Previously on recapping Game of Thrones… Daenerys kills a bunch of guys no one liked anyway, but boy was it spectacular. Also, scheming, sibling reunions and Little Finger. This week…
Season 6, Episode 5: The Door
Not since the time I failed to keep the elevator open for someone in a wheelchair has the phrase “Hold the Door” left such an imprint on my very soul. This is why kids are just the worst. Sorry Bran. Sorry you got so bored in your little tree cave, and just had to snoop around more in the past because “Wahhhh I’m borrrrrred.” You know, some people are out here just tying to live their lives, and really don’t need you showing up, messing with their shit, BRAN. An F for you, Bran! EFF.
Oh hello, I didn’t see you come in. Just ignore that. Blowing off a little steam, I suppose. Anyway, some stuff happened this week so let’s get going.
Got to hand it to Game of Thrones; when they go for the gut punch, they rarely miss their target. Killing off Max von Sydow (gone already!?), Summer the Direwolf (alive just long enough to remind you he existed, before sacrificing himself,) all the Children of the Forest (meh,) and Hodor (Hodor,) at once is one thing. To do it in a fashion as revelatory, spectacular, and ultimately heart-wrenching as the end of this episode, that’s something else entirely.
Revelatory: The Children of the Forest created the White Walkers! Sure, it was to protect themselves in their war against the First Men, but… well, let’s just say that when it comes to underling management skills, the Children of the Forest are clearly lacking.
Spectacular: In a fit of boredom, Bran goes into a vision/dream/tear in space-time without a chaperone, only to be both seen and touched by the Night King, who literally leaves his mark on Bran. This means, because of the principle of just go with it, the Night King now knows where our heroes are, and can cross their tree-cave’s magical threshold. Bran and Max von Sydow slip into a massive cram sesh, heading back to the Winterfell with young Ned and Willis (pre-Hodor Hodor, ) to try and teach Bran as much Three Eyed Raven skills as possible. Shit goes sideways in a hurry, as the Night King and his army attack: Hodor starts getting upset, the Night King kills Max von Sydow (who poofs into feathers and drifts away in the vision,) Bran wargs into Hodor while also still being in the past, Meera takes down a White Walker (!), Summer sacrifices himself to save the group, the head Child of the Forest who is apparently named Leaf sacrifices herself in a giant magic grenade explosion to save the group, until finally, Bran (who is still in a vision-thing, and also disabled,) Hodor (who is controlled by Bran,) and Meera (who is not controlled by Bran but is helping to drag him along,) arrive at a blocked door. Thankfully, Hodor is feeling extra strong at that moment, and is able to rip it open. There is however, still the problem of those pesky, rapidly approaching wights, who at this point are literally flying through the cave like water in a tunnel-based action movie set-piece.
Heart-wrenching: Meera pleads with Hodor, “Hold the door! Hold the door!”so her and Bran can escape into the night. Apparently, sound ripples through time…or something… Actually, I have no idea what really happens, but I think because Willis is Hodor, and Bran is in Hodor’s mind, and time is a flat circle, Willis can hear Meera yelling? Because Willis then falls to the ground, convulsing, and shouting “Hold the door!” in decreasing levels of coherence until it becomes just “Hodor.” Fuck. You mean to tell me that Hodor, a man who has devoted his life to Bran Stark, and has literally carried him across the world, is a simple man only capable of saying “Hodor” because of the actions of Bran Stark? Meanwhile, present-day Hodor does hold the door! Even as wights start tearing him to pieces, he holds that damn door. He gives his life so that Bran (again, the person responsible for him being the way that he is) and Meera can escape. Fuck. Hodor, you will be missed you simple, beautiful man.
As for Bran, while I can’t imagine he feels too good right now, hey congrats on being able to influence the past and alter the future? (Or maybe not, we literally have no idea what this means. God not having the books as a safety net makes me feel so alive!)
