This episode may not have been as wild as the last few but it sure ended with a big bang. Two of the most important players in the show made monumental decisions that will likely change the course of history in Westeros and beyond.
This season has been filled with strong women, and I am loving every minute of it! In this episode the women take over and family comes first. Before moving on, be advised that this blog contains SPOILERS so make sure you’re all caught up first. Now, let’s begin with Castle Black.
The episode starts off with Jon Snow, who is still adamant about leaving his fellow Castle Black brothers. (In case you forgot, some of them tried to murder him.) Since he technically died, his watch has ended and he is free to go south (or down on me…LOL. I’m sorry. I’m very lonely).
Let’s dive into the most important thing during this scene—his HAIR. Jon is bringing back the man bun and it is glorious. I am definitely all about it. To be honest, there are very few looks that Jon can’t pull off (if any).
Within the first 5 minutes of this episode we see Jon and Sansa reunite when she arrives with Brienne at Castle Black. Make no mistake, this moment is HUGE and it is well overdue since the two haven’t seen each other since Season 1. The last time any Starks were in the same room together was at the Red Wedding, and things did not turn out that well for them.
Jon got to meet a completely reborn Sansa—who is strong and full of righteous rage; she’s been through enough and is ready to stand up and take back what belongs to the Starks. Sansa wastes no time during their epic reunion to discuss her plan to retake their ancestral home by force. “If we don’t take the North, we’ll never be safe. I’ll do it myself if I have to,” she says. Jon is still not convinced and says that he is tired of fighting (and losing).
As predicted, Melisandre serves Jon now since she believes he is the one who will fulfill the prophecy of the prince that was promised. She has pledged to follow him wherever he goes. (When Melisandre does it, it’s mysterious; but when I do it, I get a restraining order. Go figure…) She switches her faith in these men almost as fast as boys lose interest in me once they get to know me. (Side note: I have a feeling Davos will follow Jon, too.)
But nothing’s quite as awkward as when Brienne confronts Melisandre reminisces about the good ole days when Renly Baratheon was assassinated by blood magic. Brienne’s all like, “Hey, remember when you had that demon baby and killed my king whom I had a crush on although he totally friend-zoned me because his food of choice was hot dogs over tacos?” And Melisandre was like, “Nope, must have been another redhead witch.”
Brienne then confirms what we’ve all been wondering: whether or not Stannis survived. Although Brienne tells Davos that she did kill him, I find that hard to believe, since we did not see it with our own eyes.
Romance is also in the air at Castle Black, as Tormund Giantsbane acts like a little school girl with googly eyes over Brienne. I ship them (tween term—I’m totally in with the trends), and I really hope these two get together, because no one deserves the D as much as Brienne (and me) does.
And just as I was about to give up on Jon’s leadership skills, he changes his mind after reading Ramsay’s “love letter” to Sansa where he mentions that Rickon was taken as prisoner. With Sansa’s second, more convincing speech, Jon is ready to fight and take back Winterfell (with the help of the Wildlings, of course).
A war is coming, so the White Walkers will just have to wait for now.
The Vale scene begins with Robin Arryn, whose arrow-shooting skills are as good as my flirting skills (we’re both doomed). “Uncle Petyr!” shouts Robyn with excitement as Littlefinger finally makes his first entrance this season (little does he know that his sweet ole uncle was porking his mum right before he murdered her).
Littlefinger wastes no time before showing his true colors and reminding us that beneath his composed and well-behaved manner is an evil man that will stop at nothing to get what he wants (aka the throne).
Littlefinger easily manipulates his way into almost having Lord Royce killed before also tricking Robin into assembling an army to save his cousin Sansa. (In case you forgot, Robin’s mum tried to play matchmaker with Sansa and Robin right before she “committed suicide.” If I didn’t know any better, I’d think she was a Lannister.)
Since Littlefinger serves no one but himself, I wonder what his intentions are by helping Sansa. Is it actual love? Is it hate for the Boltons? Or is it that Sansa is his key to becoming a lord?
Meanwhile, in Meereen, Tyrion tries to make peace with Dany’s enemies, the masters of Slaver’s Bay, by proposing a deal that allows slavery to continue in Slaver’s Bay for another 7 years before being abolished, in exchange for the cities in Slaver’s Bay cutting off support for the Sons of the Harpy. (Yawn)
Once they’re in agreement, Tyrion is kind enough to treat the masters to some beautiful prostitutes. Although Missandei and Grey Worm are not fans of Tyrion’s idea, all I could really think of was, What the fuck happened to those two remaining dragons and why haven’t they tried to escape or eat anyone yet?
We move to Jorah and Daario, who might as well have been measuring the size of their dicks based on their competitiveness for Dany’s love and attention as they head to Vaes Dothrak to save their queen.
Daario catches a glimpse of the scales on Jorah’s arm right before they discard their weapons (or so we thought) and sneak into the city. Discovered moments later, Daario wastes no time killing the two Dothraki and saving Jorah’s life. Poor Jorah’s attempt at fighting was him getting beat up, including a pathetic blowing of sand into the Dothraki solider’s eyes, and then being choked almost to death. It’s actually pretty sad to watch Jorah struggle so much to fight off one man when he used to be one of the greatest fighters in the series (why can’t he catch a break already!?).
