Game of Thrones 4.8 – The Mountain and the Viper

Previously, when I was young and fresh. The first thing you need to know is that I am devastated. That’s… that’s the first thing you should know. My husband—keeping his promise not to spoil me—knew just when to snap a picture. HEY I AM REALLY SAD. Guys? I am fucking devastated. Broken. Red Wedding? That’s like the memory of a day at Six Flags. I HAVE NEVER KNOWN PAIN LIKE THIS.

MY HUSBAND THINKS HE'S FUNNY. Actual moment of my heart breaking.

MY HUSBAND NOW EX-HUSBAND THINKS HE’S FUNNY. Actual moment of my heart breaking. [ahaha, omg, I am the biggest nerd. I AM SO SAD, WOW, THE HURT JUST KEEPS GOING!!]

Someone showed me a Golden Retriever puppy, made me fall in love with it, let me cuddle it endlessly, smiling and cooing when it snorfled my neck in the middle of the night, needing pets and lovings, and I gave that puppy those cuddles. I loved on that sweet, perfect thing. AND THEN SOMEONE CAME INTO MY HOUSE AND PUSHED ITS EYES INTO ITS SKULL AND CRUSHED IT BETWEEN THEIR HANDS IN FRONT OF ME AS I WAS HELPLESS TO INTERVENE. That’s my take on this episode.

And you should know that. I just shouted out and literally pounded my chest with a fist, crying to anyone who cared, “THEY’RE NOT REAL BUT THEY FEEL REAL.” 

(The above was written after I had an entire bottle of wine after the ep aired. You might see words, but all I hear is a muffled ringing in my ears.)

Oh, hey, we have new places on the map, and this was very exciting! Moat Cailin with little spears surrounding it, and the sight of Braavos opening up is still exciting to me because I’m this many. And once again, no Eyrie?

We open on a typical night in Mole’s Town, folks macking on each other in a muddy alleyway, a Marion Ravenswood-type (but far more coarse) out-drinking the menfolk and getting in some good slams while she’s at it—I laughed so hard at the snail joke and how there are only two damn songs in the whole world, and the guy got it wrong—and Gilly’s doing laundry. Poor Man’s Marion gets up in Gilly’s grill about Baby Morsel being too loud, and how she better shut that baby up or PM’sM will do it for her.

But Gilly, sweet Gilly who grew up with Craster, grew up with the threat of White Walkers and Wildlings and truly knows what goes bump in the night, hears a call and knows “That’s no owl.” She’s right. It’s Gjördkr the Chîcken Eåter and the rest of the Wildlings, including a pissed-off Ygritte. Dear people who are hating on my girl: did you forget she’s a Wildling? Why aren’t you pissed at Gjördkr the Chîcken Eåter? Mm, hmm, cut that stuff out. She’s a warrior, one who wars.

Of course Ygritte comes face-to-face with PM’sM and guts her through, hears Baby Morsel, and finds Gilly hiding. She tells Gilly to stay quiet and leaves her there because she’s already killed someone in front of a kid, and I don’t think she wants to do that again. Awesome shot: blood dripping down between the wooden slats overhead. Wildlings go hard, yo. (My guess: Ygritte recognized something about Gilly that marked her as a Wildling in hiding.)

I will hear nothing bad about this warrior princess.

I will hear nothing bad about this warrior princess.

Cut to Castle Black where Samwell Gamgee Red Leader Porkins bemoans putting Gilly in danger and getting her killed. Yeah, that was a shit move, bro, deciding her fate without her input. Our little gang of Watchers tell him she’s probably gotten free because she’s a survivor. More importantly, the Wildlings are getting closer to the Castle, which means Mance is, too, and this is getting to Remember the Alamo proportions.

Dear Little Eight-Pound Baby Jesus, thank you for the next scene of bare-chested men bathing. And that you saw fit to include the beautiful ladies, as well. Grey Worm—who still has a mouth and fingers, let me remind you fellas—watches Missandei bathing, and good lord, but she’s a pretty woman. I mean, she is sheer perfection. She stands and lets him see her fully, then covers herself and turns away, and I just ship these two so damn hard it’s now a fleet.

WAIT I MEAN I DON’T CARE ABOUT THEM. [Great, now they’re gonna die.]

Later, Dany is all eyebrow waggle and “Eh? Gonna hit that?” to which Missandei is unsure of how to answer. Like, are the bait and tackle removed when they make Unsullied? Missandei admits that she doesn’t know, but she’s wondered. Hell yeah, you have. (I’m guessing just testicles are removed, because peeing would be difficult, right? I mean, it’s clearly possible to pee without a penis *points to self*, but urethra muscles, etc.? IDK)

Off topic, but I love that Dany does her hair. Also, I totally was singing, “O! Sweet mystery of life at last I’ve found you!” as Missandei realizes that she has feelings for Grey Worm, and he for her. He comes to apologize to her for looking, but she’s all, “it’s fine. Also, I think I want you to look again, honey pie.”

Raise your hand if you wanted her to fly down the stairs at his romantic confession of being glad he’s Unsullied because it led him to her. Son, you have some game. I would bang that like a screen door in a hurricane.

Ramsay and his little sleeper agent, Renfield, I mean Reek, shoot, I mean Theon prepare to offer a deal to the remaining Ironborn that Yara left at Moat Cailin (right? I had to check my notes from a season back). Just go in there, offer them a plea bargain, and I won’t feed you to the dogs, all right? “Yes, Master,” Reek slurs, limping away.

“Kraken. When you take them out of the water…no bones! They collapse under their own weight.” Oh, that is brilliant. And Lord Greyjoy is going to experience this one day, I think. Theon already has.

The leader inside is clearly dying of disease—lots of dead bodies everywhere, nice cholera breeding ground there, dummy—and refuses to accept that a) Theon is who he says he is, and b) the plea. Theon is getting nervous by this not working, what will Ramsay do to him as a result? He starts murmuring “I’m Reek,” under his breath. But HATCHET TO THE SKULL FROM HIS OWN MEN! And the leader falls, another takes his place and asks, “That plea bargain still good?”

“Yep,” Reek/Theon says. “You’ll be treated every bit as fairly as me.” *looks significantly at the camera*

The thing about being a good liar is that there has to be truth in it. Cut to the Ironborn dead, flayed, and Ramsay going on about tradition. This is all terrible, I realize that, but it’s so funny how matter of fact and delighted Ramsay is with all of this.

The most wonderful group of disapproving judges assemble to give Petyr his trial. How very convenient, wouldn’t you say, for him to suddenly appear, marry Lysa, and then she “commits suicide?” Everyone knows her creepy fixation on her son—she wouldn’t just abandon him. They’re also not interested in any of Littlefinger’s ass-kissing. His ass-kissing prowess is legendary, and the scent of Tywin Lannister’s taint still lingers on his breath.

SourFaceJudge: Bring forth the gull.
Petyr: that simpleton? Err… [tugs neckline]
Sansa: [steps forward, nervously] I must tell them the truth, Lord Baelish.
SourFaceBiddy: Come, sweet girl. Don’t be afraid of anyone here.
Sansa: Okay! One, I’m not Alayne. I’m Sansa Stark.
Everyone: LE GASP!
Sansa: [nods] I’ve been a hostage, tortured, kidnapped, married to The Imp, studied treachery and deceit at the knee of the greatest deceiver of them all—
Petyr: [drifts off imagining her at his knee]
Sansa: —and I’m going to show all the Sansa haters why they should have taken those 50 to 1 odds against me. Aunt Lysa was unhinged. You all know that. And she’s been in love with Lord Baelish since she was a child. He kissed my cheek—
Sansa: [winks at me] —and she saw it, became suicidal, and leapt to her death.
SourFaceBiddy: This sounds reasonable.
Petyr: I have never loved you more, m’lady.

Once again: the best way to lie is to use the truth. And, as Sansa has learned, to use what people want to be the truth. Petyr? You in danger, gorl. The group of judges apologize to Petyr [wow] and Petyr then says how Robyn/Robin needs to fly the nest. Needs to see the land, learn how to fight. Good god, this man. He is so clever and devious! The group of judges/heads of the other houses all agree. Time to season the young Lord of the Vale. Would be such a shame if anything happened to him…

[Me: something is totally going to happen to Bad Boob Sucker. Eh. Okay.]

Ser Barristan gets a note from a little birdie. Oooh, it’s the pardon from the Hand of the King, aka Ned Stark, the one for Jorah. He tells Jorah that he’s going to give it to Daenerys, and that he will never be alone with her again. And cue my heart breaking!

Dany sits on her newly obtained throne, silent and terrible in her betrayal. Jorah tries to come close, but it won’t be allowed. Is it true? He can’t deny it. Did he tell Varys that she was pregnant with Drogo’s child? He did. So he’s been lying from the start. He hangs his head in shame. If he isn’t gone by nightfall, she’ll have his head thrown into Slaver’s Bay.


AHHHHHH BITCH LET HIM TOUCH YOU! [omg, that was terrible of me.]

AHHHHHH BITCH LET HIM TOUCH YOU! [omg, that was terrible of me.]

Don’t call her that! [Both me and the Khaleesi thing] He wants so badly to explain, to say that yes, his original intent was to spy on her, but he saw her with all her power, with all of her purity and he fell in love with her, both as a person and as a symbol. But he cannot. And now she’s lost the one person she’s needed most at her side. Barristan is a good man, but he is totally by the rules and will not bend. Daario will do what she wants or what he wants. Jorah would advise her wisely and now she has lost that.

And across Slaver’s Bay, women’s wombs dry up, their hearts break, and they cannot know it is because Jorah has ridden away on his horse in shame, and by the command of his one love. A pained wail of “Khaleesi!” sounds from the desert, sending frightened Jawas scurrying into their hovels.

Ramsay stands before his father Roose Bolton on a hillside with a nice little piano cover, telling him that shit hole of disease and dead bodies Moat Cailin belongs to the Boltons now. I suppose it makes a good base? Near Winterfell and all?

His father points around them. “When I first came here, this was all swamp. Everyone said I was daft to build a castle on a swamp, but I built in all the same, just to show them. It sank into the swamp. So I built a second one. That sank into the swamp. So I built a third. That burned down, fell over, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth one stayed up. And that’s what you’re going to get, Son, the strongest castle that can be built.”

