What Is Hype May Never Die: A Game of Thrones Rewatch! 6.4 Book of the Stranger

All aboard the Hype Train! In preparation of Season 8 of Game of Thrones, Kelly is doing a rewatch for the greater good to refresh our memories, catch the things we might have forgotten, pick up the things we might have missed, and maybe make predictions! Hold onto your fur rugs from Ikea and AWAY WE GO.

Rules of this series: We’re deep diving into these episodes and I’m watching them on a per-episode base because I like digesting the episodes. Spoilers lie ahead. As you can tell, I’ve failed at keeping this episode/season specific. Onwards!

6.4.4

6.4 Book of the Stranger

I think where I lost a little bit of interest in the show. For the most part, the North is still interesting due to the Stark Reunion and holding out for that conspiracy that they never took advantage of, but everything else stalls a whole lot. There’s not a lot of Margaery. Meereen is there. Arya’s training is endless (and as we later find out, pointless), and Ramsay is just being menacing without being interesting. Anyway.

The Book of the Stranger opens on Edd eyeing Longclaw as he helps Jon pack up the Lord Commander’s office. Jon is wearing clothing that is of the Winterfell style- probably the clothing form when he first arrived at the Wall. Edd implores Jon to stay and help the Night’s Watch against the White Walkers but Jon still isn’t over the fact that his own brothers were willing to kill him. They’re interrupted by a horn announcing the arrival of riders.

Who can it be? Brienne! Pod! SANSA. Tormund eyes Brienne, as she’s the tallest and most likely fiercest woman he’s ever laid eyes on; Sansa spots Jon, who can’t believe his eyes. He makes his way down to her and the two share an embrace their first scene EVER together. After five or six seasons, two Starks are reunite, and everyone cries. It’s a truly heartfelt moment and in the next scene, Sansa apologies for being a bratty preteen and Jon accepts it, but admits that he was pretty broody- even broodier than he is now.

I’m serious when I say that this is Sansa and Jon’s first scene together. Remember- he wasn’t present at King Robert’s feast and Jon was established to be very close with Arya. This is a quick scene that we get here, but it’s well established that the two didn’t like each other but grew up a little. On top of that, it feels real- Sophie Turner and Kit Harington have good chemistry and it really does feel like two old friends catching up over a drink. Well done.

Sansa asks where Jon will go and Jon corrects her: “Where will we go?” Cue all the tears again. After all they’ve been through, it’s Leave No Stark Behind. In the name of their family, Sansa so badly wants to take back Winterfell and tries to convince Jon to use the Wildlings as not only do they owe Jon their lives- but the Boltons aren’t going to be very nice to them anyway. Jon declares he’s tired of fighting and killing but Sansa’s mind is made up. She’s ready to pay back the family that has wronged her and her family, even if that means doing it herself.

6.4.2

Outside, Davos approaches Mel, who says she’s just going to do whatever Jon tells her to do. She again calls Jon the Prince who was Promised and Davos demands to know what about Stannis and what happened at Winterfell. Before Mel can say what happened to Shireen, Brienne interrupts boasting that she was Renly’s Kingsguard and that she killed Stannis in return. She glares at Mel before she stomps off- and I would love to see Mel’s bloodmagic even try to be faster than Brienne’s sword.

Down in the Eyrie, Ser Robin fails pathetically at firing off arrows and Littlefinger shows up to woo him with a live falcon. Lord Royce isn’t happy to see Littlefinger since he was supposed to deliver Sansa to the Fingers and keep her safe, but rumors got back to the Eyrie that she was married off to the Boltons, who are also enemies of the Vale. Littlefinger slyly points at Lord Royce as the only other person who knew where she was travelling to and Robin offers to toss Royce through the moondoor since he obviously favors Petyr. Littlefinger then incepts Robin into ordering the Knights of the Vale to rescue Sansa and to take back Winterfell- all part of his scheme to woo her. Up until now, Littlefinger has operated and schemed largely in the background, but he’s ready to step in and get his hands a little dirty now that he has the right means.

Next, we head over to Meereen, where Tyrion is chastised for inviting the masters of Yunkai and Astapor to a negotiation session. The masters aren’t happy to be meeting with Tyrion and not Dany and they basically order anyone under her command to leave; Tyrion instead proposes that Yunkai and Astapor don’t need to end slavery right away- it just has to be gone within seven years and in those seven years, those cities must learn how to make profit without slaves. It’s wishful thinking on Tyrion’s part and sounds all nice, but would never work in reality.

