Game of Thrones Season 5 has promised for months that the world of Westeros would contract, bringing more and more long-separated characters together. Tonight’s “The Gift” finally delivered on one of the biggest crossovers in Game of Thrones history, atop yet another shocking turn back in Kings’ Landing. Our full review!

You’re warned of all the spoilers from tonight’s “The Gift” from here on out, but at long last, two of the shows best characters have finally crossed paths: Daenerys and Tyrion! Granted, set photos months earlier more or less confirmed the inevitable meeting, “The Gift” brought us to the moment a bit earlier than expected, especially with such a busy episode overall.

Since running afoul of slavers last week, Jorah had no trouble fetching a fine price for his fighting skills in the Mereen pits, but Tyrions’ quick thinking again saved the day in ensuring the two be sold as a pair. Jorah barely broke a sweat in preparation for their first match, a mere qualifying match for the Great Pit of Daznak, but things jumped up a notch when Daenerys arrived to participate in an apparent tradition, the Queen overlooking some of the lower matches.

Realizing his Khaleesi to be near, Jorah jumped the gun, masked up and headed out to join the fights in progress, effortlessly taking down any and all survivors, to Daenerys’ rapt attention. Upon removing his helmet however, Jorah found the queen none too pleased to see him, at least until Tyrion stepped forward and revealed himself as the titular “Gift,” the most valuable Lannister in all the land.

Of course, Lannister stock being what it is these days, Tyrion wasn’t the only sibling in the dungeons this week, as Cersei smugly paid a visit to Margaery to gloat over her victory, only to find herself confronted by the High Sparrow as well. Unsurprisingly, the newly-devout Lancel let slip some of his own indiscretions with the Queen Regent, wiping the smile right from her face as the Sparrow had Cersei thrown in a cell of her own.

Jaime didn’t exactly fare too well this week either, learning that Myrcella fully intended to remain in Dorne with Trystane, while Bronn suffered much worse accomodation in the cells below next to the Sand Snakes. Bronn kept up his usual cheery attitude, brushing off Tyene’s questions of his wounded arm, at least until their mutual flirtation exacerbated a slow-acting poison from Tyene’s dagger. The youngest Sand Snake graciously tossed an antidote through the bars, sparing Bronn (and the fandom) for now, but only after Bronn would admit her the most beautiful woman in all of Westeros

Love wasn’t flowing quite so freely in Winterfell however, as a battered Sansa pleaded with Theon to remember his old identity and save her from Ramsay’s nightly torture by placing a candle in the castle’s tallest tower to call for help. Theon reluctantly agreed to the subterfuge, but found Ramsay waiting for him in the tower, and only spared himself execution by confessing the full plot. Sansa’s Northern handmaiden however, wasn’t quite so lucky. Granted, Brienne isn’t far, but fans pleading for Sansa’s liberation may yet have to wait a while longer.

Ramsay also made note of the ambient snowstorm slowing down Stannis’ march, something the would-be King didn’t take lightly amid suggestions that his army and horses might freeze if they pressed on further. Faithful to Melisandre’s vision of a battle in the now, Stannis remained firm on the army marching forward, though the king balked at Melisandre’s horrific suggestion that a fresh batch of king’s blood would ensure victory. You know, the kind flowing through his daughter’s veins.

The dread of winter also rained down on Castle Black, as Jon Snow set off with Tormund Giantsbane, leaving Sam and Gilly with fewer and fewer allies among the Night’s Watch. That number dwindled even further after Maester Aemon finally passed, spurring several errant brothers to make forceful passes at Gilly during her work. Ever vigilant, Sam attempted to intervene in spite of his pitiful combat skills, but only the timely intervention of Ghost spared the two a much worse fate.

Gilly tended to the wounded Sam, noting how foolish his intervention had been, and let’s just say that attempted murder wasn’t the only Night’s Watch vow that ended up broken this week.

Certainly little that would stem the outrage over last week’s brutal hour, but “The Gift” lived up to its name in delivering some major turns we’ve awaited all season, both true of, and diverting from the source material. One wonders if Tommen will finally get off his throne to rescue both his mother and his wife, but few moments will drive anticpiation as eagerly as to see Daenerys and Tyrion’s next encounter.

AND ANOTHER THING…

  • One spinoff devoted entirely to Lady Olenna interacting with new characters, please. Her conversation with the Sparrow was a particular highlight.
  • Daario’s jealosy will only get worse with Jorah back in the picture, but what think we he’ll make of Tyrion?
  • Lancel joined a different religious sect in the books, but as far as HBO’s version is concerned, how could Cersei not have anticipated that she too would eventually stand accused of sin?

Stay tuned for more coverage of Game of Thrones Season 5’s latest, check out our wishlist, and join us tomorrow for more coverage of Game of Thrones Season 5 and beyond!