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A 30-something living in the foothills of the Virginia mountains; I'm saved by grace, addicted to coffee and my little sister is my best friend! I devote most of my time to exploring, reading, attending as many Nationals games as possible and documenting life here. My Prince Charming got lost somewhere along the way...but I'm trying to remain hopeful that true love exists.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Game of Thrones - The Mountain & the Viper

Too good not to use...

Oh gross. Just...gross. There was a whole episode worth of story on Sunday night's episode of Game of Thrones but the only thought I could process after the last 60 seconds was gross. You see, I even knew what was coming but reading that scene in a book versus watching it come to life on TV is a completely different thing. Gross. Yuck. Nope...let me recap what happened before that...at least the other 58 minutes of the episode didn't scar my eye tissue.

First and foremost - new city on the map! Well, it was Moat Cailin and that's not really a city so much as one of the many Northern strongholds, but you get my drift. I have never fast-forwarded through the opening credits because they are awesome and they change from week to week; you have to pay attention!

The action opens in Mole's Town, where Sam stashed Gilly and baby Sam a few episodes ago...remember that? Gilly is being belittled by one of the ugliest prostitutes I've ever seen (she also has the talent of being able to burp some of the more popular tunes in Westeros) but Gilly shuts her up when she realizes that the owl they hear hooting isn't an owl at all, it's the Wildings sending signals to one another - let the slaughter begin. And it is a slaughter; Tormund, the Magnar of Thenn, Ygritte and all the other Wildlings just lay waste to Mole's Town. Blessedly, Ygritte has a moment of kindness when she comes across Gilly hiding with baby Sam, holds a finger to her lips to quiet them and moves on. It's nice that she saved them but the blood dripping through the floorboards above indicates they are probably the only two people spared.

Ygritte - this was nice but in no way makes up for all the other people you've killed just because of a bad break-up. Geez.

We jump right over to Castle Black; which is mere miles from Mole's Town, where Jon, Sam and the gang are discussing the attack on Mole's Town - if they were attacked, that means that Castle Black is next. Sam is certain that in taking Gilly to Mole's Town, he doomed her and it's his fault because she is surely dead. Edd tells him that Gilly survived Craster, child birth, the White Walkers and the march to Castle Black; she's much stronger than Sam gives her credit for and she's probably alive and well. The men come to the realization that they're in for a battle of epic proportions - 101 versus 1,000 - those aren't good odds and it's setting us up for next week's episode: The Watchers on the Wall, which will be like season two's Blackwater and keep all the action in one place - at the Wall.

The action moves to Meereen for a scene that was just fine but for me added nothing to the plot. While all the Unsullied and friends wash clothes/bathe in the river, Grey Worm catches a peek at Missandei in all her glory. He's not shy about staring and later Missandei tells Daenerys about it....while Daenerys is braiding her hair! It's basically sleepover boy-talk, Westeros style, ha-ha! Daenerys wonders if Grey Worm was interested, he is after all, a eunuch but Missandei assures her that he was interested. The two later meet in the throne room and Missandei tells Grey Worm she is sorry that he was made a eunuch when he was turned into an Unsullied soldier; Grey Worm tells her he is not because all the things that have happened to him thus far have brought him in contact with her. I just have to wonder where this is going because nothing like this happens in the book...Missandei is about ten in the book...but I guess we'll see. Romance in Meereen...here we go.

Moat Cailin & Theon "Reek" Greyjoy - wouldn't you want this lovely castle?

Moving back to Westeros, we join Ramsey as he is sending out "Theon Greyjoy" to take back Moat Cailin from the Ironborn that are still holding it captive. He reminds "Theon" that he is really Reek; he's just playing a part for him - he reinforces this by telling "Theon" that a kraken (they symbol of House Greyjoy) is strong and fierce in the water but put it on land and it collapses, useless and pathetic. Reek understands perfectly and goes to Moat Cailin; makes a halting speech about taking the knee, telling the men they can all go home if they just surrender peacefully; Ramsey will treat them as good as he's treated Theon - which, not great, but he's suffering from serious Stockholm Syndrome here, so there you have it.

