Oberyn Martell vs The Mountain Gregor Clegane Fight: Could Death Take Place in Real Life?

Questions have asked to determine if a pivotal moment between characters Oberyn Martell and “The Mountain” Gregor Clegane in last week’s “Game of Thrones” episode could actually happen in real life. Some experts weighed in on the scene.



In Season 4 Episode 8, The Mountain crushes Oberyn’s skull with his bare hands during their much-anticipated battle. But the death came after Oberyn stabbing him multiple times with a spear. The Mountain also admitted that he killed Oberyn’s sister.

A Washington Post writer went ahead and asked two experts to see if it’s actually possible to crush someone’s skull with their bare hands.

Tobias Mattei, a researcher on children’s bike helments, told the Post that it’s not even close to being possible.

“It would be impossible for even the strongest human to break the skull through compressive forces exerted by any means (either with their hands bilaterally or by stepping [on] it) in any portion of the skull,” he wrote.

Cynthia Bir, a biomedical engineer at the University of Southern California, told the paper that it’s also not possible. 

She said that her “knee jerk response is that there is no way to get the head to ‘explode’ by applying pressure from the eyes. You would need to create pressure inside the cranium. Even if you could generate pressure by squeezing the outside of the head, once the cranium is breached at the orifice where the eye nerves enter, this pressure would be greatly diminished.”

Oberyn actor Pedro Pascal talked EW.com about his character and the death scene. He added that he doesn’t have the accent that he has on the show.

“A couple people have acknowledged I speak with an American accent. I hope they’re not too disappointed,” he said.

The fight scene was also fairly intense to film, he said.

“It was really intense. It was a three-day shoot. We were in the arena that was exposed to sunlight for the entire day. [I was] layered, though agile, but still covered in armor and flying around like a wasp. Just flying around this 6-foot-8, 420-pound guy, who literally had a sword that went from the ground to my chin,” he told the publication.