Series Issues: Game of Thrones 5×7 – The Gift

(Source: HBO)

(Source: HBO)

There will be spoilers.

Game of Thrones 5×7: The Gift needed a win after last week. You’ll remember the events from the last episode, I’m sure. Yes, that is the Ramsay Bolton formerly Snow, from the books. However I detested the way that Sansa was brought in to be once again victimized. I fully understand the emotional involvement, but I still feel the show has taken us hostages along with it. Good move? Bad move? Why take this move at all? Anyhow, story-wise we’ve changed the way the story progresses but everyone else has moved forward.

At the Wall, Jon Snow leaves with Tormund Giantsbane and leaves Castle Black in the hands of Ser Alliser Thorne. Aemon Targaryen passes away and Samwell Tarly eulogizes him. Sam also intervenes when Gilly is almost raped. He can’t quite stop the would-be rapists but Ghost (Jon’s direwolf and technically the only direwolf left in the show) saves the day scaring them off. Why do Gilly and Sam get physical after that ordeal? Don’t ask me.

Stannis closes in on Winterfell. He sternly tells Ser Davos that he will move only forward to either victory or defeat, even when 500 stormcrows desert him overnight and horses are dying left and right. However, when Melisandre suggests that a higher price must be payed with king’s blood to ensure the victory (meaning his daughter Shireen), Stannis reverts back to being a father. He will not let his daughter be touched. Part of me want him to offer Selyse instead.

Winterfell is the place of nightmares right now, specially for Sansa. She tries to get Reek/Theon to take a candle and light it up on the broken tower, but that is not the way things work. Reek instead scurries back to Ramsay, who flays the old lady who gave Sansa the message and shows her the body. In the distance, Brienne watches the broken tower’s darkened window with a sigh.

Over in Dorne, Jaime and Bronn get quite different accommodations. Jaime gets a room with a view, where he meets Myrcella who’s head over heels in love with Trystane. Bronn instead gets a dungeon cell opposite the Sand Snakes: Obaria, Tyene and Nymeria. Tyene seems taken by Bronn’s singing. She seems to be in a seductive mood. Obaria and Nymeria are rolling their eyes at each other as if they’ve seen this a million times. Tyene goes as far as opening her tunic. That’s when Bronn’s vision gets blurry. Tyene poisons her blades just like her father. She extorts a compliment from Bronn in exchange for the antidote, which she flings from across the room.

Somewhere in Slaver’s Bay, Ser Jorah Mormont and Tyrion are sold to one of the masters as warriors for the fighting pit. Here’s an unexpected turn of events. Rather that extend the long and winding road that is Tyrion’s slave adventures from Dance of Dragons, Daenerys and Hizdahr (I have to look up his name everytime) are attending one of the fights in the lower pits. Upon seeing this, Jorah barges into the arena with a helm and defeats everyone on sight without killing them. Dany is not happy to recognize him, and wants him taken away. Jorah insists he has a gift for her. It’s Tyrion’s cue to appear next to him and announce himself as the gift. I must admit, you can almost hear the fates singing as Daenerys Targaryen meets Tyrion Lannister.

We finish in King’s Landing. Olenna Tyrell spars with words to no avail with the High Sparrow. Littlefinger summons her to his now closed whorehouse, where he has a gift for her in the form of a young man. We don’t get to see what this entails. Cersei is consoling/manipulating a frustrated King Tommen, who feels powerless to stop the process started against his beloved Margaery Tyrell. Cersei visits the imprisoned young Queen, who’s very aware she’s there as a result of Cersei’s machinations.

Cersei then goes over to the High Sparrow, to make sure that both Tyrells are in good hands. Unfortunately for her, Lancel Lannister has been talking. A lot. Cersei’s spider-sense should have been triggered a long time ago, but now it’s too late. As she tries to defiantly make it past the stern sparrow-sister on the door, she gets hauled off and imprisoned in a jail of her own.

Highs/Lows:

  • Let’s not sugarcoat it. Sansa is getting raped by Ramsay every night. She’s still fighting, but in a hostage-like cycle, seems each plan she has gets stopped. She’s managed to grab something that could’ve been a dagger, but odds are that little hope might get taken away at the beginning of next week’s episode. I’m still critical of this, because we were building Sansa up to become a player. She needs a win badly.
  • We skipped an entire book by having Jorah and Tyrion meet with Daenerys in their first arena fight. Sometimes it feels like George R. R. Martin might be rewriting his books in a way, because to be honest I welcomed the edit.
  • Olenna Tyrell casts her thorns at the High Sparrow with seemingly no effect. Is he, in fact, a believer of his own philosophy or is he another pretender to the throne? Does the High Sparrow even need the throne if he controls the souls of every follower? Who would win in a spar between him and Melisandre?
  • Tyene Sand. Was all her song and dance of seduction just to quicken the effects of the poison? Bronn is clearly outmatched here.

That will do for now.

(Source: HBO)

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