Every week, the ladies of Fusion will join together to discuss the most recent episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones. This week, political reporter Katie McDonough and culture reporter Tahirah Hairston tackle season six, episode four, "The Book of the Stranger." Culture reporter Kelsey McKinney could not participate this week because her HBO GO did not work, which was very rude of Comcast.
In this week’s episode (SPOILERS): Daenerys Targaryen tells the Dothraki Khals to respect that/bow down, bitches. Jon and Sansa reunite and hug. Cersei, momentarily not scheming, resumes her scheming. Grey Worm imparts wisdom to Tyrion and maybe shops at Opening Ceremony.
Dany burns it all down. (Literally.)
Katie: I think the first and only place to start is with Daenerys Targaryen the Unburnt! We knew she was unburnt, but this week she was, like, super unburnt.
Tahirah: Dany is my hero. She proved why she deserves the Iron Throne. No one else can do this.
Katie: And Dany burning down the Dothraki house is playing out while Tyrion, back in Meereen, is making deals in her name with slavers.
Tahirah: Tyrion is all about compromising and Dany is like, no, we will bow down to no one. They will bow down to us.
Katie: So about Tyrion. We in the Game of Thrones ladies roundtable love Tyrion, a hottie and a wise man. But I feel like this comprised and compromising truce with the slavers is a situation in which his plotting, and the expectation that he's the smartest guy in the room, might backfire. Grey Worm's warning that "you will not control them, they will control you" felt ominous and, well, correct.
Tahirah: I think the schemes and tricks that worked in Westeros will not work here. The tactics are very different, and so are the people. I don’t understand why he wouldn’t listen to Grey Worm and Missandei, who were actually slaves and lived there. I don’t think he’s going to fail, though, because he’s adaptable and smart, but I do think he might be taught a lesson. Right now, he’s overly confident… like every man in real life.
Katie: Like actually every man.
Tahirah: The Khals looked at Daenerys like she was dumb and then she put her hand on the fire and smiled. It was very Beyoncé in Lemonade when she was smiling running around smashing cars.
Katie: Her smile throughout that entire exchange was kind of the best part. The Dany power grab was so satisfying because the Khals were offering her this fucked-up version of mercy: We won't rape you, but you have to stay here forever. And Dany was just like, Nah, I'm good.
Tahirah: The thing I love about Dany is that not being in the position of power doesn’t make her feel powerless, and that is what makes a great leader.
Katie: Yes. And, briefly, on Grey Worm: Loving that he seems to be shopping at Opening Ceremony this season.
Tahirah: Very hip.
Sansa Stark and Jon Snow are happy for once in their damn lives.
Katie: Can we talk about Sansa and Jon and the one happy moment that either of them have experienced since forever? I fist-pumped when they hugged. Those two need a little tenderness.
Tahirah: I felt so much emotion. I was clapping and yelling. They really needed a glimpse of hope. And Sansa is so strong and ready to fight now.
Katie: Sansa is out for blood. But Jon is ready to say goodbye to war.
Tahirah: She’s been through enough and is ready for revenge, while Jon Snow just feels defeated. He is happy to have his life back. Also, I think that Jon and Dany both understand power and loyalty in a different way from the Lannisters, who use their power to taunt. They know that you can’t alienate people because they will not be loyal.
Katie: Yes, totally. Or they know that you can't alienate the wrong people. Both are down to burn bridges when necessary, but shore up their most essential alliances.
Tahirah: Yes, they will definitely burn down those haters. Or hang them.
Katie: RIP Olly. So we have Sansa, Jon, and the Wildlings making a move on the North. Which has me feeling very excited.
Tahirah: Yes, and I think the Wildings are going to be stronger than Ramsay’s team. Ramsay is the man gloating before a basketball game who hasn’t practiced. Then he loses.
Katie: I hope! Ramsay is very terrible! On that note: We lost another great lady last night. I was hoping Osha would plunge that knife into Ramsay's throat, but I also kind of knew it wouldn't happen.
Tahirah: I knew she was going to die. That was not the way Ramsay would go down. It has to be grander. Game of Thrones always has terrible characters die in epic ways. Tyrion murdered his father. Joffrey was poisoned. Sansa has to kill Ramsay. I am so over him. When will we end him? He is the new Joffrey. Everyone is waiting for his death. Also, I hate that I will probably hate the guy who plays Ramsay in everything he appears after this.
Katie: I bet people tell him to fuck off on the street. Like, if I saw him drop a bag of groceries, I'd just keep walking. Sorry, Ramsay. Pick up your own damn apples.
Tahirah: Same. #neverforget.
Katie: It would be tragic to leave out Brienne and Thormund Giantsbane trading looks at the table. Let this happen!
Tahirah: I SAW THAT. I was like OKAYYY. Please HAPPEN!
Katie: I want them to get together and then I want them to adopt us.
Tahirah: And we can go live in Winterfell and get furs.
Katie: And borrow Grey Worm's wardrobe.
Tahirah: Balmain for Game of Thrones.
Damn, Cersei, back at it again with the scheming.
Tahirah: Cersei is the perfect example of how the Lannisters were taught to lead—and that is through compromise.
Katie: And scheming. Their power rests in a series of shifting and broken alliances.
Tahirah: Lannisters = schemers. It’s what makes them both weak and strong. I wonder if Cersei's attempt to save Margery is genuine, though.
Katie: No way! Cersei is once again playing to people's emotional weaknesses to get what she wants.
Tahirah: She’s does that so well. She’s like, let’s make this work. Mostly for me. She makes alliances when they are convenient and burns them at the drop of a hat. That's such a great contrast between her and Dany. And why everyone hates the Lannisters.
Katie: Imagine Dany and Cersei facing off? Like, I can't even picture it.
Tahirah: Dany would ruin her and then make her bow down.
Katie: And just imagine all the looks that would be traded. Like, those two are good at mugging.
Final thoughts and this week's Iron Throne of Hotness.
Katie: The women are still owning this season. They are directing their own fortunes, really stepping out into their own, in a way that just hasn't happened yet. It was amazing to see Dany—no dragons, no army—just cleaning house. Another final thought: Who knew that Dothraki temples were so flammable? I was like, Why are those flames traveling so fast? That floor is made of dirt.
Tahirah: It’s so funny that the Dothraki men were all talk, but then when the fire came, they literally curled up together in a ball.
Katie: And at the end, you have Dany, naked and alone, hair looking fantastic even though she was just engulfed in flames, ready for the next fight.
Tahirah: That scene was very powerful, portraying her nudity as strength. Sansa is also ready to get revenge and get what is hers. Sansa’s fight will be the most warranted one on the show.
Katie: All of the major fights playing out right now are essentially a reckoning over men's cruelty and inhumanity to women. Dany and Sansa have survived so much, been underestimated at every turn. And they're about to let it loose. And it's going to be amazing.
Tahirah: The men on GoT really underestimate women, and they better learn (but they probably won’t). The best part for me is the look of disbelief on their faces when they get what's coming to them.
Katie: YES. Every time.
Tahirah: Every single time.
Katie: Iron Throne of Hotness? I vote Dany! She was also literally hot, because she was engulfed in flames.
Tahirah: Yes, Dany is the hottie of the week. She looked better than everyone and she was just in a fire.