Game Of Thrones Season 5 Episode 7: The Biggest Game Changer of the Season?

Game Of Thrones 5x07-The-Gift-Myrcella BaratheonGame Of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 7 “The Gift”

Game Of Thrones doesn’t follow the structure of a typical season of television. However, in terms of the narrative arc, “The Gift” is still in the rising action phase as a number of storylines are building their way towards a climax (insert your Samwell Tarly joke here). The most notable series of events is the convergence of Tyrion and Dany’s storylines. We also saw Cersei’s smug grin get wiped off her face and discover things can actually get worse for Sansa. Speaking of Sam the Slayer, giving a shard of dragon glass to Jon appears to be setting up a battle with possibly a White Walker and their undead horde against the wildings in Hardhome.

Let’s start off with the story lines in Dorne which have yet to find their footing. There hasn’t been enough time allotted to develop the Sand Snakes, Prince Doran and Myrcella into compelling characters who can stand on their own. Myrcella reminds me of a young Sansa from early season one. She’s living in this fairytale dream of princes and water gardens while not seeing how much danger surrounds her. It’s how her relationship with Jamie might play out which will likely determine how invested I am in her fate.

I guess one could make the case that the Dornish are open with their sexuality and that Tyene Sand held the power over Bronn in more than one way. Yet, without knowing anything more about her, in that jail scene she comes off more of a caricature than someone I can take seriously. It also leaves me wondering why Tyene would want to save a guy working for the Lannisters, her sworn enemy. Aside from the “if you got it, flaunt it” modus operandi, does she have a long con in mind by giving the antidote to Bronn?

In Essos, enslaving Tyrion and Jorah worked well as a plot device that led to them coming together with Dany. And Jorah got a mini-Gladiator moment without actually having to kill anyone which seemed to impress Dany until he took off his helmet. I’m not surprised by her initial decision to send Jorah away, but I would have preferred a more emotionally conflicted look in her eyes.  I thought I would have been more excited at Jorah’s reunion with Dany and Tyrion introducing himself to her. 

I don’t know what to make of Dany acting so squeamish at the sight of men killing each other. I get that she doesn’t believe in killing for the sake of entertainment but it sort of highlights how roasting a possibly innocent man alive in gruesome fashion didn’t feel consistent with her character.

Game Of Thrones Season 5 emilia-clarke

While I’m sure Brienne will eventually get something to do, it’s kind of disappointing that her storyline consists of waiting for a candle that might not ever light up. As flawed as Sansa’s plan was to ask Theon for help I did like a few developments.  Sansa will now have to rely on herself. She has no other option but to take matters into her own hands if she hopes to make contact with Brienne or make it out of Winterfell.

I also liked that even though Sansa is beaten, she’s not broken like Theon. She was trying to pull Theon together with “You’re name is Theon Greyjoy” speech which echoed what she said to Myranda last episode, ‘I am Sansa of House Stark”. One other thing I noted is how Sansa is replanting the seeds in Ramsey’s psychotic mind that his step-mom’s baby is a potential threat to him. Ramsey is like a loose cannon that can go off at any given second, maybe she’s hoping she can use that to her advantage.  

Further up North,  Stannis going against Melissandre’s wishes is a strong moment for him. In previous seasons, he was overly dependent on the Red Priestess. But what made this decision great is that while Stannis is willing to risk his army and his own life, his love for Shireen supercedes everything else. Let’s not forget how ruthless Stannis has been to get to where he is. By not using Shireen’s blood, he’s possibly giving up Winterfell and the Iron Throne. What’s impressive still is that because Stannis’ development has been thoughtfully built up this season it feels true to his character. 

Game Of Thrones 5x07-The-Gift

At the Wall, I worried at how close Gilly was to being assaulted after what happened to Sansa last episode. It would have been funny if Sam didn’t know it was Ghost behind him that scared off the two Night’s Watchmen, but because that scene very tense, switching to a different tone wouldn’t have meshed. However, it’s funny how actor John Bradley can make his bedroom scene with Gilly comical “oh my, oh my”. On a sadder note, we bid farewell to Maester Aemon, he shall be missed.

