‘Game of Thrones’: How Daenerys Just Changed Everything

The main crux of the Game of Thrones story revolves around a series of parallel stories. Sometimes, these stories are directly related. Other times, they bear no similarities past the fact that they take place concurrently. In just the fourth episode of Season 6 though, the popular HBO series may have tipped its hand in a big way, telling us just how all our various characters and plots are intertwined. While some may argue that the “main characters” of the show are the Starks, “Book of the Stranger” points a big giant arrow at Daenerys Targaryen as the unifying force behind the whole story.

We see that unity, in an episode that presented some of the most significant plot movement in Daenerys’s story since she first started her conquest of Essos. Even the parts of the episode that took place in the North and Kings Landing tangentially related back to the future of the Targaryens in Westeros. More and more this season, the endgame for Game of Thrones is coming into focus, and here’s how.

1. Jon and Sansa reunited

Jon Snow and Sansa Stark - Game of Thrones, Season 6
Two Starks meet for the first time in forever | Source: HBO

The episode kicked off with a reunion many seasons in the making. Sansa, having finally escaped the Boltons, finally finds safety at Castle Black. The newly resurrected Jon in turn finds purpose, after a brief moment where we see him considering a quiet life south of the Wall. With the help of the Wildlings, soon they’ll march on Winterfell, seizing the North, and securing the region of Westeros that’s sure to be a key battleground in seasons to come.

So how does any of this relate back to Daenerys? We know the White Walkers are coming, and if they invade a divided Westeros, humanity won’t stand a chance. The best chance to unite the North is with a Stark presiding over Winterfell, which in turn sets up a possible alliance with a certain Targaryen Khaleesi. With theories abound of Jon Snow’s Targaryen lineage, his fate could be inextricably tied to that of Daenerys, especially if she turns out to be his aunt.

2. Tyrion plays politics in Meereen

Tyrion Lannister - Game of Thrones, Season 6
Tyrion’s been busy in Season 6 | Source: HBO

Daenerys Targaryen has seldom struggled in the military realm, having conquered almost all of Slaver’s Bay during her time in Essos. It’s politics that she’s truly stumbled on every step of the way though, and there’s no better tutor for her than Tyrion Lannister. Tyrion’s sharp mind and even sharper wit make him eminently qualified to sit at her right hand for all political matters. His latest exploits show him working out a deal with the Wise Masters, requiring that they abolish slavery in all its forms within seven years. It’s a compromise that Daenerys likely never would have made, but if she’s going to rule over Westeros, it’s exactly the sort of maneuvering she’ll have to learn in order to be successful.

3. Theon returns to the Iron Islands

Theon Greyjoy - Game of Thrones, Season 6
Theon returns home | Source: HBO

Theon’s journey is one that mirrors Daenerys’s in a lot of ways. They’re both the young heirs of a storied ruling family long past its prime, exiled in their own unique ways. Theon’s an example of the worst case scenario though, having been tortured and mutilated into near-insanity. Unlike Daenerys though, he has no designs of retaking the throne his family lost, having been “broken into a thousand pieces” by Ramsay Bolton. He now returns to the Iron Islands to support the claim his sister is making to his ancestral throne, while Daenerys Targaryen continues to gather her own strength among the Dothraki.

4. Daenerys becomes more powerful than ever

Daenerys Targaryen - Game of Thrones
Daenerys has her best episode of the season | Source: HBO

It’s been difficult to see what the plan for Daenerys was going to be this season. Captured by the Dothraki and abandoned by her dragon, her storied has been one of the more ignored ones so far. Things are finally peaked out now though. Daenerys burned the Khals alive in the temple of the Dosh Khaleen, leaving her as the one, sole ruler of 100,000 Dothrakis. That also affords her an army bigger than any in the world, especially when combined with her Unsullied back in Meereen.

With a deal in place to abolish slavery, and a massive army at her back, Daenerys is finally primed for assault on Westeros. The White Walkers approach from the North, and there’s no better way to endear herself to the people she wants to rule than to beat off the undead invasion. The question now concerns Daenerys consolidating her considerable forces for the long journey across the Narrow Sea. We still have six more episodes left in the season, so there’s certainly no shortage of time for that to occur.

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