Game of Thrones season six finally hits its stride with episode four “Book of the Stranger.” Sworn enemies become bedfellows, armies are called, and treaties are set into motion. While it’s still unclear who’s playing the Game of Thrones, it looks like a lot of blood is going to be shed in the next episode or two.
The writers, much like the evil High Sparrow, have finally allowed our scattered characters to coalesce and conspire among themselves. Though the title of the episode is “Book of the Stranger,” Tyrion seems to have said the spiritual title of “We Only Make Peace With Our Enemies, Not our Friends.”
Strange alliances include
- The Lannisters and the Tyrells
- Childhood enemies: Jon Snow and Sansa Stark
- Jon Snow & Sansa Stark & Wildlings
- warring dicks Daario Naharis and Jorah Mormount
In Kings Landing, there will be a showdown between the Rich and the Religious. I
Body Count: 15-20?
Aggo (stabbed and smashed by a rock)
Aggo’s friend (neck broken)
All the Khals (burned)
Osha (stabbed in the neck)
There is a distinct lack of fathers this episode, but I think its a toss up between Kevan and Jaime Lannister for shitty father of the week. In that they may be the only fathers present this week.
The Wall (Part 1)
Jon Snow begins packing and abandoning his murderous ex-brothers when his half-sister Sansa (or is she his cousin?) arrives with Brienne and Podrick. After an overly long scene of reminiscing and making up, Sansa asks him to help her re-take Winterfell with a Wilding army. He hums and hars.
Melisandre is still a shadow of herself and grasping at straws. She wants to serve Jon Snow as he is the Lord of Light or whatever. Brienne arrives and in a stunning display of tact, she reveals that she executed Stannis Baratheon and hasn’t forgiven Melisandre (and Ser Davos by extension?) for murdering Renly Baratheon.
Robyn Arryn is still an murderous little oaf. Lord Royce (Rupert Vansittart), Robyn’s protector, nearly gets killed with he gives lip to the long MIA Littlefinger. Now Littlefinger is claiming that Sansa Stark was kidnapped and married by force, and convinces Robyn to round up the knights of the Vale to “rescue” her.
Missandei is transitioning into Grey Worm’s other half by donning leather and pants. Tyrion attempts to deal with Volantis, Astapoor, and Yunkai by offering to temporarily reinstate slavery in exchange for them cutting off funding to the Sons of Harpy. Grey Worm and Missandei very reluctantly back Tyrion up when the ex-slaves come to complain.
But the jury’s still out on if Tyrion is good at running a city.Vaes Dothrak
Daario Naharis is still needling Jorah Mormount and rather tastelessly lording over Jorah the fact that he is the queen’s consort and not him. They are forced to abandon their weapons before entering Vaes Dothrak to sneak-rescue the Queen. Daario finds out that Jorah has greyscale. Maybe he’ll be nicer to a dying old man, but I doubt it.
Unfortunately, they’re quickly found out, but Daario — never one to follow rules — still has his boob blade (the handle has a naked lady on it) and stabs one of the assailants. And then smashes in his skull to hide the wound.
Daenarys, meanwhile, has come up with a cunning plan. She turns down Daario and Jorah’s rescue in favor of doing what she does best. Torching people. During her trial, she overturns the burning braziers and kills all the khals, banking on the fact that she is the Unburnt.
Inexplicably, everyone in the city drops to their knees to worship her. Wouldn’t it be more realistic to be like, “Stone her! She’s a witch!”
Margaery is brought to the High Sparrow and listens to his story of enlightenment. After a night of overindulging, he saw his friends as flesh sacks and realized we are all flesh sacks. And beggars are the best people of all, because they are closest to flesh sack-ness instead of pretending that they’re not with fancy food and drink.
The title of the episode also comes from the Book of the Stranger, a religious text that Margaery has to listen to. Margaery is brought to her beloved brother Loras who is completely broken. Margaery agrees to give in to help her brother.
Cersei interrupts Master Pyrcelle and King Tommen. There is a funny scene as the Maester Pyrcelle walks incredibly slowly while Tommen tries not to notice and Cersei glares. Tommen reveals that he’s been talking to the High Sparrow, and rather than being brainwashed, he’s rightfully terrified on the man.
He tells Cersei a secret that the High Sparrow told him — is it a trap? — and Cersei uses this to form a temporary truce with Oleanna Tyrell. In order to avoid Margaery’s walk of shame/atonement, the Tyrells will invade the city and capture the Faith Militant. Kevan Lannister will stand down and let the army in.
But is it a trap?
Theon returns and his sister gives him a hard time until he tells her he doesn’t want to be king and will help her gain the Seastone Chair.
Ramsey is incredibly shitty at peeling apples. So much so that I’m doubting his flaying skills. He’s slow and leaves way too much apple on the peel. Anyway, Osha tries to seduce him and ends up stabbed in the throat.
The Wall (Part 2)
There is an awkward dinner where Dolorous Edd apologizes for the food, Tormund makes goo-goo eyes at Brienne, and Ser Davos and Melisandre are conspicuously absent. Ramsey sends a letter.
Congratulations, Ramsey! In one fell swoop, you’ve united two thousand Wildings, the resurrected Jon Snow, and your aggrieved wife against you.
As you might be able to tell, Book of the Stranger is my favorite episode thus far. Although there were still a few extraneous bits, it was a tightly written episode overall with plenty of good conversations. It was a wonderful powder keg of an episode that not only set up some delightful alliances (Jon Snow, Sansa Stark, Brienne, Podrick, Melisandre, Littlefinger, Lord Royce versus Ramsey Bolton and new bff Karstark) but also showing us all the fissures already forming in said alliances. Many of the sidelined characters are finally doing things again: Sansa and Margaery, especially.
I am also incredibly relieved with conclusion of Lost Dany Found by Mr She-Could-Do-So-Much-Better and Mr Friend Zoned. I don’t like how Dany tends to solve her problems by force/magic rather than negotiation, and her I’m-a-Goddess attitude is insufferable.
I’m loving the Sansa-Jon alliance and she can prompt his into action by using her sisterly powers of bossiness and family honor.
Bits I felt were slow was the Daario’s incessant dick swinging, Grey Worm and Missandei’s contempt for Tyrion (We get it, people, you don’t have to show it every episode), and Osha’s death (though I guess it was nice to say goodbye).
In the coming episodes, we’ll be likely to see the downfall of Ramsey Bolton, a civil war, and yet another succession crisis. I just hope Margaery doesn’t die.