Stannis prepares to take Winterfell, Sansa reaches out to Reek for help, and Grandmother Olenna goes toe-to-toe with High Sparrow. Get a sneak peek of tonight’s Game of Thrones “The Gift”, airing at 9:00pm ET|PT on HBO.
Braavos: Arya (Maisie Williams) was still in training, washing dead bodies and wondering what was done with the corpses once she finished. As she covered up the corpse she was working on, two men came to remove the body and Arya tried to follow them, but was stopped by her blonde roommate at the door. Roomie told Arya to get back to work, but she refused to go on. She’d been there for weeks and it was time she was let in on the secret. Roomie shared that Arya would know once the time was right. Arya then asked to play the “game of faces”…Roomie definitely won that round: she told a story of being from Westeros and fleeing the city after her step-mother tried to poison her. Was that the true or a lie? More importantly, could Arya do the same?
That night Jaqen (Tom Wlaschiha) came to Arya and also played a round of the “game of faces”. Jaqen asked her “who are you” and she responded with the truth of being from Winterfell and losing her family (interspersed with little lies). When Jaqen whipped Arya for telling fibs (apparently even her statements that she hated the Hound and wanted to be “no one” was a lie), she shouted that she didn’t want to play anymore. Jaqen responded by saying they never stopped playing the game.
Later, while scrubbing the floors, a man brought his sick daughter to the House of Black and White as a last resort. In response, Arya told the young girl a story about how she’d been sick too, but when her father brought her to drink from fountain she was cured. The young girl drank the water. Of course the water was poisoned and she died. Jaqen watched the whole thing transpire…it seemed Arya could win the “game of faces.” He must have been impressed because Jaqen took her to the “Hall of Faces”. What happened to the corpses after Arya washed them? Their heads and faces were kept so the Faceless Men could use the identities (and the hall held A LOT of them). Was a girl ready to become no one? According to Jaqen, Arya was not. She was, however, ready to become someone else.
On the way to Meereen: Jorah (Iain Glen) and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) were still making their way to Meereen. Jorah was hiding his greyscale and Tyrion was complaining of being hungry. Roots and berries would be enough; they needed to find a village for supplies. They were equally annoyed with each other—Jorah was an awful traveling companion and Tyrion wouldn’t shut up. Interestingly, Tyrion confessed that he’d killed Tywin and fled Westeros. He also tried to console Jorah by saying that at least he had a good father in Jeor Mormont (former Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch). It was at this point that Jorah found out his father was dead…killed during a mutiny beyond The Wall (season 3).
As they walked, Tyrion questioned Jorah about why he was so loyal to Dany. Like Tyrion, Jorah was a cynic…not until he watched Dany emerge from fire with three baby dragons in hand. Then he became a believer…in destiny, in Dany. Tyrion still wasn’t impressed; there was no guarantee that Dany would be a good queen. Was is just that Dany, who had never lived in Westeros, should become its ruler. As Tyrion and Jorah talked, they were discovered by slavers. Their leader, Malko (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) planner to kill Tyrion (dwarves were worthless) and send Jorah to the salt mines as a slave. Before they could carry out the plan and take them to Volantis, Tyrion convinced the slavers that Jorah could fight in the newly reopened fighting pits. Malko liked the idea of getting rich.
King’s Landing: Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen) arrived and came face-to-face with Lancel Lannister (Brother Lancel, Eugene Simon) who warned him that things had changed in King’s Landing and there was no place for flesh-peddlers. Petyr met with Cersei (Aidan Gillen) and questioned her decision to have Loras (Finn Jones) arrested. But according to Cersei, she was the injured party. She then asked about Petyr’s loyalties—if war came to King’s Landing would the Lords of the Vale fight for their King? Petyr said that he would be loyal. He then confessed that Sansa (Sophie Turner) was alive and in Winterfell about to marry Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon). Petyr went on to advise Cersei to patient: let Stannis and the Boltons battle it out and when they finished, the Lannisters could come in and finish off the victor. Petyr even promised to provide a military force. In exchange, he wanted to be named Warden of the North.
Lady Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) arrived and was ready to do battle to free Loras. She went to talk to Cersei…could their alliance really still stand when the heir to Highgarden was imprisoned? There would be a small hearing to determine whether the charges against Loras should stand. Cersei was sure that they would be dismissed and he would go free.
