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Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 8 Recap: The Mountain and the Viper

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Rob Cesternino and Josh Wigler recap of Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 8: The Mountain and the Viper. Join us each Sunday Night LIVE after the episode for the chance to hear our recap and ask your questions LIVE on the show.

Rob and Josh review The Mountain and The Viper and react to The Death of Prince Oberyn in the Trial by Combat against The Mountain.

Episode #8 Title: The Mountain and the Viper

Episode Air Date: June 1st, 2014

Summary Author(s): Jason de Lima & Jennifer Heinke

After a week hiatus Rob and Josh are back to recap Episode #8 entitled The Mountain and the Viper. They waste no time and dive right into their discussion by talking about the biggest event of the night, The Mountain versus the Red Viper. Rob emphatically says “Red Viper you blew it!!” Josh feels it was a sad ending to a cool character. Rob says he was really feeling it for the Red Viper, that he had an Inigo Montoya vibe going. Josh reiterates that if you’re expecting justice in Westeros, you’ve come to the wrong place. Rob feels that if you have the Mountain on his back, you have to go in for the kill. Josh responds by saying that the confession for the atrocities against Oberyn’s sister were just as important. Rob simply feels like it was overkill. Josh goes as far to say he thinks it was the best episode of the season.

Gilly in Mole’s Town: Hush Little Baby (11:30)

In the opening scene of the episode we go to Mole’s Town where we find some wenches drinking and belching out songs. They are interrupted by the Wildling’s attack on the town. During the attack Ygritte comes upon Gilly and her baby who are hiding, but decides to just let them be and signals for them to stay quiet. Rob says he is bummed out with this scene, on the other hand Josh was okay with it cause it shows a piece of the culture in the North. They point out that the wenches aren’t being nice towards Gilly. Rob mentions that Gilly recognized that the owl hooting is some sort of signal which leads her to take refuge. Josh says how Gilly is from beyond the wall so she’s surely accustomed to these sorts of things. Rob is confused about the Wildling’s plan, and asks Josh if they’re trying to draw them away from the Wall? Josh replies by saying that by forcing men from the Night’s Watch to go to Mole’s Town, there will be fewer men on guard at Castle Black, and therefore it would be easier for the Wildlings to breach the Wall and open the gate. They both mention how they were pleased to see Ygritte again after so long.

Sam & Jon Snow: Pity Party for the Craven (16:35)

They move on to discuss the next scene where we find Jon Snow, Sam and a few other brothers of the Night’s Watch at Castle Black talking about the events at Moles Town. Rob expresses his displeasure with the fact that the brothers were indulging Sam who was pitying himself for having taken Gilly to Moles town to begin with. Rob feels like they have bigger problems to deal with then worrying about Gilly. Rob feels like now would be a good time to reconsider Jon’s plan to flood the gate, but Josh says that they’re running out of time and that the attack is imminent. Josh says the problem is political in nature cause Alliser Thorne and Janos Slynt don’t like Jon Snow, hence their refusal to take into consideration any of his suggestions. Rob is annoyed by their stubbornness. Furthermore, Josh points out that the glory days of the Night’s Watch are over, and says the leaders are lazy and ambivalent. They end this segment by discussing whether next episode will be an entire episode devoted to events at the Wall like the Battle of Blackwater episode from Season 2.

Missandei and Grey Worm: The Pillar and the Stones (22:20)

In the next scene we find Missandei and Grey Worm bathing in the river, and Missandei catches Grey Worm staring at her. Rob asks Josh if this romance takes place in the book? Josh responds that no it doesn’t. Rob questions why the producers are doing it then? Josh replies by saying that it might be as filler content as to not catch up with the books so rapidly. Rob likes the bathing scene but did not like the follow up scene which he labels as a Romantic comedy type scene when Missandei and Daenerys talk about the incident. Rob says how this scene felt like Missandei was filling a sexual harassment report to the boss. Josh says that Missandei was probably more mystified then anything given that the Unsullied are castrated. Rob feels that since Missandei was the former translator of the Unsullied’s vendor, she should be more knowledgeable about the state of their genitals. Rob then asks Josh “gun to your head, if you have to chose, no pillar or no stones?” Josh opts for no stones.

