'Game of Thrones' Recap: Hodor Holds 'The Door' Through Traumatic Episode
Hodor. Fans have used Wylis's name to cover every emotion on "Game of Thrones." When we're excited -- Hodor! When we're sad -- Hodor. When we're confused -- Hodor? So it's no surprise that "Game of Thrones" Season 6, Episode 5, "The Door," ended with a focus on one man, and a reaction of one word.
— ㅤㅤ ㅤ (@_KhaledOfficial) May 23, 2016
We had heard this episode would be an "all-timer" and, for once, the hype wasn't off base. But no one warned us it would be an all-time tearjerker! CURSE THE GODS FOR THEIR CRUELTY.
So much happened -- the truth about the Children of the Forest creating the White Walkers, the truth about how Wylis became Hodor, Bran Stark as the new Three-Eyed Raven, Jorah Mormont revealing his greyscale to Daenerys Targaryen, the red priestess Kinvara finally recognizing Dany as the most likely Azor Ahai, Sansa Stark confronting Littlefinger, Brienne heading to Riverrun (Jaime reunion ahead? Sorry, Torienne), Arya Stark/No One learning about the first Faceless Men, Yara and Euron Greyjoy's "moot" points, actual male (and female, of course) nudity, and three major deaths: the Three-Eyed Raven, dear Summer, and Hodor (plus Leaf and other Children of the Forest).
RIP, our heroes. What is dead may never die.
We are halfway through the season already, which seems impossible. Maybe it was right to say goodbye to Hodor right after Osha, and during an episode where the flash-your-naughty-bits torch was passed to another guy in Braavos.
Thanks for the memories, you beautiful man:
But Summer. Oh, our sweet Summer child. And then there were two: Ghost and -- somewhere out there, thanks to Arya's prescience -- Nymeria.
Sniff. Why can't you just stick to killing people, GoT?! How are Ghost and Nymeria reacting to each of these deaths? We just lost Shaggydog and Summer one after the other, and the direwolf pups were as bonded as the Starks. Maybe they'll show Ghost soon, since he's still with Jon Snow (right?), but Nymeria ... will we ever see her again? Maybe when Arya finally crosses back to Westeros they will be reunited, both very wild and changed.
Read on for a recap of Episode 5:
THE MAP: This week's map shows us King's Landing (even though we don't visit anyone there this week), Pyke, Wintefell, The Wall, Braavos, and Meereen. By the way, are we ever going to Dorne again? Not excited to, just wondering.
BRAN NORTH OF THE WALL
We hang out with Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven, in Bran's vision, in a gorgeous location with the Children of the Forest. They tied up a human and stabbed him through the chest, thereby creating the very first White Walker. Yes, but why? Bran comes out of the vision and sees Leaf. She tells Bran they were at war, being slaughtered. They needed to defend themselves from you -- aka men, the the First Men. So they created a weapon that later backfired. Like Cersei with the Faith Militant.
Later, we return to Bran and the Raven in the cave. Poor Bran still has to crawl. He touches the root of a tree and is transported in a vision, back to the place where the White Walkers were made, this time in winter. He turns and sees an army of the dead -- wights. He walks through the still army, which *might* not be the best plan, but he is in a vision so he's used to safety. Beyond the rank and file he sees the Night's King on a horse, along with a few other White Walkers. They see him. The wights see him. The Night's King grabs his arm. It's like the equivalent of being touched by greyscale, or like "Pirates of the Caribbean" with the black spot. When Bran wakes, Three-Eyed Raven says Bran is marked now. He has to go. The Night's King can come in. Now Bran has to become the new Raven, even though he is not ready.
At the end of the episode, Meera tells Hodor they can go home now and have real food. Foreshadowing. Bran has another vision, though, and Meera rushes over to see. The wights are at the door, with the Night's King and company facing down the Children of the Forest, Meera, and company. Uh oh. The Night's King touches the ground and ... whoa ... the earth quakes and the cave looks ready to cave in. Meera tries to wake Bran, but he's in Winterfell with the Raven, during the vision. Meera tries to move Bran, and wants Hodor's help, but Hodor is not able to move. The Children of the Forest set up a fire barrier but -- BAD SIGN -- the White Walkers walk through fire. The wights can't, though. Dragon fire is different, right? For when Dany comes? The music is totally stressful. Back in Winterfell, we see a very young Ned Stark preparing to go to the Vale, presumably during the time when he and Robert Baratheon were fostered by Jon Arryn. Meera says they need Hodor, so Bran has to wake up. Bran hears her through the vision. "Warg into Hodor now!" The Three-Eyed Raven says he should do as she says.
