Just as Sansa became a woman last week, Sam now becomes a man, but not before Jon Snow heads off on his wilding safari, Sam’s dragonglass in tow, and Aemon Targaryen’s watch is ended. With Sam “losing all his friends” according to professional asshole and Michael Rooker look-alike Alliser, some of the other watchmen see this as the perfect opportunity to attack Gilly, Sam trying to defend her and getting beaten to the ground for his trouble. Only the appearance of Jon’s direwolf Ghost scares them off, but our boy Sam is still rewarded by Gilly for his bravery, with sexy results!
Things continue to be particularly bleak in Winterfell, with Sansa’s chambermaid getting the Bolton flaying special after Theon rats her and Sansa out to Ramsey, and Stannis’ war campaign facing dire straits dealing with the cold. Melisandre insists that Stannis sacrificing his daughter will somehow help their chances, but he’ll hear none of it.
In Meereen Jorah dons a mask and deftly enters the fighting pits to gain the attention of a disgusted Daenerys, Tyrion having tagged along by insisting to the slaver Jorah was sold to that he could also hold his own in battle by beating the shit out of one of his captors with a chain. Daenerys still seems put off by Jorah reemergence, until he offers her the episode’s titular gift, Tyrion himself.
In Dorne things are just kind of weird. We might’ve been better off in Braavos with Arya and Rob Van Dam, but Dorne is what we get. The Sand Snakes and a poisoned Bronn are tossed in a dungeon while Jamie gets a posh apartment and an audience with Myrcella, who remains resistant to his insistence that she isn’t safe and they must return to King’s Landing. Meanwhile Bronn gets a free show of some of that trademark GoT pointless nudity the internet was missing this season, and earns his antidote in the process. Good for Bronn.
And speaking of King’s Landing, Cersei finally gets the comeuppance we all knew was coming for her past misdeeds with Cousin Lancel, now even more well deserved given her prior visit to Margery just to rub things in her face and her complete lack of empathy for Tommen. Cersei vows revenge as she is dragged to the dungeons, and it’ll be interesting to see if she can muster such an offensive now that she’s been unseated from her place of power. Things will be picking up in Meereen as well now that two of our main protagonists have finally met, and hopefully Stannis’ perilous march on Winterfell finds it’s mark before his army is completely destroyed by the winter cold.