Game of Thrones: The Mountain and the Viper
YEAH, SPOILERS! THIS WHOLE THING IS ONE BIG SPOILER… SO IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE EPISODE YET (AND CHRIST KNOWS WHY YOU WOULDN’T HAVE – SOME FAN YOU ARE!), JUST TURN THE HELL AWAY NOW!
Well now, there we have it, the biggest fight in fiction since Botox Balboa entered the ring with Ivan Drago… and what a scrap it was. Damn Game of Thrones… always messin’ with yo’ mind! But we’ll get to the duel of honor between pretend Tyrion (Oberyn) and pretend Cersei (Gregor) later… just like they did in the episode itself.
Once again it was of those episodes where only a few things actually happened – but they were things of such import that in some ways each one of them sort of weighed an episode in themselves – well, okay, one of them did at any rate.
So… Ramsay Snow continues to keep Reek (the artist formerly known as Prince Theon Greyjoy) as a pet, using him to get a bunch of war-weary ironborn troops to surrender, before brutally slaughtering the lot of them with his usual brand of sadism. His reward is official recognition by his dear ol’ pops. Awww. Oh and Reek will give him a bath. Earch!
Wildlings continue to murder their way towards the Wall, where Jon Snow and his chums in Black broodily fret and fretfully brood about it. Sam worries that his totty in Mole’s Town is dead but his Bros are like, ‘nah, man, she’ll be alright,’ which eases his chubby brow quicker than you might have liked.
In the lands across the Narrow Sea, Grey Worm of the Unsullied watches Missandei have a bath and has yearnings, prompting Missy – and the rest of us – to wonder just how much ball-sack was cut off the lad. So much, so yawns-ville. But then a scroll arrives – Damn scrolls! – and Ser Jorah Mormont is revealed to have been a spy. Queen Daenerys ‘Sulky Pants’ Targaryen is, of course, immediately unforgiving. I mean, okay, she can be angry, but the dude was useful and, clearly, had become a damn faithful puppy-dog. She could have kept him around to work off the slight under disdain. That would have really punished him. But no, Queen Pouty lives in a world of black and white extremes, and thus Mormont is banished.
Up at the Eyrie, Baelish is being grilled over Lysa Arryn’s suicide. It’s clear the nobles of the Vale don’t like Littlefinger. Expecting Sansa – who they don’t yet know is Sansa – to confirm that Baelish is a murderer, she instead reveals her true identity and tells them that Baelish was bravely keeping that secret to himself to protect them all, that he was a kindly uncle and that Lysa was a mad old nut-job (which is true at least) whose own jealousy propelled her through the Moon Door. So, we have the interesting prospect of a Sansa/Baelish power-couple – maybe as lovers at some point but for now there seems to be a burgeoning, complicit understanding between the two. Sansa seems to be learning the game… and with Baelish as a teacher, I suspect she’s going to become quite the adept.
Little Lord Robin is being sent out into the world to learn to be a man. This is Baelish’s suggestion so it probably means the boy’s being sent out to die; kid’s a crazy Joffrey-en-potencia anyway, so fuck him. And speaking of outside the Eyrie. Arya arrived, looking for the safety of family, only to have a massive old giggly fit when she learns of Lysa’s death. Presumably she and the Hound go on their merry way without having ascertained that Arya could have been reunited with her sister had she just turned the corner. Classic Scooby-Doo move.
Okay, fine… the fight! Jeez, you guys. So, at last the trial by combat is to commence and Tyrion – a thoughtful man plagued by the desire to understand why morons crush beetles (yeah, if only that anecdote had an ending…) – stands by as the champions enter the arena. Ha, how GOT loves to play with us, to make us think one thing and then another. As Oberyn flips and skips about the place like a fanciful Jedi we all think, oh man, the guy’s too cocky, too self-sure, he’s going to get slaughtered…
But, no, instead he buzzes around Gregor like a man possessed, slicing the giant here, cutting him there, until he fells the beast. HE FELLS THE BEAST!
HURRAH! He’s won! Tyrion lives!
Enjoying his sense of victory, Oberyn prances righteously around the fallen giant, clamoring for Gregor to say his sister’s name… sticking his face into Gregor’s… when the big bastard suddenly grabs Oberyn, flips him over, gets on top of the cocky prince, jams his thumbs fully into the guy’s eye sockets and literally cracks the bugger’s head open like a meat-filled watermelon. WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAT!!!!
He’s lost! Tyrion’s going to DIE!
Tune in next week, you shell-shocked Throners!