Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 8 Recap: The Mountain And The Viper

Above: The Mountain (Hafthor Bjornsson) and The Viper (Pedro Pascal) fight to the death (Photo: HBO)
Above: The Mountain (Hafthor Bjornsson) and The Viper (Pedro Pascal) fight to the death (Photo: HBO)

Every Monday, our resident Game of Thrones fanatic E. Spencer Kyte will recap the previous night’s episode. Here’s his take on Season 4, Episode 8—The Mountain and The Viper.

Warning: what follows is a review and analysis of what happened on Sunday night’s episode of Game of Thrones. If you haven’t watched it and don’t want to encounter spoilers, I suggest you go read something else on this site. Consider yourself warned.

Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss have promised that unlike previous years where everything built to the penultimate episode and then cooled in the finale, Season 4 is going to be all rise and if Sunday’s eighth episode, “The Mountain and The Viper” is any indication, things are about to get real serious in The Realm.

If that is, in fact, the case, holy hell are these last two episodes going to be insanity.

Note: the two-week break sucked last week, but I have to say that I was more stoked for last night’s episode than any other episode this year, save for the premiere and it was every kind of worth it.

Buckle up — here we go.

Wildling Rampage

Sunday opened in Molestown, the tavern/whorehouse/dumpster fire of a town where Sam dropped Gilly and Baby Sam a couple episodes back. As the working girls carouse with the drunks that like their paid lovers dirty and sporting cold sores, Gilly hears a sound and senses that trouble is coming.

Turns out she’s right as the Wildlings ravage the town, killing literally everyone that moves. If you’re not a Wildling and you come into the frame, you’re dead. Ygritte takes out a handful of people herself, and then happens upon Gilly and Baby Sam, tucked away in the back… and tells her to stay quiet.

Back at Castle Black, Sam and the lads lament the news from Molestown, with Sam crestfallen that he is responsible for Gilly and the baby’s demise. The boys reassure him that there is a chance she survived and drink to knowing that they’re the next stop on the Wildling Rampage tour.

Meanwhile, in Meereen…

As all of Dany’s people bathe in some random watering hole, Grey Worm pops his head up from underwater and gets an eyeful of naked Missandei… and lingers… until she notices… and covers up sheepishly.

Cut to the Throne Room and Grey Worm comes to apologize to Missandrei. They converse and the end result is that neither is sad that Grey Worm saw her naked.

Bring Me Moat Cailin

Following Ramsay’s orders, “Reek” rides to Moat Cailin, presents himself and tries to convince his fellow Iron-born holding the castle to relinquish the property to Ramsay in exchange for safe passage home.

The first dude he talks to spits blood in his face and turns him down, and then catches a hatchet in his bald head. Turns out the others want to go home, and willingly accept Ramsay’s offer.

Except this is crazy-ass Ramsay we’re talking about, so instead of letting them leave, he flays them like all good Boltons do (even Bolton bastards) and rides off to meet his pops, Roose.

As recognition for his accomplishment, Ramsay gets the best reward possible — Roose acknowledges him as a Bolton, and his son pledges to make him proud. And then he tells “Reek” that it’s bath time, which I don’t want to think about thanksverymuch.

Law & Order: Littlefinger

Following the death of Crazy Aunt Lysa, Littlefinger is called before the elders of The Eyrie to explain what happened. They clearly don’t trust him or the tale he’s telling, so they call on Sansa to clear things up.

She apologies to Littlefinger and says she has to tell the truth and you think he’s busted, but lo and behold, Little Sansa Stark is finally starting to understand how the world works. Instead of burying Littlefinger, she paints him as her savior and backs his “Crazy Aunt Lysa killed herself” story.

The elders are satisfied, apologies for doubting Littlefinger, and agree with him when he suggests that pampered-ass Robin needs to get out and experience the world after years of being on his mother’s teat, literally.

When Littlefinger asks Sansa why she opted to spin the story the way she did, her reason is one we’ve heard before in these situations — better the devil you know than the devil you don’t. She’s aligned herself with Littlefinger, and this is made clear when she comes striding down the stairs in a gown that closely mirrors what he’s wearing as they’re getting ready to roll out with Robin… who I’m pretty damn sure is going to die sometime soon.

Just saying.

Note: high five, Sansa! It’s about time you figured it out and starting playing the game, even if it is on the arm of the devious Littlefinger. Naïve Sansa was boring. This is a Sansa Stark I can support!

NEXT: The odd couple reaches The Eyrie, back in Meereen, the main event and Spencer’s thoughts…

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E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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