Game of Thrones 6.5 – The Door

[PREVIOUSLY] Guys, this is going up early. I’ll catch typos and put more images in after I’ve had a good, hard cry. YOU KNOW WHY. Not saying above the cut to spare anyone who hasn’t seen it yet.

game of thrones children

LOOK AT THESE CREEPY FOREST ATRONACHS.

Good hell, this season just. Gets. Better. Warning: EMOTIONS AHEAD. Also: EPIC POETRY FOR THAT ONE CHARACTER. (Stick to show talk, not book talk, I’m Unsullied, etc etc., thankee sai.) Also, for any new folks: I literally have a few glasses of wine and watch the show, writing as I watch. Fun! 

 

We open with Sansa receiving a letter from Littlefinger. BASTARD. The Vale is in Mole’s Town, apparently. Now cut off his head, M’Lady! Aha, Brienne accompanies her to meet Baelish and the best thing in the world happens.

Petyr: Oh, m’lady! You’re well, it seems.
Sansa: BITCH HOLD ME BACK. [holds out an arm that Brienne hurriedly grabs] So. Let’s talk about being unharmed. Ramsay! Fun husband you picked for me against my will. Speaking of against my will… [Brienne tightens her grip] No, actually, how about you tell me. You tell me what happened to me.
Petyr: I beg pardon?
Sansa: Begging. Yes. Ramsay was keen on that. What else, do you think?
Petry: I…
Brienne: DID LADY SANSA STUTTER? ANSWER HER.
Me: [throwing a gee damn ticker tape parade and clawing at my face while doing a victory shuffle at the strength being exhibited before me]
Petyr: Gosh. I’m sorry. I feel so bad about you being… mistreated.
Sansa: I don’t believe your lies. You are worthless. I could blink and Brienne would cut you down.
Brienne: GIRL GIVE ME THE POWER–
Sansa: [holds up a finger] But I baaaaasically want you to live a lonely old life of worthlessness? Hopefully with shit-filled diapers? [fingers to mouth] I can’t decide. Hmm, shit-filled diapers for you, it is.
Petyr: Well, your uncle the Blackfish is alive and has an army, so. Off I go to fill my knickers.

Arya/No One and A Girl practice with the quarterstaff where we learn A Girl doesn’t even need it. She can fight, damn. Nice uppercut, psycho. She keeps trying to push that No One is actually Arya Stark and will never fit in. God, Regina George, we get it.

Jaqen gives Arya/No One another assignment, and this is it, her last chance to prove she’s one of them. Man, blood in, blood out with these guys for real. So Arya goes to a street performance of what is basically the first few episodes of the show, and I want you to imagine a made for TV movie about the Obamas but performed by the Kardashians. This is Arya, watching Kim Kardashian play her father, Khloe playing her sister, and oho, we see what’s what. Is she truly No One? Is this getting under her skin? (And is that the real reason for this “job”?)

Side note, thanks for the balance in nudity even though that dude needed a nut-merkin. And some Herp meds.

Arya realizes that the woman she’s supposed to kill is a good person, and the hit probably came from a jealous actress in the troupe-the one playing Sansa–but A Man doesn’t care. A price was paid, servants do as their told, blessings unto the Many-Faced Gods. Hmm. I’m uh, not too impressed by the moral fiber of this religion. Neither, it seems, is Arya.

hall of faces

Loo loo loo, walking past peeled faces… This is a weird religion, you guys.

If you would have asked me a few seasons back that some of the scenes I would most be looking forward to would be a veil-eyed Bran lying in a tangle of roots, motionless, as Harold/3ER guides him through space and time, I would have asked you to share what you were smoking. AND YET.

Bran MindWalks back to a godwood tree, black stones jut out of the ground around it, and when the camera pulls back, we see it’s reminiscent of the slaughtered horses back when we first encountered the army of the dead way back when when Samwell Porkins Gamgee Tarley wet his britches upon coming face to face with them. Note also that the tree’s eyes are bleeding. (Does this mean something?? Don’t tell me, ahhh! I’m just noting that!)

The forest atronachs, aka The Children—so creepy looking—approach a man tied to the tree and proceed to stab him while whispering incantations. You know, like kids do. PRANKED! Oh snap, it’s one of those obsidian glass bits that Samwell used to kill a White Walker (dragonglass, yes?) and they shove it right into his heart. And his eyes go Predefremen blue! HOLD UP. The Children made the Walkers?!

