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'Game Of Thrones' - 'The Mountain And The Viper': Been Constantly So Frustrated, I've Moved Mountains With Less

By TK | TV Reviews | June 2, 2014 | Comments ()


game-of-thrones-the-mountain-and-the-viper-4.jpg

Note: as always, please refrain from book spoilers in the comments. Any comment that contains spoilers will be deleted without exception, in its entirety, regardless of spoiler warnings.

Nothing in Game Of Thrones is ever easy. If there is one thing you can take away from this week’s episode, “The Mountain And The Viper”, it’s that. The roads are rocky and treacherous and unpredictable, and those we love live their lives on the edge of oblivion. Loving them more does nothing more than making their undoing hurt that much more.

We began in Molestown, where Gilly finds herself hiding from the onslaught of the feral, vicious rage of the Wildlings. Perhaps the most remarkable part of it is Ygritte, a fierce, relentless, and remorseless killer who cuts down anything in her path, save for a babe and his mother. It’s a solid scene, though I couldn’t help but begin sighing upon the image of Sam, moping and whinging, lamenting how stupid his stupid decision was (I mean really now, Sam). I’ve grown tired of Sam, but the ensuing dialogue between Jon Snow and his supporters saves the scene (even if its dreadfully repetitive — that’s basically all Jon Snow does now). There’s a dark realism to the men of the Night’s Watch, all of them trapped in a place that seems to have no hope, on the verge of fighting a lost cause of a war, wondering how they can survive what’s coming.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the world in Meereen, a most curious flower is blooming. In another rare instance of nudity actually serving a bit of a purpose, we see the castrated Grey Worm, hypnotized by the beauty of Missandei, and she confused and intrigued by his gaze. This pairing is an interesting one, as it’s nonexistent in the novels (Missandei has been aged up substantially in the show — in the novels, she’s but a child). Yet it’s also an immensely satisfying one, two very good supporting characters getting unexpected depth and nuance added to their stories. Their final moments, with Grey Worm shamed by his stares, and Missandei full of curiosity and uncertainty, combined to show the beginnings of something more and was terrifically acted by both of them. This is a complex, surprisingly nuanced and wonderful courtship, with the potential to grow into one of the show’s better romantic relationships.

When we eventually find Theon and Ramsay, it’s more of the same (and I don’t mean that necessarily as a bad thing). It was a broken man and his master holding an unseen whip and phantom chains, testing his limits for a greater plan. That plan is Moat Cailin, a fortress containing nothing but dirt, disease, and despair, held by an Ironborn soldier who dies because of his dedication. But Theon plays his part and reason seizes his fellow Ironborn — and for their reward, they are granted the sight of Ramsay’s true colors. Moat Cailin is turned it into a place of savagery and suffering, but more importantly, Ramsay is a Snow no more, finally given what all bastards crave, finally recognized as a son. That moment with Roose and Ramsay was shockingly effective, and its a testament to the two actors that we felt any sense of emotion over the union of a traitor and a torturer.

I have grown tired of the saga of Baelish and Sansa, I confess. So it was with some trepidation that I watched the events of the Vale unfold and the inquisition of Littlefinger, as he roused the suspicion and ire of the nobles of the Vale. Yet it was salvaged by an unexpectedly excellent and interesting showing by Sansa. Forced to bear witness, she uses a lifetime of abuse and tragedy to play a part brilliantly. She plays a role by threading a lie with strands of truth, making her final, boldest lie the greatest of all, and ultimately making a choice for the devil she knows. It’s a stellar performance by Sophie Turner, and those final looks — once, in her chambers and again, as she purposefully approaches Baelish and Robyn, finally felt like the beginning of something powerful, like something we’ve all been waiting for.

As for Arya and the Hound? I have nothing to say, because I’m still giddy at both of their reactions upon arriving at the Eyrie. Never before in the show have we seen two opposite reactions handled so perfectly, and I would happily watch a clip of Maisie Williams bursting into peals of laughter on an endless loop.