Ramsay: [lip wobble] S-son?
Roose: Yes. You can finally take my name. I made it official and everything. [hands over paperwork]
Ramsay: I promise to flay every man alive and make you proud of me… Dad.
Roose: Aww, that’s a good lad. [ruffles his hair]

I made this for you for Father's Day. I got hungry and et the macaroni tie, sorry, Dad.

I made this for you for Father’s Day. I got hungry and et the macaroni tie, sorry, Daddy.

I did like the reminder of how massive the North is: hundreds of miles of land in three directions.

Petyr comes to Sansa’s chambers, wanting to know why she lied. Uh, because she’s actually smart and knows that she finally has a chance to be safe, to have power enough to KEEP herself safe. So… any more questions? Petyr debates internally whether he should pass her a note asking if she likes him, check Y/N. Yeah, Petyr, she knows what you want. And she’s getting older and wiser every day. Mm, mm, mm. You are hosed, buddy.

The Hound and Arya make their way through the cliffs of insanity, all the way to the Bloody Gate. Arya! About to be reunited with her family! Except… her Aunt Lysa just died, sorry. Arya, once again confronted with almost being back home, almost getting somewhere, bursts into maniacal laughter because seriously? Hahaha, Hound, once again you’re not getting paid, and she’s not getting away, and she worships Death and Death is always a step ahead of her, but never there for her, ahaha. Ha. Ahem.

The one laugh this episode. Let's make it count.

The one laugh this episode. Let’s make it count.

Point to make: the Hound mocks the use of poison to kill Joffrey, because “that’s a woman’s weapon.” Men use steel. And how much do you want to bet that the entire Clegane family feels this way? We’re getting to that…

First we need to see Petyr encouraging Robin to go outside, but he has corns and his tummy aches and he has the winds and sometimes his nose runs and what if he stubs his toe and– Sansa steps out reborn in feathers and black and seduction and is all, “Ready?” Petyr adjusts himself under his clothes.

Maleficent, now in theaters!

Maleficent, now in theaters!

We have another wonderful moment with brothers, Jaime and Tyrion, before the combat trial. Jaime admits he’s never seen Oberyn fight, so he has no idea how this will play out. They relive memories of their simple cousin, Orson, the Lannister who was dropped on his head. The story of the cousin smashing beetles his whole life and how Tyrion studied him, watched him intently because there was a shocking lack of books about morons was quite clever, I thought.

(And people who call this scene filler are now Orsons to me. They just want the kuh-kuh-kuh.)

Tyrion wants to know what makes people tick, of course, but more importantly, he wanted to understand the nature of man. And when you strip away all the complications and boil us down to our most base parts, we just want power. We want to crush those weaker than us, over and over, reaffirming that we’re alive, we’re capable of doing so. Now, I don’t believe this is true for all people (Gilly! Samwise! Jon Snow!) it’s certainly seems to be true for the Lannisters and for Petyr. Crush little bugs, the satisfying little crunch of their carapace, kuh-kuh-kuh!

“There’s no kind of killing that doesn’t have its own word.”

Tyrion lets the little roly poly he’d picked up go, and if he’s going to die soon, he’s at least explained his existence to the one person sympathetic to him. He wants to know, will always want that, and because he thinks, therefore he am.

And then cue the Metallica/The Bells Toll. I mean, “blinded eyes” is in the damn song. The bells are sounding the start of the Most Awesome Battle Of Awfulness Ever. Tywin wants Grand Maester Cat Piss to shut up and shoos him off so we can begin.



Great lines: “Size does not matter when you’re flat on your back.” Tyrion mutters in response, “Thank the gods.” Ahahaha.

Things I noticed: a page is rubbing a cloth over Oberyn’s spear  over a bowl of liquid while wearing heavy gloves. Oberyn is the greatest master of poisons, right? Oho!

My boo, Oberyn Martell, Prince of Dorne, the Red Viper, stealer of hearts and lover to Ellaria, drinks (“I always drink before a fight-today is not the day I die.”), kisses his lover (“Don’t leave me alone in this world!” “Never.”), and shows off his badass skills with a long spear. Seriously, Pedro Pascal is so gorgeously awesome in these beginning shots, working the crowd, smirking at his opponent, so confident and so ready to avenge his sister. I am 100% aboard the I Love You train to Oberyn-ville.

He tells the Mountain straight away that he will get a confession from him before he dies. He should go ahead and do that so this can be over quickly. And at first, Oberyn has the upper hand. It’s a standard “good guy vs. bad guy” set up, bragging, dominating, the Mountain overpowers him somewhat and it looks bad for Our Hero, his spear is knocked away, but I have faith.

This is my big mistake, as you all know. I continue to have faith.

Oberyn gets a new spear and renewed vigor. Cersei is tight-lipped, Jaime is delighted that the Red Viper truly is a wonder (you can see that he wishes they’d sparred once or forty times), and Oberyn runs his spear through the Mountain. Hooray! He screams at the Mountain, “You raped her! You murdered her! You killed her children!” and freaking rips through the man’s Achilles and please, please be poisoned, spear, because that would be so gloriously Greek tragedy. (Please tell me you know the story of Achilles.)

The Mountain falls!! Ellaria claps, finally losing some of the tension in her face as the Red Viper, the Owner of my Heart, The Beautiful And Majestic Prince of Dorne shouts once again and runs his spear through the Mountain’s chest. He knows the Mountain is dying. He pulls his spear out and waits for the Mountain’s confession, pointing at Tywin wanting confirmation that he gave the Mountain his orders. He steps close as the Mountain lies motionless. It’s pretty clear we can wrap this up and–

This is when I began to shriek. I wish I was using hyperbole.

The Mountain sweeps the leg, Johnny, and HOLY HELL NO NO NO NO, grabs Oberyn by the neck, punches him in the mouth so damn hard his teeth go clattering in a spray of gore, climbs on top of him and begins to pop Oberyn’s eyes as he confesses to what he did. “And I crushed her head like this.”

I have never identified with a picture so intimately.

I have never identified with a picture so intimately.

I can’t. Guys, I can’t. Just watching it again has me crying and looking away. Ellaria, let’s run away together and leave this place and these people. [brokenly weeps]

This is easily the worst thing I’ve ever seen, and it’s because I loved him. You guys, I freaking loved Oberyn. I know. I KNOW. That was my mistake.

The Mountain falls after doing this (kuh-kuh-kuh, the wickedly satisfying sound of a crushed carapace), and because Oberyn died first, Tyrion will die, too. “You are hereby sentenced to death.”

I just

I loved him so much. He was my forever love! I didn’t think he’d go so SOON. Look, here’s why. It’s time for the Lannisters to get some comeuppance storytelling wise, so I was SURE this would be a way to throw their house into flux. I was SURE. Yeah. I know. I know. That was my second mistake.

And in the spirit of my Odes when The Good Ones Die, I give you to the tune of “Fernando” by ABBA:

A Song for the Prince of Dorne, the Red Viper, the Sassiest Sasser Who Ever Sassed, Oberyn Martell

Can you hear the crowd, Martell, O?
I recall the episode when you and Ellaria kissed
In Petyr’s whorehouse Martell, O
You were picking a blonde lover for yourself and drinking wine,
I could hear the distant song, the sound of Rains of Castamere from drunken swine.

They were out for you, Martell, O
Every hour every minute they were plotting it, darling.
I wasn’t afraid, Martell, O.
You were young and full of life and I didn’t think that you would die.
And I’m not ashamed to say
The sight of you falling—it made me cry.

There was something on your spear that fight,
A poison, right, Martell, O?
You were fighting there for family,
I know, you see, Martell, O.
Though I never thought that you could lose,
If I had to do the same again, I would stand at your ear and shout FINISH HIM AND DON’T GET IN GRABBING DISTANCE.

…Martell, O.

[mournful violins] For those of you who follow my twitter, I’m sorry I freaked the hell out last night except for how I’m not because I thought you promised that we were all in this together?!

Reminder/Notice for Newbies: I am UNSULLIED. Yes, it’s true. This man *points to self* has no penis. Also, I am not a man. Also, I have sworn to stay spoiler-free and avoid the books until the show ends. Please be awesome and keep all book talk out of comments. Thank you!

4.9: The Watchers On The Wall is right here!

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  • Katy

    *wraps you up and rocks you whispering* It’s all right. It’s all right.

    So long fair Prince of Dorne! *sighs* You were too sexy for this world. *weeps*

    How much do I love that his repetition to the Mountain (Her name was Illiana Martel. You raped her. You killed her. You killed her children) was very reminiscent of Inigo Montoya’s from “the Princess Bride”.

    Poor Jorah. I know what happens to him and yet my heart still breaks because of how well Iain Glenn sells that scene.

    Also Grey Worm/Missandei forever! Boy has some serious game.


    • *buries face in your shoulder* NO IT ISN’T IT NEVER CAN BE!

      Oh, that gave me all the “My Name is Inigo Montoya…” feels, too. If only it had ended the same way!! D:

      Grey Worm can get it, is what I am saying. Ugh, that was so romantic and heartfelt and lovely and Missandei doesn’t know what to DO with it. <3 <3 <3

      OMG, Sansa. I didn't see that coming, the black dress bit. I thought she'd lie for him (for herself) and when I saw her come down the stairs all womanly, I threw myself on my bed and slapped it, I just had a lot of feels this episode, oh my goodness.

  • Teerenpeli

    I am delurking just to say that your crying face made me tear up (I MAY have had a couple of glasses of wine), and that I love your recaps even though I’m too socially awkward to comment normally. The funny thing is, I wasn’t impressed with book Oberyn, he struck me as a stereotypically ‘cool dude’ character (and as a fantasy reader, I’ve had my share of those), complete with a sad backstory and badass nickname. But Pedro Pascal brought so much to the role, so I was even sadder seeing him go the second time around, even though I was spoiled. (For all Pedro Pascal fans, I recommend his Reddit AMA! He’s so respectful, funny, gracious, kind, and of course sexy).

    • *hugs you* I AM SORRY TO HAVE MADE YOU TEAR UP!! This was just the worst! (I mean, it was brilliantly done, acted, edited, etc., but my aching heart!!)

      Oh, I find it so fascinating that he wasn’t interesting to you in the books! That is definitely the power of a talented actor. I mean, I would watch Pedro Pascal read the flipping backs of cereal boxes, he’s so engaging. But I know what you mean about the “cool guy’ character in fantasy books. Oooh, I’ll check that AMA right now!

