Game of Thrones for Noobs VII
Season 5, Episode 7: "The Gift"Pop CultureMonday, May 25, 2015
The Story Thus Far
Arya Stark finally made some progress toward becoming faceless, but at the expanse of some serious face slappin’ while her sister Sansa married that Ramsay Bolton jerk who raped her (which pissed off the entire Internet) in front of Theon/Reek. Baelish visited Cersei, who made threats about skinning people while some old broad made threats about the bread supply in King’s Landing. Everyone everywhere was a complete homophobe while Margaery’s brother Slow Loras was persecuted based on his sexual orientation and taken away to jail along with his sister (how they gonna arrest the queen?!). Jamie and Baron Chinstrap mounted the worst rescue ever in Dorne and got arrested after some bad bitch with a spear kicked their asses. Tyrion was double kidnapped by some dudes who were on the lookout for a cock merchant, and your old pal Alex was baffled at the thought that somebody cooked up and subsequently wrote about such a thing as a cock merchant.
More trouble with the Wildlings at the Wall means that Jon Snow has to, once again, stand around looking somber and nodding silently at his jackoff co-workers. So maybe it’s a little unpopular and flawed to trust those bearded bastards, and his pals tell him he sucks and stuff. The pudgy fucker who killed an ice zombie before hands him his obsidian dagger and is, like, holding back tears while they ride off to God knows where. The old monk bastard who hangs around the Night’s Watch doling out sage advice meets his grandson. Or maybe it’s just some other baby? Either way, he’s obviously sick or tired or something. Still, he has enough of his faculties to tell them to get the baby out of the icy, barren land near the Wall. Oh, so babies don’t like to freeze to death? Novel. Anyway, he dies, and the pudgy guy makes this super-trite speech about how his fire went out before they burn his old bastard corpse and some other guy tells the pudgy guy that he’s running out of friends. Apparently, killing an ice zombie doesn’t build social capital betwixt the Night’s Watch the way it might if you or someone you know had done the same.
Sansa, meanwhile, is still crying in bed after that Ramsay fucker committed his terrible crime. For the first time, she seems to realize that marrying into the Boltons was a terrible idea, but you’ve got to wonder why she didn’t see it coming already or why she listened to Baelish about marrying this fucker in the first place. Apparently, she is kept locked in her room all day with nothing to read until Ramsay comes at night to rape her. Jesus Christ. Y’know, I wasn’t entirely clear about why everyone was so upset about last week’s rape scene (sometimes ugliness is a part of art and storytelling, and while it is definitely hard to watch, I believe that any topic can be explored by artists and writers, etc.), but this is pretty fucked, and I get it now. Sure, Ramsay is evil, but this has become straight gratuitous and completely unnecessary to the moving along of the story.
Anyway, Sansa convinces Theon/Reek to light a candle in the top of the broken tower, because apparently, there are, like, friends or knights or whoever on standby to save her if she needs. But he goes to see Ramsay instead. What the fuck, man?! It wasn’t bad enough you killed her brothers already?!?!? This dude needs to grow a backbone or at least stop fucking over Sansa every chance he gets.
So then Sansa goes to meet with Ramsay and pisses him off by pointing out that he’s a bastard while he fumes and flexes his spooky eyes at her. She starts to feel good about sassin’ him, but then he’s like, “Check out that old lady who was going to help you and how I’ve skinned and crucified her.” Fuck. Surely this will build to some moment of empowerment for her, because if she doesn’t kill him, I’ll work out some kind of Stay Tuned situation and handle it myself.
Elsewhere, Stannis’ army learns that Napoleonic lesson about how an army shouldn’t fight snowy countries in the snow. He talks about how “winter is coming” and becomes the first person to point out that it’s just how the fucking planet works. He doesn’t wish to be remembered as a king who retreats, and though his advisors seem to be against it, they don’t want to challenge that thought. He tells his witch (the one who tried to bang Jon Snow a few episodes ago) that she needs to be sure, and she slowly walks over to him, looks deep into his eyes and is like, “Yup.” He likes this and tries to make out with her, but she is all business. And eyebrows. She tries to relate to him the saying “What’s past is prologue” and tells him to kill his daughter (maybe…might’ve needed to read the books for that shit to make sense) and that he’s the only king who can fight the zombies.
Back at the Wall, the showrunners continue to set back feminism a hundred years by hinting at what might be another rape, but the pudgy guy appears to save this poor girl who is being attacked by two losers. They beat his ass pretty hard, but it seems to just spur him on so insanely that he manifests a gigantic fucking white wolf into existence as if from nowhere, with the power of his dynamic brain! Either that or the wolf lives nearby. Regardless, he proves that he’s a total badass and sticks up for her, and the wolf goes back to reading up on Susan B Anthony and being a friend of women. That’s a good wolf.
The woman is grateful to the pudgy bastard (even though he didn’t do shit, and it was all the wolf), so she thanks him by cleaning his wounds and then banging him. It would seem that Game of Thrones errs toward the less sexy kinds of sex at every turn, but you’ve gotta hand it to the guy—he finally got lucky. Still, as a pudgy dude myself, I resent the implication that a pudgy guy having sex should be treated only as a thank you or as an almost unbelievable situation.
