How about the ending to the latest episode of “Game of Thrones,” huh? Kind of made your head explode? Let’s take a moment then, to review every big thing that happened on “The Mountain and the Viper:”
We’ll Be Seeing LESSmont From Now On
Bye-Bye, Jorah Mormont. In yet another surprising callback to season one (after last week’s episode), it turns out that Jorah was spying on Daenerys, and even knew about the poisoned cup of wine she almost drank, the same one he saved her from (back in season one, as mentioned).
This all comes out when Tywin sends a pardon from Robert Barantheon to Barristan Selmy, by “accident.” Regardless of where it came from, Dany ejects Jorah with the utmost prejudice, breaking his little traitor heart. “Go back to your masters in King’s Landing,” Dany hisses at Jorah, and a lone tear passes from our lone eye.
More Like Hole’s Town
Because everyone got poked full of holes, get it? The Wildlings south of The Wall attack Mole’s Town, everyone’s favorite prostitute village, and slaughter everyone. Even Ygritte gets in on the action, impaling the one prozzy who got lines this episode straight through a wall.
The only one who escapes alive — though Samwell doesn’t know it yet — is Gilly and her son. Mostly, though, this and the following scene where Jon Snow tells his only friends at Castle Black that Mance Rayder’s army is closing in are only there to set up next week’s insane looking episode featuring the Battle of Castle Black.
It’s a ninth episode, so you know things gonna get cray.
Having A Ball In Meereen
Meanwhile, across the narrow sea Grey Worm is ogling a naked Missandei on the riverbank. Which is weird, because Grey Worm is unsullied and doesn’t have any man-bits. Right?
Possibly wrong, as we spend the next five minutes with Daenerys and Missandei discussing whether he has man-bits, how many man-bits, and whether it matters if he has man-bits or doesn’t have man-bits.
Turns out it doesn’t, as Grey Worm basically gives the, “You make me want to be a better man,” speech Jack Nicholson gave to Helen Hunt in “As Good As It Gets,” except with way more references to castration.
Over in the Eyrie, Lord Baelish is “on trial” for the death of Lysa Arryn last episode. Except Sansa goes to bat for him, lying and saying that Lysa threw herself to her own death.
Then Baelish makes his own power play, getting his new nephew Robin to tour around the country and meet the people in his kingdom — basically to get him out of the way. And Sansa enters dressed all hot like, now ready to join Baelish at his side. Did she look just a little like her Mom when she entered? The same Mom Littlefinger has always been in love with? Well, yeah.
Oh, last thing from this section, Littlefinger tells Lord Yohn Royce, who had previously put the man on trial, that Robin needs to travel because, “Sickly little boys sometimes become powerful men.” Did Littlefinger just drop a detail about his own background?
Reek Makes It Snow
After nearly two seasons of Ramsay Snow torturing poor Theon Greyjoy, stripping him of his identity and making him into a pet named Reek, we finally get what this has all been leading up to, and it’s encapsulated in one superb shot that closes off their collective arc in the episode.
But first, Reek pretends to be Theon, because that’s not confusing enough, and convinces the Ironborn at Moat Callin — a strategic castle that joins the North to the South — to vacate and turn themselves in to the Boltons. Those Ironborn are promptly flayed, which is even grosser than it sounds.
This leads to a scene that would be touching if the characters weren’t so gross, as Ramsay is officially turned from the bastard Ramsay Snow into the character-wise a bastard, but not literally a bastard Ramsay Bolton. His now officially Dad, Roose, promises him the North as an additional reward.
And then we get that shot. Ramsay Bolton rides next to Theon Greyjoy, now Reek, behind his father Roose. And where are they riding? The ruins of Winterfell, all the better to cement their new seat as the Wardens of the North. The implication is clear: the Boltons are the Dark Starks, complete with Ramsay as Robb, Roose as Ned, and Reek as, well, Theon.
It’s brilliant, and sad all at the same time. Oh, and if you read the books: we’re finally at that part where we rejoin Reek instead of all that made up stuff we’ve been watching, so that’s pretty nice.
It’s All In The Timing
Arya and The Hound finally make it to the Eyrie, so The Hound can return the young Stark to her Aunt, Lyssa… Only to find out she died three days prior. Cue hysterical, non-stop laughter from Arya.
If only they knew Sansa was there; but as usual, Arya is just slightly too late.
Actually, There Is A Word For That
Right before his trial by combat, Tyrion jokes with Jaime about all the different names for murder, applauding Jaime’s assertion that there’s no word for killing your own cousin.
Actually, Tyrion, there is. Parricide is the blanket word for killing any close relative, other than immediate family. Good thing this wasn’t a trial by vocabulary!
The Mountain and the Viper
And then comes the big fight we’ve been waiting for. The final scene, the trial by combat of Tyrion Lannister, had so many amazing moments it’s hard to pick just a few.
First, Oberyn Martell, who has sworn to kill The Mountain to avenge the death of his sister, alarms Tyrion by wearing light armor and drinking wine. “Today is not the day I die,” Oberyn says.
That sense of fun lasts until the massive Mountain enters, prompting Oberyn’s lover Ellaria to say, “You’re going to fight that?” “I’m going to kill that,” Oberyn shoots right back. Spoiler: he does. Kind of.
Next up, Maester Pycelle actually gets played off by Tywin after rattling on too long with his intro speech, a welcome event. And then the main event itself!
Oberyn flips, avoids, and generally moves quickly and plays to the crowd, where The Mountain is slow. In a riff on the classic Inigo Montoya speech from “The Princess Bride,” Oberyn reveals he just wants The Mountain to confess to his sister’s death.
“You raped her. You murdered her. You killed her,” Oberyn says over and over.
Oberyn jumps. He stabs The Mountain. He slices out his leg. And then he impales him. But it’s not enough, and this is where the Red Viper of Dorne makes his fatal mistake. He pulls out his spear, asking The Mountain to confess.
Which The Mountain does, grabbing Oberyn by the throat, admitting everything, and showing the late Martell exactly what he did to his sister: punching her teeth out with one hit, gouged out her eyeballs, and then he made her head explode with his bare hands.
And then The Mountain keels over, after killing Oberyn, but it’s too late: by the rules of combat, Tyrion is guilty, and sentenced to death.
What did you think of this episode? Head-crushingly good?