Game of Thrones Memory Lane 604: Book of the Stranger

Dany

With only a week (!) to go until the premiere of Game of Thrones’ sure-to-be-epic seventh season, we revisit the explosive season 6 episode “Book of the Stranger.” Written by the dynamic duo David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, the episode was further elevated by Daniel Sackheim’s pristine directorial vision, and premiered May 15th, 2016. Featuring Daenerys’ iconic destruction of the Temple of the Dosh Khaleen, the episode will forever be remembered as the rebirth of the Khaleesi.

We pick up right where we left off in “Oathbreaker” with Jon Snow grabbing his trusted Longclaw and planning to head south- until the sound of a horn breaks his heated conversation with Edd and the gates of Castle Black open to a truly glorious sight.

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I will never tire of seeing Brienne fulfill her oath to Catelyn by serving Sansa, purely because of Gwendoline Christie’s commendable performance. Here, Tormund and I share the same look of amazement as Brienne makes her way into the courtyard. Then, despite the icy background, the audience melts as two wolf pups finally reunite.

It’s hard not to get emotional, even when rewatching the episode, after seeing the suffering the Starks have endured as the lone wolves wandered Westeros. The two share a meal and reminisce about old times, wishing they could change the course of their lives. Yet, the two still manage to share a laugh in spite of all they’ve been through and we’re assured the Starks will fight on…especially when their home is currently occupied by flesh-peeling monsters.

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We also get a look into Jon’s current psyche post-resurrection and the defeatism he’s battling. After fighting for so long, he still isn’t done though he’s exasperated and hurting. Without another wolf at his side, I don’t think Jon would’ve found the strength to fight on. That the scene is so powerful is especially impressive because these two haven’t shared a scene since the first episode (in which they didn’t even speak to each other.) Despite the absence of an established relationship, the result is truly beautiful.

More reunions ensue as Brienne confronts the sorceress behind Renly’s demise and Christie continues to stagger me with her acting talents, as she displays her range, encapsulating Brienne’s thirst for vengeance and declaring herself Stannis’ executioner much to Melisandre and Davos’ horror before walking out like the BAMF she is.

Mockingbirds and falcons take flight, joining the battle for Winterfell, as Lord Royce almost flies himself before bowing to Baelish’s cunning ways. Though Robin Arryn may be the official Lord of the Vale, it’s clear who is truly in power here. His efforts save Winterfell in the end but a man like Petyr will need a hefty payment for his services which I’m sure we’ll see in season 7. Hopefully, his payment is a Needle in the eye.

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Meanwhile in Meereen, Tyrion teaches compromise much to everyone’s immediate dissatisfaction. He is a stranger to them and does not speak for their people or their experiences being someone of such privilege. However, more compromise follows as Grey Worm and Missandei support Tyrion’s ways by insisting (and quoting a “wise man” aka Tyrion), “We make peace with our enemies, not our friends.”

On the hunt for Khaleesi, Daario bros out with Jorah by bragging about Daenerys, much to Jorah’s disappointment. It’s not so much out of jealousy that his sourness derives from but more the disrespect he has for the Dragon Queen, proving he will always be Daario #2. The two partake in some rare hand-to-hand combat in Vaes Dothrak before Daario pulls out his blade against the sacred land’s laws. Thankfully, the sensible one (Queen Daenerys, obviously) has a much bigger plan and even bigger khals to fry.

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In King’s Landing, the High Sparrow preaches the value of time over materialism to Margaery who quotes the episode’s theme (and title) quite aptly. “And one day, you walked through a graveyard and realized it was all for nothing, and set out on the path to righteousness. Book of the Stranger, verse 25.” Director Daniel Sackheim’s excellent work with lighting blends perfectly with this illuminating moment.

A tragic sibling reunion of the Tyrell roses contrasts the wolves’ delightful one when we see Loras truly wilted and defeated. Unlike Jon, even with his sister’s encouragement, Loras cannot find the strength to move on which speaks to how far he’s fallen. In the Red Keep, the lioness is seething with rage over the Sparrows’ tightening grip on King’s Landing when Tommen confides in Cersei the planned walk of atonement for Margaery.