The King’s Landing scenes are solid but I think something is missing from making them great. First off, it’s always a good writing choice to let two great actors in Diana Rigg (Queen Of Thorns) and Jonathan Pryce (High Sparrow) go opposite one another. I also liked seeing this raw emotive side to Tommen but especially Margaery because she usually dresses up her true thoughts with sweetness. But because Cersei is so transparent here, there isn’t another layer at play, the aspect which made her scenes with Tyrion so memorable. I do like how the tables of have turned on Cersei, of course all by her undoing. 

Nitpicks aside, there aren’t any major low points in this episode.  At the same time, “The Gift” didn’t have that one big moment everyone is raving about the next day. Tyrion meeting Dany could have been that moment but it didn’t land as strong as I hoped. Maybe it’s because the episode didn’t end on this scene. Or maybe I was hoping for an epic fight where Jorah had to work together with Tyrion to survive against all odds before the final reveal of who they were to Dany. The convergence of Dany and Tyrion’s storylines is a pretty huge event to me. They are two incredibly important characters and I think the landscape has changed in a interesting way. Their convergence opens up a lot of story possibilities. For example, will these two eventually work together to take back the Iron Throne? The fact that the show burned through entire books and beyond to get to this point is a sign this is a crucial development to the end game.  

What do you think about Tyrion introducing himself to Dany? What did you like or dislike in this episode? 

About Sidekick Reviews

Movies, TV shows, comics, and video game news & review.

Posted on May 25, 2015, in Game of Thrones, Television and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. Hey dude, great recap as always, you always seem to get everything covered so when my memory goes astray you can help me piece things back together haha.

    Anyways I thought this was a pretty good episode and while the action still wasn’t on a high point, it was the character moments and escalating storylines that have gotten my interest this week.

    So let’s start with the stuff in Dorne, that Myrcella, what a bitch. I know she’s young and blissfully unaware of madness beyond her surroundings, but man she’s such a brat, I can’t deal with people who don’t want to help themselves or are delusional. Hopefully tragedy will befall her and she’ll have to turn to Jamie for help. As for the jail scene with Bronn and Tyene, firstly I have to say that scene got in a happy mood with Bronn’s song, such a beautiful voice and such a funny song. Then when Tyene showed some skin, ain’t gonna lie, that was pretty hot, but I knew there was something else going on and when my boy fell I was like, “Damn son you got poisoned yo!” I did wonder why she gave him the antidote, I thought it was fake at first but it seems legit, I think maybe she likes Bronn or possibly needs him for a future partnership?

    I thought it was fun to see Tyion beat that dude’s ass just to get bought with Jorah, it once again demonstrates that the guy’s really smart and swift in thinking. I also loved seeing Jorah fight his way through those men without having to kill any of them, it was slick, cool and most impressive. I was gutted that Daenerys took one look at him after he removed his helmet and wanted him taken away, it was a natural reaction, but like you if there had been a moment of conflict in her face before making the decision that would have worked so much better. But was glad that Tryion FINALLY got to introduce himself of Daenerys, from the way he was stuck in chains I thought we’d have to wait another episode, luckily that huge guy let Tryion go. I just hope that they can get talking and start to see how useful each other them would be to each other at this current point in time. OH, and like you I was surprised that Daenerys could easily let her dragons burn a man alive and watch his remains get eaten, but couldn’t handle a little violence in the pits, that was a little inconsistent.

    As for Sansa up at Winterfell I was fairly disappointed, but also relieved at how she’s turn out since the last episode. I’m annoyed that she definitely knocked down a few pegs as she suffered nightly beatings (and probable forced sex too), and her lifelines for help are pretty much gone with Theon spilling the beans to Ramasy and then having the old lady skinned and killed (damn it Theon/Reek). Seems like the girls has lost all hope for help within the walls of her home. But I was glad to see that she does show strength in her words to not only Theon but also to try and take a jab at Ramsay when it comes to his heritage and status. But Theon, I think that dude’s hopeless, he’s lost to fear and serves Ramsay to a fault, so unless this season can prove me wrong, I’m not interested in his character anymore. Oh and poor Brienne, just standing there like a badass with nothing to do, what a waste of talent. I sure hope she gets something to do soon. As for Stannis taking as stand against Melissandre, that was awesome. For so long he has trusted her and followed her plans, but when it comes to his daughter, that’s one line that can’t be crossed. It shows, once again that the guy is human and cares for something beyond conquering his enemies.

