Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones, “The Mountain and the Viper,” could have easily been the penultimate episode of the season. But alas, we were treated to a jaw-dropping eighth episode that had more ‘OHMYGOD’ moments than I could count. In honor of the Seven Kingdoms and the Seven New Gods, here are my top seven favorite ‘DID THAT JUST HAPPEN?!’ moments from Sunday’s action-packed episode.
7. Reek becomes Theon Greyjoy (again) and helps Ramsay Snow become Ramsay Bolton.
Everyone’s least favorite character, Ramsay Snow, finally got what he wanted and became Ramsay Bolton, thanks to his pet dog human, Reek. Reek pretended to be his former self, Theon Greyjoy, and coaxed the Iron Islanders holding Moat Cailin into opening up their doors to earn “freedom” from the Northerners. Instead, much to our dismay, they were flayed and killed by the Boltons and the creepy duo of Ramsay and Reek just became much more powerful (and much more disturbing). Pleased with his bastard, Roose Bolton granted Ramsay his biggest wish and gave him the family last name and all that comes with it.
6. Ygritte shows mercy for Gilly and Baby Sam.
I don’t know about you, but Ygritte is the worst scorned woman I’ve ever seen. She’s taken to killing innocent men, women, and children of the North to get back at her former lover, Jon Snow. So when she came face to face with Gilly, and showed her mercy, I literally cried and clapped at the same time. I knew that the Ygritte that Jon (and the audience) fell in love with in Season 3 was still in there somewhere. Now I wonder, will Ygritte show Jon the same mercy if she comes face to face with him in the Battle of Castle Black? Tune in next week to find out.
5. Arya finds out everyone in her family is dead and laughs it off, hysterically.
When Arya and The Hound learned that Lysa Arryn had died just three days before their arrival, and The Hound was stripped of yet another bounty, what else was Arya to do but laugh? It almost felt like she was laughing at the viewers for thinking a Stark reunion was going to happen. Haven’t we learned by now that the Starks will never run into each other no matter how close they get?
4. Sansa becomes Dark Sansa & lies and dyes for Petyr Baelish.
When Petyr was questioned about the mysterious “suicide” of Lysa Arryn, Sansa was called in to witness. As she stood giving her testimony, Petyr watched on silently and in awe. Here stood this young, naïve girl, whom he once told was a terrible liar, spinning a brilliant and intricate web of truth and lies. Sansa painted a picture of Petyr as a saint who was motivated by his burning desire to rescue Sansa. Later, in an attempt to cover her famous Tully-red hair, Sansa steps out as Dark Sansa, with dyed dark locks to help her look more like her “uncle” Petyr. The weird thing? She almost appears to be flirting with Baelish. It is clear that Sansa doesn’t know the extent of Petyr’s hand in the destruction of her family, but she knows he is dangerous. Has she fallen under his twisted spell or is Sansa playing a long con?
3. Tywin sentences Tyrion to death.
The moment we’ve all been waiting for – the verdict from the Trial by Combat. As you’ll find out in our top moment, Tyrion Lannister lost the trial in the most head-splitting way. In the final moments of the episode, Tywin Lannister, Hand of the King and father of Tyrion, stands and sentences his son to death. Dun dun dunnnn.
2. Dany permanently dismisses Jorah Mormont.
Tywin was a part of more than one verdict this week. In a twist from the book storyline, Tywin Lannister sent Daenerys’ Queen’s Guard, Barristan Selmy, a letter, which was a copy of the Royal Pardon that was granted to Jorah Mormont in Season 1. (Remember, Jorah was leaking confidential secrets to Robert and his Council and assisted with an assassination attempt on Dany’s life). Despite his deep admiration and love for Dany, and his change of loyalty (he ultimately prevented the assassination), the Mother of Dragons showed no mercy and exiled Jorah from her Council and from Meereen. Poor Jorah. The old bear looked heartbroken as he rode on horse-back out of the city. While I normally stand 100% behind the Breaker of Chains, I had trouble supporting this decision because of the way the TV show played it out. It comes off like Dany is another puppet being manipulated at the hands of Tywin Lannister. Is this the beginning of her downfall?
1. Oberyn’s Headsplosion.
Thank you to Game of Thrones for creating yet another scene that I couldn’t bear to watch – the epic trial by combat between the Mountain and the Red Viper of Dorne, Oberyn Martell. (Who knew anything could be worse than the Red Wedding?)
Oberyn, who was fighting as Tyrion’s champion to gain revenge for his sister, bopped around like Inigo Montoya waving a spear. The Rep Viper repeated over and over again, “Elia Martell of Dorne. You raped her, you murdered her. You killed her children,” as he fought and stabbed the Mountain. Oberyn was quick with his spear and took down the Mountain with apparent ease. But he was too cocky and too confident and wouldn’t kill Gregor Clegane until he got his confession. Before Oberyn could realize what was happening, Clegane punched Oberyn’s teeth out of his face. The Mountain then climbed on top of The Viper, held his head in between his gigantic hands, and squashed it like one of the beetles Tyrion’s cousin squashed, all while confessing to his heinous crimes. The worst part of this entire scene was knowing Oberyn was warned to wear a helmet and his Paramour stood completely helpless as she watched the worst moment of Game of Thrones – Oberyn’s Headsplosion.
And this perfectly sums up how we all feel.