On behalf of the institution of literature, I would like to apologize to anyone who experienced physical, emotional, or gastrointestinal discomfort as a direct result of last night’s episode of Game of Thrones. Nobody should have had to see that. Nobody.
But of course I’m still going to recap it. Spoilers after the jump.
It’s party time at the one pub in Westeros where the illiterate, inbred daughter of a wilding bastard is too classy for most of the clientele. I like to think that Mole’s Town is the Reno of Westeros, which is to say that the population is 87% hookers and the rest of the populace only moved there because the rent in the North is out of their price range.
Everyone is getting their drink on (except for Gilly) and having a good time (except for Gilly) when the wildlings sneak-attack the town because of…reasons? Honestly, this place serves no tactical purpose for any military campaign so at this point we have to assume that Tormund and his gang ravage Mole’s Town solely to remind the audience that wildings are jerks. Oh, and everyone in Mole’s Town dies (except for Gilly).
(and baby Sam)
Meanwhile in Meereen, my favorite romantic subplot gets some well-deserved screen time. So what happened was that Grey Worm was swimming in a lake and he saw Missandei naked and she was like “aah” and he was like “ahh” but then they met in the throne room and he was all like “sorry.” Then everything got really sweet when he used his developing Westerosi language skills to tell her that all of the hardship in his life was worth it because it led him to her. Pardon me while I ship them to the moon and back. ❤
Theon/Reek is having a bad day, which is to say that he is having any day at all. Ramsay has dressed him up in Greyjoy armor and instructed him to “pretend” to be Theon Greyjoy so he can convince the Ironborn soldiers who hold Moat Cailin to give it up to the Boltons. He doesn’t make a very convincing show to the Ironborn captain, but it’s okay because the captain’s men put an axe in his head to shut him up (in a scene that very strongly recalls Theon’s own “surrender” of Winterfell). The Ironborn are promised safe passage in exchange for the castle, but Ramsay comes on along and flays/dismembers/tortures them anyway. Because he is crazy. Do not forget this. It doesn’t matter how hot he is. He. Is. Crazy.
And in exchange for Ramsay’s craziness, his father Roose Bolton legitimizes him. So now he is crazy and also the heir to the Wardenship of the North. Ha ha ha. Run.
So I heard you were talking shit about Sansa Stark. She’s all up in the Eyrie while the Lords/Ladies of the Vale question Petyr about Lysa’s death. And instead of going along with Petyr’s plan and saying she’s his niece Alayne, she straight up tells all these Vale folk that she’s Sansa mother-effing Stark and she’s in hiding and Petyr saved her from the Lannisters…and tops it all off with the lie that Lysa Arryn killed herself. Because the easiest way to make a lie convincing is to bake a truth cake and hide the lie somewhere in the batter. Even Petyr is impressed. Or maybe he’s turned on. I really can’t tell with him.
Ser Barristan Selmy, also known as the old guy in Dany’s entourage, gets an anonymous tip from a little boy in harem pants saying that Jorah used to be a spy for Robert Baratheon. His desire to be the main element in the crack fighting team that is Khaleesi’s Angels drives him to expose Jorah as a spy. Dany gets mad and exiles Jorah from her lands, so he is now exiled from all of Westeros, most of Slaver’s Bay, and all of the Dothraki Sea. At this rate he is going to have to build a houseboat and sail constantly along the Essosian coastline just to make sure he’s in friendly territory. Poor Jorah. Poorah.
And then we get to The Thing. I’m really sorry, you guys. I’m so, so, so, so sorry. If it makes you feel any better, I was expecting it and I still felt sick when it happened. RIP Oberyn Martell, you were everyone’s favorite character for eight episodes straight. May your memory live on in flashbacks.
But for real, here’s what happened:
Tyrion and Jamie spend the night before the trial-by-combat together, talking about one of their dead Lannister cousins who was really into squishing beetles. It’s all very existential. When morning comes and the trial begins, it’s Oberyn Martell vs. Ser Gregor Clegane- also parsed as the Red Viper vs. The Hound’s shitty, gigantic older brother.
Oberyn seems to have both the upper hand and the favor of the crowd, as his light armor and cool spear-twirling skills allow him to perform sexy acrobatics. He pairs his sweet moves with an Inigo Montoya act that amps up the tension of the fight. He’s in this thing solely for revenge for his late sister Elia Martell. “You raped her, you murdered her, you killed her children,” He chants as he literally fights circles around the clumsy Mountain. Oberyn lands a hit on Gregor, then jams the spear into his belly, and slices his Achilles tendon! It’s looking like curtains for Clegane while Oberyn is victoriously taunting what we think is the Mountain’s dying body…
…when The Mountain pops back up like an evil jack-in the box and squishes Oberyn’s head with his bare hands. Because screw you, that’s why.
Other Things That Happened:
There’s a new addition to the Game of Thrones opening cinematic LEGO playset: actual shithole Moat Cailin! Welcome to the club, you nasty, crumbling holdfast you.
Ygritte spares Gilly and Baby Sam as she murders everyone else in the Mole’s Town brothel. This is your weekly reminder that just because someone does something nice for a main character, it doesn’t make them a good person overall.
There is no way that Missandei would be casually getting her hair wet in a Meereenese lake. Take it from another curly girl: you protect your style with your damn life.
Also Dany and Missandei are still matching their outfits and it’s the cutest thing ever.
Grey Worm reveals that Jorah has been teaching him extra words in the Common tongue. Words like “precious.” It’s painfully obvious that Jorah and Grey Worm get drunk and hang out after hours in the Great Pyramid and talk about their awful love lives. “Hey Grey Worm…can you say ‘friend zone’?”
Ramsay has weirdly specific knowledge of what happens to Krakens when you take them out of the water (they have no bones and collapse under their own weight, apparently). Did he spend a significant part of his childhood kraken fishing or is this common knowledge in Westeros? We just don’t know.
Jorah begs for mercy from Dany, clearly forgetting that this is the woman who indiscriminately crucified people for existing. I know that you love her and everything but come on- you don’t ask for mercy from the Mad King’s daughter.
Ramsay reads the document that legitimizes him and the look on his face says “I would straight up flay my own mother if it meant you would love me, daddy.” He probably already has.
Arya and the Hound bond over killing people and find out that Lysa Arryn is dead, so there’s no point in ransoming Arya to the Eyrie. They’re so close…they’re almost touching…Sansa is right th…never mind.
Sansa takes a book from the Danaerys Targaryen School of Over-accessorizing and wears a giant button as a necklace to complete her new, Maleficent-y ensemble.
Jamie admits to almost being molested by a librarian once, which adds to the long tradition of Lannister assault that we’re all supposed to just be okay with.
Bonus Points: Petyr Belish takes one look at Robin Arryn and is like “get this breastfed idiot out of my castle right meow.”