GOT- “Book of the Stranger”


Another Sunday, another Game of Thrones. So who ordered the White Savior?

We start off at Castle Black, where recently resurrected Jon Snow, complete with his fresh new cut, is packing to leave since giving up his claim as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Dolorous Edd looks on while holding Longclaw like he can’t believe this sh*t. He reminds Jon bout what they saw at Hardhome, where, if you recall, this happened–you know, White Walkers and hordes of World War Z type dead people. That is still going down, Dolorous Edd reminds. Winter. Is. Coming. But Jon is undeterred. After getting shanked by his own men and brothers, he’s had enough. His Watch is done.  He died, and that contract is over. Now he’s up for a much needed vacation.

He doesn’t count on Sansa showing up. As we all watch, a bedraggled Sansa Stark rides into Castle Black with Brienne. And for the first time since all this awful businesses began 5 seasons ago, two of the children of Ned Stark are reunited. Touching. After a long hug, the two sit and talk about old times–and about how much has changed since they both left Winterfell. Jon offers to take Sansa with him, but she tells him there’s only one place they can go–home. Jon balks at this, but she insists on fighting for it. Winterfell belongs to them, and she plans to get it back. But Jon won’t relent. He’s seen things. He’s hanged a kid. And he’s had enough of war. Sansa tells him though that if they don’t get back Winterfell, they’ll never be safe. And while she wants his help, understand she gonna do this with or without him.

Sansa gone gangsta.

Elsewhere in the castle Ser Davos Seaworth and Melisandre are having one of their odd little talks. He asks what she plans to do now, and she says she’s going to do as Jon Snow commands–because he is now the chosen of R’hllor. The Onion Knight is like, hold up, I thought you were saying Stannis Baratheon  was the chosen one? Awkward. She walks off but Ser Davos follows, asking what happened at the battle? And what happened to Shireen? Yeah, it’s about to get supa awkward. Just then, Brienne walks up, looking real brolic. She’s like, I saw what went down. And I remember both of you, from when I was sworn to protect Renly Baratheon until he was killed by some freakish shadow baby. I ain’t forgot that sh*t.  I ain’t forgave it either. And I’m looking in your general direction Melisandre. Oh yeah, and I totally executed your man Stannis. Oh what? You ain’t know? Now I’m goin’ to walk off like a bad ass. Watch me.

And so departed Brienne–“and not a single f*ck was given”–of Tarth.

Unfortunately, we are forced to return to the Vale, to the sniveling man-child Robin Arryn, the son of Lady Lysa who was breastfeeding till he was like ready for junior prom. He hasn’t gotten any less “snively” since we last saw him, pathetically trying to land an arrow. Just when we think we’re going to have to sit through more of this, our old friend Littlefinger makes a grand entrance. Robin greets him like an Uncle, though if we recall he’s the one that killed dude’s Mom. Lord Yohn Royce who had been tutoring Robin mouths off to Littlefinger, who in turn subtly accuses the general of trying to get him killed. Snively Arryn asks if they should have the general killed. Littlefinger though says, nah, if we can trust he’s loyal he’ll be useful in the “wars to come.” And he stares dude down like, where all that big mouthin off now? Facing a possible trip through the Moon Door, Lord Royce quickly gives his loyalty and breathes a sigh of relief. Doesn’t take long before Littlefinger wrangles the dim-witted Robin into committing the Vale to riding to the aid of cousin Sansa Stark and thus involving themselves in the conflict in the North.

I’m no Guild Navigator, but I see plans within plans with Littlefinger.

Meanwhile, across the sea in Essos, Tyrion has made good on his plan to invite the Good Masters of Slaver’s Bay for talks in Meereen.  Grey Worm and Missandei find it a terrible idea, pointing out that they cannot be trusted. Tyrion advises: “We make peace with our enemies, not our friends.” Grey Worm retorts: “I don’t make peace with the Queen’s enemies. I kill the Queen’s enemies.” Tyrion assures them that his own recent brush with slavery has taught him a thing or two about human bondage. Missandei throws shade, asking how many days he was a slave? Tyrion replies awkwardly, “long enough to know.” She responds with some extra shade: “Not long to enough to understand.”

In his meeting with the Slavers, Tyrion proves himself the shrewd diplomat. He announces that he is speaking for the missing Queen. And he proposes, to the incredulous looks of Grey Worm and Missandei, that the Slavers can give up slavery–gradually. What’s more, they’ll be compensated for their losses. He ends by giving them several slave women to enjoy. When he leaves that meeting it’s to encounter some angry former slaves, who want no bargains made with their old masters. Tyrion talks them down, but only by getting Grey Worm and Missandei to reluctantly back him. In the end, the angry Unsullied confronts him, telling him he’s making a mistake if he thinks he can use the Good Masters. They are adept at using people, and will use him in the end. One thinks that Tyrion may be suffering from some hubris that he’ll come to regret later.

Elsewhere in Essos,  Daario and Ser Jorah Mormont are tracking  Daenerys since she was taken by the Dothraki. The younger lover of the Khaleesi makes some sexual jokes at the Old Bear’s expense. The two avoid blows however, keeping their eyes on the prize. When they find the Dothraki city Jorah says they can only enter if they do so posing as merchants, without weapons. As they discard their swords and knives, Daario catches a glimpse of Joran’s greyscale, and the death sentence awaiting him.

