That's What Ygritte Said - Ep 4.8

Weekly Game of Thrones Musings by Sam Ryu - Season 4, Episode 8
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   That’s What Ygritte Said Weekly Game of Thrones Musings by Sam Ryu  ——————————————————————————————————————  That. Episode. Was. Mind-blowing. (Terrible pun intended.) A week later and I’m still trying to gather my splattered thoughts off the floor of the Red Keep Rumble Ring. We learned early on,  when Ned’s head rolled, that no one is safe from the cruel executioner’s blade that is George R.R. Martin’s pen. During the events of the Red Wedding, we were shown how extremely deep he was  willing to cut. And now with the death of Prince Oberyn Martell (after appearing in only seven episodes), we see how swiftly Maester Martin can strike. So what can we expect from this series as it moves forward? Is it best for our psyches to never get attached to any of these characters? We’ve hardly reached a point of diminishing returns with these shocking deaths, but I’m curious where that point is. I love Tyrion and Daenerys as characters (though Daenerys, slowly less so with each episode) and don’t think either will die anytime soon (if ever), but what if they did? What if Tyrion can’t charm himself out of his impending execution? What if Daenerys never makes it to How to Train Your Dragon 2  ? More than the seismic shift in story it would cause, it would completely rattle the trust viewers have with the show—a fire that its creators are playing with so deftly and beautifully right now. We’ve had three episodes this season that could’ve been the climax of most other shows’ seasons, and we’ll probably get the fourth and biggest one in Episode 9. ——————————————————————————————————————  Season 4, Episode 8  — “The Mountain and the Viper”Like Usher’s fourth album, this episode was all about Confessions. (I should get flayed by Ramsay  —now Bolton, not Snow!—for ever writing that.) Anyway, confessions. From Sansa confessing to the high Lords and Lady of the Vale, to Ser Jorah being forced to confess his past crimes against his beloved Khaleesi (seriously, he’s the only one who still calls her that), and Oberyn demanding a confession from the Mountain. But even in Westeros and Essos, words are becoming less valuable as currency. It was also a really funny episode—with the sight of Daenerys and Missandei BFF-sleepover-hair-braiding, an Arya double feature of “I’d kill Joffrey with a chicken bone if I had to” and her manic laugh at the Bloody Gate, and Jaime/Tyrion’s kunk kunk kunk kunk .  June 8, 2014  Let’s talk about Sansa Key-to-the-North Stark. She’s come such a long way since her early days of fairytale ideals and being stupid and never learning anything. (Her pronunciation of the word “stupid” is one of the consistently best things about her.) She takes a page from Littlefinger’s book (he’s  warned many times, most recently in S4E3 , that everyone in King’s Landing is a liar) and learns to bend her circumstances and manipulate the truth to her advantage. She does this in front of the counsel, but I believe she’s also pulling Littlefinger’s strings.  What would give Littlefinger a bigger hard-on than the beautiful daughter of the woman he loved? If said beautiful daughter learns to lie like him and does so with aplomb while seemingly benefitting him. Sansa finally wises up and steps into her own. Well played, Sansa “I know what you want” Stark. Also it  was hard to catch, but the scene before Sansa walks down the stairs looking like Black Swan Sansa (Black Swansa?), you see her making her own dress! Are you paying attention Westeros Reality TV Fashion Show?! She dyes her hair dark too! Quick Hits: Lord Royce, the man Sansa confesses to, mentions he was close to Ned Stark during Ned’s time at the Vale (before the show starts). When Ned and Robert Baratheon were young, they served as wards to Lord Jon Arryn.    Also for those of you who aren’t experts at identifying ruined castles we haven’t seen since the end of Season 2: After Ramsay becomes legitimized as Roose Bolton’s heir, we see them march toward Winterfell. Finally!Ser Jorah’s backstory has been sprinkled throughout episodes during the series. Here it is, all in one place: He marries a noble lady. Has to sell the poachers he catches on his land (Bear Island, home of House Mormont) to slavers to afford the lifestyle his wife wants. Ned Stark hears about it and travels to Bear Island to execute Jorah (because “the man who passes the sentences should swing the sword” and slave trading is outlawed in the North). Jorah runs away to Essos and agrees to be  Varys’s spy for Daenerys in exchange for a royal pardon. His father, Jeor Mormont, commits to serve as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch to atone for his cowardly son’s sins.How can we extrapolate “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” to better fit what happened to Oberyn? Two gouged eyes and shattered teeth all over the floor for... justice? Bronn foreshadowed this in his conversation with Tyrion in S4E7:   “  Maybe I could take him—dance around until he’s so tired of hacking at me, he’d dropped his sword. Get him off his feet somehow. But one misstep, and I’m dead. ” But it might not be over. Although Oberyn was going for all the style points before actually doing what he needed to do, he is known as the Red Viper of Dorne. We saw his squire conspicuously wipe his spear (with poison, presumably) and don’t forget that Cersei’s daughter (Myrcella) is in Dorne.  ***If you want to join the weekly newsletter mailing list, send an email to   June 8, 2014
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