Yara

As the wise man previously said, “we make peace with our enemies, not our friends” and here is no different. I never imagined Cersei and Lady Olenna to be on the same side for any battle but the embarrassment brought on by the High Sparrow in the name of faith has been suffered enough. A rendition of “The Rains of Castamere” sets the scene as Cersei cannot help but smirk at the thought of her vengeance, especially when she’s recruited her enemies’ forces into helping.

We see another tense sibling reunion as Theon lands in Pyke. He pledges his loyalty to his sister Yara knowing she’s far more suited to rule and their relationship begins to heal. It’s a long-awaited moment for fans as Theon finally returns home and begins to ease his way back into the mighty waters of the krakens.

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Much to the audiences’ dismay, Osha meets a monster even she can’t kill though she makes it a point to note she’s “seen worse.” Though she knows she probably won’t live, she remains as fierce as ever in her final moments trying to outmaneuver Ramsay. The tension builds as she reaches for the knife before Ramsay plunges his into her throat.

At Winterfell, a fresh ship sails! Audience members were quick to pair up the ogling Tormund with Brienne of Tarth. However, the moment received a cut as deep as the killer one we just witnessed when a vicious letter from Ramsay Bolton arrives challenging Jon Snow. He informs him of the slain direwolf and capture of Rickon setting up the highly anticipated Battle of the Bastards that we cannot wait to “come and see.”

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Sansa further encourages her brother and convinces him to engage for Winterfell.

In Vaes Dothrak, Daenerys demonstrates why she’s known as “The Unburnt.” Emilia Clarke is astounding in this moment emanating the Dragon Queen’s burning confidence as she engulfs the temple and outdated ways in flames like her children would (to Ramin Djawadi’s rousing score “Khaleesi“). Needless to say, I found myself inspired in joining Jorah, Daario, and the Dothraki in bowing for my queen.

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Introductions: Belicho Paenymion of Volantis, former slaves of Meereen.

Deaths: Osha, Khal Moro, Akho, and the many fried khals.


Notable Quotes:

“You are small men. None of you are fit to lead the Dothraki. But I am. So I will.” – Daenerys

“Trust me. My own recent experience with slavery has taught me the horrors of that institution.” – Tyrion How many days were you a slave?” – Missandei Long enough to know.” – Tyrion Not long enough to understand.” – Missandei

Where will you go?” – Sansa Where will we go. If I don’t look after you, Father’s ghost will come back and murder me.” – Jon

“Yes, it’s in the past. It doesn’t mean I forget.” – Brienne


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Robert Ball’s Beautiful Death depicting the fiery rebirth of the khaleesi.

Join us tomorrow when Geoffery take us back to the revealing and heart-breaking episode 5 “The Door!”

42 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. I call this episode – Osha’s Bums Rush.
      I was looking forward to Natalia Tena being back, they had made Osha into such an interesting character that , for the first time, GRRM said he would rethink Osha’s book role.
      O well at least they brought closure to the character.
      Poor Doran! He just got a INDIFFERENCE-HEAVE-HO!

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    2. Dany’s hair is amazingly durable and absolutely unyielding to the flames! 🙂

      I was affected by the Jon – Sansa reunion but I was hoping for Ghost to make an appearance in that moment as well. The direwolf’s awareness and loyalty before Jon’s rez was a great moment in Ep2 (teasing a possible warging link for book folk) but he seems to have disappeared since. A Ghost reaction to Sansa during this scene would have overwhelmed me.

      Poor Osha. Harsh and expected.

      I am quite enjoying these Memory Lane pieces and the subsequent reactions during these sweltering summer days. A great rehash indeed.

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    3. The episode should have been named ‘siblings’ The stark reunion was so wonderful, that hug brought tears to my eyes. I hope that we see more of that this season! I love how Sansa pushes her brother to take back Winterfell and save Rickon. I do wonder if that might have been the reason for Jon forgetting Sansa’s warning about Ramseys tricks and rushing off to save little brother….

