Looking Forward, Game of Thrones Season 4, Episode 8 and Mountains versus Vipers
By Oz of Thrones on in Editorial, Speculation.

mountainviperThroughout the annals of history, reality and fantasy have both given us examples of what could happen when the smaller, underdog-type Davids face-off against their physically superior opponent Goliaths.

This week in episode 8, we get the Game of Thrones version of these epic, seemingly mismatched battles when the Mountain squares off in the circled circle with the God of Tits and Spears, Oberyn Martell.

But was David really an underdog?  And in the GRRM world, does history simply repeat? Let us compare and contrast past events, if for no other reason than to pass the time…

Let us look at some historical “mano y mano” battles of historic (and not so historic) proportions, their respective outcomes, and why Oberyn (and Tyrion) may have a better chance of surviving than many viewers believe.

First, the one on which many have been based.  The battle has not yet been seen, but already there lies glaring similarities.

david-goliathDavid versus Goliath

The Philistine Army sent their best warrior.  The Israelites sent the only man that would face him.

The Lannisters are sending their best warrior.  The Imp is sending the only man that will face him.

The Mountain is reportedly a 6’9” giant of a man (or at least, Björnsson is 6’9).  I’m told that the Mountain from the books is around 8’0.  Regardless, he is huge.

Goliath was reportedly a 6’9” giant of a man (according to modern translations, and what is considered to be the true measures of cubits and spans).  Many a translation have Goliath as tall as 9’5”, but it was likely due to a typographical error that remained in order to help exaggerate his size.  Regardless, he was huge.

David was quick.  Oberyn is no slouch (see: Lannister soldier hand stab in brothel from Ep. 1).

David wore nothing but sheepherder clothing for he knew that armor would weigh him down.  Oberyn looks to be wearing no armor, assumingly for the same reason.

Goliath was covered from head to toe in full bronze armor.  The Mountain looks to be following suit.

Goliath went in armed with a sword, a javelin, and a spear, while the Mountain appears to only have a sword (not that he needs anything else).

In this bout, it looks like Oberyn might be wielding the spear (which would also make sense considering his house sigil).  David merely had a sling.

But the difference here may very well be in the detail.

David’s sling was not merely a child’s toy made for aiming at mockingbirds (although I know one ripe for target practice, you damn moon-door murderer).

It was by all accounts, a verifiable weapon that carried a projectile that was accurate enough to be used in battle.  And David was experienced with it from using it protecting his sheep.

The question is, does Oberyn have a secret weapon that will help his cause in defeating the Mountain?

If the similarities continue, the answer should be yes.  But what in the world of Westeros would that be?  It seems unlikely that a spear would be enough to defeat an armored giant of a man, but then again, that’s what Goliath thought about the sling.

Winner: David

hogan_andre

Hulk versus Andrehulk slam

In a not-so-historically importance of a matchup, the somewhat smaller Hulk Hogan squared off against the great Andre the Giant.  The secret weapon here was not a sling or a spear, but the unknown realization that someone in this world could actually pick up and slam a 500 pound man.  Yes, the outcome was planned.  But so are movies and television and written verse, and this one packed in 93,000 people into the Pontiac Silverdome and was covered in national headlines.  Would Oberyn even try to body slam Gregor?  Unlikely.  Nevertheless…

Winner:  Hulk Hogan

Achilles versus Boagrius

achillesIn the first scene of the 2004 movie Troy, it was over before it started when Brad Pitt took out Nathan Jones simply because he was quicker, more precise, and ultimately a better warrior.  Boagrius does not exist in Greek mythology and was in fact just the name of a river.  But the point is, will Oberyn strike quickly?

Winner: Achilles

Seabisuit versus War Admiralseabiscuit

The smaller horse faces the overall better and composite favorite horse and gives many during the Great Depression hope for the future.  While War Admiral was known for being fast out of the gate, Seabiscuit accomplishes his feat by pacing.  Will Oberyn wear down the bigger man and defeat him in a similar manner?

Winner: Seabiscuit

Rocky versus Thunderlips

rocky thunder

“Why are they carrying him?”

“He’s walking.”

In a role reversal from the Hulk and Andre ordeal, and included just for the fun of it, Rocky agreed to battle the hulking Thunderlips at the beginning of Rocky III in what was supposed to be an exhibition.  Thunder came to kick his ass.  Rocky eventually removes his gloves and uses his best tools to his advantage.  The point is, will Oberyn have to resort to methods that were not originally intended?

