Last week’s episode was killer. Can they match the energy, interest, and strong story-telling? Probably. But let’s find out for sure.
Season 6, Episode 5: The Door
Written by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.
Directed by Jack Bender
Sansa receives a message to meet Littlefinger in Molestown. She arrives, along with Brienne, and is not best pleased to see him. Littlefinger tells her he brought knights to liberate her/The North, but she would rather discuss how he left her in the clutches of the devil, much to his shame. He apologises but she is unmoved, dismissing him and his army. He leaves but not before telling her to seek out her uncle, The Blackfish, who has formed his own army loyal to her.
In Braavos, Arya stick fights Waif and, with the added advantage of sight, holds her own pretty well. However, she still cannot defeat Waif, even when her opponent is unarmed. Jaqen takes her to the big face gallery (the gallery is big, not the faces) and gives her a history lesson and a mission. He hands her a vial of poison and a job to kill an actress.
Arya attends a performance. An acting trope re-enacts the first season of Game of Thrones with Ned Stark as an utter idiot and 100% more comedy farting than the version shown on TV. The crowd eat it up while Arya is less than amused. Arya goes backstage and see the troupe interact, noticing her target drinking from a bottle of rum while the others drink wine.
She tells Jaqen her rum poisoning plan and requests a face to do the job. Jaqen denies her and will not answer her when she asks what the target’s crime is or who wants her dead. She tries to guess, annoying Jaqen.
Far North, Bran lies white-eyed and dreaming. He is at a Heart Tree and sees creatures like Leaf. The leader approaches a man tied to the tree. She pushes something into his chest (a stone or shard of bark or possibly Dragonglass) and the man beings to develop very, very blue eyes.
Bran awakes and accuses Leaf of creating the White Walkers and she explains that they needed the Walkers to help defend against people, their enemy.
On the unholy dump that is Pyke, the Kingsmoot is taking place. Yara makes a claim for the throne and face some issues re: Pyke never having had a queen, to which she argues that it’s time for change. Theon is called forward as the rightful heir to the throne but he supports Yara, and the crowd agree.
And then Euron Greyjoy shows up and makes his claim, along with some choice insults to Theon. Yara accuses him of Balon’s murder and he says that he totally did it and apologises for not doing it sooner. They argue for a bit until Euron announces that across the water there is someone who has the following: a large army, three dragons and no husband. Euron’s plan is to build a fleet for Daenarys, marry her, rule the world. The crowd, fickle bargain basement Vikings that they are, cheer his name and make him king.
Yara and co. make a beeline for the best ships and then make a run for it.
In Meereen, Daenarys looks out upon her new army. She meets with Daario and Jorah. Jorah reveals his illness and demands to be sent away. Daenarys apologises but Jorah assures her that he only ever wanted to serve her and that he loves her. He tries to leave but Daenarys commands him to find a cure and return to her as she cannot rule the seven kingdoms without him by her side.
Tyrion drinks wine (in future recaps I may omit this and you can just assume if I write his name then he is drinking wine) and meets with his council. They inform him that the civil war on the streets of Meereen has ended, or at least abated. He is not happy as the people need to know peace came from Daenarys.
Tyrion and Varys meet with Kinvara, a red priestess, in the hopes of making her their spokesperson. She agrees as she believes that Daenarys is the one that was promised, and wants to help her in any way that she can. Varys asks her about Stannis and how he was also the one who was promised, which didn’t save him in the end.
Kinvara tells him that everything, even his castration, happens for a reason.
Bran, while everyone else sleeps, goes into the dream/flashback zone. He is back at the heart tree from earlier only now it’s covered in snow. He turns and finds himself facing a huge army of Zombies. He makes his way through the mass who cannot see him until he comes to four horsemen, one of whom is the Night King. The King looks at him and sees him, and as he sees him so do all of the Zombies. Bran turns way and when he turns back the King is there. The King grabs his arm and Bran awakes, screaming. The Raven informs him that the King has marked him and will come for him. He also tells Bran that it is time for Bran to become the Raven, even if he is not ready.