      Then Yara and Theon will have a similar scene – not with the physical emotion, but there just the same (and next episode when Yara gets through to Theon remnded me a bit of Jon and Yara)

      Then finally the Margery Loras reunion, brooke my heart, even more so now knowing whats coming.

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    4. I think this is probably the best episode of the season, overall.

      The Stark reunion is the emotional highpoint, carried by really good actor chemistry and the mere fact that the audience had been conditioned at this point not to expect something like this (I still remember how many people were convinced that Jon would leave before Sansa showed up, or that Sansa would be sidetracked and go somewhere else, right up until the episode aired). Things go downhill from here as soon as the plot really starts up again, particularly in regards to Sansa, as her confident declaration to Jon that she’d go against the Boltons herself if she has to becomes meaningless when she proves to be utterly incompetent beginning in 605. But it’s a nice moment in isolation.

      The resolution of this phase of Dany’s arc is solid, and strikes a good balance between giving her erstwhile rescuers something to do and still keeping Dany herself at the centre of things. On a structural level, I will say, it feels like Dany’s arc in Season 6 has no middle. Episodes 1-4 are a nicely structured arc about taking over the Dothraki. Episodes 9-10 wrap up her time in Essos and send her on her way. Episodes 5 to 8 are pretty much just killing time, in comparison.

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    5. This episode should have been called The Siblings. Jon and Sansa, Theon and Yara , Margery and Loras – so well done by all of the actors. In the first there was joy, the second uncertantl, and in the last love and horror. On rewatching I really enjoyed seening how these pairs reclaimed thier relationships, even as fleeting as the last one was.

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    6. Despite the main attraction of “Frying Tonight with the Dosh Khaleen” my favourite moments – with the hindsight of knowing how the season ends – are the fateful meeting of Cersei and Olenna; plus Jon & Sansa reunion (although it didn’t really get to me emotionally as much as it clearly did for many).

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    7. The hug!!! I rewatched that scene at least 20 times in the same day and many times after that. The feelings this scene gives me… I think I cannot describe them in simple words. Any way, I think it’s the best if I share a page from Lord Parramandas’s history writings.

      Lord Parramandas’s 4th review after getting overwhelmed with positivity again written on May 16th 2016

      Well, I’ve just watched the episode and it is time for my (brief) review:

      Castle Black: I was left speechless…. If Theon and Sansa hug nearly brought tears to my eyes, I don’t know what to say for Jon/Sansa reunion… I remember back then in 2011, when I first read AFFC and there is a chapter, where Sansa thinks about wanting to meet Jon again. I was all like “That will definitely never happen”. But now it really happened! I really like Jon’s new attitude. He is not a “typical hero” anymore, or at least he doesn’t want to be. And the famous pink letter (which is not actually pink), whose omission really pissed off a certain GoT administrator, finally arrived.

      Vaes Dohtrak: First of all, I’m NOT a Daenerys fan and certainly not a fan of “badass” Daenerys (season 3) but I can say, that I was really satisfied with her storyline. There was no “Drogon ex machina” and no “Stallion who mounts the world”. Daenerys managed to come up with her own plan with some help of ser Jorah and Daario, which didn’t involve dragons. My only issue with this scene is the death of khal Moro. I really liked this character and even in this scene, there was a contrast between him (A traditionalist) and other khals (more nasty ones): And another thing about nudity, it was just like Emilia said last year: She is willing to do a nude scene if it advances the storyline. So the “no nudity” clause has again proven false.

      Meereen: While Tyrion’s scenes were my least favorite in previous three episodes, I really liked them this time. It was nice to see old faces (Razdal, Yezzan). I’m still not sure in what direction will this go, but I think those Ghiscari cities are beyond saving. And Missandei was really pissed off in the scene with the noblemen.

      Winterfell: R.I.P Osha. Of course, it was expected. I don’t know what other role could she have played.

