Determined to regain the trust of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) braves the fighting pits of Meereen in “The Gift,” Episode 47 of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
Jorah, who was exiled by Dany for spying on behalf of rival House Lannister, arrives in Meereen after being attacked by diseased Stone Men, captured by slavers and sold at auction as an aging gladiator.
When he spots Dany, Jorah rushes into the arena and pummels the other fighters. Then he removes his helmet and presents her with a “gift” in the form of diminutive Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage).
Much to Jorah’s dismay, Dany rejects this act of atonement.
“Get him out of my sight,” Dany exclaims.
At Castle Black, meanwhile, Night’s Watch Lord Commander Jon Snow (Kit Harington) begins a perilous journey with wildling warrior Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju). They’re trekking beyond The Wall to make peace with the Free Folk clans.
Winter is coming, after all, and the Night’s Watch brothers must align with the wildlings if they’re to defeat the superhuman White Walkers.
Jon’s departure and the death of his ally, Maester Aemon Targaryen (Peter Vaughan), leave Castle Black in a precarious position as vindictive Alliser Thorne (Owen Teale) takes command.
Alliser warns Jon that his mission with Tormund is “an insult to all the brothers who have died fighting the wildlings.” And Alliser warns Jon’s supporter Samwell Tarley (John Bradley) that “you’re losing all your friends.”
Those words prove prophetic when Sam is beaten and his wildling girlfriend Gilly (Hannah Murray) is nearly ravaged by two Night’s Watch brothers. Fortunately for Sam and Gilly, Jon’s ferocious direwolf — Ghost — comes to the rescue.
Marching south from Castle Black to conquer northern Westeros is wannabe king Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane), whose demoralized troops are caught in a worsening snowstorm.
“This isn’t our time,” cautions Ser Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) in urging an immediate return to Castle Black.
“I retreated from King’s Landing,” Stannis says of his humiliating defeat at the Battle of the Blackwater. “If I retreat again, I become the king who ran.”
Offering a ghoulish solution to this predicament is priestess Melisandre (Carice van Houten). She advises Stannis to sacrifice his only child, Shireen Baratheon (Kerry Ingram), to the Lord of Light.
“Get out,” Stannis yells at Melisandre. But knowing coldhearted Stannis, Shireen could be in peril.
If Stannis does conquer the north, it can’t come too soon for Lady Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), who’s held captive at Winterfell by sadistic Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon). Ramsay raped Sansa on their wedding night and the brutality continues unabated.
Sansa tries to escape by reaching out to Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen), even though he betrayed House Stark. Theon betrays Sansa once more by reporting her plans to Ramsay. He responds by seizing one of Sansa’s allies and skinning her alive.
Finally, Queen Mother Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) pays an unwelcome visit to Queen Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) in the King’s Landing dungeon. She’s imprisoned for seeking to protect her homosexual brother Loras (Finn Jones) by lying to the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce).
“I know you did this,” Margaery snarls, aware that Cersei empowered the fanatical Sparrows as part of her ruthless gambit to regain control of the Iron Throne.
But Cersei’s scheme backfires when the High Sparrow orders her arrest as well. Ready to expose Cersei’s many sins is her cousin Lancel (Eugene Simon), a zealous follower of the faith.
“I am the queen,” Cersei screams as she’s dragged away. “Look at my face,” she furiously tells her captors. “It’s the last thing you’ll see before you die!”