Bran wakes up right them and that same Child (I don’t know how to singularize it?) is there and is all, “I had to use a nuclear option because War. And mostly Men. You guys are dicks.”

Bran: UH. You made something a little more everlasting than jackass dudes, the hell??

Ongoing theme: making monsters that can’t be controlled. See: Joffrey, dragons,the Mountain and maybe… Sansa? That’s a stretch. She’s not a monster. But Baelish tried to create her into a weapon all the same.

The Kingsmoot is underway and there’s the sad little attempt by an angry dude, “But we’ve never had a LADY with LADY BITS and LADY THINGS and LADY FEELINGS lead us! Even this beaten down shell of a man with no penis is better than this proven warrior lady!”

Theon: I respectfully disagree. [goes on passionately about his amazing sister]
Yara: Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Theon: [sings] She’s… your… queeeeeeeeen to beeeeee! A vision of perfection, an object of affection…
Ironborn: YASSSSS!!! YARA! YARA!
Me: EVERYTHING IS COMING UP MILLHOUSE. By which I mean, FINALLY SOME FUCKING PAYBACK FOR LADIES ON THIS SHOW.

yara greyjoy game of thrones

I love this salty ironbabe. LOVE HER.

Side note: dudes who roll their eyes when women like me get excited by this stuff? Dudes who get mad that we’re tired of all the rape and blah blah, get over it ladies, this fantasy of made up places with dragons and magic is based on medieval-[puuuuuuke]? Screw you guys. I see your comments. I see the nasty things you say about me and other women reviewers like me. I laugh at it. And now I chant: Yara! YARA! YARA!!

OH. SHIT. See???? I flew too close to the sun. Some swarthy dude saunters up claiming to be Euron Greyjoy, and he claims the Salt Throne. It’s their uncle, the guy who probably killed their dad. He does the whole, “Poor little kids who can’t do things right. Uncle Daddy’s here now, ready to set things in motion.” So I hate him. Passionately.

Yara: Oh! So you most definitely killed my dad.
Euron: Oh, right. Killed him right away. Terrible King, so you’re welcome.
Theon: Uh, you’re not welcome. You’re the shitty uncle in Parenthood who shows up with a kid named Cool and then fucks off when it gets hard. Yara is Steve Martin–
Yara: Theon, this isn’t the time for–
Theon: STEVE MARTIN. [gentle smile to his sister] She’s digging in trash cans for $250 worth of retainers while his anxious kid freaks out in the alley, but she’s still digging.
Euron: Look. I think I have a big dick. Because I’ve been clouded by this, I’m pretty sure that I can convince Daenerys Targaryen to help me build an even bigger fleet, and we’ll kill the folks in King’s Landing.
Ironborn: [cheering because of dicks and sticking it to foreign women, no really]
Yara: Fucking children, the lot of you.

Euron is baptized into being the king as Yara and Theon sneak off to board one of her ships. Um, it looks like Euron has been drowned, actually. I assume this is a part of it? If it’s meant to be, then he’ll come back to life? He coughs back to life. Ah. Sigh. “What is dead, may never die.” He gets the bone crown [dibs on band name: bone crown], and let’s take a moment to point out how much Euron’s actor looks like Alfie/Theon. Constantly floored by how well they do.

Euron’s ready to take everyone to go murder Yara and Theon, but they’re long gone. With… what looks like an armada. Damn! Euron wants everyone busting ass to give him 1000 ships to take over.

Dany tells Jorah that’s she’s super sorry about the whole banishment for death thing, but she can’t take him with her. Well, doesn’t matter, because he’s suffering from a severe case of Stonified. She’s truly sorry about it, and it hurt me to see her face as he says, “All I’ve ever wanted was to serve you. I love you.”

AHHHHHHHHH LEAVE ME HERE TO DIE.

Jorah Mormont Daenerys Targaryen

Please note all the space around him, space that should be filled with his Queen and step-dragons. Look. I accept that Jorah is the ultimate Nice Guy, but Iain Glen… RIGHT!? Ugh. Also: I would think Jorah would have his leather half-gauntlet covering the creeping stonism/greyscale. Maybe it gets hot and itchy,IDK. I WORRY.