      Pyke: It was nice to see the contrast between Theon’s arrival in season 2 and this one. And I like that Yara’s character was more fleshed out.

      Runestone: Robin got a lot taller, but still immature as hell. Lord Royce continues to hate LF and LF responds with threats as usual. I hope we see more of Lord Royce in future episodes.

      King’s Landing: It is still Quiet before the Storm but this time, Kevan and Olenna were actually able to cooperate with Cersei and Jaime. And we have seen another side of Loras, a broken one. He is not that strong after all.

      I really have to consider, how to rank this episode but my initial thoughts are, that I liked it more than “Home” (which is among my low 10-rated ones – rank 13) so a 10 rating is definitely the case, possibly even reaching top 10.

      EDIT: I’ve put it on rank 9, ahead of The Laws of Gods and Men (rank 10) and behind And Now His Watch Is Ended (rank 8).

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    8. I just rewatched this episode last night. It’s in my personal Top 10 for the entire series. It would have ranked highly on the merits of the opening scene at Castle Black and the closing scene at Vaes Dothrak alone, but the rest of the episode is great as well. And it’s still only my fourth favorite episode of Season 6! What a year for the show!

      Jon and Sansa’s reunion is one of the most emotionally powerful moments in the entire series, even to this day. It’s incredible that we had never seen these characters speak to one another on screen before this moment, and yet this moment still represents a catharsis strong enough to reduce grown men and women to tears. It’s a testament to the incredibly powerful job that this series has done in establishing our collective investment in the Stark family and our enduring hopes for their happiness in the face of all that they have suffered.

      And the scene itself is just beautifully staged, shot, scored, and acted – Jon and Sansa may not have shared the screen before this, but the fact that Kit Harington and Sophie Turner know one another so well and are such good friends clearly helps sell the scene’s emotional heft. When they slowly approach one another, scarcely daring to believe their eyes, then rush into an embrace as the music swells … chills, and tears. Every single time. Even now, knowing that their reunion isn’t entirely smooth and there is more adversity waiting for them down the line, the scene itself has lost none of its power. It’s superb.

      Their ensuing conversation is brilliant as well. Little moments that I absolutely adore – Sansa apologizing for the way that she treated Jon, and then needling him to forgive her in a very little sister sort of way (I recognized a bit of my own dynamic with my own beloved sisters in this scene, and it brought a huge smile to my face). The way Jon laughs after Sansa tries what passes for ale at the Night’s Watch – it’s probably one of the easiest, most natural laughs we’ve ever seen from his character. Jon telling Sansa that he’ll watch over her, lest Ned’s ghost come back and murder him. Sansa insisting that Winterfell belongs to the Starks – all of the Starks, including Arya, Bran, and Rickon – and that she wants Jon to help her take it back for their family. All fantastic.

      And later in the episode, after Jon and Sansa read Ramsay’s chilling Pink Letter (“Come and see” still sends shivers down my spine), I love the way that Sansa reaches across the table and takes Jon’s hand in hers, urging him to fight for their home and their brother. Honestly, this is one of the best episodes in the series for both characters. And they’ve had some great ones.

      Oh, and the Tormund-Brienne ship sets sail in the same scene. Bon voyage, you crazy kids!

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    9. This episode should have been called “Woman Power”

      Theon is weak and grovels while talking to Yara and Yara tells him again and again stop crying and Yara is definitely the strong one

      Loras is groveling in jail and Margaery tells Loras to be strong and don’t let them win… Margaery is the strong one

      Jon Snow is still ready to get some sun and Sansa says no we must stay and get Winterfell back. Sansa is the strong one.

      and finally Jorah and…. Daario… who claims he knows how to handle Daenerys bow to the Queen Daenery’s the unburnt

      Queen Daenery’s final scene was good but otherwise kinda uneventful.

