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After four episodes spent with oppressive Dothraki warriors, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) finally got her groove back.
The Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea burned her way toward victory in this week’s episode, “Book of the Stranger,” marking a blazing-hot return to form for one of the show’s most pivotal characters. But her successful coup against her captors was only one of the most important moments of the episode, as the hour that also featured long-awaited reunions between two sets of siblings, as well as the death of a season one veteran.
Here are the top moments from this week’s Thrones:
1. The Stark Reunion
It was seasons in the making, but at long last, two of the Stark siblings have finally reunited. Jon (Kit Harington) and Sansa (Sophie Turner) were never especially close, sure, but at least they’re together now, a strong signal that there might still be some hope left yet for House Stark.
2. A Clash of Giants
Is romance in the air at Castle Black? Perhaps not, but given the way Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) was eyeballing Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), don’t be surprised if the wildling warrior has a new crush — and it’s only bound to deepen once he sees Brienne in battle.
3. Bad Baratheon Blood
Speaking of Brienne, there’s no love lost between her, Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) and Melisandre (Carice van Houten). She aggressively asserted her role as Stannis Baratheon’s killer, and made it clear that she knows all about their role in murdering Renly. Can Davos and Melisandre win Brienne over eventually? Not everyone on Thrones is destined to get along.
4. The Pink Letter
It’s a moment book readers were waiting for: Ramsay (Iwan Rheon) and his nasty note to Jon Snow. In the books, Ramsay pens a similar letter challenging the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, and it’s the very thing that facilitates Jon’s death at the hands of the Night’s Watch mutineers. The show changed some details, but achieved the same result: Jon deciding it’s time to reclaim Winterfell.
5. So Long, Osha
After a substantial hiatus between seasons, Osha (Natalia Tena) finally returned in the previous episode, only to die in this week’s hour. It was a brutal demise for the wildling warrior, stabbed in the neck by Ramsay as she reached for a knife herself. It’s a surprising development as well, considering author George R.R. Martin’s outspoken appreciation for Tena’s turn as Osha.
6. Hail to the Queen
Those who thought Theon (Alfie Allen) intended to resume his role as Reek at Winterfell were very wrong. Theon returned to the Iron Islands and pledged his support for Yara (Gemma Whelan) in her bid to gain control over the Seastone Chair. He says he can help her win the upcoming Kingsmoot — but given his current condition, it’s hard to imagine how much help Theon will be on the campaign trail.
7. The Sparrow Casts a Long Shadow
One of the most loathed characters on Thrones right now, the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) finally pulled the curtain back on some of his past. He revealed himself as a man who used to value money and women more than just about anything else, before one day waking up to the needs of the impoverished. For a moment, it humanizes the High Sparrow, until Margaery (Natalie Dormer) realizes it’s nothing more than another head game.
8. Tyrion Walks the Edge
There are all kinds of demons on Game of Thrones, but the masters in Slaver’s Bay are a special brand of evil — which makes it so much harder to watch Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) negotiate with them. He offers them seven years of continued slavery in exchange for peace in Meereen, a notion that Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) and Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) do not appreciate, and one that Daenerys certainly won’t like either.
9. Setting the Scales
Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen) and Daario Naharis (Michiel Huisman) will never be best friends, both because of their mutual and competitive adoration of Daenerys, and also because Jorah does not have much longer to live. His secret Greyscale affliction is no longer such a secret, either, as Daario discovers the Andal’s ailment right before their mission to rescue Dany. With Jorah’s secret out, it won’t be long before others know about the deadly disease.
10. Fire and Blood
In a moment that beautifully echoes season one, Daenerys Targaryen emerges from a blazing inferno, standing naked before her new Dothraki followers. So long, Khal Moro (Joe Naufahu), and hello, Khaleesi, returning to the action of Thrones without any assistance from Jorah, Daario or even Drogon. This victory is purely on Dany’s shoulders, and it’s a momentum she will certainly carry into the ensuing episodes.
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