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'Game of Thrones' recap: Tyrion and Daenerys meet at last

Macall B. Polay, HBO

“Game of Thrones” pushed several plots into overdrive with the exciting “The Gift.”

Episode MVPs

One of the criticisms leveled at this season of “Game of Thrones” is that it’s been too slow. And indeed, the show has moved at a more deliberate pace compared to last year. “The Gift,” however, propelled several plotlines forward, starting with the one surrounding Cersei Lannister in King’s Landing.

All season long, Cersei has been manipulating a fanatic religious group called the Sparrows into doing her dirty work. As an organization that exists to punish the wicked, it was inevitable that the Sparrows would eventually turn on Cersei, who’s done plenty of horrible things but always thought herself too sly to get caught. She steps into a trap of her own making this week, and it was satisfying to finally see her many misdeeds catch up with her.

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Meanwhile, across the Narrow Sea, Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen met for the first time. This is a watershed moment for the series, and one that puts it ahead of the books. With the possible exception of Jon Snow, Tyrion and Daenerys are the two most important characters in the story, and the prospect of an alliance between them opens up all kinds of possibilities.

Our watch for next week begins

Up in the North, things were in a bit of a holding pattern, with Stannis marching on Winterfell and Sansa exploring ways to escape her frightening new marriage to Ramsay Bolton. These plotlines are on a collision course, but it may take another episode or two to get there.

With the finale almost in sight, it’s time to start looking back and evaluating how Season 5 will fit into the overall show. The measured pacing some fans have complained of was actually pretty common of “Game of Thrones” prior to Season 4, and the producers have done a great job maneuvering the pieces into place so the final chunk of episodes hits with maximum force. The next few weeks should be quite a ride.

Coldplay wrote a “Game of Thrones” musical

Well, kind of. The band recently participated in an elaborate sketch for NBC’s “Red Nose Day” charity event. Over a dozen “Game of Thrones” cast members turned up and sang Coldplay-penned songs about such topics as the Red Wedding, incest and wildlings. Also, one tune was called “Rastafarian Targaryen.” Catch the video below, complete with stars Mark Addy, Diana Rigg, Emilia Clarke and Kit Harrington, and narrated by Liam Neeson.

As the editor in chief for Winter Is Coming, Dan Selcke spends his time writing about the latest Game of Thrones news and preparing for the long night that will have no end. Read more of him atwinteriscoming.net.

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