So Bran wargs into Hodor and Hodor gets up. The White Walkers kill some Children of the Forest but Meera kills a WW. Summer protects them and attacks wights but they KILL HIM and we hear him whimper. Nooooooo! The sound of Summer whimpering is too much! The Night's King approaches the Three-Eyed Raven, who is still in the Winterfell vision. "The time has come. Leave me," he tells Bran and is killed right there in the vision. Super cool to watch, although sad. Love Max von Sydow, it was so awesome to have him on the show. Leaf has a special grenade ball she uses to take out wights, but also herself. In the end, Hodor finally gets the door open and pulls Meera and Bran inside. Bran is still warging in Hodor. Meera yells "Hold the door!" Bran looks at Hodor in the Winterfell time period. OH. This is how he became Hodor. Hold the door -- it wasn't Hodor as a warg, going into a horse or anything like that one theory. It was Bran warging into Hodor via the future. "Hold the door. Hold the door. Hold the door. Hold the door. Hold the door. Hold the door. Hold the door." He holds it, as the wights grab him. The music is haunting. "Hold the door. Hold the door. Hold the door. Hold the door. Hold the door. Hold the door. Hold the door. Hold the door. Hodor. Hodor. Hodor. Hodor. Hodor. Hodor." CHILLS CHILLS CHILLS TEARS! But will we see him again?
SANSA + LITTLEFINGER
Sansa gets her own letter, not from Ramsay this time, and asks how far is Mole's Town. She meets with Littlefinger, and brings backup in Brienne. Thankfully, Sansa gives him nothing but ice, especially when he says he's glad she's unharmed. "Unharmed?" Did he know about Ramsay? "If you didn't know you're an idiot, if you did know you're my enemy." Strong line. She tells him about her wedding night. Ramsay didn't hurt her face 'cause he needed her face. "He did what he liked with the rest of me." What does he think Ramsay did to her. Brienne pushes Littlefinger to answer. He beat you. Yep. And? Did he cut you? Oh, Sansa thinks maybe he did know about Ramsay. (The Boltons do have a flayed man as their sigil, so...) Sansa says she can still feel it. Littlefinger apologizes, and promises he will protect her from now on. She says she doesn't need him anymore. She does have Brienne and Jon Snow now. She's not like Arya, she never quite goes it alone. Baelish says he'll do whatever she wants. He saved her from one monster and gave her to another. She wants him to go back to Moat Cailin, she never wants to see him again. But Littlefinger shares one last bit of information -- her uncle the Blackfish has taken Riverrun. She might consider going to him. She says she has an army. He says it's her brother's army, her half-brother. So even now she lets him get in her head.
TEAM STARK MISSION
At the Wall, Jon Snow, Davos, Sansa, Brienne, Melisandre, Edd, and Tormund lead a Winterfell attack planning meeting. They need to convince the Northmen to join them, and to do that Davos says they have to be convinced this is a fight they can win. Sansa says the North remembers, they will rally for the Starks. Sansa FINALLY steps up and says she has the Stark name (and Lannister and Bolton names at this point), not Jon, so they will rally for her. (Did Littlefinger put that idea in her head, by reminding her that Jon is her half-brother?) Sansa also lies and says she saw a raven from Ramsay about her uncle taking Riverrun. Sansa wants Brienne to go to Riverrun for her. But Brienne doesn't want to leave Sansa with Melisandre, Davos, and the wildling with the beard. Haha! #TeamTorienne Sansa says Jon is Jon and they can trust him, but Brienne asks, then why did she lie? Good point. Sansa and Jon now have new clothes -- she made him a cloak (when?) like the one father used to wear. Jon leaves Edd (the new Lord Commander!) in charge. Jon: "Don't knock it down while I'm gone." Or, you know, get stabbed to death, since Mel is going with Sansa's group.
— Candace Forsyth (@xcannedx) May 23, 2016
ARYA IS NOT NO ONE
Arya goes full Lara Croft on the waif, who says Arya is not ready and she should go home before it's too late. When is "too late," anyway? The other girl is a great fighter even without a staff. She kicks Arya's butt. "You'll never be one of us." She calls her a Stark. True, hopefully. If only someone would just tell her about her living family, we could end this storyline. Jaqen H'ghar gives Arya the origin story of the first Faceless Men. Can "No One" really have a history? Jaqen says a girl can be one of the Faceless Men if she desires. Arya claims she has no desires. He gives her a vial. Wants to give it to an actress. Lady Crane. "A girl has been given a second chance. There will not be a third. One way or another, a face will be added to the hall." So that's a threat. If it ain't the actress, it'll be you, No One.