And the Emmy Goes to Reek, for his Role as Theon (26:55)

We now find ourselves at Moat Cailin where Ramsay is prepping Reek for his important mission. He is to “pretend” to be Theon Greyjoy and go into Moat Cailin to treat with the Iron Islanders. Theon promises them that they will not be harmed if they yield, but in true Bolton fashion all are killed and/or flayed. Rob starts off this segment by asking Josh the same question about Theon, this time Josh opts for the no pillar answer. Rob says Reek puts on a performance for the ages, and is impressed with his Theon “impersonation”, that is until his confidence is rattled, Josh says. Josh is happy they didn’t get to see the flaying of the Iron Islanders.

Roose & Ramsey Bolton: Everything the Light Touches is Ours (30:00)

In the next scene we see Roose Bolton and Ramsey Snow on top of a hill. Ramsey hands his father the flag from Moat Cailin and tells him that the stronghold is his. Roose is proud of his son to the extent that he hands Ramsay a piece of paper stating that he is now legitimized and will now become Ramsay Bolton. Ramsay is honored and kneels before his father. Josh says that this is what Ramsay has been waiting and working for all his life, to be recognized as his father’s son. Rob mentions how he finds it odd that Roose uses miles to describe distance in the North, Josh agrees. Then the Bolton’s and their Bannermen all head towards what appears to be Winterfell. En route Ramsay turns to Reek and tells him he’ll need a bath once they get home. Rob wonders why Ramsey says Theon needs to give him a bath, Josh jokingly replies by saying they take turns bathing each other. Rob then says there is only one good place for baths in Westeros, and thats the hot spring Jon and Ygritte once used.

Littlefinger on Trial at the Vale: Fatal Attraction (33:15)

Now we go over to the Vale where we find Littlefinger being interrogated regarding the nature of Lysa Arryn’s death. Littlefinger explains to them how Lysa was melancholic and in one of her stupors she committed suicide. Rob at first wonders who all these new people are? While Josh explains to him that they are simply Lords in the Vale. Rob also asks Josh if he got the sense that the Lords of the Vale weren’t really thrilled with Lysa Arryn? Josh agrees but also explains that neither are they thrilled with the mysterious circumstances of her death. At this point in the scene they bring in Alayne/Sansa to testify as a witness. She reveals herself to be Sansa Stark and goes on to lie and corroborates Littlefinger’s explanation of suicide. Rob asks Josh if this was Sansa’s finest hour? Josh mentions how he’s always been a fan of Sansa so he turns it around and asks Rob to answer that question. Rob unequivocally says yes and Sansa even gets a ring of the bell! Rob mentions how he feels Sansa should get an Emmy for her fantastic acting, shedding tears and all. Josh also says how he feels that the timeline between Lysa’s death and Littlefinger’s interrogation is a little murky. They wonder if Littlefinger had time to prep Sansa before she was called in to testify. Next Rob mentions how Littlefinger doesn’t miss a beat and how he’s already on to the next thing with his plan to have Robin leave the nest. Rob asks whether Robin is going on long trip in Westeros, but Josh replies that he believes the plan is simply for Robin to do a local tour of the Vale.

Littlefinger & Sansa: The Devil You Know (39:24)

In the next scene we find Littlefinger visiting Sansa in her chamber. He asks her why she helped him? She tells him how she didn’t know what they would do to her and tells him that she knows what he wants. Josh says how its better to gamble on the man you know then the strangers you don’t as a justification for Sansa’s action. Rob wonders what they each think the other one wants?