Note: Rocky IV versus Drago could have been used.  Or Rocky V.  Or hell, really any of them.

Winner:  Rocky

Viewer logic screams in my head that there is no way both Oberyn and Tyrion die at this point in the story, especially to a character that has been recast three times in four seasons.  But logic goes seemingly nowhere in this series, so all bets are off.  My biggest hope is that this battle scene lives up to the hype, and I have no reason to believe that it won’t.

WinnerGame of Thrones fans

Looking Forward to Resolution

Once or twice a season, I make a list of situations or story lines I would like to see at least somewhat resolved before the season ends.  Here is my short list that will most likely be concluded in next week’s LF installment.  Please tell me yours below.

I’d like to see the Stark and the Hound get to a destination.  If it’s the Vale, then so be it.  Arya and Sansa reunited would be a nice end to the season, but not if it means losing the Hound or having them both stuck with Baelish.

I’d like to know what occurs with the Loras and Cersei wedding arrangement.  This has been discussed on numerous occasions but has been placed on the backburner due to other events.

I’d like to see or at least get a mention as to the whereabouts and/or the current dealings with the Brotherhood.   No Beric.  No Thoros.  No Anguy.

I’d like to get an update on Gendry and whether or not he is still rowing.

I’d like to know if Yara is still hanging around the mainland regrouping or if she really has retreated back to the Iron Islands after the convincing speech she gave to her father about going to save her brother.

I’d like to know if Osha and Rickon actually made it safely to the Umbers.

And for now, I’d really like to see more of where Bran’s story is going before we are tortured in wait for another ten months.

Fair enough?

See you guys tomorrow for the Unsullied recap!  Sincerely, thank you guys that commented the very nice compliments on the Curtain Call for Kate Dickie.  It was my honor to provide it and I appreciate FaB and Fury for asking me to do it.

I can be followed in the land of ravens @ozofthrones.

Let’s get ready to rumble, and may there always be peace in your realm.  –Oz

“Unbowed.  Unbent.  Unsullied.”

REMEMBER, NO SPOILERS in this post!!


51 Comments

  1. Veltigar
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    I really want to know what happens to Gendry. We have waited long enough! I hope Hot Pie saves him!

    Also Oz, about Troy. David Benioff actually co-wrote that movie, so he’s no stranger to underdog fights! (he also wrote Wolverine Origings btw.)

    King Henry V: And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by from this day until the ending of the world but we in it shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers, For he today who sheds his blood with me in the casting of Mads Mikkelsen as Euron shall be my brother, Be he ne’er so vile, this day shall gentle his condition, and gentlemen in England now abed shall think themselves acursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks, that casted Mads Mikkelsen with Euron with us upon St. Crispin’s day!

  2. mariamb
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Here’s another vote for “where is Gendry?”.

    Yes, an update on the whereabouts and activities of the BWB is needed.

  3. Annara Snow
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Well, the Mountain is not really 8′ in the books. He is said to be “closer to 8′ than to 7′”. So he’s probably around 7’7″-7’9″. If he were 8′ or almost 8′, they’d say so.

  4. wizardeyes
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Did you know that David Benioff wrote the screenplay for Troy ?

  5. Oz of Thrones
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    wizardeyes,

    Now that you guys mention it, I do recall that. Would have been a nice add to the piece had I remembered… Damn me.

  6. wizardeyes
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Oz of Thrones,

    Not damn you at all! It was a great post!

    I was hoping to read which of the contenders your money is on though…

  7. Bodie
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Wonder if they ever considered Nathan Jones for the Mountain recast…he would’ve been perfect.

  8. Oz of Thrones
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    wizardeyes,

    My logic says that we will not see the deaths of both Tyrion and Oberyn. But at the same time, it almost seems too predictable that Oberyn prevails outright. There’s gotta be a twist.

  9. Veltigar
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Oz of Thrones:
    wizardeyes,

    My logic says that we will not see the deaths of both Tyrion and Oberyn. But at the same time, it almost seems too predictable that Oberyn prevails outright. There’s gotta be a twist.

    Trial by Combat in KL is actually a dance battle. No one dies. Sorry, for the spoilers :p

    Count Olaf: All that I ask is that you do each and every little thing that pops into my head, while I enjoy the enormous fortune your parents left behind to cast Mads Mikkelsen as Euron.

