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'Game of Thrones' recap: The Mountain vs. The Viper

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Duel to the Death: The Mountain (Hafthor Julius Bjornsson) squares off against Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal) (Courtesy HBO)

The long awaited battle between Oberyn Martell and Gregor Clegane finally took place, and the results were some of the most gruesome scenes ever seen on "Game of Thrones". It begins with a performance, Oberyn showing off for the crowd. He’s quick on his feet, moving around briskly and easily. He's a stark contrast from the hulking Gregor, who barely seems to notice the spectators, his brute strength evident. Oberyn makes it clear he isn’t just fighting for Tyrion, he’s fighting for a confession.

“You raped my sister, you murdered her and you killed her children,” Oberyn repeats like a mantra throughout.

The Mountain is undeterred and the two continue to spar. Gregor appears to have the initial edge before Oberyn stabs him in the stomach, much to Jaime Lannister’s delight. A few more blows and The Mountain is on the ground. Tyrion looks like he’s finally breathing again, sure the Red Viper will be victorious. Only, Oberyn isn’t interested in just winning, he wants a confession. The smirk he wore taunting his opponent disappears. He demands that Gregor not only confess to the crime, but confess that it was Tywin who ordered him to do so. He’s so hellbent on revenge that he never even sees the punch coming.

With just one hit, all of Oberyn’s teeth come flying out of his mouth before The Mountain slams him to the ground. Tyrion watches in horror as Gregor puts his thumbs over Oberyn’s eyes and confesses “I killed her children, I raped her and then I smashed her head like this.”

What happens next is easily the most gruesome visual in “Game of Thrones” (and maybe television) history. The Mountain crushes Oberyn’s head like a grape, blood and brain matter splattering everywhere. The Mountain falls back, laying down next to his now unrecognizable dead opponent as reality begins to set in for Tyrion: He’s next.

Oberyn was so close to victory, but laying all his cards on the table cost him his life. This is a lesson Sansa Stark learned a long time ago. She’s brought in as a witness when the council at Vale have trouble believing that Lysa Arryn would really commit suicide. She stands before Petyr Baelish and the rest, explaining she must tell the truth. Teary-eyed, she tells them of her true identity and relays the torture she faced at the hands of the Lannisters, saying that Petyr was her only friend at Kings Landing. She’s careful to spin the story behind Lysa’s death, changing just a few details, knowing the best lies are ones that are mostly true. She begins to cry again and the council rush to comfort her, but the eye contact she makes lets Petyr and the viewers know she knows exactly what she’s doing.

She later admits to Petyr that she didn’t confess because she wasn’t sure what would happen to her after they executed him for murder. She then basically admits it's better to stay with the devil you know then the one you don’t. When he asks her if she’s sure she really knows him, she states plainly that he knows what she wants. By episode’s end she’s dyed her trademark red hair black and is strutting down the staircase of the castle more powerful than ever before.

One character who doesn’t get so lucky is Jorah Mormont. The trusted companion of Daenerys Targaryen is outed as a spy. He confesses that he had sent letters to Varys in Kings Landing, but claims it was all in the past and that his loyalty lies with Dany. This isn’t enough for the mother of dragons, as she exiles him from the city, promising she’ll have his head thrown into Slaver’s Bay if he disobeys. Defeated, he leaves her behind and sets out for parts unknown.

Arya and The Hound are also forced to come up with a Plan B when they finally reach Vale, only to learn Arya's aunt Lysa is dead. Arya responds with laughter, because if you can’t laugh at her never ending string of bad luck, what else can you do? Those clamoring for a Stark sister reunion were disappointed as their paths don’t cross, even though they’re the closest they’ve been in years. The duo trek on, although the Hound’s wound from last week may cause trouble down the line.

Also troubling? The Wildings who tear apart the Moles Town brothel, killing everyone in sight. The only people who seem to make it are Gilly and her baby, who are spared by a sympathetic Ygritte. They’ll be bringing the fight to the Wall next week, will she be as forgiving to Jon Snow? Can the show possibly top this week’s fight scene? And most importantly, now that The Red Viper is dead, will Tyrion really be the next to meet his maker?

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