Game of Thrones returned Sunday with “High Sparrow,” in which some alliances were secured and others tested.


At The House of Black and White, Arya (Maisie Williams) is sweeping the floors to earn her keep. She’s been doing it for days and is impatient to begin her journey to become a faceless man, which will start when she can be Jaqen H’ghar’s (Tom Wlaschihaapprentice. Jaqen H’ghar, who doesn’t think Arya is ready yet, gives a drink of water to a desperate man who soon dies.

Later on, a young woman approaches Aria, asking her who she is. When Aria says no one, the girl whips her. Jaqen H’ghar enters and demands to know what they’re doing. “We’re playing a game. The game of faces,” the girl responds. “How did no one come to be surrounded by Arya Stark’s things?” Jaqen asks Aria, who is eager to play the game. After getting chastised by Jaqen, she takes all of her belongings to the water and drops them down – except for Needle, which she hides in a rock face. Afterwards, she helps the girl who whipped her wash the dead man.

King’s Landing

At King’s Landing, Tommen (Callum Wharry) and Margaery (Natalie Dormer) marry with Cersei (Lena Headey) looking on with great displeasure and worry. Afterwards, Tommen gleefully consummates the marriage. With her boy king husband in a vulnerable state, Margaery starts to plant seeds in his mind to have Cersei sent back to Casterly Rock. Tommen admits, “She told me never to trust anyone in King’s Landing,” and that she’s always spoken fondly of her home. Margaery continues to talk up her new mother-in-law, commending her strength and empathizing with her loss and sense of protection over Tommen.

The next day, Cersei and Tommen walk about King’s Landing, giving Tommen his first chance to encourage his mother to return to Casterly Rock. Meanwhile, Margaery talks to her lady’s maids about her first night with Tommen – when Cersei walks in. Margaery praises Tommen to his mother and asks her whether she should now call her Queen Mother or Dowager Queen while also assuring Cersei that she’ll be a grandmother soon. Just before she leaves, Cersei tells Margaery, “Remember, anything you need,” which strangely sounds more like a threat.

Elsewhere in King’s Landing, the High Septon is caught in Littlefinger’s brothel by the Sparrows, led by Lancel. The Sparrows whip him and hiss sinner, publicly shaming him as they walk him through King’s Landing. Enraged, the High Septon goes to the council urging them to punish the Sparrows. Taking the matter on herself, Cersei goes to meet the “High Sparrow” (Jonathan Pryce). She tells him that the High Septon wants him killed – but that she put the High Septon in the Red Keep.

After that mission, Cersei has a letter sent to Littlefinger.


At Winterfell, which is now occupied by Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton) and his men, flayed men are hung here and there. Inside, Roose Bolton tells his son Ramsay Snow (Iwan Rheon) that they don’t have enough men to hold the North should the rest turn against them, which is more likely now that Tywin Lannister is dead. In order to solidify their power, he needs Ramsay to marry someone to form an alliance.

That someone will be Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), who is approaching Winterfell with Littlefinger (Aiden Gillan). When Littlefinger proposes the union, Sansa is vehemently against the idea because of what Roose Bolton did to her family. Ever the manipulator, Littlefinger tells Sansa that he won’t force her to go, but he’d encourage her to take action, saying, “You love your family. Avenge them.”

Also nearby are Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and Podrick (Daniel Portman), who are looking down on Winterfell from a hilltop. In a poignant exchange, Podrick tells Brienne how he came to squire for Tyrion Lannister. Feeling guilty for her rough treatment of him, Brienne promises to start training him with a sword and how to ride a horse. Sharing her own backstory, Brienne tells of how Renly was kind to her when boys mocked her behind her back when they’d been called to court her, and how she went on to serve in his Kingsguard. “Nothing is more hateful than failing to protect the one you love,” she tells Podrick, adding that she knows that somehow it was Stannis who killed Renly.

When Sansa eventually arrives in Winterfell, she is welcomed by Roose Bolton. Playing their game, she curtsies and meets Ramsay. Walking around her old home, she bypasses Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen), who hides himself from his former surrogate sister. Meanwhile, Ramsay assures Littlefinger that he will not hurt his pretty young bride. As for Roose Bolton, he’s not quite sure he should be trusting Littlefinger, as he’s received a message for him from Cersei. Is Littlefinger still loyal to the Lannisters?

Castle Black

Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) welcomes Stannis (Maxwell Laird) into his new office and tells him that though he always wanted to be Jon Stark, he has to refuse his offer because he is now the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Stannis, disappointed in Jon’s stubbornness, tells him that he will be leaving in a couple of weeks to march on Winterfell to take it from Roose Bolton. He also tells Jon that he can do what he wants with the Wildling prisoners. Davos (Liam Cunningham), staying behind after his leader, tries to change Jon’s mind to no avail.

Later on, Sam (John Bradley) tells Jon that Master Aemon is not feeling well before Jon address the Night’s Watch to assign some duties. He order Brian to take charge on building the new latrine, and  after praising Ser Alliser’s (Owen Teale) years of good service, names him First Ranger. As for Janos Slynt (Dominic Carter), Jon wants him to go to  Grayguard. When Slynt refuses, Jon tells him that it’s a command not an offer. When Slynt still refuses, he orders his men to take him outside and requests his sword. With his head on the block, Slynt begs for mercy, but Jon beheads him anyway.


Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Varys (Conleth Hill) are still on the road on their way to meet Dany. Restless, Tyrion demands that he be allowed to exit the wheelhouse. He thinks that he can go out like “just another drunk dwarf” without risking his life. As they walk through the cramped streets, they note that all of the slaves are branded with tattoos. After they listen to a red priest, who seems to recognize Tyrion, Tyrion decides it’s time for them to head to a brothel. Tyrion starts to chat up one of the prostitutes, but finds himself unable to go through with it. Urinating off a balcony, a man approaches Tyrion, who thinks it must be Varys. Instead, it’s Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen), who binds him with rope and promises to to take him to the queen.

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