Game of Thrones – Episode 6.4 “Book of the Stranger”

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Synopsis: Jon argues with Tollett over leaving. Snow says he swore his life to the Night’s Watch and he gave it to the Night’s Watch, he’s done. Before they finish, the gates are opening. Snow goes to the courtyard to see Sansa arrive with Brienne and Podrick. Jon and Sansa embrace warmly. Later, they discuss how much things have changed since they were at Winterfell, and Sansa wants them to take it back from the Boltons. Jon said he is tired of fighting. Davos questions Melisandre what’s next for her and she says she serves Snow now, that he is the prince that was promised. He asks her what happened to Shireen. Brienne interrupts to say she saw Stannis’ armies defeated and that she was the one to execute him. She also reminds Davos when they might, right before Renly was assassinated by blood magic, and she throws a knowing look at Melisandre. Baelish visits Robin who is training (poorly) with a bow and arrow. Yohn Royce questions Baelish’s motives since he heard Sansa was married to Ramsay. Robin offers to throw Royce out the moon door but Baelish talks him out of it. Royce sulks away realizing Robin is under Petyr’s thumb. Petyr suggests they may need their army to help out Sansa. Tyrion, Missandei, Varys, and Grey Worm meet with the slave leaders to negotiate a treaty. Tyrion, speaking for Dany, offers them seven years to end the practice in exchange for cutting off their support of the Sons of the Harpy. In the next room, Tyrion and the others meet with the former slaves, who object to any deals being made with the slavers. They don’t trust Tyrion, but Missandei and Grey Worm speak up for him. After, Grey Worm cautions Tyrion not to trust the slavers.

Jorah and Daario walk through the desert hills, where Daario taunts Jorah that he was the one Dany chose. They spot the Dothraki city and decide to sneak into town at night. As they hide their weapons, Daario spots the greyscale on Jorah’s arm. That night in town they have to kill a couple locals to keep from being discovered. Dany sits with the widows and discuss the meeting with the Dothraki leaders when her fate will be decided. Dany takes a walk with Ornela, one of the younger widows, and they are happened upon by Daario and Jorah. They want to escape with her but she says they will never make it out of the city alive. She has another idea. Margaery is taken to see the High Sparrow. He tells her a story from his past being a cobbler, and his sins, and how he eventually came to seek atonement. He takes Margaery to see Loras. In his cell, he lies on the floor of his cell, completely shattered, but Margaery urges him to stay strong. They can’t give in. Cersei finds Pycelle and Tommen in discussion and interrupts them, sending Pycelle away. Tommen and Cersei discuss the High Sparrow, and Tommen cautions them to tread lightly. Tommen reveals that the Sparrow told him a secret. Jaime and Cersei attempt another small council meeting with Olenna and Kevan. Cersei reveals that Margaery is about to do her walk of atonement but Olenna vows that it won’t happen. The Lannisters agree and plot against the High Sparrow.

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Theon returns home to the Iron Islands. When he sees Yara, she is upset that he betrayed her when she tried to rescue him. Theon argues that Ramsay broke him. Yara wonders why Theon is back, and wonders if he wants to be king now that Balon is dead. He swears he doesn’t and that Yara should rule. Osha is brought to Ramsay. He questions her commitment to the Starks, but she downplays it that she was enslaved. She tries to seduce Ramsay, but he tells her that he learned everything from Theon, and then he slits her throat. Tormund and Brienne make eyes at each other over dinner with Snow, Sansa, Tollett, and Pod. It’s a letter from Ramsay, taunting Jon and revealing that Rickon is in his dungeon. Sansa urges Jon to fight against Ramsay and take back their home and their brother. He nods in agreement. Dany is brought before the Khals, where they decide on her future. As they discuss what to do with her, Dany smirks. She asks if they want to know what she wants. She tells them they are small men and that none of them are fit to lead the Dothraki. But she is, so she will. She knocks over the braziers and sets the room ablaze. The men try to escape, but the door has been barred, so they are burn alive. As the hut burns, the townsfolk gather around and witness Dany emerge from the flames, naked and unburnt. They all kneel for their new queen. Jorah and Daario kneel as well.

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Comments: It’s amazing how much mileage the show was able to get out of the Jon and Sansa reunion given that they only shared the screen one time before, in one scene in the pilot, and never actually spoke to each other. Yet, the moment was powerful. I felt like these two grew up together. Since Bran and Rickon separated in season 3, this was the first time two Starks shared a scene, and since the kids were separated in the second episode, this is the first time any of the family regrouped. After what she’s been through, Sansa isn’t fucking around anymore. Her determination to take back her home is a far cry from the prince-loving little girl we met in the first episode. I want to say Sophie Turner has really come into her own as an actress, but she was probably great all along. I just hated young teen Sansa, but since all young teens are hatable, she was doing a good job even then. The seeds are sown for a Tormund/Brienne/Jaime love triangle that the show has yet to act on. The fight between the crown and the faith escalates, with Olenna and Cersei on the same side for once. The ending though, is what takes this episode from great to amazing. We’ve seen time and time again how the characters underestimate Dany and how she continues to prove her mettle, and yet when Daario and Jorah showed up to rescue her, I was prepared for that to be her escape. Like the Dothraki leaders, I was thinking small. Her emergence from the burning building is right up there with the birth of her dragons, and her deal for the Unsullied as one of Daenerys Targaryen’s defining moments.

Quotes:
Jorah (to Daario): You didn’t get much discipline as a child, did you?

Olenna (to Cersei): My dear, you have been stripped of your dignity and authority, publicly shamed, and confined to the Red Keep. What’s left to work with?

Tyrion: Slavery is a horror that should be ended at once. War is a horror that should be ended at once. I can’t do both today.

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Foreshadowing: Sansa’s influence over Jon and his ignorance to her value will come back again.  Baelish’s support of Sansa and his control over Robin and the Knights of the Vale are also important. 

Title: Spoken by Margaery, in reference to one of their holy books.

Deaths: Daario kills a couple Dothraki. Ramsay murders Osha. Khal Moro and all the Khals are burned alive in the temple by Dany.

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