Game of Thrones, Episode 4 Recap: Book of the Stranger

What an episode! This week’s episode is really turning up the heat (pardon my pun) and lighting the way with some feminist, female power. For a show that’s received a lot of criticism about its treatment of women, this episode offers something to remedy.

The best GoT episodes are the ones that end with a bit of a bang, and this week delivered just that. Daenerys has finally found her way back into power—and a good bit of power it is: she has taken over the Dothraki. Daenerys “The Unburnt” flexes her muscles as she shows her powers in Vaes Dothrak and burns all the kahls, getting all who reside there to bend a knee to her. I’m very excited to have her back at the helm—now she has the Dothraki as her people.



Tyrion is attempting to create peace in Meereen in Dany’s absence, again, in a storyline that’s starting to repeat itself. It’s understandable that Tyrion is a diplomat, but we see him repeating the same hopeful attempts at peace in different places. Where I once felt myself rallying behind his optimism, now I find myself wondering when the game of thrones is going to catch up to him (admittedly, he is
excellent at besting the game).

Here, GoT got political. Tyrion argued for the continuation of slavery (for seven years) then boasted about him being a diplomat right in front of Grey Worm and Missandei—where the two of them “represented” the opposing side of the argument. This part felt a little overstated to me, actually. Let the characters speak for themselves instead of feeding the audience meaning.



There’s more gal palling from Sansa and Brienne, dynamic and peculiar duo that they are. Sansa, Brienne, and Pod arrive at the Wall just before Jon decides to leave, and all have different opinions about those they find at Castle Black. Sansa and Jon enjoy warm greetings, then remember their childhood together (evidently Sansa was a B— to Jon) but they put their childish past behind them and look towards the future. Brienne menaces Melisandre and Davos, the murder of Renly Baratheon ever on her mind; let’s hope that Sansa and Jon can temper those flames!

Yup, that’s me forecasting a
Stark victory over Ramsay Bolton.

They now have Ramsey to deal with together, who, remember from last week, has Rickon prisoned. It takes a bit of convincing the curmudgeon-y Jon (he did just get resurrected) but in the end he agrees with Sansa that the two of them should take back Winterfell, because, Sansa asks an intriguing question—where else would they go? What else would they do? A fight for their old home, Winterfell, does seem their ultimate destiny. The question of man-power comes up—Ramsey has 5,000. Could the Wildlings (who don’t seem so wild anymore now that they have safety from the whitewalkers) be of some help . . . ? It has me wondering where else the Starks might find others who would be devoted to their cause. I think the question of the Wildlings will become more relevant when the Starks attempt to keep the North an independent kingdom (yup, that’s me forecasting a Stark victory over Ramsay Bolton).



Who, by the way, just killed off one of my favorite characters! We never really got to know Osha’s backstory, which was a tipoff to her demise, but also made her quite intriguing. Her dedication to the Stark boys was always incredible. sniff. sniff.

Stay tuned next week, for what is hopefully the next step in what seems to be a Lannister-Tyrell reconciliation! Gasp!! Will this be the set-up for Margaery’s and Tommen’s rule, or will the High Septom be able to clear out two high houses in a single stroke? 






About the Author:

Nicole Foti is an adjunct professor of writing and cultural studies at various colleges in Rhode Island and Connecticut. She uses academic research as a disguise to think deeply about fantasy, science fiction, feminism, representation, affective dynamics and shifting modes of power.

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