‘Game of Thrones’ Heavy Metal Review – ‘Mockingbird’
Backstabbing, frontstabbing, heretical tendencies, a naked witch — how much heavy metal content did this week’s 'Game of Thrones' have? Let us count the ways.
HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ is the most metal show on TV, even in the slow episodes. And this week’s episode was not slow. It was a magnificent week. All the action came in moments quick, small and intimate — but with huge repercussions in these closing weeks. No doubt. Spoilers follow — duh doy.
A rager it wasn’t, but this week was metal as hell. So metal, in fact, that we’ll jump straight to the stats. And then we’ll count the ways.
‘Mockingbird’ Stats and Count of Assorted Metal Signifiers and Situations:
Onscreen Body Count: Lucky 7! (Two stabbed in the heart, one impaled & lifted high, one disemboweled, one cleaved in half lengthwise)
And So, So Many Metal Moments:
No. 1. Tyrion declares, “I want a trial by combat.” Trial by combat is metal.
No. 2. In a dungeon, Tyrion reflects on his costly frankness in the courtroom. Speaking truth in the face of crushing power is metal.
No. 3. The massive — and re-recast — Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane hacks three dudes to death in dramatic and bloody fashion with a giant longsword, barely breaking a sweat. Metal.
No. 4. Arya and the Hound come upon a dying man dressed in gray, bleeding outside the smoking ruined rubble that used to be his home. The man has been killed, but he won’t give up until his heart stops beating. Kreator write songs like this scene.
No. 5. The Hound looks at the man’s fatal wound and says, “That’s not going to get better. Bad way to go. Haven’t you had enough?” Metal.
No. 6. Arya drops existential black-metal angst: “Nothing isn’t better or worse than anything. It’s just nothing.” Nothing is metal.
No. 7. The dying man’s last request: “Can I have a drink? Dying is thirsty work.”
No. 8. Arya, a little girl, powerless no more, exacts revenge on some big dumb dude who f—ed with her in a previous episode. Her captor — and mentor — looks on approvingly and says, “You’re learning.” Any metal musician with writer’s block can milk this scene for at least a song, maybe a full album side. Metal.
No. 9. At Castle Black, a bunch of dudes stand outside a big brick building like they’re waiting for the doors to open at the Decibel tour. Metal.
No. 10. Jon Snow has to sit and listen to his dumbass boss launch a bad plan. If bad parents and teachers can help turn a music fan toward the anti-authoritarian metal genre as a kid, bad bosses and their bulls--- can keep you into metal for the rest of your life.
No. 11. Bronn the badass — whom Tyrion describes as “an evil bastard with no conscience and no heart,” saying it all like it’s a good thing — reveals a wicked plan involving sex, murder and multiple duplicity. Followed by some hard words about the limits of friendship. Metal.
No. 12. A sellsword pursues a girl he can’t have and begs to be sent to kill his enemies — in his words, to “do what he does best.” After talking all that s---, he gets laid. Metal.
No. 13. A priestess of fire chills in a hot tub. Then emerges, naked, speaking of a flaming column screaming to the sky. Metal. If saving the kingdom from the forces of darkness doesn’t work, Melisandre needs to start a power metal outfit.
No. 14. Stannis’ wife Selyse says her nonbeliever daughter has “heretical tendencies” — band name alert!
No. 15. Jorah Mormont learns that the girl he’s been carrying a flame for just hooked up with some other dude. Nobody likes it, but with so few women on the scene, it has happened to all of us. Metal.
No. 16. Khaleesi — a.k.a. Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons — sends hired cutthroats to retake a conquered city and kill every last member of the ruling class. Metal.
No. 17. The Hound recalls the boyhood trauma that let to his ghastly visage: “The pain was bad. The smell was worse.” Eugh. Metal.
No. 18. The gabby baker is the returned Hot Pie. The pimply, portly Hot Pie is the kind of hard-working dude who’s good at his job and spends the week working hard and looking forward to the next show. Look closely the next time you’re at a metal concert, and you’ll see more guys like Hot Pie than the Hound. Hot Pie is metal.
No. 19. Tyrion sits in a dungeon, face half-hidden in the dark, like Glenn Danzig and Jim Morrison before him. Metal. And let’s take a moment to note Tyrion reacting to the Red Scorpion’s tale of meeting him for the first time. He had fewer words and less time, but the acting was just as hellaciously fine as last week’s courtroom scene. Peter Dinklage for king in ‘16.
No. 20. The Red Scorpion steps up to be a most unlikely champion who will take on the big dude who even the show’s most badass character is shit-scared of. Metal.
No. 21. In the Eyrie, a little kid fantasizes about being able to grab anybody who pisses him off and thrown them off the face of a mountain. Crushing your enemies is metal, especially when you don’t have the power to do it, and you can only dream about it, and maybe get some release via metal.
No. 22. That slipper s--- Littlefinger’s plan locks into place, disloyalty and betrayal begetting more disloyalty and betrayal. This particular plan isn’t cool, but the way one bad thing led to more of the same, that was metal.
No. 23. The episode’s final death, Lysa’s grand, epic, picturesque, protracted demise. Metal.
No. 24. Ramin Djawadi’s subdued, quiet outro music. Not loud, not fast, but heavy. Metal.
Overall Rating: Metal. As. Hell. Hopefully they’ll keep it up through the final three weeks. Which will resume in two weeks; no episode next week, so no review.
Song of the Week: Kingdom of Sorrow, 'Screaming Into the Sky'