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Perhaps the most frustrating scene was the other moment in Meereen, where Barristan receives a message, and Jorah’s terrible secret is revealed. The moment of their confrontation was a confounding one, and one that clearly demonstrated a vast difference in acting ability. I’ve said before that for some strange reason, Emilia Clarke is at her best when she must give the great speeches, but in the smaller, more intimate moments, she often stumbles. This felt like one such moment. Yes, she is clearly tearful and angry, yet her performance felt strangely stilted — what she wants to be a cold fury comes off as merely wooden. The punishment granted is swift and without regret, and to Jorah Mormont, absolutely devastating. All the love and support and devotion in his heart cannot stop the damage done to hers, and that’s where the difference shows itself the most For every monotone, unemotional utterance of hers, there is a shaky, distraught, tragic one from him, and we are left to witness the utter dismantling of a man losing what he loves most.

And then, finally, we are back to King’s Landing, to see Tyrion’s fate decided. In a scene both riveting while also maddeningly drawn out, we see him and Jaime, full of odd stories and gallows humor, telling a tale that Tyrion himself never understood. But it underscores the convivial charm of the two brothers, perfectly portrayed, the only real love to find the Lannisters in this world of venality and ambition that they live in.

At last, the Viper and the Mountain. It’s a wonderfully directed and choreographed scene, right from Tyrion’s frantic and ironic pleas for sobriety to Ellaria’s adoring caveats. The fight itself is stunning, and even knowing its outcome, I found my breath caught in my throat. Throughout his tragically brief run, Pedro Pascal’s Oberyn was never without a sense of showmanship, and it’s no less on display here. For every brutish lunge from Gregor Clegane, there’s a whirling, leaping, impossibly graceful parry from Oberyn, and it makes the final outcome so much more awful. There’s a furious, Inigo Montoya-like dedication to Oberyn’s raging torments — it’s not just about the fight, it’s not just about vengeance, it’s about making the world know the truth. And they do, but only because in the end, his thirst for vengeance is his undoing, and he condemns himself — and Tyrion — to a brutal and gruesome ending.

The worst thing that can happen in Game Of Thrones is to grow to love someone. When the ones that are loved die, it’s then that we feel something. Even Joffrey, that malevolent little cancer of a king, had a death heavy with emotion as he died in his mother’s arms. And so with Oberyn’s grotesque passing, punctuated by the clarion, anguished scream of Ellaria, we feel it again. It was unexpected and vicious and god knows it bodes ill for the futures of the others that we love. And kudos to Pascal, for so ferociously embracing the role, and damn him for making us love him. Like the death of Ned Stark, even though I knew it was coming, I secretly hoped that it wouldn’t. But of course it did, and we are once more left wondering what will come next.


(gif via the wonderful Resa A.)

You can email TK here, or follow him on Twitter at @TKhatesyou.







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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • MrMinion

    About that last scene: http://projectfandom.com/wp-co...
    Helena approves.

  • PixiStix

    I had a feeling Oberon was going to die...when he was railing about this sisters death walking around I looked @ my hubby & said ...watch...the Mountain is gonna get him...Bam...Game over..Anyone who is likable is offed...I pray to "The Old Gods & The New" Don't kill Tyrion ...He's the one ( Peter Dinkledge ) that got me hooked on GOT😎

  • Srw27

    His head exploded like a fooking pineapple! Yikes!!! That was gruesome even by GoT standards lol

  • stella

    I still cant believe he got killed off....im actually really upset.

  • YodasLlama

    It really aggravates me that Pajiba is moderating comments before they are even posted now. You have lost my attendance if that is the case. I commented on how I thought this review was well done and that I am not looking forward to Stevens and the comment was not allowed to be posted probably like this one will not. So much for openness in Pajiba.

  • foolsage

    It sounds like you might have posted spoilers in this non-spoiler thread. That's cause to have a post deleted.

  • YodasLlama

    No I didnt. I said I enjoyed the review however I am not looking forward to Stevens review.

  • Jezzer

    "Why won't you let me be pointlessly hateful to your staff writers, Pajiba??? Censorship!!! BENGHAZI!!!!"

  • foolsage

    So... you posted (several times it seems) to say that you don't want to read something that hasn't yet been written? I'm unsure what you're hoping to accomplish with that, honestly. If you read something and have issues with it, that's reasonable. Just complaining that something is going to at some point be written though? That seems like pointless negativity. Your opinion about something that doesn't yet exist cannot by definition be an informed opinion, after all.

    I'm angry about tomorrow's weather, personally, and I'd like to share my opinion with the world, repeatedly.

