Let It Snow
“We march to victory. Or we march to defeat. But we go forward. Only forward.” -Stannis Baratheon
Wow. That was an epic hour of television. Hell, even Sam and Gilly were entertaining this week and I am thrilled. This weeks episode of Game of Thrones, titled The Gift, was all about giving and it absolutely did not disappoint. From Cersei to Tyrion to Stannis to Littlefinger, we definitely had it all this week. Even the lower fighting pits were open for business.
And while many people were providing gifts throughout the episode, I think it is safe to say that Littlefinger and Lancel served us up the biggest gift of all. So take me to Church and let’s get right into the review! AMEN! Enjoy.
Sam Gets Laid
Our episode begins with Jon Snow and Tormund Giantsbane heading off to Hardhome to locate the rest of the Wildlings beyond the Wall, much to the disapproval of his sworn brothers.
Alliser Thorne continues to be a thorn in Jon Snow’s side and he lets Jon know how unimpressed he is that they’re running off to save some Wildlings. Sam says his goodbyes as well but not before giving Jon a bag of dragonglass in case they come across any White Walkers. This is setting up next week’s episode since we are probably going to finally see what is going on at Hardhome. I’m quite excited for this as Hardhome has some interesting history. It was close to becoming the only true town north of the Wall until the night 600 years ago when hell had swallowed it. Something terrible happened that night but what exactly is uncertain. Legend states that the homes of the inhabitants of Hardhome were said to have burned with flames so high and hot that the watchers on the Wall far to the south thought that the sun was rising in from the North. Afterwards, ashes rained down for almost half a year. But will the show depict Hardhome like the books? Or will we be getting a completely different picture? It looks like we’ll find out next week 🙂
Meanwhile, Aemon is on his death bed and has a great conversation with Gilly and Sam about his brother Aegon Targaryen, whom he refers to as Egg. Also, we get a warning from Aemon and instead of killing the boy, this time he wants to save him. Make up your mind Aemon.
His message to Sam and Gilly is to take the boy south. Does this finally mean that Sam and Gilly will be heading to Oldtown as previously mentioned by Sam? One can only hope because Oldtown is a pretty cool place. Not only is it home to the Citadel but it is where one must go to become a Maester and with Aemon passing on, it only makes sense for Sam to take his place.
The funeral was an absolutely brilliant scene that stole my heart. How can anyone not have a soft spot for old Aemon Targaryen. But now his watch is ended 🙁
So I’ll definitely be applying for the Maester position up at Castle Black. But Alliser was right when he tells Sam he’s running out of friends as Sam and Gilly are later attacked by a couple of douchebags. Sam somehow survives after being punched directly in the face 10 times. Also, Sam is a little bitch who has no fighting skills whatsoever.
Sam somehow is able to get up after the beating he took and basically signs his own death certificate when he threatens his attackers but luckily…this happened:
Ghost! That is one bad ass direwolf and I wouldn’t want to mess with that. So even though Jon Snow might not be around anymore, at least Sam and Gilly have some protection from Ghost. Also, I want one of these direwolfs as a pet and so should you.
And can’t forget about the post-fight, Memorial Day celebrations.
I’m pretty sure this kind of behavior is not allowed when you join the Night’s Watch so Sam really should be more careful but then again, I’m okay with having a little fun. Besides, Gilly and Sam are pretty cute together 🙂
Back in Winterfell, Theon pays Sansa a visit and she pleads with him for assistance. She tells him to light a candle in the window of the broken tower as per the old woman’s instructions. This is not going to be easy, however, since Theon has really lost his mind. Kudos to Alfie Allen who has really done a tremendous job with Theon’s character. Now, I’m not too sure if Theon simply ignored Sansa’s request or Ramsay had been waiting in the tower all along, but either way Ramsay was not going to be impressed:
And Theon/Reek, being the rat that he is, snitches on Sansa which obviously put our Northern lady friend in a tough spot.
Yikes. That looks…painful. Maybe the North should just forget it and move on. Ramsay is one cold bastard and he doesn’t really give a shit who he flays. Even describing how the old woman was flayed sent chills down my spine.
One can only hope that Stannis and his army arrive soon because winter…and more flayings…are definitely coming. And we caught a glimpse of Stannis’ army and it appears they are going to have some difficulties getting through this blizzard. Davos even pleads with Stannis that they head back to Castle Black with the weather getting worse but Stannis is having none of it. They march to victory or march to defeat but oh yes, they are marching! Show this man some love because this is going to be one hell of a final 3 episodes if they make it to Winterfell. And they better freakin make it there before the seasons end.
