I knew it was coming, but it still didn't make it any easier to watch.
Oberyn fighting against Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane, the man responsible for raping and killing his sister and murdering her children. It's the moment that I was dreading all season. It's heartbreaking in the book, but the show took it much further in showing quite graphically the manner in which he died. Like, that was quite traumatizing, to be honest. I know it was meant to be but, damn.
I've seen some criticisms from others about Oberyn's decision and why he didn't just kill The Mountain instantly, instead of just fighting/dancing around him and talking. That wasn't the point. Oberyn wanted a confession, he wanted to hear, directly from The Mountain's own mouth, what he did and who gave the order. He wanted justice for his sister, he wanted this man to admit to his crimes before he died. Indeed, his quest for vengeance in that moment was his ultimate downfall, but that's another point the series makes. Vengeance is a poison that consumes you from within, and especially in this world where an act of revenge is resulted in another, unless one breaks that cycle it's never-ending. Oberyn was operating purely on revenge fuel, something that he been brewing for years and years, and that was his entire purpose for being in King's Landing. He was quite clear on this, as well. ("Tell your father I am here. And tell him the Lannisters aren't the only ones who pay their debts.")
While Oberyn rightly wanted justice, his intent on revenge was much stronger, which unfortunately was his blind spot. It's sad and tragic and absolutely painful to witness on the screen. Though I'm hoping they show that despite Oberyn meeting his untimely demise, The Mountain didn't get off easy from that fight, either.
Goodnight Oberyn Martell, my beautiful, sweet Prince of Dorne. You will be missed.
The other moment I was dreading was Daenerys banishing Ser Jorah.
While it's heartbreaking, it's also understandable given that Dany learns of Jorah's involvement with having given information about her to Robert Baratheon, which led to the assassination attempts. We knew that this would sooner or later bite him on the ass if it was ever to be revealed, and it came here. Even though he refused to give more information and became a firm believer and follower of Dany, it still was something that he never told her. This betrayal hurts Dany because this was a man that has been there with her from the beginning, someone who was her friend, her adviser, someone who she thought she could trust. And we know that Dany doesn't take betrayal lightly. In the books, there's a great little piece of inner monologue where she says to herself, "I must not weep. I must not. If I weep I will forgive him." Dany is sad to lose a close friend, the only person she thought she knew she could trust. And now, she doesn't have anyone.
I also feel for Jorah too, because while he fucked up he has, since then, been a supportive and loyal friend and adviser and has helped her along the way. Also, due to the changes made to his character, he's more sympathetic than in the books. However, he should have known that the truth would come out sooner or later, and that Dany wouldn't be so forgiving.
Lastly, I want to talk about the remarkable evolution of Sansa Stark.
In the books it's kinda unclear about what is happening with her at this point, whether she's playing along with Littlefinger or if she's losing herself in the identity of Alayne Stone, similar to Theon losing himself as Reek. However, even though the show has changed the Alayne storyline, I do like the direction the show seems to be taking with her character. They're going further with her now in giving her more agency, of consciously making the decision to go along with this new identity, rather than being told to "always be Alayne", seeing as how it's known that she's actually a Stark. We actually visually see her making the transition, the transformation from being a pawn to a player; from her making her new dress and how she descends the stairs with a new air of confidence. This is something she's never had before. She is in the game now, she is playing this role for Petyr Baelish. While it's disgusting and gross to think about, because we all want Sansa away from this creepy man, I think it's worth noting that she knows precisely who Littlefinger is and what he wants. I firmly believe that she's going to use what she's learning against him at some point.
Sansa doesn't fight with swords and doesn't go into war, but she will become the most dangerous player in the game. To me, the biggest reward at the end of the series won't be who gets the throne (which I believe will be destroyed anyway), but rather who gets to destroy the one who is responsible for most of the events that have gone down from the start of the series. And I definitely believe it will be Sansa. It would be poetic justice in such a beautiful and satisfying way.
Anyway, since the show is moving rather quickly in terms of storylines, I'm rather excited with what they're planning on doing with her.
Other things from the episode:
++ Arya laughing was heartbreaking. You can hear her entire world shatter as she learns that the only other family she had is dead. It's even more devastating because Sansa is just right there, there were so close. It's something that frustrates and saddens me, these Stark kids have been separated and have gotten so close to being reunited, but it never happens. I hope that someday, at the end of the series, they do.
++ Ellaria's screams will haunt me, along with the sight of what was done to Oberyn. :(
++ Messandai and Grey Worm are adorable. I hope in the midst of all the tragedy of couples in this series, these two will at least prevail. ♥
++ It's been said before by others, and I'm going to agree here: Daenerys needs more colors to her wardrobe. I get it, she looks good in blue, but blue all the time is getting quite boring now. She has an interesting array of outfits and they look fabulous, but would look even more amazing if they were in different colors (and no, different shades of blue does not count.) Just saying.
++ Someone pointed it out, and I find it fascinating the significance of names. Sansa with Alayne Stone, Theon identifying as Reek who will be pretending to be Theon Greyjoy, Oberyn wanting The Mountain to say Elia's name, Daenerys forbidding Jorah to speak her name again, etc. Names and identities are an important facet to this series.
Overall: This was the episode I was dreading, and it made it even harder that there were two particular events that occurred that I wasn't ready to watch yet. With only two episodes left, and knowing what's coming, I'm wondering what people's reaction will be.