Game Of Thrones Season 6, Episode 4 Recap: ‘Book Of The Stranger’

Spoilers for the season six, episode four of Game of Thrones are below.

Sunday’s episode of Game of Thrones was fire, continuing the escalation to what is sure to be a couple of bonkers episodes of action later in the season. There was a lot that transpired in this episode, so let’s get right to it.

Castle Black: We picked up right where we left off last week, with Jon Snow packing his gear and heading out because his watch is over. Before he could leave, however, Castle Black got some new visitors – Sansa, Brienne and Podrick.

When the long-split Stark kids see each other, it’s a great, joyous moment – one of the few this family has enjoyed together in recent seasons. They reminisce and have a couple laughs about the good old days, but then Sansa lays it down straight to her half-brother. Jon wants out – he’s done fighting and ready to go do something else – but Sansa hits him with the goods.

“If we don’t take aback the North, we’ll never be safe. I wan you to help me, but I’ll do it myself if I have to.”

Out in the quad, Davos and Melisandre get real close to having the super-awkward “What happened to Princess Shireen?” conversation, but Brienne interrupts, letting the duo know that she ended Stannis’ time in this world and that she still holds a grudge about the whole “shadow baby killing Renly” thing.

Somewhere in The Vale: Little Robin Aryn is starting to grow up, but is still a bit of a ponce that can’t even shoot an arrow. While he’s failing at target practice, “Uncle Petyr” (a.k.a. Littlefinger) shows up.

Yohn Royce, whose been looking after Robin, you know, since Petyr kicked his mother out of the Moon Door, asks Littlefinger about marrying Sansa off to Ramsey Bolton and Littlefinger does as Littlefinger does, turning it into a tale about how Sansa was kidnapped. He accuses Royce off tipping off the Boltons on the fake ambush and kidnapping, even though we all know Littlefinger set it all up.

Royce pledges allegiance to Young Lord Robin and Littlefinger declares it’s time for the Knights of the Vale to mount up and ride to help in the battle against those dastardly Boltons.

King’s Landing: Margaery gets called before the High Sparrow, who tells her about his journey from shoemaker to “in demand shoemaker with vices” to guy that gave it all up to eventually become the High Sparrow and brings her to see her brother.

And Loras is in rough shape. He doesn’t explain exactly what has been happening to him, but he’s beaten up and broken, telling Margaery to do whatever the High Sparrow wants of her to make it stop. She knows she’s being played, but she also wants to protect her brother… what is a captive Queen to do?

In the Red Keep, Tommen and Cersei have that awkward parent-child conversation about the child’s significant other. Ever-naïve Tommen asks his mother, “You don’t like Margaery, do you?” and we’re reminded of why these two women were so happy to have their claws in this sweet, innocent little ruler. Poor kid.

Tommen tells Cersei about his convo with the High Sparrow from last week, informing her that he’s been told Margaery will plead guilty to everything and make a shame walk, which spurs Cersei and Jaime into action. They crash another would-be Small Council meeting, letting Uncle Kevan and Lady Olenna in on the scoop and hatching a plan.

It’s time for the Tyrell army to rally in King’s Landing and battle the Faith Militant. If everything goes according to plan, they’ll get Margaery and Loras back, dispatch the Faith Militant and Kevan will get his religious zealot son Lancel back. Seems simple enough, right?

Meereen: Much to the dismay of Missandei and Grey Worm, Tyrion meets with the leaders of the other cities in Slaver’s Bay that are funding the Sons of the Harpy in hopes of finding some kind of happy medium between returning to how it was and ceasing to try to kill Dany.

Tyrion offers them a deal: take seven years to phase out slavery and here, have a couple guys to entertain yourselves with while you consider it.

Reluctantly, Missandei and Grey Worm back Tyrion’s tactics to the freed slaves in Meereen, but you have to think that “The Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains etc. etc.” isn’t going to be too happy with his “let’s phase out the chains over the next seven years” idea.

That being said, have you ever known Tyrion to not be thinking a move or two ahead?

Winterfell: Ramsay has a cleaned up Osha brought to his chamber. She sees it as an opportunity to use her feminine wiles to get close enough to stab him. He sees it as an opportunity to allow her to get her hopes up and have some fun. Who do you think won?

Yeah, right when Osha thinks she’s got the upperhand, Ramsey drops the “Ol’ Theon told me about how Bran and Rickon escaped and the Wildling women that helped them” line and jams a blade into her neck.

Dude is ice cold. It’s going to be so great to see him killed.

Castle Black: Jon, Edd and Tormund are sharing dinner with Sansa, Brienne and Pod when a letter arrives from Ramsey at Winterfell and it is a grim. Ramsey’s terms are simple: send me back Sansa or I’ll kill everyone, but only after I rape your sister, kill your brother, make you watch and then cut out your eyes.

Seriously – he’s so far beyond Joffrey on the Scale of Awful it’s not even close and watching him perish will be a triumphant moment. We know Sansa wants to fight, but Jon worries they’re outnumbers. Sansa has heard Ramsey has 5,000 men and the most Tormund can deliver is 2,000, but Sansa is having none of her brother’s hesitation:

“A monster has taken our home and our brother, we have to go back to Winterfell and save them both.”

We’re gearing up for a good old battle, folks.

Vaes Dothrak: Jorah and Daario stake out the situation and Daario sees Jorah’s growing greyscale. They plan a late night entry into the Dothraki camp to smuggle Dany out, but when they nab her and an escort, another khaleesi, when they’re out for a pee break from sitting around gossiping with the other widows, Dany has an idea.

Dany is called into her “What should we do with her?” hearing with all the khals, who do the same thing they always do – they decide they’re going to use her for sex until they have no use for her anymore – except Dany has some other ideas. She says instead of being passed around, she’s going to rule the Dothraki and when the khals laugh and say they’ll never serve her.

“You’re not going to serve,” she responds. “You’re going to die.”

Dany starts toppling giant goblets of fire that are lighting and heating the big grass hut where all this is happening and the places goes up in flames. The doors are locked, the guards out front have been slayed and the people in the city start rushing to see what the hell is going on.

As the watch, the doors burn up and fall off their hinges and from the space they once occupied emerges a figure – naked, unburnt Dany – and everyone watching takes a knee.

Talking points and takeaways

This was a great episode for powerful women, which is great to see. Sansa is becoming a bigger force, Cersei is in revenge mode and Dany went old school with the “fire can’t hurt me” resolution to her Dothraki problem. She also just got herself an army again.

It will probably take a couple episodes before we reach “The Battle for Winterfell,” but we should have some skirmishes and scrapes along the way as both sides rush to recruit houses to their cause in the North.

Littlefinger is back and he’s as devious and scheming as ever. He’s also still pretty good at playing it close to the vest, so we’re not sure what his bigger picture plan is yet, but you can be sure of one thing: it benefits Petyr Baelish most.

With four down and six to go, it feels like we’re gearing up for some big moments in the second half of the season and as much as I don’t want to the season to be over already, I can’t wait to see what happens.

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte

E. Spencer Kyte is a freelance journalist based in Abbotsford, British Columbia, where he lives with his wife and dog. In addition to his work here, he writes about sports for Complex Canada and covers the UFC for various outlets. His mom also still tells him what to do on a regular basis, even though he’s nearly 40. He tweets from @spencerkyte.

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