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The Game of Game of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 7, The Gift

The Game of Game of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 7, The Gift


Dany gets more than she bargained for when her boyfriend takes her to a sports game

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Macall B. Polay/HBO

[UPDATE: This week's episode was originally scored with Nymeria and Tyene Sand's scores switched. Your GOGOT correspondent has corrected this and updated the charts accordingly. This took a really long time. I hope you're happy.]

In the Game of Game of Thrones, sometimes you wish you could just draft Winter. It makes an appearance or gets shouted out pretty much every week, and every character is mortally afraid of it. And no matter how brutal or foreboding it is, it doesn't try to rape anyone.

Winter also killed 50 of Stannis Baratheon's men on their march down to defeat the Boltons, so everyone's favorite thinkpiece subject Sansa Stark might have to chill, so to speak, in her miserable marital predicament for a few more weeks. This is not great news, but as Theon / Reek pointed out, no matter how bad things are, they can always get worse. Cool insight, Reek! I hope you don't mind that we here at GOGOT headquarters are just going to go ahead and stick to your new name, since it appears that no matter how noble a pep talk you're given by your surrogate little sister, you're still pretty much worthless in a co-conspirator capacity (+10 to Sansa for a good, if fruitless effort).

At least Winter doesn't try to rape anyone

So Ramsay Bolton's still peacefully doing gross, horrible stuff in Winterfell (+10 for flaying that poor old lady; this must be what it feels like to have drafted Ray Rice in 2014), and Melisandre is still being her crazy wild card self, this time suggesting that Stannis sacrifice his beloved daughter Shireen to the Lord of Light to bolster his claim to the throne. Wow. +10 for boldness, Mel. It kind of feels like at this point she's just making up a bunch of extreme-sounding shit and seeing what sticks, and indeed, Stannis is all "are you just making up extreme-sounding shit?" Who knows, we may have to take the Lord of Light off the board entirely if the seams continue to show themselves like this.

Game of Thrones

Way to drop the mic on human existence

Winter may have also been partially to blame for the death of Aemon Targaryen, though that was probably just Old Age (which would be a pretty worthless draft pick from a body count standpoint, this week notwithstanding). Too bad nobody had Aemon drafted, because his last words, in a hallucinated exchange with his little brother Aeg (her?) were an all-time-best Game of Thrones line: "I dreamed I was old." Way to drop the mic on human existence.

After his passing, as well as the departure of Jon Snow, Samwell Tarly and Gilly are more or less stranded, at the mercy of all the unpleasant characters that populate Castle Black. Rape shows up again, but is thwarted by Ghost, who makes a classic direwolf ex machina appearance and scares the rape away (+10). Afterwards, Gilly shows her gratitude to Sam for not getting raped by offering him consensual sex (+25 each). Seems like not the wisest move — Isn't the breaking of your Night's Watch vows punishable by death? And don't a lot of guys want Sam dead right now? — but we can't fault two put-upon characters for trying to treat each other nicely in an upside-down world.

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Let's get out of the north, where Winter and Old Age and Rape still appear to have free, boring reign. Let's go to Dorne, where I was genuinely shocked to see Jaime Lannister in a comfortable chamber with lots of light after his attempted kidnapping of Myrcella. Those Dornish, so civilized! Jaime has a long-time-no-see chat with his niece / daughter ("You had more hair," she says uncomfortably; "And more hands," he quips — +5 — summing up his character arc very succinctly). It turns out she has very little attachment or loyalty to King's Landing these days — it's all about her dreamy Trystane Martell. "You don't know me," she spits at Jaime (+10), which is a classic deadbeat dad burn and also pretty much exactly what her mother said at the top of the season. Take it from Don Draper, Jaime — you can't just decide to be a dad when it suddenly feels convenient or makes you feel better about your track record as a parent, especially when your daughter doesn't even know she's your illegitimate incest lovechild. (Man, the last season of Mad Men got weird!) Oh, also, here's your weekly -10 for still being stuck in this dumb plotline.

+10 to Myrcella for a classic deadbeat dad burn

Meanwhile, in the dungeons, Bronn is singing and relaxing and flirting with the Sand Snakes, one of whom is — kind of horrifically, if I'm being honest — flirting back with him. Man, what was that scene? Last week I asked the Sand Snakes to step it up; I did not mean "devolve into hot and comfortably useless warrior babe stereotypes." Tyene Sand got some dialogue and some nudity points (+15), sure, but she didn't do anything as badass as let Bronn die from the cut from her poisoned blade (not that we would have been able to forgive that, either). What did we learn about her? That she wanted to let Bronn know that she has breasts? (If you are still wondering what they feel like, Bronn, here's a guess.) Obara and Nymeria Sand's idle eye-rolling did nothing to mitigate this lazily and pervily conceived encounter. -10 to all y'all (Bronn, Obara, Nym, and Tyene) for your weekly participation in this mess.

