Game of Thrones Episode Review: “The Gift”

Game of Thrones

Season 5 | Episode 7 | Aired May 24, 2015

This episode was intense! The thing about Game of Thrones is that every season seems to be leading up to something and the closer you get to the end of the season, the more the pressure and anticipation builds. Well last night the pressure was on, the anticipation is building. I don’t want the season to end, but I so desperately want to know where these things are leading.

So last night’s episode was split between Winterfell, King’s Landing, Meereen, and The Wall/just outside The Wall, as well as a brief glimpse into Dorne.

In this episode we see that things have not improved for Sansa and she reaches out to Theon to help her, asking him to put the candle in the tower like Brienne had instructed. Instead, Theon takes the candle to Ramsay and, while he doesn’t do anything right then and there, I think the threat was pretty obvious.

You're a Bastard

The storyline with the three of them is definitely interesting because Ramsay has hurt Theon so badly and he’s terrified to go against what Ramsay says. But Ramsay also hurts Sansa and, despite being scared, she still challenges him and debates with things he says. I’m hoping her defiance might spark something in Theon and he’ll take a candle to the window for Brienne.

We spent a lot of time at The Wall this episode, but Jon wasn’t actually there. Instead, the main focus was on Sam. I adore Sam. He’s so adorable and loyal and this episode, we also saw him be incredibly brave. He managed to protect Gilly (with the help of Ghost) against several men who attempted to assault her (seriously? Was this necessary? Is sexual assault just their default now?) and wouldn’t back down. This is some serious character development considering when we first met Sam he took one blow and yielded.

He was the blood of a dragon

Unfortunately, it wasn’t all good. Aemon Targaryen died in last night’s episode and it was actually pretty sad. It also means that Dany is the last Targaryen alive.

Speaking of Dany. Last night she attended the first match of the reopened Fighting Pits. This match concluded when Jorah took out all his opponents and then revealed himself to Dany. While she was initially angry at seeing him, things seemed to change when Tyrion stepped out. Now apparently this hasn’t even happened in the book yet.

My name is Tyrion Lannister

The meeting between Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen is much anticipated for book fans, but many have reported that they may not need to wait for the book to come out. While I’m definitely interested to see what’s going to happen between the two of them, I’m also interested to see what’s going to happen when Dany finds out Jorah has Grey Scale.

We briefly got a glimpse of Stannis and his army who have set up camp on their way to Winterfell. Well, I say set up camp, more like they stopped because they didn’t a choice due to snow. Their supplies are running low and winter is coming. They need to make it to Winterfell before it’s too late.

She's my Daughter

Melissandra offered a solution to the problem. The same solution she had when they had kidnapped Gendry. Sacrificing someone with the king’s blood. And who does she think they should sacrifice? Shireen. No! No! No! I was so angry about this! I heard rumors that this happens in the book, but I never usually pay attention to that stuff anymore cause sometimes it’s true and sometimes it’s not and I don’t care which is which until I read the books myself. However, I am really hoping that this is not something they’re going to do in the show. Stannis and Shireen had a really great, really adorable moment a couple episodes ago so I’m hoping they don’t ruin that by killing her.

The last two storylines in the episode were very focused on the two Lannister children: Myrcella and Tommen. Jaime and Myrcella finally get to talk and he tries to explain everything to her though, understandingly, she confused and angry. And she makes a good point. She never asked to go to Dorne, she was sent there. Now she’s happy and enjoying it and they’re trying to call her back.

Myrcella

Also, Bronn lived. Barely, he was poisoned last week, but the girl who poisoned him (and was locked in a neighboring cell) gave him what she said was the antidote. Was it the antidote? I hope so, but on this show you never know anymore. It came off a necklace like the one Olenna used to poison Joffrey so who knows at this point.

Speaking of Olenna, she went head to head with the High Sparrow last night and while it didn’t seem to do much good right then, I think it’s a safe assumption we haven’t seen the end of the this.

The High Sparrow seems to have become enemy #1 as Tommen was prepared to go head to head with him as well. He’s angry about Margaery being arrested and not being able to do anything about it. Whoa, whoa, whoa there Tommen. You had the opportunity last week to say something as your wife was being dragged off and did you? No. So while I get that he’s worried, he did have the chance to do something and he didn’t.

Tommen War

He also didn’t anything this week. Instead, Cersei went to talk to the High Sparrow and it didn’t end well for her. It seems that Loras has been spilling secrets to the High Sparrow like how Cersei prefers to sleep with people she’s related to. This resulted in her being thrown in a cell at the end of the episode which I have to say, has been a long time coming.

Cersei Queen

Looks like Tommen won’t have any choice but to do something now. His mother’s in jail, his wife’s in jail, his uncle/father is in Dorne. The only one left is Olenna. Maybe this is how they’ll get Myrcella back? Surely people are going to find out pretty quickly that Cersei Lannister has been arrested and you know Jaime will go running back, but I wonder if Myrcella will too. At least to be with her brother.