    As for the situation with Sam and Gilly. When Sam was getting his face smacked in and when those guys looked like they were gonna rape Gilly, I was like “Ah man this sucks.” Firstly because I thought Sam would be a least a more capable fighter than what he showed. And secondly because we’d just seen a great character raped recently and it wouldn’t be in good taste to apply that to another lady so soon. Luckily Ghost was around to save the day, I thought Sam summoned him, but upon reading reviews, I guess it was just a case of good timing. That sex scene between Gilly and Sam was so odd and funny, Sam’s words, bloody hell, he was the woman! XD Oh and Maester Aemon, he was a nice guy, it is a shame to see him pass.

    As for King’s Landing, that was where my main interest lied this week. The High Sparrow and Queen of Thones were on fire this week, their conversation was wonderful with some great exchanges and words of wisdom/threats. I love it when Diana Rigg is on-screen, her character brings so much sass, bluntness and force to the story with her dialogue. Also Tommen, it was great to see him actually showing that he cared and almost want to defy his mother’s will to try and save the woman he loves, but unfortunately I think Cersei was still able to manipulate him again to keep him quiet for a little while longer. Oh and poor Margaery, I hate to see my girl is such a horrible situation, but I like how she doesn’t pull any punches and gives Cersei some words of the agressive type. OH and fuck yes to seeing Cersei finally getting a nice healthy portion of karma! When she was thrown in that cell I was delighted, I mean I love Cersei (and Lena Heady’s performance for sure), but this bitch was getting too big for her boots so it is about time that someone knocked her down a few pegs.

    Overall good episode with some really strong moments, but I guess my issue is that GoT this season hasn’t wowed me yet or given me something that’s made me go “Yeah, GoT is perfect TV this week.” You know? I just hope the next 3 episodes are good or I’ll be severily disapppointed.

    • Hey my friend! Hope you’ve been doing well. I sometimes have a hard time putting thoughts into words and I feel like I skim the surface with these recaps, so I’m very grateful for the compliment. 🙂

      I liked this episode and things are inching forward. I agree the action stuff, eg with Jorah was good but not amazing fight choreography.

      I wonder if Jamie will reveal he’s Myrcella’s father at some point. Yeah, she’s a bratty princess. I kind of tuned out her dialogue a bit because all I heard was *whine, whine, whine* lol. I think Bronn’s blood pressure sky rocketed looking at Tyene which caused the poison to circulate faster haha. Maybe after listening to Bronn sing, she’s like okay I’ll let you live and see how I can use you to my advantage lol.

      I thought it was funny how Tyrion beat up that guy with his hands shackled and everyone just stood there and laughed. A good thing Jorah brought his little gift or he’d probably be sent away. Maybe Dany is growing colder, it would have been nice to see her react more to seeing Jorah.

      It seems a lot of time is spent at Winterfell this season, I hope it pays off. I saw next week’s preview and we’ll be getting more Sansa and Theon scenes. Sansa grabbed something this episode, maybe she use it as a weapon. Stannis got another good scene, very likable, I wonder if the writers are setting up his downfall?

      I got uncomfortable when Gilly got jumped, I thought “oh know, please not again”. I guess it shows how far Sam has progressed, going from the coward to … the punching bag lol. That’s so true, it was a role reversal in that scene with Gilly. I wouldn’t be surprised if his line “oh my” was an ad lib. I like Maester Aemon too and his line “Egg, I dreamt I was an old man” for some reason was chilling to me. The actor is like 92 years old.

