As we saw with Sunday night's Game of Thrones episode, "The Mountain and the Viper," if you don't end things decisively when you have the chance, things can go terribly, terribly wrong. Duels are common in Westeros, so you'd better be ready to deliver the coup de grâce. Here are eight ways to end a fight by the best duelists in the Seven Kingdoms.
1. Oberyn Martell and Gregor Clegane
If this were The Princess Bride ("My name is Inigo Montoya..."), the Mountain would have confessed his crimes in front of the crowd and everything would have ended with one of the five most passionate, most pure kisses in history. Instead, it ended with a head smoosh.
2. Ned Stark and the Lannisters
Head smooshing is one way to end things; beheading is another sure-fire way to end a fight in Westeros. Also, it stops that pesky zombie problem that the North seems to be suffering from these days.
3. Stannis Baratheon and Renly Baratheon
Brother fighting brother can get pretty dirty, but fathering a smoke assassin with your mistress/priestess sets a new standard for fratricide.
4. Qhorin Halfhand and Jon Snow
Another case of brother fighting brother, only this time they're on the same side. Qhorin Halfhand knows the only way to gather intel on the wildlings is to sacrifice his life so they think Jon Snow has turned on the Night's Watch. The fight ends with Jon running his sword through Halfhand's guts and Ygritte running her fingers through Jon's hair.
5. Beric Dondarrion and Sandor Clegane
Of course, just because you sacrifice yourself doesn't mean you don't get a second chance. Immediately after getting chopped nearly in half by the Hound, Beric is resurrected by the Red Priest and they continue on their way as the Westeros version of Robin Hood. A variation of the North's zombie problem — if you don't cut off the head, no telling who could come back from the grave...
6. Arya Stark and Polliver
Never get between a girl and her sword. A chance encounter at a tavern leads to the Hound, once again hacking people to bits. Arya recovers her stolen sword, Needle, and exacts revenge on her former tormentor by repeating his last words to her just before she kills him. This is how Oberyn was hoping his match would go.
7. Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister
Their duel began on a bridge but was interrupted by Roose Bolton's men, who ensured that Jaime would never again be able to beat Brienne in a sword fight.
8. Tyrion Lannister and Lysa Stark
This is the way we were hoping the Viper-Mountain matchup would end. Tyrion was 1-0 for Trial by Combats thanks to Bronn — even if he doesn't "fight with honor," as Lysa says. "No," says Bronn, pointing at the open Moon Door, "he did."
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.