All in all I enjoyed last night’s episode. We’re getting closer and closer to the end of season five and I have a feeling it’s going to be BIG.

What do you think?

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Game of Thrones Episode Review: “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”

****WARNING: This review deals with some triggery subjects such as assault, as presented in last night’s episode of Game of Thrones.****

Game of Thrones

Season 5 | Episode 6 | Aired May 17, 2015

This episode was… an interesting one. There were several things about this episode that I enjoyed, but, surprisingly, there were also several things I didn’t like. It also seemed to be a very sibling focused episode, with Sansa and Arya having primary storylines, the Lannisters, the Tyrells, even stories of siblings.

I’m a little torn about Arya’s storyline in this episode. I like that she seems to be coming into her own at the House of Black and White, you know? She seemed to be figuring things out and making progress. But I also hated how they made her out to be a whiny child. Arya’s always been strong, in my opinion, one of the strongest characters on the show.

I'm not playing

In season one she rebelled against the things typically expected of her as a young lady, season two and she was surviving horrific situations, season four she survived travelling around with the hound. It’s like now they’ve stuck her in a dress and got her around new people, she’s suddenly a little girl who is angry at how unfair everything is instead of taking that anger and turning it into strength and vengeance. But! I do think that this will change in the next couple episodes. Arya does deserve to take a bit of a breather and I think we’ll probably see her back to being the badass that she is. Hopefully with Needle.

I am Sansa Stark of Wintefell

As for the other Stark sister, I hated what they did to Sansa in this episode. At first I was excited. As she’s talking to the girl who had been planning to marry Ramsay, she tells her, “I’m Sansa Stark of Winterfell. This is my home and you can’t frighten me.” I was cheering, like, “Yes Sansa!” She wasn’t scared, she wasn’t a child anymore, she had grown up and was dealing with her situation in a way that I don’t think she could have a few seasons ago. And then they went and tore it all apart.

You can't frighten me

After Sansa marries Ramsay, he takes her to bed and forces Theon to stand there and watch. First of all, was this scene necessary? Overall I would like to say no, never, absolutely not. There were so many other ways they could have motivated Sansa to either destroy Ramsay and the Boltons or get her to Brienne without adding in what was completely unnecessary violence against her. There are plenty of other ways to spur on Sansa’s vengeance against Ramsay without making him assault her. What makes it even worse is the idea that it was done so as to advance Theon’s character (which we obviously don’t know for sure, it’s just speculation), as presented by Vanity Fair.

“Even worse than the idea of Sansa needing this to motivate her into vengeance is the notion that the Theon character needed to watch her rape in order to snap out of whatever zombie/Reek fugue state he’s been walking around in. I’m afraid that is the show’s interpretation, based on where the camera lingered. But the last thing we needed was to have a powerful young woman brought low in order for a male character to find redemption. No thank you.”
-Vanity Fair

If they had Ramsay assault Sansa just to move Theon’s character along then that is 100% not okay. Sansa was becoming empowered, she was holding her own. She’s survived so many awful situations and come out stronger and that had better be the case here. If they use this to turn Sansa into some of damsel in distress and Theon, now back to being Theon, comes to her rescue, then this show will have reached a point I didn’t think possible.

There are so many different opinions on this and it is such a hard subject to talk about because of that. I think I probably rewrote this about six times, trying to make sure I got it across properly. In my opinion, I don’t think it was necessary. Obviously in a show like this that stuff does happen, but it really seems to happen a lot in this show and in this case I just don’t think it was needed. Was it meant to motivate Sansa against the Boltons? Well, personally, I think the fact that they murdered her family is enough motivation and this was like he camel on the already broken Camel’s back. I don’t know, I don’t know what to say any about this anymore without repeating myself/having it come out as gibberish. I guess now we just have to wait until next week to see where this leads.

I know there are a lot (and I mean a lot) of different opinions on the matter and that’s all this is, an opinion. Some are saying that it was necessary to develop Sansa’s character and motivate her revenge against the Boltons once and for all. This is a hard subject to talk about because you don’t ever want to justify what happened, but also think that if they use this scene as a means to motivate anyone besides Sansa (because, you know, the fact that Boltons murdered her family wasn’t motivation enough) then that’ll make it worse.

Alright, moving on. Baelish told Cersei exactly where Sansa was and what she was doing there. What? What? Baelish what are you doing? I never know when he’s being sneaky versus when he’s being an asshat so I have no idea who’s side he’s on now. I mean, I guess he’s on his own side, as usual, but seriously, is this supposed to benefit Sansa or Cersei? Is there some underlying plan here? I really hope so. I assume so.

