I’m just going to say this now. If you have not yet seen episode 5 of Season 6 of Game of Thrones. Turn away. Turn away now and live happily for a little bit longer.
I warned you.
Last night’s fifth episode, also known as The Door, and it was a big one.
And I just…
I’m going to start with the worst. Let’s get the tears over with people. We can do it (we can’t do it, but shhh).
BEYOND THE WALL:
This episode was filled to the brim with surprises and twists, and the biggest ones took place in the North. Last night, we learned something I truly didn’t expect to learn for years to come. We learned how the White Walkers came to be.
Bran walks with The Three Eyed Raven through, what looked to me to be the North? It was a flashback, centuries and centuries ago, and while there was no snow, the weirwood tree and surroundings says that the North wasn’t always covered in snow. We see the Children of the Forest, some of who still are with the Three Eyed Raven. They have a human man tied to the weirwood tree, and one of the Children steps forward, slowly digging her knife into his chest as he screams. When the dagger has completely disappeared into his skin, his eyes turn blue. And so the first Walker is born.
So the Children of the Forest created White Walkers! It was because they were at war. They were being slaughtered by men, and needed to protect themselves. It is doubtful that even they could have foreseen the damage and danger this action would cause, but then again, perhaps they did, but felt they had no choice. It’s hard to say. But they created the Walkers to fight man, which makes the ending of the episode so much more poetic.
Bran is obviously pretty pissed about this. But that really is no excuse for stupidity. Bran decides to go back in, when everyone is asleep, returning to the weirwood tree in present time. Before him stands hundreds upon hundreds of White Walkers, many of them quite rotted. He walks among them, looking at the army Westeros will soon have to face. And then he reaches the Night’s King. All the Walkers turn their gaze upon him and within seconds, the Night’s King has not only seen Bran, but touched him.
Bran now has his mark upon him. He and his army can now enter the Three Eyed Raven’s cave, which means they must leave immediately. The Three Eyed Raven then says something that leads to many questions. Bran asks what it is time for, and he says, “For you to become me.” What does this mean? We know the plan never was for Bran to stay there in the cave. So what is the plan? Will Bran take the knowledge he learns and use it to save Westeros, or is his purpose simply to observe? Only time will tell. But it better tell soon.
By the night, Bran and the Three Eyed Raven are witnessing one last vision together. They are in Winterfell, watching as Ned departs. It seems like a fairly random flashback, until the end of it.
Back in the cave, Meera and Hodor are talking about how much they miss food, sausages and eggs, and can’t wait to have it when they get back. But Meera can see Hodor’s breath, and she knows. She runs outside, and she and the Children of the Forest look on at the army before them, the army of the undead. Meera runs back in and tries to wake Bran up, but it doesn’t work. Meanwhile, the Children of the Forest throws balls of flame toward the Walkers, and then burning the wood surrounding the cave. While the wights cannot withstand fire, it does not affect the Night’s King and the others in the slightest. They get in effortlessly, and there’s only so long that the Children can hold them off. Not to mention that the wights can find another way in.
Meera throws a spear, penetrating one of the Walker’s armor and shattering him instantly. We must assume this spear was made with dragon glass, but either way, we can add Meera to the short list of people who have killed a White Walker.
They are overcome with Walkers. Meera, Hodor, and one of the Children, the one who created the White Walkers, run off, dragging Bran behind. But Summer doesn’t come. He stands behind, fighting and trying to buy Bran some time. He is quickly ripped apart, dying to save Bran. If anyone’s keeping track, that leaves one direwolf alive, for certain. One. ONE. BLOODY. DIREWOLF.
It’s clear they won’t make it to the door in time at this rate. But the Child of the Forest stops, telling them to go on, she will hold them off. She is stabbed and torn at by the Walkers, before setting them all aflame. This person who created the Walkers to kill men, has now died killing Walkers to save men. The poetic contrast of that is too beautiful for words.
Meera, Hodor, and Bran make it to the door, Bran still in the vision. The Three Eyed Raven tells him that this is goodbye, and as the Night’s King murders him, he disintegrates into the air, leaving Bran with nothing but the people of Winterfell.