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    10. I had an epiphany. It suddenly accorded to me the resemblance between Cerci and Danny.
      Everybody speaks about the wrong doing of Cerci by burning the Sept and all her competitors. but if you think about it, Danny had also burned all of her Competitors and also burned their temple, meaning – she had also destroyed their religion. The correlation between the both is so amazing…that you need to put a second thought into it, Danny decided to take the power by killing! It’s important to understand this…because in the eye of the history Danny is no less evil then Cerci… who say’s she was meant to rule. Only she and she alone. The claim that she make is based on her mad father and her three dragon. Is her claim is just?
      Of course that Cerci is a little bit twisted but it’s like Cerci is Stalin and Danny is Putin…their both are power driven people and Stalin was DICTATOR but Putin is Dictator in a Facade Democracy…

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    11. Luka Nieto:
      firstone,

      Women are being powerful so that’s a problem and it makes the episode uneventful? Hm, okay. Sure. No problem there!

      You feel better now? Don’t put words in my mouth genius/crybaby… I never said Women Power is a problem… you did. facts are facts. Every season has a fairly uneventful mid season episode… the final scene is good… oh sorry great!!!!!!

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    12. Alon,

      Sorry, but you sound like Putin yourself.

      Can’t you see that the difference between Cersei and Dany is fundamental? Cersei’s actions serve her and her alone, she never thinks how they will affect other people – even the ones she claims to love (Tommen, Jaime). And she makes enemies simply out of spite and inborn hatefulness: neither Margeary, nor the Tyrels were her enemies per se before she started attacking them for no legit reason.

      Meanwhile Dany, though she can be as ruthless as Cersei, is still fighting for the causes everyone can recognize to be just. She wants to end slavery, she wants to end the Dothraki (and Ironborn) raping and pillaging lifestyle, because it brings nothing good and leads nowhere. Yes, being a young and a bit overpowered idealist, Dany makes a lot of wrong decisions and fails to take into account many different factors, but at least her intentions are good.

      Whereas Cersei… well she is very much Putin desperately trying to step into the boots of Tywin-Stallin but with very very little success.

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    13. Alon,

      Unless you consider that Dany was fulfilling the Dothraki religion’s greatest prophecy by becoming the Stallion Who Mounts the World. In which case she’s a messiah figure who is at the heart of the religious tradition, and is affirming that tradition, as opposed to Cersei, who was acting out of a desire for vengeance and temporal power, and was trying to destroy the religion that humiliated her. They both burned people en route to power, but the undertones are pretty different.

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    14. This episode was very good with the coming together of characters that have been separated across the seasons. The reunion between Jon and Sansa being a great moment as was Yara’s with Theon after her abortive rescue attempt.

      It was sad to see Osha’s demise in this episode. For a moment I thought it would be her who dispatches Ramsey, but that was not to be. She didn’t seem too concerned when she asked Ramsey if he ate the victims he flayed and he said – “Of course not!” – “I’ve seen worse!” – Osha replies 😉

      The scene at the end with Dany burning down the Temple of the Dosh Khaleen was epic! This time, with many seeing the power she has over fire and why one of her titles is ‘The Unburnt”. Jorah had seen this before when Dany walked into Khal Drogo’s funeral pyre and later emerged unscathed with her baby dragons, but Daario never. I was a spine tingling experience for me when they both bowed down to her along with the rest of the Dothraki. It was a great episode and one of the best of the series.

      My only complaint was the ‘gratuitous scene’ with Tormund eying up Brienne across the dinner table! I just couldn’t believe (and BCog neither) the amount of internet traffic that caused. Quite why so many fans thought this would be the start of a new romance beats me. It was pretty obvious from Brienne’s expression that she wasn’t interested. Those two characters are as different as chalk and cheese 🙂

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    15. God I loved this episode when it aired.Now I just want to say I hate everybody who ruined the reunion scene for me lol.Thanks a bunch.Anyway that scene by the fireplace is the most beautiful Sansa has ever looked.

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    16. “Book of the Stranger” is a really good episode. I’ve moved it around between 3rd to 5th for the season. The fantastic opening and closing scenes can put it at my #3 but I tend to drop it with the middle block after Jorah and Daario find Daenerys.