Okay! Let’s move on into the “Not centered around Bran Stark” section of our review! Another Stark kid having quite the weird go of it is Arya. Remember when she was blind like, a few days ago? Now, she’s already back in Jaqen’s good graces, as he brings her into his many-faced office. There, he regales her with a many-faced story about the many-faced origins of the many-faced men, inviting a girl to be one of them, if she desires. Luckily for Arya, a girl has no desires, so she is given another assassination contract to redeem herself. Which brings us to…THE THEATER! where there is a play going on that essentially recaps season one, and boy, season one is wayyyyy sillier than I remember. While she is amused by it at first, Arya’s emotions about the play do a quick 180 when the character of her father is portrayed as a know-nothing buffoon. Then, for the first time, she sees his head get cut off. Clearly this strikes a chord. As much as she wants to be no one, Arya Stark is still Arya Stark. She then heads backstage, where the woman she is hired to kill actually seems like a pretty decent person and why should she kill her? When she relays this to ol’ teach, Jaqen H’ghar, he is all like “…yeahhhhh, but you’re still going to kill her right? That’s kind of how this works.” It’s not abundantly clear that Arya is going to do as she is told. Yet again, she seems to be many-faced wavering in her many-faced dedication to the many-faced god. Somewhere in a conveniently sword-length deep hole in some rocks, Needle waits…
Elsewhere, it’s full-blown election fever in Pyke. Ahhh election fever. The sound of waves splashing against the shore. The smell of seaweed in the air. The fanaticism inspired by one guy who talks really loud. It’s Kingsmoot! Which, as it turns out, means that if enough people chant your name after you make a political speech, you get to rule the Ironborn! Unless of course, someone who speaks after you gets people to chant their name, in which case you don’t get to rule the Ironborn. People are skeptical of Yara at first; after all, they’ve never had a Queen before. Thanks however, to Theon’s uncanny ability to already become a confident public speaker again, despite untold psychological trauma, people come around and start chanting Yara’s name. They’re with her! But then her uncle Euron Greyjoy shows up, and he gets everyone to chant his name, so by the rules we just established for Kingsmoot, he wins and Yara loses. Euron Greyjoy, man, this guy is basically Donald Trump. He’s an outsider who randomly shows up one day, and sweeps a reactionary culture off its feet with big ideas and promises that he cannot possibly deliver on. People fall for his “I’ve been around the world so I know how to get things done,” schtick; it makes him seem knowledgable! People laugh at his jokes, like when he hurls sophomoric insults at Theon’s big words and lack of penis; it makes him seem relatable! When Yara and Theon escape on all of the best boats, he might as well have said, “We’re gonna build all new boats and I guarantee you they’re gonna be bigger and better and faster than our old ones. And Yara and Theon are gonna pay for them! Look, I love my niece and nephew, they’re a wonderful bunch of people. But, when we catch them, I tell ya, they’re in trouble.” Of course, Euron Greyjoy would never be so subtle as to use Trump’s “They’re in trouble” line for people he secretly wants to purge once he’s the most powerful person in the world. Euron Greyjoy makes no secret that he killed his brother Balon, and his first words upon not drowning during his ceremonial drowning are “Where are my niece and nephew? Let’s go murder them.” That Euron Greyjoy, always telling it like it is! Even though he does have a plan, to give their fleet over to Daenerys, frankly it just seems like he’s doing all this so he can have sex with Daenerys. But, how is he going to woo her with such tiny hands???
In Meereen, Tyrion and Varys are once again standing around, doing what they do best: talking. (Again, would not be mad if there was a spin-off series of strictly Tyrion and Varys walk-and-talks. We could call it Wine and Opine. Just putting it out there.) All the murdering has stopped ever since Tyrion negotiated that peace treaty everyone hates, so now our favorite figurehead government this side of the Narrow Sea needs a way to get the word out to people that Daenerys brings peace to the people. So, they enlist the help of Kinvara, a local Red Priestess, who seems to put forth genocide as something that needs to happen? Basically, the fire of the dragons will purify the land of non-believers, and then people will worship and obey. Tyrion is fine with being plain, old obeyed though, so they opt for a more traditional approach of enlisting priests to spread positive propaganda about Daenerys. For his part, Varys is skeptical of Kinvara, and starts stirring the pot, wondering why they should trust her, when Melisandre’s “prophecies” about Stannis fell flat on their face. Turns out, Kinvara knows some shit. For example, Varys’ whole backstory. She knows about his castration at the hands of that sorcerer (who I hope someone is taking care of down in that hole in Varys’ office while Varys tends to business in Meereen.) Okay, well anyone could find out about that, sure, but she also hints at knowing about a voice calling out to Varys from the fire where that jerk sorcerer discarded Varys’ dismembered member. Bwaaaa!?!? His skepticism is warranted, but as Kinvara tells it, if Varys truly is a friend of Daenerys, then he has nothing to fear from Kinvara. This does not exactly cast a calming look over Varys’ face. FOREBODE. (I’m saying Varys is totally conspiring against Daenerys/may be the real man behind the Sons of the Harpy curtain.)
