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Tales From Westeros – Season 6 – Episode 4 – The Book of the Stranger

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Hey guys, its Zach P. back at it again and what an episode this week. Got some pretty major tonal shifts happening and we all know what that means: big things on the horizon. This week we saw some characters reunite, we learned of certain characters fates, and we saw one hell of a final sequence with everyone’s favorite silver haired badass. Apologies about this being a bit out of order scene wise, I’ve recently moved back home after graduation and lost the use of my roommate’s HBO GO. Miss you, Warren! So let’s get to it shall we?

 

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So we start off back at the wall on a shot of Jon’s sword, Longclaw. Edd picks it up and asks Jon what his post returning from the dead/quitting his job plans are. Jon suggests he’s going to ride South, Edd asks him seriously what he’ll do and Jon replies “Get warm”, but it appears Edd isn’t in the mood for jokes. After all, as Edd explains, the White Walkers are coming and as we remembered from last episode, Jon just named Edd acting Lord Commander. This may make Edd feel unqualified for what’s to come and I mean who could blame him? After the battle at Hardhome, we know what the White Walkers are capable of.  We hear one blast of a horn. In Night’s Watch Horn code that means a ranger is returning, but in this case, the gate to Castle Black is opened and we see Brienne, Pod, and Sansa. The three ride in and Sansa and Jon lock eyes, Jon descends the stairs, and they run into each other’s arms. We can see that despite everything, Jon and Sansa are above all happy to see the other is alive. We cut to a scene where Sansa and Jon are sitting fireside and reminiscing about Winterfell. Sansa expresses remorse for her unfair treatment of Jon when they were children, which is exactly Jon’s response: “We were children.” And later, “There’s nothing to forgive.” It’s a really cute scene to be honest. I almost got some shipping feels for a moment there. Don’t judge me. Sansa humorously drinks some bad ale and Jon swears that wherever she goes, he goes. Sansa suggests they take back Winterfell with the Wildlings. Jon tells her that he’s “tired of fighting” and goes off listing all the people he killed. “I fought, and I lost”, he says; which is exactly what Thorne said when he was hanged by Jon last episode, creepy I know. Sansa, not backing down says she needs Jon, but she would do it alone if she had to. Outside, Davos asks Melisandre what she’s going to do. She replies that she’ll do anything “Jon Snow commands” because he is the “Prince that Was Promised”. Davos asks her to clarify, being that that’s what she used to call Stannis, and Mel walks away wordlessly. Rude. Either way, as they’re talking, Brienne comes over and overhears their conversation, telling Davos how they met before when she was Kingsguard to Renly. And then, much to this writer’s chagrined heart, Brienne reveals to a shocked Davos and Mel that she executed Stannis. Now, I really believed that the off-screen death was a little suspicious, but hearing this kind of confirmed it. However, I will still cling to the slightest bit of hope that Brienne is playing mind games with Davos and Mel.  #StannisLives

We see Westeros’s biggest wet blanket, Robin Arryn trying (and failing) to shoot and arrow before Littlefinger comes back and gifts Robin a rare falcon. Now, recap. After Littlefinger betrayed Lysa Arryn’s trust and sent her plummeting through the Moon Door, Littlefinger has acted as Robin’s guide and father figure. Robin still refers to him as “Uncle Peytr”; however he’s technically his step-father. This scene, a difference of opinion with Yohn Royce, causes us to really see how deep his claws are really in young Robin. Royce questions why Sansa was married to Ramsay, Littlefinger lies and says they were captured by Bolton men; Royce asks if he “takes him for a fool”. Now, Trickyfinger here claims that since Royce was the only one who knew of his travel plans, that Royce is a traitor. Immediately, and not breaking his attention from his new pet, Robin asks Littlefinger if they should throw him through the Moon Door. Royce has to explain his innocence, but Robin leaves Yohn’s fate in Littlefinger’s hand. He claims that if they could trust Royce’s “absolute loyalty” that he’d be useful in the future. Robin agrees and he’s set free.  Littlefinger talks to Robin about Sansa and Robin agrees to help his cousin. Littlefinger tells Royce that it’s time to “join the fray.” Littlefinger’s hold on the Vale could be instrumental in the coming episodes/seasons and I’m interested to see what that sneaky bastard is up to next.

