This episode really is "The Gift" we've been waiting for. Finally, it seems we're amping up to something massive in the GoT world!
Well, hello Game of Thrones. I can now forgive you for teasing us through two idle and drawn-out episodes, as you have delivered your ‘we’re almost at the end of another season’ sucker punch. It seems fitting that the seventh episode of this series is called ‘The Gift’: so much has happened.
Beginning in the beautiful and exotic Meereen, we join Daenerys and Daario in another of their pillow talks. This time, the Game of Thrones writers have once more been able to turn gender stereotypes on its head, as Daario stresses his jealousy that Dany is marrying someone else. She says it’s only for political reasons, but you can’t help wondering if their relationship will survive her marriage. Speaking of which, I think that after five seasons of her incredible style, we get to ask: what will she wear?
On a political visit to a small fighting pit with her husband to be, Daenerys is finally reunited with Jorah, whose longing stares are met with summons for the guards to come and take him away. Could there be any way for Jorah to redeem himself? It seems possible, as Tyrion marches out and announces himself with authority to the now speechless Dany. Just one of the air punching moments of ‘The Gift’.
Slightly further North but still sunny, we find Jamie Lannister in a cell that would make people commit crimes just to get a free stay there. It seems that the Prince of Dorne really is a nice man. Jamie’s daughter/niece, Myrcella Baratheon, and he, have a true dad/daughter teenage argument. Quickly, Myrcella descends into a childish tantrum. She points out that she has lived in Dorne for years. After being sent away by her grandfather acting for her brother. She has fallen in love with her betrothed. Therefore, she doesn’t understand why her uncle was trying to kidnap her and take her back to Kings Landing… Or why her dead almost Uncle in Law Oberon’s ninja daughters were trying to kill her. Thinking about it, she may have a reason for her tantrum.
Meanwhile, in the more expected dark, dingy, bare prison cells, Bronn meets his equal, as he comes head to head with Tyene Sand, who filled the necessary nudity quota for the episode. Getting his heart rate pacing, Tyene is watched by her sisters as she semi-strips for Bronn, before smiling as his nose begins to bleed – the poison on the end of her spear which she nicked Bronn with last episode had begun to take effect. Yet, she ends her teasing by tossing Bronn the antidote in a vial from her necklace. It seems that his rendition of The Women of Dorne seemed to have a good effect on her. Or, the writers knew that with everything else happening, if they killed off Bronn in such a cop-out way, it might well be the last straw. I’m not sure how people would react, but it wouldn’t be good.
Well, back to the “hateful bitch”, Cersei, counselling her son, Tommen, King of Westeros, as he laments that not only is the woman he loves’ brother locked in the Red Keep by the fanatic Sparrows of The Faith, but she is too. It’s on a visit to see the worse for wear Queen in the Keep that Cersei finds herself in quite a predicament. Getting her just desserts, the Queen Mother finds herself locked up next to Margaery, as Lancel Lannister steps forward, having dubbed her in for having sex with him. She didn’t just lie, she committed adultery, with her cousin. When married to the King. I don’t even want to think about what they’ll do when they find out about Jamie.
In other news, Petyr Baelish and Olenna Tyrell really do have the most satisfying talks, plot wise. There’s always an official answer to a question posed from their last conversation. This week’s revelation was that yes, Littlefinger and Olenna did kill Joffrey, and it is no longer just a given, it has been confirmed. They also leave a question hanging in the air. This episode’s happened to be: which young boy was Littlefinger talking about? He tells Olenna that he has information about a boy. Could he be talking about Robin Arryn? Or even Gendry. Could this be this episode’s second reference to him? Or, did he groom Lancel from a young age towards joining The Sparrow fanatics? Well, we’ll find out soon enough.
In the slightly colder than usual North, Sansa has been kept captive by her husband for some time, judging by the bruises covering her arms. As Reek, Alfie Allen has been giving us master classes in acting, but the last few moments of last week’s episode, coupled with his contribution to this weeks’, goes above and beyond, and needed recognition.
His frantic chat with a pleading Sansa, is really another punch to the gut, as instead of helping her by placing a candle in the tower, he runs straight to his master, Ramsay Bolton. Though, for all those fans who were disgusted that he betrayed her; this is Reek, not Theon Greyjoy. He hasn’t returned yet. As much as we can see the inner struggle, he is still Ramsay’s. Here’s hoping that in time he’ll regain some of his former strength.
In between Winterfell and the Wall, we join Stannis Baratheon who has already lost 50 men to the Winter, and it seems he may lose another significant member of his entourage, as Melisandre seduces him into thinking about sacrificing his daughter to the Lord of Light. After setting up his love for his daughter, it seems that his red-headed mistress may have found a way to get him to trust in her completely. No more distractions.
In a sadder turn of events, this week we lost Aaemon Targaryen. A casualty of the worsening winter and old age, Aaemon’s last words are definitely the best of this season. Speaking out loud to his little brother Aegar, the Maester says that he ‘dreamed I was old’ [sic], before closing his eyes. It was almost too much to take at that point, and then it got worse. Just before we saw Aaemon’s death, Jon Snow set out to ferry the Wildlings over to the safe side of the wall. One friend down, it appears that the only reason Sam and Gilly weren’t being targeted was in respect for these two.
In a rather shocking scene, Sam is beated by two watchmen who were harrassing Gilly. Just as Sam has picked himself up from the floor in a last ditch attempt to save Gilly from being sexually assaulted, everyone’s favourite moral compass, Ghost, arrived. Sam’s devotion led to the moment we’ve been waiting for, when Sam and Gilly admit their feelings. Though, I have to say, I was expecting them to talk, not have sex.
Well, since there hasn’t been any mention of Bran in a while, and the White Walkers have only been mentioned, not seen this episode, I guess it’s time to wrap up. I can’t wait for the next episode, particularly the potential to see more of Arya and the Faceless. Remember: The weather is changing.
Game of Thrones is broadcast on Sky Atlantic on Mondays at 9pm.