“The Gift” – Game of Thrones, Season 5 Episode 7 – Review ****

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Closer to the end of the season, oh no my lords…. (snif)

It snows at the wall, and Snow is about to leave it. You know, for that reckless and insulting plan of going beyond the wall to get some free folk to come South. Sam the Slayer gives Jon some dragon glass (just in case), but completely forgets about the  postcard and box of chocolates (what a lousy friend hey….) Maester Aemon, who’s very much dying, talks to Gilly and Sam about his brother Aegon and tells the odd couple to head South “before it’s too late”, which clearly means before the high season comes and becomes impossible to book a half decent hotel.

In Winterfell, Theon brings food to Sansa Bolton, who begs for his help (you know, after almost spitting on him a few days before). Marriage doesn’t seem to agree with Sansa (we wonder why), so she wants to send a signal to whoever friends the Starks still have in the North to come and rescue her (yeah, right). Theon and Sansa have a “I’m way worse off than you” word battle, and Theon leaves with a candle and a mission to save the day. So Theon goes and tells Ramsey about it. Stockholm syndrome, anyone? In the meantime, Brienne waits for a signal from Sansa, a lit candle, a text, a facebook like, anything.

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Aemon kicks the bucket. Sam makes a wonderful funeral speech and the Night’s Watch burns the body (eh, since when do Targaryens burn?) Sam is then reminded that he doesn’t have friends left at the Wall, which makes him suddenly grow worried. The person who should really be worried, though, is Sansa, that is left out of her room to meet her lovely, lovely husband.  Ramsey tells her about Stannis and his plans of taking command of the whole North. Sansa reminds him of the upcoming Bolton baby, but Bolton replies that Bastards rule, and he, Tommen and Jon are the best. He also shows Sansa his family traditions applied to the body of Sansa’s old friend. Lovely. (and that settled it – Theon had it worse than Sansa).

Stannis the Mannis enjoys a lovely snowboarding season with his army, but his trip to Winterfell is on hold until they clear the road from the snow (severe delays on the Piccadilly line). Ser Davos wants to go back to the fun of the Wall, but Stannis wants to go forward, forward, forward. He blames Melisandre for her optimistic visions, and tries to get some warmth from her. She, however, has other plans, and suggests a shortcut to victory – something involving Stannis killing his only daughter. Easy decision then.

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Gilly suffers the pain of being the only woman on the Wall, but Sam comes to the rescue. Not that successful a rescue, but hey. A sudden increase of the CGI budget for this episode makes Ghost appear (you know, Jon’s direwolf) and it saves the day. Afterwards, Gilly rewards Sam of his courage with sex. We have no idea how she thanked the direwolf though (let’s hope with a nice steak)

We’re at Slaver’s Bay, where Ser Jorah and Tyrion are put on medieval e-bay. Tyrion, obviously, pulls out a fighting stunt (far superior than that capoeira with swords style thing in Dorne last episode) and forces Jorah’s buyer to do a ‘pay 1 get 2’ deal.

Khaleesi does the nasty with Daarios, while he insinuates that her new fiancée may be the chief of the Sons of the Harpy. He also says she is the only person in Meeren that isn’t free, as she can’t do what she wants (ie marry Daarios). I dunno, maybe she has commitment phobia? By the end of the pillow talk, Daarios suggest that Daenerys should use the Great Games to kill all Meeren Masters. You know, in a bit of kill or be killed rulling logic. In sum, Daarios speaks way too much for a sex toy.

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The Queen of Thorns meets the High Sparrow and, surprise surprise, she is subdued. The man is good! In the other side of King’s Landing, Tommen is throwing a teenage tantrum until Cersei promises to go and visit Margery. Somehow, he thinks that’s  a great idea. Kids these days…

Jaime is enjoying the summer in a very nice cell in Dorne, and meets with his daugh- er, niece. She also has a teenage tantrum, and accuses Jaime of being an absent da- er, uncle. In some non- VIP cells below the palace, Bronn shows off his singing voice to the delight of the Sand Snakes. One of them takes a fancy on him and forces him on saying she is the prettiest women he ever saw, by showing off her boobs and telling him she poisoned him. Seduction techniques in Dorne are quite something, really. She throws him the antidote, also proving how lazy all non-book storylines are.

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Littlefinger meets the Queen of Thorns at his empty brothel, and gives her the most precious gift of all – information. Tam tam tam!!

Daenerys watches the warm-up for the Great Games. She is hardly a fan of blood and guts (a bit strange, considering her pets’ feeding habits). Of course, Ser Jorah appears from nowhere and shows off his fighting skills only for her to look upon him like a worm. But Tyrion storms out as well and presents himself as a welcome gift. What will happen?? We have no idea, as they changed this storyline beyond recognition as well.

Cersei visits Margery and feels very smug. The young queen is beyond playing games and insults her mother in law – uh, feisty. Unfortunately for Cersei, however, Lancel has been confessing his sins to the High Sparrow, and she is thrown into a cell as well, for good measure. Uh oh.

Almost all in place for Episode 9! Hurray!!!

Episode Stats:

Boobs –  Two sandy ones

Dreadful and poorly choreographed fight scenes – none.

Thought of the day – Joffrey was a puppy compared with Ramsey.

Tyrion’s favourite witticism: “I’m a great warrior as well!”

Character of the day – The High Sparrow is kicking ass. The Queen of Thorns AND Cersei on the same episode? Does the man have a death wish or something?

Sara is originally from Coimbra, Portugal, where she studied Film Studies before moving to London to enrol in film school. Having made her first short film about her neighbour's chickens when she was 9 (a dystopian sci-fi, still her favourite genre), she is now a London-based film director and editor, and also a writer for the Portuguese Take Magazine. She is a huge fan of Lars Von Trier, Krysztof Kiéslowski, and David Lean.