  10. Ser Davos Seaworth
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    wizardeyes,

    he also co-wrote the sceenplay for x-men origins: wolverine… um… yeah.

  11. Oz of Thrones
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Veltigar,

    The Knight of the Vale did to Bronn, so you understand my reasoning.

  12. king tyrion
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    As a book reader I kind if hope we get an explanation of Oberyn’s nickname “The Red Viper”. Not sure why the show chose to drop it when last season they insisted on calling Brynden Tully nothing but “Blackfish”. The episode title being the mountain and the viper makes little sense to a tv viewer only with no sullied friends to explain.

  13. wizardeyes
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    king tyrion,

    I’m sure they will explain it in this episode

  14. Hodor's Bastard
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Seabiscuit was the greatest! Outlast, outwit…

  15. Darkstar
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I’d like to know what occurs with the Loras and Cersei wedding arrangement. This has been discussed on numerous occasions but has been placed on the backburner due to other events.

    Cersei told Tywin that they would wed soon after Tommen and Margaery wed, which wouldn’t happen until “he has had proper time to mourn his brother”

  16. spacechampion
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Imagine if the Hound was fighting this and won, we could say “Winner, winner, chicken dinner!” I’m sure Tyrion could find a few chickens for payment.

  17. spacechampion
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Cersei told Tywin that they would wed soon after Tommen and Margaery wed, which wouldn’t happen until “he has had proper time to mourn his brother”

    A fortnight after… after the coronation, I think? Or the trial.
    Plenty of time for Tywin and Cersei to practise their daddy-daughter wedding dance. That’d get a lot of views on youtube, I’m sure.

  18. Ginevra
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Trial by Combat in KL is actually a dance battle. No one dies. Sorry, for the spoilers :p

    Oberyn will be dancing, based on the preview scenes and the way Pedro described the fight choreography, but I don’t think the Mountain will dance.

  19. Blood Crow
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Sorry to spoil things but the Stark & Hound end up vacationing in Miami and Osha & Rickon are being held by Putin.

  20. Our Blades Are Sharp
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    No worries Oz, if I was benioff I would have forgotten about writing X-men origins as well. What was he thinking with that atrocious film I’ll never know

    Oz of Thrones:
    wizardeyes,

    Now that you guys mention it, I do recall that.Would have been a nice add to the piece had I remembered… Damn me.

  21. dio x
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    The Ghost of Nymeria, of House Shaggydog, Breaker of Summer and Lady of the Grey Wind,

    Spoilers involve telling somebody what answers they will and will not see answered. The whole point is leaving the mystery of “will there be resolution”. Luckily the show has made deviations from the book. I say luckily because now it isnt set in stone that the show will match the books. That makes innocent comments like the above not a complete spoiler anymore. This is probably why they want the post to be BOOK READER FREE, because book readers come on and say heyyyyy dont worry that wont be a mystery, you find out the answer today! Let the show happen. Dont make the viewers any less unsullied with any opinions based on the books. Let them find out for themselves.

  22. herb derb
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Ginevra,

    Well maybe that’ll tell us who wins then :)

  23. jentario
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    Oz of Thrones,

    You must be dying to know who Euron is at this point. Veltigar is a bit deranged on that matter.

  24. Ice & Fire Walk with Me
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Seven Hells, will you look at that crowd. This duel is bigger than the Hand’s tourney!

  25. WeirwoodTreeHugger
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Andre the Giant is way cooler than Hulk Hogan. Hogan is creepy and annoying. Andre the Giant was by all accounts a very nice person and he was Princess Bride.

    This was one of those David and Goliath fights where the underdog is not the good guy.

  26. Enfield
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Our Blades Are Sharp,

    I always tell people who bring this up, but if you want to get a real example of how good a writer Benioff is, watch “The 25th Hour”. He adapted it from his own book, and it was listed on Roger Ebert’s list of best films of the decade. It has one of the best endings I have ever seen.

  27. Kay
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    No matter the outcome, I am loving the fact that Dorne and the Dornish are now emerging as players who will hopefully have a lasting impact on history. For far too long they were not major players of The Game. I loved that Oberyn brought up Elia and his desire to avenge her. So far, while we heard about Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar, not much was discussed about Elia and her fate – at the hand of the Lannisters. I hope this battle, no matter its outcome, leads to a change in the fortunes of the Lannisters, and the Martells emerge as a major force. That would be an interesting twist; by putting their own dwarf son/brother on trial, then Tyrion asking for a trial by combat, the Lannisters gave an opportunity to Oberyn to make inroads for the Martells.

