Warning: Spoilers ahead!
Wow. What an episode. I cannot remember a time when I was so shocked about a scene in “Game of Thrones”, and I even knew what was coming. After a two week break, “Game of Thrones” is back and better than ever. The much anticipated fight between Oberyn Martell and the Mountain occurred and delivered, and we also checked in with many of the other stories. Let’s get right into the review.
We begin with Gilly cleaning clothes at a brothel at Mole’s Town, while one of the whores harasses her about her baby. Gilly hears an owl call and gets nervous, but the whore assures Gilly it is simply an owl; Gilly knows it is not. Suddenly, Tormund‘s band of Wildlings attacks the town and kills everyone they find. Yygritte enters the brothel and finds Gilly and her baby crying. She motions to Gilly to stay quiet and leaves her alone.
Back at Castle Black, the men hear about the attack on Mole’s Town and Sam is mad at himself for sending Gilly there. He thinks she is dead, but his friends tell Sam that Gilly is strong and smart; she probably hid from the raid. Jon explains Castle Black is likely next to be attacked and that Mance’s army must be close.
Across the Narrow Sea in Meereen, the Unsullied and Daenerys’ handmaidens bathe in a nearby river. Grey Worm watches Missandei bathe from afar and she sees him watching her. She stands up stand and lets him she her naked, then covers herself up as she walks away.
Missandei tells Daenerys about the incident and Daenerys wonders if Grey Worm was interested in her; Missandei says he was. The women wonder if the Unsullied lose all of their male parts when they are cut.
Later that day, Grey Worm finds Missandei in the throne room and apologizes to her. She tells him she is glad he saw her.
Outside Moat Cailin, Ramsey Snow prepares Theon to enter the castle and try and win it for the Boltons. Ramsey puts him in Greyjoy armor but assures Theon knows he is still Reek and not Theon Greyjoy.
Theon marches alone to Moat Cailin with a white flag and presents himself as Theon Greyjoy to the Greyjoy men guarding the castle. Theon is led to the commander and assures the leader he is truly Theon Greyjoy and that the Boltons want them to surrender the castle. Theon says the Boltons treated him well, and have agreed to have the Iron Born leave the castle unharmed if they surrender. The man knows Theon has been brainwashed and does not agree with Ramsey’s terms. Theon begins to ramble as he knows he will be in trouble if the men do not obey Ramsey, but then one of the men kills the commander and surrenders. Later that day, Ramsey enters the castle, kills and flays everyone.
At the Vale, Petyr is interrogated by the lords of the Vale after Lysa Arryn’s death. They say the death of Lady Arryn is their business and do not believe she would ever commit suicide, which is what Petyr is claiming. The lords want to speak with Sansa about the death, but they think she is Petyr’s niece. When they begin interrogating her, she reveals herself as Sansa Stark and explains Lord Baeylish has told many lies in his time, but it was all to protect Sansa from the Lannisters. The lords tell Sansa she is safe with them and they will not tell her secret. Then Sansa confirms Lysa killed herself.
The lords apologize to Petyr for being harsh, and Petyr accepts their apology but wants to know who their allegiance is to. They do not support the Lannisters, but do not know who they support. Petyr suggests the lords groom Robin Arryn as a king. He explains they need to teach him sword fighting and how to ride a horse. Robin needs to learn his land and get outside of the castle.
Back in Meereen, Ser Barristan ig given a letter from a young boy that has the seal of the Hand of the King, Tywin Lannister. The letter is to Ser Jorah and explains his royal pardon for spying on Daenerys. Ser Barristan finds Jorah and confronts him about the letter first, before he shows Daenerys. Ser Jorah begs Ser Barristan to let him talk to Daenerys first, but Ser Barristoan tells Jorah he will never be alone with Daenerys again. Ser Jorah is summoned by Daenerys in the throne room. He confesses to Daenerys that he sent letters to Ser Varys with information about her. Daenerys realizes Ser Jorah’s betrayal nearly killed her, and orders him out of Meereen and to go back to King’s Landing.
Somewhere in the north, Ramsey meets Lord Bolton and tells him Moat Cailin is his. Lord Bolton asks Ramsey to go for a walk, and they discuss their stragedy. Lord Bolton has not received word from Locke and assumes he is dead. Now that Moat Cailin is theirs, they believe the Iron Born will flee the North.. Lord Bolton presents Ramsey with a letter that legitimizes Ramsey as his heir. He makes Ramsey look at all the land he is in control of as the Warden of the North, and prepare to head to what is assumably Winterfell.
In the Riverlands, Arya and the Hound continue their journey to the Vale. Arya expresses her disappointment about not witnessing Joffrey’s death. They arrive at the Bloody Gate of the Vale. The Hound introduces himself as the Hound and introduces Arya Stark. Arya laughs when the men tell them Lady Arryn died three days prior.
Finally, the episode ends at King’s Landing. Inside his dungeon, Jaime brings Tyrion wine to help ease his suffering. Jaime expresses his concern that Oberyn will beat the Mountain; he has never witnessed the Red Viper fight. Tyrion assures Jaime Oberyn is confident. The two brothers laugh together as they reminisce about their childhood, but their happiness ends when a bell rings and Jaime leaves to prepare for the trial by combat.
A stadium is filled with guests as they prepare to watch the fight. Tyrion is not pleased to find Oberyn is not wearing any armor and is drinking wine before the fight; Oberyn explains he likes to be able to move and always drinks before he fights. Oberyn and Ellaria Sand passionately kiss before he leaves her to meet the Mountain, and Ellaria is shocked when she sees Mountain’s size.
Once in the fighting ring, Oberyn spins his spear with much flair and dances around the Mountain. The Mountain, fully armed with a gigantic sword, simply swings and misses Oberyn. Oberyn continuously yells at the Mountain, “You raped my sister. You murdered her. You killed her children” as he fights, and orders the Mountain to confess. Oberyn manages to stab the Mountain a few times with his spear, and finally gets him on the ground and stabs him in the belly. Oberyn explains he does not want the Mountain to die until he has confessed his crimes, and takes out his spear as he walks around the Mountain’s body yelling his crimes. Tyrion and Jaime seem pleased as it appears Oberyn will kill the Mountain, but suddenly the Mountain swings his arms and knocks wants Oberyn to the ground. He confessed the crimes as he grabs ahold of Oberyn’s head and smashes his skull in. Ellaria Sand screams out in horror while Cersei and Tywin look pleased.
Oberyn’s death was as gruesome as one can imagine. I do not recall it being so gory in the book. Oberyn’s death will no doubt shock non-book readers as he has become one of the breakout characters this season. As a book reader, I knew he would die, but I confess I was secretly hoping maybe he would survive; I would have been OK with that change. And now that Oberyn is dead, Tyrion must die, but we will have to wait and see what happens in the next two weeks.
It appears next week’s episode will heavily cover the battle at the Wall. In the third book, this is one of the most exciting scenes and I truly hope the show gives it justice. In my completely biased opinion the show has really not given the Wall story the credit it deserves, but, if they follow the books, it will hopefully turn around next week. Until then, try not to have nightmares about heads being smashed in.