‘Game of Thrones’: Best (and dumbest) moves in ‘The Mountain and the Viper’ episode

The most recent episode of “Game of Thrones” yet again blew people’s minds with the much-anticipated trial by combat between the Mountain and the Viper. Having generated this much buzz, one would expect it to have moved up our chart for Best Drama Series at this year’s Emmys. However, it is still sitting in fourth place with odds of 8/1.

With a big contest shaking up the game, let’s have a look at my weekly moves:

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Moves of the Week

1. Gregor Clegan wins the trial by combat
It was more Oberyn’s mistake that won it for him, and he may struggle to recover from his wounds, but a win is a win for the Mountain. He took advantage of the Viper’s arrogance; even when all seemed lost, he kept his eyes on the prize and he got rid of the Oberyon’s for good measure.

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2. Sansa Stark gets into acting
Sansa has been an important pawn in the game to this point but this episode we saw her take centre stage as she chose to lie to protect Petyr Baelish. In a game where the ability to deceive is a hot commodity, her coming up with a convincing story about her aunt’s death with tears and all the fixins moves her up in the power rankings for sure.

3. Petyr Baelish takes charge in the Vale
After a series of bold moves the big question was whether it would all catch up with Littlefinger. But with Sansa covering for him, he was able to get away with murder and now looks like he’ll be calling the shots going forward in the Vale.

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Dumbest Move: Oberyn Martell loses the game
This week we saw the Viper snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. He practically won the trial by combat, taking down the odds-on-favourite, ‘the mountain.’ Then he fumbled the ball as he crossed the line.  He could have walked away but his overconfidence and fixation on getting a confession from his foe led to his demise. Two things can be learnt from the Viper’s mistake: complacency can be fatal when playing the game of thrones and if you can’t bring the mountain to you, perhaps it’s best not to go to the mountain.

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Emmy Moves:
For the second week in a row, I think the actor that is helped the most is guest star Pedro Pascal, who plays Oberyn Martell. Last week’s episode may be a better submission because it contained a meatier emotional monologue, not overshadowed by the special effects and acrobatics of this one. However being part of such a buzzed-about moment and with such a big reaction to his death, he is much more likely to get a nomination now. 

Relive the trail by combat with my commentary here and then cast your ballot for Best Drama Guest Actor below using our easy drag-and-drop menu. 

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