If there's one thing [Game of Thrones](tag:817617) is famous for — other than people having sex like rabbits, 24/7 — it's the show's love of a violent kill.
It's fair to say no other show in the history of television has been so creative in its depiction of death, or taken so much pleasure from it, but even in a series in which Viserys Targaryen was treated to death by golden crown, one particular character's demise stands out in the mind as being among the most brutal you are ever likely to see on TV.
You know the one I'm talking about.
Who else but the Red Viper of Dorne? Oberyn Martell's fight scene with The Mountain, Ser Gregor Clegane, in Season 4, is basically a masterpiece. The Prince was so cocky about his chances, so full of arrogance when he swaggered into the ring that, to the audience, defeat seemed inevitable...
As the fight goes on, it becomes clear that Oberyn, fueled by his thirst for vengeance ("You raped her! You murdered her! You killed her children!"), has the upper hand over The Mountain, and Cersei, watching from the gallery, becomes nervous...
Ultimately though, The Mountain has the final word, seizing upon a moments distraction to knock Oberyn to the ground, before climbing on top of him and crushing his thumbs into his opponent's eyes... until his face explodes like a squeezed orange. Re-live the scene in all its glorious brutality below — it's worth it simply for Tyrion's expression of FML.
It's hard to imagine how the Red Viper's death could possibly get much sicker, but suspend your disbelief because it originally was, according to Ben Crompton, who plays Dolorous Edd. Here's what Crompton had to say about the original cut of the scene:
"I went in one session and they were flicking through stuff and they showed the Red Viper Mountain fight. And they showed an edit where he puts the fingers in and he just pulls his face apart. But instead of cutting like it does in the show he just pulls his face apart and I just said, "Oh my god they are never going to be able to show that on telly!" And they didn’t, but the effects were brilliant.”
Showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss had previously stated that the original cut "had more [graphic violence], but we wanted it to be terrifying ... if it's too violent, it becomes unintentionally funny." One thing's for sure: Oberyn Martell wasn't laughing once The Mountain was done with him.