Game Of Owns: Book of the Stranger

Episode 329 – Book of the Stranger
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We’ve been in this together for years, friends. A Stark reunion has come. Dany remains unburnt. Now, a podcast must process.

Discussion Topics
Catching breath
Wreathed in flames
Plans in the North
The story is moving
Baelish is BACK
Wishful thinking
Politics in Meereen
Flux in King’s Landing
Theon is home

What do we even do with all of these feels?



***Hannah’s technology malfunctioned during the recording of this episode. Please excuse the poor audio!

42 responses

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    1. Tormund + Brienne defs the best thing this episode.

      Great episode, the last scene confused me a bit though. It was cool, for sure, but I need some clarification on the immune to fire thing. We know it’s not a Targ trait due to Viserys, and from Jon if we assume he is a Targ. We know that Dany does burn herself after walking out of the flames unburnt in A Game of Thrones. We know it’s magical and many have suggested it’s the result of Mirri Maz Duur’s death and/or magic. I’m curious where the magic came from this time, was it the result of killing all the Khal’s at once?

      Kings Landing did drag a bit, I just did not care a single bit about Margaery and Loras. It feels like this seen is just to remind us of their existence. It does obviously set up a plot by Margaery but I still don’t care that much, it was a boring scene. The rest of Kings Landing was okay.

      Greyjoy reunion was great, top notch acting from the two. Alfie Allan, hats off mate, that guy bloody nailed it. Hype for Kingsmoot!

      There’s a lot of casual show fans on the internet that don’t know Euron wins the election. I’ve seen so many “OMG Yara is going to lead the Ironborn, you go girl”, or something to that effect.

      The Wall was great, Stark reunion hype machine paid off, now we’re in the build to the Battle for the North. Davos ain’t gonna be happy when he finds out about Shireen. Jon could have reacted more angrily to the Pink Letter but whatever, I’m okay with it. It’s done to give some empowerment to Sansa, who really kicked arse in this episode. It’s about bloody time something went her way.

      The Vale… really Petyr? Really?? That was your ingenious plan? I like the actor’s portrayal of Littlefinger but the writers are really decreasing his IQ in the show. Kinda annoying. And it looks like he’s mended his teleportation device for next episode. I hear the reason it’s called “The Door” is because he turned the moon door into said teleportation device.

      Winterfell – Predictable, but at least she’s dead now. I know that sounds grim but I was always bored with Osha.

      Overall I’d give it a solid 9/10. Pretty damned impressive. Probably the best so far.

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    2. By the way has anyone noticed Jon is already wearing Stark armour as early as the first scene of the episode? Where’d he get that from? Was it first name “Plot”, last name “Convenience”?

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    3. Such a great episode. It finally feels like things are moving along in the direction they should be. Ugh, such a long wait for next Sunday!

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    4. House Applebee,

      He brought them when he came from WF?

      It doesn’t really matter though, to me at least. A change in uniform symbolizing a change in character is preaty standard for TV.

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    5. we can see the change in jon 2.0 he is less “batman” than before he smile more,laugh more an even make joke but he is also more human and more vulnerable he is hurt ,sad and afraid….he died and saw nothing on the other side and saw nothing and now he realize that he have a second chance and want to live without wasting his life following a cold and ridid dogma…sansa seems to implied that jon will be the leader of the strike team agains the bolton and people will rally to him…

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    6. Very emotional scene for Jon and Sansa – although the Jonsa thing is annoying! They are not a couple – that was definitely a brother/sister (I haven’t seen you in ages, and so much has happened) hug!

      Tormund and Brienne was funny! .. and very well matched I think! 🙂

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    7. Mihnea,

      Of course it doesn’t matter, I never said it did matter. It was a quirk of the episode, plot convenience, just like how Littlefinger is going to teleport to the Wall. For plot sake we don’t need to see his journey so we just jump to the destination where the drama happens. There is no way he brought it from Winterfell, this is just plot convenience. I am well aware what it symbolises, doesn’t change the fact that it’s plot convenience.

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    8. dragonbringer,

      No he did not say that. I challenge you to find that explicit quote. He said magic, he never said what magic and where it came from. Dany isn’t immune to fire because she’s special she gets burned on occasion in the books.

      “It gives me a chance to clear up a common misconception. Targaryens are not immune to fire. The birth of Dany’s dragons was unique, magical, wonderous, a miracle. She is called The Unburnt because she walked into the flames and lived. But her brother sure as hell wasn’t immune to that molten gold.” – The actual quote from George.

      “Her skin was pink and tender, and a pale milky fluid was leaking from her cracked palms, but her burns were healing.” – Daenarys X, A Dance with Dragons.

