'Game of Thrones' Recap: The Mountain vs. the Viper
'Game of Thrones' Recap: The Mountain vs. the Viper
John Kubicek
John Kubicek
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Just when I think Game of Thrones can't surprise me, it does. This week's episode features Tyrion's Trial by Combat in which Oberyn "The Red Viper" Martell does battle with Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane. And it's a truly brutal and shocking outcome.

In this episode there's also bad news for Jorah Mormont, good news for Ramsay Snow and hilarious news for Arya Stark (assuming you think dead aunts are funny).

The Viper vs. the Mountain

Before the Trial by Combat, Tyrion has a lengthy chat with his brother Jaime about their dim-witted cousin who liked smashing beetles. The reason behind this singular obsession is unclear, but that may be the point.

At the actual trial, it's a simple fight to the death. If Oberyn lives, Tyrion is innocent. If he dies, Tyrion is guilty. It's a classic battle between a small, quick man and a large, mindless one. Oberyn is extremely cocky, drinking before the match and vowing that he will force the Mountain to confess about raping and killing his sister before he finishes him.

The fight doesn't last that long and Oberyn gets the upper hand, stabbing the Mountain and knocking him down. It's basically over, but Oberyn refuses to finish him off until he confesses. That, sadly, is hubris.

The Mountain surges and knocks Oberyn down, he climbs on top of the Viper and proceeds to poke out his eyes (now oozing blood) while proudly confessing to raping and murdering his sister. Then the Mountain finishes him off by crushing his skull with his bare hands.

Um...Oberyn Martell is dead. He lost. And that means Tyrion is guilty and will be beheaded. For the love of God, I hope there's a way out of this, because I can't imagine enjoying this show as much if they actually kill off Tyrion.

As for the brutal death itself, it was definitely bloody, but if you want real gore, I encourage you to watch the fight between Dan Dority and the Captain from the third season of Deadwood. It's even more brutal to the eyes than this was.

At the Wall

In the North, Ygritte and her wildlings attack Mole's Town, the little village where Gilly is living. Luckily, Ygritte spares the lives of Hilly and her baby, but Sam doesn't know that. All he and Jon know is that Mance Rayder's army is coming very soon.

In the North

Ramsay Snow enlists Reeks help in a plan to take over a castle. It involves Reek "pretending" to be Theon Greyjoy. It works and, as a thank you for his hard work, Roose Bolton officially declares Ramsay his son and gives him the name Bolton.

Across the Sea

Across the Narrow Sea, Missandei and Grey Worm continue to flirt (though the fact that he's castrated might be a tough hurdle). Elsewhere, Barristam Selmy learns about how Jorah used to be a spy working for King Robert Baratheon back in the first season of the show and tells Dany about it. She's not pleased, but spares Jorah's life and simply banishes him.

At the Vale

A council interrogates Littlefinger about Lysa's "suicide." They call in Sansa, who actually covers for Littlefinger because she understands that his love for her mom will make him do anything to keep her safe, which is the best situation she has. Now in charge, Littlefinger takes the time to get rid of Robin by having him go around to train.

Outside the Vale, the Hound and Arya finally arrive. The Hound wants to sell her to Lysa Arryn, but they learn Lysa died three days ago. Arya laughs hysterically, because it's kind of funny when you think about it.

There are only two episodes left in Game of Thrones season 4, and seeing as how episode 9 is when everything big happens (Ned Stark's beheading, the Battle of Blackwater and the Red Wedding), I suspect next week will be the best episode of the season.

(Image courtesy of HBO)