The Gift

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Well – here we are again – another week, another recap. This episode was somewhat better and somewhat worse than last week’s; a feat that might seem hard to accomplish but Season Five of Game of Thrones has been so all over the place that “The Gift” manages to do just that. I couldn’t find very many gifs this week…so you’ll have to deal with a couple pictures that don’t actually move. I know, it’s heart-breaking. So, without further ado!

The Wall: Friends are Dropping like Flies – The Lord Commander (or as we all know and love him, Jon Snow) follows through with his plan to release Tormund and join him as he rescues the Wildlings at Hardhome, North of the Wall. Ser Allister Thorne is quick to remind Jon that almost no one agrees with his plan; Jon proceeds anyway and gets a bro hug (ha!) from Sam as well as some dragonglass, in the event he meets with any White Walkers. Jon gets quite a few stares as he heads out; there is more than just snow building at the Wall…

 I love these two – everyone needs a buddy – unfortunately Sam just lost his only one….
Sam and Gilly are spending most of their time with Maester Aemon, who draws his last breaths after reminiscing about his brother “Egg”…the man who became King Aegon Targaryen. The Brothers of the NIght’s Watch lay Maester Aemon to rest and after intoning the traditional words of “And now his watch is ended” Allister Thorne lets Sam know he’s losing all of his friends. This is true – Sam really only has Gilly with him at the Wall now and as a woman…well in this world, that doesn’t count for much. Proof of this comes pretty quickly when two of the Sworn Brothers corner, menace and try to rape Gilly (STOP WITH ALL THE RAPE – STOP IT NOW) and Sam, after taking numerous punches to the face, lets the men know: “I’ve killed a White Walker, I’ve killed a Thenn – I’ll take my chances with you.” It’s less impressive when Ghost rounds the corner and scares the living daylights out of them. Later Gilly tends to Sam’s wounds and they consumate their relationship…which is really a no-no what with that whole vow of celibacy but hey – none of the other Brothers really seem to follow that vow, right?

I still can’t decide if this was sweet or not…I mean, it was…but…
The North: It’s Gonna be Do or Die – The snow is swirling heavier each week and Stannis’s forces are dwindling by the day – horses have died in the night and a whole army of Sellswords have also fled. No one wants to march to their death in the freezing snow! Ser Davos encourages Stannis to return to Castle Black and wait out the Winter there but Stannis tells him that “Winter is Coming” aren’t just the words of House Stark – Winter is literally coming and it could take years for it to break, so they will press on no matter what. Melisandre visits Stannis to press him on the surety she has in her visions; Stannis will win a great battle in the snow, she has seen it and so has he. She also sees that the Lord of Light demands a sacrifice for Stannis to continue to prevail – and Shireen has that precious king’s blood flowing through her veins. Stannis won’t hear of burning Shireen; she’s his daughter and (for now) more important than taking the Iron Throne. Only time will tell if his resolve holds up…I hope so, for Shireen’s sake. 

Let me roast your only child & things will go much more smoothly…. 

Winterfell: I’m Still Confused…and Frustrated – After the nightmare that was last week’s ending, we find Sansa is still locked in her brdroom, covered in fresh bruises from Ramsey’s nightly torments. Reek/Theon comes to bring her food, acting as a steward and she demands he help her by taking the candle and lighting it in the tower to signal for help. Reek/Theon take the candle and make what appears to be a purposeful walk to the top of the tower…except he’s actually going to Ramsey…he rats Sansa out. This is revealed a bit later when Sansa is delivered to Ramsey to walk the battlements and talk; she needles Ramsey endlessly about his being a bastard, even pointing out to him that he was “legitimized” by Tommen Baratheon, another bastard. Ramsay puts her talk to an end quickly when he shows her the old woman who’d pledged to help her; the old woman who has now been flayed and displayed for all to see. Ramsay returns Sansa’s candle to her and has her taken back to be locked in her room again.

 I honestly don’t get it guys – my hope was that in Theon being made to witness Sansa’s treatment at the hands of Ramsay, he would snap out of his “Reek” persona and help Sansa concont a plan to escape. That doesn’t seem to have happened and so it looks like the moral of this whole storyline is that bad things happen to good people in Westeros…and Sansa is good person number one, so all the bad must happen to her. Whatever.

Sansa isn’t broken yet…but taunting your captor probably isn’t the best choice…

Dorne: What Even is Going on Anymore – I don’t really know quite what to make of the whole story in Dorne…that seems to be the case each week. Princess Myrcella comes to visit her “Uncle” Jaime in his very lush prison cell – she’d like to stay in Dorne – she loves Trystane and feels at home. She also tells him she’s been living in Dorne “for years now” which made me say: what now? I think it’s not been that long…but alright writers…whatever… In the less lush dungeons, Bronn is singing to his heart’s content, which doesn’t amuse the Sand Snakes who are occupying the cell across the hall. Bronn brags about all the beautiful women he’s seen and Tyene uses her body to entice him, causing him to become faint…no wait, that’s actually the poison that tipped her blades, coursing through his body. He will most surely die…but if he’ll only tell Tyene that she’s the most beautiful woman in the world, she might have the antidote on hand! Bronn happily obliges, downs the bottle and sinks against the wall in relief.

