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Episode 4.07 "Mockingbird" discussion thread

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  • Priceless
    Oh my lord, Daario is such a cringe merchant. I really wish Dany hadn't fallen for his charms. Poor Jorah, he serves her so well and is such a good adviser, I feel for him.

    Great to see the Baker Boy again, he's as annoying as always, but his wolf bread looked amazing!

    I appreciated Sansa building a snow castle and how homesick she is, which isn't something we've really heard her talk about before. Her spat with Robin was funny, they were both childish and he hadn't ruined her castle, she could have easily fixed it, but instead she wanted to slap something. I think she's more like Arya then either of them know, and I'm sure she's got her own list of people she'd love to push through the moon door.

    There was something revolting about Baelish suggesting that in a different world Sansa would have been his daughter, and then kissing her. It was horrible and Baelish has definitely fallen off my 'characters I like' list. I loved Lysa's lunacy, and she had the perfect ending, and that almost got Baelish back on the list.

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  • TimeTravellingBunny
    Sansa is definitely not attracted to Littlefinger at all in the books and only finds his sexual advances uncomfortable and unpleasant, it's really clear in her POV chapters, so if the scene made some people think she was attracted to him or liked the kiss, then the execution of the scene was really botched. I don't think she was kissing him back at all, but the combination of the kiss lasting a bit too long on screen and Sansa not protesting and calling LF on his shit immediately and telling him how inappropriate he is being, as she does in the books (which doesn't deter him from continuing his advances against her will), as well as the lack of her internal thoughts where she's thinking about there being nowhere to save her from LF, comparing his unwanted kiss to a previous rape attempt by Marillion, and wishing to get away from both of them, may have left a wrong impression in some viewers, unfortunately - it didn't show any attraction on Sansa's part, but as it didn't show just how much she objected to that kiss, it left things too ambiguous and unclear, perhaps, and didn't get across that this was completely non-consensual. (It's frustrating to see these kind of failed executions of scenes, where a non-consensual kiss can be interpreted as consensual, and what was supposed to be a consensual sex scene (Jaime and Cersei in the sept) is seen by most as rape thanks to the awful directing.

    Sansa is not any more attracted to LF in the show than she is in the books, they wouldn't change that. But the next episode showed where they're going - in both the books and the show, she doesn't trust him or actually like him that much, but she has to rely on him because he is her safest bet of being protected from the Lannisters or anyone who would turn her over to them to be executed: she knows that he doesn't want her dead and that he has an interest in her. Book!Sansa is in a basically helpless position and has no choice, since she is afraid that people would find out who she is and can't trust anyone, and she has to pretend in front of everyone that LF is her father, so she tries to even convince herself of that; she seems to be having friendlier thoughts about him with time and looks up to him as her mentor who's teaching her about the 'game', but she's not happy with his creepy unwanted kisses, though her reaction is just to ignore them and push them out of her mind like they are not happening (while dwelling obsessively on a
    fantasy/fake memory of a kiss with Sandor that never actually happened)
    . However, everything that goes on in her mind is really complicated and subtle and would probably be either impossible to fully convey, or lost on the TV audience (it's even lost on many readers, or there are different and opposing interpretations), so they simplified things in The Mountain and the Viper by having Sansa fully aware where she stands with LF and as open about it as she can be, and letting her have a degree of power over Littlefinger that will allow her to keep his sexual advances at bay, while using his obsession to manipulate him, learning politics from him and using him for her own ends the way he tries to use her. I was always convinced that this is where book!Sansa (who is 13 at this point) is progressing to, without even realizing it yet, and the show seems to have sped up her storyline and already turn her into a player over night.

    Which is funny, since they made her look much more naive and passive in season 3 than she was in the books. I bet that GRRM telling them about the rest of Sansa's arc in the pre-season 4 meeting made them realize that they have to stop making Sansa look stupid and childish. She could have easily ended up looking as nothing but a victim; so I like the change they made, although I'm not sure if it makes sense in this context for her to reveal her identity to the Lords of Vale, when she still doesn't know them and, by her own admission, doesn't trust them. Or is she just so sure they hate the Lannisters, but isn't sure how they would feel about her? In any case, I think they're speeding up her storyline in a way because she probably has a big arc in the next books. They could have easily stretched her storyline through the entire season and have Lysa die in the finale as she does in the book.

    On the other hand, I'm really hating the way they changed Brienne. Book!Brienne is a big, strong, masculine-looking obstinate, determined warrior woman - that's what she has in common with show!Brienne - but she is also sweet, compassionate, honorable, idealistic, and as naive as Sansa was a couple of years ago; she believes in chivalry and ideals of true knights, and tries to be one. Show!Brienne is not only older and a hardened killer - she's also portrayed this season as cold, rude and unpleasant, even cruel, to those who are her "inferiors", like Podrick or Hot Pie. The writers may think it's a funny and enjoyable dynamic, but it's really not, especially as Pod is so sweet and nice. She comes off as a bully, and she's not even funny or charming about her mocking, like Jaime or Olenna are - while book!Brienne was a victim of mocking and bullying all her life. And what makes it worse is that show!Brienne was full of respect for her social superiors like Margaery or Cersei (unlike, say, Arya, who is rude and irreverent to everyone, or Olenna, who mocks everyone, whatever their social standing). They've made her really unlikeable in the show, and I'm sure that was not their intention. It's just that they've tried to make her into a stereotype of a Strong Masculine Warrior Woman, and she's a subversion of that stereotype in the books.

