"Game of Thrones" (Episode 6x04) Debrief: The One with Reunions and Sick Burns
Valar Morghulis, dear readers, and welcome to our Game of Thrones debrief series, where two of our tv writers recap, analyse and discuss the latest goings on in Westeros and help you make sense of this crazy, wintery, world. But mostly we fawn over about Jon Snow's glorious locks. Check out our debrief of Episode 2 of this season here.
!SPOILERS FOR SEASON 6 EPISODE 4 of GAME of THRONES BEYOND THIS POINT!
Angie: Welcome back to GoT chats with Angie and Howie, the Margaret and David of Television. Well Howie, there were certainly a lot of lovely brother and sister moments in this episode!
Howie: Obviously I’m the Margaret of this equation, right? Let’s start with the most important brother-sister pair this episode! I was bawling as soon as those doors at Castle Black open to reveal Sansa & Gang. Based on the history of this show I was mentally prepared for another signature Stark Near-misses (last week did end with Jon Snow dropping his mic and saying “PEACE OUT” to the Night’s Watch), so I was pleasantly surprised and moved by Jon and Sansa’s reunion.
Angie: Seeing the Stark reunion was a heartfelt and sweltering moment but one step forward and two steps back seems to be the general rule of thumb for the true wardens of the north but it was so sweet to see Jon and Sansa share a hug and a bevvy. And we finally got to see the Pink Letter, Ramsay’s adorably enticing invitation to SNOWBOWL, Come and see! I’ve abandoned all hope for Theon to be Ramsay’s killer, I think I need it to be Sansa now. And for little Rickon to join the ever-growing Stark frey (not Freys, mind you)
Howie: Pink Letter? SNOWBOWL? They sound like book-reader terminology. Care to explain for us non-Maesters?
Angie: I will choose to answer these quandaries primarily with memes… SNOWBOWL refers to the theory that Jon will rise from the dead (✓) to lead an army of Wildings (✓) to fight Ramsay ‘the bastard’ Snow. It shares some similarities with Cleganebowl - another fun and meme-able theory. As for the pink letter, well the Bolton’s use pink wax to seal their letters so I guess it’s a less creative bit of fan-made lingo…. Anyway, we were talking brother/sister reunions?
Howie: I see. Right, of every possible Stark reunions, I think Jon Snow and Sansa makes the most dramatic sense, mostly because they seem to be most distant siblings from each other, (as opposed to Arya + Jon, or Rickon + Bran), so it’s all the more poignant to see the siblings who were the least closest run towards each other like there is no tomorrow. That hugging scene, and their conversation that immediately followed, with them expressing their regrets about leaving Winterfell, makes this one of the most emotionally-charged episode of the show so far.
Angie: And what of Margaery and Loras embracing in that stanky dungeon? I really want Margs to get back to a position of power at King’s Landing because to me she’s such a great player of the game, seemingly walking in the footsteps of her original ‘g’ of a grandma, Lady Olena: Queen of the Sick Burn. And the rest of the Kings Landing story line swept on at a cracking rate! Twinning Team Cersei and Jamie masterfully manipulated the small council to reunite house Lannister and Tyrell to take on poohead old fuddy duddy, The High Sparrow.
Howie: Yes, Lady Olena is ON FIRE (figuratively, unlike some other folks in this episode) with her sick Cersei burns! Glad to know that even with her grandchildren in chains, she can still participate in the Real Housewives of Kings Landing. I’m really done with The High Sparrow, I can’t really see this stray storyline going anywhere that will contribute to the main plot – they just seem like a nuisance, an unnecessary “meanwhile” that kind of wastes the little time we have left on this show, when we can spend more time with Jon Snow and Sansa, or at least give poor Osha a farewell scene before she gets so unceremoniously killed off – albeit by one of the most merciful Ramsay murders.
Angie: Well there still might be a few twists and turns involved in the Cult @ Kings Landing. It will certainly feel good to see Jamie leading an army of Tyrells but surely the Lannister twins have something else up their incestuous sleeves. I guess your disdain for The High Sparrow story line allows other parts of the show to shine. I love that the Wall has become transformed from a storyline that audiences would use as a toilet break, to arguably the best in the show! The scene at the table was fantastic – Edd being an all-around, Thom Yorke-lookin’ nice guy, Tormund making wild eyes at Brienne (who knew I secretly wanted that to happen?) and Sansa being a badass tough nut: very much channeling her late mother, Catelyn.
Howie: I am 1000% on board with a Brienne and Tormund hook-up. Make it happen, Lord of Light, I’m counting on you.
Angie: The Bear and the Maiden Fair take 2? But yes, speaking of Ramsay and Winterfell, what the HODOR!? We wait 4 years to get Osha back only to lose her after 1 bloody scene? I think the ‘Psychopathic Ramsay’ audience disgust-o-meter is overflowing at this point, it’s time to ditch the prerequisite Bolton Cruelty scene that seems to remind us AGAIN how much of a bloodthirsty crazy bastard he is. Ya we get it, and here at Isolated Nation, we want his hide on our walls - We really think it would tie the room together.
Howie: Seriously, the tragedy here is how the show just dismisses her character with such disinterest. The way the show lets her death scene play out wrongly assumes that Ramsay is our central character in that storyline/scene, when our sympathies really lie with Osha, because Ramsay has never really developed as a character. What a shame to get rid of a dynamic character in service of the non-growth of a boring one.
Howie: Speaking of non-characters, because we didn’t do a review for the previous episode, can we just do a quick celebration re: the death of plot device Olly? Goodbye bro, your hanging was brutal, but I can’t say I’m sad that you’re gone. Also, there was so much chatter on the internet that Jon Snow would come back “different”, or altered somehow, but he seems pretty normal to me - well, for someone who came back from the dead and realised all his brothers tried to murder him, anyway.