And then there’s Sansa. Oh man, when did Sansa become such a bad ass boss bitch? She’s on a god damned roll! First, she totally eviscerates Little Finger for taking her away from a bunch of monsters that murdered her family, only to give her away to a bunch of monsters that murdered her family. For a guy that said he would protect her, he sure did a real shitty job of it. He either didn’t know about Ramsay and is an idiot, or did know and is Sansa’s enemy. Either way, Little Finger is pond scum unworthy of her time. She doesn’t want his lousy Knights of the Vale, though she will gladly take his advice with regards to her uncle Brynden Tully (AKA The Blackfish) re-taking Riverrun. Later on, during a strategy meeting at The Wall led by Davos (I love how Davos is already all in on this, despite only showing up a few days ago,) the mood around the table is that they’re basically fucked, what with the White Walkers to the North, and the Boltons, et al to the South. Their only hope seems to be to recruit some of the smaller Northern houses. This is when Sansa brings up what Little Finger blabbed about earlier: that Uncle Tully has re-taken Riverrun. Curiously, she protects her source, claiming that she randomly came across the information before fleeing from Winterfell. Try as she may, Sansa cannot help but be a sneaky little Little Finger. (It’s not the worst modus operandi: Little Finger is literally just some dude, and look where he’s gotten himself.) Surely this won’t have negative repercussions. I mean, it probably will, but I really don’t want a rift to form between Sansa and Jon. Especially not now after she just made them some totally bitchin’ House Stark uniforms. However, Little Finger is always in the hood and up to no good, so I have to believe he would never freely offer up the tip about Riverrun without some ulterior motive. Or maybe this really is the beginning of the good guys finally getting their way??? Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha…
Spare thoughts to hold the door, oh god, there I go crying again:
–Also happening this episode: Jorah shows Daenerys his greyscale, admits his love for her, plans to go off to die somewhere. Daenerys forgives him for spying on her, won’t let him leave just like that, commands him to go find the cure for greyscale. She needs him as much as he needs her! Godspeed Jorah the Andal.
-If you always wanted to see what a warty dong looks like close up, then boy do I have the episode for you!
-As if the thought of getting stabbed wasn’t terrifying enough, now I can also have nightmares about getting stabbed and turning into a White Walker.
-Pointless as it would have made everything, it would have been great if Euron Greyjoy actually just drowned. Then, while everyone on Pyke stands around looking stunned, the camera cuts to Yara and Theon sailing away as “Slow Ride” plays. Better yet, “Yackety Sax.”
-By the way, when you rule the Iron Islands, the crown is literally just some sticks.
-Tyrion is so damn charming about not knowing how to speak much Valyrian.
-Crackpot Theory Corner: Max von Sydow (The Three-Eyed Raven for those of you not following along) was old Bran traveled back in time. Look, I know I said the Three-Eyed Raven was some schlub who got stuck in a tree one day, but maybe that poor schlub is sitting there because he is physically incapable of moving. Because he is Bran Stark. Think about it, how does he know so much about Bran, and know where to find him all the time in the earlier seasons? Because they are each other! Being that time, again, is a flat circle, and presuming that Bran’s actions in this series will lead to the defeat of the White Walkers and “peace,” this would mean that Bran has always been the Three-Eyed Raven, which means he also always has to travel back in time to teach his younger self how to become…himself (Or in simpler terms, Max von Sydow always has to travel back in time to teach Isaac Hempstead Wright how to become Max von Sydow.) Hence the line, “It’s time for you to become me.” I don’t know that this will come to pass, as time travel is tricky (even in a universe where young-looking but actually quite old beings created nearly invulnerable ice monsters by stabbing ordinary men with a dagger, while those men were bound to a tree that has a face and cries blood-colored sap,) and we don’t even know that what Bran did with Hodor actually was time traveling, but I want to put it forward so that if I am right, I look like the smartest man on the internet.
-Totally Outlandish Crackpot Theory That Won’t Come True, That I Won’t Explain, and I Am Only Writing Down So I Can Be King of the Internet if it Comes True: Bran is also the Night King.
❤ Hodor ❤
One thought on “Sansa Snark: Season 6, Episode 5”
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