The leader, Kenning, is refusing to take a knee and Theon/Reek's about to crack and ruin the whole game when one of the other men smashes Kenning in the head with an axe; the Ironborn do love to whack each other in the head during brave speeches. We cut to that same man, gruesomely flayed because of course Ramsey wasn't just going to let them go home - anyone with half a brain knew that. Ramsey thanks Theon/Reek for all his help and Theon looks on pathetically. 

The Lion King scene...because that's basically what it was...

Ramsey meets his father Roose in the midst of the North and as a gift for securing Moat Cailin, Roose gives Ramsey some paperwork that says that; congratulations bastard - you've been legitimized by the powers of importance in Westeros! Ramsey is pretty shaken up by this, which is surprising since little to nothing seems to really tug at Ramsey's heart strings; he's a sadistic killer you know. Roose then points in all directions, in a very Lion King-esque scene..."everything the light touches is our kingdom..." Okay, he doesn't really say that, but he points out to Ramsey that the North is extremely vast and he is now the Warden of the North, so it is all theirs for the taking. They then move their armies out towards - Winterfell. I doubt we'll see these guys again this season and if we do, it will be short and sweet. They've set up their arc for season five nicely - so moving on....

To the Eyrie! Petyr is being questioned by the Lords Declarant of the Vale; basically he's on trial and three of the other castellan's of the Vale are his judges - he spins some story about Lysa committing suicide, which - hello MAJOR departure from the books. I wondered how this would play out since the death in the books is blamed on Marillion, a singer at the Vale...also a character that has never popped up on the show.

In another huge jump, they call Sansa in to tell her side of the story and instead of telling them she is the niece/daughter of Petyr, she confesses that she is Sansa Stark (seriously - this makes no sense! All the Stark kids are worth millions in Westeros at this point, no one would confess to being a Stark right now - but whatever show writers, take this wherever you're going...I'm along for the ride) and weaves a story about how Petyr was her only friend and ally; he rescued her from the capitol and the Lannister's clutches. And then she really drives it home and tells them Lysa DID commit suicide; she saw Petyr give her a fatherly kiss on the cheek and even though they told her it was only given in fatherly affection, she jumped to her death believing Petyr loved Sansa more than his own wife. Sansa turns on the tears and has them utterly and completely convinced - and the look she gives Petyr when no one is looking proves all too well that Sansa has gone from being a pawn in the Game, to being a player.

Wardrobe change!

Once the Lords Declarant have left, Petyr goes to speak with Sansa and asks why she helped him. Sansa plays coy with him, simply telling him "I know what you want". She leaves it at that, but given the way she saunters down the stairs later in her far more revealing and dramatic wardrobe, she does know what Petyr wants. I still can't decide if this is creepy or smart on her part - I mean, it's smart because she DOES know what he wants and she's using it to her advantage, but Petyr is sleazy - does she really want to go there? I guess she's playing to live at this point, so maybe so...

We jump back across the Narrow Sea to Meereen for one more scene; Ser Barristan delivers a message to Jorah from the Hand of the King of Westeros - it's the royal pardon he received way back in season one; the pardon that was granted to him for spying on Daenerys to King Robert. Ser Barristan says he will allow Jorah to tell Daenerys; he won't spill the beans on him, but he also won't ever allow him to be alone with Daenerys again. This is another scene I knew was coming but it still hurt - oh, it hurt. Jorah approaches Daenerys in her throne room and she questions why he would ever receive a royal pardon. The story slowly unfolds and while Daenerys listens with a calm demeanor, when it is revealed that not only did Jorah spy on her, but he also reported on her unborn child with Khal Drogo, she is calm no more. She tells him that she never wants to see him again; that she would kill him but doesn't want to see his face and body fouling her city, she tells him he has until the sun rises to get his things and get out of Meereen or she will throw his head into the river. Jorah pleads for forgiveness, but she tells him never to touch her or speak to her again and the last we see is a very forlorn Jorah riding away from Meereen as the sun rises. 

