'The Mountain and the Viper' Round-Up: "A Great Deal of Heartbreak"


By Katie M. Lucas

Oberyn Martell "never lets fear stop him from doing anything," series creator David Benioff remarks in this week's Inside the Episode: "As admirable as that might be, it's also really f*cking dangerous." That risk proved fatal for the Red Viper as "the Mountain came roaring back to life to crush him like one of Orson’s beetles," New York Magazine recounts. By killing Oberyn, the Mountain "crushed more than just the Prince's head and Tyrion's hopes," Rolling Stone maintains, "He crushed the idea that justice through violence is possible. He shattered the eggshell surface of civilization and left it a pulp on the ground." 

How did fans react to the battle's bloody demise? "I was, well, crushed," New York Magazine admits, "But as a fan of the show, it was good to be reminded how this story can jolt me with its pacing and staging, as opposed to just wringing me out with its blood and guts." Hit Fix marvels at the scene's effects: "Let's give all the Emmys in the world to both the sound and makeup teams for the job in bringing that moment to stomach-churning life." The production team took great care with the staging of the fight itself. Go behind the scenes in the video below:

Beyond the trial by combat, "brutality extends to other aspects of the episode as well," the A.V. Club notes: "For instance, the longest lasting character pairing on the show – Jorah and Daenerys – is torn apart." In an interview with HBO.com, actor Iain Glen reflects on his personal feelings about Jorah's banishment: "There is a great deal of heartbreak," Glen reflects: "Emilia [Clarke] and I went through a great deal together… We're the only two that have really been together from the start."

While Dany reels from Jorah's betrayal, Sansa has honed in on Littlefinger's motivation. "Between his kiss and his kiss-off statement to Lysa about loving Catelyn, she's figured it out," Entertainment Weekly assesses. The Washington Post finds Sansa's makeover extremely appropriate: "It is no mistake that Sansa sews herself a mourning dress that is appropriate in its blackness, and that in its revealing cut is a declaration of her womanhood and power." Take a closer look at Sansa's sexy new threads below: 

What did you think of Sansa's makeover? Were you devastated by the trial by combat? What's next for Tyrion? Join the conversation in the comments.

Icing on the Lemoncake

•    One fan had his own take on Sansa's new look:

•    In the spirit of a trial by combat, New York Magazine recalls some of the series' most serious face-offs.

•    The 6'9" actor behind the Mountain, Hafthor Julius Bjornsson, discusses filming the trial by combat with the New York Post: "I had to limit my strength somewhat."