I’m going to keep with last episode’s format and do the jump around Westeros. Unlike this episode, I will not be saving the main event for last.
The Mountain vs. the Viper
After enduring two weeks without Game of Thrones thanks to Memorial Day, I was properly starved for this fight. How could it not be awesome? Oberyn Martell has been a badass since he arrived in King’s Landing at the beginning of the season. He didn’t have a chance to show the fighting skills that earned him that reputation until now.
Naturally, GoT saved the best storyline for last, spending the first half of the episode switching between locations. By the time it got to the Viper-Mountain trial by combat, I was foaming at the mouth.
Ultimately, it seems silly to be surprised by the outcome. The fight was going too well for Martell. The Mountain was barely a man and more of a mythic monster. The Viper was cocky and furious, a lethal combination. By the gods was his end savage, even for this show. At least he got his confession.
It’s a familiar GoT trope by now to take out the “good guy” when it looks like he might get out of a sticky situation. Ned Stark was beheaded after accepting exile to The Wall. Robb Stark…well, you get it. This is yet another big old middle finger to righteous justice. Wicked men win the day, even when they have a spear sticking out of their chest.
And thus, Tyrion’s hopes crumbled like the Viper’s skull. It’s hard to imagine one of the show’s biggest stars could bite the dust right now, but lest we forget that Ned Stark was played by Sean Bean. Is there any hope for Tyrion? Perhaps Jaime could smuggle him out in a fruit basket while hijinks ensue.
Nah, he’s probably screwed. Hopefully we can get one more great speech out of Peter Dinklage. The beetle story wasn’t quite Tyrion lashing out at the people of King’s Landing, but it was still really good. Extra points to Dinklage for the impression of his slow cousin.
We got to see what the result of Reek playing the role of Theon Greyjoy this week. Theon has become a quivering mess of a creature. His muttering of “Reek” over and over reminds me of Gollum from Lord of the Rings. Unfortunately, his precious was taken from him and shipped off to his family in the Iron Islands.
Seeing Theon reduced to this is tough, even if he deserves a lot of it for turning his back on the Starks like he did. His true name, the one he valued enough to betray his adopted family, is now being used to slaughter his own countrymen. I’m not sure if this is the first time we’ve seen flaying actually happen on GoT, but holy hell was it gory.
On the flip side of that is the brutal bastard Ramsay Snow. Like so many on GoT, he yearns for father’s approval. The Snow name is a tough one to bear. People treat you differently in Westeros if you’re a bastard. It is huge for him to finally earn that acceptance by being officially named a Bolton. Theon’s attempt to prove himself led him to his downfall in Winterfell. Ramsay’s attempt to prove himself is leading there too, but will he fall there or rule it?
Grey Worm showed us that castrated men have sexual feelings too, but the Mereen storyline this week comes down to saying goodbye to Ser Jorah Friendzone. Ser Jorah’s secret deal with Robert Baratheon finally reared its head after 90% of the audience had forgotten about it.
I’m not sure exiling him for spywork he did years ago and ultimately didn’t follow through on is the best move here. He’s been loyally by Daenerys’ side ever since that incident and feels pretty strongly about her. Where does Ser Jorah go now? Will he give away information on Daenerys? He’ll probably just sulk stalk her and listen to a lot of the Westeros equivalent of Dashboard Confessional.
Sansa Stark has had a rough go of it. Her brother and parents have been murdered in their conflict with the Lannisters. She was tortured by Joffrey, married off to Tyrion, and hasn’t had a say in her own life at any point. Littlefinger’s a perv, but he’s the perv she knows. Sansa takes this opportunity so that she can finally be in charge. As much as I don’t want to see her in Baelish’s grubby paws, it’s still nice to see her doing something proactive for once. I can’t wait to see how Arya reacts to her sister’s new look.
Hey Sam, I think anyone could have told you that dropping your lady friend Gilly off in a whore’s town was a bad call. At least Ygritte’s still got half a heart. The Wildlings are getting closer to Castle Black. Ygritte is getting closer to taking another shot at Jon Snow. For Jon’s sake, I sure hope this doesn’t result in him getting Theon’d.