Finally, we've arrived at the fight that everyone has been talking about for two weeks. The fight was shocking, violent and surprising, everything that everyone should have expected. As a book reader, I was still surprised at how shocking the end of the fight was, even knowing what was ultimately to come.
First, let's rewind back to the violence that opened the show. The Wildlings are creeping ever closer to the wall, raiding all the way there. The most recent stop is Molestown, which is basically the brothel for Castle Black. The Wildlings are knocking on the wall (almost literally) and some shit's about to go down.
Reports before the season started were that they filmed a battle that was much bigger than "Blackwater", which took up an entire episode. Apparently this battle is going to be along the same lines, where it dominates the entire episode. Next week should be worthy of being the ninth episode of a season, which is traditionally the biggest one of every season.
A surprisingly heartwarming scene, if it can be called that, was between Roose Bolton and his son Ramsay Snow. Roose gave Ramsay the Bolton name, and is essentially legitimizing him and making him his heir. The impetus for this is a particularly gruesome scene featuring the slaughter of the remaining Ironborn holding out at Moat Cailin, the gateway to the North. I guess some good ole flaying is the way to a Bolton's heart.
In the Vale, we see Sansa grow up before our eyes. It turns out that she has actually has been listening to all the lessons that Littlefinger has been trying to teach her since she got to King's Landing. She spins a great web of lies, dropping a few truths in there just to get them to buy into it. This is basically the only way out for Littlefinger, who has no clear way to wiggle out of this one.
I don't really have much to say about Jorah Mormont being exiled from Mereen for betraying Daenerys a long time ago. These scenes were all beautiful but just straight up plot and as a book reader, almost came off as boring, but I'm not the one they're making the show for. It's clearly essential for show watchers.
Before the big fight, we get one, seemingly last, conversation between Jaime and Tyrion. Tyrion talks about his cousin who used to smash beetles senselessly. It's probably reading too much into this, but it sure does seem like quite a metaphor for George R.R. Martin and all the jokes on the internet about how he just loves killing off characters.
Speaking of killing off characters, we arrive at the final scene. On one side you have the flashy Oberyn Martell showing off his sweet spear skills to the crowd. The other, Gregor Clegane, a literal mountain. The Mountain is all brute force and it's clear that he is nothing more than a killing machine. Oberyn dances around him, much like Bronn said would be the only way to beat him, and delivers enough glancing blows to get him stunned, which allows him to spear the Mountain through the stomach.
Of course, for Oberyn, a man literally built of passion, just killing him is not enough. He must have revenge on his terms, and wants the Mountain to admit what he did and admit who told him to do it. Oberyn's thirst for revenge is his downfall, and this is an unexpected way to turn the revenge trope on its head. Just as shocking as the rest of the events we've experienced over the last 12 or so episodes, Oberyn quickly finds himself in the grasp of the Mountain and it's only seconds until he literally makes his head explode. This was shocking, even for a book reader who knew what was coming. Bravo Dan and David, they're taking Martin's story and somehow making it better on screen.