Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Game of Thrones: The Mountain and the Viper

I call upon one of the great quotes from one of the great "evil" characters in history to describe how I felt after watching The Mountain and the Viper...

But unlike how Spaceballs ended, this episode finished more like The Empire Strikes Back, with the good guys beaten down and the bad guys in Westeros continuing to have the upper hand.

Note: I haven't read the books so any commentary I make is completely based on the show.

When Wildlings Attack... Again...

Mos Eisley has got nothing on Mole's Town being a wretched hive of scum and villainy. Do they have burping song contests in Mos Eisley? Nuff said. Anyway, the Wildlings led by Tormund Giantsbane attacked and killed everything in Mole's Town, except for Gilly and her baby. It looks like Ygritte either recognized her as a Wildling, or she has a soft spot for babies.

And they're making their slow march South to Castle Black where it's going to be 102 Crows vs. 100,000 Wildlings. This is going to make the Battle of Helm's Deep look like a picnic. And it looks like next week's episode, The Watchers on the Wall may be entirely devoted to this battle. Penultimate episodes of every Game of Thrones season have been pretty shocking. If Ned Stark getting his head chopped off, the Battle of Blackwater Bay, and the Red Wedding are any indication, we are in for some serious carnage next week.

The Pillar and the Stones

If I were still playing Rock Band on my Xbox, this would have made a great band name. Anyway, if a couple of former slaves can't find love in this world, what the hell is Dany even fighting for? It's a Rihanna song just waiting to happen. While the puppy love between Grey Worm and Missandei is cute, it's probably the weakest part of this episode. But considering how dire the rest of the episode was, I guess it was kind of necessary.

From Snow to Bolton

The raid on Moat Cailin was actually pretty simple. Reek went in "pretending" to be Theon Greyjoy and offered the men occupying it safe passage if they left. All the men there were sick from disease, but the commander had no intention of relinquishing their position even if it was Theon giving the order. So just like back in Season 2 when Theon gave that rousing speech to his men when he was holding Winterfell, the Ironborn "took care" of their leader in order to get out of dodge. Wow, those Ironborn are some untrustworthy fellows. Well this time it didn't pay off as Ramsay had the men killed and flayed anyway. And for Ramsay's efforts, his proud papa promoted him from bastard to heir of the North. And the bad guys just keep getting more powerful. And Ramsay, just be glad your first name isn't Michael.

Sansa 3.0

The preview for this episode was totally misleading. It featured Sansa wanting to tell the truth about Lord Baelish. But her truthiness was a well acted lie that corroborated Littlefinger's insistence that Lysa committed suicide. So Sansa 3.0 (Sansa 2.0 is the daughter of Evil Lady Catelyn on 24) has finally learned how to lie and play the game. And eventually, Sansa completely turned to the dark side wearing a sexy black dress, dying her hair black and completely channeling Maleficent. And for the first time, Littlefinger had the derp face going on. Who's the predator now?

Betraying Dany is a No No

Let's run through all the people who have paid the price for Dany's wrath.

  • Her brother Viserys ended up with a "crown of gold" after he threatened her and her unborn child.
  • Mirri Maz Duur, the witch who turned Drogo into a vegetable at the cost of Dany's baby was burned alive in Drogo's funeral pyre.
  • Pyat Pree, the warlock who dragon-napped Dany's kids was burned alive as well.
  • Xaro Xhoan Daxos and Doreah were locked in a vault for their role in the dragon-napping.
  • Kraznys mo Nakloz, the slave trader from Astapor who continually insulted Dany was burned alive. Hmmm, I'm sensing a trend here.
  • Mero and Prendahl, two of the Second Son Captains were beheaded by Daario when they agreed to kill Dany. Not a direct death caused by Dany, but it still kind of counts.
  • The slave masters of Meereen were crucified for doing the same thing to 163 slave children.

And now Ser Jorah, who informed on Dany all those years ago was essentially fired, but not in a dragon way. At least he's not in the friend zone anymore. Jorah pled with Dany calling it a ploy by Tywin Lannister and he's right. He's proved his worth since then as a valued adviser, and getting rid of him does weaken her stance. But Dany's really stubborn about loyalty and you can tell she has a mean streak from all the people she's punished and barbecued. If you ask me, Jorah was lucky to leave unburnt. And who's the winner in all of this? Tywin, and the bad guys just keep winning!

Arya Cracks Up

According to the Joker, "All it takes is one bad day to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy." And Arya, has had a ton of bad days. So many that the death of another relative just made her completely hysterical with laughter. This is stage one serial killer stuff folks.

The Lunacy of Men

When you're in a dungeon waiting to find out if you live or die, your mind wanders to all sorts of things. In their pre-trial by combat talk, Jaime and Tyrion reminisced about their simpleton cousin who spent his days crushing beetles with rocks. It's a crazy world when your life is in the hands of someone else. It's even crazier when your life depends on two people trying to kill each other.

When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong

Oberyn vs. the Mountain is probably the most anticipated fight this side of Pacquiao vs. Mayweather. You know when Oberyn said, "Today is not the day I die" I was thinking:

Sorry, Oberyn. The Enterprise isn't coming to save you this time. He started out strong with his showmanship and actually got the upper hand on the Mountain. "You raped my sister. You murdered her. You killed her children." Prepare to die! His stubborn need for that confession doomed him. Hear that Dany! Stubbornness got this guy killed! And how awesome would it be if Mandy Patinkin was cast as Dorne Martell, older brother of Oberyn and Lord of Sunspear? Then he could say, "Hello, my name is Dorne Martell. You killed my brother. Prepare to die." That is of course assuming the Mountain survived. Maybe he has really good health care coverage? But yes, another crushing blow dealt to a fan favorite. And again, the bad guys keep winning.

BTW I'm astonished to find out Pedro Pascal normally speaks with an American accent!

So where do we stand now? We have psychopaths ruling the North, Sansa gone goth, a possible Stark reunion (but we know how those always end up), and Tyrion sentenced to death. And next week, the Battle of Castle Black!

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