Also, after many weeks of talking about her, we finally met this season’s Myrcella. She actually seems quite happy in Dorne with Trystane which would be great if there weren’t a bunch of people there who wanted her dead. Jaime and Bronn find her and try to convince her to come with them just as the Sand Snakes attack. Thankfully, they all make it out of the fight after several guards from Dorne break them apart. Needlessly to say, this isn’t quite how I thought things would go. I didn’t think they’d find her so quickly, or that Myrcella would like Dorne so much, or that none of them would die. Though, there’s still several episodes left so I guess there’s still plenty of time for things to go South.

Can we just take a minute to acknowledge how beautiful everything in Dorne is. They’re so brightly coloured! I never really noticed it before and despite all the completely awful stuff that happened last night, the pinks and yellows and other bright colours were a nice contrast.

Myrcella and Trystane

We also saw a bit of Tyrion Lannister in this episode and he had quite a nice interaction with Jorah. I love both of these characters separately so having them together, with how different they are, is hilarious. Jorah is so serious and focused on his mission. Meanwhile Tyrion is hungry and wants a drink. I’m pretty certain that ever since Jorah kidnapped Tyrion he’s told the Lannister brother to shut up in every episode.

Sidenote, what happened to Varys? Does he know Tyrion was kidnapped? Does he think he just wandered off drunk? Is he still travelling to see Dany? Will he meet Tyrion there? Where is he?

Finally, this episode may have been called “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”, I feel like the Tyrell storyline should have it’s own title of “The Betrayal, The Trial, The Arrest”. Like, that was intense. It seemed like such a relaxed environment, but it turned pretty quickly. Loras is on trial with the High Sparrow for being a ‘Pillow Biter’.

Loras he swears he didn’t do anything and Margaery swears he did nothing wrong (even though both of them know that’s not the case), and for a moment it seems as if everything is going to be okay. And then the doors open and in walks Olivar. Oh my god I was so angry! I liked Olivar. I said in one of my recent reviews that he was only on screen for a few minutes and I’m already attached to him!

Margaery Taken

But he walked in and told them about how he and Olivar had slept together and that Margaery knew because she had walked in on them. This resulted in both Tyrell siblings being arrested. Loras for being a ‘pillow biter’ and Margaery for lying in front of the Gods. I don’t know what I think of all this. I hope Margaery and Loras are released because they’re both amazing. But then this whole thing with Olivar. Did he do just because he could? Did Cersei force him to tell them? Why would he do this? He can’t honestly think he’s going to be declared innocent just because he told them because that’s never how these things work. Did you see Margaery’s grandmother? She is about to flip her lid. The last person who crossed her family choked to death at his own wedding so…

And can I just say, why didn’t Tommen say anything?! He didn’t even get up! Come on Tommen, get it together!

Deep Sigh

This show… I just… I don’t know… I’m always left with so many questions at the end of each episode, but as they usually do, it’ll all come to a head in the last couple episodes and things will explode.

What did you think of last night’s episode? What do you think is going to happen next?

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Game of Thrones Episode Review – “Sons of the Harpy”

Game of Thrones

Season 5 | Episode 4 | Aired May 3, 2015

Whenever I watch an episode of Game of Thrones I take notes on what’s happened. I do this because so much happens in each episode and I want to make sure I remember everything that happens when it comes time to write this. The only problem with this is that I write the notes really quickly because I’m mostly paying attention to the episode and by the time I’m done I’ve got like, two pages of notes that I need to then try and compress into a review.

So, bare with me, because a lot happened in this episode that needs to be covered.

First, Jorah has Tyrion. We didn’t see too much of these guys in this episode, but I wanted to mention this because I was laughing so hard at the fact that Tyrion manages to annoy people even when he has a gag in his mouth. Also because, going off the preview for next Sunday, we’ll be seeing a lot more of these two.

Second, in this episode we finally see Jaime and Bronn arrive in Dorne. They immediately run into trouble in the form of several Dornish men, but despite the danger I was laughing. During his fight against one of the men, the Dornish man’s sword becomes stuck in Jaime’s gold hand, allowing him to kill his opponent. This was so unexpected and such a lucky move that would only ever happen Game of Thrones that I just couldn’t stop laughing.

Jaime and Bronn

However, the happiness doesn’t last long when we learn that Ellaria has three women out in a tent willing to gather an army and kill Myrcella for her. What’s worse is that the captain of the ship who helped smuggle Jaime and Bronn to Dorne has told one of the women about their arrival. I said it before and I’m saying it again, someone’s going to die. Probably multiple someone’s as this is Game of Thrones. But will it be Jaime? Fighting to rescue his daughter? Bronn, trying to uphold his end of the bargain and honour? Myrcella, accidentally caught in the crossfire? Or Ellaria, guided only by vengeance for Oberyn (and we saw how well that turned out for him). Who do you think is going to be killed in the fight?