      Dany is not immune to fire, her skin burns. The original pyre scene in season 1/book 1 is an instance of magic. Either blood magic, i.e. death for life, Mirri’s spell, or possibly the dragons themselves. Nothing has been confirmed other than it has something to do with magic.

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    9. Daenarys delivers the 5 best Things in Life – all in one scene:

      1) Killing another Khal
      2) Conquering a city
      3) Taking (freeing) Slaves
      4) Breaking a wild horse (Dothraki)
      5) Seeing a beautiful woman naked for the first time

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    10. Nice episode, someone else asked the question on another article as to why the Episode title and this is what I got when I thought through it

      Basically goes into the passage Marge read out aloud, eg walking through the Graveyard is a metaphor for walking through the “Valley of Death” as it were

      So it is about going through experiences of death of some kind and finding renewal of purpose through doing so and passing to “the other side”

      Starting with High Sparrow, he woke after a debauched party to the fact he was dead inside and went on a new path without looking back

      – Jon Snow is quite literal, he walks through Valley of Death kind of literally with the Ed referenced Hardhome and then actually died and then comes back and as we see from the clothing re-claims his Stark identity
      – Sansa is similar, living in her Home occupied by her enemies and treated as she was is a kind of “death” experience emotionally etc, eg she was ready to die in Winterfell while there was still something left of her. Now she is talking about re-taking it on behalf of the Starks (Home is where the Heart is and all that)
      – Brienne obviously walked through the Graveyard and all them dead bodies to avenge Renly as discussed but now she has new purpose (serving Sansa)
      – Mel and Davos had to go through Stannis death all over again, Shireen question was asked but Mel has renewal through deciding that Jon is PtwP now and Davos seems similarly inclined to help the Starks
      – Obviously Marge and Loras are going through a deadening experience, but Marge is passing through to the other side etc and will likely be released soon it seems
      – Theon has gone through a massive deadening experience, Yara too with her old man but her relationship with her brother (eg “I was told that can’t be true, Theons been dead a long time”) but we see here their relationship is being renewed
      – Jorah is basically a walking dead man, passing through the valley of death etc
      – Masters and Nobility are very similar, eg their attitudes but the Masters having to face the death of their economic model and to the former slaves a single day in slavery is like death etc etc
      – And of course Dany, going through the death fire experience which is a kind of purification but there’s the death of all the old tradition and the birth of a new one, hence the reason her experience harkens back to the death of Drogo and birth of Dragons moment

      There also the strong theme regarding tradition – and the death of it

      From this perspective the book of the Stranger and how it relates to a certain “Gravedigger” character is fascinating

      Comparing Jon to said book characters arc where he has found peace on the QI, there’s a bit of a theme that despite wanting peace after so much conflict both Jon and the GD are pulled back into the world by necessity

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    11. Good episode

      Basically the High Sparrow is a Master Class in manipulation

      He has spoken to Tommen knowing he will blab and that will spur the Tyrells into some form of action

      He has humiliated Cersei as Lady of House Lannister, next his main objection is Ser Loras as heir of Higharden but as far as the King and Queen goes they need a bit more work

      IMO what he is doing is getting them to get all dressed up looking aggressive (except Mace lol) but as we know from filming photo spoilers

      Then he’ll throw the aggressively postured Lannisters/Tyrells a curve ball by releasing a “tamed” King and Queen

      The thing here is that the sight of Tyrell troops in the city will unnerve the KL populace with memories of Tywins sacking so that will mean the High Sparrow despite his oppressiveness with smashing everything fun will be able to galvanise the populace to basically eject Lannisters/Tyrells from the city and they may be able to take over the Red Keep (the other Twin Pillar of society along with the Sept of Baelor which they control)

      He will then follow up Cersei’s humilation by executing Ser Loras

      The irony of all this, is that inbetween the feeble performance etc there’s the fact that Pycelle is right and is actually giving good advice

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    12. Important Re: Daenerys Rebirth

      Parallels have already been drawn between Jon & Dany – not least how they have respective hordes of wild savages on their sides, one, the Northener, has snowy cold wildlings, the other, a Targaryen, has desert bedouin dothraki….


      In the Inside the Episode D&D mentioned how this S6E4 rebirth was obviously supposed to mirror her first walking out of fire (S1E10) but on a muuuuuch bigger scale…cos “only a score of people saw her” first time.
      That first one wasn’t witnessed by the rest of the Dothrakis, so after she went back to Dothraki-land (where we saw her start) she was in deep trouble for dishonouring her duty & tradition – this 2nd rebirth on mass scale was needed for mass support

      …They also drew a parallel between the other rebirth this season, Jon’s.