I personally can’t even understand what the point of the whole scene was…but again, everything about Dorne has been crazy…so I shouldn’t be surprised!

Gee Dad…er…Uncle Jaime…I.m not really up for bonding & a road trip…but thanks for stopping by!
Across the Narrow Sea: Still in the Friend Zone – Jorah and Tyrion are both up for auction; Jorah is sold as a fighting slave and garners a high price. Tyrion pleads his case: they are a set, he too is a great fighter! The crowd rolls with laughter until Tyrion dodges a blow from one of the slavers and in turn beats the man into submission with the very chains around his own wrists – the man who purchased Jorah shrugs, buys Tyrion and gives him a sharp smack the minutes he opens his mouth. Elswhere is Meereen, Dany and Daario are sharing some pillow talk – Daario is just a bit jealous that Dany is going to marry Hizdahr zo Loraq and not him. He advises her that one her wedding day she should gather all the great masters of Meereen and execute them in the Great Games. She tells Daario she is a Queen, not a butcher. Daario states ominous words: All rulers are either butchers or meat..
Poor Jorah – he is King of the Friend Zone…
We rejoin Jorah and Tyrion as they are preparing to fight gladiator style in early rounds of competition to insure a place in the Great Games of Meereen, to be held at Daznak’s Pit in the coming weeks. It just so happens that Dany and her future King are making the rounds to watch these fights, as tradition dictates. When Jorah realizes Daenerys is so close, he barges into the fight and dominates the opponents, giving Dany pause in her rush to leave but angering her when he reveals himself. He tells her that he’s brought her a gift; Tyrion who has broken free of his chains with the help of a very large fighter (Strong Belwas, is that you?) presents himself: I am Tyrion Lannister. Daenerys may now hold the trump card and the push she needs to get out of Slavers Bay – only time will tell. 

Best. Gift. Ever.

Kings Landing: They don’t Serve Wine in the Black Cells – Olenna Tyrell is desperate to see her granddaughter and grandson released from the black cells and so she meets with the High Sparrow to plead her case. The High Sparrow is unmoved by her sharp tongue and offers of gold; Margaery and Loras will be punished according to the laws of the Seven. Olenna even goes so far as to threaten to stop shipments of crops from coming into the Capitol but he remains unfazed – eventually the many will stop fearing the few. Olenna also meets with Littlefinger in his ruined brothel; she still doesn’t trust him even though they worked together to kill Joffrey. Littlefinger offers her information that even Cersei doesn’t have. Young King Tommen feels powerless holed up in the Red Keep; Margaery’s imprisonment is wearing on him and he is willing to go to war with the Faith to have his bride returned to him. Cersei calms him down and promises to speak with the High Sparrow – after all, the only thing she wants in the world is the happiness of her children. Tommen and Myrcella are the only things that matter to Cersei. 
But…that venison is only two days old…
Later, Cersei visits Margaery in her cell and offers her some venison she ate only the day before – Margaery is dirty and dishelved but will have nothing to do with Cersei’s sweet taunts; she throws the bowl of food at her mother-in-law, calls her a heartless bitch and demands she leave. Cersei ambles the halls of the dungeon, gloating at her perceived success and makes her way to meet with the High Sparrow. She wants to be sure Margaery and Loras are punished to the extent that the Faith feels necessary. The High Sparrow gives Cersei a lecture about humility and simplicity before saying the Faith will strip away the finery of the Tyrells. But what will the Faith find when they strip away Cersei’s finery? You can feel the chill go up Cersei’s spine as the High Sparrow reveals that Lancel has confessed all of his sins; including the affair he had with Cersei way back in Season One. The tables have turned on Cersei and she now finds herself imprisoned by the Faith – the very Faith she empowered.

I have a feeling there won’t be a bottle of your favorite red waiting for you in there…

Other Notes from Westeros (and Essos) 
We were all over the place this week…but we didn’t get to Braavos to see Arya. One assumes she’s still hanging out in the room of creepy faces, learning to be “some one”. We also have seen Qyburn and his mysterious creature in some time… We went to Dorne but didn’t check in with Doran, Areo or Ellaria.

Brienne we saw briefly – staring way too hard at the tower, waiting for a signal to come rescue Sansa. My advice? Stop staring so hard and just go save her already, she’s struggling…I promise.

You don’t have to be a book reader (but man…you should be – the books are good!) to realize Cersei is in a bad position. It can be assumed that Lancel not only confessed to his affair with Cersei (which, as her 1st cousin…what is that called? It’s not incest…although Cersei hasn’t ever been squeamish about that anyway…) but has also confessed that Cersei had him give King Robert four times the wine he was used to while on a boar hunt – which effectively got him killed. So just on Lancel’s confession alone Cersei could be tried for infidelity, regicide and treason….who knows if the secret of her children’s true parentage will come to light?

The snow is intense in the North now – After 4.5 seasons of hearing that Winter is coming, it’s arriving in full force.

Until next week – better learn your place. Cersei is obviously confused…or has had too much wine. Oh wait, it’s probably both. *snicker*

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