Stannis also has a very, very interesting conversation with Melisandre. But first, I have some bitching to do because I really don’t understand the writers and how they can skip this super important detail. If you remember from Season 3, Melisandre used Gendry’s blood, King’s blood, to basically kill Joffrey and Robb Stark but for some idiotic reason, they keep forgetting to mention Balon Greyjoy who was also a part of that prophecy. Not only that, Balon was a big part of the show in Season 2 so I really have trouble understanding why they simply choose to forget about him altogether because as it stands right now, that prophecy DIDN’T come true at all if Balon is still alive, which makes Melisandre’s credibility drop big time, even if 2/3 isn’t all that bad. Who knows, maybe the Iron Islands will be getting more attention next season, but this detail drives me absolutely insane!
And if I’m Stannis, and Melisandre is all like “you should totally burn your daughter as a sacrifice to ensure victory”, I’d tell the bitch to get lost seeing as her last prophecy didn’t even work out. No guarantees on this show. But really, will Stannis actually let Melisandre sacrifice his own daughter because that will be absolutely heart-wrenching. On the one hand, if it does ensure a Stannis victory over the Boltons than maybe I’d be all for it but Shireen has grown on me quite a bit and I’d hate to see her meet that fate. There must be a way to avoid this situation altogether. Let us keep our fingers crossed and put our winter coats back on because winter is HERE!
Back in Essos, Jorah and Tyrion find themselves being auctioned off by the same pirates that captured them last week. I was under the impression they were simply taking their prisoners to Meereen but apparently Dany has done nothing to stop slavery considering this was a SLAVE auction. Now, the merchant who ended up purchasing Jorah and Tyrion was a huge disappointment. His name is Yezzan and he was utterly lame with zero personality. In the books, Yezzan is a big fat guy who actually treats his slaves well. In the show, well, what the fuck was that. I mean George R. R. Martin hands you idiot writers a great character on a silver platter and THAT is what you come up with? I’m sorry but as awesome as this episode was, Yezzan absolutely sucked a big one. First, no Lord Manderley and now this crap. I won’t elaborate on Manderly because I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t read the books but he would have been a great character to include this season. Plus, White Harbor! That said, can it really be that difficult to find a fat actor in Hollywood? I simply don’t get it. Please fire the casting director.
Now that we got that elephant out of the room, Yezzan ends up purchasing Tyrion in a 2-for-1 deal after Tyrion once again uses his cleverness to ensure that he and Jorah don’t part ways.
And off they go to the fighting pits. But this is the ghetto version, aka the Lower Fighting Pits. Hopefully at some point we will get to see the real deal but I must say, this entire scene was absolutely EPIC!
But before that, we get to see Dany and Daario in bed! Wait, didn’t Dany just propose to Hizdahr? I think this might be a problem down the road but I’m okay with this since I can’t stand Hizdahr or the new Daario (bring back old Daario please!). While in bed, Daario suggests that during the Great Games, which I can only assume is Essos’ version of the Summer Olympics, Dany should gather all of the masters and slaughter them all.
Course, Daenerys is probably not going to be taking this advice but we better get to see these Great Games before the end of the season because the lower pits are looking a little grimy if you ask me. I mean, even the seating arrangements suck. An arena this is not.
This clearly is NOT the super bowl of fighting in Essos but at least Dany and Hizdahr made an appearance. And as soon as Jorah realizes that Dany is in attendance, he gets right to it. Time to dance!
So Jorah just completely fucks up the competition even with a helmet that is much too small for his head. Loved every minute watching Jorah kick some ass in the ghetto pits. But nothing was greater when he revealed himself to Dany.
Even in the books, Jorah has been a fan favorite and you gotta love this guy for doing everything he can to get back into Dany’s good graces. There are not enough loyal people in Westeros and Essos and Jorah is one of the good guys! Even though Dany basically tells him to get lost, it is certainly a start. But this wasn’t even the best moment. Because now the show is ahead of the books. And I nearly lost it when this happened:
So as it turns out, the gift is actually referring to Tyrion Lannister. Prior to this episode, I assumed the title of this episode was referring to a location as The Gift is, in fact, an area just south of the Wall. But I’ll take this any day as we are finally going to see some interactions between our favorite Lannister and our favorite Queen! The look on Dany’s face says it all. Let the games begin!
