Game of Thrones, S. 5, E. 7: “The Gift”

I love how smug the sister restraining Cersei is. YEAH BITCH. Image source: HBO Viewer's Guide

I love how smug the sister restraining Cersei looks. YEAH BITCH. Image source: HBO Viewer’s Guide

Week 7 and… Wow, I am getting a little weary of this season. Perhaps it’s all the discussions about misogyny and rape, or maybe I’m just feeling winded from saying “But that didn’t happen in the books!” (Okay, I should just try to stop saying that.)

No matter – we’re a mere three episodes away from the end of the season, and I THINK we’re building up to something good. Let’s have at this week, shall we?

So. Sam and Gilly… I found this episode’s buildup scenes between the two at Castle Black to be almost wholly unnecessary. Sure, I suppose it doesn’t hurt to further establish that Sam is braver than everyone thinks. And yes, it is not shocking that Gilly, the only female living in a castle full of reformed criminals, some of whom were rapists, was threatened. But wow. Just, what the hell was that? Jon Snow’s fucking wolf saved them? Where’s the damned thing been this whole season, anyway? (And where did Ghost go after?)

I found that scene to be a really needless tweak in circumstances to drive her and Sam together (especially given the outcry about always adding sexual violence). “I’ll take care of you.” Uh, yeah. No shit. You’ve only been repeating that since you first laid eyes on her. Was it necessary to add all that in? I didn’t think it was a great way to drive them together – if a catalyst was needed for Sam to break his vows, the writers could have just as easily worked it around Maester Aemon’s death and the following grief.

Anyway… I believe they are setting the stage for a few things here. Jon Snow doesn’t leave Castle Black in the books, but this change is a) filler and b) opening up opportunities to further demonstrate the rifts amongst the Night’s Watch. Also, Aemon’s watch has ended, and the Castle will need a new maester.

Oh, Maester Aemon. What an incredible character! He could have been king! He was a Targaryen, the last living relative of Daenerys. And, obviously, the best, wisest person residing at Castle Black. (Wonderfully performed by Peter Vaughan).

“He was the blood of the dragon, but now his fire has gone out. And now his watch is ended.”

Meanwhile, in Winterfell… That was some hella betrayal by Reek. I loved seeing Sansa show some claws by spitting “bastard” at her captor’s face, but… It was all for naught. At least for now. Good lord, I do hope we survive this season without another flaying by Ramsay. Do you think Sansa will have to find a way to save herself from him now?

Elsewhere in the North, Stannis’s army is freezing to death (while Davos is looking pretty fabulous, amirite?). Melisandre finally pitches the idea we have all been suspecting (particularly from the time of the famous father-daughter bonding earlier this season): let’s kill your daughter, it will make you win. Stannis is all “Whaaaaaat?” And the Red Lady is all “So?” And hopefully they don’t kill a little girl. I suspect Davos will step in to save Shireen, as he has time and time again.

In other unnecessary scenes… Why the HELL did Bronn get poisoned if he was going to get the antidote one episode later? For BOOBS? Is this going to matter later? (It probably is). Will Bronn and Tyene get out of prison and start a band of singing bandits?

Holy mother of book spoilers and dragons! So it would appear Tyrion does get to meet Daenerys after all! I assume we can safely say that the show will be skipping a certain Penny and her pig, which I am totally on board with. I truly dig that Jorah caught Daenerys’ attention by incapacitating but not killing an entire pit of fighters. Also—I want to believe that the big man who freed Tyrion was a nod to the show’s missing Strong Belwas.

I’m dying to know what happens next! Jorah has always been a favorite of mine, despite the fact that he has the worst backstory (slavery and betrayal? Come on bro). In all honesty, I am guessing that Jorah will be reinstated and take the place of Barristan. OR Tyrion will. One fan favorite over another. Daario can’t be the Queen’s only counsel, right?

Speaking of Daario, he voiced an all-but-confirmed book theory. “I think the Sons of the Harpy have stopped killing because their leader was made king.” Makes sense, right? We shall see if it’s further confirmed in the show, but I think we are being set up for ending Dany’s season in Daznak’s Pit.

Back in Westeros, drama is picking up between the church and the crown. Hell YES, Cersei is finally thrown in prison. The lead up though – “I have a gift for you”? Hello, LANCEL WAS NOT A SECRET. It sort of baffles me that Cersei (and everyone else) had this huge fucking blind spot where he was concerned – she must have assumed that while her former paramour was ransacking the capitol of adulterers and murderers that he would remain silent of their trysts. God Cersei, did you even watch the first episode of this season where he reminded you of it? That was the most anti-climactic reveal of all time.

Hopefully you all were paying careful attention to the proceedings of the Faith’s trials and accusations – we’ll be having three of them soon!

Three episodes left! Will Stannis make it to Winterfell? Will Sansa stab Ramsay in the neck? Will Daenerys feed Jorah to her dragons, or make peace with him (before he succumbs to grayscale)? Will Theon rise above Reek?

Place your bets: Will we see the Children of the Forest and Bran before the season is out? (I vote yes.)

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