Game of Thrones – S6E4 – Book of the Stranger – Recap
Hi, and welcome to another installment of my Game of Thrones recaps. For any new readers, be forewarned, I like to use nicknames. It all started as a way to keep a bunch of characters who mostly looked alike straight in my head, but even now that I’ve read the books and know everyone’s name, in a few cases, the nicknames have stuck. I welcome any and all comments. And away we go…
We open on Jon Snow and Bear Claw, er, Longclaw. I don’t think I’ll ever not mistake the name of that sword with the name of Josh Gad’s semi-recurring character on New Girl. Edd is talking to Jon, trying to convince Jon to stay. But Jon is headed south. He’s been up at Wall long enough and wants to get warm. Edd is feeling abandoned. Just as Jon basically says nothing could keep him at the wall, Brienne, Sansa, and Pod show up at the gate. Well, almost nothing could keep you at the Wall, Jon.
Did everyone catch the way Tormund eyed Brienne? I am 100% shipping Redbeard/Brienne. Who’s with me? They need a good couple name. Who has a good one?
Jon and Sansa hug like they’re in November Project. #hugeveryone. They eat together for the first time since early in season one. Jon says, “We never should have left Winterfell.” Sansa agrees with him. Remember back in season one when Sansa was the worst? I mean, back then I think I liked her even less than Cersei and Joffrey, and Joffrey is pure evil! Aunt Lysa falling out the Moon Door was the best thing to happen to Sansa this series. After that, Sansa transformed herself. I remember last season telling a friend that I liked Sansa now and he looked at me in shock. Sansa Stark: no longer the worst.
Sansa wants to take back Winterfell from Ramsey Bolton. Jon is tired of fighting. He’s been fighting since he got to the Wall. He’s killed Wildlings, he’s killed his own brothers in the black. It’s all bringing him down. Even that jerk teenager who killed Ygritte, the same one who stabbed and helped to kill Jon, Jon feels bad about killing. Jon Snow: Mopey McMoperson. I almost want Sansa to slap some fire into him.
Outside, Davos is conversing with Smokey Vajayjay. Smokey is 100% #teamjon. Where Jon goes, Smokey will follow. Davos wants to know what happened to Shireen, Stannis’s daughter. He’s like 15% curious about what happened to Stannis and 85% needs to know right now if Shireen is okay. Brienne tells them that she killed Stannis. When Davos recognizes her but can’t place it, Brienne says that she served Renley and saw him murdered by Smokey Vajayjay’s vagina-smoke demon. And you thought HPV was dangerous! Brienne isn’t subtle at all in letting it known she wants a reckoning with Smokey. Sleep with one eye open, Mellie Mel.
Down in the Vale, Robin Arryn is not drinking breast milk. I would have lost that bet. This is a surprise to everyone, not just me, right? I feel like in every scene I’ve ever seen him in, he was either drinking breast milk or crying or both. Weening off breast milk has been good for Robin. He’s grown a lot. I didn’t recognize him at first. Though as soon as I did realize it was Robin, I let out an audible, “UGH.” Littlefinger shows up with gifts for Robin. He gives Robin a falcon. Wait, no, not a falcon, a gyrfalcon. Interesting fact: Despite its name sounding mythical, the gyrfalcon is a real bird, native to North America, Europe and Asia. It’s the largest bird in the falcon family. #themoreyouknow
Royce doesn’t trust Littlefinger and immediately makes his objections to Littlefinger known. Royce then immediately falls into a classic Littlefinger trap and barely escapes with his life. Seriously, if Littlefinger didn’t let Royce out of his trap, Robin would have had Royce executed without even giving it a second thought, or even looking away from his new pet bird. Man, Littlefinger is much better at politicking than Tommy Carcetti ever was!
But by the end of the scene, all I can think is, “Ugh. Robin. Ugh. Littlefinger. Someone kill both of them.” Imagine if you lived in the Vale and you were sworn to Robin. You’re living your life, happy to be serving Jon Arryn, who everyone agrees is a stand up guy all around. Then he dies under mysterious circumstances and you’re now serving his crazy wife and still-breastfeeding-at-10 son? Oh geez. Then the mom dies and weakest of kids is in charge of the whole place? Thank goodness they’re high up in the mountains, or else this would be the first place the Ironborn reaved. Robin Aryn makes Sir Robin from Monty Python and the Holy Grail seem terrifying.