Hodor finally busts the door open, and as soon as Meera is through, he holds it shut. “Hold the door!” She shouts at him as she drags Bran away. “Hold the door, hold the door!” She continues to repeat it over and over again, and as the Walkers tear at his flesh, he doesn’t stop. Back in the flashback, Hodor freezes, looks at Bran for a second, and collapses to the ground. Convulsing, he shouts, “Hold the door! Hold the door! Hold the door!” A sort of premonition of what’s to come. And soon, it overtakes him completely. “Hold the door!” turns into “Hodor!”
And with that, we say goodbye to a beloved, gentle character that we have known since Season One.
A terrible and heartbreaking death, it comes along with the answer to the question, why does Hodor say Hodor? And the answer is just as heartbreaking. That was his job. To Hold The Door. And he did it. He held the door. I bawled. I absolutely bawled.
Of course, while Hodor was being torn apart by White Walkers, Bran was still in the flashback. This makes me, and many of the fans, a little angry. But if Bran hadn’t stayed there, he wouldn’t have known the truth. And now, hopefully it won’t have been in vain. If Bran returns, and is reunited with Jon and Sansa, he can tell them, and all of the North how Hodor died, saving him, doing his duty, holding the door.
I’m going to try to stop crying to write the rest of this post, but I make no promises.
THE WALL/MOLE’S TOWN:
At the Wall, things have calmed down a bit. Jon’s alive, he and Sansa are reunited, it seems like a pretty decent time, actually. Until Sansa receives a letter from none other than Littlefinger himself.
She takes Brienne with her to meet Petyr Baelish at Mole’s Town, and this brings us another incredibly suspenseful scene. It’s actually really fantastic, because Littlefinger is this character that is so clever and calculated, he’s always ten steps ahead, at least. But this is the first time we truly see him caught off guard.
Sansa knows better now than to trust him, and she won’t be played. She asks him straight up,”Did you know about Ramsay? If you didn’t know, you’re an idiot. If you did know, you’re my enemy.” This in and of itself throws him off, because which is better, the idiot or the enemy? Either way, it’s doubtful they shall be allies, so he simply stays silent as she proceeds to ask him what he think Ramsay did to her. He first answers that he can’t imagine, but she asks him again. When he stays silent, Brienne grasps the hilt of her sword, and he starts feeling a little more talkative.
Sansa goes on to tell him exactly what it was like, delivering one of the most powerful speeches of the show, especially for her character. Her arc is so brilliant, and she’s changed so much in the past seasons. She stares at him and says, “I can still feel it. I don’t mean in my tender heart it still pains me so, I can still feel what he did, in my body, standing here right now.” She won’t let him take advantage of her any longer, she won’t be his puppet. She threatens his life, so much so I actually wondered if this would be the death of him. But no, she threatens, and he says that if she wants him to die, here and now, he will die. And I think this makes her hesitate. She tells him she never wants to see him again, she doesn’t need him anymore. She and Jon will take back their home on their own.
And then Littlefinger, sly little fox that he is, says something that seriously could mess with Jon and Sansa’s dynamic. When Sansa talks of her army, he corrects her and says, “Your brother’s army…half brother.”
Now we know that Jon isn’t a bad person. He’s actually the exact opposite of that. And he would never take Winterfell from Sansa, he would never hurt her in any way. He was raised by Ned Stark, and he carries the same honor that Ned did. He would bend the knee to Sansa, he wouldn’t even hesitate. But Sansa doesn’t know this. What she knows is that every man in her life has abused her, taken advantage of her, used her, just generally been really, really awful. And here’s her brother, one that she’s never really known, a man who has been Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Maybe he still likes that power. Maybe he will take it for himself.
Obviously he won’t, we know that much, but I understand why Sansa lies to Jon later. They need more men. And it seems that Jon has not in the least forgotten about the Walkers. But he can’t take back Winterfell and fight the Walkers all at once. He needs more men to take Winterfell, and then they can focus on the army of undead on the other side of the Wall. So Sansa steps up and tells them about her Uncle, gathering Tully forces at Riverrun. She says she heard about it at Winterfell, through a letter for Ramsay. Should she have lied? No. But I understand why she’s scared, and it’s perfectly valid. Brienne of course questions her decision. And now that she’s been ordered away to talk with Sansa’s uncle, she’s nervous. Brienne doesn’t feel comfortable leaving Sansa there. “With Jon?” she asks. “Not him. He seems trustworthy. A bit brooding perhaps, I suppose that’s understandable considering.” I laughed so hard. This episode was full of just absolute brilliant lines.
