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Game of Thrones, Episode 4: Book of the Stranger

Article and Photos by: Anthony Florez


Spoilers ahead. Spoilers ahead. Spoilers ahead.




Me last week: “Daenerys, stop taking shit from people.” And my reaction at the end of Sunday’s episode. It was nice to see her backing up all that trash talk with some real action, I was worried she would be all bluster (I have the very best dragons, no one in the world has dragons as amazing as mine, they’re huge. Everyone loves me in Meereen, I’m very very rich. I love Braavosi. – Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains) only to be somehow saved by her two would be rescuers, Daario and Jorah but they turned out to be merely sidekicks to her actual escape plan. Which was not so much an escape plan as a ‘burn this mother to the ground and seize control of the Dothraki’….plan. Although this plot point is slightly recursive, it succeeds in feeling much larger and more significant than the first time she stepped out of the flames.

daenerys targaryen fire game of thrones

With Tyrion now actively negotiating on her behalf I can’t wait to see what happens when the eventual betrayal predicted by Grey Worm comes to pass and Daenerys comes riding out of the plains with the entire Dothraki nation on her heels. “I don’t want to stop the wheel. I want to break the wheel.” Astapor and Yunkai would be make for nice practice because frankly, no one likes slave traders, they rank just below Nazis and Juggalos in likability polls.

Hey, look, Osha is back! Cool. I….oh, okay.


The common theme in Book of the Stranger seems to be setting up chess pieces for big moves, ass-kicking moves, on either side of the Great Sea. In King’s Landing the Ralph Wiggum of royalty, Tommen is finally being sidestepped while the adults make plans to end the Sparrow’s stranglehold on the city. Cersei and Jaime have talked the important parts of the council into bringing the military option to the table with the Tyrell matriarch acceding that the risk to Queen Margaery is preferable to the public shaming that will take place if she agrees to confess her sins. It’s incredibly weird finding it so easy to root for Team Twincest considering how awful these people are but that’s just Game of Thrones doing its thing. This should be an exciting showdown but I have a feeling, in order for this arc to have any gravity at all, something big is going to go wrong and the only character in King’s Landing I have any investment in at this point is Margaery. Because she’s strong and wily. And…you know. Clever. Whatever, I don’t have to explain myself.

More stuff happend with the Ironborn. I dunno, I still don’t care about these soggy goofballs, it’s one of the few arcs that hasn’t surpassed books so if you’ve read those you know what’s coming and it isn’t very compelling. There is a Kingsmoot approaching and Theon wants to help Yara with her chances in becoming the island ruler. More like plot’s moot. Amirite?


It’s nice to see Littlefinger back in action, doing his thing, subtly manipulating little Robyn Arryn who would probably still be breastfeeding if his psycho mother hadn’t taken a much needed half gainer through the Moon Door. Even better news, it looks like House Arryn is going to be taking their talents to South Beach the North to back Sansa Stark, again, moving another piece into position for something epic. I wish I had more to work with here and although this scene was brief, I get the feeling this is going to be significant. Not to get ahead of the episode but I can’t wait for the confrontation hinted at in the preview for next week between Sansa and Petyr,  “Did you know what Ramsay was?” Yeah. With his involvement in Joffrey’s long overdue demise, I get the impression that Lord Baelish has some functioning sense of a conscience in that conniving mind and with what she’s gone through at this point, he owes her big.


Speaking of which. after a few teased close-calls with the other Starks we finally get a genuinely good moment. Jon and Sansa reunited! I mean, technically they were not that close to begin with but after all these two have been through this is the greatest and best family reunion we could have hoped for. I mentioned last week I was a little concerned with Jon Snow’s apparent disenchantment with duty and honor after, you know, being betrayed and murdered for doing the right thing, but this was all he needed to find his purpose again, the thing that has always eluded him: family. And now they are united in purpose together, along with the Wildlings, after Ramsay Bolton’s baiting, malicious letter arrives. Smart move, you sadistic asshole, but you forgot one thing.

Bonus: Tormund Giantsbane and Brienne of Tarth?!

Anthony Florez
Currently residing in Austin, Texas, Anthony Florez enjoys unironically blogging about film, television, and food. An eight year veteran of the gaming industry, he intends to one day fulfill his dream of training his Black Lab to not only fetch a beer, but also to determine affordable labels without coming off like a hipster. He enjoys most genres of film with the exception of horror, can recall the best Jim and Pam episodes of The Office from memory, and isn’t bothered at all when Netflix suggests Bridget Jones’s Diary based on his viewing habits.

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