Littlefinger suggests to Robin that that Vale retake Winterfell! Littlefinger: “The time has come to join the fray.” I wonder if he means the band #howtosavealife. But pretty much anything Littlefinger suggests, Robin agrees to. He gets Robin to agree this time because he tells Robin this will impress Sansa Stark, the heir of Winterfell. Robin is initially grossed out by the idea of marrying his cousin and then way too into it. Are we sure Robin isn’t a Lannister?
The Fantastic Four, aka Tyrion, Grey Work, Missandei and Varys are meeting. Tyrion wants to negotiate with the slave masters, but saying Grey Worm and Missandei think it’s a bad idea is the understatement of the year. Tyrion meets with them anyway and gives the Great Masters of Astapor “the queen’s plan” to end slavery in seven years. Tyrion wants the Great Masters to immediately stop funding the Sons of the Harpy. It’s not a perfect plan and probably not one Dany would actually push for, but it does give Merreen immediate peace if it works out. As a parting gift, Tyrion gives the masters three freed whores.
Grey Worm and Missandei warn Tyrion not to trust the Great Masters. Tyrion has a great line when he says of the Great Masters, “Their contempt is their weakness.”
Daario and Friend Zone have made their way to just outside of Dosh Khaleen. Daario is humble bragging to Jorah about banging Dany. It’s amazing that Jorah doesn’t punch Daario in the face every five minutes. Don’t get me wrong, I’m #TeamDaario, but man, the guy seems to just repeatedly ask for a beating.
Friend Zone is no fool; he knows the way of the Dothraki. He insists they leave their weapons outside of Dosh Khaleen. Their cover is that they are wine merchants. If they’re found with weapons, their cover will immediately be blown and their lives will be forfeit. Daario reluctantly agrees to leave his weapons behind too. Daario has a dagger with a naked lady on the hilt. Daario is totally the creepy guy at your office who bought the pen that shows a naked lady when you turn it upside down. Jorah’s greyscale sticks out through his sleeve. When Daario sees this, he’s all, “Um, I’ll go bury my own dagger. No, no, I insist. I got this. #unclean.”
They sneak into Dosh Khaleen at night. The city is one big orgy. Daario is jealous. He wishes he was born a Dothraki. They run into some Dothraki who don’t buy their wine merchant story. One Dothraki tells the other to run off and get help. Daario chases down and kills the one who rand off. Friend Zone isn’t doing well against the other Dothraki. As Friend Zone is being choked, Daario stabs the Dothraki is the back. A lot of people dying by literal backstabbing this season. Jorah says the Dothraki can’t find a body with a stab wound; it will put everyone on alert. Daario has the solution. He takes a rock and caves int he dude’s chest. Repeatedly. I’m not really appreciating the closed captioning during this.
Dany is with the other widows. Some of the widows don’t like Dany because they don’t think Khals should marry foreigners. The old crone thinks those particular widows are idiots. Daario and Jorah find Dany. They want to escape with her from the city, but Dany has bigger plans.
Back in King’s Landing, Princess Low Cut is in jail. A septa comes in and leads her out. Princess Low Cut hasn’t seen sunlight in some time. The High Septon wanted to meet with her. He asks Princess Low Cut where she would go if he freed her. She says to her husband, the king, and her family. The High Septon tells her a parable, but Princess Low Cut ruins the punchline and says it’s from the Book of the Stranger, hence the name of this episode. I wish it was from the Book of the Perfect Strangers. #teambalki. The High Septon gives her his personal tale of finding rock bottom. The High Septon used to be really into drinking and whoring and then one morning woke up after an orgy and realized nothing in his life mattered, so he walked out barefoot and turned to the faith.
As a reward for Princess Low Cut listening to his tale and not ruining the punchline this time, the High Septon takes her to see her brother, Loras. They lock them in his cell together. Loras has definitely seen better days. He’s unshaven and covered in rags and shit. By rags and shit, I don’t mean shit in the “and other things” sense; I mean literal shit. Princess Low Cut tells Loras to stay strong. He says he can’t. I believe him. They’ve broken him.
