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TV Review: Game Of Thrones 5.7 “The Gift”
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Game Of Thrones 5.7 Jon Snow Tormund

Game Of Thrones
Episode 5.7 “The Gift”
Directed by Miguel Sapochnik
Written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss
Starring Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Aidan Gillen, Kit Harington, Natalie Dormer, Sophie Turner, Dean-Charles Chapman, Jonathan Pryce
Air date: Sunday, May 24, 2015, 9pm

Spoilers ahead for Season 5 of Game Of Thrones…

Last week’s Game Of Thrones, Episode 5.6 “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken,” we saw our second wedding in a row on the show where no one died! Unfortunately, it saw Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) being married off to sadist Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon), the newly legitimized heir to Roose Bolton, the current Warden of the North, who is lording over Sansa’s home of Winterfell. It’s a strategic union for Sansa, the eldest — and as far as anyone knows — the only remaining Stark. But, her new husband was not surprisingly far from gentle with his virgin bride on their wedding night, not to mention that he forced his lackey “Reek” (the badly broken down Theon Greyjoy) to watch as he brutally consummated his marriage. (The whole scene has led to a lot of controversy with Game Of Thrones fans.)

Back at King’s Landing, Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) continued to be the most powerful person who has no nominal power. Thanks to her, the city is now being policed by the Faith Militant — basically a bunch of religious fanatics who’ve done away with the brothels and anything else they deem sinful. The High Sparrow, who is the new High Septon, imprisoned Queen Margaery’s brother Loras Tyrell on charges of buggery and more, and by episode’s end, they not only locked Loras back up, but managed to find enough to jail the Queen (Natalie Dormer) as well and bring them both to trial. The young King Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) proved useless once more. In Dorne, Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Ser Bronn of the Blackwater (Jerome Flynn), disguised as Dornishmen, were caught while trying to rescue Cersei’s daughter Myrcella, who is betrothed to Dornish Prince Trystane Martell. Meanwhile, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), while still captive to Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) was captured by slavers who plan to sell his cock for its supposed magical powers. Lastly, over at the House of Black and White, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) finally gained entrance to the chamber of the Faceless Men.

This week on Episode 5.7 “The Gift,” Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch Jon Snow (Kit Harington) sets off on a new and highly dangerous mission with the wilding Tormund to convince the various factions of wildings to join the men of Westeros against the coming White Walkers. Most of the men of the Night’s Witch think it’s a foolhardy, if not insulting, mission for him to go on since the Wildings have long been their enemy. But best buddy Sam is there to see him off with well-wishes and some dragonglass – just in case (this is how Sam killed a White Walker).

Meanwhile, as he lay dying, poor Maester Aemon (Peter Vaughan) remembers his childhood with his younger brother Aegon Targaryen, who became the Mad King — father of Daenerys. He warns Gilly to flee South to safety before it’s too late. Here, we see an old man who lived a long life before dying a natural death, and then getting a proper eulogy. He was the blood of the dragon and he could have been King, but he chose to serve instead. And now his watch has ended…

Over in Winterfell, Sansa continues to suffer, raped nightly by her new husband, who keeps her locked away all day. She begs and pleads with Theon Greyjoy, aka Reek, Ramsay’s dutiful servant, to place the candle in the high tower, which will signal for help and her rescue. This is his chance to redeem himself, but, being as he’s the biggest fuck-up on the show, he runs instead to report to Ramsay. As cruel as ever, Ramsay flays the old woman who was there for Sansa upon her return who told the young girl that “the North remembers.” Sansa had told Reek that things couldn’t be worse than what they are, and he assures her, no, they can always be worse. Now, Sansa sees how worse things can get – and it’s only the beginning. Although, Ramsay does reveal to her that her half-brother, the bastard Jon Snow, has risen up in the ranks at the Wall to become Lord Commander. Perhaps this is another glimmer of hope for her. Nearby, Brienne of Tarth, who swore to protect Sansa and her sister, awaits the signal, which unfortunately does not come.

Stannis, meanwhile, is marching his way to Winterfell to face Roose Bolton, but his horses are dying and his men are deserting (500 of them!). This task is much too difficult, but Stannis will not turn back to Castle Black and risk spending all of Winter there (which could be years!). He tells Ser Davos, his Hand, that they only march forward, whether to victory or to defeat. Melisandre, Stannis’ advisor and soothsayer, tells him to trust in the Lord because she has seen the Boltons’ defeat in her visions. But, she says, there must be sacrifices made for victory, talking of the power of the King’s blood. We know how she’s used the King’s blood before to help Stannis defeat his enemies, and now it’s quite clear why Melisandre insisted that his daughter come on this long, dangerous journey. Thankfully, Stannis loves his daughter and doesn’t want her harmed — let’s hope he keeps his resolve on this one.

Back at Castle Black, Sam, as First Ranger Alliser Thorne pointed out, is running out of friends now that Jon is away on a mission and Aemon is dead, but he’s not alone. When two Night’s Watch brothers attempt to rape Gilly, Sam comes to her rescue. Unfortunately, Sam is not a fighter and is nearly beaten to death. But Ghost, Jon’s direwolf, appears and saves Gilly and Sam. As Gilly tends to Sam’s wounds, the inevitable happens – they have sex, which I’m convinced lasted two seconds with virgin Sam. But, still, you go Sam!!!!!!!!