Osha is sent to Ramsay’s chambers, all cleaned up as he sits there calmly peeling an apple. Osha attempts to seduce Ramsay and Ramsay appears to be swayed. He makes a comment about her being a “good talker” and that she was a “better talker than Theon Greyjoy”. Now, he goes onto say how much he had to work to get Theon to talk, but if we remember back to the torture of Theon and his mental breakdown into becoming “Reek”, Ramsay wasn’t really after any sort of information. So, with the situation going on currently with Osha, can Ramsay be inferred as saying he’s sexually abused Theon? Given everything else he’s done, it’s not exactly surprising, but I’ll leave this one up for debate. Osha grinds on Ramsay like a 2000’s rap video, all the while reaching for the knife he was peeling the apple with. I was on the edge of my seat, wondering if they would kill Ramsay mid-season. But, of course, SURPRISE KNIFE! Ramsay stabs Osha through the throat and calmly peels the apple with the bloody knife. God, I hate this guy.  

Theon can be seen on a ship, the tall islands of Pyke among the mist. The prodigal son returns, and finds his sister sitting on the Salt Throne. Theon tells his sister that he escaped, and Yara instead focuses on the men who died trying to rescue him. Theon apologizes, claiming Ramsay “broke” him “into a thousand pieces”. Yara claims that since she received one of those “pieces” aka Theon’s “favorite toy”, that was the only reason she tried to rescue him. Yara is actually surprisingly a complete and utter dick to Theon in this scene, despite being pretty much his only defense against his utterly more of a dick father, Balon. Now, Theon claims that he didn’t know Papa Greyjoy was dead until he landed on Pyke, but since the Kingsmoot is fast approaching, Yara don’t exactly believe him. Yara tells Theon that no Ironborn would want him for their king, and instead Theon actually tells his sister that she should rule the Iron Islands, and that all he wants is to help her. This disarms Yara, and she lets her brother go. This Kingsmoot is going to be quite an interesting election. #Euron2016

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Jorah the Explorer and Daario are still trekking through the sand. Daario makes a crack about Jorah’s age and suggests he wouldn’t be able to “ride the dragon”. Jorah is confused and Daario continues to explain how Jorah wouldn’t be able to dance the horizontal mambo with Dany because she’s too “wild” for him in his old age. Damn, dude, talk about hitting a guy where it hurts. Jorah attempts to set up a fight between them after they rescue Dany, but Daario refuses to be killed by an “old man”. They look out over Vaes Dothrak and Jorah deduces that they’ll have taken Dany to the Dosh Kahleen. He has Daario hand over his weapons, including a knife he’s “very attached” to with a hilt in the shape of a naked woman. Daario discovers Jorah’s greyscale, and seems a little too chill about it. But the Dothraki are in party mode as night falls, and Jorah and Daario sneak into Vaes Dothrak. They pull a lot of Assassin’s Creed ducking in and out of alleyways before accidentally being discovered by two Dothraki. Jorah tries to pass them off as traders, but the Dothraki don’t believe him. One runs off and is pursued by Daario as the bigger one proceeds to beat Jorah. Daario eventually catches the man, and breaks his neck before he can alert the Dothraki horde. It looks grim for Jorah before Daario stabs the other Dothraki from behind.  “I told you, I’m very attached to this knife.” Jorah claims that if they find a body with a stab wound, the whole city will look for intruders, and Daario beats the body’s head in with a stone to cover it up. Dany talks to the members of the Dosh Kahleen, including one who shares her story about a particularly sadistic Kahl. Dany fakes having to pee to get out and the girl who just shared her story follows her. As they walk, they chat before the girl is held up by Daario and Jorah. Dany begs them not to kill her and she is released. Dany claims she needs Jorah, Daario and new girl’s help to do something to get out of Vaes Dothrak.

