Review The Mountain And The Viper

REVIEW: Game Of Thrones S4 E8 The Mountain And The Viper *spoilers*

Following last week’s hiatus, Game Of Thrones was back with a bang this week. Gore, injustice and a disappointing lack of dragons was the order of the day with this week’s episode, The Mountain And The Viper.

The episode opened with a rather dreary raid, led by the Wildlings on a grotty village – but sadly Ygritte refused to take the chance to put an end to Gilly, whose storyline seems to be going nowhere at the moment. The subsequent fallout at the Wall does suggest the big fight between the Watch and the wildlings will finally occur though, which can only mean good things.

Over the Narrow Seas, it was rather disturbing to see Grey Worm’s face when eyeing up Meissande – no wonder she was creeped out. Mormont was exiled by Daenerys, which is, harsh as it may sound, a relief of sorts – just so we don’t hear ‘Khalessi’ 50 times an episode anymore!

Theon Greyjoy’s continued descent into madness continued as he attempted to persuade some of his people to yield to Ramsey – of course, that would only end one way, and despite expecting clemency, they were all dealt with (in a classically gory fashion). And Roose Bolton then made Ramsay his official heir. The North will have some fun times ahead, that’s for sure…

The show’s best pairing, the Hound and Arya, finally reached the Eyrie, where they were hoping to meet her last surviving family member, dear auntie Lysa – little realising that she had been thrown to her death in the previous episode (it’s almost as if they don’t watch the show!). Arya’s reaction says it all – in this crazy world where everyone remotely likable dies, it’s better to laugh than cry!

Elsewhere, Littlefinger was answering to the Lords of the Vale for Lysa’s ‘suicide’ (FYI, he pushed her) and to say they were suspicious was an understatement – until Sansa entered. What’s she up to? She lies for him and then by the end of the episode seems to have undergone some kind of wardrobe transformation to look more like Catelyn. Who’d have thought the day would have come when someone would be able to manipulate Littlefinger?

It was a surprise that the titular duel between The Mountain and The Viper only took up the last six minutes of the episode – Tyrion managed to make a story about a beetle last longer – but the ending was outrageous.

You think there may be just a sliver of justice in Westeros at long, long last… But, oh no – Oberyn may have got his confession from The Mountain, but only by having his victory over a seemingly beaten opponent snatched away at the last moment. It looks like Tyrion will be next to bid au revoir to the show (the irony of this fantasy Middle Ages set-up is that no one dies of plague, or in child-birth, as per the Plantagenet reality George R.R. Martin based the books on) – but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s still got something up his sleeve…

Words: Peter Byrne

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