  • mzbitca

    I'd feel bad for you if you weren't complaining about a pretty jackass and pointless comment not being allowed.

  • To me, this was the "This Should've Happened A Couple Seasons Ago" episode. If all the bits and pieces of King's Landing this season were put into one episode, it would've been a fitting tribute and send off to not only Oberyn, but the short-lived career of the new Mountain (who is fucking adorkable).

  • elirt

    Sansa is finally playing the Game of Thrones! Good for her! That was incredibly surprising and well acted. I've read a lot of comments that she sided with Little Finger. I see it as she got Little Finger wrapped around *her* little finger (see what I did there?!) and now he owes HER versus what has always been her owing someone else. Now she's free to be herself and not beholden to anyone else. It was awesome to see her take lessons from King's Landing and make them her own.

    Oh Oberyn... so sad. You were amazing, but that's also why you had to die. You were too wonderful for that brutal world. An incredible scene that made me hold my breath every time he danced around. Great twist at the end where they both die. Timing is everything.

  • janeite1900

    Did the Mountain die? Is that what you are saying? I missed that.

  • elirt

    From what I saw, the Mountain died right after killing Oberyn - it was the last thing he did with that last bit of energy he had. Dramatic!

  • Anyone know where they filmed the scene between Ramsay and Roose? Because talk about finding your absolutely perfect settings to give the right mood to a scene. That was amazing, chilling and beautiful in a terrifying way.

  • John W

    I think Ireland.

  • Paul Kara

    I'm done with this show. I've come to realize that nothing of substance will ever come from any of the plot lines. It's basically a free for all of mayhem and murder, sold as being "realistic" because the good guys never win. If realism = nihalism then i'll take a pass.

  • vic

    Oh, the good guys win in this story. They just haven't yet because the story's nowhere near finished. GRRM is inspired by the ups and downs and cause-and-effect quality of history, and he wanted his story to match. Like history, and life, It's depressing, it's bleak, it's violent, but none of it is for nothing; every action has a reaction. Ned, Robb, Catelyn, etc. all died to move the story elsewhere and to raise the stakes in the stories of Arya, Bran, Sansa and Jon, among others. It's not nihilistic at all. GRRM's just doing something different, and making doomed characters likable gives these plot turns weight and makes readers and viewers more outraged at the villains. I obviously can't argue against your frustration, and the bleak aesthetic isn't helping matters, and GRRM is *definitely* playing a very long game, but even not knowing what's going to happen: it's not for nothing. This ain't a snuff series.

  • Guest

    The more I think about it, the more obvious it seems that this was GRRM's answer to Princess Bride.

    An acrobatic Spaniard out for revenge, facing off against a giant who can crush rocks.

  • luthien26

    You're right! I think he pretty much has said that he wrote that scene after watching The Princess Bride. At least, he's admitted it served as an inspiration. :) Appropriate then that Pedro adopted a Spanish accent...

  • vic

    Not much to add here. Again, lots to say on the book thread. I do like what they're doing to Grey Worm and Missandei, but I hope they don't make it so that Astapor actually left the Unsullied with part of their genitalia. Part of the reason the Unsullied are so effective is that they have no way to want or enjoy sex, so they only kill when warring and don't get bogged down in rapine or whatnot. Then again, this was explained in the books more than the show...Ah, whatever. I like Grey Worm and Missandei, so if they rock the boat, good for them.

  • Maddy

    Also all the people who are like 'suddenly Sansa is becoming smart she was so dumb before this episode' - you have bad viewing comprehension.

  • Ozioma

    I condemn these folk to the eternal side-eye of all side-eyes.

  • Maddy

    I condemn them to a withering Varys side eye

  • foolsage

    I don't think her intelligence changed at all. She hasn't shown much agency though up to this point; she's been a pawn in someone else's game since she left Winterfell.

  • Maddy

    That's true - but she also hasn't had the opportunity to show agency before now. She's taking the opportunity when it presents itself. She has been a captive for 2 seasons. When people are all 'I love Sansa now she's so badass'. DID YOU NOT SEE THE LAST EPISODE OF SEASON ONE. I think managing to survive this long is pretty badass. Sorry I know I go on about Sansa on here all the time! She's not even my favourite character believe it or not.