Daario: Goddamn. Fucking mic drop and everything?
Dany: Daario, hush. The grown ups are speaking. JORAH. Uh, you don’t get to quit me! I command you to find the cure. [lip wobble] I command you to heal yourself and then return to me. When I take the seven kingdoms, I need you by my side. [holds back tears]

I AM ROLLING ON THE GROUND IN AGONY. JORAH. Watching from afar his Queen ride with a new army (is this what, the fourth?) to take over the world! AHHHHHH.

Varys points out that fragile peace has been achieved. Tyrion points out that Dany needs more aggressive PR and in the form of a Red Woman of their own. Oooh, she’s got the deaging-hotifying necklace of Eternal Youth on! She’s all, “Dany is the leader promised.”

Fire Crotch Mage, far away, has an eye twitch and doesn’t know why.

(Does it matter this Mage doesn’t have red hair?)

red woman game thrones

“One requirement by my god: that we’re all hot.”

Amazing moment in which I almost stood up on my damn chair and shouted, “YES.” Varys cuts off the new mage’s pontification.

Varys: This all sounds great. Every PR campaign should, but I recall being told Stannis Baratheon was meant to be The Chosen One? Interesting how that all turned out…
Tyrion: Yes, well, SuperPacs are powerful and we need–
Varys: SO I FIND IT INTERESTING how often this Lord of Light keeps, ha, getting it wrong.
New Mage: Well. Human error and all that. Like the Bible saying things that are absurd because of multiple translations, and such.
Varys: What can you offer me in terms of a guarantee against… human error?
New Mage: How about I tell you that I know things you have never told anyone ever?
Varys: Well… shit.

Okay, brb, rewatching every moment with Varys ever.

Bran and Harold are stuck under the tree, and Harold is sound asleep. Bran, being a teenage boy, is bored to tears. He decides to go Time Walking on his own. The tree is dead (or just asleep in Winter? Nah, I’m guessing dead) and everything is covered in snow. Oh. And he’s completely surrounded by a massive army of the dead, thousands and thousands strong. Holy. Shitballs.

He walks through their throngs, understanding finally what is to come. This is seriously cool and awful and frightening and cool. And then he comes to the four horsemen of the Frozen Apocalypse and THEY CAN SEE HIM. THEY ALL CAN SEE HIM. AHHHHH!!! The Night King grabs his arm and Harold wakes up. “He knows you’re here. He can come for you.”

Shit. Well now you have to leave because you just gave up your location! Time to pony up, Bran. You just jump started your career as a Raven. Or… whatever that job is called. Head Seer?

MEANWHILE, Jon Snow tries to figure out a strategy for taking back Winterfell, rallying the troops, and fighting a ginormous and easily refueled army of the dead. We hear which families are in with the Boltons, and who could be swayed to support. Sansa, the fire of determination fueling her now, is sure she can convince the Karstarks to join them.

Sansa. Baby. GIRLFRIEND. No, no you cannot. Robb killed their dad, the other Karstark is a pedophile, so you’re not going to want them anyway. Sansa also fibs about seeing Baelish and Brienne turns away, ready to bite through nails as Sansa says the Tulleys will support them. Sansa wants Brienne to ride post haste and get Blackfish on the up and up.

tormund brienne game thrones

He’s all, “Warmong and chill?” She’s like, “Nah, son.”

Brienne has some issues with the folks she’d be leaving Sansa with, mostly Fire Crotch Mage (and with good reason) and Gjördkr the Bær Fuçkër because he keeps giving her the EYE (ahahaha). But mostly, if Sansa loves Jon so much, why not admit about Littlefinger? Oho. Good point. I think Sansa feels some shame with regard to Baelish and isn’t being honest because of that.

Excuse me while I have a moment over Sansa making Stark clothing for herself and Stark armor/a cloak for Jon, because FAMILY. STARK FAMILY FEELINGS. It’s been a long, dark 6.5 seasons, you guys, and I’m just so happy about it. And about Gjördkr making heart eyes at Brienne, oh my god. And the Stark brigade is off from the Wall, headed south, leaving Edd in charge. Ahaha. Wow, is he not prepared.

Bran and Harold/3ER are still training, and Meera figures out that shit is going OFF outside. And oh my GOD, the army of the dead is there. IT IS THERE. THEY ARE COMING. Meera runs back inside and gets Hodor to help her get Bran, who won’t wake up.