      (And don’t be shy here! We’re all in this together, ahaha.) <3

      • Teerenpeli

        Thank you for your sweet reply <3! It makes me almost brave enough to comment further (I actually almost delurked one time before, I wrote a whole long comment before deleting it, haha. Me=AWKWARD, is what I'm saying.)

        Oh, I will add one thing: team Grey Worm! I so don't care if he has all of his junk, or any of it. The smart guys know that's not what matters anyway.

        • OMG, we have had so many great people delurk this season – ONE OF US! ONE OF US! ;) And please, all of us worry that we’re being awkward because we love this show/the things we love, and that’s the whole reason this site exists! YOU’VE COME HOME.

          Grey Worm is so wonderful – I’m really hoping we get more of his character soon. Big fan of tender hearted warriors. :)

          • Teerenpeli

            Ok, you got me going (to clarify: WINE) :D

            To add re: my love for Grey Worm, as an avid reader AND a (leisure) writer, I am always interested in characterization, especially for minor characters where you don’t get to spend a lot of time developing their opinions and personality. It struck me that I without thinking categorized Grey Worm as a “smart” guy”, which is funny because what we’ve seen of him in terms of hard evidence is basically a) he’s a formidable fighter, and b) he’s kind of a fatalist in his outlook towards life, and c) language barrier, which interests me as a linguist (translator by trade) and real-life Foreign Person (Swede living in Finland). But still, that’s my impression of him (to recap: smart dude), and I think a lot of people would agree? I’m not sure what exactly brings me to this conclusion, but this is in my opinion a sign of good writing/directing/acting.

            Anyway, I don’t have a clever wrap-up of this comment, just some random thoughts. I’M TRYING. AND LEARNING.

            • Ivo

              A translator in Finland? You’re a brave person…I have fond memories of Helsinki in 1995. We stayed opposite the railway station and I’l never forget the bilingual sign on the station: JERNVAGSTATION (Swedish for “Iron road station”, okay, I can decode that)/ RAUTATIEASEMA (Wait, what? Is that Martian?). What a language! No wonder the suicide rate is so high there…

              Your post made me think if I’ve similarly perceived Gray Worm as “smart” and the answer is I’m not sure. I had him pegged as quietly perceptive – a looker and observer. Which may not be the same thing.

              • Teerenpeli

                So interesting, about characterization and the different perspectives different people will have. :) After seeing the latest Hobbit movie in the cinema, I spent an hour discussing what powers Gandalf has as evidenced by the movies (with a group that was mixed in book knowledge).

                (and yay about you having been in Finland! Almost no one has. 10 points on the exactly correct spelling of Rautatieasema and knowing the meaning of it, but in Swedish it’s Järnvägsstation (Scandinavian langugages – Always Add Umlauts). :D

                • Ivo

                  Sorry about the umlauts, since living in the US I’ve forgotten how to get dots out of a keyboard. *shame* And hey, I’m about 25% Danish and the Danes just invent new letters to avoid umlauts!

                  I think one person that’s perceived differently by every reader/viewer is Cersei. What a marvelous, complicated character!

            • Hahaha, YOU ARE SUCCEEDING.

              And yes, I would agree with you re: Grey Worm being a Smart Guy. One thing that I love (and admire) so much about this show is that every character is an individual. No one is a repeat, although they may share similar characteristics. It’s so amazing to see each of the many, many characters unfold their true selves, be they good, evil, neutral.

  • Oh Laura! *sobs* I am unsullied like you and like you I loved Oberyn and now this show has ripped my heart from my chest. My partner was about as comforting as your husband last night. The just don’t understand. My first coherent thought after the episode was that I could depend on you to mourn with. (I love your recaps, sorry if that is unclear. You are seriously the best.) Can we just pretend he never left Dorn? I’m not sure I can take another blow like this, but if you soldier on I will soldier on with you. Ah, it was such a mistake to believe someone would live because they deserved to. I still can’t believe the show gave us someone this awesome and took him away so soon. And so gruesomely. *continues sobbing*

    • *holds you close*

      DREADFUL. That was dreadful to behold. And you know what? I am so damn happy that you knew this would be your safe place! IT IS. I am right there with you with the upset and the hurt and WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO ELLARIA?! Can she and Margaery Tyrell run off and be in love (and alive) together? I can support that.

      I can’t believe I let myself think he’d last for a while. I just thought… Well. *lip wobble*

      • Teerenpeli

        I am kinda hoping Ellaria Sand will wreak havoc on everyone in Kings Landing. Seriously, I would watch a whole season of that.

        • Her devastation SLAYED me. Oh, that poor lady having to hear that… I would LOVE to see her wreak vengeance on them, too.

  • Ivo

    I am so sorry. *hug*

    Yeah, it sucked. Oberyn was a great character on paper and Pedro Pascal just took that greatness and squared it. Cubed it! He’s going to die from charisma poisoning if he’s not careful. And we are all going to miss Oberyn’s “I don’t really give a fuck. By the way, I just had great sex” attitude to everything. But he was a victim of that same drive for justice that’s undone quite a few good guys already in this story…

    You will be thrilled to know that as a book reader, I have NO F’IN CLUE what’s going to happen next to Sansa. They just ran out of book for her. Write faster, fatso! And didn’t you love that line “I know what YOU want”?

    Bunny trail: I am SO curious about the postal system in this world. I mean, letters get from Westeros to wherethehellever all the time, fairly quickly, and not just by raven, I think. And that little scroll looked pristine, too! Incidentally, whenever Tywin goes for the quill and ink, my sphincters now contract.

    Your husband is a cruel, cruel man. But no sound? Amateur!

    • In my husband’s defense, he did cuddle me and say, “There, there.” :D Pedro is such an amazing talent; I’m truly grateful for the character he gave us, even if I wish he could have stayed on my screen longer. Oberyn should have speared him in the chest once more to induce confession, if he was so set to get it (he was). AHHHHH.

      Sansa Stark is so amazing, I can’t stand it. I *did* love that line! It tells us so much about how much she’s learned. And look who she’s learned from: Baelish, Lady Olenna, Margaery, Cersei, Tyrion… She’s been within earshot and learning distance from the craftiest people around. And she’s a smart, smart girl.

      So we all agree that the letter Barristan received was written by Tywin after Lord Tyrell was ordered to fetch paper and quill, right? Hahahaha, it WAS very clean!

      • Ivo

        I just realized that Sansa hasn’t had an awful lot of opportunities to make decisions. Her single worst decision was to tell Cersei of Ned Stark’s plans to send Sansa away from KL, which triggered Cersei’s preemptive strike, but since then Sansa has had to tough it out in situations where she had zero control. This was the first time she had a decision to make. I’m tempted to say she made the right decision, but she night get decapitated by a falling direwolf anyway, because GRRM.

        • Excellent point — she finally gets to ACT instead of constantly reacting to what’s being done to her. Which is probably why people have been so negative towards her for so long, she’s never taken the initiative. I mean, she COULDN’T, but once she has the opportunity? She grabs it by the horns and gives it all she’s got. Ugh, so wonderful.

          “Because GRRM” is the best rejoinder ever.

  • Joshua

    As a Bi-Curious young man, (a recent discovery to which I give complete credit to Pedro Pascal (this man, yall…!!! gosh…)), I will miss Oberyn not only for his beautiful presence but for being a character on paid cable that could easily be polarizing; you’d either love him or misunderstand and hate him… We don’t get a lot of lovable characters like that nowadays, I actually can’t think of anyone else right now… Oberyn’s complete sexual ambiguity, or whatever you’d call it was sexy in itself; it was fun indulging in such a free character who refuses to define himself, I can COMPLETELY relate…
    I’ve read the books and knew this was coming, but damn you writers, we were supposed to get Loras with Oberyn before his head got caved in…
    Also, #teamSANSA GUYS…!!! They finally dyed her hair and I actually thought they’d cut that part out… I have a thing for red-heads but in those 8 seconds of pure awesomeness with Sophie Turner coming down those stairs, I don’t know anymore…

    • Teerenpeli

      I didn’t really get why the hair color change at this point, though? I mean, she’s already come out as Sansa Stark. LOVED the wardrobe change though.

      • Ivo

        I think the idea is to (very slightly) disguise her true identity but I agree with you, that particular Cat (!) is out of the bag now, at least in a small circle of grumpy nobility.

      • Joshua

        They seem to be going somewhere don’t they…??? I think I know where so I won’t spoil it for anyone, and if you’ve read the books you probably do too, so I think it was just for dramatic effect, to highlight even further the evolution of Sansa into a real game-player… They could’ve just as easily dyed her hair before they arrived at the Vale…

    • As a fellow admirer of the gloriousness that is Pedro Pascal, let me say that I get it. How wonderful to have pan-sexual Oberyn be just an amazing character and someone I could immediately hitch my wagon to. WE NEED MORE CHARACTERS LIKE HIM.

      TEAM SANSA ALL THE WAY. (I didn’t realize her hair was dyed–I just thought it was dark because of the lighting in the room! Ooooooh.)

  • Noël


    First time coming to this site!. Just wanted to say that I loved this recap.

    • Hi, there! Hopefully you’ll come back and join in the discussion-thanks for coming over! :)

  • Dragonslayer

    Nice review as always and this was the first game of thrones death where I turned away – the sounds were terrible enough.

    PS: The formatation of this article seems to be a little messed up.

    • Ooh, thanks for the head’s up on the formatting! WTH, Word Press?

      And I couldn’t bear to watch That Scene a second time. I just couldn’t do it. So terrible, SO TERRIBLE!!

  • Maxwell James

    Most readers of ASOIAF can relate at least one book-throwing incident, in which they threw the damn things away with great force after some crushing narrative blow. Most of these revolve around the Red Wedding. I was actually half-spoiled for the RW (knew Robb would die, guessed how, but wasn’t prepared for Cat), but instead of flinging it I just put it down quietly and didn’t resume reading for about a month.

    I did, however, hurl A STORM OF SWORDS against a wall with a loud cry of woe after reading this trial by combat. It wasn’t even that it surprised me all that much – since Tyrion had eluded death after one TBC already, I figured the same trick couldn’t possibly work twice. But then George made it work, improbably, ecstatically – and then pulled the rug out from under me just when I had started to believe.

    It didn’t help that I had become quite fond of Oberyn, and was just desperate for some sign that justice would FINALLY show up to a date in Westeros. Nope. Wasn’t gonna happen.

    Despite this, and, uh, other things, I still cling to the idea that the end of the story won’t leave me utterly bitter and depressed. The Game of Thrones is for optimists who really want to test themselves.

