This episode aired on my birthday, but we had just gotten back from a trip and were tired so we watched it last night.
Ahh. This episode has some huge deviations from the novels. But the changes are actually welcomed, except for one. The finally scene makes up for anything bad this season. 🙂
This article contains spoilers from the show and the books. Book spoilers have been hidden by default.
Recap And Comparison
This episode has some huge changes that, will significantly change the course of the story from the books, as it is right now.
This is Maester Aemon’s last episode, and we have to suffer through watching him slowly lose himself before he dies. Sam speaks at his funeral the next day. Jon makes his way to bring over the free folk and Alister Thorne advises him against it, but he goes anyway. Later on, Gilly is corner by two black brothers who want to rape her, and Sam comes in. They beat him up, but then Ghost comes in to save the day. Even later on, Sam breaks his vow of never lying with a woman, by having sex with Gilly [Or is it her will him? We are spared the details].View Spoiler »Sam, Gilly and Maester Aemon travel to Old Town with some other Black brothers. On the way, Maester Aemon passes away and Sam and Gilly seek comfort in each other. Therefore, in short of staying at Castle Black, the story here is pretty much the same. « Hide Spoiler
Dany and Ser Jorah are reunited after he is bought as a fighter for the pits. Surprisingly, Dany attends this fight. She is brought as a guest of Hizdahr zo Loraq. Although Jorah is not asked to fight, when he hears that Dany is present, he runs out to join the fight. Being a very skilled fighter, he manages to win, but when Dany sees it’s him she asks to take him away. Meanwhile Tyrion is stuck inside, chained to wall. In the nick of time, another fighter frees him and he runs out in time for Jorah to tell Dany that he has brought her a gift. [Thus the name of the episode.] Tyrion introduces himself, and their scene ends.View Spoiler »Here’s the biggest change in this episode so far, and one that will make the most significant change in plot because in the book, Dany and Tyrion never meet. Some thing is always keeping the two from meeting. Also, by the time Tyrion even gets to see Dany from a far, she is already married to Hizdahr and Jorah is a broken man. I particularly like this change though, since I was really upset with the direction both of their stories were on towards the end of the book. « Hide Spoiler
Sansa is in Winterfell enduring the pains of being married to a mad-man. She foolishly trusts Theon, in desperation to get away from Winterfell. She asks him to light the candle in the tower, however, being the idiot, wimp he is, Theon goes to Ramsey instead. The old woman who previously carried messages to Sansa is flayed.View Spoiler »If we didn’t experience Sansa’s unnecessary rape scene last week, we would still be able to see how afraid of Ramsey she is, by the way she behaves in this episode. The rape was even more damaging to the strong character development that she was going through before. « Hide Spoiler
Stannis is on his way to Winterfell. Against the advice of Ser Davos, he says they will continue to Winterfell. A snow storm is raging and this could be the death of them all. However, Stannis fears to turn around and be called the King who ran. Lady Melisandre urges him to burn Shireen but this greatly angers him, and he shouts at her to leave him.View Spoiler »Sorta, kinda, the same. Except, here’s the one change that I don’t like, Melisandre stays at the wall in the books. Our theory is that she stays so that she can revive Jon, if he dies. She has seen an attack on him, in her fires. However, Jon as left the wall, something else that doesn’t happen in the books. « Hide Spoiler
In Dorne, Myrcella refuses to return to King’s Landing with Jaime. She tells him that she’s in love with Trystane and that she will marry him and live in Dorne. Bronn is seduced by one of the Sand Snakes, Tyene, to get his blood flowing since she had wounded him with a poison dagger during their fight. She eventually gives him the antidote, but only after he agrees that she is the most beautiful woman he has ever seen.View Spoiler »The Bronn/Tyene scene never happens since the Sand Snakes are imprisoned alone, and Bronn is never there. However, in the book, it seems that Myrcella will return to King’s Landing, along with a Sand Snake, and Doran Martell himself. Doran suspects that the Queen has plotted to attack them on the way to King’s Landing. Seeing that Cersei was going down hill, I had thought this wasn’t going to work, but now, I don’t know what to think after the end of book. « Hide Spoiler
And the best for last… Lady Olenna tries to pressure the High Septon to release her grandchildren, but to no avail. He tells her that there are more people on his level than on hers, and that when they are all strip down, everyone will be equal.
Later on, she and little finger meet, and confess to killing Joffrey. They also mention that there is a certain handsome young man, who was given to Cersei, who will now be given to Olenna. Yay! We all know that this mean, you book readers and audiobook listeners.
Cersei goes to visit Margaery with her lying and conniving story that she is doing all to get her out. When Margaery chases her from her cell, she visits with the High Sparrow. When Cersei tries to end their conversation, he starts a long speech about who built the Sept and about sinners. Then moves on to a story about a boy who came to him broken, but he has confessed his sins. Oh how happy I was. He ends his speech with the words, “and he has much to say about you.” Lancel walks into the room, and Cersei turns to leave but is taken by a Septa, to a cell. Cersei, tells her to remember her face because it will be the last she will see before she dies.View Spoiler »Yes! Yes! Yes! The start of the fall of the Bitch Queen Cersei. Aside from the fact that she is trying to hold a throne she and her children have no right to, she is just a mean and heartless creature. It doesn’t happen exactly like this in the books, but it’s the main gist. Many men confess to sleeping with her, but the rumours of the incest with Jaime, is also one of the things that lands her in prison. « Hide Spoiler
It was so gratifying watching this last scene. I think I could barely listen to the words coming from the High Sparrow’s mouth. I just wanted him to get to the good part. I particularly like the change with Daenerys and Tyrion, as Meereen’s story is just so long and boring. I’m still disappointed about some missing people, such as Jon Conington [show watchers – do not look up him… too much spoilers]. I don’t know what lays ahead for Jon, but the preview makes it seem like he will be attacked by some free folk…. NO! Jon!View Spoiler »Jon is attacked in the books, by his own brothers. I am wondering if that’s where episode 8 is going. We are left with him, I think dying. “He never felt the last knife, only the cold…” « Hide Spoiler