Game of Thrones “The Mountain & The Viper” Review

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Three episodes left of Game of Thrones and as book readers already know, there is a lot to come. Much has to be pushed into these three episodes, so does “The Mountain & The Viper” accomplish what it needs to? In one word, completely.

Dany’s story picks up tremendously in tonight’s episode. One of the most heartbreaking moments in her arc happens tonight. Emilia Clarke does a great job conveying the disappointment and sadness. Game of Thrones does know how to use it’s time wisely for the most part. However in an episode like this, in which so much needs to happen, the time used on Missandei and Grey Worm was a waste. The actual interaction was the beginning of a new fan “ship” but it didn’t need to happen tonight.game-of-thrones-the-mountain-and-the-viper-5

Oddly enough the saga of Reek/Theon has become one of the most compelling. That is entirely on the performance of Alfie Allen. He’s been so perfect in making the transition from headstrong yet clueless wannabe ruler to emaciated, whipped Reek. Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Snow is a villain that is great fun to hate. This arc has been pretty much on its own for a while now but it has been compelling because of the performances of these two men.

 

Littlefinger has become the most dangerous character on the show. Many still have their bets placed on Varys machinations but Littlefinger is the one making moves. After he murdered Lysa, he’s on the fence in this episode. Sansa pretty much holds the key to his power if she tells the truth. Despite the epic fight we see later on, this was the strongest scene of dialogue. It did everything this show is known for. Sharp dialogue and twists and turns that you just can’t predict. Sansa has been one of the most annoying characters in the series but in this episode, Sansa makes a turn that was a bit predictable but still needed and mesmerizing to watch.

game-of-thrones-the-mountain-and-the-viper-3In typical Game of Thrones fashion, the fight of the century between The Mountain and Oberyn happens at the end of the episode. Pedro Pascal, in the middle of a fast paced fight like this, still finds the time to be charming and perfectly Oberyn-esque. The actual fight was nicely choreographed and shot beautifully. The Red Wedding’s violence was nothing compared to this fight. But there were major problems. The way this happened, feels nothing like it did in the book. Adaptations tend to change things but this was a bit too much of a change. This episode literally cut off at the end. It abruptly stopped at a place it shouldn’t have. There’s cliffhangers and then there’s this.

“The Mountain and the Viper” was by no means a bad episode, it just left a lot more to be desired. After so much hype, the fight was quick despite how good it looked. It was also pushed a little too far to the end of the episode. With 2 episodes left, many arcs still need to be wrapped up. The ending of this season is really running the risk of feeling rushed given how much still needs to happen.


Bottom Line

Despite an abrupt ending, "The Mountain and the Viper" had some very good moments. It's a strong episode with just a few flaws that will upset book fans more than series fans.

Editor Rating
 
Total Score
B-