    (A marvelous recap as always! And if it helps at all, remember: Oberyn does have EIGHT daughters).

    • I remember you telling me about putting the book down for a month after the RW! It’s funny, my husband had the same reaction to both the RW and the trial by combat. One made him quietly sad, the other was him stomping around and cussing, not telling me why (he’s the best when it comes to keeping me spoiler free).

      After all this time, it just felt like we were going to get justice, didn’t it? I just felt it in my bones that for ONCE the Lannisters were going to get what was coming to them from someone they’d wronged. Oh, it just aches. ACHES.

      I don’t think it’s going to end with rocks falling and everyone dying. GRRM is too good of a story-teller for that (I hope!). And OH RIGHT! EIGHT! And the Lannisters are dropping like flies… (The main ones, at any rate.)

  • Gail

    Let me just say that Grey Worm/Missandei? Yeah, I ship that like FedEx. O.M.G.

    I really enjoyed that scene of Tyrion and Jaime talking about their cousin. I could listen to Tyrion talking about philosophy forever. It lulled me into a false sense of security because then oh, oh the scene I was both looking forward to and dreading happened and now I’m even more traumatized than when I’d first read ASoS! D: THAT’S a scene that’ll feature in my nightmares, oh my GOD. I just. AUGH. And your picture! That was MEAN of your husband. No wine for him. :(

    • Grey Sandy Worm is the ship for me. I need a better portmanteau…

      I loved the moment with Jaime and Tyrion as well and for the reason you gave. It was a quiet moment, and we needed it after all the gasping and OH MY GOD! things that happened. Reek! Sansa! Arya! Ygritte! Deep breath…

      And yes, that scene will feature in my nightmares for a long time, too. THE TEETH. D: <-- literally (omg, I am a terrible person). The visual has to be so awful for book readers. It makes it all the more real and visceral! And in my husband's defense (lol), he did cuddle me after. HE DIDN'T GET ANY OF MY GOOD WINE. He had to drink his crappy $8 wine as punishment. ;)

  • Ivo

    And hey, how many more hilarious Lannister cousins are there, anyway? Orson’s one, and Lancel is another (hasn’t been seen since Blackwater where he was injured) but who knows? There could be a Cousin Bob Lannister out there somewhere, who is Lord of Castle Aargh!

  • -hugs-

  • Christian

    Aaah, I’ve been waiting for this :D Now if you’ll just bottle up those delicious tears and send them over to Georgie Porgie Richard Martin, he needs those for sustenance.

    This is one of the episodes I’m most excited about, mainly because the reactions were so wildly different this time that I don’t know who to believe – the folks over at apparently really really really didn’t like this one, while at least one of my close friends found the episode pretty alright…

    Yeah, Oberyn was a great character, and back in the books at this point it was pretty awful to see him go, especially since the newer characters never grew on me as much as the older ones did. But then again, such is life in the world of the GRRM.

    By the way, did you ever think of packing a Death Emergency Kit for occasions such as these before you dive into the show? Bottle of wine and every comfort food item you can possibly think of, preferrably deep-fried? Wouldn’t want you to pass out…

    Of course this could be the last time someone dies, ever, on this show again. In fact, and this isn’t widely known, after writing this part, George Martin felt so bad that he introduced a significant change in style and tone in his novels. The good guys would abandon their flaws and become true heroes, and as such would be victorious in every battle. Soon all evil was purged from the land, and every villain got what was coming to them.

    Or probably not. Still, better to be prepared!

    Once again, thanks for the recap :) Four weeks to go, I’ll watch on the 28th :D

    • Hahahaha, I’ll send that vial FedEx to GRRM!

      I don’t go to Westeros.[org] as it tends to be a bit more negative from a base point than I enjoy and I can’t be spoiler free there. But I know that this episode had me on the edge of my seat.

      See, I pack the wine and usually have some cheese and crackers handy, but you’re right: fried jalapenos would help even more! :D

      OMG, your “or course this…” paragraph had me snorting. I’m guessing it’s “probably not” though. ;D

      • Christian

        Well, it might before the best. Imagine the rest of the show being like that, could you EVER relax again? You’d spend the rest of your life (or the show) on the edge of your seat waiting for the calm to suddenly be over…

        As for the tear vials, GRRM has been doing that for a long time now, I guess there’s a system in place. Like, you can order the vials free of charge including a pre-paid return envelope. He keeps them in his cave, there there are great shelves full of them, and they sparkle in the light of the torches like thousands of tiny diamonds. And then he has them baked into cakes and whatnot, or mixed up with the sauce for his pasta.

        Personally I’m not a big fan of, but I like the attention to detail in their analyses, which comes in especially handy when you stumble upon something on the show that you can’t remember from the books and want to look up how it went in the source material, but it certainly isn’t a place for spoiler-free reading. That’s what heydontjudgeme is for :)

        • Oh, I’d never be able to relax. I’m Reek! ALWAYS REEK, CAN WE GO HOME NOW, MASTER? *trembles*

          I want to keep recharging GRRM so he can write those last books faster. :D


          • Christian

            Here, this might help: They get along now.

            • HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

              A++, would click link again!

              • Christian

                Have another then, for this one reveals: It Was Not The Mountain!


                Huh. Just realized that instagram thing has some fun picture.*groan* as if I didn’t have enough accounts all over the place.

  • Richard

    Hello Laura, hope you’re coping with the injustice we all suffered last night. Having obviously read the books, I was surprised by the raw emotions I felt during the fight. It brought me back 10 years to when I first read the outcome of this fight, I read, re-read, re-read some more because I just couldn’t believe this insanely awesome character was truly dead. Seeing it visually however left me totally mortified.

    A lot of other reviewers seems to harp on how Oberyn broke the cardinal rule of monologue during a fight. They just cannot seem to understand that the death of the Mountain was not his goal. If that was the case, he would have showed up to castle Clegane way before the 17 years to exact his vengeance. Like many characters before him, he is driven by a set of code that he firmly believed him. Having theories and rumors is one thing, he wasn’t going to compromise for anything less than actual proof.

    He needed that confession more than his life, he needed the lords and ladies of Westeros to hear that Tywin was directly responsible. The only solace from that trial is that he got the confession he yearned his whole life. It’s that rage that made him oblivious to the golden rule of any fight : Don’t underestimate your opponent.

    I’m truly amazed at HBO’s casting department. The war over the Martells were fought vigorously online since season 3. I’m all for equal opportunity but a good chunk of the fan base were dead set on having a “non white” Viper. By harping on the source (since they were described as olive skinned), they strictly wanted to hire someone of middle eastern roots. These same blind haters then went on a mini hate raid when Pedro was announced as a Spanish viper was deemed “too white”. Now these hypocrites are praising how awesome Pedro was and they never doubted for a second that talent should trump skin color…

    Honestly in the big game board, Oberyn was definitely a big piece but still a small cog in the great game. Pedro imo transcended the role, his accent, mannerism and effortless swag just oozed in the screen. There never was a better Viper and I’m truly sad to see him go from GoT. Pedro may be gone from the set, but Oberyn will live on GoT as his death will cause even more ripples in the great game.

    His character arc reminded me of a scene in blade runner:

    “The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long…”

    PS: Sorry for the length, and Laura that was a lovely Ode :D

    • Oh god, those times when you have to re-read paragraphs, flip back a page or three because you did NOT just read what you read! Oh, the mark of a good writer. (Or a very bad one!)

      And yes about the monologue being KEY. Once he defeated the Mountain, he would have had the confession proving Tywin’s involvement and could have gone from there on the rest of his list, right? Oberyn was absolutely playing for the crowd from the very start! It was a hell of a performance, it instantly had people on his side. And when the tables turned at the end, note how QUIET the crowd is. There isn’t a sound at all as everyone–including us–goes still with horror.

      Oh, how I wish he’d stayed out of reach!! *cries a lot*

      Pedro Pascal absolutely won my heart the minute he stepped on screen. He was a brilliant character. But I think I’ve learned that EVERYONE is a cog. The opening credits with all the gears whirring–those are those beetles, the every day folk, being crushed and ground up so that civilizations continue to stand and grow. :(

      You, however, get points for mentioning the ode (hahaha) and bonus points for using a Blade Runner reference. (Never apologize for thoughtful commentary! It’s what we’re here for!)

  • The thing is…we were so close to believing. I forgot that this is GoT world, and seriously believed Good would triumph Evil. Then they decided to traumatise us with lots of blood and gore and brought us back to the real world :(

    Also, is it me or did Sansa dye her hair black as well? She looks like a weird Aunt Lysa, very creepy!

    Also, I’m going to a film and comic con next month and Cersei’s gonna be there! SO excited!!

    • We WERE so close, right?! *tries not to cry/cries a lot*

      You know, someone else has pointed out that Sansa dyed her hair, and I thought it was just a dark room. IDK why they would do that, since the nobility knows who she is, though. Hmm.

      Ooooh, have fun!

  • Aaron L


    Now (GOT style) As Inigo has finally, after many many years of dreaming of his vengence moment , has it at hand, feelin kinda giddy then BAM!! Our hero has been tripped up and Bash! Inigo Chicklets all over the ground as 11 fingers grab a hold of Inigos head and pops it like a melon. What would that have done to us all ;) I feel your pain Laura. And to add Poor Sir Jorahs pain on top of this. THIS SHOW. 

    I actually fealt worse watching it then when I read it. Kudos to your husband for never spoiling it for u. My guess for him it is almost a Greater joy to watch you experience watching the show then the show itself ;)

    Arya laughing…… Hilarious!

    Your reviews are hands down a close second to the show itself.

    • YES, I APPROVE OF THIS HAVING GONE THE INIGO MONTOYA WAY. OMG, that idea of the chiclets! DUDE. I think that might have been worse for me than the eyes. (And of course it made me think of Metalocalypse when their manager Ofdenson has a sniper shoot off the top of the head on someone who illegally dl’d music. Busted teeth and a flapping tongue. GAH, DO NOT WANT.

      BUT YEAH, AARON. THIS FUCKING SHOW. My husband said the same as you, that watching was even worse than reading it. And I think you’re absolutely right that he likes watching me freak out. Jackass. ;)

      Aww, it makes me happy when you pop up, bud! You’ve been my Walking Dead/GoT bud from the start!

      • Aaron L

        Yes that made my teeth hurt.