Ok, now time for the Slavers to sell Jorah Mormont for the fighting pits. With a decorated past such as Jorah’s, it’s not hard to find a buyer. Tyrion, though, is about to be left behind, but he’s too smart for that. Within seconds, he convinces the buyer to take him, too, and to free them so they’ll be eligible for the fighting pits in Meereen. (Even though Daenerys has reopened the fighting pits, slaves cannot participate – only free men.) Next ee see Daenerys in bed with her lover Daarios, who is jealous that his Queen will be marrying someone else, even if it is only for the political alliance. He counsels her to gather all the Masters at the opening of the fighting games and slaughter then all. But, she doesn’t want to be a butcher, although it’s obvious that she needs to behave ruthlessly at times to maintain her control.

Back in King’s Landing, The Queen of Thorns Olenna Tyrell (Diana Riggs) goes to speak with the new High Septon, demanding that he release her grandchildren. She tries to bribe him, but she cannot get to him like she can with other people. She tries, like she did with Cersei, to threaten to withhold the crops that her family sends to King’s Landing. The High Septon, again, has no fear. He has his beliefs and that’s all he needs.

Meanwhile, as it turns out, King Tommen IS upset about what’s happened to his wife. He feels powerless. Cersei tries to tell him that there’s always going to be times when you can’t control the circumstances. We know that she’s full of it, but Tommen is a young boy. He’s in love and wants his queen wife back. He threatens to start a war over this, but again, Cersei talks him out of it, and offers to go to the High Septon to negotiate on his behalf. Again, we know this is bull, but don’t worry she’s about to get hers…

Over in Dorne, Myrcella visits her uncle (really, her father) Jaime to find out why he’s come to take her back to King’s Landing. He tells her it’s too dangerous in Dorne for her. She explains that she never wanted to go to Dorne to begin with, but that it’s now her home and she loves her betroth and doesn’t wish to leave. “You don’t know me,” she tells him, before storming out. While Jaime seems to be under house arrest, perhaps because of his lineage (and the Dornish even say they brought Myrcella to him to show him that she is safe), his sidekick Bronn is in a cell, with the three Sand Snakes in one of their own nearby. These are the bastard daughters of the slain Oberlyn Martell, the Red Viper, a master of poisons. As it turns out, his daughters are slick with the poisons too, as Bronn — who’s foolish enough to try to insult them — learns. He nearly succumbs to the poison left behind why one of their daggers in their previous battle. But, she gives him the antidote – that is, after she does a little seduction. I don’t think he’ll underestimate these girls ever again (no one should!).

Over at his rampaged brothel, Littlefinger meets with Oleana, his accomplish in the murder of King Joffrey. Oleana believes that Littlefinger will try to betray her and her House, but instead, Lord Baelish offers her “a gift.” He says it’s the same kind of gift he gave to Cersei — a handsome young man.

In Meereen, we see the reopening of the fighting pits, where Daenerys reluctantly watches. Jorah, who will be one of the fighters, hears the warriors call out to their Queen, which gives him hope. She wants to leave, but her betrothed Hizdahr zo Loraq explains that it is tradition for the Queen to stay until a victor emerges. This is when Jorah runs out onto the field and begins kicking some ass, while Tyrion uses the opportunity to try to release his bonds. Guess who emerges the victor???? Yep. She wants no part of him, but Jorah offers a gift — and then out comes Tyrion Lannister to introduce himself. YES!!! This promises to be the best team-up ever.

Now back to that bitch Cersei. She goes to visit Margaery in her dank, dark cell — one of the Black Cells below the Red Keep — with some food, but really to taunt her daughter-in-law. And the Queen knows her mother-in-law caused the situation and tells her so. In the end, Margaery screams at her to leave and calls her a bitch. Cersei smugly then goes to see the High Septon, who explains that the Tyrells will stand trial with seven septons being the judges, the way it was before the Targaryens took over. He promises that the Tyrells’ finery will be stripped away, as it will be for everyone high and low alike — meaning CERSEI, TOO!!!!! Oh man, she did not see that coming!!! I guess she didn’t realized that her cousin and former lover Lancel who’s now one of the Sparrows apparently has unburdened himself of all his sins. And…. in goes Cersei into one of the Black Cells. She can scream and threaten all she wants, but she brought this one on herself. Did she think she could give these religious zealots full reign over the city to destroy its sinner and they wouldn’t eventually come after her? The High Sparrow was quite clear from the start what his intentions were. Much like Oleana discovered, Cersei learns too that this man cannot be bought or controlled and he will accept no alliances with sinners. And we all know she’s a sinner. Oh how glorious! You gotta love it when one of the evil characters finally gets theirs.


Game of Thrones Season 5: Inside Episode 6 (HBO)

New episodes of Game of Thrones air every Sunday at 9PM, only on HBO.

Game of Thrones Season 5: Episode #6 Recap

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