By James Hancock May 16th, 2016
Just as I was absentmindedly saying to myself that Game of Thrones seems to be cutting back on its use of nudity, episode 4 ‘Book of the Stranger’ drew to a close with one of those classic moments where we’re reminded that Daenerys Stormborn is a true Targaryen. After burning alive all of the major Khals who rule over the Dothraki, Daenaerys casually walked out of the flames, not wearing a stitch, looking as if she were prepared to fight a war against the White Walkers all by herself. For GRRM fans, it is the kind of moment that we can imagine even Valyrians would be impressed with at the height of their power. For me, it was a relief to see Daenerys reassert control over her situation. Six seasons in, I think we can all agree that it is time for Daenerys to play an active role in the affairs of Westeros. Having a new Dothraki army at her beck and call will hopefully allow her to quickly set her affairs in Meereen in order, opening up an opportunity to invade Westeros. While Tyrion might be doing a good job of keeping a lid on Meereen and finding ways to cut off the funding of the Sons of the Harpy, what I really want to see is Daenerys flying on the back of a dragon with an army at her back. The Seven Kingdoms are going to need that kind of muscle when the inevitable White Walker invasion begins. I’m crossing my fingers that this season will not end with Daenerys still wasting time on the wrong side of the Narrow Sea.
Episode 4 definitely ended on a high note, but the rest the of the episode was for the most part routine. Tensions in King’s Landing continued to increase between the Sparrows and those of Royal blood. Theon returned home to the Iron Islands to support his sister’s claim to the throne. And Littlefinger marshaled the forces of the Vale to support Sansa in the North. The real treat was seeing the reunion between Sansa and Jon at Castle Black and remembering just how much their family has endured since those fateful early episodes where they all went their separate ways. We really have lived their saga as if it were our own these last five years. I’m also loving seeing the clear sexual tension between Brienne and Tormund Giantsbane. I can only imagine what kind of children they would produce. It appears as if the stage has been set for Jon and Sansa to lead a wildling army to reclaim Winterfell from Ramsay Bolton with the hope that the rest of the North will support them. In the books, their supporters are fond of saying “The North Remembers” and I hope that proves to be true. I’m still secretly hoping that somehow Daenerys and Jon will cross paths at some point before all is said and and unify their forces to fight the White Walkers but I have no idea at this point how the rest of the season will go. I’m attaching a teaser below for next week’s episode that gives us an idea of what to expect next week. The footage with Bran has me very intrigued. But for now we’ll just have to be satisfied with the episode’s stunning conclusion and Dany’s reminder to us all of what a true Targaryen is capable of.
See Review for Season 6 Episode 1 ‘The Red Woman’ Here
See Review for Season 6 Episode 2 ‘Home’ Here
See Review for Season 6 Episode 3 ‘Oathbreaker’ Here
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Preview for Episode 5