Game of Thrones S6E4 Recap: “Book of the Stranger”
So, where does one go when ones is newly resurrected? Vegas? Amsterdam? South? Jon Snow picks the latter after deciding he’s had enough of the Wall and friendly games of Spin the Dagger. Edd tries to convince him to stay, but they are interrupted by visitors at the gate.
As soon as those gates opened, everyone in my viewing party starting making unearthly sounds….sounds that no one ever should ever have to listen to again. We knew upon seeing Brienne, Sansa and Podrick that a reunion was coming, and boy, did it ever.
Sansa walks into Castle Black, looking very disoriented, and there’s a second that you want to scream “JON DON’T STAND NEAR ANYTHING SHARP!” because George R.R. Martin is not beyond depriving us of a Stark reunion. But worry not, my friends: the reunion of Jon and Sansa does take place, and it’s more wonderful than hot cinnamon rolls on a lazy Saturday morning.
Warm hugs aside, Jon and Sansa get down to business: Sansa wants to retake Winterfell, but Jon wants to take a permanent vacation from everything. Sansa claims that she’ll retake Winterfell by herself if she has to, but seeing as how she’s only got Castle Jumping as a special skill on her resumé, I don’t think she’d get very far.
There are more reunions, too. Davos begins prying into Melisandre to find out what happened to Stannis and Shireen, but they are interrupted by Brienne, who’s more than happy to lay the record straight: she played batting practice with Stannis’ head and he lost (does it concern anyone else that we never saw him killed?). She also mentions that she’s totally aware of who’s responsible for Renly’s death, and, like an elephant, she’ll never forget and she’ll never forgive.
Later on, over a nice dinner of Mystery Meat, Jon receives a threatening letter from Ramsay Bolton. In summary, he demands that Jon return Sansa to Winterfell, or he will he will slaughter every Wildling at Castle Black, let his men rape Sansa, and feed Jon and Rickon to his dogs. Tormund offers his 2,000 men and assistance, and Sansa urges Jon to consider the aid from the remaining Houses of the North who remain loyal to the Stark cause.
Captain Friendzone and Daario seem to finally have tracked down Daenerys, but not without their fair share of good-natured jabs about virility. As they approach the perimeter of the city, they realize that they will not be able to take weapons with them, as it is forbidden. As Daario is taking off all his knives, he spies Jorah’s greyscale peeking through his shirt.
The men approach the city, and almost immediately alert Khal Moro’s blood riders to their presence. Daario quickly dispatches both of the men, bashing in one of their skulls to prevent anyone from suspecting their presence in the city. Yes, because bashing in someone’s head is a much more discreet detail that a single knife wound.
Meanwhile, Daenerys seems to have made some friends in the Dosh Khaleen. She even does that thing where girls ask their friends to accompany them to bathroom (she tells the High Priestess that she has to go “make water”). Her new friend is surprised when Jorah and Daario suddenly appear from the shadows (that never happens when she “makes water,” apparently). Jorah and Daario are ready to hightail it back to Meereen, but Dany stops them, convinced they would not make it out of Vaes Dothrak alive if they tried to sneak out.
Dany has a plan. During the khalar vezhven (yep, had to look that one up), Daenerys provokes the Khals and insists that she will lead them herself. They all laugh at her insolence, but Daenerys has the last laugh here: she begins tipping over pots of fire inside the temple, setting the Khals and the building on fire. The entrance is barred, and the Khals are unable to escape. As the rest of Vaes Dothrak rushes to the scene, Daenerys emerge, naked and untouched, as the Dothraki bow before her.
Is it just me, or have there been some really disappointing scenes in Meereen lately? Last week, we had that awkward as hell sequence between Tyrion, Missandei, and Grey Worm. This week, we’re privy to a meeting between Tyrion and the masters of Astapor, Yunkai, and Volantis. Both Missandei and Grey Worm are NOT happy about this, and voice their displeasure to Tyrion. Grey Worm insists that the masters will always look out for themselves, but Tyrion insists that diplomacy is necessary.