The Children throw their firebombs and SHIT, they’re not keeping the dead away. Not the leaders, at least. The Four guys come inside and the rest scramble up the tree like ants, ready to find any rabbit who comes out of the hidey hole.

Bran is seeing moments from the past with his family, leaving Meera to fight off Draugr with a little help from the Children. Hodor is having a gee damn heart attack, and Meera manages to break through the Dagoba training to get Bran to Warg into Hodor. BUT! He Wargs into Hodor from his DREAMWALK. Which affects Hodor now, too.

Shit, Meera manages to kill one of the leaders!! (You guys saw her grab that dragonglass spear, right?) And then OH MY GOD I AM CRYING, NOOOOOO! Summer the Direwolf (right?) stands in defense so they can get away and the dead KILL ANOTHER DAMN DIREWOLF and PUPPIES ARE PRECIOUS FRIENDS WHY WHY ARE THEY KILLING OUR FRIENDS?!!?

[falls into pits of despair]

I AM SO UPSET!? THEY ARE ALMOST EXTINCT! D: OH GOD SUMMER IS GONE AND WINTER IS COMING/HAS COME, EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE.

TRY NOT TO CRY

(Note: hahaha, sweet summer child me. You’re about to get a lot sadder.)

Harold, meanwhile, is asleep/recharging/TimeWalking (I guess) in the tree when the Night King arrives. 3ER tells Warging/Time Walking Bran to leave, is killed, and the dead. Keep. Coming. Holy crap balls, this is more intense than Hardhome with them skittering and the Child/Forest Atronach letting herself be killed in order to be able to take scores of them out with a magic IED. Hodor struggles to open a door to free them as the dead keep coming, they lock them inside (barely), and Meera runs off with the litter holding Bran, while calling “Hold the door” to Hodor, hoping he can trap the evil inside.

Hold. The door.

Guys.

Hold the door. Over and over.

Hodor Wylis the door

OH GOD. NO.

I am legit crying. This brave helper, trapped by his station, by someone’s power (Bran) and HOLD. THE DOOR. Bran, in the past, sees him seizing as a young boy, crying out, “Hold the door.” And Hodor, brave, gentle Hodor does just that as Meera gets away.

He’s ripped to pieces, buying them time to escape, and this is brutal. This is agony. This is so much worse than Oberyn or anything I’ve seen, and oh god. OH MY GOD.

Hodor, Wyllis, the gentlest being in the whole show, who lived to serve, who hated violence, who loved and cared for his people with everything in him, gave his own life up for Bran, for Meera, for all the people of the North.

And Bran realizes this. But the damage is done.

bran stark the door

Hodor.

I am weeping.

As has been the tradition when the great ones die…

Whatchu Talking ‘Bout, Wylis?

There once was a boy the size of two grown men
A boy who served the Starks from barn to the glen.
Gentle, kind, and fiercely loyal, too,
Wyllis was always ready for a task needed to do.

We meet him when he’s aged quite a lot
Grey hair, a soft belly, and his mind turned to rot.
He can say only his name, “Hodor” it seems.
‘Hodor,” the funny name that begat memes.

It was the only word the man could say,
“Hodor!” when asked how was his day.
“Hodor?” when asked how he liked his fish.
“Hodor…” when asked for his fondest wish.

For years we laughed and smiled at him,
This giant man, an unknown past so grim.
“Hodor” he’d say with eyes so sad.
“Hodor?” he’d ask when Osha was mad.

“…Hodor,” he’d sigh when night grew dark.
“Hodor!” he’d cry when missing Rickon Stark.
“Hodor?” he’d ask when tasks were assigned.
“Hodor,” he’d murmur when going blind.

Bran cared for Hodor like a pet dog,
Mildly offput when Bran needed to Warg
into this giant, a giant who wouldn’t fight!
This giant, one who was scared of night!

This gentle man who shouldered a lot,
This gentle giant whose life was naught
but to serve House Stark for all his days
truly living them out in a wary haze.

Did he remember the cave? The beasts within?
Did he remember the fright and the cold on his skin?
Did he remember the horses, his mother, the yard,
anything good before Bran had to Warg?

Or did he spend all his life remembering pain,
the stabbing, the tearing, the muscle strain
of standing between Death and for whom he forswore,
the echoing cry of: “Hold the door.”