Missandei and Grey Worm accuse Tyrion of trusting the masters, but Tyrion says he was simply trying to win their trust to use their own weaknesses against them. Tyrion is trying his darndest to use King’s Landing negotiating tactics without realizing that he’s not in King’s Landing. The masters of Essos aren’t as easily placated as the noble houses and they’ll resort to violence to force their hands. Tyrion just hasn’t witnessed it yet.

Somewhere else, Daario and Jorah are still looking for Dany and finally track her to Vaes Dothrak. Jorah demands that Daario remove his swords as weapons are forbidden in Vaes Dothrak and just as Daario is about to hand over his knife, he spots Jorah’s greyscale. The two then parkour around Vaes Dothrak, but they’re interrupted by two Dothraki. Daario kills one because he’s a jerk who brought a knife into the city, the little liar; and so he smashes the dude’s head in with a rock because that form of murder is much more acceptable.

Nearby, the Dosh Khaleen sit around and talk about their roles in relation to the Khals- and how they were mistreated as wives and provide wisdom to the others. She takes a peepee break, when Jorah and Daario finally stumble upon her but she orders them to stand down because she’s got things handled. They leave her to it. Good boys.

In King’s Landing, the High Sparrow pulls Margaery aside and Margaery begins to play into his games. He tells her that the first thing she would do upon release is to seek out her family and gold- basically go to those who sinned. The High Sparrow speaks about how greed and indulgence led him astray and Margaery matches him point for point by quoting a verse from the Seven-Pointed Star, specifically from the Book of the Stranger, one of the seven gods.

Among other mysterious things, the Stranger is the god who represents death, and that the Book of the Stranger offers morals and perspective in relation to it. The Stranger is also mostly faceless and genderless- House of Black and White, anyone? Anyway, similar to a passage from  the Book of the Stranger, The High Sparrow spins his tale that one day he woke up next to some of the higher class without their clothing and how he noted that underneath the finery, their looks and smells and such- these were all the same as other and the garb and presentation was a lie. He then returned to the streets to find the truths of people. It gives Margaery an idea that she is going to have to play a certain part and outwardly project certain beliefs to convince the High Sparrow that she is worth of penance and not punishment.

6.4.3

After this story time, he offers to visit Loras with Margaery. Loras has given up as they’ve been a bit more physically aggressive with his treatment and Margaery urges him to stay strong.

In the Red Keep, Cersei interrupts Pycelle trying to get into Tommen’s ear. Tommen is willing to work with the High Sparrow in order to ensure Margaery’s safety and Cersei is annoyed about the prospect of aligning with the people who humiliated her. Tommen nervously tells her what the High Sparrow told him about aligning the church with the crown after Margaery takes her walk of atonement, and she immediately marches to Olenna and Kevan. Olenna refuses to parade Margaery in front of the city and agrees to have the Tyrell army face the High Sparrow’s forces.

Theon finally arrives at Pyke, where he immediately finds Yara. She’s still annoyed from when he spurned her rescue attempt and refuses to accept his apologies because she thinks he’s there to claim Balon’s seat. Yara is sick of Theon’s whimpering and just wants to hear a sound decision from him. Theon steadily expresses that he wants Yara to rule the Iron Islands and it’s the first time we’ve seen a steely gaze from Theon since Season 2.

Up at Winterfell, Osha tries to employ the same seduction tricks she used on Theon and his men- this time on Ramsay, who doesn’t fall for it. Of course, he’s interrogated Theon, specifically how he lost Bran and Rickon and he happened to hear about the Wildling girl that did it. He promptly stabs her in the neck. So long, Osha! It was… great not seeing you for a season or two and getting you ripped away…

Up at Castle Black, Tormund eye fucks Brienne over an awkward meal when Jon receives a letter from Ramsay accusing him of betraying the North by letting in the Wildlings, claiming he has Rickon, and demanding Sansa back. Sansa knows that if Ramsay is claiming he’s Warden, then Roose is dead and most likely, killed by his own son. She estimates that Ramsay has at least 5,000 men and Tormund guesses he has about 2,000- and Sansa once again implores Jon to help her take back Winterfell and reunite the North. Jon finally agrees.

6.4.5

Back in Vaes Dothrak, Dany reminisces with the Khals how Drogo called her son the stallion who would mount the world and promised to take back the Iron Throne for her, and the other Khals call her naive for believing Drogo. Dany’s pretty fierce and spits out that none of them are as fit as she is to lead the Khalesar, grabbing one of the firepits and pushes them over, setting the whole temple on fire. Toppling the patriarchy has taken on a whole new meaning. As the temple burns, the rest of the city gathers to watch her emerge from the flames as she did in Season 1- and they bow down to their new Khaleesi.

Next up, 6.5 The Door

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s