By season six most big shows, even the really good ones, have jumped the shark. Not so with the entertainment juggernaut that is Game of Thrones, which threw out yet another corker of an episode last night. If you thought things had peaked too early with the whole Jon-Snow-is-actually-alive twist it would seem you’d be wrong. Because two pretty marvellous things happened in last night’s episode 4 Book of the Stranger.
1) The big reunion
For the last few seasons the surviving members of the Stark family have been scattered across Westeros like loose change. Arya came so heartbreakingly close to seeing her mother and brother again at The Red Wedding, just before they were mercilessly slaughtered by the Freys. So there were happy cheers from sofas across the country when Sansa Stark finally made it to Castle Black to greet her long lost half-brother Jon, after escaping the torturous hands of Ramsay Bolton. But obviously, because in this show every happy twist is tainted by another dark turn of events, one Stark has almost immediately been replaced by another – Sansa’s little brother Rickon. The reunion showed off Sansa’s new role in the show as a leader and a fighter, rallying a reluctant Jon Snow into battle against Ramsay. So far this season has been Sansa’s, and between her, Arya, Daenerys and Yara Greyjoy – who is making her bid to be queen of the Iron Islands – we’re seeing a pleasing quad of strong female characters emerging. Long may it last.
2) The very fiery ending
Until the end of Book of the Stranger Daenerys has been a relatively passive presence in the season, despite giving a bit of her trademark pocket rocket sass after being captured by the Dothraki. But last night’s ending saw her go Peak Dragon Lady again when she burned down an entire wooden shack of Khals – ‘you are not going to serve me… you are going to die’ and emerged through the flames completely unscathed (other than the fact that her clothes had burned off so she was completely naked, but this didn’t seem to be bothering her) The Dothraki knelt in amazement. Now she’s got an entire army of horse warriors behind her. Tick! She makes it look so easy.
Roll on episode five…