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Second Trial by combat of Tyrion Lannister

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Trial by combat of Tyrion Lannister
The Viper vs the Mountain
Conflict

War of the Five Kings

Date

300AL

Place

Red Keep, King's Landing, the Crownlands

Outcome

Death of Prince Oberyn Martell
Tyrion Lannister sentenced to death
Gregor Clegane severely injured

Parties
House-Baratheon-of-Kings-Landing-heraldry
Iron Throne
Tyrion Lannister
House-Martell-heraldry
House Martell
Leaders

Queen Regent Cersei Lannister

Tyrion Lannister

Participants

Ser Gregor Clegane
Joss Stilwood (squire)

Prince Oberyn Martell
Ser Daemon Sand (squire)

Casualties

Ser Gregor wounded and poisoned

Prince Oberyn Martell killed

"Elia Martell! Who gave you the order? Who gave you the order?! Say her name! You raped her! You murdered her! You killed her children! Say it... say her name. Say it!"
―Oberyn Martell demands the Mountain's confession.[src]

The Trial by combat of Tyrion Lannister is an event in the War of the Five Kings. As a result of the farce of a trial Tyrion Lannister is put through, he demands trial by combat to defend his innocence and ruin his father's plans to exile him to the Wall.

HistoryEdit

PreludeEdit

"I will not give my life for Joffrey's murder and I know I'll get no justice here, so I will let the gods decide my fate. I demand a trial by combat."
Tyrion Lannister demands trial by combat[src]
Purple Wedding

Joffrey is killed after being poisoned.

When King Joffrey Baratheon is poisoned at the feast of his wedding to Margaery Tyrell, he points to his uncle Tyrion Lannister apparently accusing him, as he checks the goblet for poison and he is seized and arrested by members of the Kingsguard on Queen Cersei Lannister's orders.[1]

Game-of-thrones-laws-gods-men-trial

Tyrion is put on trial.

Tyrion is later put on trial with the newly-crowned King Tommen Baratheon declaring himself unfit to sit in judgment and giving the responsibility to three judges: Tywin Lannister, Hand of the King and Protector of the Realm, as presiding judge, Lord Mace Tyrell of the Reach, and Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne. Cersei has several witnesses testify against Tyrion, such as Ser Meryn Trant, Grand Maester Pycelle, and Varys. They all give strong (yet circumstantial) evidence of Tyrion's guilt. He seems particularly hurt by Varys's betrayal. After a one hour recess, his brother Jaime comes to Tyrion and tells him that, when the verdict of guilty is pronounced, he must ask for mercy and he will be allowed to join the Night's Watch. Secretly, Jaime had made a deal with Tywin: in exchange for sparing Tyrion, Jaime will renounce his vows and return to Casterly Rock as Tywin's heir. However, Cersei calls in her last witness: Shae. A hurt Tyrion can do little as Shae reveals his sexual pleasures in front of the court and his supposed desire to bed Sansa Stark, which she agreed to let him do if he killed the King for her. Tyrion's anger at the betrayal leads him to lash out: he angrily states that he had saved King's Landing from Stannis Baratheon and that when he saw how all turned on him for killing a king that they all hated, he wished that he had let Stannis kill them all.

​Tywin attempts to silence Tyrion but his son turns on Cersei, declaring that he was innocent of killing Joffrey, but that he he wished he had, adding that he derived more relief from watching her "vicious bastard" of a son die than he could have gotten from a thousand whores. He then turns on Tywin and calls the trial a farce and that it is really a repetition of the trial he had been on since he was born: for the crime of being a dwarf. Not wanting to submit to the "justice" that was being served on him, Tyrion demands a trial by combat.[2]

Oberyn visits Tyrion - Mockingbird

Oberyn agrees to be Tyrion's champion.

Cersei appoints Ser Gregor Clegane, the Mountain That Rides, as the Crown's champion. Tyrion first asks his brother Jaime to fight for him, but he refuses, saying that he simply cannot fight like he used to. Tyrion then asks his friend Bronn to be his champion, but he too refuses, arguing that the Mountain is an incredibly dangerous fighter, one that would cost him his life if he makes a single mistake. Finally, Prince Oberyn Martell approaches Tyrion and volunteers to be his champion, as he wants to avenge his sister Elia, whom the Mountain raped and murdered along with killing her children during the Sack of King's Landing.[3]

The DuelEdit

"You raped my sister! You murdered her! You killed her children!"
Oberyn's mantra during the trial by combat[src]
Ellaria oberyn 4

Oberyn kisses Ellaria, not knowing it will be their last.

Lannister guardsmen escort Tyrion to a plaza where the combat is to take place, where he finds a large crowd in attendance to watch. He is not impressed to see Oberyn wearing light armor and armed with a spear- in comparison to his opponent, who is clad from head to foot in heavy plate and wielding a greatsword- and is drinking before the fight, but Oberyn dismisses Tyrion's concerns, noting that he always drinks before a fight and favors maneuverability over protection, dismissing his paramour Ellaria Sand's fear that he will lose. After Tywin cuts short a long-winded speech from Pycelle asking the gods to favor the innocent, the combat begins.


