Game of Thrones, S6 Ep4 – Book of the Stranger

This week’s Game of Thrones was filled with long-awaited reunions, mostly between siblings, and ended with an epic, game-changing event that paralleled the first season of the show. And along the way, various characters began making their intentions known and moving forward to achieve their goals.

So let’s talk about the reunions. There were those in tense and difficult circumstances: Margaery and Loras back in King’s Landing, and Theon and Yara Greyjoy in the Iron Islands. Then there was the big one: Sansa Stark and Jon Snow. And the fans rejoiced as they watched this scene unfold, one they had spent years waiting for. After all the Stark siblings have been through and after several almost-reunions in the past seasons, it was an overwhelming relief to have two Starks finally be at the right place at the right time.

Game of Thrones, S6 Ep4 - Book of the StrangerSansa’s arrival at the Wall was an amazing moment and the expressions on her face and Jon’s when they laid eyes on each other after years was simply moving. As was their heartfelt hug and light conversations afterwards, with Sansa apologizing for being awful to Jon. With Bran and Arya worlds away, it’s unlikely for the Starks to be complete anytime soon. But there’s a chance that the two oldest may reunite with the youngest.

After a happy reunion, they soon faced the serious decision of what to do next. Sansa immediately took charge and expressed how determined she was to reclaim Winterfell from the Boltons. Jon was reluctant to fight at first, given what he had just endured, but when he receives a threatening letter from Ramsay, he finally agrees with his sister. This upcoming Stark vs. Bolton conflict may probably be the epic battle scene the show’s writers were teasing before this season aired. And it is one fans of Game of Thrones definitely want to see. The North remembers and the North will be reclaimed.

Game of Thrones, S6 Ep4 - Book of the StrangerAnd they’re likely going to receive support from the Vale, as a brief appearance of Littlefinger shows that he is mustering the Arryn’s forces to try and go against the Boltons. Littlefinger is as shady as ever and Robin Arryn is older but still creepy.

A brief special mention must be made about Tormund’s not-so-subtle glances at Brienne, first when she rides into the Wall and again during an awkward dinner. While Jaime’s stuck in King’s Landing, I can get behind Tormund and Brienne. It’s unexpected but it works.

Brienne had a tense moment with Davos and Melisandre where she reveals that she has a long memory and has not forgotten Melisandre’s role in Renly’s murder. Then she goes on to tell Melisandre and Davos that she killed Stannis. And I’m guessing Davos is going to learn the truth about Shireen soon.

Game of Thrones, S6 Ep4 - Book of the StrangerBack in King’s Landing, a tense alliance is formed between the Lannisters and Tyrells when Cersei tells the Queen of Thorns that Margaery may have to make a walk of atonement. They set aside their differences for the moment so that they may fight their common enemy, the Faith Militant. And it looks like Margaery is not going to give the High Sparrow the satisfaction of seeing her broken, even if her brother is not faring too well. When the big clash between the King and the Faith Militant happens, blood will water the streets of King’s Landing.

In Mereen, Tyrion tries his best to manage a difficult situation with the former masters. Ever the astute politician, Tyrion knows that the only way to avoid a bloody conflict is to compromise. He makes a deal with the masters, giving them seven years to ease out slavery from their societies. It’s not a deal that pleases Missandei or Grey Worm, since slavery has still not been abolished. But hopefully, Tyrion has other plans in mind since even with such a deal, the masters might not be inclined to comply.

Game of Thrones, S6 Ep4 - Book of the StrangerDaario and Jorah finally catch up with their Khaleesi at Vaes Dothrak. They infiltrate the place and manage to meet up with Daenerys, who made a new friend in one of the young Khaleesi widows. But she knows that there was no way they were getting out of there alive unless they had a bigger plan. And luckily, she did.

As she faced the group of khals Daenerys kept her held high and maintained her dignity, even after they belittled, insulted, and threatened her. She re-asserted Khal Drogo’s ambition of sailing with her to Westeros and conquering it. And while the other khals laughed, she declared that she was the only one fit to lead the Dothraki and then proceeded in setting the whole hut on fire, pushing torches onto the wooden structure (which was supposedly drenched in oil or gas by Daario and Jorah).

Game of Thrones, S6 Ep4 - Book of the StrangerDemonstrating her Targaryen imperviousness to fire (not found in the books), Dany watched as the arrogant, misogynistic men burned to death. And then she emerged, truly the Unburnt, living up to her titles at last and showing all the Dothraki that she was truly worthy of leading them. In a scene paralleling the Game of Thrones season one finale, all who beheld her were overcome with awe and then bowed down before their queen. Once again, Daenerys triumphed over those who would seek to destroy her, and this time she didn’t need an army of Unsullied or even her dragons. Just her iron will and dogged determination to prove everyone wrong.

With this new legion of followers Daenerys is set to make a grand return to her kingdom, and perhaps she may finally fulfill her destiny of ruling over Westeros. The Starks are poised to reclaim Winterfell and the Lannisters are about to spill more blood on the streets of King’s Landing. The various major houses of Game of Thrones are setting up for a truly epic and eventful season.

Next week on Game of Thrones: Sansa faces Littlefinger, Yara makes her claim, and Bran sees the army of White Walkers: