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‘Game of Thrones’ Season 4 Episode 8 Recap: “The Mountain and the Viper”

“A verdict is reached on Tyrion’s fate; unexpected visitors arrive in Mole’s Town.”

The Wall

Back in the village that Samwell Tarly ditched her in, Gilly recognizes a Wildling call signalling an attack on the villagers. She hides with her baby as the band of Wildlings – including Ygritte, who spots them but decides to spare Gilly and the baby’s lives – slaughter everyone in town.

Sam is wracked with guilt when he hears of the attack, believing Gilly to be dead. His friends comfort him by telling him she is a survivor, and could have survived this. Jon Snow is preoccupied with the terrible knowledge that the Wildlings are going to be coming for the Wall next.

Daenerys Targaryen 

Missandei witnesses Grey Worm spying on her as she bathes, and tells Dany about it afterward, stating that she thinks he is interested in her sexually. Later, she meets with Grey Worm privately, where he apologizes for spying on her and basically confesses his undying love.

Elsewhere, Ser Barristan is given a message from King’s Landing. It’s a royal pardon for Jorah, signed by Robert Baratheon, for spying on Dany. It doesn’t quite seem to matter that Jorah quickly changed allegiances, or that this is a transparent plot by Tywin Lannister to divide Jorah and Dany; she is furious at his betrayal and exiles him.

Theon Greyjoy

Overly pleased with his latest plot in emotionally and mentally torturing Theon/Reek, Ramsay Bolton sends him off to “pretend” to be Theon Greyjoy so he can steal back Moat Cailin for the Boltons. If anyone was still hoping Theon would snap out of it and escape Ramsay’s sadism, you’re sorely mistaken.

Theon successfully convinces the men at Moat Cailin to surrender to the Boltons so they can return home, and Ramsay repays them by flaying and killing everyone.

Ramsay hands the keys to Moat Cailin to his father Roose Bolton. In a scene that’s hilariously reminiscent of Mufasa and Simba from The Lion King, Roose brings Ramsay up a hill and says “Look, Ramsay. Everything the sun touches is our kingdom” before finally giving Ramsay the Bolton last name. Baaaad move, dude. Ramsay’s totally gonna kill you and become the Bolton Lord.

Petyr Baelish and Sansa Stark

Petyr has potentially landed himself in some hot water after his hasty murder of Lysa Arryn last episode. He meets with a council in The Eyrie, where they express their dislike of Petyr and their doubts that Lysa would have killed herself. The council speaks to the only witness, Alayne Stone, who decides to tell them an edited version of the truth: that she’s actually Sansa Stark, that Petyr is her only friend and defender, and that Lysa had indeed committed suicide after thinking Petyr didn’t love her anymore. Oh, Sansa. I have hearts in my eyes for that performance of yours.

The council apologizes to Petyr for doubting him, and Petyr swiftly moves on to stage two of his master plan: get the Eyrie to push Robin Arryn as a contender for the throne. So he can puppeteer that sickly little boy from the shadows, no doubt.

Petyr comes to Sansa’s room later, where she explains that she saved him because “better the devil you know than the devil you don’t,” all while casually embroidering a pillow. I didn’t think it was possible to love her more, but it just happened.

Arya Stark

The Hound brings Arya right to the gates of the Eyrie, because this show loves putting Starks within breathing distance of one another only to rip them apart again. The pair obviously aren’t let in on account of Lysa being dead, and because Arya bursts into hysterical laughter the instant she hears the news.

Tyrion Lannister’s Trial

Tyrion has a mini breakdown in his cell as preparations for his trial by combat finalize. At least his brother Jaime hangs out with him until the guards come.

Tyrion is brought out to the courtyard where the duel will take place. When The Mountain arrives, Oberyn bids his lover Ellaria farewell, and the battle begins.

Oberyn manages to incapacitate The Mountain, but instead of finishing him off, he tries to get a confession out of him for the rape and murder of his sister Elia Martell. The Mountain splits Oberyn’s head open. Tyrion is sentenced to death.

Memorable Quotes

Grey Worm: If the Masters never cut me, I never am Unsullied. I never stand in the Plaza of Pride when Daenerys Stormborn orders us to kill the masters. I never am chosen to lead the Unsullied. I never meet  Missandei from the island of Naath. I am sorry I… for today. I am sorry.

Ramsay Bolton: Kraken. Strong, as long as they’re in the sea. But when you take them out of the water… no bones. They collapse under their proud weight and slump into a heap of nothing.

Sansa: She did as her father commanded, as so many of us have.

Petyr: Time for Robin to leave the nest.

Daenerys: Love? How can you say that to me? Any other man would have you executed, but you, you I do not want in my city dead or alive.

The Hound: Little shit deserved to die, but poison… poison’s a woman’s weapon. Men kill with steel.
Arya: That’s your stupid pride talking. That’s why you’ll never be a great killer. I’d have killed Joffrey with a chicken bone if I had to.

Tyrion: Trial by combat. Deciding a man’s guilt or innocence in the eyes of the gods by having two other men hack each other to pieces tells you something about the gods.

Tyrion: You think Oberyn has a chance? “The Red Viper of Dorne,” you don’t get a name like that unless you’re deadly, right?

Tyrion: Matricide, patricide, infanticide, suicide. There’s no kind of killing that doesn’t have its own word.
Jaime: Cousins.
Tyrion: Cousins! You’re right, there is no word for cousin-killing. Well done.

Tyrion: I had to know, because it was horrible that all these beetles should be dying for no reason.
Jaime: Every day around the world, men, women, and children are murdered by the score. Who gives a dusty fuck about a bunch of beetles?

Ellaria: You are going to fight that?
Oberyn: I am going to kill that.

Rating: A-