The Gift (Game of Thrones)

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"The Gift"
Game of Thrones episode
Episode no.Season 5
Episode 7
Directed byMiguel Sapochnik
Written byDavid Benioff
D. B. Weiss
Featured musicRamin Djawadi
Cinematography byFabian Wagner
Editing byCrispin Green
Original air dateMay 24, 2015 (2015-05-24)
Running time59 minutes
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken"
Next →
"Hardhome"
Game of Thrones (season 5)
List of Game of Thrones episodes

"The Gift" is the seventh episode of the fifth season of HBO's fantasy television series Game of Thrones, and the 47th overall. The episode was written by the series' creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, and directed by Miguel Sapochnik, his directorial debut for the series.

This episode marks the final appearance for Peter Vaughan (Maester Aemon).

Plot[edit]

At the Wall[edit]

Jon leaves for Hardhome with Tormund, despite Ser Alliser's complaints. Before they leave, Sam gives Jon a bag of dragonglass weapons, reminding him of their use against the White Walkers.

Sam and Gilly visit Maester Aemon, who has fallen ill and dies in the night. In the morning, Sam eulogizes him before lighting his funeral pyre. Afterward, Gilly is attacked by two brothers. Sam attempts to intervene and is badly beaten before Ghost scares them off. Gilly tends to Sam and the two have sex.

In the North[edit]

Sansa, who has been imprisoned in her bedchamber by Ramsay, asks Reek to signal for help, but instead he tells Ramsay. Ramsay flays the maid from whom Sansa learned the signal, but while forcing Sansa to look on her body she discreetly steals a corkscrew; she also learns that Jon has become Lord Commander. Meanwhile, Brienne and Podrick wait for the signal, to no avail.

Stannis' troops are trapped at their camp by a snowstorm. Davos tells Stannis that supplies, horses and sellswords have been lost, and suggests returning to Castle Black to wait out the winter, but Stannis replies that doing so could delay them for years. After Davos takes his leave, Melisandre assures Stannis that she saw a vision of his victory, but asks for permission to sacrifice Shireen to R'hllor. Stannis is disgusted and refuses.

In Meereen[edit]

Daenerys and Daario discuss her pending marriage to Hizdahr zo Loraq. Daario unsuccessfully suggests that she kill all of Meereen's nobles when the fighting pits are reopened.

Jorah is sold to a slaver, Yezzan zo Qaggaz, who is looking for fighters for the reopening of the fighting pits. Tyrion shows fighting prowess by attacking a slave herder and convinces Yezzan to purchase him as well. Yezzan takes his fighters to Meereen, where they fight in front of Daenerys. Jorah reveals himself to Daenerys, who orders he be taken out of her sight, but Jorah tells her he brought her a gift. Tyrion enters the arena and introduces himself to a stunned Daenerys.

In Dorne[edit]

Myrcella is brought to speak with Jaime, and asks why he came to take her back to King's Landing, when what she wants is to stay and marry Trystane.

In the cells, Tyene taunts Bronn by exposing her breasts to him, before explaining that her daggers, with which he'd been cut during their fight, had been coated with a slow-acting poison that would activate when his heart rate increased. Tyene gives him the antidote after he gives in to her request that he call her the most beautiful woman in the world.

In King's Landing[edit]

Olenna demands the High Sparrow release Loras and Margaery, but the High Sparrow insists that the laws of the Faith be applied to everyone equally. Olenna attempts to bribe him, then threatens to stop Highgarden's shipments of food to the capital. The High Sparrow, unfazed, counters that she and the rest of the nobility are outnumbered by the smallfolk, and tells her to consider what will come when the smallfolk stop fearing the nobility. Olenna meets Littlefinger and confronts him for giving Cersei information implicating Loras, but Littlefinger declares that he can implicate Cersei too.

In the Red Keep, Tommen anguishes over his inability to help Margaery. Cersei offers to speak with the High Sparrow and advocate for Margaery and Loras's release. Cersei first meets with Margaery, but Margaery angrily orders her to leave, aware that she was responsible for imprisoning both her and Loras. Cersei then meets with the High Sparrow, who reveals that Lancel has revealed her sins and has Cersei imprisoned too.

Production[edit]

Writing[edit]

The episode was written by series co-creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss.

This episode was written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, the series' creators. It contains content from George R. R. Martin's novels A Feast for Crows, chapters Samwell II, Samwell IV, and Cersei X and A Dance with Dragons, chapters The King's Prize, Tyrion X, and Daenerys IV.[1]

Like other episodes in season 5, this episode differed considerably from Martin's novels in places. Aemon's death takes place at Castle Black rather than at sea, which Myles McNutt of A.V. Club notes, "establish[es] a shifting of the guard at Castle Black and marking Sam’s reemergence as a more significant character."[2] In what Sara Stewart of the New York Post calls "the biggest departure yet from the books," Tyrion actually meets Daenerys at the end of the episode, which has yet to happen as of A Dance with Dragons.[3] The decision was largely approved by critics from The Atlantic and other publications.[4] David Benioff cited the television adaptation's faster pace as part of the rationale behind this decision.[5]

Filming[edit]

Miguel Sapochnik served as director for the episode, his first episode for the series.