        And let me rephrase because to me TWD & GOT Would not be the same without your reviews. So its more like 1a and 1b there is no first or second. K nuff ass-kissin ;)

        As for Sansa… I have been on team Sansa since reading the books way back when. I have Great expectations for her. And on the show u can see her adapting and learning to survive right before our eyes. Shes no Full Andrea ;) thats for sure, in any way shape or form.

  • I AM HERE TO TALK ABOUT SANSA STARK AND CHEW BUBBLEGUM. The bubblegum is pretty good. I’m ready for the other part, though.

    Did we notice that she is literally dressed as a mockingbird? Yes, she’s posing as Baelish’s niece, thus she would be pretending to be part of the Baelish House (sigil: MOCKINGBIRD), but no. This is more. This is her fully cloaking herself in this new role she has adopted. She’s not the shy, meek girl she had to be around Cersei. She’s not Cersei’s Little Dove anymore. Nor is she the fresh little she-wolf she started as. She’s darker now, stronger, and she’s learning faster than Baelish can keep up how to play this new situation. She’s a woman of masks, but the best part is (and I willfully steal this image from Richard Adams, I’m sure he won’t mind) the masks are see-through. It’s always herself that those who look upon her think they see underneath.

    She is the mockingbird now. And the thing about mockingbirds? The males are puffed up showboats, like most birds. They sit on the high places and screech continually and they fly about. The female mockingbird, however, looks almost exactly the same as the male, but she is darker, and she stays still. Males come to her to mate, and she stays to incubate the eggs, and she watches over the nest. The female mockingbird only cries out once, should she decide to. She’s not as loud or raucous as the male.

    Sansa is pretty well suited to the role of the mockingbird. She finds herself in a situation, she has learned to act how that situation demands. Joffrey tormenting her? She is polite, sweet, and yet viciously barbed, a rose ready to prick the person who tries to pluck it. With Cersei she was indeed the Little Dove, pure and pretty and shy. With Tyrion we saw her own impishness. Now, she’s here with Littlefinger, who is a male Mockingbird personified. He makes his dark eloquent twisted speeches about ambition and pulls his puppetmaster strings and works people over and mimics whatever they are to best let them trust him. He worms his way into their graces, always flying, always seeking the next plot.

    But not Sansa.

    Sansa is still, metaphorically speaking. She finds herself in this situation? Well she’ll be damned to go flitting away. No, she takes control of it. This is her new nest, and she is waiting and biding and learning its dangers, and yet she’s not going to cry out and make a fuss. She doesn’t make speeches. She wouldn’t twirl the mustache if she had one. She just remains steady, remains still, mimics who she needs to mimic and survives.

    Now. What’s in her nest? What is her bigger game? I don’t think she knows yet. She’s not Baelish, she doesn’t plot. But she’s definitely taking the opportunity before her. I think she’ll continue to survive, I think she’ll play her part and yes, I want to see her worm her way into Littlefinger and use that power to her advantage. I want to see her continue to mimic him, learn his treachery and deceit, and use it against him. Because while a part of me is weirdly under Baelish’s spell (damn you Aiden Gillen and your sexy sexy charm), and that part wishes Sansa would find herself ruiling the rubble of Westeros by Baelish’s side, the real control, the real ruler while Baelish puffs and caws and mimics a King…I’d really rather see Sansa take him down. I had this glorious fantasy of her setting up a sting on him, getting him to talk plot with her while someone Important listened in, having him taken away and locked up to await her fury for the advantages he’s taken of her. And she marries Robyn and oops, poor clumsy sickly fellow, he dies. And she rules the vale like Elizabeth I with her fiery hair and fierier spirit and that would be ideal for me :3

    But I’m intrigued. I’m so excited, and I want to see the Sansa and Littlefinger show, I want to see so much of them.

    ((PS I have a grand delusion that Oberyn faked his death and now he’s hiding in the shadows of the Red Keep and every time something goes wrong for the Lannisters he smiles a blind smile and moves on to his next orchestrated chaos, and then he sneaks away to be a great lover to Ellaria and the men and women of all the brothels and sometimes just average folk too and who cares if he can’t see, he could always make love with his eyes shut anyway))

    • “she’s learning faster than Baelish can keep up how to play this new situation” THIS TIMES A THOUSAND. She is ready to make decisions about her life for a change, and she has the ability to do it. And she’s gonna. I LOVE IT.

      I don’t see her killing Robin, though. I think she’s too clever/too good somewhere deep down for that. BUT WHO KNOWS. Arya’s becoming darker–soon she might be killing people who aren’t on her list. So maybe Sansa will become that? I actually hope she doesn’t. I’d love to see her beat Baelish at his own game, but by playing it better in every sense of the word.


  • Colleen

    Laura. I can’t. *wails*

    Ok chickie, I will have you know that my face did NOT look like yours at the end of the episode last night, largely because I was curled in the fetal position with my face smashed in a pillow and my hands clapped firmly over my ears. This. Show. Darn them for making Oberyn far more endearing on the show. Far more awesome. Far more wonderful. Far more charming. Far more gruesomely murdered. THIS IS NOT OK!

    Also, TEAM SANSA. Oh heck yeah, girl!! I’m starting to bet she will win the Iron Throne herself. Clever girl…

    I also loved the Tyrion/Jamie scene, particularly Tyrion’s impressions of his dim cousin. It reminded me of when Tyrion said waaaayyy back in season one that he had a soft spot for cripples, bastards and broken things. Which all of us are.

    Poor Arya. Poor Hound. I adored her laughing…. because what do we say to the God of Depression? Not today! Laugh on little Stark, that’s why you’re still living. That, and your killing skills. And the Hound.

    I shall now sit on my hands and spoil nothing for you!! xoxo

    • *leans against you* I was DISTRAUGHT! /moaning myrtle voice ;D

      My husband said the same thing about show!Oberyn being all the more engaging/the death all the more horrifying. =/

      “what do we say to the God of Depression? Not today!” AHAHAHAHAHAHA, omg, that is fantastic.
      XOXOX to YOU

  • Colleen

    OMG Laura, I just saw this and had to share. Did you see this? Like it’s no big deal?! These two…

    • I did!! Christian *points up* just linked to it, too! SO. AWESOME.

  • Colleen

    Derp! Yay, Christian!

    • Great minds think alike, that’s all! (And also, aww! You guys are looking out for me. <3 <3 <3)

  • Mike

    “Agency” — the new fragrance from Sansa Stark. And it’s damn sexy.

    • Here’s your shiny internet that you have won with that comment, Good Sir. Use it well. *tips hat*

  • So I just finished watching, and I knew what was going to happen (I spoilered myself ) and still I can not believe what they did to my perfect, prince. :(

    I have always thought Sansa would be the most dangerous person in the game because you will not see her coming. You won’t even know she was after you until the knife is in your neck. I don’t know what will happen, but my money is on Sansa. You don’t survive what she survived without having an iron core.

    I fear for Arya, that her NEED for justice will take her the same way as my precious prince and I can NOT handle that.

    I want to pick up the books again I stopped after the Red Wedding, but man I don’t know if I can take it.

    • I WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND PURPOSEFUL SPOILING!! D: I mean, you do you, I don’t mean to say it’s wrong in any way, I am just SUCH a spoiler-phobe that my brain doesn’t comprehend it. BUT WHATEVER, COME SIT WITH ME AND LET’S CRY AND EAT CHEESE AND LEMON CAKES.

      I love that you think that about Sansa! I definitely think she’s capable of WAY more than she’s ever given credit for, so it’s wonderful to see her getting her agency back. <3

      I am both dreading and looking forward to the day when I get to read the books. DREADING and LOOKING FORWARD. I should reverse those, huh?

      • For certain things if I don’t spoiler myself I can’t handle it, because if I went into the ep not knowing, they’d still be scraping me up off the floor. Sometimes I’m may be too invested in my shows. LOL. I was just so sad. I still am, not over it. Pedro Pascal brought so much to the role. I just can’t. *cries into her keyboard*
        I’m heartbroken over this in a way I wasn’t for any other death on the show.

        Speaking of heartbreaking, Jorah and Dany. I mean I know why she did what she did. I understand but it just feels wrong. I don’t trust anyone else around her except Grey Worm and Missandei. She needs Jorah and I really hope that they reunite at some point, because the idea that they will never be together is one I refuse to accept.

        Sansa is my girl and I’m glad to see most people here get her. She seems to get so much hate elsewhere and honestly she has been through hell. If I were Sansa I don’t know if I would have made it without throwing myself out of a window. Her life is a freaking nightmare and every good thing she has ever had a chance at turned into some horrible fun-house version of what she imagined. She is smart there is not a thing she could have done differently to make her situation better. Sansa has watched and learned and I have no doubt she will make it through. I love her so much and it’s nice to see others love her too.

        I am hoping she and Arya will be re-united and somehow take back the North and finish the war . I think they could do it with help from certain people. That is what I want, because I think Dany, Sansa, Arya, and Maergery could all come to a very sensible agreement about ruling the kingdoms. I also think they would come up with a plan for the White Walkers Ygritte could consult. I’m pretty sure GRRM lives on my tears though so probably my hopes will be dashed.

        • “I’m heartbroken over this in a way I wasn’t for any other death on the show.” I KNOW THAT FEELING. *holds you close* :D

          I trust the people around Dany (well, Daario needs a watcher), I just don’t think they KNOW her like Jorah does. I don’t think they’re thinking of all angles like Jorah does, and that’s what she needs most.

          I really hope Arya and the Hound didn’t turn around then and there without inquiring within, or stopping to fill their waterbags or SOMETHING. I would really like those sisters to reunite. (And I like your plan of a 4-Way Queen system!)

  • Kit

    Every time you posted about how much you loved Oberyn, my heart broke slightly. Oh, Oberyn. (And oh, Ellaria, my love, alone in the world now–including the brutal, horrible world of King’s Landing. As an aside, I loved Oberyn calling KL a stinking hellhole or whatever it was. Read ’em, baby.) I tried to resist the charm of Pedro Pascal, but it was just too much to handle.

    In the book Tyrion throws up after things end. I figure that’s an appropriate response for most of the audience, especially considering how damn gory things were on the show–that was utterly visceral even for those of us who knew it was coming, I think. Oberyn’s breathless screams as Gregor clenches him, the explosion of eyes/head everywhere, Ellaria screaming, Tyrion swaying on the spot in horror–all very well done. They really captured the “hah he’s got it” “oh shit no he doesn’t” “oh wait yes he does fuck yeah baby lol sucks to suck Clegane you–ARE YOU KIDDING ME GEORGE” momentum you feel reading it through Tyrion’s POV in the book; it was great and horrifying to watch.