Jon Snow believes they lack the men to take Winterfell as well as defending from the Walkers. Sansa and Davos discuss Northern loyalty leading Snow to realise that even if the big houses support Bolton, enough little houses together would even it up. Sansa tells them about the Blackfish army, but not her source of the information.
Brienne is not pleased about being sent to Riverrun and not pleased about leaving Sansa. She asks Sansa why she didn’t tell Snow about Littlefinger and Sansa doesn’t answer.
Giantsbane continues to make goo-goo eyes at Brienne and Snow says his goodbyes as he, Sansa, Brienne, Giantsbane, Pod, Melisandre, and Davos leave Castle Black.
Bran and the Raven get their white eye on while Meera and Hodor talk about leaving the cave and eating eggs. Meera suddenly realises how cold it is and runs outside to see the zombie army led by the Night King amassed outside. Leaf tells her to run and get Bran away while she and her tree lady buddies hold off the Zombies.
Meera tries to wake Bran but he’s off flashbacking to Winterfell at some point in the past.
Leaf and the Leaves bombard the zombie army and create a fire barrier which the Night King, with two of his bros, walks through, while his army cannot.
Meera loads Bran onto his sled whole Bran remains in his mind, safe at Winterfell watching his father leave for his mentorship at the Vale under Jon Arryn.
The Zombies drop through the roof of the cave and Leaf, the Leaves, and Summer fight them off. Meera shouts at Bran and he can hear it in his dream. Meera screams at him to Warg into Hodor and, from the dream, he does. Hodor grabs the sled and drags it out of the chamber as Meera spears one of the big daddy Walkers, killing it. As they flee, Summer, the Direwolf, sacrifices herself.
The Night King enters the chamber and kills the Raven.
As the crew flee down a long corridor, pursued by Zombies, Leaf stops and suicide bombs herself to buy them time. They come to a door and manage to get it open, putting them out in the snow.
Hodor holds the door shut as Meera drags away Bran’s sled. She calls to Hodor to hold the door shut and Bran hears her in his dream. He wargs into Wylis/Hodor who begins to have a seizure, calling out ‘Hold the door.’
In the real world, Hodor holds the door. In the dream world he fits and shouts out encouragement to himself.
The Zombie breach the door and begin stabbing and tearing at Hodor but Hodor doesn’t move, even as they kill him.
In Winterfell, in a dream of the past, Wylis calls out, ‘Hold the door! Hold the door! Hold door! Hold door! Hodor! Hodor! Hodor!’
When I write these reviews I watch the show with a notepad and I scribble shorthand of the events happening on screen (e.g. S and B meet LF. Not happy). When the show is finished I type it all out and tweak it and so on. To give an indication of how much stuff happened tonight it should be noted that when I finished the episode I had been scribbling so furiously I had to ice my wrist before I could type this up. And also I needed to stop crying.
That ending. Game of Thrones has been funny, scary, surprising, stupid, harrowing. But it’s never been so downright heart-breaking. That final scene was a masterful piece of work and turned what has always been a throwaway joke about a hulking man who only says one thing into the build-up for a tragedy. Bravo Game of Thrones but also screw you for making me into a blubbering mess.
That ending aside, and the reason I have a cold wrist, this episode was full of meat. Remember two episodes when I complained that an episode was aimless and full of fat. This is the opposite. We went to a lot of different places and saw a lot of characters but there was meat for days. Every scene was full of stuff and things but good writing kept the pace light and airy. It helped that a big part of the show was dedicated to a farcical retelling of this very show. And seeing Richard E. Grant and Kevin Eldon was pretty awesome too.
Tonight’s theme was definitely movement as so many scenes ended with people moving to somewhere new whether on horseback, boat, or sled, the characters are moving and they’re taking their plotlines along with them.
Five episodes in and Game of Thrones seems to be wiping away the mistakes of season 5 more and more with each passing week.
Best line: “Hodor” – Hodor
Nudity count: 3
Women – 2 (same woman, two instances)
Men – 1 (It was like the writer’s heard the complaints about the focus on nudity being always on the female characters so filled the screen top to bottom with a cock as a way to try and even it up)
Body count: 7 (ignoring people who died and came back to life, and Zombies)
Predictions for next week: More of the same, please.