Okay, Dorne, that's enough of that. Let's go to Meereen, where Daenerys Targaryen is still cuddling with her snuggle bunny Daario Naharis, former sellsword and current professional tagline generator ("All rulers are either butchers or meat." "You are the only person in Meereen who isn't free." +10.) They get PG-13 naked (+5) and do sex (+15). Daario is just jealous of Hizdahr zo Loraq, which he SHOULD be, because Hizdahr is objectively better than Daario, and when was the last time Dany rocked such a striking new look (+10) for her lowborn beau?

Hizdahr is trying so hard to get his boo into sports

Hizdahr and Dany visit the local fighting pit farm team, and Hizdahr is trying so hard to get his boo into his favorite sport, but she isn't having it. That is, until Jorah Mormont shows up and K.O.s five fighting pitmen (+25) and then takes off his helm and reveals himself to his Khaleesi. She responds by joining a proud tradition of platinum blonde women bellowing "GET OUT" at dudes, but before the guards can drag Jorah away, out pops Tyrion Lannister! Tyrion made it to Daenerys! Your GOGOT correspondent won't deny getting a chill during this moment; so many of Game of Thrones' most elemental thrills happen when this big sprawling world finds a way to fold back on itself — the last instance that comes to mind is Stannis' army charging across the north. When was the last time someone accomplished a goal on this show? +25 to Tyrion for finishing a project!

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Shade so subtle it doesn't even transcribe properly

That seemed as good as any a note to end on this week, but oh no — we still had to catch up with Cersei Lannister's glorious self-immolation. If Jaime Lannister is the twisted version of a fairy tale prince, then Cersei is his logical princess, surrounding herself with a team of sparrows that cheerfully tie a noose around her neck. After giving a heartfelt speech to (the still useless) Tommen Baratheon about all the things she'd do for his happiness, she goes and visits Margaery Baratheon in her red cell, where — dang! — the queen seems to be quickly deteriorating. The whole visit easily wins +15, every line dripping with shade so subtle it doesn't even transcribe properly when unaccompanied by Lena Headey's eyebrows. It's a draw between Margaery's cold-as-ice "Perhaps that's why your son was so eager to cast you aside for me," and endlessly GIF-able "Get out, you hateful bitch!" (+5) It's also, let's be real, a bit of a pity score, because we all knew Cersei's alliance with the Faith Militant could only last so long.

The chain of cause and effect that threw the Unbreakable Cersei Lannister in a prison cell is long and years in the making, but we at least have to give some credit to Littlefinger, who — who knows? — might have nudged Lancel Lannister toward the Sparrows years ago, with this exact outcome in mind. He did imply that the confession was his "gift" to Olenna Tyrell (+15). But Lancel's betrayal of his aunt falls right on the boundary of the hefty +35 "betray someone you're sleeping with" score. Usually I'd dock some points since Cersei is in fact no longer sleeping with Lancel, but given that the betrayal directly concerns the sleeping-with (as well as the regicide and who knows what else) I'd say the full score applies.

For the first time, it feels like a Cersei threat may be empty

And what's this? No +10 for Cersei's last threatening words before the sisters lock her away? Nope — for the first time, it feels like a Cersei threat may in fact be empty; there's no Lannister debt to pay back, because at its root, her punishment was self-inflicted. It's a complex bummer to see such a resiliently evil, yet endlessly entertaining, and yes, kind of sympathetic character get her due, but the universe has clearly had it in for her since she visited that witch as a child. And some might say that in the Game of Game of Thrones, as in life, the Universe is the most powerful draft pick of all.

This week's top scoring characters, (calculated from this total b.s. points guide)
  1. Daenerys Targaryen (46)
  2. Lancel Lannister (36)
  3. Daario Naharis (31)
  4. Jorah Mormont (26)
  5. Tyrion Lannister (26)
  6. Gilly (26)
  7. Samwell Tarly (26)
  8. Cersei Lannister (21)

This week's league rankings
  1. Liz Lopatto: 43 points (327 total)
  2. Kwame Opam: 38 points (256 total)
  3. Ross Miller: 44 points (236 total)
  4. Bryan Bishop: 58 points (225 total)
  5. Dieter Bohn: 68 points (193 total)
  6. Casey Newton: 2 points (188 total)
  7. Adi Robertson: 17 points (181 total)
  8. Chris Plante: 24 points (166 total)
  9. Arielle Duhaime-Ross: 33 points (134 total)