  • foolsage

    Sansa has had a lot of opportunities and choices, I'd say. She was young, and scared, and overwhelmed, and didn't know what to do, so she let herself be a pawn repeatedly. She didn't need to lie to protect Joffrey, for instance. She didn't need to betray her father's plans to Cersei, leading to his death. Those were choices and showed some agency, to be fair, but then they were choices made out of weakness and fear.

    Sansa saved Ser Dontos, which was one of the first times she acted with strength and compassion, but it was also an accident; she spoke without thinking, then covered it up. When she told the Tyrells about what a monster Joffrey was, it's hard to say whether she was standing up for herself or simply caving in.

    Yes, I've been paying attention. :D

    Go easy on the "you people" though, please. Everyone who has an opinion on Sansa changing now isn't somehow one agglomerated mass; we're actually different people with different views. ;)

  • Maddy

    I'm sorry I have strong feelings! I didn't mean to do the 'you people' thing.

  • Palandt

    too late, I'm afraid you're a bigot. On behalf of everyone here at the KKK, welcome to the club; here's your pointy cap.

  • foolsage

    What an odd thing to say. I don't think Maddy is a bigot at all.

  • Maddy

    I assumed it was a jokes thanks for stridently coming to my defence though!

  • foolsage

    Eh, I assumed it was a jab at me actually. Palandt and I have disagreed a few times in discussions about bigotry, and so I figured he was implying that anytime I disagree with anyone or even hold a mildly different opinion, I must consider them a bigot. That's not remotely true though, so I figured I'd cut to the chase with a clear denial. I haven't seen you post anything bigoted anywhere, and anyhow our feelings about Sansa (the source of our minor disagreement) aren't all that different. I really like the character, don't want her sexualized, and like when she takes control of her own life. I like show Sansa more than book Sansa.

    I knew Palandt wasn't serious. Clearly nobody here is going to self-identify as an actual KKK member, after all. :P

  • Palandt

    it should be, I was being sarcastic, lol.

  • We keep hearing the moral over and over. Was Syrio Forel the greatest swordsman living? Maybe, but it doesn't matter because he brought a wood sword to the fight he lost to Meryn Trant.

    Was Eddard Stark a noble man and great leader of men? Sure, but he brought that sense of honor to the high-born equivalent of a back-alley knife fight.

    Was Oberyn Martell full of righteous fury over the rape and murder of his kin? Sure and he put his mentally scripted revenge, torturing the Mountain into confessing Tywin's involvement, ahead of winning. And got his head caved in because of it.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Minor point: we don't know Syrio lost for sure. We never saw the body and nobody confirmed that he died. What if it isn't just a coincidence that he and Jaquen H'ghar are from Braavos? Yoren DID pick Jaquen up in King's Landing, AND when we last see him, he knows who Arya really is.

  • manting

    Jaquen Hgar is not Syrio. Syrio was the first sword of bravos and was a well known person. The only way it could work would be thar Jaquen changed faces and was Syrio for years and years including being the 1st sword of Bravos.

  • Bert_McGurt

    I'm not saying he is, but it's interesting to think about. Either way, how did Jaquen know her real name?

  • manting

    the right counter answer to me would have been "but what about Pate and the alchemist?" He can take someones identity and BE that person.

  • foolsage

    Pate 1.0 didn't like being compared to Spotted Pate the Pig Boy from the stories though. Pate 2.0 brought that connection up immediately. So it seems more likely that the Faceless Men study their targets and learn what's needed to mimic them, without actually having all their memories or personality. It's more skill than magic, in other words.

  • manting

    yes but effective enough to fool everyone around him including the most learned men of the 7 kingdoms including the mad mage maester marwyn. So he actually could have been Syrio but I think it is highly unlikely and why wouldnt he have told Arya.

  • foolsage

    Fair point. Pate was an underachiever though, who after five years still hadn't forged a single link of his maester's chain. I think the most learned men in the seven kingdoms had probably mostly given up on him. ;)

    Jaqen posing as Syrio doesn't make sense really; I agree that it's unlikely. What would be the goal? Why replace such a well-known person? Why not tell Arya at any point?

  • Ozioma

    I think GRRM confirmed in an interview that Syrio's dead.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Suuuure, dead just like [name redacted] is dead, right?