“Hold the door!” he heard and hold the door he did.
“Hold the door” he cried out, though he was just a kid.
A child, really, trapped out of body and time,
“Hold the door” he managed for his whole lifetime.

He never wavered. He never did cease.
“Hold the door,” he still uttered though it gave him no peace.
He held the door in his mind for decades, it seems.
“Hold the door” must have haunted his unending dreams.

“Hold the door,” he died crying, “Hold the door!” he exclaimed.

Hodor/Wylis the brave. The kind. The first of his name.

Wylis Hodor the door

Hodor. What else is there to say? Wylis, you did. You did.

Aaaand now I’m crying again. God, this show. This season. It’s all been worth it. IT HAS ALL BEEN WORTH IT.

Things to talk about: great Hodor moments in Hodor, obviously, but what about Bran? He knows. He did this. HE DID THIS. Oh, my god. Agony. AGONY.

(okay, I need to lie down with a cold compress on my head. Be nice. I’ll be back. Sob! OH, and interesting fact: this ep was directed by the guy who directed the best, most emotional episode of Lost, “The Constant.” WELL NO WONDER. <3)

Continue to the next episode here!

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  • MaxwellJames

    I’ve read all five books multiple times, as well as all of Martin’s short stories based in Westeros. And despite the show catching up to the books some time ago, this is the first time I’ve watched it and felt genuinely Unsullied.

    And as a result: devastated. Totally and utterly gutted.

    Just gonna lie here and blink for a while.

    • MAXWELL. It’s a terrible ache, isn’t it??

      I had to watch it again, had to bear witness to it, I guess. And it left me just as gutted, just as horrified, just as amazed by (as the kids say) What A Good Hodor/Wyllis was.

      Here, let me get you a cold compress. It helps. A little.

      • Susi Harrington Potter

        Oh god, I don’t even WATCH the show (yet) but I’m crying.

        • Susi, this is up there with Starbuck (which I avoided the spoiler for, thank goodness), Not Penny’s Boat, and Not a Rooster from M*A*S*H. RIGHT UP THERE.

          • Susi Harrington Potter

            I can see that! Man, this show’s gonna eat me up, isn’t it?

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Yes. This.

      (Hodor.)

    • I’ve been trying to tell people.. don’t read the books until AFTER the show. So much better to be surprised by the show.

      I read the death of Joffrey in the damn book by accident, one paragraph and it was spoiled. Oh crap, unsee it! Unsee!

  • Miranda Prince

    Tonight totally broke me. Between this show and Call the Midwife, i don’t know if i will ever stop crying.

    • OMG, please remember to rehydrate. ;) *hugs*

      • Miranda Prince

        Thanks. :-) It doesn’t help that we also caught up on Outlander yesterday (no spoilers, but this week’s episode was emotionally very difficult), AND listened to a podcast that turned out to be about Laika (the Russian dog who was sent into space). So much crying!

  • Rillion

    I’ve watched the show twice and was in tears both time at the end. Your poem has me crying for the third time tonight. I always loved Hodor, but now he is my favorite character; the truest, noblest, bravest character of them all. HE HELD THAT DOOR!

    • I watched it twice now, too, and it was maybe worse the second time, knowing??

      HE HELD THAT DOOR. Oh, Wyllis… :(

  • chortles81

    Arya’s outdoor scene is “Why Chortles Shan’t Talk Shit About Caring About Representation”.

    I’m pretty sure that the armada that Yara and Theon were long gone with was the fleet that Euron said he was going to seduce Daenerys with… therefore: HA-HA!

    DAE notice the sheer HESITANCE and looking around at each other of any of the ironmen when the ironborn priest declared, “Who makes a claim?” What does THAT tell you that Yara’s only opposing candidate until Euron was someone in the crowd unwittingly nominating her strongest supporter?

    My personal joke after watching the kingsmoot is that Daenerys’ ancestors didn’t bother shutting down the kingsmoot system because after one look at how the winner was “coronated”, they figured that anyone who came to power THAT way would never be able to threaten the mainland… and Yara basically implied that they were right.

    Oh, and re: Varys — the relevant scene is in Season 3, Episode 4: “And Now His Watch is Ended”.

