Who’s winning the “Game of Thrones”?

At this point, there’s really only one correct answer: Lord Petyr Baelish, that oft-overlooked advisor to kings, better known as “Littlefinger.”

He’s sparked a great war that’s thrown three prominent families of Westeros – the Lannisters, Starks and Baratheons – into a death struggle. He’s murdered the king. And, now, he’s claimed control of The Eyrie stronghold, by killing the very woman he manipulated into starting the war in the first place.

Well played, Lord Petyr. Well played. 

“Mockingbird” – the seventh episode of the fourth season of “Thrones” – was perhaps my favorite so far this season. It deftly advanced important storylines of every major character, while simultaneously building suspense and injecting action at key moments.

In a drama as sprawling as “Thrones” that’s a difficult feat to pull off.

And, really, who didn’t want to see that nut-job Lysa Arryn get tossed out the Moon Door?

King’s Landing

The episode opened with an imprisoned Tyrion trying to recruit various fighters to be his champion in a trial by combat. (Which, let’s be honest, is much more fun than the American jury trial.)

After a touching scene in which Tyrion and Jaime share a nice brotherly dynamic – “He knows I’m innocent and he’s willing to sacrifice me anyway,” Tyrion says of their father – the brothers conclude that Jaime can’t fight for Tyrion while missing a hand. 

Tyrion hopes to recruit the sell-sword Bronn, but Cersei has outmaneuvered him. She’s recruited The Mountain (scratch that – THE MOUNTAIN) to fight for her.

THE MOUNTAIN is one big scary dude. We haven’t seen much from him since he cut off that horse’s head in the first season. Cersei talks to him while he’s training by killing a bunch of weaker men.

“Who am I fighting?” he asks.

“Does it matter?” Cersei replies.

Good line. Made me laugh. This is the stuff of myth and legend that makes “Thrones” so much fun to watch

When Bronn arrives to Tyrion’s cell, he expresses reluctance about fighting THE MOUNTAIN.

Cersei also had made Bronn rich, by marrying him to a dim-witted rich girl.

“He’s freakish big and freakish strong,” Bronn says of THE MOUNTAIN. “I like you. I just like myself more.”  (Who doesn’t?) 

It appears that Tyrion will be left without a champion until The Red Viper pays him a visit.

Oberyn Martell wants to settle a score with THE MOUNTAIN, who killed his sister and her children during Robert’s Rebellion.