7:09pm PT by Josh Wigler
'Game of Thrones' Season 6 Sets Daenerys Targaryen's Story on Fire
[Warning: This story contains spoilers for episode four, season six of HBO's Game of Thrones.]
Fans waiting for Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) to reclaim her rightful place at the heart of the story, wait no further.
In "Book of the Stranger," the fourth episode of Game of Thrones' sixth season, Dany marched away from the oppressive Khal Moro (Joe Naufahu) and his bloodriders, but not before setting them all on fire. Standing at the center of a burning inferno, Dany watched as the arrogant warriors were burned alive, a sinister reflection of her triumphant trial by fire in the first-season finale.
Moments later, she stepped away from the fiery structure and stood before the gathered Dothraki, all of them kneeling before her in worship. Perhaps she's no closer to returning to Westeros, but whenever Dany does reach the Seven Kingdoms, she now has a huge surge in her forces.
Here's everything else that happened in the episode.
At Castle Black
Having vacated the Lord Commander title, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) prepares to leave the Night's Watch for good, despite protestation from Dolorous Edd (Ben Crompton): "I was with you at Hardhome. We saw what's out there and what's coming. How can you leave us now?"
Before Jon delivers much of an answer, new arrivals appear at Castle Black: Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and Podrick (Daniel Portman). Jon and Sansa embrace each other tightly, the show's first pure Stark reunion in years. That night, they drink ale and soup and remember their childhood days at Winterfell, admitting that they should have been kinder toward one another. Sansa compels Jon to join her in the quest to retake Winterfell from House Bolton, but the retired Lord Commander wants no part in it. "I'm done fighting," he says. "I fought, and I lost." With or without Jon, however, Sansa swears she will win back the North by herself if she must.
Meanwhile, Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) asks Melisandre (Carice van Houten) for details about what happened to Stannis (Stephen Dillane) and Shireen (Kerry Ingram), but receives only vague responses. Brienne offers clearer details, when she interrupts the conversation to announce herself as Stannis' killer. She reminds them of their role in murdering Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony) with blood magic, and makes her position quite clear: "It's in the past, but that doesn't mean I forget, or forgive."
In the Eyrie
Littlefinger (Aiden Gillan) makes his return to Thrones after six episodes away, showing up in the Vale with a belated name day present for Lord Robin (Lino Facioli): a falcon, the animal avatar of House Arryn. Not everyone is so pleased to see Lord Baelish, however, like Yohn Royce (Rupert Vansittart), who accuses Littlefinger of intentionally marrying Sansa off to the Boltons. Littlefinger retaliates by suggesting Royce set up an ambush that led to the Boltons abducting Sansa, and Robin nearly sends the man flying through the Moon Door for his supposed treachery. Instead, Littlefinger has the petrified Royce spared, due to his prowess in combat and his newfound sense of unending loyalty. What's more, Littlefinger convinces all parties involved that it's time to march north to save Sansa and reclaim Winterfell.
The Meereenese Knot
Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) calls for a meeting with the masters from Yunkai, Astapor and Volantis, including his former owner Yezzan zo Qaggaz (Enzo Cilenti), who purchased Tyrion back in season five. During the conversation, Tyrion pitches the masters on a timeline of seven years to end the slave trade, a stark contrast to Dany's overnight expectations. For their part, Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) and Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) wildly oppose the idea, saying this is not at all what Dany would want. Tyrion, however, insists that they can use the contemptuous slavers' arrogance against them.
"No," responds Grey Worm. "You are the one who will be used."
Elsewhere, Jorah (Iain Glen) and Daario (Michiel Huisman) reach the outskirts of Vaes Dothrak, and hatch a plan to rescue Daenerys. They cannot bring weapons into the sacred Dothraki city, and in the process of abandoning their blades, Daario discovers Jorah's Greyscale. It's a rare moment of sympathy between the men, who just moments earlier with bickering about their favorite subject: who loves Daenerys more. That night, they sneak inside the city, but it takes no time at all before they're caught in a street brawl with two Dothraki. One of the men nearly strangles Jorah to death, but Daario comes along and saves his companion, thanks to a knife he smuggled along for the mission.
