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 time58 minutes
Guest appearances
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken"
Next →
"Hardhome"
Game of Thrones (season 5)
List of 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

At the Wall

Jon and Tormund leave for Hardhome. 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 dies in the night. 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

Sansa, whom Ramsay has imprisoned in her bedchamber, 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.

Stannis' troops are trapped at their camp by a snowstorm. Davos suggests returning to Castle Black to wait out the winter, but Stannis replies that doing so could delay them for years. 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

Daenerys and Daario discuss her pending marriage to Hizdahr zo Loraq.

Jorah and Tyrion are sold to a slaver, Yezzan, who is looking for fighters for the reopening of the fighting pits. They fight in front of Daenerys. Jorah reveals himself to Daenerys and tells her he brought her a gift: Tyrion.

In Dorne

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

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 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 speaks with the High Sparrow to advocate for Margaery and Loras's release. The High Sparrow has Cersei imprisoned, too.

Production

Writing

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

"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

Ratings

"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 reception

The episode received positive reviews. It scored 84% on Rotten Tomatoes from 50 reviews with an average rating 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

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

  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. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. 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. Archived from the original on June 3, 2015. 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. Archived from the original on June 9, 2015. 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