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REVIEW: Game of Thrones 5×07 “The Gift”

Written by Grace Davis

To be honest I kinda thought Jon and Tormund had already set off up North and it had just happened off screen. But no, here they are taking ages to do anything. I do enjoy how Jon has started managing Alliser, thanking him for his honesty and making him head ranger means that no one can say later that he disrespected him! I hope this doesn’t all go downhill: Alliser’s quiet little threat against Sam at Aemon’s funeral was a bit worrying. Speaking of which, poor Aemon! I’m sad to see him go. He must have been about a hundred and fifty at this point, but still. At least he didn’t die horribly. You’ve got to be glad about the small things in this show.

And now for a place where there is absolutely nothing to be glad about: Winterfell. We learn that Sansa continues to be raped by her despicable husband and her life is utterly horrific. Even her attempt at escape is ruined by the pathetic Theon who immediately tattles to Ramsay. (The Boltons have got to stop flaying people, it’s just weird.) The horror of this dark, sad part of Westeros is so miserable to watch but Sansa is an extremely strong character and I think she’ll survive. The things that have been done to Sansa are not her fault, they aren’t deserved or wanted, but they do not take away her strength.

Further north, and Camp Stannis is having a crap old time. The snows are getting worse and Davos believes that they should give a collective ‘Ah well, never mind!’ and sod off back to Castle Black. Somehow I don’t think they would be super welcome there – especially since winter will probably last a good few years. Bad plan Davos. Mind you, Melisandre doesn’t have a great plan either: any idea that begins with ‘Well… we’re probably going to need to sacrifice your daughter…’ is a non-starter in my book. Let’s hope Stannis doesn’t weaken. Though he probably will. Just as I was beginning to like him too!

Let’s head south for a bit now and see what Daenerys is up to: oh she’s having sex with Daario. Well, I can’t blame you for that, but please stop listening any time he opens his mouth! Daario is far too impulsive and destructive and although Daenerys knows her own mind, it worries me to think he has any sort of influence on her decisions. Just keep him as your FWB Dany, please, for all our sakes.

Meanwhile, Tyrion and Jorah are busy being sold into slavery. Interesting that Jorah should now be living through the very thing that caused him to be exiled from Westeros originally. I wonder if he’s thought about that. Anyway, Tyrion’s quick mouth and willingness to get physical save him and Jorah from being split up (but they’re not quite enough to convince the slaver who just bought them that freedom and wages are the way to go). The unlucky pair are soon awaiting their first fight. While watching this, I confess, I was feeling pretty annoyed that something had randomly popped up and diverted them from their quest (even if that something involved good old Mr Eko from Lost). Apparently, though, the Gods were smiling and it turns out that Daenerys just happened to be visiting the very fighting pit they were brought to. Phew. Things wrap up pretty nicely here, with Jorah psyched up into super fighting mode and revealing his presence to his Khaleesi. She is less thrilled to see him – that is, until Tyrion appears as her ‘gift’! Now what?!

In Dorne, we see that the Sand Snakes are living up to their dear old dad’s reputation and have poisoned Bronn. And flashed him. And enjoyed his singing (yes, it’s another week of Jerome Flynn reliving the old Robson and Jerome pop ‘stardom’ days!) I feel that Oberyn would heartily approve. We also see that Myrcella has zero interest in returning to Kings Landing, having spent several years enjoying Dorne and falling in love. Fair enough. I wouldn’t want to leave either. I wouldn’t want Ellaria Sand to get her hands on me though so… yeah, maybe go with your ‘uncle’, Myrcella.

Although, on second thoughts, the capital is not really the best place to be right now either. Even Olenna is looking a little put out – I don’t think she knows how to fight religious fanaticism. Most people she has dealt with can simply be bought off or tricked. I’m still holding on to the hope that secretly she has an awesome plan up her huge sleeves. Or maybe under her weird hat thing.

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Poor Margaery, it’s pretty sad seeing her all dishevelled! She’s still as awesome and feisty as ever though, and she speaks my favourite quote this week (purely for how deserved it is): ‘Get out you hateful bitch!’ and, even better, it is followed by something that has recently become my favourite scene: uber-bitch Cersei being arrested! YES, YES, YES! I have been waiting for her comeuppance for so long now, so very long. Ok, the faith militant are dreadful, judgey, just-plain-wrong lunatics who need locking up themselves, but it’s hard for me to focus on anything else when the Cersei-takedown is occurring. I just loved seeing her face as she slowly realised what was going on. Game of Thrones makes me feel worryingly vindictive, I must say. Ah well. Cersei is going down!!

Final grade: Only C+ through most of it but the ending raises it to an A-!

Extra thoughts:

  • Ok that was a mighty fine piece of Chekhov’s dragon glass that Sam gave Jon. Oh Jon. Best of luck.
  • After several years of hearing ‘Winter is Coming’ it’s nice to finally see that, yeah it kinda is: I mean it’s sure snowing a lot more these days!
  • Tyrion and Daenerys in the same scene! YES! This had better live up to my expectation of it being literally the best thing ever.
  • Sam’s ‘Oh… oh my’ is possibly the most adorable reaction to sex I have ever heard. Good for you, mate.
  • And hurrah for seeing Ghost again! More direwolves please, HBO.

About the author

Grace Davis