Game of Thrones, "Book of The Stranger," reunites significant characters and clearly sets the path for conflicts to come. The episode harkens back to events of the first season that started the epic battle for Westeros. After the decimation of their family, the loss of Winterfell, and countless personal horrors, the Starks finally have a heartfelt reunion. Sansa (Sophie Turner) arrives at Castle Black and the protection of Jon Snow (Kit Harington). This moment signals a change of fate for the Starks, who can again mount an opposition as a family. We also get an epic resolve to Daenerys in the clutches of the Dothraki horde. The Mother of Dragons strikes back in a big way to show the doubters whose boss.
Book of The Stranger opens with Jon Snow getting ready to leave Castle Black. The gates open to a weary Sansa, Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and Podrick (Daniel Portman). Sansa and Jon fall into each others arms after years apart. She tells him of the events at Winterfell. They must resolve to get their home back at any costs. Jon has had enough of fighting. He cannot imagine returning to battle, but will never leave Sansa's side again. The Stark banner has not fallen yet.
Littlefinger (Aiden Gillen) makes his first appearance in season six. He returns to the Vale, where the sickly and petulant Robyn Arryn (Lino Facioli) is attempting combat training. Littlefinger spoils the boy lord with an exotic gift, and then tells him that Sansa was kidnapped by the Boltons. This lie is not believed by anyone, but Robyn is so completely under Littlefinger's control. He is easily convinced that House Arryn and the Vale must now join the fight to rescue Sansa.
Across the sea in Mereen, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) has arranged a meeting with the Masters. Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) are repulsed by bargaining with their former slavers. They warn Tyrion that the Masters cannot be trusted, but follow his lead. Tyrion tells them you make peace with your enemies, not your friends. He tells the Masters that they have seven years to end slavery in Yunkai and Astapor. Then bribes them with prostitutes. He has bought Mereen time and stopped the funding of the Harpy insurrection.
Ser Jorah (Iain Glen) and Daario (Michael Huisman) at long last reach the Dothraki horde. While shedding their weapons to infiltrate the city, Daario sees that Jorah has been infected by the Stone Man disease. Meanwhile at the tent of the widows, Daenerys listens while the others discuss her judgment at the upcoming meeting of the Khals. She's accompanied outside to use the bathroom when Jorah and Daario make their move. They implore her to escape with them, but she has a better idea.
At Kings Landing, Margaery (Natalie Dormer) is taken to see the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce). He tells her of how he overcame his life of sin to walk a path of righteousness. Then takes her to see her brother Loras (Finn Jones). He's been brutalized. Loras begs her to make them stop. Tommen (Dean Charles-Chapman) tells Cersei (Lena Headey) that the High Sparrow will force Margaery to do the Walk of Shame. Cersei understands that despite her hatred for Margaery, this cannot be allowed. She tells Lady Tyrell (Diana Rigg) and her Uncle Kevan Lannister (Ian Gelder) of this plan. They conspire with Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) to unite their armies against the High Sparrow before Margaery's humiliation.
Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) returns home to the Iron Islands. He greets his sister Yara (Gemma Whelan) with deep shame. She curses him for his weakness and the lives of her men killed in attempting his rescue. Theon is apprised of his father's murder. He begs his sister's forgiveness, then swears to support her leadership. Another family reconciles and is now stronger.
The Book of Strangers takes a decidedly unjust turn with another female character meeting a vile end. The sadistic rapist and murderer Ramsey Bolton (Iwan Rheon) waits in his chamber for the Wildling girl, Osha (Natalie Tena). She saved Rickon Stark (Art Parkinson), protected him for years, only to be stabbed in the neck ignominiously here. Osha had used seduction to kill and escape from evil noblemen before, but unfortunately runs out of luck against Ramsey. Theon told Ramsey everything about her when he was tortured. Game of Thrones revels in good characters dying horribly. Add Osha to that sad list, she didn't have a chance.
A Bolton messenger rides into Castle Black. Ramsey has a message for Jon Snow. He has their brother Rickon and demands the return of Sansa. He threatens to flay the boy, rape Sansa to death, and tear out Jon's eyes, after he watches his family suffer. Sansa implores Jon to gather his strength. They must retake their family home from this monster or the Starks will never find peace. Bolton has at least five thousand men. The Wildlings and the Knights at Castle Black are two thousand strong at best. Jon knows the difficulty of the fight ahead, but is now resolved to reclaim Winterfell.
The episode ends in a fiery display of greatness. Daenerys is brought before the Khals to be judged. She tells them that they are small men, who are not fit to rule. As they heap scorn and threaten to violate here, she overturns the fire pits. The Khals attempt to escape, but find the entrance barricaded by Jorah and Daario. They burn to death while the Dothraki surround the flaming deathtrap. They watch in amazement as Daenerys the Unburnt emerges unscathed from the fire. The Dothraki drop to their knees in front of their new leader. Just as she did in the finale of season one, Daenerys steps out of the fire and becomes the Khaleesi of the Dothraki again; except this time it's not just a clan, but a hundred thousand hardened warriors.
Book of the Stranger was the reunion episode that fans have been waiting for. Sansa and Jon Snow make the Starks a formidable adversary again. She has been witness and victimized by political intrigue. He is proven in battle, a true leader of men, and resurrected by the God of Light. Together they may finally have what it takes to defeat Ramsey Bolton. The same can be said for the Greyjoy's, the Lannister's, and the Tyrell's. The fractured parts are coming together to face the threats to their respective families. Then we have Daenerys wielding her power effectively to take command. The prophecy from season one, of her child sitting on the Iron Throne, may come to pass after all. She will return to Mereen as strong as she's ever been. If only poor Osha could have had a better ending. Check below for HBO's inside look into the episode.