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  • Cori
    started a topic Episode 4.07 "Mockingbird" discussion thread

    Episode 4.07 "Mockingbird" discussion thread

    I just rewatched “Mockingbird” and finally felt inspired enough to write my review on this episode. I’m feeling rather ambivalent towards this particular episode. On the one hand, the show did some scenes that I have been looking forward to (such as the Moon Door scene or the scene where Prince Oberyn tells Tyrion how they met for the first time) brilliantly. On the other hand, the scene I have been most looking forward to in this episode and one of my favourite chapters ever in the whole series (i.e. Sansa’s snow castle scene) kinda fell flat for me and I was rather disappointed by it. This scene is so beautifully written in the book (more on that below) that maybe it was kinda impossible for the show to live up to my expectations. Still, they could have done it differently.

    But let me focus on the positive stuff first. Again I loved all of Tyrion’s scenes in “Mockingbird”. His conversations with both Jaime and Bronn were well acted by everyone involved. I loved how Tyrion and Jaime joked about sticking it to their father if Jaime was Tyrion’s champion and they would both die because there was no way that Jaime would win against the Mountain. This scene said so much about how Tywin Lannister had screwed up his children. Bronn also made some good arguments about why he refused to be Tyrion’s champion. I loved his line about him liking Tyrion but liking himself a bit more and his question to Tyrion as to when Tyrion had ever risked his life for Bronn. I was positively surprised that the writers/executive producers followed the books by having Bronn marry Lollys. I did not expect that. It’s still unclear what kind of role Bronn played in delivering Shae to the Lannisters. Was that his doing or did the Lannisters get to him only after Tyrion’s farce of a trial?

    However, the best Tyrion scene was the one he had with Oberyn. It was great to hear Oberyn tell the story of how they met (almost word for word from the books) and my heart broke once again for Tyrion. The poor guy never stood a chance both with his father and his sister since they both blamed him for Tyrion’s mother’s death. And man, Cersei, how cruel and sadistic can you be to torture an innocent new-born? I forget how old Cersei was but she was still a child. Of course I already knew that Oberyn would be Tyrion’s champion but seeing and hearing it on screen was great nevertheless. I cannot wait to see the fight in next week’s episode, especially since the executive producers said that it was one of the best fight scenes they have ever done.

    The other big scene that worked well for me was the Moon Door scene. It felt so satisfying to see Littlefinger push crazy Aunt Lysa out of the Moon Door after she had threatened to do the same to Sansa. On the one hand, I feel kind of sad for Lysa because she had such a crappy life, being in love all her life with a man who never requited her love, but worse who loved her sister with all his heart (and I think deep down she knew it, which is why she was so crazy jealous of Sansa), being married to an old man who disgusted her and whom she ended up killing out of love for Littlefinger, etc. On the other hand, Lysa was a very selfish, sadistic woman who was controlled by her emotions above all and she didn’t care whom she hurt in the process. So ultimately I’m glad she is gone. Now I know some book readers were pissed off that they changed Littlefinger’s last words to Lysa from “Only Cat” to “Only your sister”, but personally it didn’t bother me that much. I wondered though why the writers felt they had to change that. Did they think the viewers wouldn’t know to whom Littlefinger was referring? The other change from the books makes less sense to me, namely that they completely left out the singer Marillion (who in the books was blamed for Lysa’s murder). Who will Littlefinger blame now for Lysa’s death? It won’t be Sansa and I highly doubt he would implicate himself. So how is he going to get out of this situation? Since this is a big change from the books, I’m really curious what the writers further have in store for Littlefinger and Sansa. Is Sansa gonna stick by Littlefinger? In the promo for next week’s episode we see
    Sansa talking to the Lords Declarant of the Vale. Will she defend Littlefinger or will she come clean to them about what really happened? The promo pointed to the latter option, but we all know how misleading promos can be.

    I also enjoyed seeing both Arya and the Hound and Brienne and Pod continue their respective journeys. It was touching to see the Hound being so honest and vulnerable with Arya. Hearing him tell the story about how the Mountain burned his face was horrible, no wonder the Hound is so screwed up. Arya is turning into quite the killer and while on the one hand it feels satisfying to see her get her revenge on people who wronged her (in this episode it was Rourge), on the other hand it makes me sad that she is turning into this kind of person. She is still a kid but has already killed numerous people and that’s just wrong, even if her victims deserved it.

