Game of Thrones Review “The Mountain and The Viper” S4E8

WOW, Okay, so… there will be SPOILERS here. There’s simply no way to talk about the episode without discussing the Mountain in the room.

One week off of Game of Thrones and I was a sad panda; I can’t even begin to think of how much this off-season is going to suck. “Mockingbird” set up what feels like a pivotal change amongst the varying characters. There is so much going on, it is hard to keep track at times. Given the name of the episode, we could only assume that this is where the big showdown happens; Oberyn Martell fighting for Tyrion Lannister’s freedom while The Mountain, Sir Gregor Cleagane, champions Cersei. While the rest of the episode doesn’t hold a candle to the fight, there so much going on here. In fact, the scenes at King’s Landing only take up maybe 10-15 minutes of the episode. Game of Thrones reminds me of a game of Skee-ball horse racing, playing all tables at once, trying to progress all the stories without letting any single story line get too far ahead.

This episode will forever be marked with a severe lack of foresight. All across the board, we come face to face with situations that could have been avoided with a little planning and a lot less pride.

You would think that with the Wildling army raiding and slaughtering nearby villages, maybe you should get your friend with no benefits out of there, Sam! He feels awful and he should. He stuck her in a gross whorehouse just so he wouldn’t the inconvenience of needing to let love in. The fact is that Gilly is not safe anywhere, and with the Wildling army encroaching, things don’t look too good for Castle Black and the Night’s Watch. They look so doomed to me at this point that I’m not really even interested in their outcome. Sorry, crows.

Daenerys has been the Breaker of Chains for quite some time, but there is one more set of shackles to be removed – the removal of Jorah Mormont from the friend-zone.  After selling out his Khaleesi to King Robert Baratheon to gain a pardon, he continued to stick by her side. But he also continued to spy on the Mother of Dragons for quite some time, which is confusing to me because there’s really no motive to do both, when he has the option to do either. In any case, the break-up between Jorah and his bestie is hard to watch. For almost four full seasons, Jorah has been her rock. Maybe this is just a sign that she doesn’t need the training wheels anymore. Or, more likely, it will mean that her reign will become even more unstable. It will be good to see them away from each other; Daenerys because Jorah was holding her back, and Jorah because he hasn’t really done much as a character in the series, regardless of his intriguing past. I could have done without the pathetic confession of love at the end though; being threatened to have your head thrown in Slaver’s Bay is not a cue to for romantic gestures.

Quick note: Last time Jorah received a royal pardon, it was accompanied by an attempted murder on the Mother of Dragons. Following the council meeting where Tywin agreed Daenerys needed to be taken out, it isn’t a stretch to think that there will be a follow-up to that – maybe resulting in the death of one of her dragons, or her newly-acquired boy toy, Daario.

Of all the failed romps this season, one romance that I do like unfolding is the one between Grey Worm and Missandei. It is probably the most organic in the entire show. Seeing Grey Worm grow as a person and as a commander is proof to me that Daenerys’ system works. It also means to me pretty plainly that one of them will die. Romance never lasts in Game of Thrones, even for people without genitalia. While it lasts, though, I look forward to seeing this relationship blossom, and for both characters to continue growing and learning from one another.

In other awkward parts of the world, The Hound and his traveling companion, (can you say traveling comedy show???) Arya Stark, finally make it to the Eryie, just in time to hear that Lady Lysa had died. Hound has a fittingly hilarious reaction, which is none at all, while Arya laughs heartily right in his face. It’s just so cool the way her character has developed. She chides The Hound for being too proud to use whatever means to kill somebody. This little girl, with her Needle, is giving murder critiques to the freaking Hound. It’s so amusing. Less amusing is the foreshadowing of that pesky neckwound, which is beginning to fester. I really hope that a gross bite-mark doesn’t ruin the best buddy cop duo in the realm.

