Episode 38: The Mountain and the Viper

“Trial by combat. Deciding a man’s guilt or innocence in the eyes of the gods by having two other men hack each other to pieces. Tells you something about the gods.”
– Tyrion Lannister

Ramsay bolts up the leaderboard claiming second place as he gains his father’s respect. However Littlefinger manages to maintain his top position as he manipulates the lords of the Vale with some surprising help. Of course the main event of season 4 episode 8, The Viper And The Mountain, is Tyrion’s trial by combat which sends Oberyn tumbling down the board.

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In the North Tormund and Styr conduct a savage raid on the inhabitants of Mole’s Town. Ygritte participates, but when she comes across Gilly and baby Sam she signals for them to stay quiet. Gilly hides with her baby as blood seeps through the floorboards.
Tormund Giantsbane earns 3 Victory points for the successful attack on Mole’s Town.
Styr earns 3 Victory points for the successful attack on Mole’s Town.
Ygritte earns 1 Morghulis point and 3 Victory points for the successful attack on Mole’s Town.
Gilly earns 1 Survival point for surviving the attack.

Back at Castle Black news of the raid has reached them and Sam is guilt ridden believing he sent Gilly off to die. His brothers are quick to remind him that Gilly survived the wild north beyond the wall, the attack of a white walker, and the abuse of her father so there is plenty of reason to think she could survive this as well. They are disheartened knowing they cannot protect the surrounding towns because they cannot afford to lose any men. Edd remarks that whoever survives Mance’s attack must burn their bodies because he for one does not wish to live again.

To the east Grey Worm bathes with the other unsullied in one of Meereen’s rivers and catches a glimpse of Missandei bathing. She is surprised when she detects a note of interest is his look, as the Unsullied are all castrated as boys. Later the two speak and he apologizes if he scared her, but she assures him he didn’t. She tells him he is sorry for what the slave masters did to him, but he is not. Had he not been caught by slavers and made into an Unsullied soldier he would never have met her. Before parting Missandei confides that she is glad he saw her, to which he replies he is too.

Ramsay prepares Theon to treat with the Ironborn holding Moat Cailin. Dressed in lordly attire Ramsay reminds him that he is only pretending to be Theon Greyjoy, he is truly Ramsay’s Reek. Once inside Theon finds a group of sick and broken men. He tells them he is Balon Greyjoy’s heir and urges them to surrender to Ramsay. Their leader is not eager to comply and Theon begins to lose his nerve, but before he unravels another Ironborn kills their leader for a chance to return home. Ramsay, however, rewards their surrender by flaying them and sets out with his Reek to their “new home.”
Theon “Reek” Greyjoy earns 3 Alliance points for earning the Ironborn’s trust.
Ramsay Snow earns 3 Alliance points for the Ironborn’s surrender and 1 Morghulis point for their murder.

At the Eyrie the Lords of the Vale have arrived to question Littlefinger on the nature of Lysa’s death. He explains she jumped from the moon door in a fit of madness, but the Lords don’t believe she would abandon her son. They reveal they have heard his niece was a witness and despite Petyr’s attempt to thwart them they present Sansa. They ask her pointedly if what Littlefinger says is true and she tells them it is not, confiding her true identity as Sansa Stark. Lord Royce is enraged that Littlefinger dare lie to his face, but Sansa surprises Littlefinger by claiming all his lies were meant to protect her as he has done since her father’s execution. She confirms his story of Lysa’s suicide claiming it was her aunt’s irrational jealousy of her and fear of losing her beloved Petyr which drove her over the edge. She begins to cry and Lady Waynwood rushes to comfort the distraught girl, but Sansa looks up at Littlefinger revealing her tears as an act.

The Lords of the Vale accept Sansa’s account and at least for the time being Littlefinger’s authority. Littlefinger presses Lord Royce on where his loyalties lie in the war and the man is aghast at the thought that he would support the Lannisters. Petyr proposes they back Lord Robin, a notion scoffed at, but Littlefinger says it is time for the sheltered boy to learn to ride and fight which they all agree on. He announces the time has come for Lord Robin to tour the Vale.
Sansa Stark earns 3 Alliance points for earning the trust of the Lords of the Vale.
Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish earns 3 Alliance points for earning the trust of the Lords of the Vale.
Yohn Royce earns 3 Alliance points for trusting Littlefinger and Sansa.

In Meereen Tywin’s plot is revealed as one of Varys little birds finds their way to Ser Barristan. He confronts Jorah with what he’s been delivered, Jorah’s royal pardon from Robert Baratheon. He has done Jorah the courtesy of telling him first, but will never allow him with Daenerys alone again. Jorah is summoned to the throne room and Daenerys demands to know why he was awarded a pardon. He admits he provided Varys with information. He notes he did save her from their executioner, but she is unimpressed. Hurt and betrayed she orders he leave the city by dusk.
Daenerys Targaryen receives -3 Betrayal point for Jorah’s spying and 1 Exile point for banishing him.
Jorah Mormont receives -3 Fall From Power points for being dismissed from Daenerys’ Queensguard and -1 Exile point for being banished by Daenerys.

Back in the North Ramsay is eager to inform his father of Moat Cailin’s recapture. Roose is pleased with his bastard son and believes he has proved himself. He declares he has officially legitimized him as Ramsay Bolton presenting him with a declaration carrying King Tommen’s seal.
Ramsay Snow/Bolton earns 3 Alliance points for earning his father’s respect and 3 Honors points for being legitimized.
Roose Bolton earns 3 Alliance points for accepting Ramsay as a Bolton.

In the Vale Littlefinger asks Sansa why she lied for him. She responds that had she told the truth he would have been executed and her fate uncertain. She does not know what the Lords of the Vale want, but claims she knows what he does. On the road Arya laments to Sandor that she should be happy Joffrey is dead, but regrets that she was not able to kill him. His wound is still irritating him, but is grateful their journey is nearing its end. However when they reach the Bloody Gate they learn that Lysa has died. At a loss for what else to do, both Arya and Sandor burst out laughing. At the Eyrie Littlefinger prepares Robin for their journey. They are joined by Sansa wearing a new gown with a plunging neckline that does not go unnoticed by Littlefinger. The three set off.

Tyrion and Jaime share a moment before Oberyn faces the Mountain in trial by combat. Tyrion is escorted to the arena and is dismayed by Oberyn’s light armor and insistence on using a spear rather than a sword. When the fight begins Oberyn introduces himself as the brother of Princess Elia and demands Gregor confess to her murder. Gregor replies only with attacks until Oberyn seems to have gotten the better of him. He is knocked from his feet, but Oberyn will not end the fight until he admits to raping and murdering Elia and demands to know who ordered it looking to Tywin. However this proves to be a miscalculation as Gregor is able to drag Oberyn down to him. He confesses to raping Princess Elia and says he bashed her head in and proceeds to demonstrate crushing Oberyn’s skull. Cersei smiles as Tyrion vomits and Tywin announces Tyrion to have been found guilty and sentences him to death.
Oberyn Martell receives -5 Death points and -3 Defeat points for losing the trial by combat against Gregor.
Tyrion Lannister receives -3 Defeat points for the loss of his champion.
Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane earns +3 Victory points and +3 Morghulis points for defeating Oberyn.
Cersei Lannister earns +3 Victory points for her champions defeat of Tyrion’s.

House Teams

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