Game of Thrones 6.04 - Book Of The Stranger

Now that the show is ahead of the books, nobody knows what is going to happen in Game of Thrones from one week to the next. Characters alive in the show are dead in the books, and characters alive in the books are dead in the show. This weeks episode entitled Book Of The Stranger is atypical of this and even takes one major plot point in the books and runs with it further in the show, namely Daenerys and her aversion to fire.

Daenerys is front and centre here. She has held her head up high throughout the onslaught of insult's and threat's from the Dothraki clan she is currently encamped with. Daenerys proclaim's herself to be their Khaleesi but is only met with derision and more cutting insults. Being the character she is, clearly waiting for a moment to once again enslave a race of people to her every whim. In this episode this is taken to a whole another level, going full 'Mother of Dragons' and 'The Unburnt' if you will.

Being locked inside the temple of Vaes Dothrak, Daenerys unleashes hell with flames burning the temple around her feet with the Khal's and Bloodriders falling at her feet. It's an impressive, well shot scene showing Daenerys once again rising from the flames mentally and physically. Talking about physically, it's well known that Emilia Clarke is the actress who insisted on a non nudity clause in her extended contract after the success of Season One. I have no problem with this, it's her body, more power to her. The showrunners of Game Of Thrones should hang their head in shame though. Its an insult to Emilia Clarke to have her leave the smouldering remains of the Vaes Dothrak, nude, but CGI nude, you know the terrible CGI akin to young Arnie in Terminator Genysis or the young Tony Stark in this years Captain America : Civil War . Its not only terrible work but distracts from the pure emotional tipping point of the scene. They should have used either body doubles or artfully shot around the fact that she is naked, it belittles the audience.


As a fan of the show since the pilot way back in 2011, it has certainly felt like Frodo's journey to Mount Doom from concerning characters here who are trying to get back to each other. Right at the start of the episode, I told you last week things are moving fast now, Jon Snow and Lady Sansa are reunited. These characters, these actors last shared a scene, from the aforementioned pilot, that was 6 years ago. The scene is played well from both Kit Harington and Sophie Turner, both conveying the long time played out on screen. For me, you can tell a good actor from a bad or mediocre actor by the way emotions play on a face. There's no over acting here, a simple eyebrow twitch or a glassy wet eye, just enough to convey what the character is thinking, its something quite special to see.

Ramsey Bolton is the new Joffrey, you cut the head off (or poison in this case) of the snake and something rises in its place. Fellow Welshman Iwan Rheon embodies the character frighteningly well. Any fans of the British TV show Misfits can see how diverse an actor like him can be. From the reclusive quiet Simon Bellamy in Misfits to a raging tyrant in Game of Thrones . Although I don't think he is going to be able to top his baby killing from a few weeks ago, he sure tries with this weeks episode with the swift execution of his captive Osha played heartbreakingly by Natalia Tena. With Osha trying to seduce Ramsey and trying to reach for his apple peeling knife, it's frustrating how close she gets. Again its a well played scene purely because you are willing for her to get the knife but at the same time you are doing what she is doing...letting her guard down. She gets a knife to the throat, short, sharp and swiftly despatched. We get to breath again.


In other scenes we get to see the return of Littlefinger, worming his way back into the books of the leaders at the Vale. We see Tyrion at his political best calling a meeting of the Slavers bay princes to destabilise the Daenerys regime in Meereen. There's possible love in the air for Tormund and Brienne, and Ser Jorah and Daario bring the comic relief with Daario decrying " I wish I was born Dothraki" after seeing an orgy take place near the Temple. Cersei and Jaime think that violence will solve everything and Margaery is moved from her dungeon cell but maybe to somewhere worse.

Another fantastic episode of Game of Thrones this week only let down by some CGI work and questionable camerawork. The show continues to pull no punches, taking the characters and us along on a journey that is winding up to surely end in one all mighty dust off with all our favourite characters.

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