Game of Thrones is back, and I think we all need a place to talk about it. My inability to always watch the episodes in a timely manner would get in the way of writing full reviews of each episode, but I definitely wanted to start a Game of Thrones weekly feature over here. So feel free to comment about the moments I choose throughout the season, but the comments are open to discussion of every aspect of these episodes! And just as a fair warning: I read the series last year, so if I accidentally spoil anything by talking about foreshadowing or by not remembering how far along the show is compared to the books, I apologize. (Short story: Possible spoilers ahead!)
The Moment: Tyrion meets Oberyn Martell
Setting the Scene: The bad blood between the Lannisters and Martells is shown in no subtle way by “second son” Oberyn Martell’s stabbing of a Lannister in a King’s Landing brothel. Following this show of force, Oberyn reminds Tyrion that his sister, Princess Elia of Dorne, was once married to Rhaegar Targaryen before he ran off with Lyanna Stark and started a war, which resulted in the deaths of Oberyn’s niece and nephew as well as the rape and murder of Elia at the hand of Gregor Clegane. As a parting word, Oberyn tells Tyrion to inform his father that “the Lannisters aren’t the only ones who pay their debts.”
Why It’s Awesome: I think one of the character introductions that A Song of Ice and Fire readers have been anticipating the most is the Red Viper of Dorne, and this exceeded my high hopes by creating a fully-realized character from his first scene. Pedro Pascal is an excellent casting choice for Oberyn. The way he delivered his monologue about Elia’s fate left me breathless, and I wanted to cheer at his perfect parting words. The controlled grief and fury laying just below the surface of his words were chilling in the best possible way. You know this man means business, and you know from the start that it’s not a good thing for the Lannisters that he’s the Dornish prince in town for Joffrey’s wedding. Oberyn Martell is one of the most charismatic and compelling characters in the whole series, and his introduction left me hanging on his every word—even when I knew what they would be. Once again, this casting department did an excellent job, and this scene left me so excited for all that’s to come with Oberyn this season.
Honorable Mentions: Brienne confronts Jaime over the fate of the Stark girls, Joffrey mocks Jaime’s blank space in the White Book, Jon Snow talks about Robb, and Arya is reunited with Needle