Footnotes of Ice and Fire: Here's the Backstory on 'Mockingbird'

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The latest Game of Thrones episode has come and gone, and with a two week break until the next episode, let's take some time to go deeper into 'Mockingbird.' Here, with the help of a Thrones book reader, is a deeper look at and understanding of some major plot points and characters, including Littlefinger and Catelyn's past, Bronn's new wife, The Mountain, and our favorite baker Hot Pie.

Littlefinger and Catelyn's past

"I loved your mother more than you could know." Littlefinger tells Sansa. "In a better world, one where love can overcome strength and duty, you might have been my child." That "strength" and "duty" here refers to Littlefinger's childhood love for Catelyn back when they were growing up in Riverrun. Catelyn was pledged to be married to Brandon Stark — Ned's older brother — and so Littlefinger challenged him to combat to win her hand in marriage.

That plan didn't work, of course, as the much older, stronger, and more skilled Brandon demolished Littlefinger. He barely survived with a brutal scar and a realization that the world isn't made for lovers and weaklings. That loss of Catelyn is the real scarring moment that creates Petyr Baelish as we now see him.

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Bronn's new wife

Here's the rare case of the showrunners deciding not to include a story about brutal rape. In the dungeons, Bronn tells Tyrion that he is to be married to the "dimwitted" Lollys Stokeworth, who is next in line for the castle that belongs to House Stokeworth. Why would a daughter of a castle-owning house be sent to marry a poor sellsword-turned-knight with no lands of his own? Because in the books, Lollys is pregnant from an awful gang rape.

Back in the second season, you'll recall, angry King's Landing crowds throw poop at Joffrey and crew while walking through the streets. The Kingsguard responds by cutting down the suspected feces-flingers, and a murderous riot breaks out. In the show, Sansa narrowly escapes being raped, only to be saved by the Hound. But in the books, Lollys Stokeworth is among that group caught in the riots, and she is horribly gang-raped by blood-thirsty crowds. She soon becomes pregnant with a bastard child, which in the world of Westeros makes her a less attractive marriage partner. Lollys is just lowly-regarded enough to make Bronn a suitable match.

Ser Gregor Clegane, 'The Mountain'

The man of Westeros' nightmares, Ser Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane, finally appears in the flesh, traps and all. The comically large villain is a veritable giant in the books, pushing up towards eight feet tall and over 400 pounds. So obviously there's reason for everyone to be scared of fighting him. But revenge is a stronger enticement for Prince Oberyn, who vows to fight the Mountain and bring justice for his murdered and raped sister and kids.

In the books, Prince Oberyn had told Tyrion of his plan to fight as his champion before the trial. Thus when Tyrion demands trial by combat, there's a gasp, followed by an even louder shock when Oberyn stands up from the judge's table and announces he will fight. "The dwarf has quite convinced me," Oberyn tells the audience. Mountain v. Red Viper, coming at you next episode.

Hot Pie

Thankfully, we got another look at Hot Pie, the future King of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, Baker of Bread, and Spiller of Should-Be Secrets. The boy who ventured with Arya up the King's Road, to Harrenhall, escaped in the middle of the night, and met with the Brotherhood Without Banners is now just a regular old baker at an inn. Interestingly, in the books, he loses his great nickname once he joins the inn. "I'm not Hot Pie here. [The inn's owner] just calls me Boy," he tells Arya. Westeros is full of awesome-sounding nicknames, from the Mountain to the Red Viper to the Hound. Somehow I don't think "Boy" will go down in history.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.