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Margery, alone in her cell, is led out by Septa Unella. She still looks great covered in dirt, by the way. Margery is then led to the High Sparrow, who counsels her on religious communist mumbo jumbo.  However, he begins to share his story about being the son of a cobbler, and how he made the shoes better with more work, and that the rich wanted them. The High Sparrow apparently began to use his money for ascending his station. Margery however notices at this point that the High Sparrow has begun to quote scripture, which surprises him. High Sparrow goes on to talk about an Animal House style rager he threw that caused him to have a moment of clarity about excess and that he “saw what his sins were”. He claims that the “beggars on the street” were “closer to the truth” than he ever was. And thus the High Sparrow became the hippie we know. Sparrow leads Margery to Loras’s cell, where he’s dirty, curled up and in a bad way. The siblings share a moment and Loras begins to cry. Margery tells him to stay strong, and Loras claims that he was never strong. Loras claims he “just wants it to stop” and given some cuts and bruises, we can see that perhaps Loras is getting beaten. Margery claims that they can’t let them win, however, Loras pleads with her to “let them win” as it will “make it stop”. Now, if you’re anything like me, given all the bravado on this show, it’s easy to see Loras as cowardly or unmanly for this, but hey, I think we should cut the guy a break. He’s been in that cell for weeks now and he’s used to a finer standard of living and pain is somewhat a stranger to him. I hope this experience might cause him to harden a bit and become slightly more badass, but if not, we still get to watch Loras’s actor, Finn Jones as Iron Fist on Netflix, so….apples and oranges.

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Comedically senile Grandpa, Maester Pycelle talks with Tommen until Cersei demands he leave, however it is only when Tommen tells him to go that he does. This is indicative of Cersei’s dwindling power and influence in King’s Landing. Tommen talks to Cersei about the High Sparrow and how they have to be “careful” around him for Margery’s safety. Cersei decides to make the conversation about her and Tommen does not react, instead asking his mother if he likes his wife, which Cersei deems “unimportant”. They talk about the respect needed by Kings and Queens and High Sparrow’s simple approach to government through faith. It’s very clear that Cersei wants things to remain as they are. Tommen talks about his meeting with the High Sparrow and confides in Cersei. We don’t actually hear what he tells Cersei, however, we can only assume its big doings. In the Small Council Meeting Room, Lady Olenna tongue lashes Cersei, who proposes they work together in order to not allow Margery’s walk of shame to happen. Jaime proposes that the Tyrell army marches into King’s Landing and kill the Faith Militant, and Kevan is told by his nephew to stand down and let the Tyrell army do their thing as a way to get his son, Lancel back. Lancel is currently a member of the Faith Militant, and is brainwashed by High Sparrow. If we remember, he was also boinking Cersei back when Jaime was captured in Season 3. Olenna tells them that no matter what they do, there will be casualties and that it’s “better them than us.” Now, seeing the Tyrell army march in and wreck shop would be pretty awesome, so fingers crossed for that.

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Slavers arrive in Mereen’s bay, and Grey Worm, Tyrion and Missandei argues. Tyrion attempts to claim that his few days in slavery caused him to know what it’s like, and gets privilege smacked by Missandei. The slavers of Astapor, Yunkai and Volantis basically want the foreign threat to leave. Tyrion says what I’ve been thinking this whole season, that when she abolished slavery, she did not institute a new system to replace it. A friend of mine actually referred to her as a “Bush Neo-Conservative with Dragons” and I can’t get it out of my head every time she makes a shitty gubernatorial decision. Tyrion eventually relents and tells the slavers that they have seven years to ban the practice of slavery, and in exchange, they will stop funding the Sons of the Harpy. Tyrion, in a very Tyrion-esque move, gives the slavers scantily clad women as a parting gift. One of them, at least appears to be Vala, the woman from last episode, meaning that perhaps Tyrion/Varys has a trick up his/their sleeve. Some angry former slaves confront Tyrion about meeting with the slavers, and Tyrion has to claim that he was Dany’s representative and defend his ideals. They defer to Grey Worm, who claims that if a “just peace” can be reached, they should strive toward it. Then to Missandei who is asked how she can trust the slavers, which she denies, and throws her support behind Tyrion by quoting him as saying “We make peace with our enemies, not our friends.” Afterward, Grey Worm and Missandei drag Tyrion for his decisions, and we can see the cracks starting to form.  Grey Worm claims that Tyrion will not “use” the slavers, and instead, they will “use” him. We can see why a plan that re-instates slavery would be insulting to both Grey Worm and Missandei, both former slaves, but as Tyrion states, war and slavery are both evils and he can only solve one in a day. Still a better ruler than Dany and the guy hasn’t been there six months.  

