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TV Review: Game Of Thrones 6.4 “Book Of The Stranger”
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Game Of Thrones 6.4 Book of the Stranger

Game of Thrones
Episode 6.4 “Book of the Stranger”
Directed by Daniel Sackheim
Written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss
Starring Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Lena Headey, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, Carice van Houten, Alfie Allen, Natalie Dormer
HBO
Air date: May 15, 2016

WARNING: Spoilers for HBO’s Game Of Thrones….

Jon Snow’s resurrection on Game Of Thrones a few episodes ago is 98% of what we care about in this sixth season of the series. What will he do with this new lease on life, especially since he declared last week at Castle Black that his watch is ended? In this week’s Episode 6.4 “Book of the Stranger,” we get a clue as to what’s coming next for him. We also find out if Daenerys Targaryen will be sentenced to stay with the Dosh Khaleen at the temple in Vaes Dothrak, while Tyrion Lannister brokers peace with his Queen’s enemies, Littlefinger returns to little Lord Robin Arryn to plant a new seed, Cersei and Jaime have plans of their own to deal with the Faith Militant, imprisoned Margaery Tyrell finally gets to see her brother Loras, and finally, a reunion we’ve been waiting for!

“Book of the Stranger” opens up with Jon Snow at The Wall, like it’d better! Jon had previously relinquished his title of Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch to his loyal friend and Brother Dolorous Edd, who doesn’t want him to leave. But Jon has plans to go South, but doesn’t elaborate because a horn blows signaling visitors at the gate. It’s Sansa, Brienne, and Podrick, newly escaped from the Bolton-ruled Winterfell! FINALLY, after years of the Stark siblings being separated and facing their own horrors, as well as near reunions, two have come together. When they run into each other’s arms and hold on tight with their eyes closed, it is pure elation! And what makes it so intense is that Sansa and Jon were the two who didn’t get along, thanks to Sansa’s bitterness towards her bastard half-brother. Now that she’s older and has been through hell, she realizes how foolish she had been and how unfair her behavior to Jon was, and she wants forgiveness. But Jon has been through Hell, died, and came back again and he’s not about holding a grudge against his younger sister for her past childish behavior. He even concedes that it must not have been fun for her growing up with him always brooding in the corner. They laugh about their childhood, reminiscing about Old Nan’s kidney pies, but in the end, Sansa wants them to fight for Winterfell and she’s ready to go it alone if necessary.

But, it looks like it won’t be necessary, since near the end of the episode — yes, we’re skipping right here to the penultimate sequence — sees a provoking note from Lord Ramsay Bolton, who calls Jon a traitor for allying with the Wildlings and demands his bride Sansa back. He tells Jon to “come and see” his little brother Rickon in the dungeons of Winterfell. If Jon doesn’t comply, Ramsay — who signs the letter “Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North” — will come to him, and promises to do a host of horrible things to them, as we know all know he’s capable.

Looks like Jon and the Wildlings are heading to Winterfell! Unfortunately, it looks like they might be outnumbered, but Sansa insists that they rid the world of the terrorist Ramsay. Jon conquering Winterfell and giving Ramsay his comeuppance is something we all are really looking forward to seeing, but how can he win? Maybe his new devotee Melisandre, who believes that Jon is the “Prince who was promised,” will be of help, with her powers of the Lord of Light. And then there’s also the new power entering the Game Of Thrones — Lord Robin Arryn of the Vale, an impenetrable land that previously stayed out of the wars. Petyr Baelish, aka Littlefinger, returns to see Robin, planting the seed in his head to help Sansa win back the North, an ally that neither Sansa nor Jon realize that they have. It’s obvious by now that Littlefinger is in the lead to win to the “Game of Thrones,” and he thinks many steps ahead than the other fighters — his is the long game. So, expect the army of the Vale to arrive to help Jon overtake Winterfell. Also, Theon Greyjoy has finally made his way back to his home in the Iron Islands, where his sister Yara is hoping to win the Kingsmoot to become ruler. He wants to help her to do, and as we’ve seen from Yara’s previous actions and statements, she’s sensible, logical, and smart. Could this lead to a team-up between the Iron Islands and Jon’s forces? One thing is for sure, NO ONE but the asshole Karstarks and the traitorous Umbers want Ramsay in charge of the North. As Sansa says, Northern familys are loyal – they will fight for the Starks if asked.

