After an unconscionable week off because of Memorial Day, Game of Thrones is back this Sunday to begin the close-out of its spectacular fourth season. To catch you up in case you forgot: the Wildlings are thiiiis close to the Wall (haven't they been all season?), Oberyn is going to be Tyrion's champion in his trial by combat, and Lysa Arryn just went out the moon door. Who are the characters to watch in episode eight, "The Mountain and the Viper"?
Joe Reid: Look, I'm going to start this off by saying that I am neither a professional nor amateur psychologist. The brain is a squishy mystery to me. But Theon has only been brainwashed into the sad wretch known as Reek for, what, a few months? At most? Is it really the best idea for Ramsay Snow to send him off alone on orders to "pretend" to be Theon in order to gain strategic intel and allegiances? Isn't Ramsay running the risk that pretending to be Theon will make Theon remember he's Theon? (Okay, and now all I can think of is "they don't know we know they know," and the last thing I ever expected Game of Thrones to remind me of is Friends.)
David Sims: I think we're supposed to believe that Theon is safely and fully brainwashed in Ramsay's service after he rejected his sister's rescue attempt. Which, fine, but to me the larger problem is that Theon as Reek is NOT a very functional human being. He's basically just a loyal dog-person who stutters out every word and shrieks a lot. This is the decoy you're going to use to take a castle? Still, as much as the Reek storyline might seem a little rushed, it's probably better to do it on-screen. In the books, Theon isn't seen between the second and fifth entries, and when he re-emerges he's utterly transformed. That'd be a tougher sell on-screen, so instead we've had two seasons of torture.