Arya & the Hound: A Day Late and a Dollar Short (40:55)

For the next scene we don’t go very far, we find Arya and the Hound arriving at the Bloody Gate in the Vale. Upon announcing who they are and what they’ve come for, the man at the gate regretfully informs them that Lysa passed away only 3 days earlier. At this point Arya bursts out laughing hysterically at the irony of the situation. Josh mentions how he thinks Arya must be having a psychotic break. Rob says he didn’t realize that Arya and the Hound were so close but says how he really loved Arya’s reaction to learning her aunt was also deceased. Josh says how everyone she knows is dead, and Rob says how she always seems to be a day late. This segment ends with Rob wondering whether they’ll let Arya into the Vale or not.

Darth Sansa: Littlefinger You are Not my Father (42:38)

Next they go on to discuss Sansa’s sudden wardrobe change. Rob asks why did she get a makeover? Josh suggests it’s cause of a new found sense of confidence, she now knows the role she needs to play in order to hit the ground running. Rob asks if Sansa is going with Robin? Josh responds by saying he’ll likely send Robin off and keep Sansa with him out of harms way at the Vale.

Daenerys & Ser Jorah: And I…. Will Always Love You… (44:25)

We now find ourselves across the narrow sea in Meereen. The scene begins with Ser Barristan receiving a letter from a young boy. Ser Barristan takes this letter and presents it to Ser Jorah and tells him how he will be showing it to Daenerys. It’s a pardon for Ser Jorah signed by Robert Baratheon.
Rob questions the content of the letter and wonders if the pardon truly is from king Robert Baratheon written 4 years ago? He also makes a few jokes regarding the mailing system in Westeros and Essos. Josh weighs in and says how he thinks the letter is a ploy by Tywin Lannister to cause discord amongst Daenerys’ inner circle. Rob feels like Ser Jorah did a very poor job of explaining himself when he was confronted by Daenerys regarding the nature of the spying he did for Varys and the Usurper King. Josh feels like it’s an unforgivable betrayal, that he was helping the man who nearly extinguished the Targaryen Bloodline. He feels like the straw that broke the camels back was when Ser Jorah confesses that he informed Varys that she was carrying Khal Drogo’s child. This leads Daenerys to exile Ser Jorah. Rob then goes on to ask whether in order to sit the Iron throne one must have Targaryen blood? Josh explains how that was the status quo in the past but ultimately anyone who can strong arm their way onto the Throne can claim it. It’s just a matter of whether the people recognize you as legitimate or not. Rob then expresses how he feels sad for Ser Jorah and wonders what he will do next? He goes on to say that perhaps Jorah should station himself outside of Meereen with a BoomBox until Daenerys allows him to re-enter the city

Tyrion & Jaime: Orson Lannister & Beetle Mania (53:50)

We at last go to King’s Landing where we once again find Jaime in Tyrion’s prison cell having a final heart to heart before the trial by combat is to take place. Tyrion has a long dialogue with his brother as he tells him the story of their dim-witted cousin Orson Lannister who used to repeatedly kill beetles for no apparent reason. Josh says how he is confused about the story and asks Rob to explain it to him. Rob overall found the scene great, how he loves most if not all Jaime-Tyrion interactions. He feels like the scene dragged on just a little too long, but didn’t mind given it was Jaime and Tyrion. He feels he could not have tolerated this same conversation had it been between Jon Snow and Sam.

The Mountain and the Viper: Revenge Isn’t Always Sweeter (55:45)

At this point they finally get to the long awaited fight between the Red Viper and the Mountain. The fight seemed to be going well for Oberyn, up until the point he gets over-confident. The Mountain is then able to get hold of him and kill him. Rob says how he was only worried when Oberyn’s spear broke, he asks Josh if it was an unwise decision to use a spear as his weapon of choice? Josh explains how the spear is Oberyn’s preferred weapon and how it also gives him reach and will allow him to remain light on his feet. Rob then wonders if the Mountain has fatal wounds. Josh says that regardless of whether the Mountain has fatal wounds or not, ultimately Oberyn died first. Therefore, the outcome of the trial and Tyrion’s fate does not change. Rob compares these rules to that of American Gladiator. Despite all this Rob doesn’t buy that there will be a Tyrion beheading by the end of the season. Josh asks him that if the show can survive with a Ned Stark beheading, why couldn’t they go on without Tyrion? Rob concedes and acknowledges that if he can live without Ned he supposes he could live without Tyrion as well.

