Game of Thrones Recap: Book of the Stranger

Game of Thrones Recap: Book of the Stranger

Have we see that same Daenerys scene fifty times already over the course of the series? It feels like every other episode ends with Daenerys figuring out a way to get a crowd of people to kneel before her. BORING.

Let’s talk about other things.

The Wall: I got chills. I’m not ashamed to say it. I got chills up my arms and legs when Sansa and Jon saw each other. It has been SO MANY YEARS since two Starks have even been in the same room together. And I kind of love that it’s Sansa and Jon who get the reunion, because it’s unexpected. They’re siblings (or at least they were raised as siblings), but they weren’t the closest of buds. Jon was closer to Arya and Robb. But the fact that it’s Sansa, who was so mean to Jon, when these two simply need each other so much in this moment–I love it. FAMILY. It’s what’s for dinner.

Now Jon and Sansa need to figure out what to do. She, right away, wants to return to Winterfell and reclaim it for the Starks. Jon just wants a damn vacation, thank you. But then a letter arrives from Ramsay, outlining what he plans to do if Jon doesn’t return Sansa to him (PLOT TWIST: It’s rapey!) Jon then asks Tormund Giantsbane how many troops they might be able to take into battle against the 5000-strong Bolton clan. Tormund, after pulling his sex eyes away from Brienne, tells Jon they’ve got about two large. Plus a giant! They totally forgot about the giant! He’s worth at least one hundred men.

Other stuff on the Wall: Edd doesn’t want to be king. Davos is starting to suspect SOME THINGS happened when Team Stannis was out there in the woods. Brienne spills the beans that she knows Melissandre killed Renly, because Stannis told her so before she done kilt him. She didn’t give up all the goods about Shireen’s death yet, but that information’s going to come out soon, no doubt.

The Vale!: Littlefinger! How we’ve missed you. Sexy Petyr Balish is back, and he’s doing what he does best–telling lies and causing confusion. He tricked Sweetrobin Arryn into believing that–whoops–the Boltons captured Sansa and that Littlefinger had no hand in that whatsoever. (Am I misremembering this? Didn’t Sansa and Petyr intend to go to Winterfell right from the start? How did they get mixed up with the Boltons again?) Robin can’t wait to go to war with Ramsay. The Arryns are leaving the Eyrie! And Robin is going to get so dead. Then who will protect the Vale? Who can possibly protect the Vale better than our little Sweetrobin?

Meereen: A lot of politics happened in this episode. Tyrion wants to take the slow approach to abolishing slavery, giving the slavers seven years to figure out a way to make money without slaves. Missandei is not a fan, because seven years is a long time if you’re a slave. Grey Worm thinks that the slavers will figure out a way to screw Dany’s brain trust over, because that’s how the slavers roll. But, hey, it’s Tyrion’s pragmatism vs. Dany’s surrogates’ idealism. Who will win? All I know for sure is that I don’t care.

Vaes Dothrak: Sometimes it takes people forever to get somewhere on this show (Hi, Littlefinger, traveling to the Vale!). But sometimes travel takes no time at all (Sansa to the Wall, Theon to Pyke). Same with Jorah and Daario. They have no horses (right?), but they somehow managed to get to Dothraki Town right quick. They have a brief pissing contest, take off their weapons, head in, dispatch with some dothraki, and find Daenerys like it ain’t no thing.

Daenerys gets a quick plan to escape, basically burning down the dosh khaleen, a plan in which several things needed to go exactly right–1) The khals would have to let her say her piece without attacking her, 2) all the people in the town would have to gather to watch her spectacle and be amazed by it, and 3) she’d have to, once again, survive a fire and show her boobs. Everything worked out! Dany is queen again, and everybody wants to follow this pale, little lady to the far ends of the world. Again, for the first time!

King’s Landing: The High Sparrow tonight, I loved his story. He brings Margaery in to talk to her. He tells her the tale about how he came to religion. He used to make shoes for the rich. It would take him a full year to make each pair, but it brought him a good living. He used the money to capture a bit of the wealthy life for himself. He threw a bacchanal, and woke up feeling horrible. He saw himself and his friends for what they were–in a ceaseless struggle to maintain their position. And for what? He was lying about who he was. He walked away and never came back.

It’s a noble story, and very relatable. If it had ended there, if the story were just about him bettering himself, it would be commendable. But the fact that he came to this realization and then made it his life’s work to get other people to see the light, using torture and SHAME to do it, is despicable. It’s a short walk between follower and fanatic.

Anyway, Margaery wants out and she wants to get Loras out, but she doesn’t want to give into the High Sparrow. Loras, who’s completely broken, wants her to help him get out, but she says they have to stay strong. (Which, if Loras wants out that bad, why hasn’t he just confessed or whatever? He could’ve made his walk of shame days ago and he’d be back at the castle.)

Cersei, Olenna, and the Small Council finally see that they have a common enemy. Cersei tells Olenna that, duh, Margaery’s in the same position she was a few days ago, so maybe you don’t want your granddaughter walking the shame beat through the streets of King’s Landing in her birthday suit? Olenna is all, good point. And, hey, Uncle Kevan, don’t you want your jerk son, Lancel, back? Oh, right. So now they’re all going to work together, the Small Council plus Cersei, Jaime, the Mountain, and Qyburn. The Tyrells are going to send in a huge army and, whoops, people will die, but, yay, it won’t be the rich folks. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Pyke: Theon has landed, and he wants Yara to rule the Iron Islands. She’s cool with that.

Winterfell: If I had asked you before the episode what you thought might happen in a scene between Ramsay and Osha alone in a room together, you would’ve answered sex, murder, or some combination of the two and you would have, of course, been right.

What did you think?

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