  • foolsage

    From http://www.westeros.org/Citade... :

    'In 2005, GRRM pointed out that Syrio seems to have been left in a hopeless situation when he was last seen, and suggested readers should "draw your own conclusions"'.

  • vic

    Well it's hard not to think he's dead then! Meryn Trant's still alive, and he didn't say anything about the "dancing teacher" escaping...

  • foolsage

    Yup. Of the several implied deaths in the series, Syrio is one of the more certain. Sadly.

  • Maddy

    NO DON'T CRUSH ALL OUR DREAMS

  • Ozioma

    It's not me, it's GRRM! DON'T SKULL-CRUSH THE MESSENGER D8

  • Steven Keaton

    I'm so glad I never read the books

  • vic

    It actually feels kinda similar, even having read the books first, as reading first and seeing it later both deliver the same, super depressing shocks. Only instead of not seeing it coming (though many still hoped desperately that it wouldn't), the shock is in seeing such a charismatic, well-groomed character reduced to meat. God I hate the Mountain.

  • Palandt

    He did die too tough, didn't he?

  • vic

    He sure did, man. He sure did. Sigh.

  • On a slightly different non-head crushed in/eyes gouged out discussion:

    We've spent a lot of time focusing on the violence perpetrated against female characters on this show aka the constant raping. I think this is the first time where we had multiple male characters who've had violence of a sexual nature perpetrated against them. Namely Theon and Grey Worm, both of whom were castrated. Of course, you can add Varys to the list (and 8,000 Unsullied if we're keeping track).

    What does it say about the world of Westeros that so much of the violence visited upon people is to either impose or deny sexual agency?

  • Bert_McGurt

    Well, I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that power and influence are hereditary in the Houses of Westeros. Control sexual agency and you control the passage of power and manipulate the future.

  • TheAggroCraig

    My girl Sansa playin' the GAME. That was a good move on her part.

  • Mla8Cor

    to watch it simple google ACCESSTV INFO

  • Bert_McGurt

    Oh, sh*t, I just remembered another one of my favourite lines - you've got Tyrion listing all the different types of "-cides", and saying there's a name for every type of killing. Then Jamie asks if there's one for killing your cousin...

  • foolsage

    He pointed out "cousin" as the exception pretty quickly, too. But then it was something he'd thought about.

  • Bert_McGurt

    At this point him and Tyrion should just move to the Arbor and open a brewery called "Regiciders".

  • Maddy

    I didn't even catch that!

  • BendinIntheWind

    I wonder, is there any kind of precedent or rule in place for if a Trial By Combat ends in a draw? If both champions keel over, do they stage a redo, with two new combatants? Does a draw automatically favor the house (in this case, the crown)?

  • manting

    its the first to die. I think its clear that the Gregor has been dealt a mortal blow and will soon die (he got a spear stuck through him) but Oberyn died first.

  • Setting aside that I'd read the book and knew it had to end how it ended, what makes anyone think that there's a happy ending in Westeros??

    Of course, Oberyn had to die. Of course, it was going to be after he managed what appeared to be impossible and bested The Mountain. And of course, it was going to be brutal.

    As for Jorah, that bit of chicken finally came home to roost. What I'm surprised is that he didn't use the "yeah, but I've followed you into deserts and death ever since" excuse.

    Missandei and Grey Worm? Cute

  • manting

    I think the show is making them brother and sister. Its why she keeps asking about where he is from and what he remembers before he became unsullied. Its why he is drawn to her though he doesnt know exactly why.

  • vic

    I think we talked about this before, but I can't see why B&W would do that, especially after this episode and how emphatic their romantic and sexual attraction is. I supposed I wouldn't put an absurd development like that past them, but I think this is just a straightforward romance.

  • foolsage

    Agreed. I thought she was asking him all those questions because she wanted to know more about him. If she thinks he's her brother, she has had plenty of opportunities to say so and little reason to keep silent.

  • And we know where siblings end up in Game of Thrones, right?

  • janeite1900

    Seemed like a table-turning episode in lots of small ways:
    1. Danaerys braiding Missendei's hair and giving sex advice is a lot like when her maids waited on her in the first season.
    2. Tyrion commenting on disabled Lannister cousin smashing beetles obsessively, but not realizing he was obsessing over the cousin (watching, reading, questioning).
    3. Roose askes Ramsey, "What is your name?" Seems like something they had done before, like Roose had emphasized the Snow and not Bolton to him over and over, like he does to Reek.

