‘Game Of Thrones’ Recap: S6 Ep4, ‘Book Of The Stranger’

As a die-hard Game Of Thrones fan, I find every episode to be exhilarating. “Book Of The Stranger” was no exception. This episode proved one thing: it’s no longer a man’s world. The fierce females of this extraordinary cast are making themselves heard in a big way. Let’s explore…

Reunited and it feels so good…

Jon Snow doesn’t need to be killed again to take a hint. He wants to get as far away from the Wall as possible, but he’s probably not going to venture that far South if Sansa has anything to say about it. He and his half-sister shared an emotional embrace when Sansa, Podrick, and Brienne finally arrived at Castle Black.

And then it happened. While reminiscing about life before they left Winterfell, Sansa told Jon that they had to return to their homeland and take it back from the Boltons. Jon argued that he was tired of fighting, but Sansa reminded him they would never be safe if they don’t win back the North. Furthermore, she would do it herself if she had to.

Hallelujah! After years of her head being in the clouds dreaming of knights in shining armor and all those romantic tales of court, Sansa’s finally realized that she has to take control of her own fate! I won’t lie, I did tear up a bit during this exchange. More importantly, I’m pumped about the direction her character’s journey is taking.

 

Jon Snow, Sansa Stark, Game Of Thrones
Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO

 

As Jon Snow commands…

Melisandre’s been a bit reserved lately, but I suppose bringing someone back from the dead does zap you of a lot of energy. (Especially when you’re as old as she is!) Anyhow, when Davos asked her where she would go next, Melisandre answered that, “she will do as Jon Snow commands because he is the Prince Who Was Promised.” (Well most women would do the same, although for less virtuous reasons.)

A confused Davos said that Stannis had been the Prince Who Was Promised, so what had changed? What had happened to Stannis, Shireen, and the others? I’m sure all GoT fans held a collective breath here, wondering if Melisandre would admit to burning Shireen, and then in how many pieces she would be found once Davos got through with her.

However, Brienne saved the day by admitting that she had executed Stannis as punishment for murdering Renly with black magic. (She’s probably a Scorpio judging by how long she holds a grudge.) When Davos told her that that was in the past, Brienne agreed, but it didn’t mean she would forgive or forget what had happened as she fixed Melisandre with a hard stare. (Yep, definitely a Scorpio, and before anyone complains, I’m a Scorpio, so I know what I’m talking about.)

Joining the Fray…

Robin Arryn and Littlefinger re-emerged on the scene, and neither seems to have changed. Robin is still as much of a brat as before, and Littlefinger is just as cunning. I mean, mere seconds after arriving, Littlefinger almost got Robin’s caretaker, Lord Royce, killed! When poor Royce confronted Littlefinger about lying when he had told him that he was taking Sansa Stark back to the Fingers and went to Winterfell instead, Littlefinger spun the story without the slightest hesitation. He said that Bolton’s men had brought them to Winterfell by force, so that’s why Sansa married Ramsay. In other words, it wasn’t of her own accord – well, that much is true anyway. However, Littlefinger implied that Royce was the one behind the attack since he is the only one who knew where Littlefinger and Sansa were headed. I don’t know what’s worse – the fact that he’s so evil or that I can’t help but admire how brilliant he is!

Of course, Robin was all too eager to throw Royce through the moon door after all the tortuous training sessions Royce has been putting him through, but Littlefinger suggested Royce would serve better in battle, and how convenient that one was forming! Having heard the news that Sansa had fled Winterfell for the safety of Castle Black, Robin had to help his cousin, and thus, the Knights of the Vale will finally suit up after years of inaction.

Keep friends close, but enemies closer…

Tyrion got a lot of flak from Missandei and Grey Worm about negotiating with the slave owners. Tyrion told the slave owners they would have seven years to abolish slavery and that slave owners would be compensated for their losses. All Tyrion asked in return was that they stop funding the Sons Of The Harpy. Of course, the Masters denied having anything to do with the cowards behind the gold masks. (Yeah, I’m about to hatch another dragon if you believe that!)

Missandei and Grey Worm were clearly disgusted by the meeting, and they told Tyrion as much. Although they understood why he had to do it, they both warned Tyrion that he did not know the slave owners the way they did, and that he better be careful because they would not honor the agreement. Let’s just hope that Tyrion knows what he’s doing. However, judging by the way they kept harping on this ad nauseum, I doubt there will be a happy ending here.

Age before beauty…

After giving Jorah a hard time for not being able to keep up, Daario told Jorah that he would never be able to handle Daenerys, so he should just give up hope that she’ll love him the way he loves her. Jorah though is probably more concerned about finding Daenerys before the greyscale overtakes his body, and which Daario now knows about.

Entering Vaes Dothrak after dark pretending to be wine merchants, the pair ran into two Dothrakis who didn’t buy their cover. Daario snapped one guy’s neck (and what a satisfying crunch it was) and stabbed the other who was about to choke Jorah to death. (Seriously, this show really makes you blood thirsty.)

