Game of Thrones series 5 episode 6 review: Cersei in the slammer

From songs and antidotes to deadly information, all sorts of things were being handed over in an episode called The Gift

After last week’s Game of Thrones ended on such an unpleasant note, the latest episode had a more cathartic conclusion as Cersei finally faced her comeuppance and was thrown into jail for her sins – just moments after she had been gloating over her rival Margaery for being in that very situation. Tough break.


Still, this is all part of the High Sparrow’s grand scheme – to bring all equal before the face of his gods, whether the rich or the poor. As he said earlier in the episode to a confused Olenna Tyrell who couldn’t understand that he had no angle: “We are the many, you are the few”. All the more chilling coming from the cheerful and grandfatherly face of Jonathan Pryce. Brrr.

But Cersei’s imprisonment probably wasn’t the “big moment” in an episode that seemed to try to make up for this series’ general lack of direction by bringing a few plotlines to a head (including the sad death of Peter Vaughan’s Maester Aemon, calling out for his long-dead brother). No, the real shocker was (after a display of impressive battling by Ser Jorah), Daenerys and Tyrion finally coming face to face.

At this point the series jumps ahead of the books (where Tyrion hasn’t met her yet), and it’s all the better for it in my mind. Dany hasn’t really had a good storyline since the first season, and parachuting in Westeros’ number-one quipmeister is certainly a way to spruce up her side of things a bit, even if she doesn’t team up with Tyrion right away. Hooray for development!

Not that we didn’t get a few pointless scenes this week too, including one of the Dornish Sand Snakes making favourite Bronn work for his antidote (after some more nice singing, reminding us that he was once one half of crooning duo Robson and Jerome) and young royal Myrcella flouncing off because her “uncle” Jaime JUST DOESN’T UNDERSTAND HER. Kids, eh?

In fact, Myrcella’s tantrum can’t help but remind us of Sophie Turner’s formerly naïve Sansa Stark back in series one, long before she was wedded to the sadistic Ramsay Bolton. Following on from last week’s controversial rape scene (which two thirds of readers believe did not go too far), Sansa continued to be abused by her new husband, who also skinned the nice old lady who’d tried to help her. But she still seems to be standing tall and playing the game. We’ll have to watch this space to see if she gets her well-deserved revenge.

Elsewhere in an episode called The Gift, people were getting some rather nice presents – as Jorah gave Tyrion to Daenerys, Littlefinger also handed a potential witness over to Diana Rigg’s Olenna Tyrell that could save her family from destruction, Lancel Lannister passed over information that would damn Cersei and, of course, Sam the Slayer shared a rather intimate moment with Gilly up at the Wall after he pulled a George McFly and stood up to bullies for her (with the help of Jon Snow’s wolf).

But one man turned down his gift this week. Following a tender scene with his daughter Shireen earlier this season, Stannis Baratheon, King of the Andals and the Grammar nerds, refused to let sorceress Melisandre use her blood to ensure his future victory. Quite right, too –  the last time she tried to kill all of his “usurpers” with blood magic she only got two out of three (Balon Greyjoy’s not been in the show recently, but I don’t think he’s died either), and the realm’s level of literacy would plummet without Shireen’s efforts. But how long will Stannis resist the temptation on a show where children always seem to bear the brunt of their parents’ decisions?

Overall, then, things are finally starting to pick up this series – and with only three episodes left to go this year, we can’t help but expect some fireworks in the upcoming instalments.

Oh, and hopefully the official release of Ser Bronn of the Blackwater’s first covers album starting with his rendition of “The Dornishman’s Wife” –  based on his performances this series, Jerome Flynn’s still got it.

Game of Thrones series 5 episode 6 review


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