Later at the hearing, High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) questioned Loras about his relationship with Renly Baratheon…he denied laying with any man. High Sparrow also questioned Margaery (Natalie Dormer, since no person was above holy law) and she swore that the charges against Loras were false. Then the last witness came in, Olyvar (Will Tudor). He testified to sleeping with Loras AND that Margaery walked in on them and wasn’t at all surprised by what she saw. Both Loras and Margaery were arrested as Tommen looked on, slack-jawed (there would be no help from him!)—Cersei won.
Dorne: Trystane Martell (Toby Sebastian) and Myrcella (Nell Tiger Free) were in love and making plans to marry soon. As they walked through the gardens, Prince Doran (Alexander Siddig) and Captain Hotah (Deobia Oparei) watched. Doran was adamant that Trystane and Myrcella were to be protected because a Martell and Lannister together would be considered dangerous to some.
Elsewhere, Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Bronn (Jerome Flynn, AKA Cooper and Darnell) made their way to the Water Gardens in order to get Myrcella and return her to King’s Landing. At the same time the Ellaria (Indira Varma) and the Sand Snakes (Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rosabell Laurenti Sellers, Jessica Henwick) prepared to kidnap Myrcella: “Unbowed, unbent, unbroken. For Oberyn.” Just as Jamie and Bronn got to Myrcella in the gardens (and knocked out Trystane), the Sand Snakes attacked. It was a fierce fight and Nymeria was about to take Myrcella, but they were interrupted by Captain Hotah and his forces. All parties were arrested.
Winterfell: Sansa prepared for her wedding. Miranda came to Sansa under the guise of drawing her a bath. Miranda tried to intimidate Sansa…telling her of Ramsay’s other lovers who were discarded out of boredom. But Sansa knew what was up. Obviously Miranda loved Ramsay, and besides: “I’m Sansa Stark of Winterfell and this is my home. You can’t frighten me.” (*FISTPUMP*)
Sansa got dressed (she wore a lovely white gown) and Reek/Theon (Alfie Allen) arrived to escort her to the ceremony. She refused to take his arm, even if Ramsay would punish Reek. Theon ended up presenting Sansa to Ramsay, and when she was asked if she would take Ramsay, she paused…and then said yes. With the ceremony completed, it was time for the wedding night. Reek walked with them to their room and stood by while Ramsay ripped Sansa’s clothing, laid her on the bed, and forced himself on her. While Sansa screamed, Theon watched and cried.
(*SIDENOTE* This scene was INCREDIBLY painful to watch. Did Sansa really need to be raped as a means of losing her virginity? And even if we needed to see this example of Ramsay’s malicious sadism, why in the world would the focus of the scene be on Reek’s pain instead of Sansa’s? Why is she repeatedly denied agency, especially when she was just starting to show her strengths and play the game? *SIGH*)
Jon (Kit Harington) prepares for conflict. Sansa tries to talk to Theon. Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) waits for a sign. Stannis (Stephen Dillane) remains stubborn. Jaime attempts to reconnect with family. (via HBO)
According to the latest Entertainment Weekly Spoiler Room in the upcoming show: “there is a sex scene in this week’s episode that won’t make you want to smash your TV. And if you love Cersei, we’ll see plenty more of her this week as Olenna Tyrell tries to free her imprisoned family members.”
The preview for “The Gift” definitely confirms that Grandmother Olenna is going to do whatever it takes to free her grandchildren, including going toe-to-toe with High Sparrow himself. Jon and Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) set out from Castle Black to gather the remaining Wildlings, though several Night’s Watch are still unsupportive of the idea. Stannis prepares to take Winterfell and after the Boltons leave to defend their territory, Sansa reaches out to Reek for help:
Did you notice the brief flash to Tyrion at the 23 second mark? Does this mean he finally makes it to Meereen and meets Dany (Emilia Clarke)? Share your thoughts in comments!
In case you miss this airing (or just want to re-watch), the episode will re-air on HBO at the following times:
May 24 = 11:30pm, 2:00am
May 25 = 11:05pm (10:00pm on HBO2)
May 26 = 9:00pm, 3:15am
May 27 = 12:45am
May 28 = 10:00pm
May 29 = 8:00pm (3:20am on HBO2)
May 30 = 11:00pm (1:45pm on HBO2)