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Trust a Dornishman to get excited by impossible odds.

In this Sunday's episode of Game of Thrones, Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal) will engage in trial by combat against Gregor Clegane, who is nicknamed the Mountain for his ridiculously vast size. The series cast massive Icelandic strongman Hafthor Bjornsson to dwarf his onscreen competitor. "He's nearly a foot taller than me. He's 6'9"; I'm 5'11"," Pascal told me. "I think he's nearly three times my weight. He's 420 pounds of muscle. It felt like I was with a giant. And then they put him in the armor, and his sword alone was exactly my height. It was incredibly intimidating but also really delightful because I think that the character Oberyn really relishes that kind of challenge."

Of course, part of the reason Oberyn is fired up about the face-off is that it offers him the chance to finally avenge the rape and murder of his sister and the deaths of her children, which Clegane committed. But what chance does a lothario like Oberyn have against such an intimidating foe? Sunday's episode, titled "The Mountain and the Viper," may give a clue to Oberyn's other physical skills. "Well, somehow he's gotten that nickname 'the Viper' from fighting," Pascal teases. Indeed, a preview for the throwdown shows that the agile Oberyn is no stranger to going toe-to-toe against a worthy opponent.

But let's not forget what got him into this position in the first place. After Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) demanded a trial by combat to determine his guilt or innocence in killing King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), Oberyn visited the Imp in prison to offer his services as a champion.

"It's not hard for Oberyn to recognize that Tyrion is the smartest man in the room," says Pascal. "Oberyn is not a fan of the Lannisters, so it's not very hard for him to see through the trial and recognize what's really going on. And while he has his own agenda, because he wants nothing but to face the Mountain himself and kill him, to be able to do that on behalf of Tyrion is an extra 'f--- you' to the Lannisters because he recognizes their hypocrisy and their corruption."

Oberyn's big gesture followed an impassioned speech in which he told Tyrion of how he once visited Cersei (Lena Headey) as a child and saw her abuse and insult Tyrion as an infant. As the story unfolded, we can see the anguish and heartbreak on Tyrion's face. 

"I was very moved," Pascal admits. "It was my first day on set, so I was really quite nervous. But then I had this wonderful, compassionate director Alik Sakharov and Peter Dinklage, a completely generous and welcoming actor. I don't know if I realized that the scene climaxes with such strong emotion. It was deeply moving for me to tell Tyrion the story and to see Peter Dinklage receive it. It fed me in a way that I'll never forget."

Although Tyrion and Oberyn may not be friends exactly, they do share a mutual respect that could lead to a beautiful bromance. "I think there is a little bit of a kindred spirit between the two of them," Pascal acknowledges. "Oberyn can recognize that Tyrion is a survivor, and that's through cunning and intelligence. Also, the two of them can relate to the fact that they love to have good times! If they could stay alive together, I bet they'll be really great pals."

Are you psyched for the big fight


Please, no book spoilers in the comments!


Previously Aired Episode

AIRED ON 6/26/2016

Season 6 : Episode 10

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At this point, I'm just hoping for a last minute surprise like the Baby Walkers this season or Talisa dying at The Red Wedding the last one.

Either way, I'm sure it's going to be epic!
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I can't believe they made Pascal shoot that scene with Tyrion on his first day. That's a tough break, luckily he totally nailed it. All the best fight scenes are like a story with shifts in fortune, obstacles to overcome, climaxes and sudden reversals, I'm expecting no less from this one.
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I love that this site is hyping up this fight. Makes me so excited! I also hope the show surprises us in many ways. Even the most subtle of changes can mean a lot.
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I definitely do agree with the "hyping up" part. I'm so excited (and I just can't hide it ;-) ) right now, just can't wait until tomorrow...
I am not sure about the "surprising/subtle of changes" part because I haven't read the books... I just know that I want Oberyn to win and Tyrion to stay alive, that would make be oh so happy. Any other outcome, and I would be quite devastated.
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The fight could go a lot of different ways. It's hard to discuss without giving away any book spoilers!!!!! I'll say that I hope it goes down differently than in the books. The way Oberyn approaches Tyrion was different in the book than the show, and this season has definitely been the season of straying from the books so I honestly don't know what to expect.

With complete disregard to anything book related based on common sense for TV and ratings etc.:
I will say that I think HBO wouldn't let Tyrion die because Peter Dinklage is such a fan favorite. Not that I think all decisions should be made based on fan base reactions - but to me this is a no brainier. Regardless of how the fight pans out I think it's a safe bet Tyrion will be sticking around. I know that the devil's advocates out there will immediately point to "Ned Stark" being a fan favorite and the show killing him off - but he had to die for the story to progress to where it is now. And yes he was a fan favorite, but we didn't even get a full season of him on our screens, we've had Tyrion for almost a full 4 seasons - there's a difference at least in my opinion.
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One of the main problems with straying from the books is that any change in the outcome of the fight will take the series in a direction that will completely separate the books from the show. So far, the changes have been minor, but to change this outcome will take the story in a whole new direction.
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I agree it's the same logic behind why Ned Stark had to die. Any major change to the events would send the series off on a tangent any from the books. Certain events have to occur in order for the story to stay on track. However, I think the outcome could be different yet still have the same events occur here though - think of what happens in the books - ughhh doing this without spoilers is like trying to fill in a Mad Libs and have it make sense but I'll try - the first major event after the fight in the book could happen regardless of who wins the fight - obviously for different reasons. This would then lead to the next big chain of events (a certain charters next chapter) but in the show it would be because the first thing happened. In the books the second chain of events was what was going to happen but then it was like "oh lets do this" in regards to the first events. In the book the first event wasn't what caused the storyline that happens from there, it was an add on of sorts - a planned big add on but not the goal. In the show they could have the first event be the catalyst for where the storyline goes from there. Wow this is gibberish if you don't know what I'm talking about so I hope you do haha. Regardless, I have no idea what they'll decide to do. They've done different things with some of the sentiments that the characters have for each other that will automatically change the sentiments these characters have for each other in the show vs. the book unless something else occurs.
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Hmmm... same as above bc spoilers are a pain... it would be good if they can "tune" what happens in the books... but not sure how it can be done with authenticity.
This is one of those rare circumstances where an author can be reflective and improve on (apologies to the purists but - the author is one of the creators here and no doubt he can approve changes - wouldn't you want to?)... regrettably, the Circe and Jamie in the crypt scene being an example of the dangers of artistic licence.
That being said I really look forward to the challenge.
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Agreed on all counts. See my response to Oneness above … I think that's a way of tuning what happens to achieve the same overarching story with a different fight outcome. Be warned, I tried to avoid spoilers and my response above may make no sense if you're not psychic :-)
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I know who I want to win, but knowing Game of Thrones like I do..... there's gonna be heartbreak. God I hope I'm wrong, please don't kill off Tyrion
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