In a surprising turn of events, Tyrion presents the three cities with an amended decree on slavery: they are encouraged to abolish slavery over a 7 year period, and they will be compensated for their losses. In return, the masters are responsible for cutting ties to the Sons of the Harpy.
There is also general unrest from the citizen of Meereen. They’re not happy about the diplomatic meetings, either, and they look to Missandei and Grey Worm for their perspectives. Neither are pleased with the negotiations, but Tyrion insists they are taking the right path.
The High Sparrow meets with Margaery in the High Sept. He tells her his backstory, but it really doesn’t matter because the whole time you’re thinking how wonderful Jonathan Pryce is and could we please just get him a Supporting Actor Emmy Nominee?!?
His acting is so good that it nets Margaery a meeting with Loras, who hasn’t seen the light of day since Season 5. He’s incredibly broken and wants everything to end, but Margaery encourages him to stay strong or “they will win.” My best guess? Loras is not much longer for this world.
Meanwhile, the Three Amigos (Jaime, Cersei and The Mountain) are still trying to get invited to High Counsel meetings. Cersei interrupts a counseling session between Maester Pycelle and Tommen, who is now very wary of the High Sparrow. Tommen divulges something to her that the High Sparrow told him, and Queen Regent Pixie Cut storms off.
Cersei storms into a meeting of the Small Counsel, instantly smacked in the face with Lady Oleanna sass. She’s got some ammunition to fire back, however: the High Sparrow is planning to make Margaery do the Walk of Shame, and Lady Oleanna is having none of that. Their plan? Send in the Tyrell armies to attack the Faith Militant, and order the Kingsguard to stand down. Everyone wins: Margaery and Loras are returned, the Sparrow and his birdies are overthrown, and Lancel Lannister can be returned to Kevan (anyone else think it’s a little ridiculous that they basically named someone Kevin Lannister?)
- Yara really hates Theon.
- Theon really hates Theon.
- Theon wants to help Yara ascend the throne of the Iron Islands.
If you put Ramsay Bolton in the same room with insert name of character here, who do you think would win in a knife fight?
If you thought, even for a split second, that anyone besides Ramsay was walking away from that encounter, you probably forgot that you’re watching Game of Thrones. Welcome back.
Sadly, Osha is sent to meet Ramsay, who inquires into her worth now that he has Rickon. Osha attempts to bluff, saying that the Starks meant nothing to her and she was only using Rickon for her gain. On the table next to Ramsay sits a knife, and Osha spies an opportunity. She attempts to seduce him as he recounts how he brainwashed Theon. As Osha reaches for the knife, Ramsay tells her that Theon told him about a Wildling girl who previously seduced Theon in order to help Bran and Rickon escape Winterfell. When Osha realizes he is talking about her, she tries to strike the fatal blow, but Ramsay beats her to it, stabbing her in the neck first.
Alas, poor Osha…we knew you well. Actually, that’s not even true, we didn’t know you very well at all.
Ah, everyone’s favorite boy child. The milk does not seem to be flowing for young Robin Arryn, who still seems to have the intellectual maturity of a grapefruit. He is visited by (oh, there you are!) Petyr Baelish, who is instantly sneaky in less than 2 minutes. He orchestrates the pseudo-blackmail of Sir Yohn Royce and convinces Robin that Royce was responsible for alerting the Boltons to Sansa’s location. Robin, totally elated by Petyr’s name day gift of a falcon, completely is oblivious to the mischievous dance going on around him, and defers to Littlefinger for guidance.
Littlefinger suggests that Sir Royce send his troops North to aid Sansa, and Robin is all to willing to agree. So, there you have it, folks: in just 4 minutes, Littlefinger has been enough Littlefinger for three seasons and we still don’t know what the hell he wants.
Was that episode crazy or what? That reunion? Those flames? That sass from Lady Oleanna? What was your favorite part?
Originally published at seeheresthething.com on May 17, 2016.