So we go with Arya to watch the play, which tells the story of Robert Baratheon's death in King's Landing. Arya seems to enjoy the play, except when the jerk who plays Ned Stark comes out and they make it seem like Ned was a greedy, stupid usurper who wanted to steal Joffrey's throne. Then Arya has to watch Ned be decapitated again, in play form, as people watch and laugh. If you wanted proof that she's not quite No One, her reaction to the Stark scenes says it all. Oh, and backstage we (briefly) see some bare penis and (less briefly) boobs. Arya returns to tell Jaqen she'll poison the rum, but she also says the target is a good actress, and the younger star is jealous. (It's "All About Eve" in Braavos.) Jaqen asks if death only comes for the wicked and leaves the innocent behind? No. Arya knows it doesn't.
IRON ISLANDS: KINGSMOOT
Let's get ready to rumbllllle! It's the Kingsmoot and Yara makes her case to be queen. This group isn't initially interested in a female leader, for whatever reason has ever made sense to people. In this case, it's because Balon's male heir is still alive. So, on his cue, Theon comes forward and says Yara is his rightful ruler. He's actually a great surrogate for his sister. "This is our queen." It's kind of a sweet moment, completely ruined by Uncle Euron. He shows up at the end to claim the Salt Throne/Seastone Chair. He makes his own case, which -- like most negative political campaigns -- is just insults about the other side (like d-ckless Theon) as opposed to saying what they would do. Yara says her first act as queen will be to execute the man who killed her father. Euron doesn't deny it. "He was leading us nowhere. ... He led us into two wars we couldn't win." He apologized for not killing Balon off years ago. Theon points out that Yara was here while Euron was gone. Yara says she'll build the largest fleet they have ever seen. Euron says he's the one who will do that. He's been around the world and knows someone with a large army, three dragons, and no husband. He's going to build a fleet and give it to Daenerys Targaryen, along with his big cock. (Eye roll) He wasn't born to be king, but he paid the iron price and here he stands. So the mob backs him instead of Yara. Like Dany would touch this fool. But whatever. He gets to be king -- after being drowned by his priest bro Damphair -- and now the Iron Islands is part of the greater storyline with Dany. Also, King Euron wants to murder Theon and Yara, who just stole his best ships. So there's a civil war they have to get through before attempting to head East.
DANY NEEDS JORAH TO BE CURED
Speaking of Dany, we visit her out in the wild, leaving Vaes Dothrak, addressing Jorah. She banished him twice, and he kept saving her. She says she can't send him away, but he says she must, and shows her his greyscale. Is there a cure? He doesn't know. How long does it take? He doesn't know that either but he'll be ending things before it goes too far. She's sorry, so sorry. All he wanted to do was serve her. He says Tyrion was right, he loves Dany. "I'll always love you." Awkward with Daario there. Jorah says goodbye, Khaleesi, but she calls him back. She's tearful. He pledged himself to her. He swore to obey her. She commands that he finds a cure and heal himself, then return to her. "When I take the Seven Kingdoms I need you by my side." Sniff! So she rides away, with suspiciously perfect curly hair, and Jorah goes elsewhere.
There's a meeting between Varys, Tyrion, Grey Worm, and Missandei. Varys says there's a tentative peace but Tyrion says it's not enough. Tyrion wants them to sell it as Dany's peace. Missandei says the people know who brought them freedom, but Tyrion counters, do they know who brought them security? Enter Kinvara, another servant of the Lord of Light, who kind of looks like Melisandre in her own way, and has her own ruby necklace. Tyrion asks her for help, he wants to persuade her, but ... she doesn't need persuading. Dany is the one who was promised, she says. So she is the counterpoint to Mel with Jon Snow. Can they both be right? It seems like, if only one of them can be Azor Ahai, it would have to be Dany. Kinvara says she will summon her most eloquent priests to proselytize for Dany. Varys brings up how Stannis was anointed by one of Kinvara's own, as the one who was promised. So Varys plays bad cop and sneers at this "fanatic." She shoots back, saying even honest servants of the lord can make mistakes. Everyone is who they are and what they are for a reason. Terrible things happen for a reason. Take what happened to you, Lord Varys, when you were a child. "Knowledge has made you powerful but there's still so much you don't know." Does he remember what he heard that night when the sorcerer tossed his parts in the fire? Varys looks troubled. He heard a voice in the flames and she can tell him what he heard and the name of who spoke. They serve the same queen, and if Varys truly serves her, then he has nothing to fear from Kinvara. Varys is totally creeped out. But ... she proved her point.
Episode 6, which airs May 29, is called "Blood of My Blood." Here's the synopsis: "An old foe comes back into the picture. Gilly (Hannah Murray) meets Sam's (John Bradley) family. Arya (Maisie Williams) faces a difficult choice. Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) faces off against the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce)." Originally thought that "old foe" might be The Hound, but it's probably just stupid Walder Frey. He'll outlive us all.
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