‘Book of the Stranger’ is the fourth episode of the sixth season of Game of Thrones.
Beware of spoilers! You’re reading at your own risk.
Tyrion strikes a deal; Jorah and Daario undertake a difficult task; Jaime and Cersei try to improve their situation.
We start with a very touching opening scene: Sansa and Jon’s reunion. The long awaited moment easily became one of my favorite Game of Thrones scenes. Did you also notice how Tormund gazed at Brienne when she entered Castle Black? Are they foreshadowing something romantic between those two? Words aren’t spoken when Sansa and Jon first see each other, but their hug says enough. Sansa and Jon talk about the past and the future, especially about the future. Sansa tries to convince Jon to take back Winterfell, but Jon is reluctant. He’s tired of fighting and we can understand him. Jon only needs a little push to get over the edge.
Melisandre and Davos seem to get a little bit lost in Castle Black, now that they both lost Stannis to support. Davos confronts Mel about Stannis and Shireen’s death, but before she can explain they’re interrupted by Brienne of Tarth. Brienne is still mad about Renly’s murder and doesn’t easily forget. She tells them that she was the one who executed Stannis Baratheon. Davos and Melisandre are left speechless.
Robin Arryn is still at Runestone. We see him training together with Lord Royce, but his skills haven’t improved at all. He’s still the same annoying boy we used to know. Petyr Baelish arrives in Runestone and has a present for Robin: a pet falcon. Lord Royce asks LF about Sansa and Petyr’s involvement in Sansa’s marriage with Ramsay Bolton. Petyr, on the other hand, makes Royce clear that Robin is the Lord of the Vale and can do what he likes. Robin asks Littlefinger whether he has to throw Lord Royce from the Moon Door. Royce claims that he always has been loyal to House Arryn and begs for mercy. Petyr demonstrates that he has Robin Arryn in his power and manipulates the boy to not harm Yohn Royce. Petyr then pleads to let the knights of the Vale march North to get Sansa Stark back.
Tyrion and co. are awaiting the Great Masters in Meereen. Tyrion proposes the Masters an interesting and effective plan: he gives the masters 7 years to stop the practice of slavery. Via this system, the masters have time enough to adjust to the new rules. It looks like a solid plan, but Grey Worm and Missandei aren’t convinced. The local people of Meereen aren’t convinced either. But we know Tyrion long enough to realize that Tyrion’s political insight is miles better than Missandei and Grey Worm’s combined.
Jorah and Daario are still on a mission to find Daenerys. Jorah knows Vaes Dothrak, which is an advantage to the both of them. He knows that weapons aren’t allowed in their sacred city and forces Daario to hand over his dagger. Daario reluctantly gives his precious dagger to Jorah and discovers that he has contracted greyscale. Again, Jorah realizes that he’s a living time bomb. At night, the two men infiltrate Vaes Dothrak but are stopped by Aggo. Aggo almost kills Jorah, but Daario can save him in time. After all, it was a good thing that Daario didn’t listen to Jorah. His dagger saved Jorah’s life this time.
Daenerys is awaiting the Khalasar Vezvhen and in the meantime she chats with the High Priestess of the Dosh Khaleen. She also meets another Khaleesi who shares her hatred for the foul-mouthed khals. She comes across Jorah and Daario who want to help her escape Vaes Dothrak but Dany already has a plan. And she needs their help.
Poor Queen Maergery, she’s still doing nothing in her filthy prison cell. She’s brought before the High Sparrow. The HS talks about his past and how he has converted to the Faith of the Seven. It’s difficult to hate the High Sparrow, because he doesn’t seem to be evil at all. But he needs to let the Tyrell siblings go. And rather soon than late. Margaery is allowed to visit her brother, not to help him but to break her.
Loras isn’t in a good shape at all. He’s being tortured and want his suffering to end. Margaery encourages Loras to keep going on, but he has already given up. Loras is extremely weak now, so he might have given away important information now.
