Game of Thrones Recap: Season 4, Episode 8: The Mountain vs The Viper
Game of Thrones RecapSeason 4, Episode 8 **SPOILER ALERT
This week’s episode, “The Mountain and the Viper,” was beautifully devastating in the usual fashion of Game of Thrones, which we have come to both love and fear at the same time. All the world was a buzz in the fandom and everyone knew that something big was going to happen. Although, we knew this info, it still does not ease our pain in watching our beloved characters die off. The reason GOT is so popular is because the writing is impeccable, partially due to the genius of creator George R.R. Martin and the producers at HBO, at this point in Season 4, they have mastered the art of suspense and foreshadowing and have been able to take it to another level.
Similar to what Alfred Hitchcock was able to achieve with killing off his main character in Psycho, GOT has been able to utilize this device by constantly making the audience aware that their favorite characters are never safe. Just because a character is the matriarch or patriarch of an adored family or a brave warrior or skilled swordsmen, never under any circumstances do these factors keep people alive on the show. Despite the fact that I am on the edge of my seat, biting my nails, pacing around like a mad person, feeling extremely uncomfortable, does it deter me or the other 8 million viewers from tuning in, no instead we wait religiously for Sunday to come around so we can watch our show. This episode delivered on so many levels and we have two more episodes to go and I just know at this point I need to get my tissues ready because something big is going to happen.
Let’s pour a nice glass of red wine like the Viper did and discuss what the hell just happened.
The show kicked off with the filthy wenches down at Moles Town. One of them tells Gilly to shut her baby up, but her face turns almost white when she hears a noise. She knows something is coming and yes, you guessed it the Wildlings come in and raid the town, killing and plunging swords into people’s bodies. Although we know that Ygritte is a bad ass, crazy bitch, she sees Gilly holding her baby and tells her to shush and spares her life. I absolutely loved this scene, it showed us, as in that moment that she fell for Jon Snow, that not only is she capable of vulnerability, she does have a heart deep down inside. The news travels fast and Sam is sullen and kicking himself for leaving her there. One of the other guys tells him, she survived Craster’s Keep, the treacherous voyage to the wall and the White Walkers, so there is a possibility she could be alive. Winning for Sam!
Reek has now been given a mission, a task, sort of like throwing a bone at a dog and watching it bring it back to you, Ramsey tells him he must take Moat Cailin as Theon Greyjoy. That’s a good boy, fetch! Moat Cailin is almost a majestic fortress, but inside people are sick and dying. Reek enters and tells them who he is and that Roose Bolton captured him, treated him fairly and is offering them their safe return home to the Iron Islands in return for the Moat. He tells the leader they can trust him, but he refuses, so naturally someone throws an axe to his head. How appropriate! The person who takes over agrees to the deal and cut to him being burned alive at the stake. Never, ever trust a Bolton.
Due to Ramsey’s abilities to take Moat Cailin, Bolton presents him with a deed that legitizmes Ramsey as his true born son. Back in the day this was big time for these bastard dudes. For Ramsey, this was a hell of a good day.
Down at Meereen, we see Missandei and Grey Worm engaging in a group bathing session. Despite his lack of male body parts, Grey Worm watches Missandei, stares at her body with a look of desire in his eyes. Does he feel something down there or are his male hormones in overdrive? She asks Daenerys about this, she is curious about him looking at her and neither women know the answer. Can the unsullied be aroused? Grey Worm later comes in to ask for her forgiveness, but she tells him she didn’t mind. You can cut the sexual tension with a knife, but what will happen when they actually want to get it on? I am just as confused as Dany and Missy!
Ser Barristan receives a letter and hands it to Dany and tells her she must read it. Turns out the Ser Jorah has been pardoned from his exile for having spied on her. In the beginning he was ordered to spy on her by King Robert Baratheon, but as time went by he began to love her and made it his mission to protect her. The time that he saved her from drinking the poisoned wine, he knew about it and he switched his loyalty to her. When Ser Jorah is brought before her, she tells him to leave Meereen at that very moment or he is better off dead. This was truly heartbreaking because I believe that he really did love her and he was truly loyal to her, but how could Dany keep him around in good faith after reading that letter. It is clear that the Lannisters are working overtime at this point and even though they mocked her in their council meetings, they are afraid of what she could be capable of doing to them considering she has three grown dragons behind her.
Back at the Vale, Littlefinger is being investigated over the sudden death of Lysa who died falling through the moon door. He tells the council consisting of the Lords and Ladies of the Vale that she jumped to her death and committed suicide. They are not buying this story and ask to see his supposed niece to question her. Sansa arrives and tells them she is ready to tell the whole truth. She tells them that she is Lady Sansa Stark and she proves this to Yohn Royce, who once knew Ned Stark, she tells him about the time he visited Winterfell and her family. Their jaws drop in awe of who she is and she continues to say that her aunt was a little off and when she saw Littlefinger give her a peck on the cheek she flew off the deep end. She wipes Littlefinger’s name clean and he is proven innocent by Sansa and the shedding of her fake crocodile tears.
Littlefinger tells the Lords that Robin has been living way too much of a sheltered life and it is time for him as future Lord of the Vale to get out and see the cities, meet his subjects and learn the skills that a man needs to know. He also tells Robin to basically get over the death of his mom because you know people die everyday. They agree and Sansa comes to accompany them on their trip and is dressed much more like a woman than a young lady and is starting to realize how to harness her assets. Sansa is turning out to be a smart cookie, she has seen a lot and been through more than almost anyone else, and is quickly learning how to play this game of survival.
Outside though Arya and the Hound have arrived at the Vale and are informed at the gate that Lysa has just passed away. What the hell! Once again Arya is on the cusp of being reunited with her family and the idea is quickly crushed. Arya just starts laughing hysterically when they tell her this and literally that is how I felt. Good god people let her get reunited with someone!
Now that we have gotten all that nonsense out of the way, let’s get to the real meat and potatoes of the episode. The showdown we have been waiting for, the final verdict for us to know whether or not Tyrion will live. Oberyn gets ready for the fight by swigging and downing some wine, to which Tyrion tells him maybe he shouldn’t do that considering he is about to battle for his life. Oberyn tells him that he is not worried, he will win because he is doing this for the honor of his sister and he tells him that he will get the beast to admit to his crimes. His cup of cockiness has runneth over and at this point my anxiety was beginning to grow higher and higher.
Upon entering the ring, immediately Oberyn shows off his sword skills and fancy footwork. Although he is smaller than the Mountain, he quickly goes around and around him. As he fights him he tells him who he is and keeps saying,"These words seem to propel him and he is able to him in the side and in his leg, which knocks him down. At this point, there is hope that yes, Oberyn may just win and Tyrion will be saved. Remember this is GOT and nothing ever goes as planned.
Looking over the Mountain all he has to do is stab him one more time and he is dead, but he is hell bent on getting a confession out of him. In doing so, this allows the Mountain to knock him off his feet and get on top of him and gouge his eyes out with his fingers. Eventually, pushing down on bashing his skull into the ground. This scene was one of the worst deaths so far on GOT, up there with the infamous Red Wedding, but Oberyn's head being crushed into oblivion just sent me into tears. Damnnit, I really liked him!
Unfortunately, since the Mountain had already been stabbed, he too went down with Oberyn. No one has won and Tyrion is sentenced to death. Ugh, I really do not want Tyrion to die and I hope something awesome and miraculous saves him, but at this point no one is safe.
We will definitely miss the actor Pedro Pascal who played Oberyn. I think he was really growing on everyone, but that is life in Westeros. RIP Oberyn!