As Jorah and Daario move forward with the mission, Daenerys deals with the Dosh Khaleen, and learns about the atrocities committed against these women by their deceased husbands. When she heads outside to use the bathroom, Dany and a companion run into Jorah and Daario. She tells them that there's no way for them to run away from the city — but she has another plan in mind.
In King's Landing
The High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) continues his quest to convert Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), this time opening up about his own backstory. He reveals his origin as a man who used to drink and philander, valuing money above all else. One day, he woke up and realized the error of his ways, immediately joining up with the impoverished. He makes it quite clear that he wants to continue working on Margaery: "Quality takes time." But Margaery isn't buying it, as she confides in her brother Loras (Finn Jones) later that the Sparrow is trying to use her to break him further. Loras does not seem to care, however; all he cares about is wanting the pain to end.
At the Red Keep, Cersei (Lena Headey) and Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) have a heart-to-heart, and the Queen Regent learns of her son's conversations with the High Sparrow. She then confronts the Queen of Thorns (Diana Rigg) and her Uncle Kevan (Ian Gelder) about the Sparrow's plans to make Margaery repent her sins through a walk of atonement, not unlike what Cersei just went through.
"That cannot happen," says Lady Olenna. "It will not happen."
Cersei agrees, and she has a plan. She and Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) implore both Olenna and Kevan to let House Tyrell's forces into King's Landing, where they can confront and arrest the High Sparrow before he sets Margaery forward on her walk. If it doesn't go as planned, it could incite a civil war — but, as Olenna observes, "Many people will die no matter what we do. Better them than us."
The Iron Islands
At long last, Theon (Alfie Allen) returns home, though his family reunion isn't as welcome as he likely hoped. He's taken to Yara (Gemma Whelan), who chastises her younger brother for turning his back on her when she attempted to free him from Winterfell. She also accuses Theon of returning home just to become the Lord of Pyke, but he promises that he does not want to sit on the Seastone Chair.
"You should rule the Iron Islands," Theon tells his sister. "Let me help you."
If Theon's future actions help Yara win Pyke, then his past actions sentence another woman to death: Osha (Natalia Tena), killed at the hands of psychotic Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon). She attempts to woo the "Lord of Winterfell," and at first, Ramsay appears receptive … until he informs her that Theon previously revealed Osha's involvement in helping Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and Rickon (Art Parkinson) escape Winterfell several seasons ago. With that, Osha makes one last play for a knife on the table, but can't reach it before Ramsay stabs her in the throat. Add one more prominent name to the Bastard of Bolton's body count.
Back at Castle Black
Speaking of Ramsay, he sends a rider to the Night's Watch to deliver a letter addressed to "the traitor and bastard Jon Snow." In the letter, Ramsay threatens to destroy the Watch, kill Rickon, rape Sansa and mutilate Jon if he does not return his sister to Winterfell. "Come and see, Bastard," he repeatedly writes, adding further insult to injury.
Jon, who just moments earlier swore he was done with fighting, finally feels galvanized enough to return to the fray. He has two thousand men in the form of Tormund Giantsbane's (Kristofer Hivju) wildlings, but that's not enough against House Bolton's five thousand. But Sansa promises Jon he can gain more swords.
"You're the son of the last true Warden of the North," she says. "Northern families are loyal. They'll fight for you if you ask. A monster has taken our home and our brother. We have to go back to Winterfell and save them both."
In Vaes Dothrak
In the final moments of the episode, Dany stands before Khal Moro and his men, reminiscing about this hall as the place where Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) once promised that he would lead the Dothraki across the Narrow Sea to conquer Westeros. These days, however, Dany observes that Moro's men would rather talk about sacking villages and raping women.
"You are small men," she says. "None of you are fit to lead the Dothraki. But I am … so I will."
Moro laughs at Daenerys' speech, and makes one last grand threat at the Mother of Dragons. "You're crazy," she said. "Did you really think we would serve you?"
Dany touches a great urn of fire and smiles. "You're not going to serve," she answers, tipping the urns over, burning the whole structure and everyone inside of it alive. Moments after Moro burns to death, Dany emerges before the other Dothraki, naked as she was at the end of "Fire and Blood," primed and ready to lead her new forces forward — whether that's reclaiming Meereen, conquering Westeros, or some other new venture. No matter the direction, it's clear that Dany's dragons aren't the only ones in the family with a deadly grasp on fire.
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