Game of Thrones: Season 5/ Episode 7 “The Gift” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Overview

The things people will do for love is an ongoing theme. Though, as always with Game of Thrones, mentions of love never solely deal with the love of another person. No, love and this show is almost always about power and for many it is the continued pursuit of it, or the longing for the power they once had.

Review (with Spoilers) – Below

Characters & Story

Location: The Wall – Sam

At the wall Jon Snow and Tormund make their way toward Wildling territory with hardly any of the Nights Watch having any strong support of his decision. Though when paired with the death of Aemon Targaryen, it leaves Sam and Gilly in a terrible position. After all, Sam has always been Jon’s champion, and now his savior is not within the distance to hear Sam’s screams. However, if anything, it would be Gilly’s screams which would be heard since those of the Nights Watch aren’t noble men for, lest we forget, many are criminals and banished men sent to the wall as punishment. So, naturally, with Gilly being the sole woman there, and only Sam to guard her, temptation runs throughout.

However, just as Brother Brant and Derek go to steal a kiss, if not more, from Gilly, Sam arrives. Sadly though, he is of no match for them but, luckily for Sam, while Jon is away Ghost is there to protect Jon’s loyalist friend. Thus allowing Sam, even though he may have lost a battle, to win Gilly in ways we didn’t know he could. For while he did save her, them being romantic hasn’t happened often. In this episode that changed though for not only was his vows broken with a kiss, but also sex. Go Sam.

Location: Winterfell – Sansa & Stannis

Post-Wedding Sansa is bruised, isolated, and makes you question whether Lord Baelish’s end game may include her surviving at all. For as much as she has friends in the north, between Reek and the mind of Ramsay, there lies the question of whether those friends are savvy enough to provide more than hope and lip service. For with the old woman being flayed, and Brienne watching from the distance, who knows if Sansa may not turn to Reek, or survive and become like Cersei [1], after all is said and done.

As for Stannis, winter seemingly is nearly here and with a strong storm beating away as Stannis’ forces, making him lose many a horse and 500 men, it seems he shall either march to defeat or retreat in shame. Which, of the two options, Stannis rather die trying than further taint his legacy. However, according to Melisandre, if he truly wants to conquer Winterfell, even with his numbers, it may involve sacrificing his daughter. Something Stannis, despite his lust and bewilderment of Melisandre, cannot accept. Leaving us unsure of what Stannis’ next move maybe.

Things To Note

[1]: A thought which someone else originated within the Game of Thrones TV Book Club

Location: Meereen – Daenerys and Tyrion

Long story short, Daenerys at last comes face to face with Tyrion Lannister. This is after Ser Jorah being sold off, and Tyrion talking himself into the deal, Ser Jorah interrupting a fight in the preliminaries, and being dismissed upon sight, and Tyrion meeting a rather strangely friendly big guy who released him from his chains. Either way, it seems Tyrion may get a taste of the lifestyle he was used to, though the same can’t be said about Ser Jorah.

Things to Note

Daenerys and Daario Naharis are still very much together, and he is planting the idea that perhaps, during the fighting pits more prominent games, to butcher all the masters. Of which, naturally, would include her political husband Hizdahr.

Location: King’s Landing – Cersei, Lord Baelish, and Lady Olenna

With House Tyrell’s heirs both being imprisoned, Lady Olenna is trying to push the High Sparrow into seeing things her way and releasing her grandchildren. Unfortunately for her however, Cersei picked someone who can’t be blinded by money or goods. Something Lord Baelish uses to his advantage for just as Loras has skeletons in his closet, so does Cersei. So while Cersei may smile and taunt Margaery, who looks worse for wear, Lancel brings Cersei into a similar position within ten minutes of her thinking she has claimed victory. Thus leaving poor Tommen all alone and with no one but his step grandmother to advise him. Especially since Cersei has sent the majority of the council away to do various things.

Location: Dorne – Jaime, Bronn, and the Sand Snakes

There isn’t much to cover here, since nothing major happens, but we do watch Jaime’s rescue get rejected, and one of the sand snakes sisters, Tyene (Rosabell Laurenti Sellers), seduce Bronn in order to get his blood pumping, so the poison she used can work quicker. With this, we see a more respectable version of the Sand Sisters who seem like more than, as many have compared them to, 90s Saturday morning cartoon action heroes.

Praise

Working from the bottom and moving up, I do believe Tyene may have given the Sand Sisters some hope for redemption. For while their fighting was the stuff one would expect from the Power Rangers, seeing her be devious toward Bronn almost makes you want to give them a second chance. Though, admittedly, I do wonder if she didn’t apply nudity would it still have led to the same effect. Honestly, probably not.

But, moving onto King’s Landing, I must admit the idea of Cersei being in serious trouble is intriguing. Since, ever since Stannis tried to take King’s Landing, she has been relatively safe on the show. Albeit she may have been unhappy at times, like when she was arranged to be with Loras, but her safety was never threated as it is now. However, being that it isn’t confirmed what exactly are the punishments that may come to her, Loras, or Margaery, especially in light of confession maybe leading to mercy, it is hard to say whether we need to worry about the show’s only real villain.

Criticism

When it comes to Meereen, I feel like Daenerys has almost devolved from the slave freer, and a queen in the making, to almost a love struck teenager. I mean, watching her with Daario leads to one of those strange moments in which we see a woman, or a character in general, not focusing on power, but love. Which is sort of odd, if only because of Daenerys’ peers. But what really lands her storyline in the criticism area is that her character doesn’t even seem like an adult but a teenager within her storyline. Like, as much as Sansa may have come off as a brat, and despite how young Arya is, Daenerys arguably has seem more childlike than both as of late, and her seeming like a teenager in love with Darrio doesn’t help. As well as her becoming squeamish, while watching men fight and kill, despite the fact she has seen, and orchestrated, much worse in the name of being respected.

Moving onto Winterfell, and The Wall in extension, right now it just seems we are waiting for something, anything, to happen. Thus really pushing the idea that Sansa’s rape last episode was seriously just made to almost act like a defibrillator for the northern storyline. For while Jon Snow making friends of Wildlings can be interesting, and give Stannis the reinforcements he needs, likely that grand battle won’t be until nearly the end of the season. As for right now though, Ramsay remains a villain only made complicated by wanting his father’s respect, and as much as Sam and Gilly are cute, it doesn’t make up for how reliant he, and the whole storyline dealing with the wall, is on Jon Snow.

Oh, and before he is forgotten, as perhaps he often is, one must ask what are the plans for Stannis? For while, as mentioned, likely a Wildling alliance could benefit him, likely it will be at least 2 episodes before Jon Snow can really form an alliance, if he doesn’t end up betrayed. So are we to put Stannis on the backburner for now? Or will he be one of the most memorable deaths of the season and we will watch Melisandre slither her way to someone new to leech off of for safety?

Collected Quote(s)

“The past is the past. The future is all that’s worth discussing.”

—           “The Gift.” Game of Thrones

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