      While it was ‘fine’ on initial viewing, prior to the finale most of the S6 King’s Landing stuff (specifically HS inclusion) has been a little slow/dull/flat for me during subsequent viewings. The sequence of HS talking to Margaery (4.5 minutes), Margaery/Loras, Cersei/Tommen, Cersei/Jaime/Kevan/Olenna, is 12.5 minutes all in succession. That goes into 3 minutes of Theon/Yara reuniting and 3 more minutes of Osha’s death scene. Those are all necessary scenes for the story but I question putting them all together in a twenty minute block. I’m also disappointed that they couldn’t fit in a little more of Natalia/Osha instead of killing her right after bringing her back.

      The Robin/Littlefinger/Royce scene wasn’t very good imo. There’s some cringe worthy material in there and only one guess is needed as to what.

      The last reason why I can put the episode 5th is because it was one of the two that didn’t include Arya (BotB). She’d just gotten her sight back after finally beating the waif while blind and they skip an episode. There is more in her book training that could have been included.

      This is an interesting episode because it seems to be the/another transition episode for Sansa in the eye’s of a lot of viewers. In MY eyes she may have gotten to her peak in likeability through her Ramsay captivity, escape and emotional reunion with Jon up to the enjoyable little fireside bonding chat… (and I’ll add that I think Sophie did a pretty good job during that string as well). However, it was pretty much right at the end of this episode that shit started hitting the fan about Sansa… and some fans didn’t like it in the face. 😉

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    17. Jenny:
      God I loved this episode when it aired.Now I just want to say I hate everybody who ruined the reunion scene for me lol.Thanks a bunch.Anyway that scene by the fireplace is the most beautiful Sansa has ever looked.

      I agree. Sansa looks fantastic in that shot.

      Speaking of Sansa, I wonder if Lord Royce will have an opportunity to tell Sansa how sorry he was to hear of her trouble on the way to the Fingers? He did, afterall, nearly lose his life for merely suggesting that LF intentionally gave her to the Boltons. He certainly doesn’t care for how much sway LF has with Robin, not to mention having his honor questioned.
      I think her stock as a “player” would rise significantly if she orchestrates Robin Arryn’s demise, effectively cutting LF’s legs out from under him. She could then install Lord Royce as Lord of the Vale. For reasons mentioned above, and even though he is a man of honor, I think he’d be down with that. Robin is weak and has power, which makes him dangerous. He’ll have to go, surely.

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    18. Jared:

      Jon and Sansa’s reunion is one of the most emotionally powerful moments in the entire series, even to this day. It’s incredible that we had never seen these characters speak to one another on screen before this moment, and yet this moment still represents a catharsis strong enough to reduce grown men and women to tears. It’s a testament to the incredibly powerful job that this series has done in establishing our collective investment in the Stark family and our enduring hopes for their happiness in the face of all that they have suffered.

      Very well put!

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    19. I do must say that I find it a bit hard to believe that such a massive patch of land such as Dohtraki Sea would consist of only 7 khals and 100 000 men. If the writers or GRRM are trying to sell an idea that this is a whole Dohtraki population, it’s not really believable to me.

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    20. Jenny:
      God I loved this episode when it aired.Now I just want to say I hate everybody who ruined the reunion scene for me lol.Thanks a bunch.Anyway that scene by the fireplace is the most beautiful Sansa has ever looked.

      Reunion scene is beautiful regardless of what happened after or what people say. Do you think the hug was not genuine at that moment?

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    21. I expected to like the reunion scene but had no idea it would leave me a teary mess. It was so perfect, the look on Jon’s face as he slowly realized the redhead in the courtyard was Sansa, the look of bewilderment on Edd’s face as he looked at the shock on Jon’s and the absolute gasp of relief as Sansa saw him come toward her.

      I remember either reading or hearing an interview with the director who said he hadn’t realized quite what a big deal the reunion was until he looked around while filming and saw most members of his crew had tears running down their faces. Well yeah, dude, don’t you know the story?

