Game of Thrones 6×04 Roundtable “Book of the Stranger”

Well, a picture is starting to emerge. And it’s a much happier one than we expected.

Because, alas, the Starks have reunited. Or, at least, two of them. But that’s more than we thought we were going to get. Ramsay Bolton, your time in the North will soon come to an end. The Starks are back.

And so is Daenerys.

Do you have a lot of feels? Because we have a lot of feels. A lot of theories too, but this episode was 100% feels. So, join us as we discuss the fourth episode of Season 6, titled “Book of the Stranger”

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Jon and Sansa are together and nothing hurts. How are you after that reunion? Was it all you dreamed off and more?

CHLOE

Let me start off by saying that I was NOT PREPARED for that reunion. After years of pain and Stark separation, I wasn’t prepared to let myself believe it would happen so soon… which made it all the sweeter. Even though I was waiting for something bad to happen the entire time (actual thought process: “Too happy. TOO HAPPY. PANIC.”). Jon and Sansa started off with such a distant, even hostile relationship, so seeing them reunited, reconciled, and committed to moving forward and protecting what family they have left together was pretty much everything. But to have the joy quota for the season used up so soon? I’m scared for what comes next.

CARYN

IT WAS EVERYTHING! I have become so pessimistic about GoT that I halfway expected Jon to be gone by the time Sansa arrived at Castle Black, it felt surreal when they gave us what we wished for. And that hug? *excuse me a moment while I fetch a tissue* I think it was even more poignant because out of all the siblings, Jon and Sansa were the two that got along the least and now they are at the point in their lives when their childhood prejudices didn’t matter anymore and they are finally on the same page. It’s beautiful and touching.

LIZZIE

I must have replayed that scene like twenty times. It was everything I’ve been waiting six years for, and more. In fact, it was everything I didn’t know I wanted – the two Starks who, at first glance, didn’t really care about each other, suddenly being the only light in each other’s path. It’s poetic. It makes me want to cry, dammit. I did cry when they first hugged. And, despite the fact that I’ve watched that reunion more times than it’s healthy, I still get kind of misty-eyed whenever I see even a picture. It was beautiful. Just beautiful.

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Tyrion’s trying to put a band-aid on all that is wrong in Mereen with diplomacy. Do you think his efforts will be in vain, or is this the right approach?

CHLOE

I have to say that I’m a little nervous for Tyrion. I love that he’s finally allowed to put his considerable knowledge and experience to use and do some good, but things don’t work the same way in Meereen that they do in Westeros. I think he’s on the right track, but like Grey Worm said, I wouldn’t trust the Masters to follow through on their end of the bargain. Grey Worm and Missandei are on Daenerys’ version of the Small Council for a reason, and if they can combine their knowledge with Tyrion’s and truly take each other’s views into consideration, that should give them the best shot at resolving this tension.

CARYN

I worry because as much as Tyrion is extremely intelligent and he is almost like the Lincoln-character in this story, he does not know the people the culture or customs of the people he is trying to rule. Not that I think Daenerys did either but there is a bit too much simplicity to his brushing aside of the slave situation. The scene where he brings the prostitutes in still makes me cringe. I also wonder who will be there to make sure that the masters stick to their seven year arrangement, especially if they will be back in Westeros. I understand that slavery is wrong and should be abolished, but this situation reeks of colonialism, it would be better if this was handled by someone from one of the slaver cities, perhaps a former slave, who is able to maintain and be delicate to their people.

LIZZIE

I think things have to go bad, really, really bad, before they go well in this storyline. Sadly, that means I have reasons to worry about Tyrion. He’s not going to die, nor anything so tragic, but I don’t think he really understands the situation he’s in. He’s smart, but he’s not as knowledgeable in this subject as Grey Worm or Missandei, and he’d do well to listen to them.

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Ramsay claimed another victim. Were you expecting Osha to die? And what do you think this season has in store for Rickon? Does he have any hope of making it out alive?

CHLOE

I wasn’t expecting anything good to happen when Osha walked into that room. Ramsay has been built up as the ultimate villain at this point, which means it wasn’t his time to go. When Osha started going for the knife, I knew that was it… but whether she would be threatened, mutilated, or killed was anyone’s guess. I’m sad we got to see so little of her after her reintroduction, and I’m even more scared for Rickon now that she’s gone. Rickon should be reasonably safe – give or take a few appendages – until Jon arrives at Winterfell, since he currently serves as a huge bargaining chip for Ramsay. I think he does have hope of surviving the Boltons yet, but I hope he won’t be too damaged when that day comes.

CARYN

Sadly as soon as she reentered the show, I knew it was a matter of time. Which is such a waste of a good actress like Nat Tena. Ramsay had to do something to show what a threat he is to Rickon and the Umbers and I think killing Osha (rather than Rickon) was his way of her showing her that. And she’s tough as nails, she would have stopped at nothing in order to save Rickon. To answer your second question, no, if Ramsay makes it out of this alive it would be horribly unfair.

LIZZIE

I didn’t think good things were coming for Osha, but I sort of expected her to last more, I don’t know why. The fact that she’s dead, though, makes me think Rickon won’t survive this year. I mean, I know we all want another Stark reunion, but Rickon has never been important to the plot, and if he dies at Ramsay’s hands then Jon and Sansa’s desire for revenge will be even greater. That’s just the sort of thing Game of Thrones would do, isn’t it?

