The Gift

by Ed Blackadder

(Spoiler Warning) Last week ended with a bang when Sansa was raped by Ramsey on their wedding night, while a twitching Theon was forced to watch on. This scene caused quite a stir among a few very vocal people, yet I don’t recall hearing them cause such a fuss when rape was almost commonplace in the early seasons. Of course, it was only the unwashed masses who were being raped, and they don’t really count. Strange. Anyway, while this episode was as good as they get on Game of Thrones, I had last week’s slightly ahead for sheer drama.

Lord Commander Snow is preparing to seek out Wildlings to cross the Wall and hopefully form an army with those that at are willing to fight for King Stannis. Accompanying Jon is the now free Tormund, who insisted on Jon speaking directly to the Wildlings to help assure them that the offer is genuine. Unless something out of the ordinary happens with Jon’s arc of the story here, I don’t foresee anything of great interest until after his mission is completed. Although, the connecting two threads are an entirely different matter.

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Sam has to protect Gilly from being raped, and maybe even killed, when two horny men of the Night’s Watch decide Sam should be sharing. While this scene was powerful, it’s what it represents that’s more so. Jon’s decision to get Wildlings to safety past the Wall, was met with open hostility from most of the men. Jon has had to leave Ser Alliser Thorne in charge of Castle Black, which is definitely an unwise move. However, Jon may be counting on Ser Alliser to do his sworn duty, but I don’t trust him in the slightest. His jealousy and hatred of Jon might be too much to take, meaning Jon could return to Castle Black and find the doors locked.

Game of Thrones
Created by
David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Peter Dinklage, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, Emilia Clarke, Maisie Williams, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
Release Date
24 May 2015
Ed’s Grade: A+

The other connecting story is that of King Stannis. This one has certainly turned out better than I expected, especially now that Melisandre has made it clear who the next sacrifice to the Lord of Light will need to be! Stannis is marching on the Bolton held Winterfell, but he’s currently snowed in, horses are dying and men are deserting in huge numbers. And there’s no sign of the snow stopping any time soon. Stannis’ Hand, Ser Davos, wants the king to turn back, yet Stannis is trusting in Melisandre’s advice. Now that Melisandre wants him to burn his own daughter to death to ensure victory, Stannis has a tough decision to make. His queen is a rabid Lord of Light supporter , so I think she’ll talk Stannis into the terrible deed. But I don’t see Davos letting it happen without a fight. And Melisandre’s vision is rather questionable. She’s seen herself walking the Winterfell battlements but not King Stannis? Please.

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Sansa is locked up and visited nightly by her new husband. Visibly distressed — and something every woman involved with Ramsey seems to have in common — Sansa begs Theon to take the candle to the tower, so that the sign is given to Brienne. Surprisingly, Theon actually sets out to do just that, but Ramsey has taken up residence in the tower, spoiling Sansa’s rescue. Of course, Theon ends up confessing all to Ramsey. I found this part a little clumsy, much like the whole Dorne thing. Wouldn’t Theon know that Ramsey spends time up there? Speaking of Dorne and clumsy; why did we see Bronn poisoned last week, only to have him being given the antidote by Tyene Sand? And the way it was done was something I’d expect in a cheap Conan the Barbarian knockoff rather than this show.

Dany finally gets to see Tyrion and Ser Jorah, after she and her future husband visit a fighting pit. Which leaves us with the Tyrells, Cersei, Tommen and Littlefinger. In her haste to rescue her son from Queen Margaery, Cersei has just painted herself into a corner, potentially bringing about the downfall of House Lannister. Cersei has unleashed the High Sparrow and his men, thinking she alone was out of their reach. But Littlefinger has given Lady Olenna the name of Lancel, Cersei’s cousin, and Olenna has used that name very wisely. With both queens out of the way, it looks like Olenna might be the one to try to help King Tommen put an end to the High Sparrows reign of righteousness. Let’s face it, no one watches Game of Thrones to see people being honorable. We watch it precisely for the opposite reason, meaning the Faith will need to be crushed.