WARNING: Spoilers! This post contains spoilers for Season 6, Episode 4 of Game of Thrones.
After last week's exciting installment, fans have undoubtedly been anticipating the arrival of last night's Game of Thrones episode. As we know from the images released by HBO, Daenerys is still in the temple of the dosh khaleen, Littlefinger makes his return after being absent for several episodes, and Jorah and Daario are on the hunt for Dany. As usual, so much happened in the episode and so much needs to be discussed. So without further adieu, here is your weekly recap of Game of Thrones.
The episode opens at Castle Black. Edd questions Jon over his resignation from the Night's Watch, asking him where he will go once he departs. Jon, maintaining his newfound dry sense of humor, says that he will go somewhere warm. In a shocking turn of events, the gates are opened. Is it war? No, not at all. It's actually a rather emotional family reunion as Sansa, Brienne and Podrick ride on horseback through the Castle Black gates. After exchanging knowing looks at each other, Sansa and Jon embrace. It's a tearjerking moment that would make even the coldest of hearts melt.
Sansa apologizes about the way she treated Jon when she was younger. He forgives her. They decide to stick together and Sansa suggests returning home to Winterfell. Jon, initially unsure of how to respond, tells her that he's sick of fighting. Sansa tells him she's taking back Winterfell, with or without him.
In the courtyard, Melisandre tells Davos that she serves Jon Snow now. Davos demands an explanation for what happened to Princess Shireen, but before they can discuss any further, Brienne interrupts, informing them both that she is the one who killed Stannis. Brienne tells Melisandre that she doesn't forget, referring to the Shadow demon that killed Renly.
Petyr Baelish shows up for the first time this season, visiting his stepson Robin Arryn. As always, he has ulterior motives and it soon becomes apparent that he wants the men of the Vale to rescue Sansa, knowing that the Boltons will not stop until Ramsay has her back in his clutches. Robin offhandedly agrees to the plan to rescue Sansa.
Meanwhile, over in Essos, Tyrion allows the Great Masters of Slaver's Bay to visit him — a decision that both Missandei and Grey Worm take offense to. Later, Tyrion makes a deal with the Masters that will result in the abolition of slavery — in seven years' time. Like winning a war, it cannot happen over night; it takes time. While this is a logical plan, it's easy to understand why Grey Worm and Missandei have trouble accepting it. Despite their doubts, they begrudgingly tell the former slaves of Meereen to have faith. Grey Worm later warns Tyrion that the Masters are using him and they're not to be trusted.
In the cells of Winterfell, Margaery is taken to the High Sparrow for questioning. He remains pleasant — as he was with Tommen in last week's episode — and allows her to see her brother Loras. The fallen knight is looking pretty feeble — a shadow of his former pretty self. Margery pleads with Loras not to let the religious cult win, but he responds by telling her that he no longer cares; he just wants the abuse to stop. He breaks down in her arms and she consoles him.
Speaking of crying siblings, Theon returns home to the Iron Islands and breaks down in front Yara. She tells him how he let her down — how good men died during the previous attempt to rescue him. She can see that Ramsay has broken Theon, but that doesn't make the situation any easier for her. A teary Theon then tells Yara that she should be the one to take control of the Iron Islands and he'll help her in any way that he can.
Back in King's Landing, Tommen informs Cersei that the High Sparrow confided in him some important information: Margaery will complete the Walk of Shame. In the following segment, former allies become comrades as Lady Olenna and Cersei agree that this cannot happen. Jaime and Cersei begin a plan of attack, highlighting that a civil war might begin as they agree to take Margaery back into the protection of the crown.
Up in the grim North, Osha confronts Ramsay. She suggests that her association with the Starks was nothing but her job as a slave and that she has no allegiance to the former wardens of the North. She attempts to seduce Ramsay. In her attempt, she takes the opportunity to reach for a knife, but unfortunately Ramsay is quicker and stabs her in the neck before she can inflict any damage. She drops to the floor and bleeds out. If the showrunners keep this up, the death toll this season will most likely be larger than the previous seasons combined.
Back at Castle Black, Sansa and Jon enjoy food and a quiet moment for once. It's a pleasant pause — one that we are not too familiar with in the cruel world of Westeros. Not long afterward, a letter is brought to Jon; he recognizes the seal — it's from Ramsay. The letter details the gruesome things that Ramsay will allegedly do to Jon and Sansa, and confirms that Rickon is being held in the dungeon of Winterfell. After reading aloud the disturbing letter, Jon and Sansa come to the agreement that they will take back Winterfell together.
Jorah and Daario are searching for Daenerys — and they are close. Jorah deduces that the Dothraki would've taken her to the dosh khaleen as it's where she was expected to go after Khal Drogo died, according to Dothraki law. Jorah disarms himself, telling Daario that the Dothraki would start a war if they see two armed men in Vaes Dothrak. This way, at least they can pretend to be merchants if they're caught. Daario notices Jorah's greyscaled arm, with Jorah admitting that he knows what his fate will be. They enter the city at night and fight off two Dothraki men. Daario, having only pretended to earlier discard his favorite knife, uses it to stab one of the two tribesmen.
Daenerys sits quietly in the temple of the dosh khaleen as she is informed that whatever the khals decide, her fate will most likely not be pleasant. She and a young Lhazareen exit the temple to "make water." The young woman seems fascinated by the fact that Daenerys has dragons, and the two of them bond. They are suddenly ambushed by Jorah and Daario. Dany tells them that they have little chance of making it out alive, but that she has an idea and she needs their help. Later, we return as the khals make their decision about Dany in the temple. Confident Daenerys tells the Dothraki tribe leaders of how she remembers this temple. It was the temple where Drogo made her promises. It's apparent that the Dothraki soldiers do not care for her confidence. She tells them how she will not be their bargaining chip.
Khal Moro, disliking Dany's brazen tone, tells her how she's lost the option of remaining at the dosh khaleen. She then lashes out at the men, calling them unfit and "small," suggesting that they are unworthy leaders. Then, in a bold statement, Daenerys says that she will lead the Dothraki. The men erupt in laughter. Suddenly, she puts her hands on a fire basket but remains unburnt. She pushes over the basket, setting the room alight; this appears to be her plan all along. The Dothraki attempt to escape, but they cannot. She remains in the middle of the temple, unburnt. The temple, and its inhabitants, goes up in flames.
Outside, Jorah and Daario approach the burning temple, while the city's population surrounds it. As the burning doors fall off, a naked, unharmed Daenerys emerges. It's a jaw-dropping scene reminiscent of the dragon birth from the Season 1 finale. The people stare in amazement, including Daario, as everyone present bows before her. Daenerys has got her army.
It was arguably the best episode of the season yet as things are beginning to really heat up (no pun intended). As I struggle to focus following such a great episode, I can only calm myself by counting down the moments until I will be humming that unforgettable theme tune next Sunday night.