Game Of Thrones Season 6 Episode 4

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Emily St. James is a senior correspondent for onaga.vn, covering American identities. Before she joined onaga.vn in 2014, she was the first TV editor of the A.V. Club.

"Book of the Stranger" is one of those Game of Thrones episodes where showrunners David Benioff & D.B. Weiss pull back the curtain and reveal the major plot developments they"ve been building toward all along. It packs in dramatic reversals, new alliances, và the death of a once major character.

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It is, in other words, a pretty solid installment of the show, and the first episode of the season that really feels lượt thích prime Game of Thrones. When it ended with Dany emerging from the flames to lớn the worshipful bows of the Dothraki, I was finally invested in wherever this season is going. It still feels like the show is marking time between now & the point where all of the characters are finally on the same playing field. But at least the marking time is interesting.

Anyway, here are seven winners and five losers from "Book of the Stranger."

Winner 1: Queen Daenerys Targaryen

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She"s about to lớn set everybody on fire. HBO Dany"s time among the Dothraki could only kết thúc one way: She somehow ended up with a gigantic army of Dothraki following her as she swept back into Meereen to reclaim what was once hers. Somehow, Jorah & Daario would be involved.

And I"ll be honest: I wasn"t looking forward to that outcome. I didn"t see a way the show could pull it off without feeling like it was robbing Dany of her agency, or without resorting to some seriously weird storytelling loopholes.

I should have had more faith. Benioff and Weiss"s solution for this is elegant in its simplicity: Dany is just going lớn show off her mutant superpower of being unable lớn be burnt by fire, thus inspiring the awe of the Dothraki. In the process, she"ll be killing all of the khals who are essentially holding her prisoner by burning them to death.

The episode ends with Dany, the flames apparently not bothering her in the slightest, standing before her new army, smiling confidently, và it"s probably her most bad-ass moment since she used her dragons lớn set those slavers on fire back in season three. Even the show"s occasional lapses with female nudity don"t bother it here. Dany might be naked, but she"s also just a little terrifying. She"s less objectified than she is some kind of demigod.

Anyway, as I discussed with a friend immediately after the episode, it"s still not immediately clear why Dany is supposed to be a good & just ruler just because fire can"t burn her, but that"s also a hell of a lot more than any of the current presidential candidates can say.

Winner 2: Littlefinger gets back in the game

I"ll be honest: I don"t even know if Littlefinger knows exactly what he"s trying to do at this point — right now, he"s rallying the Vale"s army in order lớn go take Winterfell back from Ramsay. His plotting seems to have spiraled out of control long ago, but he acts like it"s all part of the plan. (Maybe that"s his mutant superpower.)

But it"s still great to see him again. Aidan Gillen is so good in this part, and so key to the show"s view of power as a kind of cunning series of games và underhanded schemes, that I didn"t mind that he"s back in the Vale for what seems like no particular reason.

I"m sure that Littlefinger will be undone by his schemes at some point, but I"m just so glad to lớn see the guy again. I could give him a hug.

Winner 3: Yara Greyjoy

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Things are happening! Even in Pyke! HBO The Greyjoy scene this week is mostly there khổng lồ remind us that these characters exist, but if nothing else, Yara gets the backing of her brother, Theon, who"s finally back in Pyke & thinks that she should sit on the kingdom"s throne.

It"s not immediately clear why he thinks this — other than the fact that Yara would be pretty great at it — but it"s another good scene that contributes khổng lồ the biggest sense "Book of the Stranger" gives off, which is…

Winner 4: Narrative progression

Game of Thrones has a frequent problem with feeling as if it"s running in circles, unable to lớn move forward. Some of this is by design — the characters are always keeping so many secrets from each other that they can"t always be upfront about their true motivations, which can keep things from feeling lượt thích they"re on track.

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But just as much of it stems from the fact that Game of Thrones increasingly feels lượt thích it"s trapped by those big moments it"s perpetually building toward. When everybody on the show feels as if they"re circling each other endlessly, it becomes a lot easier to wonder if anything is ever going to lớn happen. Và the show"s fragmented design, with all of those characters scattered to lớn the winds, doesn"t help in that regard.

But "Book of the Stranger" did a hell of a job of making it seem like things are headed forward. In particular, it did a great job of bringing characters back together, sometimes for the first time in seasons, about which more in a moment.

Winner 5: The Lannister/Tyrell alliance

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Olenna has it figured out. HBO This alliance has been an alliance in name only pretty much since it was founded. The Tyrells don"t trust the Lannisters as far as they can throw them, & the feeling is mutual. Cersei & Olenna, in particular, seem as if they"re constantly attempting lớn figure out each other"s weak points so they can go in for the kill.

Well, mutual enemies can quickly solidify even the most threadbare of alliances, which is exactly what happens in this episode, as the rise of the Faith Militant leads Cersei khổng lồ propose that the Tyrells" army sweeps in & casts out those who are proposing khổng lồ force Margaery go on her very own walk of shame.

That"s something the Tyrells simply will not allow, which leads to their ultimate agreement with her plan. For the first time in ages, it feels lượt thích these characters are vaguely on the same page.

There"s really no way this alliance lasts once the High Sparrow has been deposed, but on Game of Thrones, it"s not politics so much as war that makes strange bedfellows. Margaery và Loras, brought low by imprisonment và seemingly at the lowest ebb of their hope, are about to get some from a most unlikely source.

(Bonus win: this storyline featured the funniest scene of the whole season, which was Pycelle exiting the council room while jingling. It took, like, 30 seconds và had to have been intentional comedy.)

Winner 6: Jon/Sansa shippers

The mạng internet is filled with people who are certain of the young woman whom Jon Snow is meant to lớn wed someday, presumably lớn serve as his queen. (I still think this show will end with Dany on the Iron Throne, but if you were going to place odds on it, Jon would probably be your safest bet.) The most popular suggestions — that I"ve seen, at least — are Dany và Arya. Why Arya? I don"t really know, but this probably has something to bởi vì with it.

And yet this episode did a pretty good job of inflaming the hopes of any Jon/Sansa shippers out there, hoping the two will eventually fall in love. Granted, they believe they"re brother and sister (though Jon"s parentage remains murky), but this episode makes a point of showing how Sansa was never exactly sisterly khổng lồ Jon, và that hug between the two at the episode"s start (when he sees her at Castle Black) is long. If you"re the kind of person who writes lãng mạn fanfiction about Game of Thrones pairings, well, you"ve probably done so off of far less than that.

And then, as if khổng lồ underline this point, director Daniel Sackheim inserts a shot of Sansa reaching over lớn take Jon"s hand when encouraging him khổng lồ ride into battle against Ramsay, in the vague hope that others in the North will support him. I don"t actually think a Jon & Sansa romance is what the show is going for, but it"s a little weird, nonetheless.

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Winner 7: People who leave their TV on after Game of Thrones for Silicon Valley

That show is on an absolute tear this season.