'Game of Thrones'' Alfie Allen: Reek's Dinner Torment Signals "Horrible" Future

The actor weighs in on Sansa's return and Ramsay's cruelty: "He doesn't want to be punished."
Helen Sloan/ courtesy HBO

[Warning: Spoilers ahead for Sunday's episode of Game of Thrones, "Kill the Boy."]

Welcome to the most terrible family dinner ever.

Theon/Reek (Alfie Allen) reunited with Sansa (Sophie Turner) in Sunday's Game of Thrones, which also put them in Ramsay's (Iwan Rheon) crosshairs.

Sansa, who was raised with Theon at Winterfell, discovered Theon/Reek's pathetic state, after Ramsay's jealous lover Myranda (Charlotte Pope) led her to the kennels. Later at a horribly tense family dinner, Ramsay toyed with both Theon/Reek and Sansa, who is beginning to learn her fiancée may be as depraved as Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), with Ramsay ordering Reek to walk Sansa down the aisle at the wedding.

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In a chat with The Hollywood Reporter, Allen weights on Reek's suffering and how Sansa's presence changes the game for him.

What was the key to that scene Sansa discovering you in the kennel?

It's interesting to be with the dogs as a character, because that's where he spends a lot of his time. In a way I try to let little mannerisms creep in. That particular scene is about the realization that this thing used to be Theon. I guess for me, the memory has been coming because he's realized that she is there and that thing — Theon and Reek — is always ever changing.

How much of Theon is left in Reek?

I can't really put a finger on when there is more Reek and when there is more Theon. What I think in this scene for sure is definitely memories for both of them sort of creeping back. I think he is worried about Sansa's safety and doesn't want her to be punished the same as he doesn't want to be punished.

There's both humor and horror in that dinner scene. What was playing that like?

There have definitely been dark moments ongoing, and I think you have to keep it light in between. With that dinner scene, there were so many different motivations going on around that room. You've got Ramsay's motivation and Sansa trying to keep a face on to show whatever they were saying wasn't having an effect on her. Then you've got me, in the corner, kind of listening but not wanting to listen because he doesn't want to be punished. He's just sort of shivering while they are all looking regal in their robes. There are definitely sort of funny moments while we are shooting it. Different people have different approaches. But for me, there were some really funny moments on that day.

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It's safe to assume Reek is horrified by the prospect of walking Sasna down the aisle?

Yes. That's it in a nutshell. I don't think he wants to be doing this at all. But then again, he doesn't want to be punished. I would think it's a horrible prospect for him, without a doubt.

How is working with Sophie Turner again after all the years away?

She's just brilliant. She switches it on and she kind of definitely brings a light to the set. For me, it's mostly just me and Iwan, which has been amazing as well. But to have different characters come into the storyline and bring their storyline with them — it's been brilliant.

Is there any hope for your character? We've already seen him reject his sister rescuing him.

For me as a person, it would be lovely to see something like that happen. But you just never know in this world.

How do you prepare for the horrific scenes you've had?

There has been so many changes to the character throughout the seasons. He started off with this cocky arrogance of a lord and delusions of grandeur setting out to the Iron Islands to become a prince. He was definitely brought down to Earth with a jolt. And then it's been ever changing since then. He lost his manhood — a very important piece of his manhood — and I thought that was very important and appropriate for the character. His only point of authority up to that point was in the bedroom. He never had any decisions for his own fate. His destiny had always been decided for him. He's always gone to these very dark places. In terms of could it go darker, could it go lighter? It's interesting to see what [showrunners] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss] are going to come up with next. If it goes darker, then for me as an actor, that's something I can tackle.

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.

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