But when Sansa says she trusts him, Brienne asks her why she lied to him. Sansa doesn’t respond, but it gets her thinking. With Brienne by her side, Littlefinger may lose his hold on Sansa. And that’s the best we can hope for, because we can’t afford for anything to come between Jon and Sansa. Not now.
Before Jon, Sansa and the others leave the wall, she has sewed herself a new dress, with a direwolf on the chest. Jon likes that bit (so cute, I seriously can’t handle this show), and so she gives him the cloak that she’s been working on. It’s like the one that Ned used to wear, with the direwolf sigil designed in the leather. He’s grateful, but he seems a little hesitant? I think Jon knows something is up with Sansa, but he wants to trust her. And I think he knows that if she’s acting different, she probably has a good reason. They both just need to sit down and have a long chat about life and how much people suck. All I want is for them to be happy together. Is that too much to ask!?
Update on Brienne and Tormund: it’s happening soon. It has to be. Tormund can barely keep his eyes off of Brienne, though she seems a little uncomfortable. But this could easily be because she isn’t used to that kind of attention! But wildling women are warriors, and it’s a quality greatly admired. I need this ship to sail. Right now. Please, writers, you’ve taken everything else from us, please give us this!
THE IRON ISLANDS:
The Kingsmoot takes place, and Yara steps forward, saying she is the rightful heir to the Iron Islands. She has many supporters, but just as many are against her. Why should they follow this woman, daughter of Balon Greyjoy or not, when his son stands there? And my baby, Theon, hair freshly cut and looking a little less tortured than usual, stands in front of the Ironborn and points to his sister, claiming her as their rightful ruler. A warrior who has led countless of them into battle, who have sailed under her command, she is Ironborn and can lead them into victory. The crowd begins chanting her name, and things seem to be going well, until Euron freaking Greyjoy steps up to the plate.
As far as casting goes, I’m not sure about this one. He plays him well, no question, but I always pictured him as a little more charming. Someone who could smooth talk his way into anywhere, has a real swagger. And while he certainly has the dangerous air about him, I’m not so sure about the rest, so we’ll have to see. And he has two eyes?? But I’m sure that will change shortly.
He admits to killing Balon Greyjoy, which was an interesting choice. But he makes it seem as if that was his only choice, that it was for the benefit of the Iron Islands and it’s people, and not to benefit himself. And within minutes, it is his name being chanted, not Yara’s. He is given to the Drowned God, and reborn from the sea, a common (albeit risky) tradition among their people. He coughs the water out of his lungs, and his first act at King of the Iron Islands is to find his niece and nephew and murder them. Good King guys, good choice.
Theon and Yara are on a ship, they’ve managed to escape with the best ships in their fleet. Where they are sailing is of yet unclear, but Euron was planning on sailing to Daenerys. Perhaps they will follow that plan? It’s not a bad move, with Yara at the head of it all. Woman to woman, she might stand a chance. But we all know that had Euron tried to seduce Daenerys, she would have tossed him to her dragons.
Arya still is taking many beatings, but her training is continuing and she’s improving immensely. She’s much faster than she ever has been before, but seeing the way the Waif fights, how fast she is able to move, it’ll take a little longer for Arya to gain that kind of skill.
Jaqen gives Arya another name, telling her she has been given a second chance. There won’t be a third. She will take the life she is ordered to take, no other. If she fails in this…well, it’s implied that her face will be the one added to the Hall. She has been ordered to take the life of an actress. She plays Cersei in a play of the events of the Seven Kingdoms, from when Robert Baratheon was killed by a boar, to Tyrion becoming Hand and marrying Sansa. But the way it is performed, while amusing to the people of Braavos, to a daughter of Ned Stark and a sister of Sansa Stark, it is horrifying. It is a mockery, and this obviously angers Arya. The question is, will Arya be able to do as she was bid? Her anger to the Ned Stark actor, as well as to how they portrayed Sansa could easily overtake her duty, her loyalty and past grievances have proven as much. And not only this, but the woman who plays Cersei, the one she is supposed to kill, seems like a decent woman. She apparently is pregnant, and the hesitation in Arya is clear. Honestly, it’s hard to say. And for me? While I love Arya, it’s hard for me to love her story right now. It’s great and all, but Sansa is taking back the North with Jon, who just came back from the dead. Bran’s in the North trying to escape White Walkers. Rickon is a captive of Ramsay Bolton. Her siblings are fighting for their lives and for their home, so for me, it’s hard to get too invested in Arya’s plot. She’s a Stark, she belongs with the Starks. And I really don’t know that she can completely abandon her house and her family.