"The Gift" was directed by Miguel Sapochnik. It was his first time being a director for Game of Thrones; he also directed the subsequent episode, "Hardhome".[6]

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

"The Gift" was watched by 5.5 million and a 2.5 in the key 18–49 demographic during its first airing.[7] This is significantly fewer viewers than the previous episode, "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken", which had an audience of 6.2 million. According to Business Insider, likely causes for the lower ratings include backlash from the rape scene in "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken", in response to which many fans announced they would stop watching the show, and increased use of streaming through HBO Now.[8] Rebecca Martin of Wetpaint, however, maintains that the Memorial Day weekend air date was probably the only reason for the decrease in ratings.[9] The season two episode "Blackwater", which also aired on Memorial Day weekend, also suffered a notable drop in ratings.[10] Whatever the reason, the ratings for the episode immediately after "The Gift", "Hardhome", were higher than those of either "The Gift" or "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken".[11] With Live+7 DVR viewing factored in, the episode had an overall rating of 8.87 million viewers, and a 4.5 in the 18–49 demographic.[12]

In the United Kingdom, the episode was viewed by 2.293 million viewers, making it the highest-rated broadcast that week. It also received 0.176 million timeshift viewers.[13]

Critical reviews[edit]

The episode received positive reviews. It scored 84% on Rotten Tomatoes from 50 reviews with a rating average of 7.59 out of 10 and the consensus reading: "'The Gift' is a jam-packed installment that delivers long-awaited plot turns in a satisfying manner, even though it continues a disturbing theme from the previous episode."[14] Erik Kain of Forbes called this a "terrific, exciting, tense episode," though, like Myles McNutt of The A.V. Club, he questioned both the "anemic" Dorne storyline and the gratuitousness of Tyene exposing her breasts in the prison scene.[2][15]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominee(s) Result Ref.
2015 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series Diana Rigg as Lady Olenna Tyrell Nominated [16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Garcia, Elio; Antonsson, Linda (May 24, 2015). "EP507: THE GIFT". Westeros.org. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
  2. ^ a b McNutt, Myles (May 24, 2015). "Game of Thrones (experts): "The Gift"". A.V. Club. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  3. ^ Stwart, Sara (May 25, 2015). "'The Gift' lives up to its name on 'Game of Thrones'". New York Post. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  4. ^ Kornhaber, Spencer; Orr, Christopher; Sullivan, Amy (May 24, 2015). "Game of Thrones: The Meeting Viewers Have Been Waiting For". The Atlantic. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  5. ^ Hibberd, James (May 24, 2015). "Game of Thrones: Why those two iconic characters just met". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  6. ^ Hibberd, James (July 15, 2014). "'Game of Thrones' season 5 directors chosen". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 15, 2014.
  7. ^ Bibel, Sara (May 27, 2015). "Sunday Cable Ratings: NBA Conference Finals Win Night, 'Game of Thrones', 'Silicon Valley', 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians', 'Veep' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  8. ^ "'Game of Thrones' ratings are falling: Here are two possible reasons why". Business Insider. May 28, 2015. Retrieved May 29, 2015.
  9. ^ Martin, Rebecca (May 28, 2015). "Game of Thrones Ratings Drop — Is It Because of Sansa Rape?". Wetpaint. Retrieved May 29, 2015.
  10. ^ Hibberd, James (May 30, 2012). "'Game of Thrones' ratings dip for 'Blackwater'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 7, 2015.
  11. ^ Bibel, Sara (June 2, 2015). "Sunday Cable Ratings: 'Game of Thrones' Tops Night + 'Keeping Up With the Kardashians', 'Silicon Valley', 'Naked and Afraid' & More". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 2, 2015.
  12. ^ Bibel, Sara (June 8, 2015). "'Game of Thrones' Leads Adults 18-49 & Viewership Gains, 'Orphan Black' Tops Percentage Increases in Live +7 Cable Ratings for Week Ending May 24". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved June 8, 2015.
  13. ^ "Top 10 Ratings (25-31 May 2015)". BARB. Retrieved April 7, 2016.
  14. ^ "The Gift - Game of Thrones: Season 5, Episode 7". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  15. ^ Kain, Erik (May 24, 2015). "'Game Of Thrones' Season 5, Episode 7 Review: 'The Gift'". Forbes. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
  16. ^ "Game of Thrones". Emmys.com. Retrieved September 7, 2017.

External links[edit]