 

Daario Naharis, Jorah Mormont, Game Of Thrones
Credit: Macall B. Polay/HBO

 

First wives club…

Sitting with the other former Khaleesis while awaiting her trial, Daenerys learned about the group of women she would be joining. The focus this time was a young woman who had been taken by a khal when she was only 12 before being widowed at 16. Before he died, she had given her husband a daughter and in return he had broken her ribs. (The wife’s not the daughter’s, although I shudder to think what he did to the child. Clearly not all khals are as awesome as Khal Drogo was.)

Later on, Daenerys and her new friend went outside to get some fresh air, and that’s where Jorah and Daario found them. (Yay!) They wanted to sneak off right away, but Daenerys said she had a plan and that they would not be leaving alone. (Then of course they made us wait until the end to find out! More about that later.)

 

Daenerys Targaryen, Game Of Thrones
Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO

Brother, where art thou?

One fierce female who’s been out of commission, Margaery, was finally allowed to leave her cell. Unfortunately for her, she wasn’t free to go back to her family. Even more unfortunately for us, we had to endure a speech from the High Sparrow about how he became the person he now is, shunning finery, blah, blah. (I know I should probably be paying more attention to what he’s saying because there’s probably a reason for it, but honestly, who cares?)

Then Margaery was allowed to see Loras who was absolutely unrecognizable. It was heartbreaking to watch him sobbing in his sister’s arms asking her to, “just make it stop.” However, Margaery still has a lot of fight left in her, and I doubt she’ll be caving in anytime soon. (You show ‘em girl!)

Better them than us…

Judge me all you want, but I’m really looking forward to seeing Jaime and Cersei wrestle back control of King's Landing from the High Sparrow with the help of their uncle and Lady Olenna. When Cersei informed them that Margaery would have to do her own walk of atonement to become clean of sin, Lady Olenna said she would never allow that to happen. Politics makes for strange bedfellows, so look for things to heat up in this part of Westeros soon with the most unlikely team to take on the religious fanatics.

The prodigal son…

Theon returned home to Pyke, but he definitely wasn’t met with open arms. Yara made him feel guilty about all the men who had died trying to rescue him. Afterwards, she accused him of coming back so that he could participate in the kingsmoot and rule the Iron Islands. He trembled and cried like he had with Ramsay before looking her in the eyes and telling her that he would help her win the throne.

 

Yara Greyjoy, Theon Greyjoy, Game Of Thrones
Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO

Another one bites the dust…

Poor Osha was brought before Ramsay, and it didn’t end the way fans probably hoped for. When she kept reminding Ramsay that she had only served the Starks out of duress and had gone North with Rickon because someone would pay his ransom, I figured she was trying to win his trust so that in time she could escape. What I wasn’t expecting was for Ramsay to stab her right before she could do the same.

I’m not sure why I’m so surprised: 1) It’s Ramsay. 2) They kept focusing on the peeling of the apple, particularly the knife. 3) It’s Ramsay. 4) Did we really think that technique would work again since this is how she first escaped Winterfell? 5) It’s Ramsay.

Another battle in the works…

Tormund seems to be the comic relief lately on the show. In the biggest LOL moment of the episode, he was definitely checking out Brienne while they ate with Edd, Jon, Podrick, and Sansa. (Edd’s reaction by the way was priceless.) However, the letter from Ramsay was no laughing matter. In short, it called Jon a traitor for allowing the wildlings past the Wall and said that Rickon was being kept in the dungeon. If Sansa was not returned to him, Sansa would be raped by all of Ramsay’s men, Rickon would be killed, and Jon’s eyes would be scooped out with a spoon and the rest of him tossed to the dogs. (In other words, just an ordinary day for Ramsay.)

As Sansa pleaded with Jon to help her take back Winterfell, Jon asked Tormund how many wildlings could join the fight. Sansa recalled Ramsay saying he had 5000 men, while Tormund said 2000 wildlings were fit for battle. Call me crazy, but this is not the movie, 300. With the Umbers and the Karstarks joining the Boltons, Jon and company are definitely outnumbered. Unless of course Littlefinger decides to make up for marrying Sansa to a psychopath and comes through with the Knights of the Vale.

One thing’s for sure: Jon Snow won’t be the one dying. The producers wouldn’t bring him back to life only to get killed by Ramsay, so maybe this means that Ramsay’s time is almost up? We can only hope, but it should make for a good battle nonetheless.

This girl is on fire!

The Dosh Khaleen called Daenerys before them to decide her fate. As they debated whether to send her back to the Wise Masters in exchange for the 10,000 horses they had been promised or take turns raping her, Daenerys smirked. She stopped their discussions and recounted a time in that same room when Khal Drogo had promised to conquer the world for her and their son. The men laughed and said they would never serve her.

With that, Daenerys turned over every brazier in there and set the place on fire. The fact that the doors had been barred from the outside by Jorah and Daario made this moment all the more beautiful. The powerful and mighty khals all burned to a crisp as Daenerys walked outside unscathed. If you watched this scene and A) Didn’t think Daenerys was a total bad-ass, B) Get chills while watching it, and C) Want to kneel down with everyone else, then maybe we should look for a pulse.

Daenerys Targaryen, Game Of Thrones
Courtesy of HBO

 

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Maria Miaoulis

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