    Also, I kept thinking that if Oberyn hadn't been drinking, maybe he wouldn't have been so argumentative once he had the Mountain on his back. And yes, I read the books and knew it was coming, and for the sake of plot, I knew it had to happen, but still. Who drinks before a fight to the death with that thing?

  • Maddy

    I couldn't remember if he was drinking in the books? I think he was just so obsessed with revenge

  • Dennis Albert Ramirez

    my whole reaction to the ending was an endless stream of "GODDAMNIT".
    r.i.p. oberyn

  • Bert_McGurt

    That was probably the smartest scene that Sansa's had all series. Not only did she save Petyr's bacon and endear herself to him, but she made herself known to some other allies, particularly Bronze Yohn.

    The Arya and the Hound Show continues to crack me up. Fitting for him to ask her THIS episode if she's disappointed she didn't get to kill Joffrey personally - given that the person highest on his own list just got gut-speared by someone else. And it's going to be extremely strange to see two Starks REUNITED if they defy my expectations and actually let these two into the Eyrie.

    I have to say though, it's frustrating to watch them make some changes like the ones above while they bungle the story at the Wall. At this approximate point in the books that was one of my favourite parts of the story, but they're just dragging things out so much...

    ***pours out some Dornish red for my man Oberyn***

  • mzbitca

    I loved the Sansa scene, because as much as Petyr understands Kings Landing, John Arryn and the Vale and the North are both cut from different clothes and Sansa knows that. She knew that her name as a Stark trumps all and she was not going to let LF hide it, even as she helped him out. He can't get rid of her now cause they know she's a Stark but she still wants him around because he's useful

  • Maddy

    I didn't even think of that but it actually was smart - now Littlefinger can't just get rid of her when he feels like it because they know she's not just some bastard niece. At first I was horrified at what was happening but I came around by the end.

  • Maddy

    The Wall was one of my favourite plotlines at this point in the books too. Why am I so bored?

  • Scorptilicus

    Well, how much time was there between Jon's return and the first attack? Certainly not a season's worth. I'm sure that hasn't helped.

  • BendinIntheWind

    If I'm remembering correctly, there's a very very small window of time between Jon arriving all chock-full of arrows, and the battle. It's more of a scramble scramble "Oh shit, get whatever ready we can! They're right behind me!", so it had much more urgency. In the show, they've clearly been biding their time with the Wall to let it stand as a big late-season set piece.

  • bibliophile

    Yep. In the book he's still on crutches.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Cause they aren't DOING anything! I honestly don't know what they're waiting for. Unless they've decided to make some further changes to the plot?

  • AudioSuede

    I was thinking that opening scene was super random, until I realized that it was constructed so the first line of the episode was "The Rains of Castamere." And then I was sad again.

  • I thought Emilia Clarke was terrific in the confrontation with Ser Jorah. You could see that Daenerys was trying to keep a steely resolve while she was buckling under the weight of his betrayal. She had no choice but to dismiss him and now she has lost one of her most trusted advisers as she is trying to hold on to the small cluster of cities she conquered. I loved how she bit off every word she spoke as if saying a syllable more would cause her facade to crumble.

    As horrific and to be honest unnecessarily graphic the ending was, what annoyed me the most was the music after Ramsey Snow was re-named was unfairly heroic. The only way I wanted that scene to end was for a meteor to flatten both of those mother fuckers. Fuck giving Ramsey a hero scene.

  • Genevieve Burgess

    I agree on the Dany scene. You got the sense that if she betrayed any emotion, whether crying or screaming, she wouldn't be able to hold onto the resolve to exile him.

  • stryker1121

    I liked the music choice for Ramsay scene..highlighted the twisted relationship between father and son by making the moment big and heroic.

  • logan

    Torn on Oberyn dying like that. On the one hand I loved his style and his hatred for the Lannisters but on the other hand he had the fight won but his own pride and vanity did him in.

    I have not read all the books but it looked to me like Sansa grew up last night.

    Suspect i'm going to be missing the Hound pretty soon too.

