I knew what was coming on last night's Game of Thrones, but a small part of me hoped that THAT PART wouldn't happen. But it did, and it was brutal. The story progresses, and there's nothing you can do about it. It was probably the most effective episode since the Red Wedding in terms of making the audience to "GAHH" because, if nothing else, this is a show that hates happiness.
Spoilers after the jump.
Yeah, Oberyn's dead. The Mountain gouged out his eyes and squashed his head like a moldy orange. It was gut-wrenching. We'll get there, but first...
Why does anyone live in the North? Last night’s episode opened on Molestown, the hamlet just south of the Wall where the only thing to do, it seems, is have burping contests and look at filthy hooker boobs. Ygritte, Tormund Giantsbane, and several Wildlings and Thenns fucked the place up and killed people, which, again, makes one wonder why any fictional person would live in the North. It seems unambiguously terrible.
Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch made some noise about how the Wildlings are coming and that maybe they should do something about that. Yeah, no shit, dudes. You’ve known that for a while now. The Watch is hopelessly outnumbered, though. There are 102 of them, and they estimate that thousands of Wildlings are on their way. If only they had some kind of large defensive structure to fight from. That would probably even the odds.
So long, Captain Friend Zone! There’s a passage in A Dance With Dragons about Daenerys’ Unsullied hiring whores. Not because they want sex (they don’t) but because they want affection. Being castrated, they’re not capable of sex, but they will still pay for someone to hold them. It’s a small poignant passage, and Game of Throne’s creators have extrapolated it into a relationship of sorts between Grey Worm and Missandei.
Grey Worm, in a very not cool move, was watching naked ladies bathe in a river. Missandei caught him, and was later perplexed about why a man with no man-bits would display any kind of interest. Probably the best(?) bit of dialogue last night was when Missandei and Daenerys were discussing castration and were wondering if the Unsullied were missing all of their parts. “The pillar and the stones,” as they put it. (A cursory Google search shows that, historically, most eunuchs just had their balls removed. But, you know, things might be different in Westeros.)
Missandei finds out that Grey Worm has been taking language lessons on the side from Jorah Mormont who taught him words like “precious” and “unrequited.” Of course Jorah did.
Speaking of Jorah, Barristan got a letter all the way from King’s Landing for the exiled knight and, because he’s the kind of dude who opens other people’s mail, saw that it was a royal pardon from Robert Baratheon. Jorah, for those of you who don’t keep up with the minutia of a giant show about fake politics, fled Westeros after being charged with selling slaves. He’d apparently earned the good graces of the crown, though, by reporting back to Varys about what the last of the Targaryen dynasty was up to out in Essos.
Daenarys was not happy, and (justifiably) exiled Jorah, who was already kinda exiled from Westeros. But he’s now extra-exiled. Jorah told Dany that he loved her, and that totally did not help given that he, you know, was sending information to people who wanted to kill her. He left. Cue music.
When I first read this part in A Storm of Swords, I felt bad for Jorah. I don’t anymore, though. Jorah sold slaves in Westeros (not cool), sent info on Daenerys to King’s Landing (not cool), and pretended to by Dany’s friend just so he could get in her pants (extra not cool). Jorah’s a loser. He’s a pathetic dude who’s incapable of honesty. Jorah Mormont is a nice guy of OKCupid. Goodbye, dude!
If Sansa wore pants, they would cloaked in glorious flames. Last night two very different characters effectively lied by mostly telling the truth. Theon/Reek “lied” to a group of Ironborn in the North that he was, in fact, Theon Greyjoy, and persuaded them to surrender to the Boltons. As a result of this, Ramsay Snow got his dad to recognize him as being the non-bastardy kind of son and declared him to be Ramsay Bolton. D’awwww? It would have worked better if Ramsay was an interesting character, as opposed to a one-dimensional, crazy-eyed murder muppet.
Far more interesting lies were told by Sansa Stark, a character who was once defined by her naïvete and idealism. The Lords of the Vale were not buying Littlefinger’s story about Lysa Arryn just up and offing herself. They knew that the Mockingbird was hiding something, so they brought in his “niece” as a witness.
Sansa, now only playing the part of the naïve waif, told the Vale’s bigwigs that, yes, Littlefinger was hiding something. She copped to being Sansa Stark, spun a tale about how he was her protector, and narrated Lysa Arryn’s supposed suicide in a more convincing manner than the slimy Petyr Baelish ever could. The Lords of the Vale bought it, and the Eyrie now belongs to Littlfinger and Sansa.
Later on Sansa put on a sexy goth dress like she was cosplaying as Maleficent or something. That was weird.
Goodnight, Sweet Prince. Robb Stark looked an awful lot like a conventional fantasy hero. He had a righteous cause, a father to avenge, and a sense of honor. He got murdered at a fancy party. He had to die. If he didn’t, the show would have just become The Adventures of Robb, the Fantasy Sword Boy Who Avenges His Dad. That would have been boring. We’ve heard that story before.
Oberyn Martell, introduced in the first episode of this season, also fits the mold of a hero protagonist. He’s charismatic, multitalented, fun to watch, and has a righteous cause just like Robb Stark did. The Tywin Lannister had his sister and her children murdered at the hands of Gregor Clegane. He wants revenge. He died getting it.
Oberyn, knowing that the Mountain would be chosen as the Lannister champion, agreed to represent Tyrion in a trial by combat. The fight wasn’t really about Tyrion, though. Oberyn taunted and yelled at the Mountain, trying to get the giant thug to admit that he killed Elia Martell, raped her, and then murdered her infant children. He flipped and stabbed and he could have just won the fight. He could have just finished off Clegane and been done with it. He hesitated. “No, you can’t die yet,” he said to the writhing Mountain, “you have not confessed.”
Because insisted on getting a confession out of the dying Mountain, he gave the giant enough time to grab, him, scream out that yes, he did all the awful things that Oberyn says he did, and then explode the prince’s skull in his enormous hands. It was brutal, and seeing a character I liked so much go was probably more upsetting than the Red Wedding.
As much as I hate to say this, Oberyn Martell had to die. Had he stuck around, the show would have just turned into The Adventures of Oberyn the Amazing Swashbuckler Poet Who Gets Revenge on His Enemies and Then Has Sex With Everybody. I would personally enjoy a show like that, but it wouldn’t be terribly interesting. Oberyn was very much too beautiful to live.
Tywin Lannister declared the Mountain to be the winner of the combat, and Tyrion is now sentenced to death. However, Oberyn’s death was not for nothing. The Lannister’s most feared enforcer, Gregor Clegane, is done for, and the last thing he did was show a whole crowd what an untamed brute he actually was. Tywin Lannister is now revealed to be the kind of man who orders rape and the slaughter of infants. In other words, a monster just like the Mountain was. Oberyn would be happy with that.
Next week’s episode is about the Wall. It will hopefully be non-boring. Probably not. See you guys then.