Episode 7: The Gift
In Episode 7 of season 5 of Game of Thrones, “The Gift”, Jon Snow begins his journey to the wildlings’ stronghold. He must leave Alliser Thorne in command, who reminds him that he believes Jon is making a mistake. Gilly and Samwell keep watch over Maester Aemon as he dies. Aemon, introduced to Gilly’s baby, says that the baby reminds him of his brother, Egg, or as viewers know him, King Aegon.
At Winterfell, Sansa is trapped. She is locked in a chamber daily to await Ramsay each night. She begs Theon to light a candle in the broken tower to bring aid to her. Theon initially refuses, but as Sansa reminds him of who is he — Theon, not Reek — he nods, takes the candle and leaves her.
Back at the Wall, Aemon dies. Samwell gives the speech at his funeral. As they burn Aemon’s body, Alliser Thorne remarks that all of Sam’s friends are leaving.
Ramsay takes Sansa out for a walk, discussing the fact that Stannis is approaching. Sansa taunts Ramsay, reminding him that he is only a bastard. Ramsay tells her that bastards may rise high in the world, like her brother, Jon, now the Lord Commander. This is news to Sansa. He then brings her to the yard, where it becomes clear that Theon is not yet able to cross Ramsay. The woman who offered Sansa aid has been flayed until she died. After properly threatening Sansa, Ramsay has her returned to her chamber.
North of Winterfell, Stannis’s men are struggling to deal with the cold of winter. Davos suggests that they head back to Castle Black to wait out the storm. Stannis says that if they return, they will be forced to spend the winter there, missing their chance to take the kingdom. Melisandre then offers him a new option: use king’s blood to aid them in their attempt to take Winterfell. However, she misjudges Stannis’s attachment to his daughter. When Shireen is the one who would suffer harm, Stannis refuses to to consider the option. He tells Melisandre to leave.
Back at the Wall, the Night’s Watch has already become more feral without Jon’s presence. Two men threaten Gilly, asking her for a kiss and assaulting her. Sam comes to her protection, but as an unseasoned fighter, cannot stop the men. Only when Jon’s direwolf, Ghost, reappears do the men leave Sam and Gilly alone. Gilly tends to Sam’s wounds. When he asks her not to leave, she kisses him. The two then have sex for the first time.
Outside of Meereen, Tyrion and Jorah are put to auction. Jorah is sold first, meant to become a pit fighter. Tyrion asks the man to buy him as well. At first, the master is unimpressed. Tyrion then beats one of the auctioneers to show his capabilities. The master shrugs, and buys Tyrion as well. Daenerys and Daario share their bed. Daario asks Dany to marry him rather than Hizdahr. She laughs at this proposal, as she needs to make an alliance with the former leaders of the city. Daario then tells her that all rulers are either butchers or meat, revealing a rather limited worldview. Unfortunately, it seems to get to Daenerys.
At King’s Landing, Olenna goes to find the High Sparrow. She tries to bribe him, then threatens to stop sending crops to King’s Landing if he does not release Margaery and Loras. He tells her that the time has come for the many to stop fearing the few, leaving her shaken. We then see Cersei and Tommen dealing with the aftermath of Margaery’s imprisonment. Tommen wishes to free her immediately. Cersei tells him that she will go to the High Sparrow and see what she can do to regain the Tyrells’ freedom.
In Dorne, Areo Hotah brings Myrcella to Jaime. Jaime tells her that Dorne is not safe and that he wishes to bring her back to King’s Landing. Myrcella refuses, as she thinks of Dorne as her home now and is in love with her betrothed. Both remaining children of Cersei have begun to develop their own minds, especially as they fall in love. In the dungeons, Bronn and the Sand Snakes reside. One of the Sand Snakes, Tyene, seduces Bronn as he dies from the poison in her dagger. Once Bronn tells her that she is the most beautiful woman in the world, she gives him the antidote, as her half-sisters look on, rolling their eyes.
Olenna and Petyr meet in his ruined brothel. She is upfront about the fact that the pair of them conspired to kill Joffrey. She is about to leave him when he tells her that he has information for her, about a young man.
Jorah and Tyrion arrive in Meereen. Jorah is to fight for the right to fight in the actual fighting pits. Dany arrives to witness this. When Jorah reveals himself as the winner of the fight, she calls for his imprisonment, but he asks her to wait to see the gift he brought her. Tyrion comes into the open and introduces himself to Daenerys as her gift.
Cersei visits Margaery and plays nice to continue to appear innocent. Margaery, beyond the ability to play the game, calls Cersei a “hateful bitch” and throws the food that Cersei brought into her face. Cersei visits the High Sparrow on her way out, and questions him on how the trial will proceed. As Cersei is about to leave, the High Sparrow begins pontificating on the vanity of Baelor, who built the sept they stand in. He questions what lies beneath vanity. Although he initially questions what lies beneath the Tyrells’ vanity, he then shifts to Cersei. He reveals that Lancel Lannister has told the faith about Cersei’s indiscretions. Cersei is then imprisoned by the Faith as well, to await her own trial.