So entering the Dothraki city does not go at all as planned. It’s a raucous night in Vaes Dothrak–drinking, carousing, public sex. Must be Tuesday. Turns out though, the first Dothraki they run into don’t buy the merchants bit. They’re forced to kill them. Well Daario is, as Jorah, showing perhaps the signs of age, gets his ass handed to him. Daario also does very terrible things to a dead man’s face with a rock. Meanwhile, Dany sits with the Dosh Khaleen, listening to the widows prattle on about khals, blah, Dothraki this and Dothraki that, blah, blah. Tomorrow the varied Khals will meet to decide her fate, but Dany decides she’s heard enough and leaves for fresh air with another young widow as her guide. It’s there that Daario and Jorah find her. She implores them not to kill her young guide, then, to their surprise, refuses to join them. She’s not leaving, she says. She has a plan. And, in fact, they’re going to help her carry it out.

In King’s Landing, the Bernie Sanders-ish High Sparrow is still doing his “path to righteousness” thing. He regales the still imprisoned Margaery with tales of his younger life of wealth and debauchery, and how he had a Saul to Damascus type conversion to the faith and a life among the beggars and the poor. When he’s done, he allows Margaery (to her surprise) to see her brother Loras. And dude…he ain’t so pretty no more. Loras is a broken man. Margaery tries to console him, saying he has to be strong to fight back. But Loras ain’t got no fight left in him. He just wants whatever they’re doing to him to stop.

In the palace, Cersei walks up on Maester Pycelle telling young King Tommen some nonsense of not aggravating the High Sparrow. She dismisses old dude and then confronts her son, only to find him talking that same foolishness. She craftily however pulls out of him what he learned when meeting with the High Sparrow–that they intend to make Margaery do the naked “walk of atonement.” Cersei meets up with Jaime and the two bum rush the Small Council–again. Kevan Lannister and the Queen of Thorns Olenna Tyrell are at first dismissive. But when Cersei tells her about the naked walk Margaery is about to take, Olenna is like “hell to the no.” That can’t happen, she says. That will not happen. Jaime draws up a chair and the elite of Westeros draw up plans to crush the fanatics once and for all.

Somewhere on the Iron Isles, Theon has finally made his way home. It’s a tense reuniting with his sister Yara who is still mightily pissed at him for that botched rescue attempt–when he was Reek and refused to run. He apologizes, which only makes her angrier. After leveling some insults, including about his shorn manhood, she asks why he’s come back. He tells her to help her become the new ruler of the Iron Isles. Kingsmoot!

At Winterfell, Ramsay Bolton kills Osha. That’s it really. Kinda messed up. But this is what Ramsay does. Then he eats an apple.

Of more interest, at Castle Black we are treated to what looks like a very unappetizing meal being had by Jon, Sansa, Dolorous Edd, and Podrick Payne. Brienne is there too, awkwardly noticing the fetching and barely restrained eyeballing  Tormund Giantsbane is sending her way. Big man likes his women big-bodied. Gon’ head dude. In the middle of the meal, a message is delivered, brought by a rider from Ramsay Bolton. In it, the new “Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North” says I got your castle, I got Rickon. Give me back Sansa or I’m gonna come up there and rape and eat you and everyone you know with my dogs and what not. Come see, he says. Come see. It’s mostly very rapey, and 100% Ramsay–who has transformed perhaps into the main (human) villain in this leg of the story. Sansa tells Jon he can’t just let that sh*t slide. He’s the last known son of the former Warden of the North, Ned Stark. If he rallies the other houses, they’ll come to him. He gotta make a move, and he gotta make it now. Jon responds with the look of a man who just found out his vacation been put on hold.

Back in Essos, the varied Khals are meeting in Vaes Dothrak. They’re mostly there to decide what to do with Dany, and whether she will be made Dosh Khaleen. Dany’s brought out, but to their surprise doesn’t play the cowed captive. She interrupts their dude bro banter to ask if they wouldn’t like to know what she thinks? She tells them that they’re all weak little men, with weak little dreams of minor conquests, who aren’t at all fit to lead to Dothraki. In fact, she says, she should lead them. They laugh at this (of course) and for her insults threaten lots of raping for daring to think they would serve her. She tells them however that they’re not going to serve, they’re going to die.

Then Dany just starts burning down the whole place. She’s flipping over braziers, lighting sh*t on fire like. The Khals run for the door, but it’s been barred by Daario and Jorah. And they burn up. It’s a straight coup. End of Godfather style.

Outside, the entire city gathers, watching the hall where the Khals had gathered reduced to a flaming pyre. Then a lone figure emerges from the flames–naked but untouched by fire because of her Targaryen blood. And you’re thinking they gonna shout: “Hey! That naked white lady just killed all our leaders! We might have to go all Dothraki right bout now!”

But nope.

In uber white-savior fashion right out of a Tarzan or Avatar flick, the swarthy masses bow to the naked white lady while weird Dothraki operatic music sounds in the background. So, there you have it. White woman is back in charge, as you knew was going to happen. Didn’t you?

Till next week, as we see what Sheena Queen of the Jungle does with her new Dothraki army.



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