Meanwhile, back at Winterfell, that smug prick Ramsay goes through the trouble of having Osha the Wildling cleaned up before unsuspectingly killing her. I guess we should have seen that coming, since Ramsay likes to play with his prey before killing it. Osha isn’t afraid because she thinks she knows men worse than Ramsay – but she’s wrong. She tries to use her feminine wiles on the new Lord of Winterfell, as she did with Theon Greyjoy when he took over, so she can kill him, but Ramsay is a different animal all together. Just as she believes her plan is working, Ramsay reveals that he knows she pulled this same stunt on Theon to secret young Rickon Stark away from Winterfell, and then he stabs her in the neck. Thanks for bringing her back for two seconds so we can see this asshole murder her. I guess her fate was better than most of Ramsay’s other victims.

Over at Kings Landing, Cersei is….. snooze. I don’t really give a shit anymore about Cersei, Jaime, the droning on High Sparrow, Queen Margaery and her dirty hair, or wussy King Tommen. Enough with them already, please! I don’t care about the High Sparrow’s youth as a cobbler’s son, which ironically led to his adulthood position as a discalced spiritual leader. This time around, he plays good cop to Margaery by letting her see her brother Loras, who’s also been imprisoned for a long time now by the Sparrow’s Faith Militant. We see that Margaery is the strong one who does not want to give in to the zealous religious group, while weak Loras just wants it all to end — he wants his sister to do whatever needs to be done to make that happen. At the Red Keep, Loras and Margaery’s grandmother Olenna makes a surprising alliance with Cersei and Jaime, who are plotting to wipe out the Faith Militant soldiers. Please do it already. I never thought I’d be begging for Cersei to be back in power, but anything is better than the Faith Militant. They are neck and neck with Ramsay for worst ever leaders. Tommen reveals to Cersei that the High Sparrow told him something in confidence, but we don’t get to hear what it is though it would appear that Margaery is ready to atone for her sins. It’s enough to give Cersei the confidence to make her alliance with the Tyrells and her uncle Kevan to kill the High Sparrow and rescue Margaery before her Walk of Shame can commence.

Ok, what else happened? Oh, more boring shit. Over in Meereen, Tyrion Lannister — acting leader in Queen Daenerys’s absence — brokers a deal with the masters of Astorpor: Slavery will be continued with an end goal of seven years, and in return, masters of Astapor will end their backing of the Sons of the Harpy. Dany’s other advisors, Grey Worm and Missandai, aren’t too thrilled with this compromise. Neither are some other guys in drab robes who come to see Tyrion in the Temple. I love seeing Tyrion, but Meereen is just so uninteresting, and Grey Worm and Missandai are just as effective as a dose of Advil PM. Zzzzzzzz….

More Zzzzzz occur when we turn our attention over to Jonah and Daario, who have journeyed to Vaes Dothrak to rescue Daenerys from the temple of the Dosh Khaleen, the depressing retirement home for widowed Khalessis. On the way, snoozefest Daario is like, “Na na na na na, Dany likes me best, I saw her ass” etc. Please, Daario, you were just a distraction for Daenerys and you served your purpose, now please shut up. Why provoke your ally? Anyhow, these two bumbling idiots manage to infiltrate the city after dark and find Daenerys, who just so happened to be out taking a stroll. The two men’s genius plan was to fight every Dothraki — brilliant! But, Daenerys has a plan of her own. Now here’s where shit gets good!

Daenerys is scheduled to go before the Dothraki Asshole Douchebag Council, a group of men led by Khal Moro who only know how to say stuff like “I’m going to rape you and then let my horse rape you, too.” How did these men get anywhere in life??? Anyhow, these douchebags are to decide whether Daenerys will live out her life at the Dosh Khaleen temple or befall a worse fate, which includes the aforementioned horses. They are also considering turning her over to the masters of Yunkai, who have a bounty on her. But she reminds them that they are standing in the same place that her deceased husband Khal Drogo had sworn before the Mother of the Mountains to take his khalasar to Westeros for her so she could reclaim her birthright as ruler there. She then goes on to say that none of them are fit to rule, but that she is. Of course, the men laugh at her: “You crazy cunt,” they say to her. And oh there’s some crazy about to happen, as the Mother of Dragons grabs one of the flaming hot braziers and throws it down at the men, setting the temple aflame. She then goes over to another brazier and throws that down, too. While fire and heat do not affect the Mother of Dragons, it does burn the Dothraki bloodriders as they try to escape, but the doors are barricaded shut from the outside — thanks Jorah and Daario, you’ve finally made yourselves useful!. (The way the fire was spreading and the men are trapped was very reminiscent of ending of the prom in Carrie). One more brazier down, and the place goes up in a raging inferno, killing all of the Dothraki leaders in the temple, and out walks Daenerys Stormborn, the Unburnt. Fire cannot harm her, and the Dothraki people see that with their own eyes and realize they are in the presence of greatness. The episode ends with the Dothraki kneeling before Daenerys, their new leader.

Video

Game of Thrones Season 6: Episode #4 Preview (HBO)

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