    As for the rest of it, most of it was fine, although it’s hard to remember other things that happened! As a commenter upthread noted, they’ve essentially reached the end of Sansa’s current book material (there’s a bit more, I think, although I don’t know how they’ll swing it on the show), so unless we get The Winds of Winter by next March/April, we’ll officially be basically in totally-spoiler material for her next season on the show. So that’s interesting. And I’m glad you felt the Dany/Jorah pangs so clearly–it was kind of a rushed scene IMO as a reader, considering how strongly it lingers in Dany’s mind in the book at this point in time, but I’m glad nonreaders got the emotional heft/importance of that scene. (It gets hard to tell sometimes just how effective things are.)

    Also, I love your love for Ygritte. I roll my eyes every time commenters get all annoyed by her. Girl is feisty and, you know, a warrior wildling. But not without some semblance of a heart. I also like to think she recognized the wildling in Gilly there (it’s not book canon, so we’re off in the wilds on that one). Also, I think she’s damn beautiful with that red hair. (I also love Gilly so much, so. I just really love the wildlings, hah.)

    I’m looking forward next week to the battle at the Wall–some incredibly potent things happen there, and I hope they do it justice. (Luckily it’s the same director as for “Blackwater,” so I have some hope.)

    • I appreciate you book readers keeping this MASSIVE plot point secret from me, so, so much. And I love that you guys have been sad on my behalf. Best. Readers. Ever.

      And oh, the Jorah/Dany scene really made me sad and achy. I think they did a good job writing wise, but Iain Glenn sold the hell out of it, the hurt and devastation in his expression just palpable.

      Ygritte for life! I LOVE her for her ferociousness, her heart, her real love for Jon but her own sense of honor that demands that she shoot him in his ass for lying to her. Totally agree on how beautiful she is, too. I mean, there really isn’t any female on this show that I don’t think is beautiful and interesting, to boot.

      The penultimate episode of the season tends to be a ball-stomper, so I’m super excited for next week. I mean, this week could have easily been that, so I have no idea how they can “top” the emotion/on the edge of my seat-ness of this one.

  • LEW

    “This week’s episode is going to be awesome!” I said.

    “Intense! Thrilling! Satisfying!” I exclaimed.

    “Oh, no, it’ll totally live up to the hype,” I said.

    And I was right about that. Sort of. I was so focused on remembering just how awesomely the fight was described in the books, that I completely forgot about the subsequent onslaught of “Oh, no! Obie! Noooooooo! I loved him so-OHGROSSNOSTOP!”

    He represented a world beyond all this crap, a world where they “don’t harm little girls,” and where bastards are treated like ladies, and where justice prevails over senseless cruelty, and where why wouldn’t you have sex with whomever was willing?

    And yes, Dorne still stands, Dorne is still a world beyond, where life is different. But different isn’t always better. And “better” can still shatter into a million sharp pieces.

    This whole season, I’ve been savoring Oberyn moment, however expository, gratuitous, or inessential, because I knew his time was running out. And that, I think was how he lived, too.

    So, anyway. Are people really hatin’ on Ygiggie? This is not a show where you just safely assume that warriors kill between cave-cavorting and wall-climbing. This is a show where you see it happen, and you’re dared to keep liking them.

    Anyway, I’m really liking how they’re treating Missandei in the series. Not to be all “in the books,” but, well, in the books, she’s a tiny child. I think her realizing the freedom of her own womanhood while rolling with the Mother of Dragons is a great parallel, and an awesome narrative.

    I don’t really know how I feel about her an Grey Worm (I think I kind of just want them to be friends? At least at first…) but I definitely want her to explore being a beautiful, intelligent, brave woman, beholden to no one.

    Reek and Ramsay scenes just give me the heebeejeebees. What a perfect reminder of how Ramsay prefers to do his work on the weakened and desperate. They were treated every bit as fairly as Theon, if not more so.

    Jumping around to the dismissal of Jorah. I was talking with a friend at work about that today, and we agreed that he needed to take his exile as an opportunity to get back to Jorah, to do some crafting or pick up a new language, discover the greatest love of all, you know? And then he can come back to earn Dany’s love.

    Brother needs to love himself first, you know?

    But it was still a tough scene to watch. Especially since we all know that Jorah is all the more loyal for his abandoning that scheme and doubling-down on Dany over his own freedom and homeland.

    But that just means he won’t give up on her yet, right?

    And finally, the Stark Sisters. I feel like half of Arya’s laughter was simply at the Hound’s expense, since he won’t be receiving his reward anytime soon, and the other half came from relief. Because you know that she did not want to be cooped up in the Vale, safe and sound. She’s relieved to know that her path is still in the wild, still dangerous, still deadly, and still determined by her drive for vengeance.

    And like Arya, Sansa’s circumstances have led her to a new place of self-determination and unconventional strength. Sansa has been victimized and manipulated, but learned every step of the way how it happened, and how to make it work for herself. And she’s put herself in the very powerful position of being the only woman in Westeros who knows what Petyr Baelish really wants.

    So, at least Oberyn got a confession out of the Mountain, right? And after taking him down in fair, honorable combat…I’m sure he would have wanted to live to fight and fuck another day, but vengeance was his ultimate motive, which he did achieve.

    That’s sort of a win, isn’t it? (Though maybe not for Tyrion…)

    • Joshua

      To me Arya’s laughing fit came from exasperation and utter disbelief at how she seems to have the worst luck… Death seems to not only be following her, but just one step ahead of her… Maybe I’m wrong, but it just seemed like she was breaking and having some form of mania…

      • ME, TOO. She is LOSING it. That wasn’t a yuk-yuk, elbow to the side, amirite? wipes tears of hilarity laugh. That was WHAT THE FUCK IS MY LIFE?! Ahaha, I HAVE LITERALLY NOTHING TO LIVE FOR, OMG, laugh.

    • LEW, you hit the nail on the head for why it’s so painful for us all to watch Oberyn die — he’s from a better place, a place of free love and kindness and joy and that was squashed like one of Orson’s beetles, kuh-kuh-kuh. D:

      I’ve had to stop reading the boards on other sites because of the Ygritte (and Sansa) hate. I don’t get it? As for Missandei, I love the idea of a romance with her and Grey Worm, seeking moments of happiness and tenderness as a sort of refuge from a world that knows nothing of tenderness and joy. They represent (like Sam and Gilly did last season) the Everyman and Everywoman, those who aren’t necessarily the cogs of war, just the parts that get chewed up by it. I like the idea of there being SOMETHING to live for, something beyond the fighting to simply survive. Once you survive, then what?

      Dragon breeding! :D

  • lightandstars

    As I stood in front of my television Sunday night, debating whether to bolt to the kitchen or stay and bravely endure the pulverized face on the screen, I actually had the thought, “Omg, LS is going to effing freak!” And that made me smile. Not because I was happy about you freaking, or Oberyn getting so miserably fucked up, but because of the wonderous ridiculousness of the situation: I’m more consumed with a tv show than at any other time in my life, and because of it, I’ve come to be aware, in a round-about way not possible during my childhood, exactly what the reaction of a stranger 4 states away will have to the horror on the screen. It’s marvelous, twisted, tainted. Life is grand, most of the time. You, LS, have become part of that. So … thanks, gorl.

    It makes one more understanding of Arya’s maniacal laughter outside the Eyrie, doesn’t it? When a situation is so ridiculous, horrible and sad, you either laugh or lose your mind. Laughter is the last outpost of sanity. Arya is a survivor – she’s not about to lose her mind in a rocky ditch.

    While we are all drinking wine, and I know we all still are, even a day later, let’s raise a glass to the wisdom of the practical man. Bronn called it, didn’t he? Maybe he could dance around the Mountain, tire him out, but one misstep and he’s dead. Oh, Oberyn, why the hell couldn’t you just be done with it? Why didn’t you use a faster poison, at least? No, the greatest lust of your life, the lust for revenge, was your ultimate undoing. You had to hear those damned, damning words, and it cost you everything. Farewell, friend, you will be remembered and missed.

    • I cannot tell you how much I love being a fangirl WITH A FANDOM. It’s one thing to be obsessed with a world/a piece of art, but to find like minded others who GET IT? Yeah, that right there is gold. *clings to you* And that we live with the internet, able to talk to people all over the world, all of us connected by This Thing… What a time to be alive!! I GOT YOU, GORL. *fist-heart chest pound*

      I love this: “she’s not about to lose her mind in a rocky ditch.” She is definitely Lady Catelyn’s daughter, isn’t she? Slicing the throat of a doomed person because she swore to do it, knowing she’s dead already, herself.

      Bronn–he might be the smartest man in all of Westeros, don’t you think? Best gambler we’ve seen yet, knows just when to walk away from the table. Oberyn’s need to get the ball rolling to hit the next people on his list (Tywin, etc) cost him his life, and gott damn, I flash to that scene and am horrified all over again. GAH.

      I can’t imagine reading these books and not having a group of people for therapy, I mean, to talk about it after. :)

      • Maxwell James

        I sort of wish Bronn was in the audience for that scene, live-tweeting or something.

        “Now he’s got that monstrous arse on the ground… ack! Fuckin’ bollixed it. smh.”

  • Lee No

    Laura, I FEEL YOUR PAIN. I was saying all evening before I started the episode “No I am not prepared… I can’t let him go yet…!” And yet he did. It was so much more saddening because Pedro Pascal made the character more perfect than I thought possible. GRRM, I know you hate fan fiction, so after you finish ASOIAF (hahah -> that is a laugh much like Arya’s) I DEMAND an Oberyn prequel that then gets HBO’d.
    I loved the ode btw but now I have Abba stuck in my head for the rest of the week. Thanks for that.

    Ramsay just wants to sing please his daddy, and now the guy who ranks above Joffrey in the Evil League of Evil is set to inherit the North. Fun times ahead for Westeros. Also: a nice reference to the scene in Winterfell when Theon made much the same “you can go home now” speech only to get whacked on the head by the Ironmen, only now it’s Captain Cholera who gets whacked.

    Ser Jorah has been banished from the friendzone. I felt Barristan was a bit harsh there but as a (good) lifelong kingsguard he is bound to be overly suspicious… Dany you are doing exactly what Tywin wants.