Angie: Yes and in other news: Robin is still an insufferable little snot goblin. Maybe we should arrange a playdate for him and Olly? Do you have any thoughts RE Lord Baelish coming back online?
Howie: I’m so glad that Little Finger is back, and more powerful than ever. It’s fun to see his particular brand of scheming and manipulation, which is much more smug and in-your-face, as opposed to the subtle craft that Varys engages in. Speaking of Varys, I feel so anxious about the Mereen situation with Tyrion. I can see the point from both Tyrion’s and the Slavers’ perspectives, and I think on paper, Tyrion’s strategy seems to be the most logical way to go, but judging by how his decision to “delay de-slavery” for 7 years was received by Grey Worm, Missandei and everyone else, I have a sneaking suspicion that this show is setting up for Tyrion’s plan to fall apart. What do you think?
Angie: Hmm, although Tyrion is a wise man (and irrefutable audience favourite) he isn’t well versed in the Meereneese culture, maybe this plan isn’t meant to work? I mean ultimately, we need to see Tyrion, Khaleesi et al head back West and, although out-of-character, a political blunder would allow for this. And now I’ve uttered her name, what are your thoughts on the Mother of Dragons, Breaker of Chains and Griller of Brothraki this episode?
Howie: Good Ol’ Dany, Mother of Many Titles. Much like Melisandre pre-SnowSurrection, I was beginning to lose faith in our Khaleesi, when she’s yet again stuck in another helpless situation a.k.a tactic to delay her eventual arrival in Westeros, and I would have checked out if this whole Khaleesi Widows fan club shizz took up the whole season, so I am super excited when she started going all Mad King on all the Khal’s asses. Dat smirk! That final scene in this episode, with Dany emerging from the flames once again, marks an interesting shift on the show this season, as they move from gratuitous nudity to nudity that actually has dramatic weight and provides us insight into the character’s mental state. Dany is -if you can believe it - even more sure of herself as a Queen destined to lead; whereas Melisandre's nudity in the first episode signified her loss of faith in the Lord of Light.
Angie: Yes, the Red Woman’s nudity harked to a kind of vulnerability. As for Daenarys going commando, it serves the dual purpose of giving poor ol’ doomed Jorah a chance to see the ‘Dragons’ before he turns to stone. Oh Dany, you’ve done it again with your super-duper advanced fire-retardant skin suit! She just seems to know that the only way we like misogynistic Dothraki is XTRA Crispy. I’m so glad to see this stagnating character alight. For the second time she is rising from the ashes and now she has a whole army of Dothraki riders behind her as well as the Clone Army (I mean, Unsullied), the witty tacticians Varys and Tyrion, plus DRAGONS! Now the question is whether she can get herself and accompanying crew across the narrow sea to Westeros before the White Walkers take over and she ends up ruling a bunch of reanimated corpses. Perhaps the safest people up in this joint are the Iron Islanders?
Howie: TBH, maybe the safest choice for every in Westeros is to just leg it and sail across the narrow sea (you know, #winteriscoming and all that) and seek refuge in Mereen, or that place where the rich people stole and trapped Dany’s dragons in the tower in an early season - they seem like they have more fun that those dullards in Kings Landing. Ah yes, this episode’s short Iron Island scene with Yara and the return of Theon Greyjoy really did not do much to get me invested in that storyline. Still not sure why I should care about what goes on there, beyond the fact that I want Yara to rule the Iron Islands. Here’s my question to you: if she does end up ruling, what does that mean, end-game wise?
Angie: Yes as far as the sibling reunions this episode maybe Yara and Theon’s was not as loving… but there was reconciliation and a begrudging kind of respect. With Reek supporting his sister’s claim, I’m very intrigued how the Kingsmoot will unfold. Now the Iron Isles are a pretty rough and tumble, heteronormative place, so the lack of um, masculine appendage, may actually be a hindrance to Yara’s campaign. As for her actually winning the Kingsmoot - well I haven’t given it any thought.. The Iron Isles are but a small piece of a larger puzzle, my gut tells me that the Greyjoy siblings might venture from their home. I don’t think Theon has finished his redemption with the Starks - I think that they might end up being sent east, perhaps in the pursuit of dragons? Who knows, they might bump into a certain Stark who is over that way? What do you hope to see in the next episode Howie?
Howie: Interesting. I hope to see Jamie and Sir FrankenKnight/Robert Strong/Glegor Clegane finally laying waste to the big question mark that is the High Sparrow storyline, and move on to more pressing matters. I miss the Margaery-Cersei sass-offs. Those were simpler times, weren’t they? Also, PLEASE for the love of the Seven Gods, get Rickon the hell away from Ramsay ApplePeeler over there!
One last question before we sign off: Are we officially off-book at this point? Besides the Kingsmoot stuff, was the Jon-Sansa reunion, and Khaleesi’s leading of the Dothraki in the books?
Angie: Well Howard Moon, there was a lot of new content in this episode (like the Stark hug and Pheonix-Dany stuff), heck even this season, but, much like an apple, there is still a lot of rich, juicy content to squeeze from R. R. Martin’s existing literature base, even as we venture into uncharted territory.
Howie: I see. I think that A+ apple analogy is a good place to end on. We’ll check in again next week!
Breaking the fourth wall again to thank the readers for reading this drivel, we would love to know what you thought of our recap and the episode! Do you agree/disagree with us? Do you also want Bromund to be a thing or do you not have a heart? Let us know if the comments below!