    • Oh my gosh, the way a king is made in Pyke!! It’s no wonder they admire the leader who can survive that. Uh, maybe some evolution needs to happen a bit faster over there. Come on, dragons! (Which is where I hope Yara is headed…)

      • chortles81

        Like Deceptively Calm Scientist said: “Soggy Viking Islands: so let me get this straight, they prefer kings who have residual brain damage from oxygen deprivation? No wonder they lost the war!” And to think, THAT is what Yara would have undergone had she actually won the kingsmoot! Thank gosh the Season 2 priest settled for porting water onto Theon and presumably Yara at some point.

        Unfortunately there isn’t much more I can add without dipping into spoilers, at least if you consider the Blu-ray Histories & Lore to be spoilers… so yeah, LOVING that Yara/Theon/their backers ran off with the only real asset that Daenerys might actually wanted from Euron… and I believe that he knew it too!

        As for the theater scene, the only insight I have that wouldn’t be book spoilers is wondering how much Cersei herself had a hand in this play, considering its hilariously cruel disrespect to the late Robert and how its mockery of Ned might actually be a stand-in for the north… and of course, Tyrion.

        • Oh yes, nothing that isn’t in the 10 episode arcs, please and thank you!

          And what a great point, that Cersei may be behind this play… Maybe this is a part of her new group of Little Birds?

          • chortles81

            Well, all I can say without spoiling is that the Season 1 Blu-ray elaborated on the war that Leaf mention ed from a human POV, and Season 4 from Leaf’s POV. (One great thing about said Histories & Lore is how blatantly biased they are due to the narrator… or when Varys and Littlefinger snipe at each other over Robert’s Rebellion.)

            In hindsight I’m doubtful re: any direct link between the acting troupe and Cersei; the prior episode made it seem like Qyburn just slotted himself in where Varys used to be (maybe feeding Varys the bit about Stannis to keep him unaware of his network being co-opted?) and Cersei’s own declared goal for them seems very Westerosi-oriented; I can’t see her possibly believing that she could actually do anything about mockery by Braavosi/other-Essosi enough to care what they think to begin with, so Occam’s Razor presumably dictates that the playwright wrote it because they legitimately figured it would play well with a Braavosi crowd… or it accurately reflects the received conventional wisdom over there. (My speculation re: the north was because it was pointed out to me that the play basically applied hillbilly stereotypes to Ned Stark.)

          • chortles81

            It has since been pointed out (not a spoiler) to me that Arya never heard much of anything of what became of her sister, so she wouldn’t know that Tyrion didn’t have anything to do with Ned’s death or that Tyrion didn’t rape Sansa — heck, this play may even have been the first she heard of Tyrion in connection to either Ned or Sansa — and now everything sucks.

  • caycos

    Sansa is going to mess up Ramsay though, right?? Not sure about this ‘go see the Blackfish in the Riverlands’ theory, and I definitely don’t think she should be sending Brienne away, but she’s gotta win through. We can’t have badass Sansa just for her to not win.

    Right???

    • AGREED re: SANSA. This is a thing I need.

    • Cyrano Thebirdsareback

      I haven’t seen Varys look discomfited since his shade-off with Littlefinger in S3E06 in front of the Iron Throne, where LF gives his “chaos is a laddah” speech and reveals that he gave Ros to Joffrey for Joff’s horrific “fresh experience”.

  • Deceptively Calm Scientist

    “Atronach” – didn’t know that word, thank you! I had to look it up and it reminded me of the golems in China Mieville’s “Iron Council” and goddamn do I have a yearning for another of his Bas-Lag books. Um. am I digressing?

    Poor Hodor, caught in an intertemporal possession loop. Not as bad as a chronosynclastic infundibulum but still… By the way, did you notice this season is just burning through named characters like it ain’t no thang? It’s not just “third peasant” who gets killed, it’s 2-5 importantish characters per episode! This time it was Hodor and Max von Sydow (who shall always be called Max von Sydow no matter who he’s playing because just listen to that: Max von Sydow) and Third Child of the Forest, okay that one was a little anonymous, I admit. And Summer! Son of a bitch! LEAVE THOSE PUPPIES ALONE! Down to two, with one missing in action.

    The Atronachs having made the White Walkers was a genuine “Holy Shit!” moment. Did NOT see that one coming. Nor did any book readers, tee-hee.
    I’m counting on my fingers here but I believe this was Dany’s third army: First Dothraki Horde, Unsullied, and now Second Dothraki Horde. That girl goes through armies like Hitler in a Russian winter campaign!
    Arya…not really sure where this is going but it’s not going there very fast, particularly compared to the whiplash-inducing pace of other storylines. I mean, Castle Black might as well be Castle Fast Forward compared to Arya.
    Soggy Viking Islands: so let me get this straight, they prefer kings who have residual brain damage from oxygen deprivation? No wonder they lost the war!