Dany manages to get a little air away from the dosh khaleen, and when Daario and Jorah find her she doesn’t even look that excited to see them (which is a clear indication that she never expected these two men to save her in the first place). This little moment shows just how independent and strong Dany has become. She’s her own trap queen who don’t need no man to save her, and I respect that. Dany also gets Jorah and Daario to ditch their escape plan in favor of hers.
When she goes before the Khals, who shall decide her fate, things get out of hand pretty quickly. The men are offended that she is a walking vagina with actual thoughts and opinions, but what really drives them over the edge is when Dany calls them poor leaders and says she should rule the Vaes Dothraki. Moro responds to Dany’s insults with rape threats, calling her a “crazy cunt,” and saying that they’d never serve her, and she just stands there, smiling smugly.
“You’re not going to serve me. You’re going to die,” she says, before tipping the stands of fire over and setting the room ablaze, knowing full well that she can survive the flames (her clothes weren’t as lucky) as a true Targaryen. The exits are blocked thanks to Jorah and Daario, and Dany gets to watch Khal Moro and his men burn to death while the people of Vaes Dothrak gather around the burning building. (Her future enemies may want to consider meeting outdoors next time.) Once again, Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, emerges naked out of the fire, as thousands kneel before her to worship their Khaleesi.
Two things: First, the episode’s end shows how far Dany has come since Season 1, when she was just a timid, fragile little girl. We’re reminded of what it means to be a true Targaryen; she is a true leader, a force to be reckoned with who knows how to take what is hers. And let’s be honest, she is a fucking goddess with that body.
Second, in my Jon Snow Theories blog, I stated that fire cannot kill a true Targaryen, while many avid book-reader fans disagreed with me. So for that I’d like to say, Fuck you, I told you so! I based my theory on a few instances in the show where Dany handled fire easily (which many of you book readers seemed to miss). As the show continues to move further away from the books (since, in the book, the fire element only works once for a Targaryen), both show watchers and book readers will sit in suspense at future episodes.
In King’s Landing, Queen Margaery is brought once again before the High Sparrow, who continues to resemble Bernie Sanders more and more each episode. Margaery (who looks better after not showering or seeing the sun in weeks than I do after dipping my face in makeup before a night out) listens to Bernie’s tales. She’s heard his stories before and finishes his sentence for him (how romantical), which she follows with, “Book of the stranger, verse 25”—our episode’s title. (The Stranger is one of the pantheon of gods that comprise the Faith of the people of Westeros. It symbolizes death and with it being the title of this episode, nothing good can come out of this.)
For her curiosity she is given permission to visit her brother, Loras, (second family reunion!) who has apparently suffered even worse for being gay (yup, that’s his sin; while Cersei got out for literally fucking her family). He begs her to stop this. “We can’t win. Just make it stop please,” he says as she tells him to stay strong and not give up just yet.
Cersei, who is slowly gaining her strength (and dignity) back, interrupts Grand Maester Pycelle during his informal counsel discussion with King Tommen. Cersei tells him to leave but he refuses (he will regret that soon) until Tommen orders him to listen to his mum. Pycelle takes an extra long time to depart, his chains jangling, each step making made more awkward as Cersei, Tommen, and the viewers all stare in silence waiting for this turtle to finally makes his exit.
Once alone, Tommen urges Cersei to use discretion with the High Sparrow since he still has Queen Margaery. Cersei pulls a guilt trip and reminds him of what they did to her, and Tommen responds with, “You don’t like Margaery, do you?” (Wow, nothing gets past this guy!) Cersei assures him that it doesn’t matter whether she likes Margaery or not, and then convinces her son to reveal what the High Sparrow told him in confidence.
She and Jaime take this information to the council, who refuse to listen. They then reveal that the High Sparrow plans to have Margaery queuing up for her own walk of shame before King’s Landing. This is a game changer for the Queen of Thorns, Margaery’s grandmother, who agrees to Cersei’s plan to use the Tyrell army to overthrow the High Sparrow.
Cersei is pretending to be a team player (I know a fake when I see one), and it seems like everyone is now on board with her. I do wonder what Cersei’s hidden agenda is here. And will she will continue her trial by combat once she regains power in the capital?
I also wonder whether the High Sparrow confided in naïve Tommen fully expecting him to confide in his mother? Is Bernie laying a trap for his enemies? (I think that’s a high probability.)
Theon returns home and is greeted by his sister (third family reunion!) with open arms and excitement and cute statements such as, “They told me you were home and I didn’t believe it. Theon Greyjoy, I said, he’s dead. He’s been dead a long time.”
In Yara’s defense, the last time she tried to save Theon, he only answered to Reek and completely betrayed her (and in his defense, Ramsay really fucked him up). Through tears, Theon assures her that he does not want to be king and that he will help her rule instead. (I love Yara, but she may be lacking some vitamin D as well. Chill out, girl. Be nice to your brother…sheesh.)
Osha is brought to Ramsay in his chambers and things get heated. She says all the right things and does all the right moves. She sits on top of him and makes out with him and does her best to reach for the knife on the table but ends up with a hole in her neck instead (courtesy of Ramsay), which couldn’t have come at a better time since its been a while since the hounds enjoyed some tasty human meat. Ramsay then continues to peel his apple while Osha bleeds out on his floor.