Game Of Thrones Season Five, Episode Seven Recap: The Gift

Things are going downhill in Westeros — depending who you're cheering for, of course.

Warning: Spoilers within!

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We begin season five, episode seven — "The Gift" — in Castle Black, where Jon Snow continues to make preparations to travel with Tormund Giantsbane to rescue the remaining, scattered wildling population from north of the Wall. Jon Snow frowns. Seemingly every single Night's Watchman apart from Jon's loyal sidekick Sam is dead-set against the idea, of course, and it's pretty obvious that they think something needs to be done to stop him.

Sam, of course, is starry-eyed in love with Gilly Jon Snow, and gives him a going-away present of a dragonglass blade — all the better to stab a bunch of white walkers with. And the mother of all bro-hugs, as well. Old Maester Aemon, too, is in his death bed, but gives a portentious warning to Sam and Gilly to take their baby south "before it's too late." It's too late for Aemon, though, and the Night's Watch celebrates his life with a funeral pyre.

A few day's ride south of the Wall, things aren't going too well for Sansa. She's already endured a horrendous and horrifying wedding night at the hands of the bastard Ramsay Bolton (bastard in the insultative sense, he's a legitimate Bolton now), but that same disgusting treatment continues night after night. Sansa tries to get the brain-addled Theon to help her, but instead he stays true to his name and goes turncloak on her, telling Ramsay of her plans and co-conspirators — one of which who ends up flayed to death. (Ew.)

Sansa did have a bit of good fortune coming her way in the form of a small but scrappy army led by rightful king and Protector Of Good Grammar, Stannis The Mannis Baratheon. The Sansa Effect is in full force, though, and that army is having some serious performance issues. The force is besieged not by Ramsay and Roose and their bannermen, but by snow and storm. The smartest man in the entire seven kingdoms, Ser Davos Seaworth, begs him to retreat but Stannis did that once already at King's Landing and he's not really too keen on trying it all out again.

It's down further south that the real action is happening, though. In King's Landing, old biddy Olenna Tyrell is petitioning the High Sparrow to get her children out. Margaery and Loras are in the clutches of the Faith Militant, and no amount of money — or even threats to cut the city off from its food supply — will get them out. Even poor little King Tommen has no sway with the High Sparrow, and the only person that possibly might — Queen Regent slash Queen Mother, Cersei Lannister — doesn't actually want to get them out.

Cersei does deign to visit Margaery in her dirty, dark, dank cell though, and lords her freedom over her. But hey! That won't last for long, as Cersei is utterly unceremoniously hauled away into her own cell. This gon' be good. This, oddly enough, leaves Olenna as top lady in King's Landing, and she talks to Littlefinger in the ruins of one of his brothels and gets from him the name of a young man. What is this young man for? We don't know.

Down in Dorne, Myrcella visits gold mate Jamie Lannister in prison, after he attempted to prison-break her and royally stuffed it up. She's still infatuated with Dornish Jonas brother Tristane, which will continue to be a point of contention for everyone involved except the two lovers themselves. Bronn flirts with a Sand Snake who previously stabbed him, because he's Bronn and that's exactly what he does every day of the week.

Meereen is where the party is happening. This is the big reveal of the episode, and one of the biggest departures from the book so far. Daenerys meets Tyrion! Daenerys is still schlepping around with Daario despite being betrothed (by her own politicking) to Hizdahr zo Loraq, and her proposal of marriage from Daario would mean she has a strong fighter as a husband but no advisor. That's where Tyrion will enter in episodes to come, we think. But what do you think?

Note: Please, no spoilers from the books in the comments below!


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Comments

    Am I the only one who thinks this season is a bit... dull?

      Writing and plot definitely took a nose dive this season. It's missing a lot of interaction between characters, cool new characters and has some horrible cliche moments.

      There is no build up to anything, the villains are so villianess that its boring now. The good guys constantly have to struggle and don't get a reprieve. Characters move around the world far too quickly and rarely stay long enough to build justifiable relationships with each other.

      The beauty of the earlier episodes was the way characters interacted with each other and played off one another. We used to spend nearly 10-15 minutes with a character, now it seems closer to 5 minutes before were pulled away to see something else which causes the narrative to suffer greatly.

        I think a perfectly good reason for the writing taking a hit is due to the fact the series has deviated so far from the source material. Better plot, more characters etc in the book and budget constraints can't be hid behind for the miniseries shortcomings its the biggest IP atm

          More plot threads going nowhere like Jon Connington/the Young Griff, Penny, Quentyn Martell, a new character being added very twenty pages to fill in space. Ramsay Bolton is just as cartoonishly evil in the books as in the show (if not moreso), same with Cersei. If anything the show is suffering from trying to stick too closely to the source material when it could have progressed more efficiently.

          The book is also much slower than the series. So it feels harsh to call the tv show slow.

    This was one of the more interesting episodes so far. More of Bronn and Daario yessss.

      I know he's been cast differently for the past two seasons but still totally appropriate

      http://40.media.tumblr.com/f2c344f851ea422afcbc98e7a23f786a/tumblr_mn4pvdrxez1qj0hyho1_540.jpg

    It's a bit odd now how some characters with no nudity clauses cover themselves in un natural ways during sex yet other characters get naked for no reason at all in a way that kind of makes the scene comical just to fill the quota of tits for the episode. I'm all for tits but it felt a bit forced this week.

