SAN DIEGO, May 18, 2014 – Sunday’s episode of “Game of Thrones” was one of the more introspective episodes of all four seasons. Viewers learned more about the internal demons and drivers of many of our favorite characters. Tyrion must find a champion to stand for him in his trial by combat.
Jaime knows he cannot fight and win with his left hand, and he is not willing to die for his brother. Tyrion’s sellsword Bronn won his trial by combat at the Eyrie. But Bronn is for sale. The highest bidder: Cersei, who gives him a castle and a wife to go with it.
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Bronn says a heartfelt farewell to his old employer, and there is a twinge of regret in Bronn’s face. Tyrion has exhausted his short list. But help comes from a most unexpected place: Prince Oberyn Martell.
Prince Martell informs Tyrion that his sister Cersei has selected The Mountain, the fearsome knight Ser Gregor Clegane, to fight in the trial on her behalf. Prince Oberyn reminds Tyrion that The Mountain is responsible for the death of his sister, Elia.
Now he can seek revenge – if Tyrion will allow him to stand as his champion against the Mountain in his trial. Tears come to Tyrion’s eyes in relief.
The Mountain’s brother, Sandor Clegane, and Arya Stark come upon a man dying of wounds from an attack by highway robbers. He asks them to help end his misery. Sandor and Arya talk with him, and Arya sees Sandor’s humanity emerge as he gives the man a few last moments of dignity before ending his life.
One of the thieves sees the pair, and cuts The Hound on the neck from behind before Arya kills him, using the same single thrust through the heart The Hound used in the mercy killing moments before.
Later, as the Hound tries to stitch up his own wound, Arya tells the Hound he needs to sterilize the wound with a hot sword. The Hound is afraid of only one thing: fire. He tells Arya how his brother The Mountain shoved him into a fire when they were boys, and how his father took up for his brother even though he was in the wrong.
We understand now that The Hound has been searching for justice in his own way ever since.
Brienne and Podrick Payne encounter one of Arya Stark’s former road companions, the boy Hotpie who is now working as a cook at an inn. Hotpie reveals to the two of them that Arya Stark is alive, and heading north with The Hound.
Podrick rightly realizes that they are likely headed for the Eyrie to Arya’s last remaining relative, Aunt Lysa – and perhaps they can help them locate Sansa. Brienne doesn’t think Podrick has much common sense, but she realizes he is a clever thinker. He convinces Brienne to change course and head in that direction.
At the Eyrie, Sansa remembers her happier days at Winterfell as a child, and builds a little Winterfell made of snow. Her bratty cousin Robert Arryn has a fit and smashes it. Sansa slaps him in anger, and Robert runs off to tattle to his mother Lysa. But she’s got a lot bigger things to worry about.
Littlefinger watches the whole episode. Seeing Sansa build her Winterfell of snow charms him, and makes him think back to his own happier days as a young man, when he was deeply in love with Sansa’s mother, Catelyn Stark. When Petyr looks at Sansa, he sees Catelyn. In an emotional moment, he kisses her. Lysa sees her new husband from the window.
Lysa confronts Sansa and blames her, just as she blamed her mother for taking Petyr away from her long ago. We can count on “Game of Thrones” for shocking death scenes. Lysa tries to force Sansa out the moon door to her death, but Petyr intervenes and stops her. He tells Lysa the truth: he has only truly loved one woman in his life, her sister Catelyn. With this revelation, he pushes his wife of only a few days out the moon door to her death on the rocks below.
There are several other brief scenes with several characters.
Daario Naharis pays a visit to Danaerys Targaryen, and convinces Danaerys to use his talents both in the bedroom and as a soldier. Jorah Mormont, who has always loved Danaerys, isn’t happy seeing him leave her private quarters early in the morning. He’s smart enough not to say much about it, but he gives Danaerys second thoughts about her plan to enforce order with the former slave masters.
Jon Snow knows what’s coming for the men of the Night’s Watch, and warns his leaders that the Wall is vulnerable as never before. They aren’t inclined to listen to him. Many believe he still sympathizes with the wildlings, and aren’t sure he is telling the truth. The will find out soon enough.
The Red Priestess, Melisandre, and Selsye Baratheon, read the prophecy of the flames together and talk about Selsye’s disfigured daughter, Shireen. There is an important role for Shireen in the future, much to Selsye’s surprise.
There is no episode next week over the Memorial Day holiday. Game of Thrones returns with Episode 8 of Season 4, “The Mountain and the Viper,” on Sunday, June 1, at 9 p.m. Eastern Time on HBO East and HBO Latino East (with Spanish subtitles); followed by airings on HBO West and Latino West at 9 p.m. Pacific Time.
All four channels repeat the episode through the evening.
For more details, visit the official website at HBO.com Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Media Migraine in Communities Digital News.
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