      I liked how Olenna was sussing out the High Sparrow, looking for angles, weaknesses and then making a threat as a last resort. I have to say Littlefinger is playing all sides hard, he really does love the chaos. I also liked how after Cersei checked in on Marge, she told the High Sparrow that the conditions in the cell was suitable with a smirk on her face, then a few minutes later is imprisoned herself. She was riding on a high horse, yeah it was a matter of time before things backfired on her.

      Considering the slow paced and meandering source material of books 4 & 5, the show is trying to move things faster but compared to last season doesn’t have that wow factor. I do think big things will happen in ep 9 & 10, it’s just feels drawn out a bit getting there.

      • I’ve been good thank you and no problem man, I have the same problems when I’m doing my TV-based reviews too. 🙂

        I think Jamie will have to say something, he’s losing her and with his prommise to Cersei, I don’t think he can come back home empty-handed. I wish I had done what you did and tuned out. 😛 I know she’s technically innocent, but I can’t stand the whining. I never considering the increased blood pressure as the cataylst for Bronn feeling the poison quicker, but it does make sense.

        That Tyrion, there is always a good time when he is around, he’s badass, quick-witted and much better than most people give him credit for. Yeah that Dany, she’s changing little by little this season, maybe she’ll walk down the dark part of the Mad King.

        I hope she’ll use that item to stab that asshole Ramsay in the head right between the eyes! I mean I hope it wasn’t just for show and she’ll at least attempt to attack the guy. As for Stannis, something tells me this may be the beginning of the end for him, but I kind of don’t want him to lose, I don’t love his character, but I think he should at least wipe out the Boltons, those guys need to be taken out.

        Haha Sam’s gone from coward to punching bag, frigging hilarious. Poor guy. I wish he’d you know taken advantage of Jon’s training sessions though, he’s been around for long enough to learn something.

        As for Littlefinger, the guy is smart, he’s got alliances all of the place and pretty much has a contingency plan for all events if one or more go sideways, that’s the cunning and smarts that i appreciate about him. That Cersei, she’s in a dungeon, such a happy feeling. Though I do like how she’s still making threats, I wonder if there is any value to those words?

        I haven’t read the books so are they quite slow paced, more so than this season? I’m also thinking that the final two episodes will hopefully bethe big events to end everything on a high.

        • Oh wow, you’re writing is so natural I wouldn’t have known you have the same problem with TV reviews. I have to admit I stare at a blank screen a lot when trying to put these reviews together haha.

          Just a theory about Bronn’s blood pressure, not really sure though. I mean it was a huge coincidence that after happily singing he only started feeling the poison effects as soon as he saw/spoke with Tyene.

          There’s speculation online that Dany could become a dark force, like a villain on the throne. I don’t know, I hope not but I guess it could make for interesting TV.

          Stannis is our best chance right now to take out the Boltons. I’m rooting for him but I totally agree that this may be the beginning of the end for him.

          As soon as Jon leaves, those unscrupulous night’s watch men try to take advantage of Gilly. At least Sam knew which end of the sword to hold haha. I found it funny when Sam told Jon this dragon glass is what he used to kill the White Walker, “No Sam you left your dragon glass behind” lol.

          I liked when Cersei made those threats, it’s pure vile nastiness. I’m not sure if Cersei will learn her lesson or if this will push her towards a mental breakdown. The real person to blame is herself.

          Yeah, the show is cutting out huge chunks of the books, but those parts don’t really go anywhere or probably won’t be important for the end game. Book 3 (season 3 & 4) had a great pace, so much happens. After book 3 it slows down a lot which is where we are in the show now. Actually the show is beyond the books in some places.

  2. I am not sure what I wanted from the scene where Dany and Tyrion met, but I wanted that scene to land better for me. Some of your suggestions would have helped. Having said that I am super excited by the interactions we will be seeing of them going forward.

    Between new developments like that, Jon heading to Hardhome and other stuff I expect to happen because they were in the books, I suspect these last few episodes will be really great. The whole battle at Winterfell seems like a real wildcard as I’m still not sure how all that will play out, but that adds some extra excitement to the mix. Great review. I hope this season finishes as strong as it seems it will.