Now, moving onto the final Lannister sibling. This was a very Lannister-centered episode wasn’t it? Once again we saw Cersei manipulating and conniving and just doing what she does best to get her way. On one hand, I’m really enjoying this whole plot of Cersei .vs. Margaery in their attempt to rule. But on the other hand, I was so angry with Cersei in this episode. At first I didn’t really understand what she and the High Sparrow were talking about until I saw the Sparrows massacring people and then I got it.

I got so worried when Olivar got hurt (he was literally in one episode for about a minute and I’m already attached, I hate this show) and then when they killed those two men for being with other men I was just sitting here going, “No! Not Olivar! No! Please don’t kill him!” And they didn’t. Okay, breathe, it’s fine. Then they took Loras. Naturally, Margaery was pissed. Yeah, I was with her on that one. At first I kind of found Loras annoying and kind of pointless, but this last season and even season four I’ve really gotten to like him (which is never a good thing on this show).

The one I really felt bad for tonight though was Tommen. He’s trying so hard to be a good son and a good husband and a good king and I feel so bad for him! We saw him try to do his first sort of ‘kingly’ duty without his mother by his side and it didn’t work. Instead, he looked terrified and had to stand there while people in the streets called him a bastard. Like come on people, he’s what? Twelve? Thirteen? I’m pretty certain they said how old he was last season, but everything’s starting to blend together.

Speaking of blending together, for some reason I thought Rhaegar was Dany’s father. Apparently he’s her brother. Whoops. All these names and places and storylines tend to bleed together after a while and I honestly have trouble keeping them straight sometimes.

Sir Barristan

Despite that bit of confusion though, this scene made me so happy! This nice little conversation between Dany and Ser Barristan was pleasant and fun and such a break from the normal. I should’ve known it wouldn’t last. By the end of the episode people in the streets had been slaughtered, among them several of the Unsullied and Ser Barristan. I feel like I should’ve seen this coming. No one gets to have a good time on Game of Thrones without dying shortly after. At first I thought Grey Worm was going to die, but as soon as Ser Barristan came onto the screen I just knew, “Oh, this is it. Bye.” I was so sour. Also! We’re left wondering whether or not Grey Worm is alive or dead too! Come on Game of Thrones, don’t do this to us.

Dany

Also in this episode we saw Baelish and Sansa. I don’t know how I feel about this pair. When he kissed her I was kind of cringing, but when I look at the alternative (Ramsay Bolton), I prefer Baelish. We learned in this episode that Baelish will be returning to King’s Landing which means Sansa will now be alone with the Boltons. Not going to lie, I’m a little skeptical about this storyline. If Sansa doesn’t kick some serious Bolton ass before the season is up I’ll be both surprised and disappointed.

Baelish and Sansa

We saw in this episode that Melisandre tried to seduce Jon to convince him to ride south to Winterfell when they leave the Wall. Jon refuses and states that he can’t be with her because he still loves Ygritte. This was both a cute ‘awe’ moment and a sad ‘awe’ moment. Then Melisandre spoke again.

You know nothing

You just have to look on the internet to see how much people were freaking out about this line. Everyone was sitting in front of their TV’s going, “SHE DID THE THING!”

Jon Snow 2

Last, but certainly not least, Stannis. Now, I’ve said before that I tend to get a little bored with the wall. Also, previous to this episode, I wasn’t really a big fan of Stannis. However, this episode I gained a whole new respect for him and I really enjoyed the development we saw in his character.

I’ve always like Stannis’s daughter, Shireen. I think she’s adorable and spunky and just a great character for someone who isn’t on the screen much. Well, tonight she asked her father a question I think many of us have been wondering: “Are you ashamed of me?” Stannis’s response had me (and many others according to the internet) awe-ing. He spoke about how Shireen got Grey Scale and how he wasn’t ashamed of her, that she was his daughter and he loved her.

Stannis

Well, I loved this scene. I know a big part of the show is war and blood and sex, but I love these sides of the characters. These are the things that give dimension to the characters and make the show so much more than just a bunch of people fighting over a rather uncomfortable looking chair. I was also really excited to hear how Shireen got Grey Scale as it’s always been such a big part of her character. Every time she’s in an episode someone brings it up so I’m glad we finally learned how she got it. Not gonna lie, I’m king of Team Stannis for the Iron Throne now.

Shireen

This episode was so crazy. There was so much that happened and so much to cover and it’s definitely all leading up to something. Everyone keeps talking about the big war that is to come, this big for the North, for the throne, for this and for that. It’s building and building and I think something big is definitely going to happen by the end of the season.

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Did you have a favourite part? What are you hoping happens?

Check out the preview for next week!

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