Sunday, May 15, 2016

Game of Thrones S6E4 Book of the Stranger Recap/Review (Spoilers!): Trial by Fire

Who didn’t tear up at the start of the episode?

Game of Thrones: Book of the Stranger started and ended with emotional events. The fourth episode of season six was filled the slow advancement of plots in all the stories. We are now almost half way through with the season and while events have happened, it feels like little has actually taken place.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The stories have been setup and they are going to advance in what seems a logical fashion, but with some unexpected twists. The episode overall felt like it was needed to advance all the stories, but we are still waiting to experience the major events of the season.

The start of tonight’s episode gave fans of both the books and show what they have wanted since the end of season one. The reuniting of two of the Stark children. I guess Jon isn’t technically a Stark, but he counts. It was a touching and powerful moment within the show and acted extremely well. Sophie Turner was impressive tonight with her portrayal of Sansa Stark. She has grown with the character on the show. Sansa gave Jon a much needed kick in the ass, and he knows he must face Ramsey Bolton and retake Winterfell. The letter sealed Ramsey’s fate, and it should make for an epic and satisfying conclusion when the bastards of the show face off. Yes I think Jon will be the end of Ramsey, but the showrunners still may throw a twist at us. Every scene at The Wall in the episode was well done, and also had a bit of much needed humor with how Tormund was eyeing Brienne. I couldn’t stop laughing, and I want to see them get together.

Littlefinger is back in the mix and bringing the Vale with him. He has played his hand and now thinks it is time to try and retake the North. I can only imagine he sees himself marrying Sansa, and then killing off the kid to unite the North and Vale. He then would have enough of an army to try and take the rest of the Seven Kingdoms. Littlefinger’s maneuvering has always been an intriguing part of the show, and it’s not really known what he is truly after. He is after power, but does he actually see himself as the King? I’ve never been able to see his end game, but it is fun to watch him position himself to take more power.

Tyrion on the other hand is a master politician and see’s the angles, but doesn’t care about seizing power. Tyrion is someone who seems just to do his duty in his own peculiar way. It is one reason why he is so popular, he doesn’t want to accumulate power or rule. He just doesn’t want to see the entire world burn. I’m not sure he knows what he is doing in Meereen, he knows the politics of Westeros, not here. Grey Worm could have provided a very ominous warning about how the Masters will use them, and not the other way around. Tyrion is smart, but I have a feeling the other two have valid concerns. It’s all going to be a moot point once Danny comes back with all of the Dothraki at her back. Though I’m hoping she doesn’t get bogged down in trying to retake the other cities and travels across the sea.

Once Danny comes across the sea what will she find in King’s Landing? A religious civil war is about to break out in the city and Cersei has orchestrated it. She allowed the High Sparrow to rise to power, and now she is going to cause a rift by trying to removing him. Allowing the Tyrell army into the city will backfire, but at least we will see some advancement in this story. I feel this is one part of the show which has bogged down. All the players have been in place all season, and we are just now starting to see some movement. I think the takeover will fail, and Margaery or Loras will die when the army invades the city. I liked the scenes with Margaery tonight, and showing she is the one who has not broken and giving Loras strength.  Hopefully this is one of the main focuses of the next episode and the story will advance quickly.

A couple of scenes tonight seemed out of place. Theon returning to the Iron Islands and talking with his sister could have been skipped. I’m not sure why he didn’t stay with Sansa, yes Jon would have tried kill him, but with Sansa there she could have stopped Jon. He has no purpose on the Iron Islands either. He can’t do anything to help his sister take power. I’m not sure what they plan to do with him, hopefully more than stand in the background. The other scene was Ramsey being evil again. We know he’s evil, and everyone hates him, no more proof of the point is needed. Why even bring the actress back who played Rickon’s protector just to kill her off?  I’m sure she was happy to be in a couple of more episodes, but it would have been nice for her to stick around longer. Her death served no purpose, or hasn’t to this point.
These scenes were quickly overshadowed by the ending. I have been critical of how they have handled Danny’s story so far this season. I didn’t like the departure the show took from the books. I have been waiting for her Dragon to show up and help her unite the Dothraki, but she didn’t need her Dragon. She only needed one person to help her lock the Khal’s inside so she could burn them alive. It was a fantastic scene and great to see Daenerys regain her authority. I’m still not sure it is believable for all of the Dothraki to bow to her just because she stood in the flames, but it was a powerful image. I would have just preferred it be with a Dragon at her back, but I like the twist of her not needing the Dragon to unite the Dothraki. Now she is the ultimate Khal and will go back to Meereen and then onto Westeros.

Overall the episode had a touching beginning and a powerful ending.  The middle was still mostly setup of what is to come, but I like how each story is advancing. There are so many moving parts it doesn’t seem like an hour is enough time to devout too each episode. Each storyline could get its own show, and I would be happy. I look forward to watching next week and I think we will get some major action by the end of the episode.

What did you think of tonight’s episode? Did you tear up at the start, and love the ending? Comment and let me know. 

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