TV Review: This Week on Game of Thrones (S4 Episode 8/ June 1, 2014)

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

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EPISODE 8: The Mountain and the Viper

THE PLOT : The long summer is at an end, winter truly is coming and with it the cold winds of war as five self proclaimed Kings claim dominance over Westeros, but there can be only one winner when you play the game of thrones.

THE LOWDOWN: (The following column contains MAJOR SPOILERS, so I don’t recommend reading this if you haven’t watched this episode). Tonight is another prime example of a lot happening at once, but in a well-balanced manner. The attack on Mole’s Town felt rushed, but I enjoyed seeing Ygritte put a spear through that annoying whore as well as find out that deep down, she does have a heart. Jon and the boys still have no idea how they’re going to survive the immanent attack on the wall, but other than having some drinks and talking about not wanting to become white walkers, they really don’t seem to be applying themselves. I’m sure they’ve sent ravens to all corners of the world at this point, so it’s more than a little sad that nobody seems to care.

Though it may not be pertinent to the flow of the story, I rather enjoy the love interest brewing between Grey Worm and Missandei. Bath time, the “pillar and the stones” comment—all gold. Dude’s adorable. I just hope love doesn’t cloud his judgement and get him killed. And speaking of clouded judgement, I’d love to know what’s going through Theon’s mind. His acquisition of Moat Cailin was, well, interesting but brief. It’s funny how the guy wielding the axe didn’t see Theon’s resolve melting away, but I guess he was more focussed on saving his ass. Not that it helped. There was no way Ramsay was letting any of those fools go, that much was clear. But despite all that we’ve seen of this character, I was somewhat moved/happy for him when Roose declared him a Bolton. I also loved Roose’s nonchalant approach to not having heard from Locke, assuming he was dead and simply shrugging the entire notion off as not important. All heart that guy is.

I still can’t get over Sansa’s transformation tonight. She went from scared little girl, to a woman with a plan. The way she pulled Littlefinger’s ass out of the fire was brilliant. I guess she learned from the best. It makes perfect sense though, when you think about it. She’s been betrayed by everyone, and although she clearly doesn’t trust Littlefinger, she at least thinks she’s figured him out and knows how to play his game accordingly. Better the devil you know. Littlefinger seems to have grand plans of his own and he’s planting seeds like there no tomorrow. Arya dropping in unannounced, with The Hound no less, will definitely liven things up. At first, one might think her laughing at the news of her aunt’s death was uncalled for or out of place, but when you think about it, that makes sense too. How many times has Arya been let down? Too many to believe anything can work out at this point. I’m thinking they’ll still let her and The Hound in, but the real question is what Littlefinger and The Hound will have to say to one another as both men will undoubtedly be surprised by this turn of events.

GAME OF THRONES SEASON FOUR’s eighth episode is only a (mild) letdown because of the title, The Mountain and the Viper. Here I was thinking this would be an epic event that would take up half the episode. Nope. Not even close. Once we hit King’s Landing I looked at the time and there was only a few minutes left in the episode, and half of it was wasted as Jaime and Tyrion discussed they’re cousin Beetlejuice. I mean, it was a funny story at first, but it ultimately went nowhere and had me scratching my head. Poor Oberyn. I read the books so I knew how it would play out, but that didn’t stop me from yelling at him for being a cocky fool. You’re fighting The Mountain, man! Don’t let your guard down for even a second! After you pulled the spear out of his chest (you guys caught his squire dousing it in poison before the fight, right? One of the reasons he was so damn sure of himself), you should have plunged it into his damn face. Sigh. Coolass death scene though. Looked like it hurt. Nobody saw that shit coming, especially Tyrion. Speaking of which, I’d forgotten all about poor Jorah’s dilemma tonight. That was heartbreaking. This show loves to nail you with sins from your past. Two more left. This show really needs to start doing twelve episode seasons.

SEX/NUDITY: Bath time = good times.

VIOLENCE: The Wildlings pillage Mole’s Town, a dude gets his head split in two at Moat Cailin—and the rest meet just as gruesome a fate, and The Mountain and Viper fight ends with a brutal mess. Please note: no actual beetles were smashed during the filming of this episode.

SHARPEST QUIP: : Yikes. Tonight I’ll give it to The Mountain…because I don’t want him to break my face. After Oberyn yelling about his sister being raped and killed as they fight, the tables turn, and the mountain not only knocks his teeth out with a single punch, he then gets on top of him and adds insult to injury as he kills him by saying; “Elia Martell. I killed her children, then I raped her, then I smashed her head in like this!”

MOST EPIC SCENE: I call this one epic, not because it excited me, but because it moved me. The scene where Dany banishes Jorah. It’s easy to sit here and say she acted too harshly, but I can’t say I wouldn’t feel a bit betrayed and uneasy after hearing the news if I were here.



And, here’s a preview of next week’s episode “The Watchers on the Wall”


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