We rejoin those guys who wanted to cut off Tyrion’s dick as they sell the guy who originally kidnapped the poor little guy into slavery. Tyrion, clearly suffering from Stockholm syndrome, beats the fuck out of some guy to prove he’s tough enough to be bought alongside him/not be separated. And that’s it. There’s never enough Tyrion in this season.
In Mereen (See? I’m learning the names!), Dragon Tits fields a mid-sex proposal from some hipster she’s banging, who is then upset that she wants to marry that guy who’s all about the fighting pits. He suggests that she kill a whole mess of dudes to flex her power, and she’s like, “Naw.”
Back in King’s Landing (I think), that old lady who sassed Cersei awhile last time around meets with the High Sparrow, and they talk about how they’re old, which probably makes a few older viewers at home force a laugh and say something like, “Tell me about it!” She offers the High Sparrow some cash to let her grandchildren free (apparently her grandchildren are Slow Loras and Sneaky Margaery), but he ain’t having it. He hates liars and gay people, but what makes him so great? The old lady makes more threats, but the Sparrow has a snarky answer to goddamn everything. Ooh, I hate him so much! And so does the king. He all but goes on a hunger strike and shouts so loud his voice cracks. Cersei whispers hollow words of consolation into his ears and is like, “Everyone you ever love will die, so you should never love anyone who isn’t me.” Tommen is confused, because he apparently loves Margaery, but methinks it is a case of a young dude falling for the first girl he ever slept with…or he’s an idiot, because Margaery is kind of cold and calculating. Oh shit! So is his mom! Is he Oedipus-ing? I think he is! I mean, Cersei is hot, but still…
Over in Dorne, Jamie is imprisoned in some beautifully appointed room made of gold surrounded by fine oils and silks and stuff, and he finally sees his niece/daughter and is all like, “Check out my gold hand!” and, “People are going to kill you, probably.” She doesn’t want to leave because she’s in love. Eat it, Jamie! Chinstrap, by the way, is in jail with those women who beat his ass, but the ass-beating he suffered seems like a forced plea from the show to prove they can write women who aren’t objects and—oh, never mind, because one of the tough women starts taking off all her clothes for no apparent reason. It’s more of a Matahari-like situation, though, because the dude starts passing out at the sight of her naked body. At first, it seems like she has magic boobs, but it turns out that she stabbed him earlier with a poisoned dagger and won’t give him the antidote until he says she’s pretty. What!? This is what’s important to her as a world-class fighter and all-around tough-ass individual!?
We pop in on Baelish as he surveys the damage done to his brothel by the Sparrows. He finds the old broad who threatens everyone there, and she reminds him they killed Joffrey together and then threatens him, too. He tells her that he has some sneaky info (probably something about Winterfell and Ramsay), and they cut away because seriously—this show can’t stay focused. It’s not building tension, it’s pissing people off. Mostly me.
Dragon Tits, meanwhile, has made her way to one of the fighting pit fights to check it out after signing it back into law. This has the kidnapper dude all psyched, as he’s been trying to get back to her to show how he kidnapped Tyrion. The fighting pits are, of course, brutal, and for a lady who keeps executing fools, the violence seems to be difficult for her to watch. Her fiancé tells her that she needs to stay, though, and it’s a good thing he does because the kidnapper guy who originally kidnapped Tyrion (and who’s name I still don’t fucking know) pops out to kill everyone. What do I mean, everyone? I mean, Gary-Oldman-shouting-in-The Professional EVERYONE!
Daenerys is surprised to see him and is all, “Get the fuck out!” Apparently this is the first time Tyrion and Daenerys have met, and maybe if I had read the books or watched the show before now, this moment would have been a bigger deal.
We find Cersei popping in on Margaery in prison with leftovers and lying about the stuff she’s doing on the outside. The new queen isn’t buying it, though, and tells Cersei all kinds of mean stuff about how her kid doesn’t love her anymore.
The main takeaway here is that prison looks boring and has no snacks. And Cersei likes it. She smiles with glee at the thought of what she has wrought. She meets up with the High Sparrow, who sits around in a crypt acting like some sort of King’s Landing version of Pat Robertson and provides history lessons that were not requested. He has a very strong respect for the masonry of yore and hates gold, but he is still kind of a dick and should not be allowed to decide who fucks whom. He does, however, start to point his judgment finger at Cersei, who is maybe beginning to wonder if she created a monster even worse than her. They have her taken away, too, which might be surprising, but if you know anything about how stories work, it’s pretty much exactly what was going to happen. Still, she says this badass thing to these nuns who drag her into her cell: “Look at my face. It’s the last thing you’ll see before you die.” God, it would rule to say that to an enemy.
Pros: Things moved at a faster clip this week, and the sex ’n violence sure didn’t hurt.
Cons: Seriously, GoT, the way y’all write women is fucking appalling.
The Grade: D-Minus. It absolutely sucks
that they had that one character be more concerned with looking pretty than
being awesome at stabbing fools.
Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights on HBO. Animated GIFs via Uproxx.