SPOILER ALERT: Don’t read on if you haven’t seen episode seven of Game of Thrones season four.
Season four’s seventh instalment adds another person to the death toll and proves that good things come in twos. Most of the time.
In what is possibly the most brilliantly obvious plot twist of the season so far, Tyrion has a champion – Prince Oberyn of Dorne! After Bron and Jaime bailed on him, we were beginning to fear for Tyrion who, thanks to Cersei, is up against the Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane.
But then, in a twist so obvious we’re ashamed we didn’t pick it earlier, Oberyn volunteers to be Tyrion’s champion. Why? So he can finally come face to face with The Mountain, his sister’s merciless killer. Perhaps we would have picked that if we weren’t still so caught up in Tyrion’s brilliant courtroom speech from last week.
Oberyn, despite his promiscuity, is proving to be the classiest, most intelligent man in the kingdom. In a few moving sentences, he succinctly reveals exactly why it is Cersei Lannister wants her brother dead, and always has.
“When we met your sister she promised she would show you to us,” Oberyn recalls of a childhood meeting with the Lannisters. “Then she … unveiled the freak. ‘That’s not a monster,’ I told Cersei. ‘That’s just a baby.’
“She said ‘he killed my mother … everyone says he will die soon. I hope they are right.'”
It’s a stalemate for Jon Snow. He’s returned triumphant from Craster’s Keep, with only a few men down and his beloved Ghost in tow. Sadly, Ser Alliser Thorne is not going to let him bask in glory. Snow warns the men of the Night’s Watch that giants are coming. The men of the Night’s Watch ignore him despite the fact that he’s always right.
We’re beginning to think they deserve to die. And make it quick, because this storyline is starting to get stale.
Cut to sunnier locales and Daario Naharis is making the first move with Daenerys. He sneaks into her private chambers to complain that he’s not getting enough of his two favourite things: “War and women”.
She agrees to let him lead the Second Sons to reclaim Yunkai from the slave masters, but not before asking him to strip for her. Clearly, she’s moved on from Khal Drogo.
As Daario leaves her room, shirt unbuttoned, poor Ser Jorah bumps into him and immediately figures out what has transpired.
“She’s in a good mood,” Daario tells him. Way to add insult to injury.
Thankfully, Dany redeems herself by proving that Jorah really is her “most trusted advisor”, taking his advice not to slaughter the slave masters.
This seems to appease him, for the time being.
Selyse and Melisandre share a slightly awkward bathroom encounter where they discuss the Lord of Light and Melisandre straight up confesses to sleeping with Selyse’s husband, Stannis.
Because this is an alternate universe, Selyse merely thanks the Lord of Light for bringing Melisandre into her life and asks her for some parenting advice. Should she and Stannis take Shireen with them when they sail for King’s Landing?
Melisandre advises her to bring her daughter in order to serve a higher purpose.
“Your daughter must be with us,” Melisandre says. “The Lord needs her.”
This does not bode well for Shireen.
The Riverlands (we think)
Two loveable and unlikely pairings are bumbling around the woods of Westeros providing some much needed comic relief.
Firstly, you’ve got Arya and the Hound, whose relationship certainly makes for some of the most compelling viewing on the show. Arya is still hell-bent on killing her large companion when the opportunity arises but, for now, they continue to learn more about each other.
The Hound finally opens up about that horrific ‘accident’ that burnt half his face off.
In a rare moment of vulnerability, he tells Arya how his brother, The Mountain, held his face into the fire because he thought Sandor had stolen one of his toys.
“I was just playing with it,” Sandor tells his companion, in a downcast voice that makes us want to give him a huge bear hug.
“The worst thing was that it was my brother who did it and my father who protected him,” The Hound shares.
“You think you’re on your own,” he adds, looking at Arya.
Finally, The Hound’s violent, lone wolf-like behaviour is starting to make sense.
In other news, Hot Pie makes a triumphant return! He appears when our second favourite duo Brienne and Podrick stop off at an ale house on their trip, giving them some valuable clues about Arya’s whereabouts. He then asks Brienne to deliver some direwolf-shaped bread to Arya.
We missed you, sweet, chubby Hot Pie.
Finally, things are getting heated over at the Eyrie – is it becoming the new King’s Landing?
We find Sansa attempting to recreate her childhood home, Winterfell, from the snow falling around the Vale. Robbin joins her and, though the encounter starts off sweet, Robbin’s petulant manner leads Sansa to slap him. Is it wrong that we cheered?
In comes Littlefinger to soothe her and brazenly plant a big kiss on her lips. It seems since he couldn’t have her mother Catelyn, he’s after the next best thing.
“Lord Baelish!” the ever-innocent Sansa exclaims.
“Please,” he says, “call me Petyr.”
Yes, it’s vaguely creepy and certainly there’s a pretty significant age gap, but perhaps a Sansa/Littlefinger pairing is so wrong it’s right. After all, we’re pretty certain Baelish loves Sansa half, if not equally, as much as he loved her mother.
Surely he’s now one of the few people she can trust?
Unfortunately for Lord Baelish, his new wife Lysa catches him in the act and decides to make Sansa pay. Perhaps this is what Baelish had planned all along, perhaps his timing is just impeccable.
Just as things reach fever pitch, he appears and talks her into releasing Sansa, whose head she is holding over the Moon Door.
He seizes Lysa in his arms.
“I have only loved one woman, only one, my entire life,” he tells her as a relieved smile spreads across her face.
And then, without a flicker of remorse, Lord Baelish pushes his latest obstacle out the Moon Door.
What do you think? Do Sansa and Littlefinger make a good couple? And will it be Oberyn or The Mountain who triumphs in Tyrion’s trial by combat?
Have your say in the comments section below.