Warning: MAJOR spoilers for "The Viper and The Mountain" ahead. Okay, so Sunday night's Game of Thrones was pretty hard to watch. You'd think that at some point, it would be too hard to top the Red Wedding, and Ramsey's endless torture of Theon (sorry, Reek), and Arya's revenge-killing spree, but Game of Thrones always finds a way. In Sunday's episode, that way was through Oberyn Martel's eye sockets. Ouch.
While we're obviously going to miss Prince Oberyn, and his relationship with paramour Ellaria Sand, we're really much more concerned about what this loss means for the show's best-loved character Tyrion Lannister, and its break-out star Peter Dinklage.
Just to recap: Had Oberyn's need for revenge not gotten in the way, The Mountain would have died quickly and Oberyn would have saved Tyrion's life. Because the Dornish prince needed to hear The Mountain confess to his crimes, Tyrion has now been doomed to a beheading by his own father.
The Lannisters have issues, man.
Heartbroken as we are that Tyrion's time may be running short, I, like so many Game of Thrones fans, find myself clinging to the possibility that Tyrion will be able to talk his way out of this one last minute. After all, he's got Jamie in his corner, doesn't that mean anything? Optimistic as I am, there's some precedent for next week's episode being Tyrion's last... as little as I'd like to admit it.
I have not read the books, so I don't know what is actually about to happen, but here are five reasons Game of Thrones may actually go through with killing off Tyrion Lannister.
Peter Dinklage Has Been In Talks About a New HBO Show
Dinklage has reportedly been tapped to star in the new HBO project, Beasts of Valhalla . Why would HBO ask him to star in a new show if they knew he was going to be busy with Game of Thrones?
Tywin Lannister Always Gets What He Wants
If they want Tywin to remain the terrifying presence that he is, they can't have him go soft- and what's more evil or intimidating than a man who is willing to kill his own son for a crime no one actually believes he committed?
Peter Dinklage Has Said He Won't Be Able to Talk His Way Out
Before Season 4 premiered, HBO released a behind the scenes featurette, in which Dinklage said that Tyrion is going to find himself in situations he can't talk his way out of. Since talking his way out of this is just about the only way to save his head, could Dinklage have been subtly foreshadowing his own death?
This Will Be Episode 9
Season 1, episode 9: Lord Eddard Stark is beheaded.
Season 2, episode 9: The Battle of Blackwater.
Season 3, episode 9: Red Wedding.
Season 4, episode 9: Things aren't looking great for Tyrion.
Two Words: Ned Stark
A fan favorite, sentenced to beheading? Where have we seen that before?