      At the time the episode aired and immediately after, I watched the high sparrow stuff and the Loras parts with interest. All of them were great in their respective parts, and I had no idea where all of it was heading.

      Now, (hanging my head just slightly) I mostly fast forward through them. The High Shoeless One was already on my last nerve by that time, and the smirk on his face as he deceived and manipulated one high-born after another was just begging to be smacked. He wasn’t humble anymore, he was already a pompous ass. I was dreading that he’d get more powerful. Thankfully Cersei took care of that.

      Everything leading up to Dany’s confrontation with the Khals was fun. Jorah to Dario: you didn’t get much discipline as a child, did you? Made me laugh. I liked Michael Huisman’s Daario. I’m going to miss him even if she doesn’t.

      Emilia was at her tough little best in that scene. She stood there with that wicked little smile as Khal Moro screamed “You crazy c–t, no Dosh Khaleen for you, blah blah” Bye guys, she got you and stood there in all her gorgeous naked sooty glory as your people forgot you in an instant.

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    22. Jenny,

      ?? Who ruined it for you? Most people thought it was excellent, even those on the filming crew. Or are you joking and I’m not catching on fast today?

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    23. Thronetender:
      Jenny,

      ?? Who ruined it for you? Most people thought it was excellent, even those on the filming crew. Or are you joking and I’m not catching on fast today?

      I think she meant someone spoiled the scene before she could watch it.

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    24. I loved the imagery and symbolism in the Jon/Sansa reunion scene.

      Jon being dressed near identically to Ned when Sansa last saw him.

      Sansa being dressed more like Cat, to illustrate her humbling and reconnection with her family.

      Jon appearing like a clone of Ned bookends Sansa’s period of disconnection/isolation from her family that began with Ned’s execution.

      At Ned’s execution Sansa was looking down upon him, illustrating her elevated status and immersion in the aristocracy of King’s Landing. Over the coming years her status and ego would be gradually diminished to the point at this reunion where it is Jon, of all people, in a role reversal looking down on Sansa.

      And Jon walks down the steps, maintaining eye contact the entire time, to reunite with Sansa on the same level.

      Also, remember The Hound’s interactions with Sansa back in Season 2…

      “Spare me. You can’t tell me Lord Eddard Stark of Winterfell never killed a man.”
      “It was his duty, he never liked it.”
      “Is that what he told you? He lied. Killing is the sweetest thing there is.”

      “Your father was a killer. Your brother is a killer. Your sons will be killers someday. The world is built by killers. So you better get used to looking at them.”

      …and then we see Jon jadedly reeling off a list of all the men he’s had to kill and Sansa holds his gaze the entire time.

      This moment illustrates Sansa’s maturity while simultaneously re-establishing, via Jon’s anguish at what he has been compelled to do, one of her lost innocent notions about her father and his attitude to killing.

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    25. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man:
      This moment illustrates Sansa’s maturity while simultaneously re-establishing, via Jon’s anguish at what he has been compelled to do, one of her lost innocent notions about her father and his attitude to killing.

      I’m not clear what you mean there. Sansa never accepted the idea that her father liked killing people; she held her own against the Hound’s nihilistic bullshit.

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    26. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man,
      I second my friend Dornish Tyrell‘s opinion here : very beautifully put.

      I would argue just a tiny point though (because I am thoroughly annoying) : Sansa’s status and ego were not, in my opinion, gradually diminished but pretty much shattered with Ned’s death. Of course, after that, she kept on wearing nice (if oversized) dresses and living in apparent comfort for a while however all the most luxurious silk in the world cannot protect anyone from a sadistic maniac with a crossbow, a bitterly perverse queen, a deranged and homicidal aunt or a crazed and vicious dog with a love for blades.

      Her struggle for survival started the very moment the sword separated Ned’s head from the rest of his body and did not stop until she passed the gates of Castle Black.

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    27. Lord Parramandas:
      I do must say that I find it a bit hard to believe that such a massive patch of land such as Dohtraki Sea would consist of only 7 khals and 100 000 men. If the writers or GRRM are trying to sell an idea that this is a whole Dohtraki population, it’s not really believable to me.

