Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones Season 4 Ep 8 "The Mountain and the Viper" Review

Greg Tito | 2 Jun 2014 17:33
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We only get a brief scene with the Hound and Arya. They have made it to the Bloody Gate of the Vale of Arryn, but the knight in charge there - incidentally Ser Donnel Waynwood, the son of the Chicken Lady - informs them that Lysa Arryn is dead. Arya's laugh was perfect. The dark comedy of that situation is fitting.

But I have to take issue with Clegane just waltzing up and announcing his name with armed men all around ravine leading to the gate. There is a bounty on his head, and Arya Stark's name is sure to demand they take her from his custody. What is his backup plan if the deal goes sour? You know, like it does? I can't believe that Ser Donnel lets these two walk away, but he must unless the events in their storyline begin to differ significantly from the books. And they might, given that Brienne and Pod were also headed this way ... We'll find out in a week or two.

In Meeren, the bell tolls for Jorah Mormont. Ser Barristan gets a message - one that conspicuously looks like the one Tywin Lannister sent in King's Landing in a previous episode. It's a copy of the pardon from Robert Baratheon for Jorah's services in spying on the Targaryens. It was all before Jorah fell in love with Daenerys, and pledged his service to her, but poor Jorah doesn't even get the chance to explain himself. Barristan Selmy honorably tells him so as not to go behind his back, but then goes directly to the queen, who promptly banishes Jorah from the city. It's a sad shot, seeing Jorah on a lonely horse walking away from the young woman he fell in love with a smidge too late.

The timing of his banishment is a bit different from the books, but the creators kept the fact that it was Barristan who turned him in to Daenerys. What I found missing was the fact that it was Jorah's attitude that caused his exile, not his actions in sending information to the Usurper. Dany rightly realized that although he had informed on her, Jorah is clearly devoted to her now and it would be silly to throw away such a loyal and capable servant. She only does so reluctantly when Mormont forces her hand by publicly demanding forgiveness with more familiarity than he should. In the show, he's clearly penitent and sorry for what he's done. In the last episode, it was established that although she doesn't care for him sexually, Daenerys still values his counsel. Is that all swept away now that she knows he wrote letters a few years ago? And used that knowledge to save her life with the poisoned wine? Again, the portrayal of Daenerys is terribly inconsistent to me. Is she a gifted leader? A woman deserving of the adulation her lieutenants and servants give her? Or a petulant girl who lets her emotions control her judgement? Sadly, the HBO show just shows us the latter. Why exactly are all these men and women following her again?

Also, Missandei and Grey Worm love each other, apparently. Ho hum.

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