Winter came a bit earlier than expected as Game of Thrones dishes up yet another 5 star episode.
*SPOILER ALERT: Contains Spoilers for Game of Thrones – Season 6, Episode 5.
If you had any lingering doubts about the progress of this season of Game of thrones, then surely the sadly-poetically-titled episode The Door knocked those doubts right down through the, um, well, the Moon Door.
Wow, what an hour of television.
Littlefinger was back again, but his appearance was very odd by his devious standards. Why would he come and find Sansa? The last time he saw her, he’d just sold her off to the most disgusting and vile sociopath this horrible universe has been able to produce, so why on earth would he show his face again? Unarmed. With no plan or cover story whatsoever. “Did you know about Ramsay?” Sansa quite rightly asked, and she was always going to ask it. In fact, if she was going to ask him only one question for the rest of their lives, that was going to be it. Yet, this master of corruption and deception bumbled with the response like it was the first time he’d even considered it. It was a weird scene, but it gave us an insight into just how strong the new Stark matriarch has become, and maybe an insight into how shallow Littlefinger’s plans really are. We’ll see though, because he hasn’t set a single foot wrong in six seasons, and I don’t see why he’s gonna start now.
Over in the United Kingdom, a traditional and civilised election was taking place. An election just like any other, whereby the all the constituents stand on a cliff, and the winner is the person who gets the loudest chant from the assembled crowd of like, 40 people. As a reward, they are essentially taken to the far extreme of being drowned, only to cough that water back out of their lungs, and then rise and accept their crown made of seaweed and old shells. They sure do things strange over on those bleak, miserable islands, but this was probably the first time in… ever, that I was really into the story line. Something is happening, Theon’s groove is coming back (geez, I hope he can find a way to shrug off those constant dick jokes he’s gonna cop for the rest of his life) and now there is even a potential tie-in with our very own Mother of Dragons coming up. I do like Euron too, he’s a dreamer. Not only does he think that he has a shot with Daenerys, but he also thinks 30 odd people can build 1000 ships:
“My King, they are getting away. They have all the ships, we need to act fast.”
“Make me 1000 ships”
“But your majesty, shouldn’t we just start with 10 or so, and take it from there? They have got a pretty good head start.”
“I said 1000!”
I should have known that ‘Girl Gets Hit In Head With Stick’ would have a sequel, with this week seeing the start of ‘Girl Gets Punched In Face With Fist.’ Ayra is having a pretty miserable season hanging with the faceless man and his one bitchy-face sidekick. (Just on that… are those two the only ones in the entire palace / religion / cult? Just those two and the many, many faces?) We did see her get another job though, which was an interesting test of her ability to truly let her Stark self go. A clever little amateur production of season 1 of Game of Thrones, complete with a very dim-witted Ned Stark, let Ayra know just how her family name is now perceived. You could see this bothered her, which I guess was the point of her getting that particular job in the first place, but it’s still hard to really care too much about what’s happening here.
We checked in briefly with Daenerys, as she surveyed her conquest at the Dothraki Woman’s shelter, and bid a teary farewell to her long-suffering and loyal friend-zoned companion, Ser Jorah Mormont. It was a bit awkward for him, and it would have been a bit kinder if the younger, more-studly guy she’s banging wasn’t standing right there, but it was a nice moment nonetheless.
“I know I may be old, and beat up and have a disgusting rock-leprosy thing growing on my arm, but I love you.”
“And I like you too… as a friend. Now, you go out there and you find that cure! I command you!”
“Find a cure? Ok, so if you could give me some cash or let me access a maester or high priestess…”
“Here, have this one horse. Now go!”
If she only knew that the only cure for rock-leprosy, is love.
Tyrion took a cue from Littlefinger, as he too is a smart man making another bad error of judgment, getting religion involved in politics. Apart from the fact that Lannisters don’t have a great history of strategic alliances with religious freaks, it just doesn’t seem that necessary to me to get the Lord of Light involved in anything at all. I must say though, that bustier Mediterranean version of Melisandre sure knows how to command a room.
But I can’t hold it in much longer…
HOLD THE DOOR!
The episode was pretty solid up until the last fifteen minutes, then it just went up to a whole other level of awesome. The White Walkers have always seemed to be the end-game threat in this saga, but they do tend to be forgotten about as the humans fight among themselves. But when that Night King gets his baby blues shining, man, that is one very serious high-end bad guy that wont be beaten easily. Bran’s addiction to hooking up to the tree-matrix proved to have dire consequences for his crew this week, interacting with the Night King during one of his visions and giving up their location and his presence. Oh, and he let him touch him too, so that meant they could get past the spell and enter the tree cave. We’ve seen glimpses of what Bran is capable of in previous episodes, but here the magnitude of his abilities is laid completely bare. He is able to interact with the past, and the present-but-somewhere-else too, it seems. That’s some pretty gangsta shit right there young man.
The threat of the White Walkers approaching, and the alarming hastiness in which they arrived, was interspersed with the two Stark Siblings at Castle Black, strategising about how to take Winterfell back off Ramsay. There was some interesting subtext going on here between Sansa and Jon, with Littlefinger’s earlier visit planting a small seed of mistrust in Sansa towards her half-brother, for reasons I can’t really see. But it does seem that they have a solid plan to gather up a pretty decent army, and go take back their rightful home at Winterfell. Plus, Brienne is so gonna get some along the way.
In the ensuing moments before the White Walkers and their zombie army arrived, tree-yoda was attempting to give Bran a crash course in how to be… like, the most awesome and powerful human on the entire planet. When the Army did arrive, and the White Walkers casually strolled in the front door, it seemed unlikely that anybody had a chance of getting out of this, particularly Bran, who was the whole reason they were there, and was still trapped deep in the matrix.
What happened next was all so fast and frenetic, I may need to watch it again to really take it all in properly. The magic pixie children had a few tricks that could really hurt the undead, but they were no match for the White Walkers. The only real hero that was left was the man of the hour, Hodor. As Bran was being dragged down the back hallway by Hodor and Meera, still very much in his deep visionary state, tree-yoda sacrificed himself to the Night King in real life, and Bran watched him disappear in the vision. He could hear Meera yelling though “Hold the Door,” and it was at that moment that he interacted with the young Hodor from the past, forcing him into convulsions. Hold the door. Hol th door. Ho door. Hodor.
And hold the door he did.
It’s always sad to see such a lovable and totally innocent character like Hodor die, but there was so much extra tragedy and triumph to this. The realisation that Bran had caused him to be what he was, but more importantly, that this simple stable boy named Wylis had a special and divine purpose in the world, and when the time came for a hero, he did his part.
We’ll miss you Hodor, you were friggin awesome.
- Ramsay better not be doing stuff to Rickon.
- No Kings Landing this week. I liked that, I don’t want to go back there until something actually happens.
- So what’s Dany’s army up to now? 3 Dragons, The unsullied, The Dothraki and now Euron Greyjoy is going to give her His Majesty’s fleet? Add that to Tyrion, Varys, Boy-Toy and the new High Priestess, and she really shouldn’t lose from here.
- Sansa is obviously a brilliant seamstress.
- So, the white walkers were essentially an introduced species by the magical goblin children? A vermin to take care of another vermin? So, they are rabbits, and the Wall is just a giant rabbit-proof fence?
- Dorne has been written out of the whole story by the looks of it. Good.