Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 4 recap: the badass women of Westeros take control
The following is a recap of episode 4 from the sixth season of Game of Thrones, and it contains spoilers. Many spoilers.
Westeros is on a collision course. It's been no stranger to chaos: kings have been slain, empires overthrown and Death is always lurking.
And Episode 4 truly put the accelerator on several plotlines mainly because two of the series' most important players - Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen - made really monumental decisions that will change the course of history in Westeros.
It was also fantastic to see the women of Westeros take command especially since the show/books have both made it a point to revel in making its strong-willed female characters suffer endless indignities. Sansa pushed to regain the North; Daenerys managed to gain another army after a second fiery rebirth; and Yara Greyjoy will likely rule Pyke soon. Even Margaery showed strength of character, and Cersei and Olenna Tyrell put aside differences for a common cause (doubt that'll last too long).
Finally, a Stark reunion!
Okay, a Stark and a Snow.
Since Bran's fall from the tower set of a chain of events in Season 1, it's been rare to see two Starks come face to face. Back then, Sansa was a lot shorter. And Jon didn't have a man bun.
The reunion is a little too conveniently timed - Team Sansa (Brienne + Podrick) could have arrived at Castle Black a few hours later to find Jon gone - but we all needed that moment of joy so bad that it doesn't really matter.
I do have to say that I like this new Sansa, who was able to apologise to her half-brother for having been a bitch to him all the time when they were kids, and who finally seems to be living up to the Stark legacy.
"We never should've left Winterfell." Yup.
But after a brief catch up about their trials and tribulations, Sansa makes it clear that it's time to take back Winterfell. "If you don't take back the North, we'll never be safe," she says when Jon declares he's done with fighting, "I'll do it myself if I have to."
That's not the worst idea is it? But Jon's decision is made later in the episode when they get a letter from the new Warden of the North. It's not the loveliest of mails - Ramsay says he's got Rickon in the dungeon and that he wants his bride back.
And your average bunch of Ramsay niceties.
Speaking of Ramsay Bolton, he really can't go a single week without killing.
This time it was poor Osha's turn. It's a complete "no, no, no" moment - after all, she only returned last week after being absent for over two seasons.
And considering how tough as nails she's been throughout, you're left shell shocked that the wildling wasn't able to cause more havoc before becoming just another number on Ramsay's endless list of kills.
In a way, a quick knife to the throat it was a kindness since you know what to expect will happen to someone left to Ramsay's tender ministrations. Especially once we realised that he knew what she was up to.
I guess the only question now is whether Rickon and Osha's "captors" were in on it.
It's super unlikely that Ramsay will make it out of Season 6 alive. The main arc in the North this year looks to be getting the Stark family back in Winterfell, and an end to Ramsay will be a thousand times more satisfying than seeing Oly's bloated, dead face in Episode 3.
The episode had one more long delayed sibling reunion - that of Theon and Yara Greyjoy.
It's a quiet, sad moment.
The Theon that Yara knew before was not someone who knew how to apologise - except for his own gain - so she initially rejects this broken version of her brother because she still sees him as the treacherous fool he once was. But when he promises to stand aside and help her rule, she sees that while Theon may have been broken, he's returned to her a more honourable person.
That change, of course, has come at a really terrible price.
I wouldn't be surprised at all if Theon ends up sacrificing himself at a point where the plot truly needs a hero.
Trial by combat? Or civil war?
The King's Landing plot got a push with Cersei and Olenna Tyrell agreeing to work together to be rid of the High Sparrow and the rest of his religious nuts once and for all.
But not before Olenna, the queen of sick burns, got one of her charm-your-socks-off lines in: "Margaery is the queen. You are not the queen because you are not married to the king. I do appreciate these things can get a bit confusing in your family."
But this new 'bring in the army' angle is a little confusing. Last week, it seemed like we were headed toward a trial by combat.
Hopefully we still are.
But there's no doubt that King's Landing is in for a real shit fest soon.
The playmaker returns
We get our first taste of Littlefinger this season (the man obviously has the ability to teleport) in the Vale as he meets the uber creepy Robin Arryn to persuade him to send his armies to Winterfell. Guess the eternal schemer is still out to become the Warden of the North.
But I'm not so sure as to how welcoming Sansa will be now. The Ramsay ordeal is not going to be easily forgotten.
Even so, it looks like all roads lead to Winterfell this season.
Past, present and future
After obsessing over Jon's life/death status for the past three episodes, Davos finally gets to ask the Red Woman about the circumstances surrounding the death of Princess Shireen.
But we never get to see Melisandre answer because Brienne barges in with her usual subtlety and calls Melisandre out for birthing the smoke assassin that killed Renly. Before casually dropping that she executed Stannis.
Anyway while Brienne gave the stink-eye to Davos and Melisandre, Tormund gave Brienne the eye of a different kind. The internet is already excited but this latest single glance romance - #Briemund or #Tormnienne?
Also, Melisandre is sticking with Jon Snow. She's convinced that Jon is the one who will fulfill the prophecy of Azhor Azhai - the Prince that was Promised.
The end of the Mereen saga?
Across in Meereen, Tyrion hopefully brokered a peace deal with the masters of Astapor, Yunkai and Volantis. Even though Grey Worm and Missandei were against it, they backed Tyrion in the end to help sell his deal to the rest of Meereen.
We can only cross our fingers and hope that the Mereen storyline is about to come to an end.
Just one question for: Why the hell did the slave masters care if the whores were willing or not? That seems like the lamest distraction/end of negotiations ever.
Trial by fire Part II
Throughout the episode, Daenerys's fate seemed to be held in the hands of men. If Jorah and Daario hadn't been able to save her, the only other option she had was to face the Khals and hope they would allow her to become part of the Dosh Kaleen instead of killing and raping her.
But nope, she had other plans entirely. She walks before the kahls and bluntly tells them: "You are small men. None of you are fit to lead the Dothraki. But I am. So I will."
Then the Mother of Dragons, who's spent too much time this season trumpeting her titles, sets the Dothraki council on fire and strolled away from the burning tent unharmed and unclothed much like the finale episode of Season 1.
And becomes the presumed leader of the Dothraki in one fiery, fell swoop.
It's her most powerful moment in the series since she left Astapor in flames with the help of her dragons. She's definitely back on the political map after that swift reversal of fortunes.
Maybe she'll finally invade Westeros? After all, that's been her plan since day one.
We can only hope.
We got some insight into the High Sparrow's origin story.
Of course, Daario owns a naked-lady knife.
Tommen's awakening continued. "You don't like Margaery, do you?", he asks Cersei.
Way to go, Tommen. Gold star!