*WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! Game of Thrones season four, episode eight is out and the showdown between Gregor “Mountain” Clegane and Oberyn “Red Viper” Martell is a fight to the death. In this Game of Thrones episode, Oberyn Martell takes this trial-by-combat personally and has his “Inigo Montoya” moment (from Princess Bride) in seeking to avenge his sister. The spoiler warning is up, and things do not go according to plan.
Further matters have materialized in this episode. Daenerys discovers a trusted ally has been selling secrets the entire time. Sansa Stark decides to save Littlefinger. However, it is not out of loyalty, but because it benefits her as well. The Wildings are getting closer and closer to The Wall, which leads to this season’s epic finale.
None of these moments, however, are as interesting as the last 15 minutes of this week’s episode. As mentioned above, Oberyn Martell takes this trial-by-combat assignment further. Earlier in the season, it was revealed that the Red Viper came to King’s Landing to seek revenge against Tywin Lannister and his loyal knight Ser Gregor Clegane for the rape and murder of his sister and nephews.
Unfortunately, Oberyn lets his pride get in the way and is killed, even though he had the Mountain at his mercy. What is that? The good guys do NOT get what they want? How un-Game of Thrones. Logically, it makes sense for Oberyn to die and Tyrion to lose the trial-by-combat, from a strictly narrative point-of-view. What was the alternative? For Oberyn to get his vengeance and for Tyrion to be set free? That would have been incredibly characterless and anti-climatic. Realistically, this was the only direction the storyline could have gone, because if Tyrion wins the trial-by-combat, it will have been a rehash of the first season when Tyrion won another trial-by-combat.
In this Game of Thrones episode, Oberyn’s moments of constant rambling “Elia of Dorne you raped her, you murdered her. You killed her children” is very reminiscent of Inigo Montoya shouting, “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father, prepare to die.” At first Oberyn came off as a very sympathetic character because he wanted justice for what happened to Elia. He was also very adept, equipped with any weapon skill and incredibly smooth. The fact that he did not kill the Mountain when he had the chance makes him appear a little less sympathetic and a bit stupid. One could argue that he has been carrying this grudge for so many years that to just kill his prey was not enough. He needed his victim to suffer. However, when a man is as Herculean as Gregor Clegane, better be safe and slit his throat.
The writer of this article has read the book in which this scene has taken place. Although the beginning of this article says SPOILERS AHEAD, that means spoilers for this episode, not for future episodes or what happens in the books. The battle is very loyal to how it was portrayed in the book. It was fast and intense, and Oberyn’s fall is very traumatizing. Not only for both him and his lover, Ellaria Sand, but for Tyrion as well. What will happen to everyone’s favorite Imp? Only time will tell in next week’s episode. Moreover, while Inigo Montoya managed to have his revenge and live, Oberyn’s moment to shine will forever be immortalized in this week’s episode of Game of Thrones.
Opinion By Ignacio Gatti