Rob and Josh take the viewers’ questions at 59:45

by Jason de Lima & Jennifer Heinke

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Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 8 Recap: The Mountain and the Viper

Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 8 Recap: The Mountain and the Viper

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  • Drew D

    I actually don’t want to comment on the main hot topics of discussion. My question is this: Did anyone else get a vibe that maybe Petyr and Sansa had some kind of scene that maybe couldn’t be shown because of Sophie’s age / contract? Going off the scenes in the show only, is it possible they had some kind of hook up? Maybe I’m reading too much into it but that vibe / costume change was definitely weird.

  • LosPollosHermanos

    Gilly fan here, heh.

    But SANSA was really fantastic this episode. MVP for her in an episode filled with great performances.

    • Inigo Montoya

      *slowly raises hand* I’m also a Gilly fan… Guess we are small minority.

  • LosPollosHermanos

    Reek is Ramsay’s servant. There was nothing more to that bath comment. Just sort of indicating that even as a legitimized Bolton, Ramsay isn’t going to start being nice to Reek, or even call him Theon.

  • LosPollosHermanos

    Sansa did all of her work on the fly. I thought they made it clear LF wasn’t expecting it. That’s why he wanted to go talk to Sansa before the Lords called her in.

    Sansa is a boss bitch.

    • LosPollosHermanos

      Also, I think Sansa was letting LF know that she knows he lusts after her.

  • LosPollosHermanos

    Guys, Jorah DID get his pardon in season 1. one of Varys’ birds hands it to him right before he saves Dany from the poisoned wine

    It appears Tywin just got a reminder sent basically to screw over Jorah and cause chaos in Dany’s camp.

    • LosPollosHermanos

      Also – the fact that Dany was pregnant with a baby was important information because she was giving birth to a Dothraki that would be the future heir to the throne.

      If you remember, the fact that Dany was pregnant was a major driving force for Robert to want to kill her, despite Ned’s protestations

      • Paul

        I have not read the books but I feel like Jorah will now just go back to Westeros. and we won’t see him for a few seasons. Then when Dany eventually tries to invade and runs into some touble, Jorah will show up with a small army of men to save the day and help her in whatever battle is happening.

  • LosPollosHermanos

    The Oberyn-Tyrion scene from episode 7 was one of the best episodes of the entire series, and that alone did a lot to make the majority of the audience, either show viewers or book readers, love him.

  • jon dunn

    Great ep.

    I thought the song guessing contest was a nod to the fact that there appear to only be two songs in Westeros, lol

  • jon dunn

    Now That’s What I Call Music: Westeros

    1. The Bear and the Maiden Fair — The Hold Steady
    2. The Rains of Castamere — The National
    3. The Bear and the Maiden Fair — The Lonely Island
    4. The Rains of Castamere — Dawes
    5. The Bear and the Maiden Fair — Lily Allen
    6. The Rains of Castamere — Dethklok
    7. The Bear and the Maiden Fair — Sigur Ros
    8. The Rains of Castamere — Connor Oberst
    9. The Bear and the Maiden Fair — Tyler the Creator
    10. The Rains of Castamere — Young the Giant
    11. The Bear and the Maiden Fair — Earl Sweatshirt
    12. The Rains of Castamere — The Pillar and The Stones
    13. The Bear and the Maiden Fair — Imagine Dragons
    14. The Rains of Castamere — Precious 2 Eye

  • Wyatt Luebber

    I do not know about the “meaning” of the beetle story mystery itself, or think it matters even.

