oberyn will fight for the Imp, if only to secure admissions and death from Gregor Clegane. He may lose, but I doubt it – not without exacting a terrible price. I hope. Just to see actual pain on Cersei’s smug face.
- Off we go from the dark dungeons of Castle Black to the brilliant white of a snowy Eyrie. The look of pure delight on Poor, Poor, Pitiful Sansa’s face is palpable, beautiful and lifts the Newb’s heart. I wonder how long it’s been since this tortured Northern girl has seen snow?
- She quickly, as all children do, turns to playing with – building with – the magical white powder, only to have Robin, the Dimwit Sociopath, despite his protestations to the contrary, ruin her recreation of Winterfell.
- Good for you, Sansa! Smack that punk again. He needs it. And good on Baelish for backing her play. Even though the temperature dropped on his arrival. And I mean that as a compliment, for the record.
- Eeesh. Littlefinger is at his wicked best, and that move in for a kiss from Sansa sent shivers down my spine, especially after he mentions, idly, that she might have been his daughter under different circumstances God, I love this character! You never know when he’s actually telling the truth. I stand corrected – Tommy Carcetti was not Aidan Gillen’s best role. Baelish is.
- And Lysa in the background. Oooooo… this is gonna get good, although maybe bad. Please don’t kill Sansa, Producers. Not until Brienne finds her, anyway.
- As if on cue, the Poor, Poor, Pitiful One is summoned to ‘Ole Bag of Meth Ferrets Lady’s throne room. By the Moon Door. Run, Sansa! Run, you stupid girl!
- And Lysa goes all full-on screaming Skeletor. I’m genuinely frightened by this nutball and she’s only on my teevee.
- Oh, it’s Baelish. And he can’t stand Lysa, but he’s using her. And he clearly has the hots for Sansa. Run, Lysa. No, wait – don’t. Stay right there by the hole in floor and weep.
- Hee, hee, hee – yes!! Go Baelish. “I’ve only loved one woman…” and it ain’t you, Skeletor. Shovey, shovey, shove-shove. All that was missing from that scene was the Vincent Price laugh.
What a way to close, Friends. The battle between the Mountain and New Boy is tee’d up, with Tyrion’s life in the balance. Pod and Brienne are closing Sansa – now a murder witness – and must walk a treacherous path to get there. Baelish is ascendant. I’m so very in!
The Good – Baelish and more Baelish, Sansa in the snow, Oberyn as champion, and Dinklage… simply Dinklage.
The Bad – Cersei and the Mountain, the parting of Bronn and Tyrion, and pretty much all of Meereen.
The Ugly – Melisandre and her taste for plotting infanticide in the nude.
Until some random future point, I remain your faithful Newb.