  28. Our Blades Are Sharp
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Enfield:
    Our Blades Are Sharp,

    I always tell people who bring this up, but if you want to get a real example of how good a writer Benioff is, watch “The 25th Hour”. He adapted it from his own book, and it was listed on Roger Ebert’s list of best films of the decade. It has one of the best endings I have ever seen.

    It is a great film. Superb acting all around from Norton, Hoffman, Rosario Dawson whole cast brilliant! Loved that film but wolverine was an absolute embarrassment I don’t even know where to begin.

  29. Arthur
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the entertaining read!

    I soooo can’t wait to see what unsullied think of this episode after it airs…

    Looking forward to your unsullied recap =)

  30. Veltigar
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    jentario:
    Oz of Thrones,

    You must be dying to know who Euron is at this point. Veltigar is a bit deranged on that matter.

    A bit? I’m full coconut crazy on this matter!!! Apparently, I’m not making myself clear enough :p

    Doc Holliday: Dave Rutabaugh is an ignorant scoundrel who refuses to cast Mads Mikkelsen as Euron! I disapprove of his very existence. I considered ending it myself on several occasions but self-control got the better of me.

  31. Ours is the Fury
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    For those who are worried- we’ve actually had some trolls post contradictory spoilers in the last couple hours, so don’t worry you’ve had the episode ruined for you. You don’t really know anything yet.

    Sullied- please stop confirming which spoilers are accurate with your reactions. Thanks. Going to delete those posts.

  32. House Mormont
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    So this post made me watch me watch Troy and wow the only likeable character died 2/3rds through, no wonder David Benioff wanted to do thrones

    On the subject of Benioff’s writing, all of the last x men films have been awful so I doubt that’s his fault, but his novels are have reeeeaally good reviews

    I’m pretty sure he comes up with most of the good one liners on the show, it’s DW that I have doubts about, every time there’s bad unnecessary comedy, it turns out Dan put it there…

  33. House Mormont
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Ps Oz any thoughts/hopes on the Wilding action the episode synopsis talks about?

  34. Veltigar
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    House Mormont:
    So this post made me watch me watch Troy and wow the only likeable character died 2/3rds through, no wonder David Benioff wanted to do thrones

    On the subject of Benioff’s writing, all of the last x men films have been awful so I doubt that’s his fault, but his novels are have reeeeaally good reviews

    I’m pretty sure he comes up with most of the good one liners on the show, it’s DW that I have doubts about, every time there’s bad unnecessary comedy, it turns out Dan put it there…

    I take it you haven’t seen X-Men: Days of Future Past yet? Because I have and boy, that’s a great movie. In fact it’s the best superhero movie since the Dark Knight and depending on where your taste lies, it can even surpass that movie.

    Young River: People don’t like to be meddled with. We tell them what to do, what to think, don’t run, don’t walk. We’re in their homes and in their heads and we haven’t the right. We’re meddlesome.We need to cast Mads Mikkelsen as Euron to make things right

  35. Ours is the Fury
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    House Mormont:
    So this post made me watch me watch Troy and wow the only likeable character died 2/3rds through, no wonder David Benioff wanted to do thrones

    On the subject of Benioff’s writing, all of the last x men films have been awful so I doubt that’s his fault, but his novels are have reeeeaally good reviews

    I’m pretty sure he comes up with most of the good one liners on the show, it’s DW that I have doubts about, every time there’s bad unnecessary comedy, it turns out Dan put it there…

    Some bad maybe, but also the good. I’ve read his book, and I can see a lot of his humor style there in GoT. Reading it made me wonder too if he writes Tyrion more than Benioff, given the narrator’s style and complicated feelings about women. Considering that D&D are writing the bulk of the show, there are going to be moments that fall flat. I’m not inclined to blame either one of them completely. The fandom has a habit of pinning it on Weiss, but I don’t think it’s all on him.

  36. dio x
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    cant wait to see how this duel plays out. people may hate on the movie troy but it had some phenomenal battle scenes…. really glad pedro has fit the role so well. makes the battle seem like its gonna be that much more emotional and powerful. reading the scene is one thing but hearing it out loud and seeing it physically is something ive been waiting for a long time.

