Game of Thrones S5 E7
by Nikole Gunn
After the controversial wedding night rape of Sansa of last week, things are a little more ‘subdued’ this time around. Which is a mercy, really.
There is more restraint with producers perhaps understanding that the Game of Thrones viewer can only handle so much. There needs to be some respite.
This they delivered in The Gift. There was no outrage, no shock and no awe. What we got was solid story telling that still managed to deliver some ‘moments’.
Time has passed since the latest Game of Thrones wedding horror. Sansa has suffered at the hands of Ramsay Bolton. Covered in bruises, she lies on her bed as Theon/Reek unlocks the chamber door and brings her food.
She attempts to reach out to the man who was once Theon Greyjoy, telling him she can’t bare being locked up during the day and raped by Ramsay at night. The resilience we saw in Sansa while with Littlefinger has vanished.
Sansa tries to enlist his help to escape, telling him the Starks still have friends in the North, who will come to her aid if he can place a candle in the window of the highest tower. Will he do it for her?
Will this be the redemption of Theon? Will he be brave enough to help the girl he’s known since childhood? Is there a candle light at the end of the tunnel for Sansa?
No, there’s not. Sansa Stark is betrayed yet again as Reek runs straight to his master, Ramsay.
Sansa doesn’t realise that help is tantalising close. In a nearby village, Brienne is waiting for a signal that may now never come.
But Ramsay does reveal that her half brother is now Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. How could she have forgotten about Jon?
Jon isn’t hanging around at Castle Black. He and Tormund set forth beyond The Wall to convince the Wildlings to flee the coming winter and all the nasties it will bring.
He leaves behind a disgruntled Night’s Watch with Ser Alliser Thorne in charge. This will not end well. And it doesn’t. Not for Samwell anyway.
With the death of Maester Aemon, who on his deathbed relives his Targaryen past, Sam is left vulnerable. “You’re running out of friends, Tarly,” says Ser Alliser.
But Samwell still has his Gilly. His chivalry earns him a beating as tries to stop two brothers from molesting her. He staggers to his feet one more time, when out of the shadows appears … a DIREWOLF!!!
Seven episodes in and it’s our first sighting of Ghost. Clearly, they spent the CGI budget on Dany’s dragons and there has been a distinct lack of direwolf action.
Things then take an interesting turn for Sam. His vows are quickly forgotten as Gilly has her wicked way with him. Sam The Slayer has become Sam The Layer.
With Jon heading north before the winter, King Stannis and his crew are heading south for Winterfell. But as the snow falls, they’re starting to lose men and horses.
Ser Davos tries to convince him that the time is not right to launch an assault on Winterfell. But Stannis will risk everything because the time IS right, or so he believes.
The Red Woman, Melisandre, reassures him that all is going to the plan and she has seen his victory ‘in the flames’. She then suggests he makes a blood sacrifice to the Lord of Light.
Royal blood is needed and the only candidate is his daughter, Princess Shireen. Stannis is many things and has done many things in his quest for the Iron Throne, but he won’t do that.
While Stannis deals with the cold (and an angry Red Woman) Tyrion and Ser Jorah find themselves sold off to a pit master of Meereen.
They eventually find themselves waiting to do battle with hardened gladiators in what will be a fight to death with Daenerys looking on despite her better judgement.
Jorah hears them pledge their loyalty to the Queen and springs into action. After dealing with each opponent, he reveals himself to the Khaleesi, begging her to wait a moment. He has a gift. A gift?
“I am the gift. My names is Tyrion Lannister”.
It’s a little bit earlier in the piece than in the books, but I’m OK with that. Tyrion’s intrusion on Dany’s life/storyline may actually enliven the Meereen saga, which drags on and on and on and on in the books.
If Tyrion has purpose in his life again, so does Cersei. It’s revolved around controlling Tommen and destroying the Tyrells. But her day of reckoning is fast approaching.
Grandma Tyrell is a woman on a mission. She tries to secure the release of Loras and Margaery by threatening the High Sparrow.
Her threats to withhold food from King’s Landing do not have the desired effect. The High Sparrow dismisses her efforts with the rather chilling words:
“You are the few. We are the many. And the many have stopped fearing the few”.
It pretty much means he’s playing the Game of Thrones by his own rules. He can’t be threatened and he can’t be bought off.
She gets no joy from the High Sparrow, but Littlefinger is a different story and he has certain information to help her cause.
Uh oh, Cersei, your chickens could be coming home to roost. Or maybe it’s your ‘sparrows’ and all your dirty little secrets. And there are quite a few of them.
Not realising her world is about to come crashing down on her, Cersei meets with the High Sparrow to discuss the upcoming trial of Loras and Margaery. Or so she thinks.
Instead, she’s confronted by her one time lover; cousin Lancel and we know he has a story or two to tell. Cersei is then dragged off to the dungeons to await her fate.
A Lannister always pays it’s debts. But sometimes that comes at a huge cost as Cersei is about to find out.