      Yeah. Boob powers in the jail was a horrible scene. Made little sense to be honest

        You know they weren't boob powers right? She had poisoned him and was getting his blood rushing as he had been lying around and the poison was slow to effect him.

          Oh of course. I mean in the fact that he became so overwhelmed by the eight of tits that he forgot what he was saying.

            He became so overwhelmed because the poison was going to his head... not because he saw tits... the tits were simply a means to get the blood flowing

              No. I get that. But they way he reacted when he first saw them. It was as if that was the first pair of tits he saw.

              If the poison simply needed to pump around his body to take effect, surely be captured, stripped of dornish garb and throw in prison would have caused the blood to pump quicker.

              It was just a horrible scene that really didn't do anything for the plot beyond fill the boob quota

        I initially thought it was going to be a magic vagina until she said she'd poisoned him.

          ... Did you not piece that together from last weeks episode?

          Do you think a sand snake's vagina is.... y'know... sandy?

    I thought the highlight was Cersei being dragged off rather than Tyrion & Daenerys meeting. Daenerys really hasn't been an interesting character for a couple of seasons now but hopefully it picks up now.

    Also, you're forgetting about the red witch whatshername telling Stannis to sacrifice his daughter for her blood to keep the god(s?) happy.

    I don't think this is leading to a big battle finale, rather smaller personal incidents (please something happen to Cersei). Maybe the wildings will get to fight some whitewalkers :D or Jon will run into little Starc who I forget and Hodor in the last episode North of the wall

    Not read the books so haven't a clue what'll happen

      If you'd have read the books it wouldn't help, the show is pretty much past the point of the books now, and in the case of the characters that are still behind, they're doing it differently.

    I wondered why the fxck Jon wasn't taking Ghost with him when he left with Tormund. Then he came to Sam & Gilly's rescue. I liked that. Haven't seen Ghost at all since S4.

    I liked:
    - Sam getting back up, backed up with Ghost.
    - Stannis shutting down Fire Priestess
    - Jorah, Tyrion & Danaerys finally meeting
    - Cersei getting her just-deserts
    - High Sparrow & Olenna Tyrell's "Knees & Hips" scene
    - Jamie getting shut the fxck down.
    - Tommen is now alone the cowardly prick.

    Confused:
    - Littlefinger and Olenna? Had to be something more to it than that.
    - The Snakes had the only antidote on her and willingly gave it to Bronn, after she got what she wanted to hear? Bit too cliche imo

    Didn't like:
    - Winterfell
    - Cersei & Tommen scene
    - Reek showing he's still fearful

    I think everytime the TV series strays from the books the TV series is the poorer. Since this season is almmost completely different it is by far the worst so far.

    This season to me just feels like filler. The progression is bland, and slow. There are so many different plots between characters, but none of them really feel connected. Obviously once the white walkers come into play, there will be a common enemy etc and I'd say things will start connecting again, but right now it's just crap.

    Even the motives behind characters aren't clear or solid. It feels like it's being done on the whim. Sure, right now they each have their own little goals to overcome - but what the next step after that? It's boring because we're literally being taken through it one step at a time, with practically no build up to anything.

      Have you read the books? I'm not gonna spoil but it's no different. Heck, we've gone past the books now. They've rushed so many things forward it's crazy. To be honest the show is fast tracking a lot of events, so to call it slow is a little harsh.

    I canceled my Foxtel sub, due to this season of GoT not following the books, I am waiting for the next book, I am not going to watch the tv writers make up the story.

    I feel like you've all missed the point of the Littlefinger/Olenna chat. The young bloke he mentioned is Lancel Lannister, the guy who ended up getting Cercei imprisoned.

      I really thought he was alluding to Gendry. Last time we saw Gendry, he was in a row boat destined for King's Landing....

    Perhaps. Or perhaps it's another young man that will somehow exonerate Margaery and Loras, or at least weaken the case against them. I'd imagine that Olenna would be more interested in that.

    The show is deviating/outpacing the books, so it's now anyone's guess as to what is happening.

    How is this gaming related at all?

      Kotaku isn't pure gaming information, its more popular culture which this definitely defined as. Gizmodo is gadgets, tech and gizmos, and Lifehacker for lifestyle tips.

      If you want pure gaming news, there are more than a few thousand options available to you on the net.

        Last I checked, Kotaku is about gaming news. Have a look around online, does it say gaming and lifestyle/pop culture news anywhere? Maybe in the off topic posts or talk amongst yourselves..

        But hey, I get it. A GoT post will get clicks.

          The article on the most commented section at the moment is an Off Topic about what readers watch on Youtube, it's not like GoT articles are the only things non gaming related. Anyway it's not really clickbait if people are interested in the actual content that is on the page, and the content is true to the title of the article.

          Last edited 27/05/15 3:02 pm

    I really wanted Sam to stand back up after getting hit and be all like
    "I always wanted to be a wizard"
    And start blowing bitches up with fire and lightning. WHAT A TWIST!
    I can dream.

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