The Viper vs the Mountain3

The Red Viper faces the Mountain.

Oberyn, after impressing the crowd with some acrobatics, goes on the attack, stabbing out at Gregor and constantly moving out of the knight's reach, forcing him to tire himself out chasing Oberyn. All the while, Oberyn taunts Gregor by constantly bringing up his part in the murder of Elia and her children and saying he will kill Clegane quickly if he confesses, only enraging Clegane further. Oberyn circles around his opponent, usually dodging his charges but sometimes parrying his swings and stabbing back; spinning behind Clegane, he manages to knock off his helmet. All the while, he chants vengefully in an ever-rising voice: "You raped her! You murdered her! You killed her children!" Cersei starts to look increasingly put-out, while Jaime and Tyrion look surprised and relieved by Oberyn's skill; Tywin looks vaguely amused.

Twice, Oberyn is knocked off his feet, and once Clegane manages to cut his spear in half, but Oberyn, unfazed, continues to evade the Mountain's wild swings and quickly grabs a replacement spear from his squire. As the fight progresses, Oberyn manages to seriously injure Gregor, stabbing him first in the chest, then severing his hamstring, and finally burying his spear in Gregor's stomach, pinning him to the floor and causing him to cough blood- indicating a potentially mortal injury. As Jaime and Tyrion exchange a relieved grin across the arena, a furious Oberyn circles the prone Gregor, demanding that before he dies, Gregor confess to murdering Elia and her children, and that it was Tywin who gave the order.

Gregor Crushing Oberyn

Gregor savagely kills Oberyn, sealing Tyrion's fate.

However, Oberyn gets too close, and Gregor manages to trip and seize him. Berserk with fury, Gregor roars for all to hear that he raped and killed Elia as he smashes out Oberyn's teeth, gouges out the man's eyes with his thumbs, before crushing Oberyn's skull between his fists and collapsing next to his dead opponent. As Ellaria screams in horror and a stunned silence sweeps over the crowd, Tywin gets to his feet and proclaims the will of the gods is clear; Tyrion is guilty and sentenced to death. Tyrion cannot even reply, staring in catatonic astonishment at Oberyn's corpse, as does Jaime; the only different reaction is from Cersei, who smirks triumphantly at the death sentence.[4]

AftermathEdit

"The gods have made their will known. Tyrion Lannister, in the name of King Tommen of the House Baratheon, First of His Name, you're hereby sentenced to death."
―Tywin Lannister passes the sentence.[src]

Secretly, Oberyn had his spears coated with Manticore venom, one of the deadliest poisons in the known world. Gregor is left in agony and ultimately loses consciousness. The venom causes his wounds to start putrefying, emitting an overpowering stench, and with dead flesh sloughing off. Even Grand Maester Pycelle regretfully tells Queen Cersei that Ser Gregor is beyond any hope of healing. Qyburn, however, an expelled former maester with extensive medical knowledge gained from "repugnant" and "unnatural" experimentation on living people, suggests that he may be able to save him. Cersei dismisses Pycelle and gives Qyburn permission to do anything he can to save Ser Gregor, though he says that his unorthodox methods will "change" him.

Meanwhile, Jaime secretly frees Tyrion and arranges to have him smuggled out of Westeros with help from Varys. Before leaving, however, Tyrion goes to confront his father in the Tower of the Hand and finds Shae lying naked in Tywin's bed, making him realize that Shae was having an affair with his father and lied at the trial for him. In his rage, Tyrion strangles Shae to death and confronts Tywin in the privy, armed with Joffrey's crossbow. Tywin attempts to smart-talk his way out of the situation by falsely claiming he would never have let Tyrion be executed, and dismisses Shae as a whore, which prompts Tyrion to shoot his father to death. Tyrion then escapes King's Landing on a boat with Varys as the bells of the Red Keep begin tolling, signifying that Tywin's body has been discovered.[5]

In the booksEdit

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the duel occurs very similar to the way it does in the TV series. There are only small differences, such as:

  • Before the duel Oberyn shows Tyrion the spear that he is going to fight with against the Mountain, warning him not to touch it. Tyrion notices the spearhead has a black glimmer. He wonders if it is oil or poison, but decides not to ask.
  • A stableboy wandering out onto the duel ground because the crowd watching the battle is even larger whose arm is chopped off when Oberyn dodges Gregor and then gets beheaded by the Mountain.
  • Tyrion vomiting after Oberyn is killed once the reality of his fate hits him.

During the fight, Oberyn, who does wear a light helmet, uses his shield to reflect sunlight into the Mountain's visor and blind him. The Mountain also carries a shield painted with the seven-pointed star of the Faith of the Seven. While Oberyn does wear a helmet in the duel, in the end it does not prevent Gregor from overpowering him: Gregor punched him directly in the face, in the region that the helmet did not protect. He then removed Oberyn's helmet before crushing his head in. Gregor's first punch either knocked Oberyn unconscious or killed him outright, but in the TV version he remains conscious and screaming as Gregor gouges out his eyes, through the moment when he cracks his skull between his hands.

ReferencesEdit

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