The moment Tyrion asked for a trial by combat on Game of Thrones, the question of who would be his champion arose.
Jaime paid his brother another visit to open Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 7 - but this time it was to tell Tyrion he could not fight on his behalf. Jaime's excuse was of course well established, as we saw his attempts to develop his off hand with a sword.
But even if he had be a a regular Inigo Montoya, Tywin would have found some way to protect his golden child.
Tyrion: You're the golden son. You can kill a king, lose a hand, fuck your own sister, you'll always be the golden son.
Jaime: Careful, I'm the last friend you've got.
Tyrion's second choice, Bronn, also respectfully declined, his loyalty having been bought by Cersei. As one of Tryion's few options, he had to ask Bronn, but I'm confident he didn't hold any ill will against him for choosing his own life.
Their farewell was yet another moving scene that took place in Tyrion's cell.
Bronn: What will you do?
Tyrion: I suppose I'll have to kill the Mountain myself. Won't that make for a great song.
Bronn: I hope to hear them sing it one day.
Cersei's plan was really coming together perfectly. You could see her confidence, as she didn't so much as flinch at the disemboweled body she stepped over when we got our first look at the third actor to play Ser Gregor, Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson.
As Cersei thanked him for answering her call and riding in so quickly, I found myself feeling sorry for the poor horse he rode in on. His physical stature certainly was up to snuff, but I thought he should have had a few scars on him, in spite of his impressive reputation in combat.
It will be interesting to see how confident Cersei is when she learns about Oberyn's decision to take up a sword. His prowess with the steel is as noted as his ways with the ladies. My money is on the son of Dorne.
From the Red Viper to the Red Woman, we caught up with Melisandre, who had her bath interrupted by Selyse. Selyse wanted Shireen to stay behind, but Melisandre insisted the Lord of Light needed her. What worries me is that he needs Shireen's blood. With Davos off recruiting for Stannis, who will protect her?
Sansa now knows why Baelish rescued her and showed her again he has no issues killing for her safety. My only issue with him giving Lysa the "This is Sparta" send off out the Moon Door was that Robin didn't go with her.
Jon Snow's joyous return to Castle Black was short-lived. His suggestion to seal off the tunnel was summarily dismissed. Poor Ghost didn't fare any better as he was ordered to be once again locked away.
Arya continued her journey with Sandor and, despite being on her list, offered to help him with the wound he sustained. Sandor shared the story of how he was burned by his brother over a toy and how his father took Gregor's side in the aftermath.
Like Tyrion, he was a second class citizen in his family. His story was mirrored by Oberyn telling Tyrion about meeting him as a baby and seeing the hate Cersei had for him even then. How fitting it will be if Oberyn, another second son, puts an end to three lifetimes of pain with one kill.
Brienne and Pod are now on the trail of Arya thanks to Hot Pie, who we saw has really taken his culinary game to new levels.
And lastly, getting some pie of her own was Dany, who let Daario show her one of the two things he is good at. Good for her getting some, and good for her for listening to Jorah's voice of reason and having Hizdahr go along to Yunkai as an ambassador. Giving the slave masters an option other than death will set Dany above those she seeks to sway.
All in all, this was a set up episode for the home stretch of Game of Thrones Season 4, but an entertaining installment for sure.