Step away from the Khaleesi...
We take a quick stop in the Vale again to see The Hound and Arya approaching the Bloody Gate. The Hound is still bothered by the neck wound he received in the most recent episode previous and he is also telling Arya she should get over Joffrey's death; just because she didn't get to commit the killing. He also points out poison in a woman's weapon but Arya tells him that killing is just killing, no matter how it is done and she'd have killed Joffrey with a chicken bone if she'd had to. Once they arrive at the Bloody Gate, they are informed that Lysa Arryn (Arya's aunt, who The Hound planned to ransom her to) died just three days previous - and Arya erupts into laughter that can only be called hysterical - because, what else is she supposed to do? This was funny, if only because of that crazy laughter.

Sometimes you've just got to laugh so you don't cry....

We finally move to King's Landing for the main event - the battle that the episode is named after - the Mountain and the Viper. We first check in with Tyrion and Jaime, who have a post-trail by combat discussion about their dim-witted cousin Orson. Orson spent all his time smashing beetles and Tyrion always wondered why but could never quite figure it out but Jaime tells him that men, women and children die needlessly every day - why is Tyrion concerned with beetles? The bell sounds signifying that the time for reckoning has arrived - will Tyrion be just another beetle that is needlessly smashed for a wrong he didn't commit? Jaime wishes him luck with a droopy face and we move to the arena at the Red Keep.

Bless her - I hope she enjoyed that kiss...
Oberyn is delightfully cocky about the whole battle; he has vengeance on his mind and believes that nothing will stand in the way of his victory; telling Tyrion that "today is not the day I die" which should immediately set off alarm bells for anyone with sense. His paramour Ellaria gasps when she sees The Mountain and exclaims "you're fighting that???" to which Oberyn tells her "I'm killing that". She gives him a final kiss and one of the men in their pavilion hands Oberyn a spear; a spear that if you were watching closely, he was wiping down. Now, if you've read the books you know that Oberyn is called the Red Viper because poison is his weapon of choice and he knows numerous ways to kill someone with just the smallest poke of a spear - all it takes is a little "strike" from the Red Viper to do you in.

The two combatants are introduced and the battle begins and it has to be the best fight scene ever in the past four seasons of Game of Thrones. Oberyn dances and spins around the Mountain, taunting him, deftly dodging the huge man's hacks and jabs, spinning gracefully out of the way and wearing him down. He finally makes a sharp upper thrust through the middle of the Mountain's gut and then pokes him in the leg, the arm...a cleanly delivered blow through the middle and all those little pokes render him motionless on the ground, struggling for breath. And then Oberyn lets his fatal flaw get in the way - there is a reason we call those flaws fatal...

And you only thought you knew how this ended...

Oberyn is in this battle not for Tyrion but for vengeance; to get justice for his long-departed sister Elia. He circles the Mountain, taunting him, imploring him to confess that he killed Elia's children, he raped Elia and then murdered her. He chants louder and louder, circling closer and closer to the Mountain...and then, it happens. As he circles in closer, the Mountain reaches out a hand and jerks him to the ground, pinning him beneath his immense body weight. As he screams that yes, he did kill Elia's children, he did rape Elia and then kill her, he grinds his fingers into Oberyn's eyes and crushes his skull to pulp with his bare hands. As Oberyn's skull explodes in a pile of gore and Ellaria screams in horror, Tywin stands up and announces that the victor of the trial by combat is the Mountain - which means that Tyrion is sentenced to death. Tyrion's face goes white and the screen fades to black...and I felt the need to run puke in the toilet. Gross.

I'd make that face too if I'd just watched my lover's head get crushed like a melon...

Only two episodes left this season - hopefully with less gore than this episode. I can't stand anymore head smashes like that; it wins the award for goriest moment in thrones history...and that's saying a lot! I leave you with the picture that Pedro Pascal (the gentleman who plays Oberyn Martell) tweeted after the episode of himself and Lena Headey (the woman who plays Cersei Lannister), with the caption "I swear, I can't get rid of this headache....too soon?" Ha - oh well, that's what I get for being a fan of Game of Thrones, right?

Ha-ha....I think....

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