    The whole bug squashing thing was one of many quite overt foreshadowing moments, but like you, I understood it to be about power and that power over others is a really basebase basic human desire.

    My favourite part of the episode however? Sansa! She’s all Evil Queen’d up, manipulating, and I really want there to be an awesome Sith Lord and apprentice relationship with her and Littlefinger and then in the end she’s all “Now, I am the master.” STAB MOON DOOR. I don’t know what will happen either! These are just my hopes and dreams.

    At least I have the great James Marsters reading the newest Dresden Files novel to me, which is helping me get over (the end of) this episode.

    • Oh, no, GRRM hates fanfiction!? BOO. This is why Joss Whedon is my forever love: he encourages it. Now I want to hunt around for Oberyn/Ellaria/OFC fic!

      AHAHAHA I WISH I COULD APOLOGIZE FOR THE ABBA. I wish I could. But alas, I cannot. :D

      Barristan behaved exactly as I would expect him to–man of honor and duty, a man who takes that seriously like nothing else. Which is why he’s good to have on a council, but he shouldn’t be the ONLY one. Oh, Jorah, Khaleesi will need you, I’m afraid.

      I’m glad not to be alone on the bug squashing bit! I found that scene very well done, I really enjoyed watching those two have a moment as brothers, remembering things from the childhood and smiling together. Not to mention the undertones of the conversation.

      Sansa: “Oh, I’m afraid this Moon Door will be fully operational when your friends arrive…”

  • Ivo

    Hey! I just noticed…that picture of Dany and Jorah? Aren’t those postures almost stylized like hieroglyphics? A nice little tip of the hat to the pyramid theme!

    ..I’ll get me coat.

  • Ivo

    Hey! I have a question. Do the Seven Kingdoms run on primogeniture or absolute primogeniture or something wackier? Is Sansa now the heir to Winterfell even though Bran is still alive (Absolute primogeniture), or is she SOL because ovaries (primogeniture)?
    I seem to remember there were some Targaryen queens, but the Targs were all batshit crazy. Did different kingdoms have different rules? Why do these questions occur to me when I should be writing something else?

    …is this mike on?

    • Dragonslayer


      There are three seperate rules of inheritence in the Seven Kingdoms:

      All sons generallyinherit before daughters in all Kingdoms except Dorne. In case of the Stark family the order was Robb, Bran, Rickon, Sansa, Arya. Sansa is seen as the heir of Winterfell because Bran and Rickon are believed dead.

      The eldest child regardless of the sex inherits in Dorne.

      The inheritence of the Iron Throne is more complicated: The Targayens banned all females from inheritance after a terrible civil war called the “Dance of the Dragons”. It is unclear wether that was changed with Robert’S Rebellion. After all Dany most likely has no claim to the throne even though she is the only Targ left the throne would go to someone like Stannis (who had a Targayen grandmother).

      • What they said. :D (Thanks for this!!)

      • Ivo

        Thanks! That certainly scratched an itch…

      • Marilyn

        OMG, LAURA. Can I just say, as a book reader, that I was crushed by this episode? Just. Sat there staring for at least ten minutes.

        The thing is, they’ve been changing things. Not much, but enough to give me hope. As President Snow puts it, “Hope is the only thing stronger than fear.” GRRM and D&D know this, okay, THEY KNOW IT, and they give me a little sliver of hope to go along with the massive doses of fear they dish out: “Maybe this will be one of the things they change! Maybe I can stay with him a little longer!”

        Maybe, maybe, maybe.

        • Marilyn

          (Also, this wasn’t supposed to go here. WordPress is being WEIRD.)

        • (Do not worry, they all come to me the same!)

          This was without question a crushing (kuh-kuh-kuh) episode. DEVASTATING.

          OMG, you have to stay. YOU HAVE TO STAY, MARILYN, because they won’t fail us. I have so much faith in the writers, it’s not even funny. The actors, the writers, they’re giving us a great show, and I will see it to the bitter end. I want all of you there with me. Ahahaha, I’m a nerd.

          • Marilyn

            Haha, RIGHT?! The only way we survive is solidarity! At least I know you guys will be here, even though they killed my beautiful, beautiful Oberyn. *sloppy crying*

            You know what, though? I hope this makes more room for Ellaria. We were so focused on how flipping amazing Oberyn was that she was very much on the sidelines. Even their relationship (which they portrayed quite well – this is not a criticism, per se) was kind of background material for Oberyn and his sexuality and philosophy. Which was genuinely wonderful, obvs. But maybe now we can see the story a bit more through the eyes of the Dornish women? (Desperately Seeking Silver Lining.)

            You should also know that “Martell, O” is still stuck in my head. It’s probably my fault, because I played “Fernando” in the background as I read the Ode to make sure I got it right. Imma blame you, anyway, ofc. ;)

            • I WILL BE HERE. (And if not here-here, then at my home blog here until GoT comes back!) I’m with you: I would love more Ellaria. What we got of her was FASCINATING, not to mention she’s beautiful and passionate and yes, please. I would love to learn more about Dorne. WOULD LOVE THAT.

              Ahaha, you absolutely can blame me for that! Part of me is sorry for the earworm, but that part is quickly drowned out by the pleased majority of my brain. :D

  • lightandstars

    Ah heck, Laura, you didn’t think I was going to stop at three little paragraphs, did you? You’ve come to know me better than that, too. So, here goes, a drinking game: raise another glass to other Survivors.

    As you’ve said, there truly must only be two frikken songs in Westeros. Maybe because in Westeros, if one makes unflattering commentary by song or any other method, one gets his tongue ripped out by Lannisters. So, it’s sing “Rains” or “Bear.” This raunchy wench in Moles Town burps out “The Bear and the Maiden Fair.” then staggers to the kitchen to bully Gilly. But Gilly isn’t having any of it. Shut up, fool, that’s not a freakin’ owl. Excuse me while l grab my baby and hide. And, oh yeah, Sam, tell this bitch to go fuck herself. Loved that Ygritte spares Gilly. I was so afraid she was going to hack little Sam to pieces. But, Ygritte too knows what it is to survive. So, that’s a drink for Gilly and a drink for Ygritte, and maybe one for Sam. Yeeehaw.

    Sansa gets at least two drinks just for being her. Bad liar? Not anymore. That look she gave LFinger over the old lady’s shoulder. OMG. How you like these apples, LF? Yeah, dude, I know you, you like ALL my apples. Let me polish them up for you.

    That’s five drinks, and I’m feeling a little diz …. but gotta talk about Tyrion and stuff and stuff. Five drinks ain’t all that much. gotta sleep. Game of Thrones i love you zzzzz. night laura

    • *drunkenly sings “Danny Boy” on your shoulder* I love you, man! *holds your hair back* <-- the true mark of friendship!

  • cara

    Is it weird that I spent most of last season and the first part of this one thinking Missandei and Grey Worm were brother and sister? Because I swear she once told Dany that she had several brothers and all of them were Unsullieds and THAT was the reason she stuck around, working for that horrible slave trader dude: she didn’t want to leave them!

    Eh. Obviously I was wrong, and what’s more I NOW SHIP IT.

    • Ha, now, I remember Missandei saying that about brothers, but I never put Grey Worm in that category. WHich, whew! Because I have been shipping it HARD from the start and this could have gotten awkward. I mean, it would have been appropriate in Westeros if they were (gah), but yeah. ;)


  • lightandstars

    Laura, it is episode 4.8 right? it’s listed as 3.8. I can see how devastated you were when you posted. Aw, it’s gonna be alright, sweetie. Thrones will end happily ever after, for sure.

    • HAHAHA!! Excellent point! Wow, I was out of it. Thanks for catching that! (And I haven’t abandoned you and your comments, just fixing things!)

  • Magamus

    This episode was pretty good, 7/10 maybe, the only think I don’t understand is why they made it seem like Sansa got Littlefinger wrapped around her finger. She is FUCKING SMART and I love her, but this is Littlefinger we are talking about he knows his shit. +finally got to see her new hair!
    I loved the Tyrion beetle speech, but I was hoping to see something from the book. But that’s okay
    I was watching the episodes with my sister (she’s not a die-hard viewer) and in the end when Oberyn got kuh-kuh-kuh-ed, she started laughing while I was just sitting silently in the corner (dead inside), and it made me realize how fucking awesome Pedro is, since I didn’t care that much about Oberyn in the books.

    (just pulling thoughts out of my head)

    • 7/10?? It’s like you’ve spit into my eye… ;)

      I keep seeing Baelish panting after Sansa, possibly even jumping his plans too soon because he can’t control himself (kissing her in an open place? Having to save Sansa at the last minute? Those weren’t plans of his, I’d bet my hat on it. Oh, he wanted to kiss Sansa and he wanted Lysa gone, but probably not THAT quickly after arrival.) I still say that the hair thing seems like a book topic that people are alluding to — as a non-reader, it just looked like she was coming out of the shadows. If it IS a book thing, PLEASE don’t talk about it?

      But we might be led to THINK that Sansa has superseded him only to have that come crashing down horribly, leaving me a sobbing mess while waving my Team Sansa shirt as it all goes up in flames. I mean, this is GoT. Nothing is as it seems!

      Oberyn seems to have that effect on a lot of you book readers, I’m seeing! Which is even greater testament to Pedro’s acting. God, but he was mesmerizing every time he was on screen. *pours some out on the ground for my homie*

      • Magamus

        giving this episode 7/10, is actually one of the highest scores I’ve given this seasons, they’ve all been around 4-6.
        The main reason why I loved this episode is because they didn’t stick to much to King’s Landing, I feel like D&D have an abnormal love for Tyrion and Peter.

  • Raja Tiwary

    I think I’m in the minority, but the Sansa transformation, or lack thereof, totally didn’t work for me. I’m seeing comments here and on other sites talking about her becoming this big player in the game of thrones, but honestly, I just don’t buy it. I suppose my problem with the scene is not so much what happens with her in the trial scene, but what comes after.

    Her channeling maleficent in that scene, if only in what she was wearing, was rather jarring, something like that, for me, needs to be a slow burn rather than what was portrayed on the show. It’s like she went from A to C without going through B and that bothered me quite a bit.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love a Sansa with a bit more agency about her, and I’ve always been fond of Sansa, especially in the books, and even though she shows hints of having more about her over the last couple of seasons, it’s not even close to the extent to which the show ends up going to.

    Also, totally not getting any of these references to Inigo Montoya, every review seems to have them in there! I should probably watch that movie.