  37. Oz of Thrones
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    jentario,

    LOL. The thought has crossed my mind. About a thousand times. I have no idea who it is, yet I’m consistently entertained.

    WeirwoodTreeHugger,

    Agreed. I have no personal issue with Hogan. But Andre was a class act.

  38. Oz of Thrones
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    House Mormont,

    Anything involving the Thenns is good with me. They introduced these lanky, cannibalistic, alien looking scarified warriors and all we’ve really seen them do is kill some farmers and scare the shit out of a little boy.

    Oh, and I’d really like to hear Joe Gatt speak.

  39. SilverStormm
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Enjoyable read Oz. I’m sooo looking forward to your recap!

  40. House Mormont
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    Veltigar,

    Na not yet, maybe after exams. The one before it had it’s pros and cons, the ups being Michael Fassbender, and the downs being the cheesiness/sometimes feelings contrived as prequels can do and um the pure non-cannon assassination of the two non-white characters

    Weiss did the season 3 chair scene i guess and that was good, almost makes up for Tripod

  41. Veltigar
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    House Mormont:
    Veltigar,

    Na not yet, maybe after exams. The one before it had it’s pros and cons, the ups being Michael Fassbender, and the downs being the cheesiness/sometimes feelings contrived as prequels can do and um the pure non-cannon assassination of the two non-white characters

    Weiss did the season 3 chair scene i guess and that was good, almost makes up for Tripod

    I hated First Class. That movie was a mess, they just stuffed two stories in one film and it didn’t help that the first story (Magneto hunting Nazi’s) was a lot more interesting than the second story (first X-Men team).

    DoFP on the other hand doesn’t have these flaws. Fassbender knocks it out the parc. He and McAvoy were the only good things about First Class and they are even better in DoFP. Quicksilver is a total scene stealer. Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine is great. Jennifer Lawrence comes into her own as Mystique and the action is great all around

    EDIT: Also Peter Dinklage :)

    Porthos: A lively tune… I’m inspired to dance and cast Mads Mikkelsen as Euron

  42. Kessell
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    liked that you managed to work war-admiral in there, also since apparantly no one else has pointed it out; Apollo Creed won the fight in Rocky 1.

  43. House Mormont
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Veltigar,

    Is Quicksilver January Jones? And I did like Jennifer Lawrence in the second half of first class, or maybe just when she plays off Fassbender

  44. Veltigar
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    House Mormont:
    Veltigar,

    Is Quicksilver January Jones? And I did like Jennifer Lawrence in the second half of first class, or maybe just when she plays off Fassbender

    No, QS is Evan Peters :)

    Lawrence was good, but she lacked the physicality that Mystique needed in First Class. In DoFP on the other hand, she kicks so much ass and she’s so deliciously angry :D

    Charlie: My doctor said we can’t choose where we come from but we can choose where we go from there. I know it’s not all the answers but it was enough to start putting these pieces together and cast Mads Mikkelsen as Euron.

  45. Amtoine Grant
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Darkstar,

    “A fortnight”

  46. spacechampion
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Ice & Fire Walk with Me:
    Seven Hells, will you look at that crowd. This duel is bigger than the Hand’s tourney!

    One thing I’d like to ask D&D or HBO if there’s ever a Q&A is whether they’ll ever go back to season one and composite in a crowd into the tourney scenes. It’s painfully obvious they intended to do that originally but ran out of money. At least I hope that’s the excuse.

  47. spacechampion
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Hey, for Unsullied there is an app for iphone and Android, and also a Chrome extension, that blocks spoilers for Game of Thrones and other shows. http://www.spoilershield.com/

  48. Matt
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Enfield,

    Holy crap he adapted The 25th Hour? Really? That’s like one of my favorite movies

  49. gewa76
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    The Ghost of Karl Tanner,

    Movies like Wolverine probably look nothing like the original script after studio execs get their hands on them.

  50. gewa76
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    spacechampion,

    They can go the Lucas route and splice in Hayden Christensen and have Greedo shoot first.

  51. Tony
    Posted June 1, 2014 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    I’ll just ‘say it’. Really looking foreward to this!
    While there have been individual / ‘minor’ decisions i have questioned (most have) they have hit all the main iconic scenes of the story so hard so far (Blackwater, Astapor, RW, PW) so i expect nothing less from this one!


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