"Game of Thrones" recap: Out the Moon Door in "Mockingbird"

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in a scene from "Game of Thrones." HBO

[Warning: Spoilers for Sunday's episode of "Game of Thrones," "Mockingbird," lurk in the recap below.]

Chances are if you start talking about the Moon Door on "Game of Thrones," someone is going through it before the episode's end.

That's exactly what happened during Sunday's hour, titled "Mockingbird" -- hope Crazy Aunt Lysa isn't afraid of flying. But we'll get to that.

The episode began in King's Landing, where Jaime isn't too pleased with his brother's demand for a trial by combat. Tyrion tells him the deal Jaime made with their father -- Jaime goes back to Casterly Rock as heir, his other son shipped off to the Night's Watch -- is exactly what Tywin wanted, so he's happy to be taking it away from him. Jaime also admits his left-hand sword training hasn't been going so well, so he can't fight for Tyrion at trial. Cersei, however, has chosen a champion: the towering, entrails-slashing The Mountain.

Arya and The Hound, meanwhile, encounter a dying man as they continue their road trip adventures. They ponder death with the man, until The Hound gets attacked from behind by two men trying to cash in on the bounty on his head. Big mistake, guys - though his neck is wounded, he quickly dispatches of one of them and Arya kills the other, pushing her sword straight through his heart. "You're leaning," The Hound says, praising her like a proud teacher. Later, she tries to sterilize his neck injury with a burning branch, but he's not too keen on that after his brother burnt his face as a kid.

Brienne and Podrick are also continuing their travels, sitting down at an inn for a pleasant meal (#treatyoself, Westeros-style) where they encounter a chatty server who ends up being Hot Pie, Arya pal from previous seasons. He tells Brienne he hasn't seen Sansa Stark, but reveals that Arya is with The Hound. Brienne and Podrick decide to make their way to the Eyrie, deducing (correctly) that there's a good chance the Stark daughters could be on their way there.

At Castle Black, Jon Snow is back from his battle against the mutineers and now proposing the Night's Watchmen seal off the tunnel that runs under the wall, to hold back the Wildling's advancing army, but that idea is shut down by Ser Allister more or less because he doesn't like Jon Snow.

In Meereen, Daenerys Targaryen gets a nighttime bedchamber visit from Daario Naharis, who says she either needs to love him or send him off to battle since those are the two things he does best. She goes for Door No. 1 first and tells him to take off his clothes. The next morning, he passes Ser Jorah as he's exiting the queen's chambers. Dany tells Jorah that she's also gone for Daario's Door No. 2 and is sending him to kill the slave masters in Yunkai who have re-taken control of the city. Jorah warns her against this, and she reconsiders and decides to offer them a choice: Accept her rule, or die. And, to prove that Jorah's really the one who has her council (though perhaps not the kind of council he wants), she tells him to tell Daario she's changed her mind, and he's the one who changed it.

At Dragonstone, Melisandre's bathtime is interrupted by Stannis' wife, Selyse, and the priestess reveals that not all of her magical powers are real -- some of it is just snakeoil tricks to "lead [people] to the truth." She also hints, ominously, that she's got plans for Stannis and Selyse's daughter. "When we set sail, your daughter must be with us," she says, "The lord needs her."

And back in King's Landing, Tyrion does find someone to represent him at his trial by combat - but it's not Bronn, who's made off well in a bribe from Cersei that allows him to marry a woman who'll inherit a castle (once her older sister is killed, but, minor detail!). He's visited by Prince Oberyn, who recalls coming to the capitol when Tyrion was a baby and recalls Cersei being cruel to him even then, abusing the infant and wishing him dead.

It's proof of what Tyrion already knows -- that he never stood a chance with his family. "It's rare to meet a Lannister who shares my enthusiasm for dead Lannisters," Oberyn tells him. And since Cersei's champion is The Mountain, who raped and killed Oberyn's beloved sister and her children, he volunteers to fight as Tyrion's champion.

The episode ends in the Eyrie, where it's snowing and Sansa is building a snow-castle version of Winterfell -- at least, as well as she can remember, since it's been a while since she's seen her home. It's a happy moment of sorts for Sansa, who's had so few of them. Lord Robin stops by and she gamely tries to chat with him but all he talks about is making people "fly" through the Moon Door and how when they're married, Sansa can too. When he knocks down one of her snow towers in a tantrum, she slaps him and he runs off.

Littlefinger comes to see her, and she demands to know why he killed Joffrey. He explains that he loved Sansa's mother more than she could know, and "given the opportunity, what do we do to those who hurt the ones we love?" He then says that, if things had ended up differently, Sansa could have been his daughter -- and then kicks things up to a whole other level of creepy by kissing her.

This whole exchange is witnessed by Lysa, which isn't good. She later demands to see Sansa, and when the young girl arrives we see the Moon Door is wide open. She grabs Sansa and threatens to throw her through it, but before she can Littlefinger swoops in and calms her down.

"I've only loved one woman. One woman my entire life," he tells her softly. "Your sister."

With that, he shoves her straight through the trapdoor to plummet, brokenhearted, to her death. Yikes.

Tell us: Were you surprised by Lysa's death, or Oberyn volunteering to fight for Tyrion? What did you think of the episode overall?

  • Jessica Derschowitz

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