This week's Game of Thrones episode — The Mountain and The Viper — was to decide the fate of Tyrion Lannister and was eagerly awaited by fans after the series took a week's break for Memorial Day weekend.
And my god, what an episode. This one left fans screaming, hyperventilating, reaching for a drink and more. But they had to wait a bit too long for action to peak in the episode. The sequence we were all waiting for — trial by combat between the Mountain and the Red Viper of Dorne, Oberyn Martell — featured only in the last 15 minutes of the episode. This made the episode seem a little slow-paced.
Of course, the intention was to make for a magnificent ending, which quite successfully made a strong impact (that's an understatement, folks). But, more on that later.
(Minor spoilers ahead)
Several storylines marked their attendance in the first half of the episode, all well executed.
The episode began with the wildling attack on Mole's Town — a very important development in the series. One expected it to be packed with gore, but all there was a brief shot of dripping blood.
The Crows had a difficult time at the Wall with John Snow and team worrying about the approaching wildling storm and Sam tense about Gilly's well-being in Mole's Town.
On the other side of the Narrow Sea, Meereen witnessed several events. In one the most touching scenes of the series, fans got to witness a brewing romance between Missandei and the Unsullied chief Grey Worm. Actor Jacob Anderson does a brilliant job, capturing Grey Worm's struggle with language and love in a brief sequence.
Also, thanks to Tywin Lannister's shrewd ways, Ser Jorah's loyalty towards Daenerys was brought to question. Again, shout-out to Iain Glen for a great piece of acting. The pain in his eyes through the scene makes the viewers' hearts go out to the man.
Meanwhile, Alfie Allen gets the hat-tip for convincingly transforming from Reek to Theon Greyjoy and back. Ramsay Snow's ways have not only transformed the heir to the Iron Islands but also won him his father's approval.
(Pro tip: Ramsay Snow, like John Snow, has that surname because he's an 'illegitimate child')
Heading to the The Eyrie, what unfolds there is a book lover's paradise. Lysa Arryn's death is basically a cliff-hanger in the books and episode eight takes it forward beautifully. With a transformed Sansa Stark and Lord Baelish at his cunning best, the events that will unfold there could prove to be very interesting.
Oh, and not to forget, in a short scene, Arya Stark left fans with hysterical laughter that they will have a hard time forgetting.
Finally, the strongest sequence of the episode is where The Viper — Prince Oberyn — fights The Mountain for justice for his sister and Tyrion. The climax will leave you hysterically swinging between shock and disbelief. Episode eight marks a whole new level of gory in the series.
Laden with sudden developments and unexpected swing of fate, it is an ending you will have a really hard time forgetting. So, be prepared to break a sweat or two.
Got anything to say or add? Tweet to me @GypsyAndTonic !