    • Maybe because I was highly anticipating the scene where Dany and Tyrion meet, it would have worked better for me if it felt like a momentous event. After we get through the initial phase of Tyrion earning Dany’s trust, I think it’ll be very intriguing how these two will interact and develop a working relationship.

      I get the feeling that these last few episodes will be the strongest of the season. There’s a lot of ground to cover and some big character moments coming. I’m going to try to keep my expectation low for the Winterfell battle so that whatever happens I’ll be fine with. I read one review that speculated it could just be Ramsey burning a few tents, I hope that’s not the case. I’m glad we didn’t have to wait an extra week for a new episode because of the Memorial day weekend. Just three more to go! Thanks so much!

  3. This was a better episode than last weeks. Though after the Sansa rape, had they raped the wildling chick, it would have been overkill. As it is I’m thinking these guys, including George RR Martin are unrepentant misogynist.

    But maybe now that Samwell popped his cherry he’ll be less of a doormat. I was hoping Sansa would kill Reek with that corkscrew. Still am. I’m hoping anyone kills Reek. I want him dead. Not redeemed. Dead.

    I am very excited to see what Tyrion and Dany get into. Where is Varys? He was going to make the introduction and shouldn’t he be in Mereen by now since those guys had to walk and get captured and stuff.

    Tommen needs to become (just a little) more like his brother and go get his woman. Joffrey would have the Sparrow’s head on a pike by now (after torturing him for a few days).

    Stannis army gets bogged down in the cold and the snow. I guess he never heard of World War II. The red woman just wants to kill people. I was surprised she didn’t want to kill Jon Snow. “For the world is full of people and there are not enough fires.”

    Only three more episodes. As bad as this season has been (I haven’t been impressed), I still don’t want it to end. Nice recap.

    • This was a better episode for me too compared to last week. Yeah, total overkill if Gilly got raped too. To be fair to George R. R. Martin, Dany, Cersei, & Sansa didn’t get raped in the books, and Talisa’s fetus stabbing, plus the attempted rape on Gilly were inventions of the show. But the books are definitely violent.

      I think either Varys will either show up in Meereen or he’ll surprise us somewhere else when we least expect it. Yeah, Joffrey would have totally ripped apart Sparrow and there would be no way he’d let anyone in King’s Landing have more power than him.

      Because Stannis army aren’t Northerners, the cold and lack of food will probably do more damage than the Boltons. All the Boltons need to do is wait for Stannis army to become weak. Whatever happens I’m pretty sure the red priestess will use her magic in a big way by the end of this season.

      I think this is a weaker season, but the best has yet to come. Hopefully these next few episodes can raise it to another level.

      • I agree with Stannis outmatched by the snow. Plus a small army can hold Winterfell. You’re right about Varys. He’ll just turn up having been there the whole time. He’s a sneaky big bastard. My girl friend told me the books were too rapey and that’s why she never read them. What the hell. You mean they added more rapes to the series. That’s disturbing. Maybe they had to include a certain amount of sex for HBO so they thought rape was sex. I don’t know but it has gotten out of hand. One of these heroines have got to kick some male ass pretty soon.

        • It’s hard to say but I’m guessing the show runners like nudity, sex and have a track record of botching up these controversial scenes that didn’t quite happen the same way in the books. I’m rooting for Arya to kick ass and cross names off her list. I think she’s our best bet for a heroine to step it up this season. Too bad about the Sand Snakes ….

  4. abbiosbiston

    I thought exactly the same thing about Tyene Sand. What was the point of that whole scene?? And I agree about Gilly. I honestly thought is this turning into “Rape of Thrones”. I kind of understood where they were going with Sansa but two rapes in two weeks would have just been too much!

    • The Dorne stuff is all over the place. Maybe once we see where this goes we’ll get a better idea of the point of that scene. For now, it’s more for titillation than character development heheh. Yeah, if there were two rapes in a row that would be overkill, sad thing is that Sansa is getting assaulted off-screen.