A message from a Bolton horseman arrives at the Wall as Edd, Jon, Brienne, Pod, Tormund and Sansa eat. Tormund is actually giving Brienne some serious bedroom eyes and I could not be happier about that. A messenger comes in to give Jon the letter. Now, in the last book of the Song of Ice and Fire book series, A Dance With Dragons, Jon Snow as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, receives a letter from Ramsay Bolton to which fans have attributed the name “The Pink Letter” to, given that pink is one of the colors on the Bolton’s flayed man sigil. Jon reads this letter, decides to ride South and is promptly killed by his fellow Night’s Watch brothers in the books, so these events occur out of order in the show. I’ve provided the text of the Pink Letter as follows:

Your false king is dead, bastard. He and all his host were smashed in seven days of battle. I have his magic sword. Tell his red whore. Your false king’s friends are dead. Their heads upon the walls of Winterfell. Come see them, bastard. Your false king lied, and so did you. You told the world you burned the King-Beyond-the-Wall. Instead you sent him to Winterfell to steal my bride from me. I will have my bride back. If you want Mance Rayder back, come and get him. I have him in a cage for all the north to see, proof of your lies. The cage is cold, but I have made him a warm cloak from the skins of the six whores who came with him to Winterfell. I want my bride back. I want the false king’s queen. I want his daughter and his red witch. I want this wildling princess. I want his little prince, the wildling babe. And I want my Reek. Send them to me, bastard, and I will not trouble you or your black crows. Keep them from me, and I will cut out your bastard’s heart and eat it. -Ramsay Bolton, Trueborn Lord of Winterfell.

Now, this does not exactly follow Ramsay’s note in the show as there are many points in the show that differ from the books, that being that Ramsay’s “bride” was actually Jeyne Poole disguised as “Arya Stark” and not Sansa, and that Mance Rayder here attempted to rescue Jane and was captured, whereas in the show he is currently dead. Also, the “false king” Ramsay keeps mentioning is Stannis, and he requests Seylse and Shireen, and claims to have possession of Stannis’s sword, Lightbringer. All three of those aforementioned individuals are dead and Lightbringer is nowhere to be seen. However, the one thing that matches from book and show is that Ramsay wants his “bride” back, and in the show, this means Sansa. He threatens to do some pretty Ramsay-esque stuff if his terms are not met, and Sansa has had enough. She counsels Jon to ride South and reclaim Winterfell, with the help of the Wildlings. Tormund says he can spare about two thousand men to fight Ramsay’s five thousand, and it’s unclear on whether or not Jon will be bringing any of his Night’s Watch brothers with him. But hey, there’s always Wun Wun! Having a giant on your side ain’t bad. However, this could lead into an epic clash between two northern bastards with Winterfell being on the line. The fans of the series have nicknamed this matchup “Bastardbowl” and I sure as hell hope we get to see it in the series.  With the upcoming “Cleganebowl”, this season is about to have more “bowls” than an Ikea.

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The meeting to decide Dany’s fate is called, and she is led inside by members of the Dosh Kahleen. I gotta say, Emilia Clarke can even make a burlap sack look good.  The Kahls debate on what to do with her, as Yunkai is offering plenty of horses for her. Dany goes on to voice how these new Kahls are weak compared to Drogo.  That the matters they discuss are nothing compared to him and that they aren’t fit to lead the Dothraki. “But I am. So I will.” The Kahls laugh and mock her. They threaten to pass her around to their men and horses. Dany instead grabs a nearby brazier and knocks it over. She does this will all of them, and soon the entire Temple of the Dosh Kahleen is up in flames, the Kahls all trapped inside. They attempt to escape but see the door is barred. Dany knocks over the final brazier and lights them all up like a Memphis barbeque. The entire Dothraki horde clambers around the blazing temple, until, as if from another world, out walks Daenerys Targaryen, the Unburnt. The Dothraki all bow before their burning Kahleesi in abject awe. Jorah and Daario do the same, as Dany looks out over her subjects. This is the second time Jorah’s seen Dany walk through fire, which has to be even crazier the second time. With an entire Dothraki army on her side, the wars against the slavers in Meereen might have just gotten a little easier for the Last Dragon.

Thanks for reading. Berate me in the comments.

-Zach P.

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Posted on May 17, 2016, in Geekology, Tales from Westeros, TV and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Derek Sherry

    This is now my go-to for anything I might have missed in GoT. Thank you, Zach, for your unapologetic neediness, and thanks for letting me watch with you!

    Like

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