    I think it figures into the story because it spotlights the character and psyche of Tyrion. His need and his greatest asset is that he wants to understand why people do things, usually to strategically position himself. What does it tell us that a spoiled Lanaster spent a ton of time trying to understand the logic behind a “simple” person’s continued act of violence (Which is extremely common in Westeros anyway. He continued to search for a reason and a deeper meaning and still to this day cannot understand the senseless violence, even feeling sorry beetles, not very Lanasterish. I just think it speaks to the depth of Tyrion, and how ironic that the imp with a heart is on the hook for a violent crime that he did not commit. It even turns out hes more against blind violence and more understanding then we even realized as viewers.

    Thoughts Rob? Am I stretching?

    • susan appleby

      Please read what I wrote below and tell me if I’ve got it all wrong.

      • Wyatt Luebber

        @susanappleby:disqus I think your explanation makes sense. Of course, their is no way we can know for sure.

        Thanks for the alternate perspective :)

    • Not stretching at all. Very interesting!

  • JE


  • JE


  • JE


    • We’re going to have some coverage of BB UK, but not on PostShowRecaps. Check out

  • Andrew Garcilazo

    Well, you can tell poor Rob wasn’t raised in Southern California. Nut up, man!

    • Andrew Garcilazo

      In a related note, I haven’t seen that face on you, Rob, since you were voted out of All-Stars.

  • susan appleby

    A very famous scene from Hemingways novel “A Farewell to Arms” describes ants in a log being put into a fire. The narrator could have saved them from death, but he didn’t bother, and actually just threw water on the fire, so he could fill his cup, which only steamed some of the ants to death.

    The idea is that the soldiers in the war are like the ants, with random things happening that they are powerless to control, and that no God, or any power, takes any interest or will save them.

    The beetles have a similar function. All the people living in Westeros are being, or will soon be smashed by events over which they have no control. The striking feature of this series is how people seem set on a path, maybe by fate, from events they endured as children or young men. None of the characters has been able to escape the path they have been on,except to adjust to crises and worsening circumstances. So many motivations go back to events from years ago, childhood trauma or family tragedy. Things seem to be changing, but just the circumstances change, not so much the primary motivations of any key character, again, motivations set in childhood, but smashed about by fate.

    Have any characters grown? Or changed fundamentally in positive ways? Or given up the chase after lost glory or honor or revenge?

    I’m not an expert, but I think the beetles are just representing the motivations for characters set in motion years ago (so not conscious) and the inability to escape what you must face.

    I t shows the brutal disinterested role of external forces and events. There are no heroes, just people trying to avoid being smashed.

    Plus, the beetles,well, there will continue to be death on a massive scale. But we knew that.

    • Trixie02

      Beautifully expressed, Susan.

      I think what is also interesting about beetles is their hard exterior. Even those who seem hardened (the Lannisters in general and particularly Tywin and Cersei) are vulnerable to being crushed as well.

    • Eric Corbridge

      Not to mention the beetles got squashed just like the Red Viper’s head.

  • Satnaam Singh Mago

    Believe it or not, they use miles instead of kilometers to measure distance in traffic in the UK…they use the metric system for everything else (and I think Westeros is based on middle ages UK)

    • Ali B

      we are even more confused than that I’m afraid! We generally state measurements about people in imperial; 5ft 2 and weight 8 stone 3lb, but if we go to hospital we’ll be measured in metric. We buy food in kilos and grams in shops but in markets sometimes kgs and sometimes lbs. Beer and milk still come in pints but we buy petrol by the litre. Road markings are imperial; speed limits are miles per hour, give way in 200 yards etc but at school we are taught only metric distances. It’s a complete shambles!


    I’ll take a Sam scene each week just to be entertained by Josh’s Sam impression. It’s worth it for that.

  • Zany

    Sansa really showed viewers why the bookreaders love her so much, this is the point where her character really starts to turn around. You could just see the confidence and swagger oozing off her in that last scene (her hair was black because she’s going to be out in public soon and doesn’t want everyone and their dog knowing that she’s Sansa).
    I took the beetle scene as how Tyrion’s family has treated him his whole life, smashing him over and over without any reason, and you could see Jaime latch on towards the end and he couldn’t even look Tyrion in the eye as he muttered “I don’t know why…”. And it was some nice foreshadowing for a) the head crunch to follow and b) the lack of resolution to Oberyn’s storyline, how it’s left hanging just as we think we’re about to get a satisfying ending.