    (Huge book 3 and beyond spoilers)
    I guess the Hound and Arya’s journey together will be coming to an end soon. If I’m not mistaken he got the wound that will eventually end up killing him in “Mockingbird” and I loved that we got the scene where Arya is dressing his wound that’s at least similar to the books. I wonder whether Arya will set off for Braavos in the season 4 finale or at the beginning of next season.

    The unlikely duo of Brienne and Pod continues to be fun to watch. And we got to see Hot Pie again and he is still alive, yay! He seems to be really happy baking at the inn and it was refreshing to see a character be happy for once. And he did give Brienne and Pod some valuable info about Arya so it was lucky that Brienne and Pod stopped at that inn. And wow, Hot Pie’s direwolf bread baking skills have really improved! I also love how Hot Pie keeps referring to Winterfell as “Winterhell” and that nobody can disabuse him of that notion.

    So as much as I enjoyed the scenes described above, there was stuff in this episode that unfortunately did not work for me. For example I felt robbed that we didn’t get to see the Dany/Daario sex scene. There has been this sexual tension between them ever since they met and Dany finally decides to give in to her lusty feelings and we don’t get to see it? WTF? Instead we get naked Melisandre, which I could have done without. At least I liked how Dany tried to make Jorah feel important again as her advisor after he was visibly upset that Dany had slept with Daario. I loved her “tell him you changed my mind” line. Daario may be her toy boy, but when it counts Dany listens to Jorah and as someone who loves their friendship I was happy about that.

    As mentioned above, the biggest disappointment for me was the snow castle scene. It felt much too short and rushed and it didn’t manage to convey Sansa’s feelings of loneliness and homesickness for Winterfell as brilliantly as it did in the book. Unlike the Jaime and Brienne bathtub scene which the executive producers did brilliantly last season (another one of my all-time favourite chapters from the whole series), the executive producers/writers failed to show the same magic here. Also, the almost dream-like quality of Sansa waking up one morning, going out in the snow and starting to build the snow castle that is Winterfell without even realising at first what she is building was thoroughly lacking on the show. Every time I read the snow castle scene in the book it makes me cry while on the show it barely managed to evoke any emotion in me, it was over so fast. I really wish they had cut another scene (such as the naked Melisandre scene) and had made the snow castle scene longer and more detailed. Of course I’m aware of the fact that it’s nearly impossible for the show to successfully translate GRRM’s beautiful language in that chapter to the screen. Because I love this chapter so much, I thought I’d post some excerpts from that chapter here for non-book readers to enjoy as well:

    She awoke all at once, every nerve atingle. For a moment she did not remember where she was. She had dreamt that she was little, still sharing a bedchamber with her sister Arya. But it was her maid she heard tossing in sleep, not her sister, and this was not Winterfell, but the Eyrie. And I am Alayne Stone, a bastard girl. The room was cold and black, though she was warm beneath the blankets. Dawn had not yet come. Sometimes she dreamed of Ser Ilyn Payne and woke with her heart thumping, but this dream had not been like that. Home. It was a dream of home.

    And then a bit later:

    I am not going back to sleep, Sansa realized. My head is all a tumult. She pushed her pillow away reluctantly, threw back the blankets, went to her window, and opened the shutters. Snow was falling on the Eyrie. Outside the flakes drifted down as soft and silent as memory. Was this what woke me? Already the snowfall lay thick upon the garden below, blanketing the grass, dusting the shrubs and statues with white and weighing down the branches of the trees. The sight took Sansa back to cold nights long ago, in the long summer of her childhood. She had last seen snow the day she’d left Winterfell. That was a lighter fall than this, she remembered. Robb had melting flakes in his hair when he hugged me, and the snowball Arya tried to make kept coming apart in her hands. It hurt to remember how happy she had been that morning. Hullen had helped her mount, and she’d ridden out with the snowflakes swirling around her, off to see the great wide world. I thought my song was beginning that day, but it was almost done.

    Sansa then goes outside, remembering happier days with her family, and starts building the snow castle almost in a trance. Before she knows what she is doing, she is building Winterfell. Then Littlefinger shows up and helps her to build the castle (another thing that was changed on the show). And then of course Robin shows up and ruins her castle, just like he did on the show. One thing they changed on the show that I really appreciated was that Sansa slapped Robin. That felt just as satisfying as when Tyrion slapped Joffrey once upon a time.

    The Littlefinger kissing Sansa scene was just as creepy on screen as it was in the book. Especially since he just mentioned prior to the kiss that she could have been his daughter, eww! And was it just me or did Sansa kiss him back for a little while? What do you think that was about? Was she just surprised and didn’t know how to react? Or is Sansa attracted to Littlefinger (please no *shudders*)? In the book it says: For half a heartbeat she yielded to his kiss … before she turned her face away and wrenched free. I don’t know about you, but to me their kiss on the show felt longer than “half a heartbeat”. As I said above, I’m really curious where they are going with Sansa and Littlefinger.

    So what did you guys think of “Mockingbird”? Are fellow book readers as disappointed by the snow castle scene as I am or did it manage to live up to your expectations? What do non-book readers make of that scene and of the whole episode? I'm interested in reading your thoughts on this episode.