The season is really hotting up now, with shocking events coming in every episode, and this one was no different. Spoilers to come.
After Tyrion’s epic speech at the end of episode 6, everyone wanted to know who he would name as his champion for his trial by combat. Jaime however was not impressed by his outburst, having negotiated with their father to get Tyrion away with his life. Jaime tells Tyrion he can’t be his champion – he is simply no good with his left hand. Tyrion sends Jaime to find Bronn, and asks who Cersei will be naming as her champion. The answer probably didn’t make him very happy – she has named the Mountain, Gregor Clegane, the gigantic, psychopathic knight who we now see for the first time since season 2. If you didn’t recognise him, it’s probably because this is the 3rd actor to play him. We see him slaughtering some random peasants (because he’s crazy?) and Cersei looks pretty impressed.
We then found ourselves with his little(but still pretty big) brother the Hound and Arya. After a conversation with a farmer that dragged on a bit too long, they gave him the gift of mercy, and then Sandor was attacked by Biter, and received a nasty neck wound. Rorge was also there, and Arya stabbed him through the heart, although it was a bit daft that he didn’t even try to defend himself. Later on, the Hound’s wound isn’t doing well, and he refuses to let Arya burn out the corruption because of his terrible fear of fire. He says he wishes he’d never taken her captive.
Jon then returned to the Wall after his excursion to Craster’s. He failed to convince Alliser Thorne to seal the tunnel, insisting that it would be impossible to defend the tunnel from the giants in Mance Rayder’s army. The battle at the wall is set to take up the entirety of of episode 9, as the battle at the Blackwater did in season 2, and it should be a pretty spectacular affair.
We then returned to Tyrion’s chamber as Bronn arrived sporting some fancy new clothes. Cersei has got to him before Tyrion could, and sorted him out a marriage to a woman far above his station. Despite Tyrion’s pleas, Bronn bluntly explains that it isn’t worth the risk of fighting the Mountain. Bronn is an opportunist – he fought for Tyrion at the Eyrie because he thought he could win, and he had nothing to lose at the time, but this fight simply isn’t worth the risk. They said an emotional goodbye, and one of the best partnerships in the show came to an end. On the bright side, it has been leaked that Bronn’s new wife, Lollys Stokeworth, is being cast for season five, which means Bronn should be coming back next season.
Across the world to Meereen, and Daario’s attempts to woo Daenerys are finally paying off. Dany’s storyline has been a weak point all season, and sadly that will probably continue into next season if there aren’t big changes from the books. Jorah expresses his distrust of Daario, and why Dany’s plan to execute all of the slave masters in Yunkai is a bad idea. She agrees with him, and Daario is sent off to retake the slave city.
If you were disappointed that Dany’s sex scene with Daario was left to the imagination, never fear because Melisandre is taking a bath. Her scene with Selyse seemed like it was just there to get some nudity into the episode, not that I’m complaining. Brienne and Podrick met up with a familiar face from season 3, Hot Pie. Their scenes haven’t really been thrilling thus far, but that will hopefully change soon.
Time for one last visitor to Tyrion’s chamber – Oberyn Martell. He tells the story of when they first met, while Tyrion was still a baby, and Cersei blamed him for their mother’s death. Oberyn then makes the offer to be Tyrion’s champion. It was a really emotional and well acted scene, and increased the love for Oberyn even more.
To cap off the episode, we visited the Eyrie. Sansa built her snow version of Winterfell, before Robin came and stomped on it. Sansa slapping him was rather out of character, but most show viewers probably didn’t mind. Then it was time for what 3 seasons of Littlefinger’s creepiness had led up to – his kiss with Sansa, with his new wife Lysa looking on from above. Lysa then summoned Sansa to the Moon Door – and almost threw her out of it. Littlefinger talks her out of it, and explains that he doesn’t love Sansa, he’s only ever loved one woman – only Cat. He then shoved Lysa out of the Moon Door. Why exactly the line ‘Only Cat’, one of the most iconic lines of the series, was changed is a mystery – but it was still a shocking moment, and further demonstrated the lengths Littlefinger will go to to get what he wants.