Monday, June 2, 2014

Game of Thrones Recap: Episode 4.8

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Welcome to my Game of Thrones Recap. I love the Song of Ice and Fire series, and I'm loving (for the most part) how HBO is handling turning it into a live action series. In these posts, I recap the most recent and discuss what I thought of it, how it relates to the book, etc. Warning: This post is pretty much 100% spoilers, so read at your own risk!


Episode 4.8: The Mountain and the Viper


Another pivotal episode is upon us!

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We start with poor Gilly, living in the brothel in Molestown. The Wildlings attack and kill almost everyone. Ygritte sees Gilly and the baby and motions for them to be quiet. Presumably, she'll let them live. Back at Castle Black, Jon, Sam and the others hear about the attack. Sam believes Gilly is dead because of him, but Jon knows that if they've attacked Molestown, the Wildlings will be at their door next. I'm excited for the actual battle to happen. They're just really taking their sweet time getting there!

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Across the world, Grey Worm is developing feelings for Missandei, Dany's interpreter. There's a lot of discussion about whether the Unsullied can feel lust or anything sexual, given that they were castrated as children. Not sure how I feel about this story line. On one and, it's kind of weird. It's a deviation from the books and these are not major characters. It's kind of encroaching on other story lines I'd rather they spent more time on. On the other hand, depending on where they go with it, it might be very powerful. I have really mixed feelings about it right now.

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In the North, Ramsey Snow sends Theon/Reek into a fortress being held by a garrison of Ironborn. Ramsey wants the fortress and he's hoping that Theon, pretending to be himself of all things, can talk them into surrendering. When the commander of the Ironborn calls him out as a coward, Theon chokes. But then the commander is killed by his own men, who are sick and starving. They agree. And of course Ramsey simply kills them all. For reward, he is legitimized by his father, Lord Bolton, becoming Ramsey Bolton. An interesting development, but, as most of you who follow these recaps know, I really don't care much for Theon's story line. I'm curious to know where Martin will go with it, even in the books, but I'm impatient with what we have to wade through on the way.

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In the Veil, Baelish is trying to convince the powerful lords and ladies that Lysa's death was a suicide. They call on Sansa to tell what she saw. She tells them who she is, but defends Baelish, telling them about how he's protected and been kind to her. She backs up his lie that Lysa jumped through the moon door. Later he comes to see her in her room, to ask why she helped him. She says she knows what he wants from her. Yeah, creepy pedophile stare moment. This relationship makes my skin crawl!

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In Mereen, Sir Barristan receives a royal pardon for Sir Jorah, for services rendered to Robert Baratheon. Barristan tells Daenarys that Jorah was a spy for the usurper. Dany asks for a explanation, but there really isn't one. He really was spying and she feels betrayed. She banishes him from Mereen on pain of death. A very sad development for those who are shipping Dany and Jorah, but one that will lead to an important crossing of paths later on.

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Arya and the Hound (whose wound from last week is still festering) arrive at the Veil three days after Lysa's death. The Hound's plan to sell Arya to her is dashed. We once again have the frustration of two of the Stark siblings be so close to a reunion that we can taste it, but no one realizes Sansa's true identity, and there's no reason for Arya to actually enter the Veil at this point. *Sigh* There was a comedic moment when Arya started laughing. It's unclear what she finds so funny--either the morbid fate of missing her aunt by three days, or perhaps just seeing the Hound's plans go down the toilet. Either way, you can't help but laugh with her.

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In Tyrion's cell, he and Jaime have an interesting conversation about a cousin, Orson, who was simple-minded and spent most of his time smashing bugs in the garden. We gain some insight into Tyrion's curiosity and tenacity here. He spent a great deal of time trying to understand his cousins's destructive motives, but could never understand what Orson got out of smashing bugs all day. I'm not sure if this was in the books or not, but it functions as a metaphor for the behavior of people. Why do they find reasons to smash one another? What do they get out of it? Tyrion, probably the most decent character in the story, tries so hard to understand why people behave that way, but he just can't wrap his brain around it. I thought this was a really interesting discussion. Plus, it was fitting segue into the next 'smashing' scene. 

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Finally, the moment we've all been waiting for: Tyrion's trial by combat. They did a good job showing that Oberyn had a good chance of winning. His style of fighting is closer to what Arya learned from her Bravosi 'dancing master' than to the heavy clang of the King's Landing style. He's quick, light on his feet, graceful, and he actually takes the Mountain down--an amazing feat on its own. But, of course, the Mountain makes a comeback. And can I just say: this was disgusting! I think in the book he simply ran Oberyn through (though I don't remember precise details). In the episode, he put his fingers through Oberyn's eyes and then his hand through Oberyn's face. Dude's head smashed like a rotten pumpkin, The-Walking-Dead-style. *Makes gagging motions* It. Was. Disgusting.

Bottom line: Tyrion's champion lost, and he is sentenced to death himself. *Sighs* Sorry to be a broken record, but, poor Tyrion!

No Margaery or Stannis this week (am I the only one who doesn't really miss them?). No Bran either. (Okay. I kind of miss him. :D)

Only two episodes left. Ah man!

What did everyone else think of this episode?

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