Every once in a while, a mindblowing Daenerys scene comes along that blows everything else out of the water: the epic fire entrance, that Dracarys moment, Dany unleashing the Unsullied (my personal favorite) and most recently, the Drogon escape. Now we can add a new stunner to the list: the cutthroat and cheerworthy manner in which Dany slaughters all the Khals inside the Dothraki temple. It’s an incredible scene because it allows the dragon queen to maintain her composure (knowing Jorah and Daario have barricaded the doors), make a kickass speech about ruling the Dothraki, and then casually set the entire temple on fire. Everything about this scene is gorgeously realized, making for one of the most memorable and satisfying sequences Game of Thrones has ever done.
But Book of the Stranger is also exceptional because it features the first reunion between a pair of Stark Siblings since they all split up in season one. I genuinely got all teary eyed when Jon and Sansa locked eyes and proceeded to give each other the biggest hug of all time. Can you image how heartbreaking it will be to see Arya reunited with these two? I can hardly wait.
The Stark reunion is also pivotal because it allows Sansa to show off a cutthroat side to her personality that’s been unleashed after all the trauma. I love that it’s her who urges Jon to go to war against Ramsay, and that it’s her who has the guts to read the “rape” letter out loud. Now that Rickon has been taken captive, things have gotten a whole lot more personal.
The revelation that Margaery is getting her own walk of atonement is also a welcome development because it unites Cersei and the small council under one goal. The plan to bring the Tyrell army in is inspired, although I seriously doubt all is going to go according to plan so easily. Still, it’s about time that pompous High Sparrow got knocked down a peg or two.
Bits & Beheadings
– Love the opening shot of Longclaw as Edd picks it up.
– Great moment with Jon saying they “never should have left Winterfell” and Sansa apologizing for being an “ass” to him in the past. It’s a pity we’ve never seen that old relationship (if you haven’t read the books). – It’s worth noting that Jon and Sansa have never shared a single scene together, not even in season one.
– So Melisandre now believes Jon is meant to be king. She sure shifts allegiances quickly.
– It’s so satisfying to hear Brienne admit to Melisandre and Davos that she executed Stannis. I could watch that moment on replay for eternity.
– Robyn is back! The little lord is still far from bright, as Littlefinger easily manipulates him and shows Lord Royce that he’s in power. Now will the Knights of the Vale really help Sansa?
– It’s a subdued moment, but you can see that Missandei is far from pleased when Tyrion brings in the whores to appease the slave masters during the negotiations.
– Razdal mo Eraz returns in this episode. He was last seen in season three when he offered Dany a fleet of ships.
– The slave master (Yezzan) who bought Tyrion also makes a return appearance.
– Daario kissing his knife made me laugh. His mocking Jorah over sleeping with Dany however was not. I thought he was a gentleman?
– And now we can add Daario to the list of people who know about Jorah’s Greyscale.
– Good to see the Dothraki still enjoy sex in public.
– Hilarious sight with Jorah resorting to throwing sand at his opponent only for Daario to save him. I’m not used to watching Jorah lose.
– Brilliant: Daario smashing in the dead Dothraki’s face so no one suspects murder.
– Absolutely outstanding performance by Jonathan Pryce as the High Sparrow tells Margaery of his sinful past. Who knew he used to partake in drunken orgies?
– I love how resourceful Margaery is. Even after being reunited with a broken Loras, you can see that she’s planning something. Nathalie Dormer is awesome!
– Yara and Theon get a brief scene as the latter finally returns home and pledges his support. She’s predictably suspicious and defensive. I love that all the women are in leadership positions and kicking ass this season.
– I kind of wish they didn’t kill off Osha. We hadn’t seen her since season three, and they dispose of her so brutally? Nevertheless, it’s a very effective scene as she tries to seduce Ramsay, and he shockingly stabs her in the throat as we watch her bleed to death. So horrifying.
– Looks like Tormund has taken a liking to Brienne. Hilarious.
– As disgusting as the horse-rape threat is, the Khal is not the first person to threaten Dany with such a despicable thing. In the show’s pilot, Viserys made a similar claim. What is it with these sickos? Thankfully, Dany now has the power to retaliate.
– Chilling moment as Dany grabs the lantern and her hand doesn’t burn while the Dothraki watch in awe.
– How stunning is the music as Dany walks out of the flaming temple and everyone kneels before her? It’s interesting that Daario is the last to do so, perhaps because he was the one who least believed in her?
– This episode features three different pairs of sibling reunions: Jon and Sansa, Theon and Yara, and Margaery and Loras Tyrell. Talk about running with a theme!
Kings & Quips
Jon: (to Sansa) If I don’t watch over you, Father’s ghost will come back and murder me.
Tyrion: You don’t need slaves to make money. There haven’t been slaves in Westeros for hundreds of years and I grew up richer than any of you.
Tyrion: I don’t trust the Masters. I trust their self-interest. They’re trustworthy if they’re convinced that working with me is in their self-interest.
Daario: I don’t think you could ride the dragon. 20 years ago, maybe.
Daario: Our queen. She’s wild, you know. Don’t let her size fool you. It’s hard enough for me and I’m a young man. You, I don’t think your heart could take it.
Daario: What do I have to gain? If I win, I’m the shit who killed an old man. If I lose, I’m the shit who was killed by an old man.
Kevan: We’ll have civil war. Many will die.
Olenna: Many will die no matter what we do. Better them than us.
Daenerys: You are small men. None of you are fit to lead the Dothraki. But I am…. so I will.
With its goosebump-worthy final sequence, Book of the Stranger is one hell of a memorable episode.