GAME OF THRONES SEASON 6 EPISODE 4 – BOOK OF THE STRANGER

Brace yourselves people of the seven kingdoms, we may have just born witness to the best episode of all time. I kid ye not, it as if last week’s lackluster effort was simply to blind-sight fans before unveiling a surprise masterpiece.

Two Starks, In the same place. At the same time. Hugging. My emotions cannot take the joy, and surely someone we love will die pretty soon to pay for this brief moment of triumph, but right now I don’t care as JON AND SANSA ARE HUGGING. Plus Tormund and Brienne are my new favourite couple. Of course something had to break the Stark spell, and as usual, that something is Ramsay. Each ‘come and see’ built the horror, particularly when read in Jon’s dispassionate tones. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and it is Sansa, not Jon, who instigates the plot to wreak vengeance on the bastard of Bolton. Hang out your dire wolf flags – Sansa is taking back her birthright.

Indeed this episode was a smack in the teeth for all those critics who deem Thrones to be misogynistic. While Margaery picks delicate holes in the Sparrow’s highly crafted parable of an autobiography, Loras breaks under the strain. Take the sword away and the knight is dwarfed by his sister’s strength. The Iron islands glimpse of the week told a similar tale – Theon is broken in every way, longing only for home and family, whatever form that takes. His sister provides a chilly welcome until Theon explains he wants her, not himself, to rule. Well, obviously, Yara. He can’t look you in the eye, let alone fight you.

The only downer of the episode is that Tyrion continues to languish in Mereen devoid of all his usual wit. His political reasoning was sound and cunning, but I predict the slavers are a few steps ahead of our favourite dwarf in this game.

Tonight’s episode, though, belonged to Daenerys, the mother of dragons who does not need her children, or her advisers, to rescue her. The Khal’s grotesque threats echoed those of her late brother, a sure sign the Khal had signed his own death warrant. After she (literally) brought the house down, Dany’s cold yet fiery gaze as she emerged naked and goddess-like from the flames was triumphant. Those focusing on her nudity here have missed the point – this moment was not sexual. Hers was a stance of power, not vulnerability. Sorry Katniss, but we have a new girl on fire.

Dragons – None. This Khaleesi can save herself

Direwolves – Ghost remains silently scouting the wall with Jon. I didn’t see him, but I know he’s there, which makes me happy.

Deaths – Oh Osha. That wasn’t much of a Thrones return for you was it?

Nudity – The new Dothraki Goddess. Bow down muggles.

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