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"Book of the Stranger"'s warm reunions, new alliances, and exquisitely fiery finale is Game of Thrones at its best.
Suddenly, women have agency and they're wielding their newfound power overtly. They're not just behind-the-scenes puppetmasters, as they've been at times in past seasons. They're getting aggressive - seizing control and waging war.
So maybe all the table-setting can get frustrating sometimes. But once the pieces are in position, wow does this show know how to use them.
In Sunday's episode "The Book of the Stranger," we see the degradations suffered by Sansa Stark, Margaery Tyrell and Daenerys Targaryen forged (by actual fire, in the latter's case) into a searing determination to claim their own agency.
Khaleesi is back. After being mocked and ridiculed by the Dothraki, Daenerys with the help of Jorah and Daario Naharis, launched an epic escape from Vaes Dothrak.
This episode felt as though it moved the plot forward more than the previous three combined-and it did so while engineering an uncommon number of individually excellent scenes.
It was a stunning and cathartic end to one of the strongest episodes of the season thus far as the stakes across Westeros were ratcheted up spectacularly.
All credit to Kit Harington and Sophie Turner for acting the hell out of the scene, as deceptively simple as it may seem.
Then again, it is hard not to be impressed by/afraid of a woman with such a flare for pyrotechnics.
"Book of the Stranger" carries that momentum by hinting at the season's - and possibly some of the show's - endgame.
Holy f*ck, Daenerys. Just when I thought this episode was going to be a lot of boring standing around and talking, Daenerys delivers fantasy medieval lemonade.