      So does anyone think that could mean Jon’s gonna have another sorta rebirth in the future?
      Only a score of people saw him resurrected after seeing him dead the first time…so now that he’s back in the North, away from the Wall, (were we saw him start), the rest of the Northeners are gonna be cross he’s dishonoured his NW oath & tradition, so to get them to follow him, there’s gotta be another similar resurrection, on a mass scale…

      Ice – Fire
      Jon (Stark) – Daenerys Targaryen
      Direwolf – Dragonsss
      Wildling savages following him – Dothraki savages following her
      Bound by NW oath – Bound by DK tradition
      Just broke it, gonna be in trouble* – Broke it, was in deep trouble (till now)
      Resurrected in front of loyal friends – Resurrected in front of few loyal friends
      (Davos, Mel, Tormund, few wildlings, Edd) (Jorah, those dothraki bloodriders,)
      ?? another resurrection for Jon?? – S6E4 rebirth cancels trouble she was in!!

      * Remember it was the first thing the show introduced in S1E1, Ned chopping off a NW deserters head off!

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    13. As far as Tyrion goes

      What he is doing I think is divide and conquer, directly threaten all of them and all the opposing forces unite

      But basically one trick if you like is to offer terms that are acceptable to some Masters but not to others and so break their united resolve

      Sounds like it is followed up next week with Tyrion/Varys attempting to work on the former slaves side of the equation through the Red Priests. This is why I enjoy the Green Grace and Sparrows arc, a powerful way to control the masses and Napoleon observed is via religion or rather religious institutions

      All in all though, as we can see with Dany following Ser Barristans advice last time and the riot that followed, the two sides are simply impossible to reconcile

      Should be pointed out that the Masters attitudes is no different with regards to the Feudal Nobility in reference to the “common” public

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    14. lol, 4 in a row

      Lastly, I think this week and next week are kinda twin episodes but

      Seeing Dany at the end presiding over the Dothraki horde which has infected Jorah smack bang in the middle, the idea of the Dothraki been infected en masse and then bringing the plague over makes them kind of like the Walking Dead, ala Wights

      Then seeing the preview trailers with NK and Wight hordes, hard to escape the sense from it all that it is almost like they are twins which is a new way to thinking about Dany I’ve never thought of

      Eg last season we got a theme through dying children (Shireen and the kids who killed Karsi) that there is no future under R’hlorrism and Otherism (kids = future and dead kids = no future), Jon approaching the Wall with Tormund and Karsi’s kids wasn’t just about the stare-off with Alliser Thorne, there’s a theme there that Jon is fighing for the future etc

      Of course Olly stabbing Jon means the NW no longer “holds true” as Old Nan put it, and Olly getting hanged is a metaphor for the NW having no future etc

      My point is, imagine the NK leading hordes of Wights from the North and from the other direction we’ve got Dany coming up from the South (Dorne) with hordes of undead Grayscale infected Dothraki

      Hard to tell the difference and Westeros is getting squeezed from both sides (Ice and Fire)

      Makes me kind see Jon in a slightly new light, eg he is a mix of both and the “What’s in the Tower reveal” will be quite epic when it occurs

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    15. Ahgolor:
      Daenarys delivers the 5 best Things in Life – all in one scene:

      1) Killing another Khal
      2) Conquering a city
      3) Taking (freeing) Slaves
      4) Breaking a wild horse (Dothraki)
      5) Seeing a beautiful woman naked for the first time

      Very nice observation

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    16. High Sparrow was interesting for the first time in a while when he was talking about his backstory. “Damn these hangovers, I’m gonna go and become a religious fanatic!”

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    17. Jonsa, yeah not a couple,,, yet

      Yeah that brother/sister thing aint going to last if Rickon dies and R + L does equal J you will start to see the a change

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    18. The teleporter with Theon was mildly annoying, but it moves the plot forward, so I don’t care as much as I thought I would. Littlefinger at the Vale doesn’t bother me as much (as he’s been missing since 5×07), but it looks like he’s back at Castle Black next week, which… ah, well. I stopped trying to coalesce the time on this show a while back. And Osha’s death was obnoxious. I just can’t with Ramsay.

      That being said, I enjoyed the hell out of this episode. Propulsive stuff that moved the plot forward with some great woman power throughout the episode. Jon and Sansa reuniting was everything and I loved the small consistency with Sansa not being very fond of ale. And that ending with Daenerys. Kudos to them for pulling that one off. I was expecting Drogon Ex Machina. My full thoughts

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    19. Ahgolor:
      Daenarys delivers the 5 best Things in Life – all in one scene:

      1) Killing another Khal
      2) Conquering a city
      3) Taking (freeing) Slaves
      4) Breaking a wild horse (Dothraki)
      5) Seeing a beautiful woman naked for the first time

      Oh, nice catch there!

