Sunday, HBO, 9pm ET. It's the battle of the century - or at least of the current TV season.
There was no Game of Thrones episode last week, which means that hardcore fans are getting some severe Thrones withdrawal symptoms right around this point. These may include, but are not limited to: twitching, obsessive humming of the theme tune, increased stress levels, ending any and all arguments by yelling: “YOU KNOW NOTHING, JON SNOW,” whispering “winter is coming” in your sleep, increased appetite due to lack of gore, sunlight allergies and ordering everyone to refer to you as “khaleesi”.
There's no question who we want to win.
If you’re displaying any of these symptoms, don’t panic, get plenty of rest and use the free week for some speculation on the upcoming episode.
This Sunday, Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne (Pedro Pascal) is set to take on the dreated Mountain That Rides in the name of the GoT fandom’s beloved Tyrion.
There’s no question who we want to win in this lineup, but how could Pascal’s Oberyn even stand a chance? Sidenote: the character of Gregor Clegane has been recast (again) since we last saw him in Season 2 and he is now played by Iceland’s “strongest man”Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson. As if they needed to drive the point further.
So in the yellow-and-black corner (Clegane house colors,) we have an undefeated champion, a man so huge and daunting he was specifically chosen by Cercei to deter anyone who might fight for Tyrion.
Gregor Clegane, extra scary edition.
But let’s look at his opponent. Prince Oberyn is tiny by comparison and he has proven himself to be much more skilled at political manipulation than physical violence. However, he does have a few things going for him. The Dornishman is exceptionally clever and – judging by his *cough* extracurricular activities with King’s Landing’s ladies and gentlemen of the night – he’s pretty virile.
More importantly, while Clegane has money and power motivating him, Prince Oberyn runs on pure revenge fantasies. Let’s not forget that the Dornish nobleman has the murder of his sister to avenge. So with all that at stake (and the fact that Pedro Pascal is billed as a series regular this season) – it’s highly likely that Oberyn has a trick up his sleeve. Plus, it looks like Bjornson’s character has pretty much run his course.
So with that in mind, it’s time to place your bets – who lives and who dies this Sunday? Book fans are excluded from this for obvious reasons. Onwards with Episode 8!