Cersei walks in Pycelle advising Tommen. Cersei is having none of that. She basically tells Pycelle to get the fuck out. Tommen wants to be careful in dealing with the High Septon. He’s worried about Princess Low Cut, my apologies, I mean Queen Low Cut.
Cersei and Jaime head to the small council meeting and announce it’s cancelled. Ser Kevan and Grandma are NOT happy. Who else thinks Ser Kevan and Grandma are doing the wild thing, senior center style? No? Just me? Huh. Cersei gets Grandma to back down by telling them that the High Septon’s plan is for Queen Low Cut to star in Walk of Shame II: Shame Harder. Jaime wants Highgarden to send their army to storm the sept, free Margie and kill the High Septon. Grandma, usually suspicious of any of Cersei’s plans, is all in.
It’s funny, I don’t think Cersei realizes that Grandma is the one who had Joffrey killed. I wonder what her reaction will be when she finds out.
Theon takes a boat to the Iron Islands. Is it me or has Asha seen better days? It looks like someone didn’t hire a trainer in the off-season. Asha thinks Theon has returned to take the throne and doesn’t believe him when he says he has no desire for it. Man, Asha sucks. But Theon wins her over when he says, “You should rule the iron islands. Let me help you.”
Up in Winterfell, Ramsey is peeling an apple. Got to keep those flaying skills sharp. His men bring Tonks into his room. He tries to intimidate her. She isn’t having it. She tells him, “I can give you what you want.” She starts grinding him but has her eyes on his knife. It’s just out of reach. I am so hoping for win here. Grab. The. Knife! Come on, Tonks! Ramsey helps her get the knife by handing it to her himself. Unfortunately, he hands it to her pointy end first in her throat. Oh man! They gone done Tonks dirty! RIP Tonks. First they kill you in Harry Potter, now Game of Thrones. Some side characters have no luck. Ramsey wipes the knife and keeps peeling his apple. Cold blooooooooooooded!
An envoy of Ramsey’s wearing the Burnt Man sigil arrives at the Wall bearing a scroll. Ominous.
It’s dinnertime at the Wall. Tormund wants some Brie on his bread. Yes, I went there. I am 100% on board for shipping Brienne and Tormund. Edd apologizes to Sansa about the food. “It’s not what we’re known for.” Apology, schmology, this is going in her Yelp review! Edd is Lord Commander??? Or is there not one? This is confusing. Having read the books, I really can’t picture Dolorous Edd as Lord Commander. But he’s not quite as dimwitted on the show as he is in the books. Jon reads the letter from Ramsay. Ramsey demands Sansa back. Tormund is ready to fight. The numbers would be 2,ooo (Jon) vs 5,000 (Ramsey). And Ramsey’s men would be behind Winterfell’s gates. Jon realizes these are hopeless odds, but Sansa urges him on. She says, “You’re the son of the last true warden of the North. A monster has taken our home and our brother. We have to go back and save them both.” After that, I’m ready to fight in Sansa’s army.
The Khals are meeting in their Khal building. The guy whose chest Daario caved in? One of the khals says his name was Aggo. Whoa, isn’t Aggo one of Dany’s bloodriders? Sure, there could be another Dothraki named Aggo, but we know so few of these guys names. Why repeat a name that is also one of Dany’s main lieutenants? I think this is Dany’s Aggo that Daario killed. Man, that sucks for Aggo. You’re out searching for Dany and you end up getting killed by the guys coming to rescue Dany? For all we know, Aggo was working his own plan to get Dany out of there. RIP Aggo.
Dany is brought before the Khals. She challenges them. She doesn’t want to live with the widows in Dosh Khalleen and serve. She wants to lead the Dothraki. The Khals laugh at her. The Khal who brought her to Dosh Khalleen tells her, “You’re not going to serve.” You’re going to die.” And that’s when Dany goes Left Eyes on the Khals. She knocks over a vat of flaming oil. The Khal House goes up in flames and fast. The Khals try to escape, but Daario and Friend zone have barred the doors from the outside. Only Dany emerges from the inferno, ready to lead. Everyone has come to see the fire. They all bow before her. Dany, you bad mother fucker. Friend Zone and Daario also bow. Daario actually prays! Friend Zone looks up at Dany. She is resplendent. The Mother of Dragons is IN CHARGE!