Game of Thrones – “Book of the Stranger”: Come on, baby, light my fire

That was the Daenerys Targaryen moment I’ve been waiting for.

I’ve expressed frustration in the past with the wheel spinning that’s been taking place in Danny’s storyline since season one. After emerging as this bad ass, powerful warrior, instead of marching straight to Westeros to reclaim the throne, she’s been sidetracked with what has seemed like a futile attempt to free slaves abroad. Making things worse, this season has seen her good works (mostly) undone and this most recent storyline put her right back where she started – a prisoner of the Dothraki.

But then, in a fantastic scene, she took down all of the Khals in one bold move. I loved it because it wasn’t an external force – like her dragons or her two smitten protectors – who saved her. Danny saved herself. And, in doing so, she once again has a powerful army. She finally seems poised to head to Westeros with her remaining Unsullied and the entire Dothraki army at her side.

What I’m becoming fascinated by is the obvious parallels emerging between Danny’s journey and Jon Snow’s. Danny emerging from the flames at the end of the episode was a metaphorical rebirth that parallels Jon’s death and rebirth at the Wall. Danny now has an army of outsiders loyal to her, just like the Wildlings loyal to Jon Snow. And, if I had to guess, Danny is poised to give up her leadership role in Meereen to Tyrion in the same way Jon handed over control of the Night’s Watch to Edd. Considering that the George R.R. Martin series Game of Thrones is based on is actually titled “A Song of Ice and Fire,” these parallels between Jon (ice) and Danny (fire) are very intriguing.

Speaking of Jon, it was very sweet to see him reunited with Sansa. This series loves to play with near misses. We’ve seen a number of times, including the Red Wedding, where Starks were almost reunited, only to have fate keep them from finding each other. So while Sansa and Jon didn’t have a strong on-screen connection before (in fact, they’ve never been seen on-screen together in the show), a huge emotional weight is added to the scene because, after all of their hardships, they are back with a lost family member.

Of course, their happy reunion is short lived, thanks to a letter from Ramsey that reveals he has Rickon. It’s actually Sansa who helps convince Jon that they have to retake Winterfell. But, for now, the numbers aren’t in their favor. They have 2,000 soldiers to Ramsey’s 5,000. Jon will have to convince Northern families to fight alongside him and the the Wildlings in order to retake the castle. Though it seems like he will have the Vale on his side, thanks to a well-timed return of Petyr Baelish.

I really loved all of the Jon and Danny scenes (which is surprising since I haven’t loved any of Danny’s scenes in a while). It was fun seeing new characters interact with each other at the Wall, particularly Brienne telling Melisandre and Davos that she killed Stannis.

I’m curious to see where things are headed with Tyrion in Meereen. As I said above, I think it makes sense that Danny will leave him to rule while she heads back to Westeros. There’s nothing left for Tyrion in Westeros and here he has the potential to be a strong, competent leader. It makes a lot of sense. However, he’s on thin ice with this proposed truce, which may placate the other territories in Slaver’s Bay in the short-term, but which has Grey Worm and the others in Meereen questioning his tactics. Making everyone happy could be impossible, especially since he is still an outside who they don’t entirely trust.

Overall, I thought this was a really fun episode that set up some big things in the near future. As long as Danny actually starts marching toward Westeros, instead of getting side tracked once again, I’m really excited to see how things unfold now that the Dothraki see her as a god. I’m also curious to see if these parallels between her and Jon continue and if, perhaps, we aren’t headed toward some sort of epic final battle between the two.

And another thing …

  • I’m very curious to see how this uneasy partnership between the Lannisters and Tyrells plays out. Right now, they have a common enemy, but I could see things going south very quickly.
  • Rest in peace, Osha. While I was sad to see you killed by Ramsey, that was honestly the best-case scenario once you were brought to him. Osha was a fun secondary character who helped saved the Stark children. It’s a shame to see her go.
  • I will never tire of listening to the High Sparrow giving long speeches.

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Written by Joel Murphy. He loves pugs, hates Jimmy Fallon and has an irrational fear of robots. You can contact Joel at murphyslaw@hobotrashcan.com

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