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Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 8-"The Mountain and the Viper"

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After a long two weeks, the latest episode of Game of Thrones opens in Mole's Town. One of the brothel's whores is belching out "The Bear and the Maiden Fair" before she goes back to berate Gilly for her crying baby. Gilly tells her to shut up when she hears an owl hoot, because she knows it's no owl. The wildlings and Magnar tear through Mole's Town, killing everyone. Ygritte kills the whore and discovers Gilly and baby Sam, but spares them.

Back at Castle Black, Jon and the others have received word of the raid. Sam blames himself for ultimately sending Gilly to her (supposed) death. Grenn is distressed over the fact that they can't even protect Mole's Town, while Pyp reassures them that Gilly might have survived. With only 102 men at the Wall, their chances are slim against the reported 100,000 wildlings.

As Grey Worm and the rest bathe outside of Meereen, he sneaks a peek at a naked Missandei. She is understandably creeped out, and goes to Daenerys to talk about it. She assures her that he wasn't interested in her due to his castration, but Missandei insists he was. Later, Grey Worm approaches her and apologizes. She in turn apologizes for his castration, but Grey Worm says that if he wasn't cut, he wouldn't be where he is today, in the company of Daenerys. Missandei tells him she is glad he saw her, and he says he is too.

Later, Ser Barristan is approached by a young boy who gives him a scroll stamped with the Hand of the King's symbol. He confronts Jorah about the contents: it is a pardon for the exiled knight from the late King Robert. Barristan has worked it out that he spied on Daenerys. Jorah goes to the queen to plead his case and is met with ice. She demands to know why he was pardoned. Jorah begs a private audience, but is denied. He then blames Tywin Lannister, saying he wants to divide them. Dany doesn't buy it, and he eventually confesses to her about all the information he relayed to Varys. Betrayed, she banishes the knight, telling him if he is still in the city by nightfall he will be executed.

In the North, Ramsay and Reek have arrived at Moat Cailin. Ramsay drills his pet as to what to say: he is Theon Greyjoy, Heir to the Iron Islands, at least to the ironborn holed up in the fortress. Theon approaches with a white flag and is granted entry. Inside, he is greeted by Kenning, the commander of the remaining garrison. Theon gives him Ramsay's terms: surrender, and they will be allowed to go the Stony Shore where they can find passage home. Kenning spits in Theon's face and refuses the terms. Before it's too late, one of Kenning's men kills him and accepts the terms. Instead of the safe passage they were promised, however, Ramsay has the ironborn men killed and flayed.

Later, Roose Bolton joins his son's men following the capture of Moat Cailin. He is pleased at Ramsay's success, and has a private word with him. They walk to the top of a hill, surrounded by the North. As Warden of the North, Roose is effectively in charge of the entire region. He legitimizes his bastard son, making him Ramsay Bolton and heir to the Dreadfort.

At the Eyrie, Littlefinger is under investigation for the death of Lysa Arryn, led by Lord Yohn Royce. He claims it was suicide, as Lysa was insane. Skeptical, Lord Royce finds it suspicious that she committed suicide so soon after marrying the love of her life. To Littelfinger's surprise, they bring in Sansa to hear her side of the story. At first it seems like she is going to reveal the truth, but instead she protects Littlefinger. She reveals she is in fact Sansa Stark, and Lysa was jealous of Littlefinger's protection of her. After threatening Sansa, Lysa threw herself from the moon door despite Littlefinger trying to talk her down. Lord Royce believes the story, and Littelfinger is found innocent. Now back in a position of power, he persuades Royce and the others to support Lord Robin and have him branch out politically.

Later, Littlefinger goes to Sansa and questions her as to why she helped him. She says she doesn't know what would have happened to her if Littlefinger was killed, and decided to bet on the man she knew. Littlefinger then goes to speak with Robin, urging him not to fear death and get on with his life. Sansa interrupts them with newly-dyed black hair.

Meanwhile, the Hound and Arya have finallly arrived at the Eyrie. Arya is upset at Joffrey's death, as she wanted to do it herself, or at least see it. The Hound claims poison is a woman's weapon, and men should only use steel, but she doesn't care how she does her killing. His bite is bothering him more, and Arya points out that he has slowed down a bit. They reach the Bloody Gate and he announces their intentions to unite Arya and Lysa. They are told that Lysa is recently deceased, and Arya bursts out laughing.

In Tyrion's cell, Jaime has brought him one last flagon of wine before the trial. Tyrion is going back and forth about the result of the fight. They reflect that there is no word for killing cousins, and the conversation turns to their simple cousin Orson. A halfwit, Orson would do nothing but smash beetles every day. Intrigued as to why Orson found pleasure in this activity, Tyrion studied all he could to try and find out Orson's reasons behind the beetle-slaughter. He was appalled by how many living things were killed by Orson. He asks Jaime why he thinks Orson did it, but Jaime is also stumped. The bells ring, signalling the beginning of the trial.

Dressed in a light tunic and armed with a spear, Oberyn tells Tyrion he likes to be able to move. Ellaria is alarmed at the size of the Mountain, but Oberyn points out that his size won't help him when he is flat on his back. Grand Maester Pycelle introduces the combatants before being waved off. Oberyn faces off against his opponent, repeatedly yelling "you raped her, you murdered her, you killed her children!" The two go at it, with Oberyn using his speed advantage and acrobatic moves to duck in and out of Gregor's blows. Twice he almost gets caught by the giant, but manages to get out of harm's way. Oberyn draws first blood with a thrust to the Mountain's chest, followed not long after by a cut along his calf. As Gregor is kneeling, crippled by the blow, Oberyn runs and jumps at him, running his spear through the man's chest. However, Oberyn doesn't want the Mountain to die yet, as he hasn't confessed to his crimes against Elia. He miscalculates and is punched and dragged to the ground by his wounded opponent. The Mountain gives him his confession before gouging out Oberyn's eyes and crushing his head like a grape.

So now people see why Oberyn is regarded as such a badass by so many. He did what no one else could and beat the Mountain, despite pulling a Chael at the end. This fight no doubt infuriated many a GoT fan, my roommate and friends included. Other than that, solid episode despite some more changes from the books.

Next week: Castle Black is attacked. That's it, and I can't wait.


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