'Game of Thrones' recap: Don't mess with Dany or you'll get burned

'Game of Thrones' recap: Don't mess with Dany or you'll get burned
Emilia Clarke in a scene from “Game of Thrones.” (Helen Sloan / HBO)

Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) has many distinguished titles, including Queen of Meereen, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons. Now it's time to add yet another moniker.

Call her Queen of the Dothraki, for Dany has broken into -- actually burned down -- the ultimate old boys club.


In "Book of the Stranger," Episode 54 of HBO's "Game of Thrones," Dany torches all the Dothraki warlords who meant her unspeakable harm.

Then she emerges like a goddess, untouched by the flames of a fully engulfed temple. Her newly converted subjects bow in awe.

According to tradition, Dany should have joined the widows of Dothraki leaders after her husband, Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa), died. Instead, Dany chose a forbidden path by going out into the world, freeing slaves, raising dragons, etc.

When Dany is captured by Dothraki horsemen and taken to the Temple of the Dosh Khaleen, the clan leaders sit in judgment. Best case scenario, she'll cohabitate with the widows. Worst case? Don't ask.

Boyfriend Daario Naharis (Michiel Huisman) attempts to rescue Dany with assistance from Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen). But escaping from 100,000 Dothrakis is impossible, so all Daario and Jorah can do is bar the temple door once Dany is inside with the khals.

"You are small men," Dany defiantly tells her captors. "None of you are fit to lead the Dothraki. But I am. So I will."

"Did you really think we would serve you?" Khal Moro (Joe Naufahu) asks as the other men howl with laughter.

"You're not going to serve," Dany calmly replies. "You're going to die."

With that, Dany pushes over flaming cauldrons that incinerate the screaming khals. And because fire can't harm a dragon -- or the Mother of Dragons -- Dany strides out of the temple unharmed.

It's reminiscent of that famous scene in Season 1 when Dany emerged unscathed and unclothed from her husband's funeral pyre with three just-hatched dragons on her shoulders.

Back in Meereen, meanwhile, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) practices diplomacy in Dany's absence in order to quell an uprising by the Sons of the Harpy. These insurgents -- who nearly assassinated Dany -- are funded by wealthy families determined to restore slavery in Slaver's Bay.

Dany recognizes that she erred by abolishing slavery without providing a system to replace it, Tyrion admits to representatives of the former ruling elite. So she offers a tempting proposal.

"Slavery will never return to Meereen," Tyrion explains, "but she will give the other cities of Slaver's Bay time to adjust to the new order." Seven years of adjustment, to be precise, then all slaves will be liberated per Dany's orders.

But former slave Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson), leader of Dany's Unsullied warrior-eunuchs, warns that the masters can't be trusted or manipulated.

"You will not use them," Grey Worm cautions Tyrion. "They will use you. That is what they do!"


Here are some other key developments in Episode 54:

• Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) seek to overthrow the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) by enlisting the aid of Lady Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) and her army. This will likely spark a civil war in King's Landing. However, it should free Olenna's grandchildren Queen Margaery (Natalie Dormer) and Ser Loras (Finn Jones) from the dungeon.

• After Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) reunites with her reanimated half-brother Jon Snow (Kit Harington) at Castle Black, they receive horrible news. Unless Sansa returns to her ruthless husband, Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon), he'll murder the youngest Stark brother, Rickon (Art Parkinson), and slaughter all the Wildlings. "A monster has taken our home and our brother," Sansa exclaims. "We have to go back to Winterfell and save them both!"