  • Maddy

    I don't think it was vanity. I think it was important to publicly humilliate Tywin and get justice for his sister. There isn't a justice system where he can put Tywin and the Mountain on trial for what they did to Elia - this is the only opportunity he has. They haven't done a good enough job in the show though explaining how close Oberyn was to his sister. This wasn't about saving Tyrion's life to him.

  • Zeus McGuinnes

    This.

  • Emran Huq

    The morale of the story is (I've to say it, and I don't care if somebody else already has): When you come to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.

  • lauravan12

    Be still, my heart. With time ticking down in the hour, I even said out loud (to myself), "there's no way there's enough time left for the fight to happen". I mean, it was like 9:52 and no King's Landing yet? I am at the point now where I will no longer vocalize my love for a character because it WILL end in death. Did the Mountain live? He looked pretty rough to me at the end when Tywin called out that Tyrion must die. I guess it shows you how great this show is since I didn't even really process that Tyrion will be sentenced to death there at the end - my mind was still on brainnnnnnnnnnns.

    Is anyone else just TOTALLY OVER the whole castle black / wildlings story line? Is it just me? When I saw previews for next week, none of it resonated with me. And that's saying something since we all know how important the 9th episode is (typically) in GoT. I was like "nope nope nope" don't care at all. Maybe it's just viper fatigue...

  • Scorptilicus

    I think I'm really only excited about it because of the trailers. If the last we'd seen of Jon before next week was the burning of Craster's Keep, I would have been fine.

  • meadowdancer

    No I hate the freaking wall transitions.

  • Maddy

    No its because they've done a poor job building up the wildlings and that plotline. An awesome battle doesn't matter if you don't build up to it properly. Trust me it's the shows fault.

  • Ryan Ambrose

    That speech Tyrion gave about his mentally challenged cousin is going to spark a thousand think pieces accusing the show of making fun of the disabled and will completely miss the point of that scene, isn't it?

  • stryker1121

    I hope to hell not..Salon and its ilk have enough to grumble about. I did think the scene went on a smidge too long, however.

  • Maddy

    I wasn't offended I was just befuddled. Why? And let's just gloss over a mention of the maester apparently molesting Jaime too. So much for 'cripples, bastards and broken things'. They were trying for some smart metaphor and it was just dumb.

  • Ryan Ambrose

    The fact that Tyrion was tormented from birth yet still didn't feel affection towards the afflicted gave me a little perspective as to how dreadful his existence must have been under his father, including his hypocrisy. That Lannisters are hardwired to subjugate and feel superior to the less fortunate even though he still empathized enough with his cousin to the point where he tried to understand why he killed all those beetles. For reasons that only made sense to a "moron", as he put it. I thought that was basically the nihilism of the show in a nutshell.

    That was my take on it but I can see how some thought it lacked tact, although it did offer a brief moment of levity between brothers despite being at the expense of a poor man.

  • foolsage

    I think Tyrion demonstrated his compassion by letting the beetle go during the discussion.

  • Maddy

    Sure. I don't think it was character assassination or anything. I just can't bring myself to have any interest in it.

  • vic

    I liked the scene, though. I can believe child Tyrion liked making fun of the mentally ill to feel normal, but adult Tyrion has a lot more sympathy. Maybe. It's a bit weird in the books, like sometimes he's a bit hypocritical about defending "cripples, bastards and broken things"...

  • Maddy

    I just don't think it needed to go on so long. I admit I was anxious about not having enough time left for the fight and getting annoyed so I should probably watch it again.

  • vic

    Come to think of it, I just remembered that part of the conversation where Tyrion starts dwelling on all the dead beetles and starts sounding desperate. It had a sad undertone to it, as if he was momentarily terrified about his own death. I thought that was beautiful, and also...maybe the beetles are the "broken things" here and not his ostensibly brutal cousin? Not to criticize the discomfort over Tyrion's apparent ableism, but this scene suddenly got way more complicated, haha...

  • Maddy

    I just rewatched that interrogation scene. SOPHIE TURNER YOU ARE MY QUEEN AND I LOVE YOU. You could see when she was genuinely upset and when she slightly hesitated before telling slight lies. Her and Pedro Pascal - MVPS of this episode. Iain Glenn and Jacob Anderson are up there too.

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