We get another dialogue between Cersei and Tommen. There’s something that Tommen wants to tell his mother, but the information is very confidential. Very likely, Tommen is telling his mom that the Tyrells were behind Joffrey’s murder. Before Tommen can actually tell his secret, we cut to the next scene. Cersei and Jaime join the Small Council without being sent away. Cersei convinces Lady Olenna to fight the Faith Militant together and to use the Tyrell army to free Margaery and Loras. Can we fully trust Cersei or is she’s having a plan to get rid of both the High Sparrow and the Tyrells? Does Cersei want to kill two birds with one stone? Of course she does. She’s setting up the Tyrells against the Faith Militant to provoke a civil war which will end in the total destruction of House Tyrell.
Theon Greyjoy has come home but his sister Yara isn’t delighted. She initially thinks that Theon comes to snatch her claim to the Salt Throne, but Theon isn’t interested in becoming the King of the Iron Island. He proposes to support Yara’s claim, which she will need if she wants to become the first Queen of the Iron Islands. Let’s hope she’ll win!
In Winterfell, Osha is brought before Ramsay. Osha uses the same strategy that she used way back in season 2 when she seduced Theon to help the Stark boys escaping Winterfell. First, Ramsay seems to tricked by Osha but when he starts talking that he found out about the Wildling woman who helped Bran and Rickon escape, it’s already too late. Ramsay kills Osha in cold blood and continues to peel his apple with the same knife he used to kill off Osha.
Sansa and Jon Snow are dining in Castle Black together with Edd, Tormund, Brienne and Podrick. Tormund is doing his best to impress Brienne of Tarth, and her reaction to that is priceless. Edd’s reaction is even better. They receive a letter from Ramsay Bolton, in which he states to have captured Rickon Stark. He also threatens to slaughter all the Wildlings and to feed Rickon to the dogs if he doesn’t give his bride back. This was the push Jon needed. If he wants to save Sansa, a war is inevitable. And to win the war, you need a greater number of men. 2000 Wildlings aren’t enough. Time to rally the North, I reckon!
We end with Daenerys’s plan to escape Vaes Dothrak. Khalasar Vezvhen has arrived and are discussing what to do with Dany. Some think that it’s better to keep her with the Dosh Khaleen, others think that it’s in their favor to sell Dany to slave masters. Daenerys makes clear that the Khals aren’t fit to lead the khalasar and that she’s the one to rule over them. The Khals laugh at her and threaten to have her gang raped. Daenerys undertakes action and sets the whole temple on fire with the Khals inside. Jorah and Daario have barred the door so the khals cannot escape. The Dothrakis run to the Temple to see what’s going on and discover a naked, unburnt Daenerys. We know that the Dothraki follow strength and kneel before her. Badass Daenerys has finally came back!
Another strong episode of Game of Thrones, filled with memorable scenes! My favorite scene was the reunion of Sansa and Jon, a moment I waited for since years. It didn’t disappoint. It’s also very interesting to see Brienne interact with Melisandre and Davos. Tyrion scenes were more interesting than they were last episode. His dialogues have improved remarkably and were quite enjoyable. Jorah and Daario on their mission to find Daenerys was a bit predictable and not so well-written, esp. when they bumped into Daenerys wasn’t realistic at all. Margaery’s scenes were excellent this episode. Strong acting performances by Natalie Dormer and Jonathan Pryce. Cersei’s scenes were somewhat slower, but they’re clearly building up to something big. Theon’s reunion with Yara was quite short, but sufficient. Alfie Allen’s acting is worth mentioning here! The Pink Letter didn’t miss its effect and it turned out to be even better than the book version. Daenerys’s big moment was visually impressive and the soundtrack was hauntingly beautiful. The content of the scene itself wasn’t as strong and was too similar to the ending scene of the season finale of season 1. Albeit we got another solid episode with strong storylines. The storylines concerning the North and the Wall are stronger than ever and Dany’s finally getting more interesting too.
- Storyline: 9,5/10
- Acting: 9,2/10
- Action and build-up: 8,3/10
- Cinematography: 9,4/10
- Composition: 8,4/10