Season 5, Episode 7: "The Gift"
Last Week's Rankings: "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken"
In the Game of Thrones, you win or you die. In that spirit, here’s your weekly look at who’s winning and who’s (slowly, painfully) dying.
1. The 99% of Westeros
With Mace Tyrell
banished away on business in Braavos, Kevan Lannister abandoning the Small Council to go back to Casterly Rock, Jaime off on his Dornish holiday with Bronn, and Lady Olenna maintaining Highgarden as her home base, King's Landing is currently the home of, I believe, four characters that are members of the Royal Family. Three of them--Loras, Margaery, and Cersei--are now imprisoned. And then there's King Tommen, eternally shackled by his own uselessness.
As the High Sparrow says to Lady Olenna, "You are the few. We are the many. And when the many stop fearing the few…" And that was when he effectively dropped the mic and walked away.
2. Tyrion Lannister, "The Gift"
This is how people should always introduce themselves. "I'm the gift."
But really, the gift is to viewers, who finally get to see two of their favorite characters meet and interact. It only took us 47 episodes to get here!
3. The Unrequited Love of Ser Jorah Mormont
I mean, did you see the way he just tore through the rest of those gladiators? Dude was on a mission! The only thing that scene was missing was for him to scream at Khaleesi, "Are you not entertained?!?" when she refused to give him the time of day.
4. Sam Tarly's Sex Life
Sure, on the one hand, he broke his sacred vow when he got laid. But we should recall the wisdom of Maester Aemon last season, during Jon Snow's trial for shagging Ygritte: "If we took the heads of everyone who broke their vows, we'd be guarding the wall with headless men." So instead of focusing on the negatives (just scroll down a bit for that!), let's celebrate Sam for officially graduating from the Friend Zone. And now his
Watch frustration is ended.
5. The Memory of King Joffrey Baratheon, First of His Name
15 episodes since his death, there isn't a single person who watches the show that wouldn't instantly take him back in exchange for getting rid of Ramsay. I mean, in retrospect, Joffrey wasn't really that bad, right?? Sure, he might have tormented Sansa, but at least he didn't rape her on her wedding night. Yeah, he might have killed Ros with his crossbow, but at least he didn't flay her alive and then display her in the town square. And yes, he executed Ned Stark, but that's much better than just cutting off his dick and then keeping him around as a sadistic trophy, right?
The thing with Joffrey's evilness was, it was an evil that made a degree of sense. We could understand where it came from, given Cersei's epic mothering liberties. It was a nurtured evil. But Ramsay is the worst kind of evil: it's just who he is. And he enjoys it.
Admit it, you miss this adorable face, don't you?
1. The Wine Makers of Westeros
Good God, what will these people do? You're just sitting there, so damn pleased with yourself about Cersei's imprisonment, and you're not even thinking about all of the people that will lose their jobs with no one left to drink their wine! For God's sake, they have kids to feed!
But real talk now, let's chat Cersei. Holy Christ, was that gratifying! The problem with Joffrey's death was we didn't see him suffer, or beg, or have the realization that it was happening. He didn't even know who got the best of him. As far as the deaths of evil tyrants go, it was mildly unsatisfying. But watching Cersei helplessly flail--with both arms and tongue--while getting thrown in jail? Or hearing Margaery shout at her, "Get out you hateful bitch!"? Delectable.
We should recall what Littlefinger said to her just last episode: "One's choice of companion is a curious thing." Curious and dangerous.
Side note: When Cersei asked the High Sparrow what will happen to Margaery and Loras if they confess, he says they'll be shown "Mother's Mercy." Now guess what the final episode of this season is called? Yup, "Mother's Mercy." Shit's about to go down.
2. Shouting "I am the Queen!"
This is the second straight episode we've heard someone shout that as they've been taken away in chains. It has not been an effective counter-argument.
3. Anyone Trying to Help Sansa Stark
I spent a solid ten minutes looking through IMDb cast lists and reading through episode plot synopses to find the name of the poor woman Ramsay flayed for trying to help Sansa, only to realize she was never even given one. Her official credit is "Old Woman."
But one of her only lines of dialogue in the show still lingers: "The North Remembers."
4. Everything About Sam Tarly Except His Sex Life
Here's a quick recap of what happened to Sam last week--his best friend left to go on a possibly suicidal mission, his mentor died of old age, two of his Night's Watch brothers beat the shit out of him, and the acting commander effectively told him that anyone that might have protected him is now gone. And he lost his virginity, which was cool. But everything else? Not such good tidings.
5. The Princess Shireen, Daughter of King Stannis Baratheon
Suddenly Melisandre is openly pining for her blood, and that portents bad things for her. Hopefully Stannis is more attached to having an actual child than conceiving another smoke one.
Honorable Mention: Maester Aemon
He died of natural causes at the age of 102, and for this show, that's just not tragic enough to make the top five.
Confirmed Kills: 3 (1 flayed old woman, 2 gladiators that died in the fighting pits--one via throat-spilling, and one via head-bashing. Maester Aemon doesn't count, as he died of natural causes, and that's just not the kind of thing we celebrate here.)
Season Death Tally: 54