Game Of Thrones: 5.07 The Gift
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This season more than any other Game Of Thrones has really lived up to it’s title, it’s all about the game of thrones. Slow, at times very slowly, pieces have been moving into place, alliances have been built, destroyed, bought and sold. Now, finally, the bigger picture is slowly starting to fall into place.
Honestly though, Season Five has challenged the viewer more than any other, the interminably slow pace is a gripe, as is the treatment of certain characters - the Sansa scene has been talked to death, rightly so - but the hope is that The Gift is the beginning of some payback, for both the audience and some of the characters.
Apart from the first episode of the show, way back when Sean Bean was the star of a fantasy show with dragons, Winterfell has always been a sad place, where people die and winter is always coming. Well now winter is here, in all its snowy glory. And things are worse than ever, pity for Reek / Theon is disappearing quickly, whilst Sansa Stark is home but now the worst kind of abused wife. Add to that the flaying, the aftermath of which was quite graphically shown, of a kindly old woman and the North is not a place anyone wants to be.
Still Stannis Baratheon is coming, hopefully bringing justice and a sort of peace. This being Game Of Thrones though he’s probably going to meet his end before the season is out. In the meantime the now Irish Littlefinger is down in King’s Landing working his way through the powerful. Having courted Cersei in the previous episode he’s now chatting to the Queen Of Thorns. But forget that, the meeting of actorial power this week was the scene between the High Sparrow, a fantastic Jonathan Pryce showing a humble leader who has all the power but tries to show he doesn’t know, and the truly sublime Diana Rigg as Lady Olenna Tyrell who has all the money, alot of the power, and always shows it. It was a great scene laced with honesty and top notch acting from two of the most experienced heads on the show.
One qualm with this season has been the continuous skipping around the various destinations which, though nothing new in itself, has led to more seeingly superfluous scenes this year. This time Bronn and the Snakes, Jaime and his niece / daughter, the scene with Sam at the wall (despite it being maybe the purest scene of nice behaviour ever in the show!), all, despite some nice beats, felt ultimately pointless.
Apart from the Sparrow / Thorns head to head the two scenes that did sparkle this week were Cersei’s fall from grace, smugness before a fall and all that, and the fighting pits scene. It’s been obvious to most since the start of the season that Cersei is playing a dangerous game, empowering religious fanatics both with authority and weapons. Especially when you think about her not quite so sparklingly clean past (incest, bastards kids, murder of a King, etc, etc). And now she may finally be about to pay the price, in jail and with no friends on the outside it’ll be fascinating to see what happens to the Lannister family now, it feels like a power vacuum is happening in Westeros. The 99 are raging again the 1.
Finally, and we’ll leave you with these words to help you through the week:
“I’m the gift. I’m Tyrion Lannister.”