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    20. Giocrypt,

      Why does everything have to be about being a couple?
      Sansa and Jon are brother and sister even if it turns out Jon is not Her actual brother and just a cousin. They grew up as brother and sister. It would just be weird. Like woody Allen saying ‘she’s not my actual daughter’ – oh yes she was.
      The reason that scene was so moving was because a brother and sister had reunited after so long and so many deaths and trials and tribulations, not because ‘they look like a cute power couple and they should totally get together’.

      Tormund and Brienne on the other hand…. We just need some light relief sometimes. (It is very ‘bear and the maiden fair’ though!)

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    21. I went back and read the open question and I totally called that end scene. The trailer and filming reports pretty much telegraphed it, though, showing Daenerys holding a burning brazier and reporting the temple was burned down. I’m surprised so many people thought something else would happen. Regardless of what George said, we’ve seen show Dany resist heat multiple times, from the boiling bath, the hot dragon egg, Drogon’s breath. It’s time to accept that show canon is different and dragons can’t be harmed by fire. This isn’t even the first time she used fire to kill a bunch of people and escape unharmed. She did the same thing in the House of the Undying.

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    22. Kellie is Coming,

      I can only say that it makes sense story wise and there are other reasons but why spoil it, may not happen but I see to many signs that point to it.

      Whole heartedly agree on Tourmound and Brienne though

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    23. Terrific episode.

      I cannot believe how many people have said that the High Sparrow is “genuine” – that he really believes the bullshit he spewed at Margery. Absolutely not at all how I saw it.

      There are some interesting story lines in this episode which may fit the “Book of Stranger” title, but to me its a hard stretch.

      Stranger is one of the 7, he is the god of death. Thus, it seems we are foreshadowing death in this episode. And, HS’s story about how he found faith parallels Paetry Baelish’s famous sexposition speech back in season 1. He was telling us that he always wanted the power that the 1% have and he tried to grab it by being their cobbler by spending the money he made like they did. But, he realized that HE was never gonna gain power playing THEIR game. Just like Littlefinger realized. He had to find it another way.

      Thus, he found the church as his weapon and the common people as his army. Make no mistake HE WANTS POWER. He wants the church to reign equal with the crown. He does not care about the people. He knows damn well that Cersei will never allow this. But, if she is out of the way, then Tommen is ripe for converting.

      It seems to me that Red Wedding, Part II (minus an actual wedding) has been foreshadowed here. HS did not tell Tommen about Margery’s impending walk of atonement because he trusts the mighty boy king. He told him to 1)gain his trust 2) set up Cersei, knowing Tommen will run to her.

      Lady Olenna has or will make a deal with the HS. I think she already has. I think maybe the whole small counsel has. Cersei has now made a plan to open KL’s gates to the Tyrell army believing that they are a friend (like the mad king did for the Lannisters themselves allowing for the sac of KL). And, Cersei and Jamie have ordered Kevan to stand down. Even if Kevan is not involved, and tries to use his army, the Tyrell army will be there to support the sparrow and the FM.

      Further, Tommen does not want Margery harmed. Cersei is going behind his back. When the plan does not work because Olenna betrays Cersei, Margery “converts,” and Tommen sees that his mother went behind his back, Cersei will be left blowing in the wind. Tommen will order the trial. She will choose violence. We all know which Bowl this will be and how it ends.

      I see a blood bath and a destabilization of KL by episode 10.

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    24. Will you take Owns here?

      Mine goes to Tormund’s silent acting when chewing in front of Brienne. You could HEAR what’s going on in his mind: silently humming “The Bear and the Maiden Fair” !

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    25. Ned's Direwolf,

      The only problem with your thinking is that if R+L=J is true as many believe then Jon is both Fire and Ice. That would make Sansa/Bran the Ice in your equation. Jon will be the one that bridges that gap between Dany and Sansa to unite and fight the NK and his army.

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    26. I think that Tyrion’s 7 year plan deconstructed is essentially the exact same plan Dany enacted in the books. Forgetting the 7 year limit, Dany promised to marry Hizdar and allow the other cities to continue slaving if they stop the violence in Meereen. I wouldn’t be surprised if the same thing happens to Tyrion as happened to Dany as a result. They Master’s continue slaving, set up a market near Meereen and use the time to plan for war. It will feel like a victory when the deaths in the streets stop and some Masters may want to take the deal (as in the books) but many of the Masters will never stop plotting. Tyrion’s 7 years plan at least says that they have to phase out slavery and eventually stop completely.

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    27. House Applebee,

      Here is the quote .it took me long enough to find it .but I did find it eventually

      The whole point of the scene in A Game of Thrones where Daenerys hatches the dragons is that she makes the magic up as she goes along; she is someone who really might do anything. I wanted magic to be something barely under control and half instinctive–not the John W. Campbell version with magic as the science and technology of other sorts of world, that works by simple and understandable rules.

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