  5. Nice recap, bud. I like this episode better than the previous for obvious reasons. I haven’t read the second nor the third books, so have no idea what will happen between Tyrion and Khaleesi, seems exciting I suppose! Although, the scene with Cersei in the end makes me giddy for next week haha

    • Thanks a lot bud! It’s funny, I’ve read the books and I have no idea what will happen between Tyrion and Khalessi haha. I’m guessing her scenes will be funnier and more witty now that Tyrion is there. Things are going to get even worse for Cersei, can’t wait hehe!

  6. I fangirled so hard when Tyrion and Dany met. That was probably my favorite moment of the season so far, they both nailed that moment and Tyrion can help her so much

    • Wow, very cool to hear that was your fave scene of the season. I really wished that scene would have landed stronger for me. I can’t wait to see how Tyrion is going to help her and I look forward to his reaction when he sees the dragons up close.

  7. Great recap! I agree that Dany and Tyrion’s meeting seemed a bit underwhelming. Maybe because it was so expected that it turned out to be anti-climatic? Or maybe it was Dany not being just a little happy to see Jorah that made things seems blah. Hopefully future scenes with these two will be better.
    I’m beyond disappointed with the Sand Snakes. So they’ve only been used for a weak fighting scene and then to show that one of them has a great body and isn’t inhibited. Thanks for that writers. Really needed to know that. Like you said, hopefully there is more to this scene since it appeared to be more about boobs than anything else.
    Seeing Cersei getting locked up was spectacular. I cheered when it happened and didn’t feel bad for her at all. Would be nice to see her punished since her actions have caused so many to die.
    I wanted Sam to be a little tougher since he was fighting for someone he loves.
    Great point about Stannis’ development. Being able to see that he actually cares for his daughter in previous episodes made that scene have more impact. And once again, I’m liking someone who’s been rather dreadful in the past and want a good outcome for him. I should know better by now that the likelihood of this happening is slim to none.
    Three episodes left? Seems like there’s too much story left to tell but GoT usually does well with tying things together. I wonder if we’ll see any more of Varys in the remaining episodes.

    • I also thought Dany and Tyrion’s meeting felt a little anti-climatic, I think because of the reasons you mentioned. Tyrion could help Dany in many ways, I hope Dany sees that right away. Still lots of things to address in Meereen, there’s the marriage, fighting pits, Sons of Harpies, dragons, Jorah’s greyscale and now Tyrion … should be exciting to see how it all comes together.

      I think you nailed exactly why the Sand Snakes’ scenes are disappointing. It’s already episode 7 but they are underdeveloped characters. By this time last season, Oberyn was on his way to becoming a fan favorite if not already. Haha, there was probably a lot of cheering and fist pumping from viewers when Cersei finally got hers. The cherry on top is that this was all her undoing. She was so focused on getting the Tyrells she missed how much danger she was putting herself in too.

      I liked Sam standing up to those guys but you’re right he could have been tougher in fighting for Gilly. He also could have tried first using his words to instill fear, even if it was false bravado or try outsmarting those guys which is his true strength.

      Another thing that I think is helping Stannis become someone to root for is that his enemy, the Boltons, are easily the most hated. Sad thing is, I don’t think Sansa can rely on Stannis to save her. I agree, Stannis making moral, honorable decisions doesn’t bode well for him on this show haha.

      Hmm, I’m just guessing but I think we will see Varys in the finale. These last few episodes should be strong, I hear the show spent a lot of money on episode 8. Should be great! 🙂

  8. Nice write up. Looking forward the Daerneys-Tyrion dynamic

  9. Even though I don’t watch the show, it’s hard not to know what happens to Sansa on this episode (or previous one?). Well, seems that a lot that’s going on here happens in that BORGIA series I mentioned to you, it’s just more concentrated in this one crazy Italian family.

    • Yeah, Twitter and other social media/sites goes crazy when stuff like this happens so it’s kind of unavoidable. BORGIA sounds really crazy, maybe once GOT season is over I’ll take a peek. The thing is I don’t follow too many overseas TV shows and I might need a a little breather from heavy subject matter haha.

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