    • Raja, you know what? I can totally get what you’re saying about that final transformation. It WAS jarring. It DID feel out of place, from a story-telling perspective. I actually agree with that. I was thinking about this earlier, in fact, which is insane that you have this comment! (Great minds, etc etc. :D)

      I think that if they’d had a little more focus on what Sansa was sewing when Littlefinger came to ask why she lied, if they hit one or two more emotional beats right there – she stands and points him out, maybe, we see a repurposed dress of Lysa’s on the floor as she takes it apart, refurbishing her own to become something wholly new – SOMETHING at that moment, it would have worked better. I didn’t hate the scene at all, I don’t mean that, but it needed a beat or two beforehand to really sell it.

      RAJA!!! [holds your face and stares deeply into your eyes] YOU NEED TO WATCH THE PRINCESS BRIDE. It’s a classic for a good reason: it’s terrific! And I will say this: I love the movie so, so much (you will, too!), but the book–AFTER you’ve watched the movie, that is key–is so amazing. But seriously: movie first, THEN book. There’s a reason for it, that I will explain after you’ve followed my orders. [sashays to you with black feather epaulets] Ha. :D

      • Raja Tiwary

        Watch the movie before reading the book? This goes against every instinct I have! I’ll certainly give it a try, if only to see Mandy Patinkin without that great beard of his.

        Yeah I agree with a couple of missed beats, it just felt just a bit hollow to me. I suppose one way of looking at it is that the show runners probably ran out of time with her, it’s hard to be too harsh with them though given how beautifully lit that scene was. Hopefully this gets a few more people on Sansa’s side, the amount of vitriol she gets from certain fans is ridiculous. I suppose all that Catelyn hate ( which I never understood) has to go somewhere.

        As an aside, thanks for taking the time to get back to all these comments! Can’t be easy given the number of them that these recaps get ( and with good reason)

        • Raja Tiwary

          Oh jesus, The Princess Bride has Robin Wright too, now I’ll definitely have to make time for this.

        • I always reply to comments meant for me! <3 I do love when people feel comfortable enough to chat with each other, too. Basically I'm hosting an online slumber party for cool folks. :D

          MOVIE BEFORE BOOK. PROMISE. Cross my heart and everything.

  • Maxwell James

    What’s funny is that we’ve now had two Inigo references on the show now, first Syrio and now Oberyn.

    Relatedly, a friend just posted this to facebook – believe you will enjoy:

    • I was thinking of poor Syrio, too. And that is AWESOME. Pedro Pascal–what a gift he was.

  • Ivo


    Here’s a way to get over your Oberyn grief: focus on two bad things he did.

    First, we all understand that his desire for vengeance and a public confession made him lose sight of the main goal: kill the Mountain. But he also forgot that Tyrion’s life was dependent on that. He not only wasted his only life, he threw away Tyrion’s as well. And while he might not have thought that was a big deal (“Eh, another dead Lannister, I almost care”), we certainly do. You had one job, Oberyn!

    Second, note that Oberyn clearly didn’t want the Mountain to die yet, and even said something along the lines of “if you confess I’ll make it fast”. Conclusion, if the Mountain didn’t confess, Oberyn was going to torture him. In public. Until he confessed. Now while the Mountain is clearly a pretty repellent character, I am NOT okay with torturing him.

  • lightandstars

    Regarding: Happy Endings for Favorite Game of Thrones characters. (ha, even as I write this, I laugh at myself.)

    I have managed to manufacture myself a small ray of hope in that direction – hope entirely dependent on whether or not the show writers and/or GRRM are at all swayed by public angst.

    From the time of the first airings, particularly after the death of Ned Stark, posters on various forums, appalled by the sad outcomes of many of the most beloved characters, have been met with guffaws and ridicule by cooler beings, who “understand” that the world isn’t all rainbows. These “more sophisticated” beings applauded the killing of fan favorites, because that’s the way the world is. Good guys die, too. Uh huh.

    I noticed a trend in postings this time around, and it tickles me. The cool ones are starting to crack. They are upset about Oberyn, and a trickle of disillusionment with killing all the good guys is running down their foreheads. Many sane, intelligent, viewers have stated opinions much like this one, from a poster named Wad VanDer Turf on another forum: “Eeesh, I hope we’re reaching the point where “telling a satisfying story” starts to take precedence over “subverting expectations just to be edgy!” Killing Ned was a brave and excellent masterstroke, but if too many characters die randomly before their arcs are completed, then the whole story
    was pointless. ”

    There are tons like this, all over the internet. Fans don’t want to be messed with just for the sensationalism of being messed with. It would seem that a larger number of viewers than originally thought would object if the whole thing, books or tv, ended bleakly, filled with strangers. Bittersweet is one thing, total annihilation would cause a lot of people to be devastated
    to their cores.

    An ending like that reeks of pointlessness, human purposelessness. HBO has upwards of 7 million people who have invested their psyches into this. No, I don’t think that’s an exaggeration. Their psyches. Deep down, we all need that hope, that reassurance of survival, that somebody’s gonna get through this shit. I’m not referring only to the show here. We need
    to believe that it is possible to direct our efforts to a beneficial outcome for ourselves and others. In reality, that doesn’t always happen. But, in reality, it doesn’t always NOT happen, either. (Pardon if the grammar there is awkward. I hope you understand what I’m getting at.)

    Go Starks! Yay…….

    So much for hope. This is a Game of Thrones forum. I have been taught well by the prevailing format over the years: first you give ’em hope, then you jerk it out from under them. Everybody is cheering Sansa, yay Sansa, she’s gonna’ show Littlefinger now. I thought that too. Rewatch that conversation between the two in her chamber, as she is using HER needle of choice to transform herself.

    “You think you know me?” he says. There is no trace of paternal indulgence there. He’s annoyed. Deeply annoyed. This is Littlefinger, the master lurker, the Grubby Master of Coin, the Whoremonger. He’s had untold numbers of experienced whores and worse try to play him. He does not admire the attempts. A careful flame of fury is always being stoked there, in that evil
    head. He’s expecially furious if a woman tries it. He said it himself, the only real uses for women are pleasure and profit. Otherwise, well, remember Ros? Lysa? even beloved Catelyn? Do you think he’ll accept manipulation from Sansa? He sees a witless whelp. Now she’s shown some gumption he will have to deal with. I don’t like her odds. I’m afraid for her, very afraid.

  • Jarita

    Oberyn vs Mountain (The Denial Version):

    In case you’ve yet to see it, I’m sure this is just the spoonful of medicine you need.

    • AHHH, YOU ARE SO NICE! Someone actually tracked me down on Twitter to make sure I saw this, but I will HAPPILY watch this again! Plus, now anyone scrolling in comments will get the chance, too. Thank you!

  • Lyanna Mormont

    Alas, poor Oberyn. I loved him well.

    Yeah, I’ve been dreading this one. It’s just plain cruel to have his Crowning Moment of awesome followed immediately – and made useless – by his horrific end. A d poor poor Ellaria. Poor Tyrion.

    I have a not very good connection here so I wil keep it brief, but Sansa is getting dangerous and I love it, Grey Worm and Missandei are beautiful both separately and together, Reek is mindfucked but I wonder if maybe there was a tiny glimmer of Theon in there, and Ygritte protected Gilly and baby Sam!

    • I wonder how useless it is, though. He got the crowd on his side, imo (the sheer volume of horrified silence as his win was overturned and crushed, quite literally) and perhaps getting a whisper campaign will help unseat the Lannisters? IDK, but this is my hope.

      I agree with that last paragraph fully, and am hoping that your trip continues to be safe and fruitful! Safe travels!

    • Lyanna Mormont

      And can I just point out that GoT does it again, with the subtle undermining of white-centricness? Here we have a beautiful love connection between two people of color, and Dany playing the part of White Best Friend And Confidante. Doing Missandei’s hair, even!

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Aaaand one more, after rewatching. The theme of this episode appears to be truth, and denial, and identity.

      Starting with the far North, Gilly knows right away that that’s not a REAL owl. And then in that brief scene at the Wall, she’s finally given more of an identity by Sam’s friends than just “the wildling girl” or one of Craster’s daughter-wives; she’s an individual, and a survivor.

      The Reek/Theon interlude is one of the more obvious. He was Theon, but now he’s Reek, and even when he has to pretend to be Theon he slips back into Reek, because that’s who he is now. It’s his truth. Also part of his truth is that Ramsay is fair and merciful. As for Ramsay himself, he too gets a new identity here, the one he always felt should be his, as a Bolton, as Roose’s legitimate son and heir.

      In Essos, Missandei tries – not for the first time – to make Grey Worm talk about his original identity. Who is he really? What was his name? But he has no memory of it, and insists that he IS Grey Worm. It’s his identity, and he owns it. This is me, he says, and Missandei seems to accept and respect that.

      Of course, there’s the truth about Jorah. His identity as a spy, as a traitor to Dany. He tries to insist that he’s loyal now, that he’s saved her life and served her well, but to her one truth overshadows the others. He is not who she thought he was, and so she will no longer be his Khaleesi, and she denies him the right to say her name.

      Sansa uses her true identity as a weapon, as a truth that covers up the lies she tells alonside it. And she goes through a transformation, a butterfly emerging from a cocoon, into her new identity as a player of the game rather than a pawn. Outside the gate, Arya reveals her identity – Arya Stark, rather than Arry or some serving girl – but in vain. She’s too late, and that sends her into hysterical laughter. She gives the truth for once, and it means nothing.

      In his jail cell, Tyrion looks for truths behind seemingly meaningless actions. Why? he wants to know. What does it all mean? Surely even a brain damaged boy has some purpose behind what he does? He identifies himself as the man who finds the answers, the smartest man he knows, but that self-image is bruised by a simple-minded cousin whose actions cannot be understood. Is that all we are, we humans, just morons smashing beetles because we can? He wants there to be something more than that, because otherwise he isn’t who he wants to see himself as.

      Oberyn introduces himself to the Mountain with “Have they told you who I am?” and gets the reply “Some dead man.” It’s a denial of his very identity. His self-image is all about being Elia Martell’s brother, the one who will avenge her death, but to the Mountain he’s just a beetle to be smashed. Oberyn wants truths, answers, more than he wants victory. Admit that you’re the man who killed my sister and her children. Identify the person who gave the order! SAY HER NAME! He does eventually get his truths, but at a very high price.

  • Julian Hickman

    goddamn it…….. read :(