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Brienne and Tormund. He seemed quite taken with her. What do you think about this possible couple? Do you ship it?

CHLOE

YES. I didn’t know I needed it until it was happening. The looks Tormund was giving Brienne in this episode gave me so much life. I love that he seems to be into her – and honestly I hope she comes around, because that would be the definition of a power couple. He f*cked a bear, she fought a bear. What more can you ask for?

CARYN

It’s adorable, I ship it! It’s nice to see someone so ardently like Brienne for once, instead of her always pining after the men, someone is proud to want her. I fear that something terrible is going to happen to one of them, because I’m paranoid like that. I am also a Brienne/Jaime shipper, hopefully once he gets out from Cersei’s lap.

LIZZIE

I’m actively trying not to ship it, but here I am, sort of shipping it. I will say, however, that my first choice is still Jamie/Brienne. I love the idea of them being polar opposites. But the thing about Tormund is that he really and truly finds Brienne as awesome as we do. How can I be against that?

Courtesy of: Screencapped.net

Olena Tyrell and Cersei have finally joined forces to free Margery. But does Margary have her own plan? And will we see another walk of shame this season?

CHLOE

I think Margaery’s plan is to come out ahead no matter what. She’s crafty and determined, and I have no doubt she’ll go far. That said, Cersei and the Queen of Thorns worry me. They’re prepared to watch the world burn as long as their families stay safe – and their plan could very easily backfire in a very violent way. If we see another walk of shame, I think it will be interrupted by the Tyrell army – assuming they don’t arrive before then. I’m predicting mass carnage, and possibly a change in power. Tommen is fated to die, after all, and Cersei may just be the one to bring that tragedy about.

CARYN

I don’t think Margaery will get as far as the Walk of Shame, before the combined forces of the Lannisters and Tyrells put an end to the Sparrows, but I do think that Margaery will put the final nail in the coffin for Loras in order to put him out of his misery.

LIZZIE

I don’t think Margery is going to need Cersei or her family. I think she’s going to find a way out of there before they can plan to get her out. Why do I say that? Because Margery was surely planning something in her scene with Loras, and I really doubt it was turning on her brother. No, Margery always has a plan. And unless she’s undergone a personality transplant while jailed, she’s going to save herself, much like Daenerys.

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Daenerys  doesn’t need men to save her. She can kick ass all on her own. What did you think of how she got out of trouble? Did you feel it was repetitive or were you all for it?

CHLOE

I know I said Jon and Sansa’s reunion was everything, but Daenerys’ scene was truly EVERYTHING. Even though it was reminiscent of past scenes, most famously the Season 1 finale, I don’t see it as repetitive – more of learning from everything she has experienced and embracing her power (not only as a fireproof badass, but the leader the world deserves). Even so, this was a MAJOR coup. She just took out the leaders of an entire people, so it’s time to go big or go home. Dany’s big move has the potential to backfire, sure, but I have faith in my Khaleesi. I hope we see her leading the biggest Dothraki horde anyone has ever seen back to Meereen, taking back the city and setting it to rights, and then moving onward and upward toward the Iron Throne – dragon squad along for the ride.

CARYN

I loved it. It showed that she is capable of more than just her dragons, she has an intelligent mind that can formulate her own plans. It was a beautiful echo of what happened in Season 1 with an even stronger and mature Daenerys, I look forward to see what she’ll do in the future.

LIZZIE

To be honest I was so into the moment I barely had time to consider that this was reminiscent of the Season 1 finale. Because it was so, so badass. Not only was it Dany saying “I’m my own hero,” it was also her saying “I’m not a follower, I’m a leader…you’r leader. And if you follow me, we’re gonna win.”

Now, I don’t know if that’s true. I can’t be sure GRR Martin has a happy ending in store for any of these characters. But I really like the idea that, come hell or high water, Daenerys chose her own path. No one chose it for her.

Courtesy of: Screencapped.net

Sansa convinced Jon that it was time to take back their home. How do you feel about this decision? And did you like this new, assertive version of Sansa? 

CHLOE

I did feel that it was a little out of character for Sansa to be all fired up to go straight back to Winterfell as soon as she arrived at the Wall, prior to Ramsay’s letter. Even so, I feel that the episode as a whole shows that she too has come into her own – and I am all for it. Can we say Queen in the North? Jon and Sansa seem to be headed for the battle Melisandre saw in the flames. Whatever goes down at Winterfell is going to be big, and I’m nervous/excited to see it.

CARYN

This is the Sansa I’ve been waiting six seasons for and who I always wished she would become. She is the ultimate Queen of the North, and I’m glad Jon has her, not only to encourage him but to help lead him

LIZZIE

I think, for Sansa, getting to Jon was like a drop of water in the middle of the dessert. He was literally everything she needed to pull herself back together. Sure, she took a bath, got some decent clothes, but being in her brother’s arms was what really sustained Sansa, gave her strength. I wasn’t surprised to see her being the one to encourage Jon, I was proud. I always knew she had it in her, and the way she talked not just about how badly she treated Jon when they were little, but of home, endeared her to me more than ever. It’s time for the Starks to take back the North. I can’t wait.

Agree? Disagree? Have any more pressing questions you want answered? Sound off in the comments below.

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.

Lawyer. Dreamer. Geek. Eternal optimist. Fangirl since the dawn of time. Hates the color yellow, olives and cigarettes. Has a recurring nightmare where she’s forced to choose between sports and books. Falls in love with fictional characters.