Dude, my aunt is dead! LOL
Dude, my aunt is dead! LOL

There’s another tag team to watch out for, and they are just as dangerous. Peter Baelish and Sansa Stark have some explaining to do. Just a few days in, and he’s put his dirty ass shoes all over the Eryie’s couch. After pushing Liza down the Moon Door – seriously, worst house guest ever – he tries to lie his way out of the situation, but finds himself unable to convince the elites in the region. It takes the tears of Sansa, who finally unloads about just how shitty life has been for her, to save his skin with her lies. The tables have finally turned, and Sansa is able to manipulate others for a change. Could she be learning from Littlefinger the same way Arya has taken to The Hound, or is she being played again? I, for one, think the duo could work a two-man con game that would make American Hustle blush. I’m still a long way from liking her as a character, but I like the fact that she finally got the courage to give a little crap back to the world that’s thrown so much at her. At the end she emerges in a gorgeous dress, looking more and more like the creepy little clone of her dead mother that Baelish wants her to be. What’s up with the black hair? Well, it could be to mask her identity as a red-headed Tully, giving her away as Sansa Stark. Perhaps once she has won back the North (presumably), she will reveal herself as Lady Stark.

photo 2

Now to the main event, the reason you showed up early and bought expensive Ye Old Popped Corn – Viper vs Mountain! The outcome of this fight may mean the death of Tyrion Lannister. The scene where Tyrion and Jaime talk about their childhood is so humanizing and peaceful that you can’t help but smell the foreshadowing death in the air. The two genuinely love each other and joke about their slow cousin, who always wanted to smash beetles. Tyrion’s fixation with the smashing, and Jaime’s confusion at the fixation is a strong statement that Tyrion is a Lannister only in name.

Peter Dinklage was awesome in Days of Future Past as Bolliver Trask, but Tyrion Lannister is a role that only Dinklage could pull off. His presence, jokes and charisma have transcended the show itself, turning him into Game of Thrones‘ very own Daryl Dixon. His character may be coming to terms with death, but there’s no way they would let his character die, no matter the circumstance he finds himself in. We hope.

What about Oberyn? Surely he deserves some credit for winning 90% of the fight. Not really. His death made me even angrier than Robb Stark’s because I feel Oberyn had so much left to do. And not only was he exotic in the bedroom, he brought something entirely new to the show in terms of fighting style, something that I could watch for hours. In the end, his sad stubbornness cost him his life… and his face. Dear sweet baby Jesus…

It took me twenty minutes to realize what the outcome of the fight even means. When The Mountain punched out Oberyn’s teeth like he was holding a mouthful of Skittles, I was caught staring at a train-wreck. The remainder of the savagery was, hands-down, the most barbaric thing I have seen in my life, and I need to take some time to evaluate whether or not I’m okay with that. No matter how grossed out you were, you have to admit that this episode pushed the boundaries of television even further. The bar is set even higher now, and it will be up to some other show to take it even further.

photo 5

Now that Oberyn has had a head-on collision with Fuck Mountain, what is to happen next? Will Oberyn’s wife be allowed to return to Dorn? It’s not like you can keep that secret safe by killing her, but there’s no way this happens without Dorn flooding King’s Landing with a sea of rage. Fuck the King!

Who won the Game of Thrones this episode?

There’s a new bastard of the North in town, and his name is Ramsay Bolton. This twisted little shit is now heir to the North. Lord Mufasa Bolton takes Ramsay to the hilltops and explains how vast the North really is, and that one day it all be his – even the elephant graveyard! Ever since he captured Theon, cut off his manhood and shipped it to his family, I’ve never really been a fan of his. He stripped Theon of humanity and turned him into some weird pet. Over the past few episodes, though, Ramsay has become more affectionate towards Reek, rewarding Reek whenever he does something obedient. Perhaps the creepiest thing is that Reek loves Ramsay now, and although petrified of him, is willing to do tricks for his master with even the longest leash. By no means is this a relationship to model with your loved ones, but I can’t help but find it endearing in some sick way. Ramsay uses Reek to impersonate his former glory as Theon Greyjoy, and convince a weak stronghold to surrender without consequence. Then we get to see why the Bolton banner is a flayed man on a cross. It’s kind of their thing. Ramsay explains to Reek, “Traditions are important. Where are we without our history?” Ramsay is then removed his title of Snow and awarded the legacy of being a full-fledged Bolton. As frightening as it is to imagine Ramsay as the heir to the North, his success has been heavily tied to Reek and what he carries. Could Reek grow to become more like Varys? Or is he really just a tool of Ramsay’s hand?

photo 2

All media credited to HBO

Advertisements

Published by

Sherif Elkhatib

I like Batman.

2 thoughts on “Game of Thrones Review “The Mountain and The Viper” S4E8”

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s