“The Book of the Stranger” Episode Overview and Discussion

Hi all, back again for another post. This time I will be discussing the most recent episode. It started out with one of the nicest moments we have seen in a long time. Yes we all screamed and cheered when Ghost looked over as Jon came back to life. But, seeing Jon and Sansa reunited, after they have both been through so much and gone so long without family with them it was truly heart warming. They are back together again and according to Jon are going to stay together for the foreseeable future. Yay!

Look who else is back, Littlefinger. He has returned to the Vale, to visit his nephew and adolescent tit sucker Robert Aryn. Robert still can’t fire an arrow and hit the target, not a shocker to any of us or to Lord Royce. When Royce correctly accuses Baelish of marrying Sansa to Ramsay, Baelish quickly turns the accusations around, arguing that Royce betrayed them to the Boltons (what a tricky little man Littlefinger is). Littlefinger then discusses Sansa’s escape and the grave danger she is in to get Robert to agree to help. The knights of the Vale are finally joining the war.

Now, off to Meereen. Tyrion is once again in a role very suited to him, acting advisor/ruler of a city on the brink of war. He did well in King’s Landing so surely he will do well in Meereen, right? After a short discussion with the Masters he offers a new proposal, instead of abolishing slavery overnight as Daenerys has tried to do he is giving them 7 years to end the practice. 7 years? Is he just stalling until Daenerys returns? This proposal has thoroughly pissed off all the former slaves. But, perhaps this could be an amicable solution for all sides, or perhaps this will bring some peace and allow them to deal with the sons of the harpy without their funders.

Back to King’s Landing, where the Tyrells are not doing well with the religious torture from the sparrows. In order, to stop the torturing of Laurice, Margaery will do a walk of atonement. The Lannisters and Tyrells have a common enemy and apparently are finally going to fight back. With Cersei’s proposal to use Tyrell forces to stop Margaery’s walk as soon as it starts and get rid of the High Sparrow once and for all. One little issue I see in this plan is that they still have Laurice locked in a cell, and when the attack starts he could be one of the casualties. But hey, at least the sparrows would be gone. One problem solved.

The Greyjoys are preparing for the Kingsmoot and Theon is backing his sister Asha for the seat. Will she be the first woman to ascend the Seastone chair? Book readers like myself think they know the eventual outcome, but as we have seen before just because it happened in the books doesn’t mean it will happen that way in the show or at all. Gotta wait and see.

Back to the Wall, where Jon receives the long awaited pink letter from Ramsay. Jon and Sansa now know that Rickon is in Ramsay’s dungeon. It seems Jon is finally ready to start fighting again, Time to assemble the forces and take back Winterfell from them. Can’t wait to see what they will do next.

The episode finishes off with Daenerys coming before the great khals to await judgment, But Dany has other plans, an epic scene where she reminds everyone why she is called the Unburnt. Some would say that she needs a new recruitment technique, but if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Anyone else notice the look on Dario’s face? Priceless. Once again, she is the leader of the Dothraki, although this time it appear she has a few more at her back. Will she march her new army to take out the slavers and the sons of the harpy? As always, another grueling week to wait and see what will happen next.

Who are you? No one.

The first topic that I want to address is one of everyone’s favourite (yes I am Canadian, sorry for the spelling my American readers) characters, Arya Stark. Arya has had a very interesting story line and one that is quite unlike the rest of the characters. Whereas other characters are trying to improve or protect their families hold on power, she is busy with the servants of the many-faced God.

At the end of season 5 we all applauded as Arya crossed another name of her list in Meryn Trant. The disgusting king’s guard who has a fetish for very young girls and likes to beat them. After she has completed his execution she returns to the house of black and white to put a borrowed face back. Upon getting caught she is punished by having her sight taken away. From here she begins life as a blind beggar on the streets of Bravos. After several days of having the waif (other girl apprentice of the faceless men) come and beat the crap out of her with a stick, Jaqen returns to once again test her commitment and bring her back to the house of black and white. There she continues to train and in a few short clips we see her become quite comfortable without the use of her eyes, even getting a few good licks in on the waif. At this point she is then given another test of her commitment before being given back her eyes. Although this is different from the books the changes are entirely negligible. In the books she memorizes her way around the house of black and white, learns to distinguish poisons based on smell, and hears the waif or the old man (Jaqen in the show) sneaking up on her before they can try to attack her. While this tidbits as they occur in the books are fascinating as they develop, they do not alter the storyline in any dramatic way. One possibly significant difference is that in the show we have not seen anything alluding to the fact that Arya is a warg. All who only watch the show will have forgotten that Arya’s wolf Nymeria is still alive, haven’t seen her since the beginning of season 1 when she bit Joffrey (good wolf). But in the books we know Nymeria is doing well through Arya’s wolf dreams. In her dreams she is Nymeria, she is surrounded by her pack and hunting men in the riverlands, yeah Nymeria is a badass! Is this something the show will eventually include, I think not. I doubt we will see Nymeria until Arya goes back to Westeros. Although if the Freys are brought back in this season perhaps we will hear rumours of a ghostly beast that is terrorizing the Freys. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Now, getting back to where the show left us. Arya can see again! At this point there is several thoughts of speculation as to what will occur next for Arya. Will she be sent to finish the assignment that she neglected? Will she be given a new face and sent on a different assignment? Will one of her other senses be taken away as the next step of her training? Personally, I think she will finish what she started and go to kill the old voyage insurance man. But as always only time will tell and as we have learned just because something occurred in the books doesn’t mean it will occur that way or at all.