“Game of Thrones” Season 4, episode 8, “The Mountain and the Viper,” left fans gasping in horror. In the new clips released by HBO, the series creators, actors and director break down all the major moments from “The Mountain and the Viper.”
Warning: Full “Game of Thrones” Season 4 spoilers ahead.
Trial by combat did not go well for those involved. Tyrion watched as his fate was decided in the battle between Oberyn Martell, the Red Viper, and Ser Gregor Clegane, the Mountain. After the trial ends in a draw, following the deaths of both champions, Tyrion is sentenced to death. The Red Viper’s death was especially horrific, and the show did not shy away from showing the aftermath, much like how the camera stayed on Joffrey’s face as he choked in “The Lion and the Rose.”
The death of the Red Viper, and Tyrion’s guilty verdict, were not the only memorable moments from “The Mountain and the Viper.” The “‘Game of Thrones’ Season 4: Inside the Episode #8” clip starts off with a discussion on the radical transformation of Sansa Stark in the episode.
In “Game of Thrones” Season 4, episode 8, Sansa is now a player in the game of thrones, corroborating Littlefinger’s version of Lysa’s death and becoming the Lady of the Vale. As series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss explain, much like Tyrion, Littlefinger can’t talk his way out of trouble, but Sansa rescues him by telling the truth and only lying at the very end. Weiss says Littlefinger has been teaching Sansa in the true nature of Westeros and it has paid off. Sansa has become an active character and her motivations will now control and dictate the actions of Littlefinger.
George R.R. Martin addresses Sansa's new role in "Game of Thrones" Season 4. For Martin, Sansa is no longer a pawn that can be moved around by other people and will be an important player in the series.
Ramsay’s success in taking Moat Cailin is also discussed. According to Weiss, while Roose Bolton is a cruel character he is not a psychopath like Ramsay, but Roose only cares about the outcome. For his efforts, Ramsay is now a Bolton and Roose’s heir.
Jorah’s banishment was another important moment in the episode and for Daenerys. Despite Jorah being her most trusted adviser, he betrayed her and she swiftly doled out his punishment. While Jorah is the one punished, it is still a painful experience for Daenerys, and the Meereen storyline will be split in two as the show will now follow Jorah's journey.
Emilia Clarke (Daenerys) and Iain Glen (Joarh) discuss the betrayal and banishment in an additional clip. According to Glen, “Dany has been his life and he has complete belief, conviction and love for her.” For Daenerys, Jorah is the only last remaining link to her past.
Tyrion and Jaime’s conversation in the cells, along with the story of cousin Orson, is quite comedic but serves a much deeper purpose. Tyrion is facing his own mortality, and he struggles to find some solace but he can’t find an answer and Jaime can’t give him one either. The trial by combat ends the “Inside the Episode” clip. Benioff says, “Oberyn has no compromises,” and this trait from the Red Viper leads to his death. Rather than be satisfied in victory and killing the Mountain, Oberyn must hear a confession and that proves fatal."
In the final "The Mountain and the Viper" clip, the fight scene between the Red Viper and the Mountain is dissected. The clip includes interviews with the show's weapon masters and director Alex Graves. Pedro Pascal's training as well as the contrasting styles, which added to scene's quality, were also explored. For more "Game of Thrones" Season 4, episode 8, HBO has a handy viewer's guide.