George R.R. Martin says one House of the Dragon fight is “up there” with The Mountain and the Viper

Jessica Cullen
George R.R Martin said one House of the Dragon fight is "up there" with The Mountain and the Viper: Pedro Pascal as Oberyn Martell in Game of Thrones

The gruesome battle between The Mountain and the Viper is one of the most iconic Game of Thrones fights ever, but George R.R. Martin says one House of the Dragon duel is just as good.

‘The Mountain and the Viper’ aired a decade ago, but the fallout is still being felt today. The one-on-one duel between the vengeful Oberyn Martell and brutal Gregor Clegane was so effective, that no fight scene in the Game of Thrones universe has come close to topping it. Until now, that is.

House of the Dragon might be more preoccupied with dragons and the Targaryen Civil War than man-to-man battles, but creator George R.R. Martin has pointed to one fight scene as being equal to its GoT predecessor – the swordfight between Arryk and Erryk Cargyll.

As Martin wrote in a post on his website: “The Tittensor twins were terrific as the Kingsuard twins, and their climactic swordfight is right up there with the Mountain and the Red Viper of Dorne, and Brienne’s fight with Jaime Lannister.”

The scene in question takes place at the end of House of the Dragon Season 2 Episode 2. Criston Cole instructs Arryk to sneak into Dragonstone as his twin and assassinate Rhaenyra. Of course, the plan fails miserably, and Arryk then has to fight to the death with his beloved brother, who sided with Team Black.

Really, the Cargyll Twins‘ and the Mountain and The Viper’s duels couldn’t be more different. The former is a quiet affair, witnessed only by Rhaenyra. It’s also a tragic end for two brothers who, beneath their political differences, still loved each other.

The Mountain and the Viper, on the other hand, was a hugely bloody fight, taking place in front of a large audience. It also provided one of the most shocking Game of Thrones moments ever, with the Mountain squeezing Oberyn’s head into a pulp.

It’s likely that not everyone would agree with Martin’s analysis, given how significant the Mountain and the Viper fight has become in GoT’s history. That said, it’s still about the best seal of approval House of the Dragon could hope to get.

For more, check out our guides to Blood and Cheese, the Targaryen kings, and Ulf the White. You can also keep tabs on the House of the Dragon Season 2 release schedule, so you don’t miss a thing.