In other news, it seems that Thrones fans have finally made themselves heard. To be blunt, we saw more than just breasts this episode, we saw a penis as well. Equal nudity people, it’s coming!!
Tyrion knows they cannot keep the peace if the people of Meereen do not think it was Daenerys that brought it to them. And so he brings in a Red Priestess. A woman who cannot be bought or influenced, a woman who is trusted by the people, a woman who could be the key to keeping this peace. She believes that Daenerys is the one that was promised. So now we have two candidates-Daenerys and Jon. Which is true? Her dragons and ability to withstand fire suggest Daenerys. But as far as the White Walkers go, Jon’s our guy. Who’s to say it’s one or the other? What if it was both? And together they will conquer the darkness? Just a thought, but I’m getting off topic.
Tyrion is more than satisfied that she and her Priests will spread the word that Daenerys is the one to lead them from darkness, but Varys is less so. Understandable, considering his experience with witchcraft. But I think even he’s been convinced at this point. The Red Priestess knows things, things impossible for a stranger to know. As Melisandre has. We know what kind of power the servants of the Lord of Light possess. It is nothing small. She tells Varys that she knows of the voice that he heard as a child. But she doesn’t tell him who spoke. All she says is that anyone loyal to the Queen has nothing to fear. So Varys is safe. Probably not too happy, but safe. And Meereen may be on its way to a lasting peace.
THIS SCENE. Oh my god I spent the entirety of it just crying. I’m going to say it. I SHIP DANY AND JORAH! I know it can never happen, which just makes me ship it more, but it’s pure. He doesn’t expect anything from her. He loves and serves her unconditionally, and that’s something so rare on this show, and it’s so, so beautiful. She banished him twice, and twice he returned to her. She’s conflicted, but Jorah makes it clear that she must send him away. She steps forward toward him, and he doesn’t hesitate to step back. Again, just proof of the dynamic. Daario steps forward, but it isn’t necessary. Jorah would never let Dany near enough. He shows her the grayscale. He tells her he doesn’t know if there’s a cure, but he knows what happens. He’ll end it long before that.
This scene is so key for Dany. She tends not to show emotion in front of people, she rarely cries in front of them. But her eyes are watering in this scene, she is visibly shaken, proving just how much she still cares for Jorah. She tells him she’s sorry, and he says, “Don’t be. All I’ve ever wanted was to serve you.”
He tells her that he loves her, and he always will, and then he bids her goodbye. And then she says the words that caused me to physically break down. “Do not walk away from your Queen, Jorah the Andal. You have not been dismissed. You pledged yourself to me, you swore to obey my commands for the rest of your life.” She commands him to find the cure, to heal himself and return to her. When she takes the Seven Kingdoms, when she sits the Iron Throne, she needs him by her side. A lot of people thought this was over the top, but I don’t think it was!! I think it was absolutely beautiful, and yes, a little cheesy, but no less beautiful. There’s a chance Jorah could find a cure, but let’s be fair, the chances aren’t too good. And she knows this. And now, if Jorah does end up dying, he will die knowing that he is in the good graces of the woman he loves. That she has not stopped caring for him. And if you don’t find beauty in that, I really think you should re-evaluate yourself, just saying.
It was a roller coaster of an episode. From Daenerys forgiving Jorah, to Sansa telling Littlefinger what he can do with himself, to the heartbreaking ending we will never forgive or forget, The Door reminded us why this show is known for killing its characters. And it reminds us that we should be very, very scared. No one is safe.
And while I’m excited for Sunday, I think I’m more scared than anything else.