Game of Thrones, Season 5, Episode 7: Why two of the show's most iconic characters just met

*Spoiler alert* ‘It made sense because we wanted it to happen,’ said the show’s creator David Benioff

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The Independent Culture

Never mind small details like the fact that George RR Martin hasn’t written it into his books yet, HBO last night delivered Game of Thrones fans a “gift” in the form of the first meeting between kickass Khaleesi Danaerys Targaryen and Tyrion “the imp” Lannister.

The episode, which will be screened in the UK tonight at 9pm, heralds a union of sorts between Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Danaerys (Emilia Clarke), both fan favourites for the Iron Throne, who during the previous four series haven’t stepped foot in the same country, never mind in the same Meereen fighting pit.

In fact Tyrion (frustratingly for us viewers and probably his knees) has spent the best part of season five so far dressed up as a travelling present, spending his days in boxes of varying sizes (first a crate, then a deluxe campervan) and tied up with strings. He just needed a jaunty bow, or a cake to jump out of, to give the moment he popped up in front of Dany and introduced himself as her gift more panache.


Dany’s evident displeasure at his unwrapping (did you see her face?) surely can’t last long as the imp remains the most charming of all the Lannisters (Ok, so that’s not too difficult) and always gets the best lines. We’re certain that a few historical disgruntlements (so Tyrion’s brother Jaime killed Danaerys’ father, the Mad King - meh!) won’t rule out an amusing friendship and meeting of strategic minds that could lead Dany to take King’s Landing with Tyrion at her side.

Traitorous Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) might be on the verge of fighting his way back into Dany’s favour but judging by the scaly bit on his arm the Mother of Dragons is going to be in need of a new advisor soon anyway. And since Barristan Selmy popped his clogs the week before last, and with Daario Naharis (Michiel Huisman) providing some extremely ill-thought-out advice to the dragon queen, a power vacuum just the size for Tyrion to step into looks inevitable.

Just why this was the moment that the characters met can be explained by the show’s creator David Benioff, who told Entertainment Weekly: “Creatively it made sense to us, because we wanted it to happen. They’re two of the best characters of the show. To have them come so close together this season then have them not meet felt incredibly frustrating.”

“Also, we’re on a relatively fast pace. We don’t want to do a 10-year adaptation of the books, we don’t want to do a nine-year adaptation. We’re not going to spend four seasons in Meereen. It’s time for these two to get together. It’s hard to come up with a more eloquent explanation, but this just felt right. [Varys] puts Tyrion’s mission out there [in the season premiere] and the mission ends in Meereen.”

“There will always be some fans who will think it’s blasphemy,” Benioff continued. “But we can’t not do something because we’re afraid of the reaction. I like to think we’ve always done what’s in the best interest of the show and we hope most people agree.”

Next week the pair are due to have their first real conflab and viewers can expect some uncomfortable viewing as Dany decides whether or not to trust the son of Tywin Lannister. She trusts those murderous dragons though, right, so it’s got to be in the bag?

Oh, and (another major spoiler alert!) if you weren't pleased by that gift, the fact that Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) appears to be getting her just deserts having been locked up for incest by the High Sparrow will surely make you happy. It was not a good day for the Queen Mother.