This episode of Game of Thrones was called "The Mountain and the Viper," which, ha-ha, neither the Mountain nor the Viper showed up until the final five minutes. But, boy howdy, did they show up.
The rest of the episode was a wee bit of table setting, reminding us of important things to remember before the Big Ninth Episode next week. Let's see what was so important for us to know about.
GTFO, Lord Friend Zone: They made it pretty obvious during the "Previously On" segment that Jorah would be no more-ah, thanks to the ghost of Ned Stark reminding us that someone in Dany's inner circle had been spying on her for a very long time. Really, I suppose that spy could've been Barristan Selmy, but come on. Ser Barristan was a knight. He lived to serve. Serving is what he does best. Jorah nearly lost his life for slave dealings. That's the kind of guy who would sell his integrity for a pardon.
Dany's not too happy about this, even though Jorah tries to play the "I love you" card. She sends him far, far away. He gone.
Also in Danytown: Grey Worm and Missandei like looking at each other's privates. Or, really, he likes looking at her privates, and she wants to know what, if anything, of his manhood has been left unsullied. This is all new stuff, fabricated for the show, and my theory is that they only reason this storyline even exists is for HBO to have an excuse to show us all what exactly is left inside a eunuch's underpants.
Remember Gilly?: She's been living in a brothel in Mole's Town, and Sam still feels bad about sending her there. As well he should, because that place is nasty and the poor girl is forced to interact with the worst burping-whore actress ever to set foot in front of a Game of Thrones camera. She nearly gets killed when Ygritte and her wildling friends (Hey! Remember them?) show up and start killing all the crass, belching whores. Ygritte sees Gilly cowering in a closet with her baby boy and, because the writers want us to note that Ygritte truly is good people deep down, she lets Gilly and the baby boy live.
Castle Black: The Black Brothers were also in this episode, mostly to give Jon Snow the opportunity to get all smarty pants and announce that, hey, because the wildlings just attacked Mole's Town, they'll probably be by to attack Castle Black next. Also, Mance Rayder's wildling army has thousands of men, but the Crows are down to a paltry 105.
Ramsay Snow...I mean Bolton: Ramsay finally earned his surname. He sent Theon into Moat Cailin to convince the dying Ironborn to do the brave thing and surrender to the Boltons in exchange for their health. One guy balks, but he gets an axe to the head. These Ironborn want to live. They take the deal and hand Moat Cailin over to Ramsay, who then proceeds to flay them all, because this guy's the worst.
His daddy loves him, though! So heartwarming.
The Eyrie: This is where shit gets weird, at least book-wise. In the wake of Lysa Arryn's death, the neighbors all want to know how she died. They have a hard time believing it was suicide, as Petyr insists. They want to know what "Alayne" knows. Sansa comes forward and tells them EVERYTHING, like, literally everything. She tells them she's Sansa Stark. She admits that Petyr ferreted her out of King's Landing. She tells them he kissed her, and Lysa saw, got jealous, and tried to throw Sansa out the moon door. She tells them that Petyr came to her rescue once again and "accidentally" pushed her aunt through that giant hole in the floor. The neighbors were all, "You poor dear." And then they agreed that it would be good for Lord of the Vale, Sweetrobin Arryn, to get out of the house a bit, travel the world, and gain a broader perspective. Sansa (as raven haired "Alayne") and Petyr Baelish are going with him.
In the books, Sansa (as "Alayne") becomes betrothed to Robin, but they stay in the Eyrie. Now they're leaving the safety of the Vale for the scariness of Westeros. This is interesting. In the books, Sansa and Petyr travel around a bit before winding up in the Vale. I wonder if we'll get some of those scenes or brand new ones where she encounters other travelers on the road (fingers crossed for the Hound. #Sansdor4EVA).
Arya and the Hound: They exist. They try to get into the Vale and learn that, after all that time and effort, Arya's aunt is dead. Wah-wah. The Hound's injured shoulder is still hounding him. Ha.
Tyrion: He tells a story about squashing beetles that is a metaphor for, probably, kings squashing their subjects or Ramsay literally squashing beetles in his youth. I'm not sure which.
The Mountain and the Viper: This was all very "My name is Inigo Montoya" wasn't it? Right down to the Spanish accent. The two men fight. Oberyn gives Gregor Clegane quite the challenge, but in the end, he winds up with his eyeballs smashed in and his head popped. Tyrion is sentenced to death, and the Mountain lives to die another day (possibly tomorrow; he was stabbed a lot).
- It sucked in the books and it sucks in the show that we lose Oberyn Martell just as we were falling in love with his character.
- All this talk about Gilly being a survivor makes me wonder if she won't be the last beetle standing when all is said and done. Queen Gilly! Long may she reign.
- Dany's euphemism for male genitalia: the pillar and the stones.
- Jorah taught Grey Worm to say "precious." See? He's not all bad!
- I look forward to The Adventures of Sweetrobin in the Great, Wide World. Maybe he'll run into Rickon. Remember Rickon?
- Littlefinger's got Sansa all figured out: "You'd rather take a gamble on the man you know than the stranger's you don't." I feel like this means more kissing is in her future.
- Now I need there to be a word for cousin killing. Actually, it would be four words. "Matruelicide," you killed your mother's sister's kid. "Consobrinicide," you killed your mom's brother's kid. "Patruelicide," you killed your dad's brother's kid. "Amitrinicide," you killed your dad's sister's kid. Or something.
- "Size does not matter when you're flat on your back." Tyrion is grateful for this fact.
What did you think? Are you excited for the Battle for Castle Black next week? Have they sufficiently built things up at the Wall this season that you'll actually care about what happens?
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