‘Game of Thrones’ Heavy Metal Review – ‘The Mountain and the Red Viper’
Teasers for this week’s 'Game of Thrones' promised a massacre or two. Did 'The Mountain and the Red Viper' deliver? Massive spoilers follow …
To the tune of the ‘Game of Thrones’ theme: “Hey / Yo / Game of Thrones / Who will win? / Dude / Not the Red Viper / That cat just got smoked …”
Seven Hells! Week eight delivered in a way that no episode has so far in Season four. ‘Game of Thrones’ remains the most heavy-metal show on TV. And this week, it wasn’t by default.
It took seven episodes, but the show has hit its stride for the season, and it looks like this year will end with a four-episode tear. ‘Game’ showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss wrote this incredible hour. And it was directed by Alex Graves, a TV veteran who will return for the season finale, and who doubtless has a kick-ass feature movie in his future. 'The Mountain and the Viper' was all epic scenery and visceral carnage, writ large. How metal was it? Let us count the ways.
‘The Mountain and the Viper’ Stats and Count of Assorted Metal Signifiers and Situations:
Onscreen Body Count: 13 (approximately, but that’s a pretty gnarly number)
Gouged-Out Eyes: 3
Crushed Skulls: 1
Impalings: 4 (at least).
And One Very Metal Moment After Another:
No.1: Ah, life in a Northern town. Burping whores are metal.
No. 2: Cannibals and wildlings raiding a village is straight outta Sabbath’s 'The Mob Rules.' Barbarians raiding a brothel makes it that much more metal -- even if they show some mercy.
No. 3: Ramin Djawadi's music sounded like a loving nod to Basil Poledouris' classic score from Conan the Barbarian, arguably the most metal movie in history.
No. 4: A full 11 of the night’s 13 dead bodies in short order? That’s metal. And for once this season, the dim light and camera work didn’t totally neuter the melee. Metal!
No. 5: At the Wall, five dudes sitting around, dressed in black, drinking and griping -- you can’t get much more metal than that.
No. 6: Future Album Title Alert: 'The Pillar and the Stones.' Metal!
No. 7: In Meereen, Grey Worm is grateful for his castration, because it led to an opportunity to kill his masters and meet a hot chick. Love in the shadow of death. All pretty metal.
No. 8: At Moat Cailin, a loan rider bears a flag across a barren waste dotted with crows, heading to a besieged castle full of sick, naive soldiers who are about to be cut down. Spat-up blood and broken promises ensue. It all ends with a flayed, creatively mutilated, one-eyed corpse. The Bolton-Theon storyline has been the most fast-forward-able plot for two seasons now, but this s--- is metal, dude.
No. 9: Lord Baelish and his newfound brogue aren’t metal, but lies lies lies are kinda metal -- or, at least, hard rock.
No. 10: At Slaver’s Bay, Jorah Mormont’s treachery is revealed, and his love will forever be unrequited. Heartbreak and tragedy are metal, right?
No. 11: Back at Moat Cailin, Ramsay Snow is a bastard no more. But even in his rare moment of gratitude, he is still a sick bastard. He and his pops lead an army under the standard of a flayed man crucified upside-down. And that is some total death-metal s--- there.
No. 12: Then, back at the Eyrie, the Hound & Araya trade badass lines: “Men kill with steel,” countered with “I’d kill Joffrey with a picking bone if I had to.”
No. 13: While, upstairs, Baelish offers more morbid wisdom: “Everybody dies sooner or later. Don’t worry about your death. Take charge of your life.” Metal, metal, metal.
No. 14: But nobody every out-talks Tyrion “the Imp” Lannister, still imprisoned in King’s Landing. Tyrion quote of the week no.1: “Trial by combat, deciding a man’s guilt or innocence in the eyes of the Gods, by two men hacking each other to pieces. Tells you something about the gods, doesn't it?”
No. 15: Then Tyrion outquotes himself: “There’s no kind of killing that doesn’t have its own word.”
No. 16: But Peter Dinklage’s mountainous monologue of the night was a perplexing recollection of his late, dimwitted cousin. Lamenting the mind of the moron is metal in itself, but the tortured-since-birth Tyrion doesn’t stop there. Are the gods really bored simpletons who crush men like so many beetles? The mere question is metal.
Imp or no, this giant of an actor is the most metal dude in Westeros this week. Philip Seymour Hoffman is gone, but we still have Dinklage. May he live a hundred years and make 20 more serialized television dramas.
No. 17: And biggity-bam, the night ends with an afternoon abattoir. A colossal mismatch is metal to start with. Decades in the making, this week’s marquee showdown between the Mountain and the Red Viper is the season’s best fight. And odds are, it’s the first action scene to really make your pulse race.
No. 18: Putting on a show as you slice a man to death, that is metal.
No. 19: Turning a slow death into torture, that is metal as hell too.
No. 20: But life takes funny bounces. A sudden rain of teeth, headsplode, a death sentence, and silence -- scene!
See you next week. And if you liked this week’s razor-sharp action, it looks like we ain’t seen nothin’ yet. But that sure was something, huh?
Overall Rating: Metal. As. F---. Here we go.
Song of the Week: Motley Crue, “Bastard”