      Seems reasonable if this is army size based on real history, plus “100,000” is of course an approximation

      According to the Secret History of the Mongols, Ghengis Khan had an army of 105,000 strong by A.D. 1206. This number grew to 129,000 by A.D. 1227, according to Rashid-al-Din_Hamadani in his Jāmiʿ al-tawārīkh. Of the latter figure, 27,000 were new units raised from Manchuria.

      This would have been comprised of “Tumens” of roughly 10 000 men with a commander, so only about 10 commanders or so.

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    28. Ser Not Appearing in this Series,

      Yes, I would understand if this is an army, a united force. But I always imagined there are more Dothraki in Essos, especially considering how massive the Dothraki Sea is. And the saying “you cannot drown in Dothraki sea as the horde would always find you” – it seems to me the “sea” is swarmed by hordes and 7 khals seems a bit too little to me. Unless not every khal attended the meeting.

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    29. Young Dragon:
      I actually really like all of the High Sparrow scenes. He’s a truly fascinating character.

      I remember when I originally watched S6, they were not among my favorites. But now that I’m rewacthing it, I like them a lot more and his monologues are usually quite rich.

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    30. Lord Parramandas:
      Ser Not Appearing in this Series,

      Yes, I would understand if this is an army, a united force. But I always imagined there are more Dothraki in Essos, especially considering how massive the Dothraki Sea is. And the saying “you cannot drown in Dothraki sea as the horde would always find you” – it seems to me the “sea” is swarmed by hordes and 7 khals seems a bit too little to me. Unless not every khal attended the meeting.

      Quite possible that not every Khal is onboard, in history Genghis Khan and Attila had to first unite the tribes for their armies, and Khal Drogo’s khalasar only had 40 000 IIRC so there could be factions who would stay independent.

      I haven’t read AWOIAF so maybe that gives more info.

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    31. This is one of my favorite episodes of the entire show.
      Here are some reason why:

      – Jon and Sansa reunion, till this day, makes me cry, even knowing what happens after. It is just so sweet and Kit and Sophie were F A N T A S T I C in it.
      – I love the sibling theme in this episode, and I love how the sisters (Yara, Marg, and even Sansa kind of) pushing their brothers to fight through something
      – Dany’s scene with the khals is one of my absolute favorites. The Dothraki khals way of thinking is horrible and I am glad she ended it.

      Just fantastic all in all.

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    32. Sean C.,

      Perhaps she didn’t lose it altogether, but her innocent image of her father would surely have been dented.

      We see her give up on praying and repeatedly condemn herself for her naivety. There’s no doubt that her outlook was tainted by her experiences.

      I think that hearing Jon’s troubled perspective on killing would have restored any damage that may have been done to her perception of her father.

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    33. Ramsay’s 20th Good Man: This moment illustrates Sansa’s maturity while simultaneously re-establishing, via Jon’s anguish at what he has been compelled to do, one of her lost innocent notions about her father and his attitude to killing.

      Lost innocent notions is well put. Brutally lost, for both of them. Sansa went to Kings Landing with happy notions of being a princess and Jon went to the Wall with notions of fulfilling a family legacy, spending time with beloved Benjen, and a grand idea of guarding the realm with no notion of the horror that came with it. No wonder he is so anguished. I remember that he said to Tyrion that Tyrion was the only one to tell him the truth about what was to come. I hadn’t thought of a Tyrion/Jon reunion until just now, but obviously that will happen and I’m looking forward to it.

      You are right, Sansa has matured. I don’t know about all these reports of her become a manipulator, but it’s certain her views of life are no longer sugar-coated.

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    34. I wonder if people are so excited about season 7, that they don’t want to talk about season 6 – not many comments in the posts. Thats ok, I’m enjoying the write ups and the comments that do appear?

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    35. In my opinion this is a solid but not excellent episode. One which is enjoyable but doesn’t hit the heights of the two before it. I’d give it a 7/10 same as the Red Woman.

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