Pick Your Poison
Not much happening in Dorne, but definitely a couple of things worth mentioning. First, the Sand Snakes have been a complete disappointment so far and I don’t see things getting much better now that they are all in prison. And things aren’t going that great for Jaime either as Myrcella wants nothing to do with King’s Landing. I can’t say I blame her since they sent her away to get married to Trystane years ago.
It appears as though this is going to be a lot more difficult for Jaime and Bronn now that Myrcella wants no part in going back to King’s Landing. And Bronn was having some problems of his own although this didn’t stop him from breaking out in song! The Dornishman’s Wife…classic Bronn. And the Sand Snakes don’t look at all that impressed.
Honestly, I don’t even know why they bothered making these women into major characters this season. They only showed up sporadically in the books and it is pretty clear that the writers have no idea what they are doing with these women. This scene was pretty pointless, let’s be honest. We already know that the Dornish enjoy using poison on their blades but I really saw no point in having Bronn almost die.
So I guess we should all be asking where in the hell the writers are going with this story. The Sand Snakes have accomplished absolutely nothing this season, Bronn and Jaime have been unable to get Myrcella out of Dorne and Areo Hotah hasn’t murdered anyone important yet with his giant spear ax! Not impressed. Luckily though, we were all treated to one more amazing gift in King’s Landing.
The Karma Initiative
We check back in first with the Queen of Thorns who pays a visit to the High Sparrow. She attempts bribing the guy and threatening him but to no avail. This guy is stubborn as a mule and he is only loyal to the faith. Obivously Lady Olenna wants Margaery and Loras out of prison but she seems to be getting no where with the Faith. You break the father’s laws, you pay. Doesn’t matter if you are a fisherman or a lord. I gotta admit, I kinda like this Sparrow character. He is loyal to no one and only serves the God’s and it is definitely going to be difficult for the Tyrell’s going forward.
“A lifetime of wealth and power has left you blind in one eye. You are the few, we are the many. And when the many stop fearing the few…” Oh man, how I loved that quote. It really looks as though no one is going to be able to have any power over these religious birds.
King Tommen, the freakin’ KING, can’t even do much about this. He’s quite upset and apparently going all manorexic now that his queen is locked away in a cell.
Cersei shows some sympathy for her boy but it is pretty clear that she is the one responsible for this entire mess. Tommen wants to start a war over this but Cersei puts him in his place. Poor Tommen, it seems the boy really does love Margaery and he’s helpless to do anything to help her. Cersei offers her help and of course Tommen believes her even though she is CLEARLY lying.
She’s probably not lying about the whole burning cities to the ground thing though. This actually makes me wonder if she has some kind of bigger plan if things don’t go her way. After all, there is still a TON of wildfire lying underneath King’s Landing. Cersei ends up paying the Queen a visit but Margaery is having none of it. The cats are officially in full cat fight mode now. But how is Margaery going to get herself out of this one after lying at her brother’s inquest.
Meanwhile, back to Lady Olenna who pays Littlefinger a visit. These two have been in cahoots for a while and were obviously responsible for Joffrey’s death. Olenna threatens Littlefinger as well, since she would have nothing to hide if her house were to fall. More importantly, however, it appears as though Littlefinger may be the one responsible for Cersei’s downfall. He mentions that he has a gift for Lady Olenna in the form of a handsome young man. Well, who could he be referring to here? If I had to guess, I’d say it was the individual that showed up at the end of the episode.
And finally, we get the greatest gift of all. Cersei goes to speak with the High Sparrow, just like she promised Tommen, and he explains to her that Margaery and Loras will be judged by the 7 septons, including the High Sparrow himself. But, as Littlefinger mentioned earlier, I feel like this was his gift to not just Lady Olenna but all of us as well. Because holy shit, Cersei is about to fall!
Does it really get any better than that? Lancel finally comes clean about Cersei. First off, she slept with him and they are cousins so that is an obvious charge right there. But second, and way more importantly, Cersei was also responsible for setting up Robert Baratheon’s death. And Lancel played a big part in that as well. So shit is about to hit the fan big time for the Queen C!
There is definitely something delightful about watching Cersei get what she deserves. And all the way on the other side of the world, Tyrion’s luck seems to be changing as well as he finally gets to meet Dany in Meereen. With only 3 episodes left to go, there is still a lot to come but let’s all hope that Cersei doesn’t get herself out of this one!
It looks like we are finally going to Hardhome next week, which seems pretty appropriate considering it is also the name of next weeks episode. We will also get to check in with Cersei who is now in prison and I’m very curious to see if Jorah can get back into Dany’s friend zone. Check out the preview for Hardhome below: