This was an excellent episode. So much awesome in such a short period of time. It is hard to decide where to begin. I guess I should start with saying there will be spoilers…
-The Sansa storyline was surprisingly great. I enjoy the stuff with her, but I always felt like her story was kind of boring in the book and the show has done a great job of really moving it along. Her transformation from naive girl who is manipulated and tortured by everyone to manipulating the Lords of the Vale. She comes down the steps to escort Robin and she truly looks like a lady and most likely the spitting image of a young Catelyn.
Side note…did anyone else catch Petyr’s line about people dying while squatting over their chamber pot? Hmm, what could that mean?
-Arya was very close to being reunited with her sister. The Hound is near the Vale, just outside the Bloody Gate. Then they learn that Aunt Lysa is dead. Did the guard even hear that Arya Stark is with him? Does a common guard know or care what that means? I did enjoy her laughter at the absurdity of the situation of her life. I mean, every time she is close to family they end up dead.
-As always, the scene between Tyrion and Jaime was fantastic. The story about the beetles was so cool. Does anyone remember if that was in the book? Also, I love how Tyrion says that killing a nephew is nepoticide and he says they have a term for killing everyone. Jaime retorts that there is no word for killing cousins. Does Jaime feel some remorse for murdering his own cousin to escape the Stark war camp?
-I liked the stuff with Reek. It was obvious that Ramsay would not allow the Ironborn to leave. I did not expect to get a nice visual of a flayed man. If it was not for Ramsay being a murderous psychopath, the scene with him and Roose would have been fairly touching. Then you remember that Ramsay is a monster.
-There was a sad scene in this episode. Well one that I did not think would be as sad as it turned out. The discovery that Jorah had been spying for Varys. Needless to say, Daenerys does not react well. She starts out with what seems like is going to be an epic tirade, but then she goes into a whisper. You know the kind of whisper when someone is so angry that they cannot even speak up. That is a scary, serious anger. She banishes Jorah from her sight.
-The big thing in the episode was the battle between Oberyn and Gregor. Or the Red Viper versus the Mountain. The fight that everyone has been waiting for all season. Oberyn was an okay character in the books, but the show truly made him great. There were so many people who thought that this might be the point where the show truly diverges from the book.
There was a moment during the fight which seemed like it could end differently. That maybe Oberyn would not make a costly mistake and end up dead. Maybe Tyrion would have a different fate. But alas, it was not meant to be. I knew when Oberyn started walking in circles around the Mountain, who was on his back that he would get too close. And then the Mountain shows his strength by squeezing Oberyn’s head until it pops. It was pretty damn gruesome. I think in the book he just punches Oberyn so hard that it basically crushes his head and pops out his eyes. The Mountain then smashes his head off the ground.
I have not mentioned any of the stuff that happened near the Wall because it was actually kind of blah. I realize they are setting up for the big battle between the Wildlings, but it has been building all season and I am still not all that excited for it. At least next week we get the war at the Wall…