    And trust me Rob, next week’s episode won’t disappoint, it will be better than Blackwater :)

    • Trixie02

      The Mountain basically is a simpleton who enjoys killing people. Oberyn looked like a tiny armored beetle next to him. It was foreshadowing to how the fight ends. I also think there’s a deeper meaning along the lines of what Susan wrote.

  • Zany

    And rest assured, Oberyn’s death opens many more doors than it closes…

  • Kevin

    A Month without Hodor is UNACCEPTABLE!

    • Eric Corbridge


  • Leonard Rockstein

    Oh my god that Earthquake, while it may have been terrifying to experience, was comedic gold.

    I don’t think the Gods like you guys smack talkin’ Sam Tarly!

  • hint

    LOL at the batman voice question. It’s in that scene about 35 mins in when LF goes to meet Sansa alone after her testifying and LF goes just waaaaaaaay over the top with the batman voice.

    Personally I came into this week ep just way over-hyped. All that extra week of waiting, build-up praise about that fight etc. Even re-read that chapter to fresh my memory, had even read AMAs both these actors did. So I was thinking about it and waiting for it the entire episode and when it finally did come up…I just had way unrealistic expectations I guess.

    • Trixie02

      It was the Batman voice which make the scenes with Robin now seem weird.

  • Trixie02

    I think your name would be Yeshua or Jeshua. Then again, The Wigler would work.

  • Tom Oosterbroek

    And I thought Oberyn’s death was bad in the books. Damnnnn, that was a very nasty end to a badass.

  • Trixie02

    With a name like Grey Worm, I’m guessing there’s the remains of a pillar but no stones.

  • hint

    About the distances and sizes in this world..GRRM has actually said himself that he thinks Westeros to be roughly the size of South-America. But that doesn’t really make too much sense given the distances he gives between locations and all that.

    It’s been established that his maps are “flat” as in no widening near the poles on high latitudes(300 miles long Wall is same length on map as 300 miles distance between anything else). So it’s not too hard to measure stuff and as far as most land mass estimates go, Westeros continent seems to be about 3x smaller than South-America. It’s about the size of Europe without Russia. And The North makes up almost half of it, being similar in size to countries like Argentina/Kazakhstan/Algeria.

    In reality it can be just fan non-sense though who have gone way deeper into it than GRRM did. He prolly just drew a cool map and then thought some random numbers that could make sense and that’s about it :P

    Then again Westeros is pretty narrow and irregular shape, so not that much land mass, but it takes a pretty big territory with all it’s bays and seas etc(unlike fat S-America for example). And added the fact that we don’t really know how long it goes up north after the wall, it’s north-south length is actually pretty near the same north-south length S-America has.

    edit: Random comparison pic I just found:

  • Guillaume Schmitt

    The best showmance for me is Jaime and Brienne by a landslide.

  • Eric Corbridge

    I have to say, I’m a little disappointed in the overhyped Red Viper. I think from now on he should be known as “The Inigo that Sucks”.

    • JT Larry

      The fight between “The Red Viper” and “The Mountain” was an apt depiction of digging two graves when seeking revenge. Clegane goes on to die from the wounds he suffered due to poisoned blades.

      • Eric Corbridge

        Spoiler alert.

  • Ash

    I was taking a break after the fourth book, but I started reading the fifth book a week ago so I could listen to the Book Club without worrying about spoilers. I really like the idea of the podcast and can’t wait to listen…even though I’m now getting confused with where I am in both the book and the show. But I look forward to hopefully listening to the Book Club podcasts soon.

  • toast

    ick. that is all.

  • ParasocialDude

    I went back in time and spoiled Sunday’s GoT for myself as a six year old: #TakeThat, self!