    All in all, this season has me back on board. And your recaps are a delight, as always. We may not always see eye to eye on things but you are a Must-Read. Not unlike “Iron Council”.

    • ATRONACH. Yessssss, they are amazing. I love that you looked that up! And I’m featuring this comment for the brilliant use of “chronosynclastic infundibulum” – if only all Titans had been Hodors! D:

      Oh, how I love that the Children made the Walkers. LOVE IT. What a terrible and dreadful thing, and so enjoyable to learn as a viewer/reader.

      And hahaha, I wrote fourth, then while lying in bed, crying up at the ceiling over Hodor (hahaha), thought it was only three, as well. [fist bump emoji]

      You make an excellent point about Arya’s storyline not moving as quickly, and boy, was it clear tonight. I’ve been lenient on it, because gosh, who isn’t interested in A Man and A Girl and how it all works? But… we’re not getting much along the information highway, just this cul de sac of abuse and is she really A Girl or is she Arya?

      I am so in love with this season. I feel so vindicated for enduring such darkness, and as someone who has been let down so many times by so many shows, it’s sheer joy to have so many wonderful moments of gratification happening.

      THANK YOU for sticking with me, too. I don’t need people to agree with everything I say (how boring would these comment sections be??) but the respect and support my readers show me here? *sniff* It’s beautiful. Thank you.

      • Lyanna Mormont

        And they didn’t make the Walkers from one of their own, maybe a volunteer. Nope, they made their ultimate weapon from one of the enemy, and he was created in a moment of terror and hatred.

        Gee, wonder if that played a part in how they turned out?

        • I AM STANDING ON A CHAIR POINTING AT THIS BECAUSE YES. I bet that DID have a play in it. Ugh, I love my readers so much. This is brilliant.

          • chortles81

            Actions Have Consequences: The Game of Thrones motto, complete with Tyrion practically screaming it at speaking volume at Joffrey in Season 2 (the “Sansa at crossbowpoint” scene).

            P.S. DAE notice that when the first axe broke through the door the music became a riff on the “dying male Stark” theme?

        • Deceptively Calm Scientist

          Because yes, that always turns out well, doesn’t it? *respectful applause*

        • Cyrano Thebirdsareback

          They ought to call it Game of Unintended Consequences.
          Create / turn to a monster, for perfectly valid reasons usually involving expediency.
          Loose control of monster.
          Repeat.
          Nedd + Littlefinger / Goldcloaks
          Robb + Iron Islanders
          Robb + House Frey
          Cersei + Sparrows

          • Deceptively Calm Scientist

            Cersei and Sir Robert Strong? We can hope!

          • Lyanna Mormont

            Dany and her dragons.

            I mean, she taught them to kill humans (her enemies) and then was shocked when they killed humans (a child).

      • Deceptively Calm Scientist

        *weepy hug*

    • JCDavis

      Congrats on getting the pinned spot this week, well deserved. And also for using chronosynclastic infundibulum on my stupid brain. I came up with the confundus charm, yours is much better.

      Laura, your Atronach was also a keeper!! I have been meaning to pick those books up. So many books, so little time….which reminds me…..

  • Johan Kristian Milde

    I was not certain when watching if Yara and Theon ran off with the entire fleet or just the couple we saw moving, but I guess they would all be in harbour if they were not taken along. I assume there are more ships around, as those islands seem to be quite deforested already, being the home of a seafaring people.

    So many dead in this episode, luck we had Sansa to make up for some of it. She is much more well-handled than most of us dared assume last season. She is not broken, she is not sidelined and she is not reduced to a one-note rape revenge character. Her strenght and control in the scenes at Castle Black is for me what makes her mental beatdown of Littlefinger a scene of undivided enjoyment.

    As for the women reviewers being exited for badass women in media – you go ahead. It is one of the reasons I read *your* reviews when the Internet is full of other reviewers, and it is probably one of the best ways to bring both presentation and representation of women in media forward. Protests and complaints are absolutely necessary when something is wrong, but it is the glee and celebrations that makes the people/(guys, sadly, ingrown power structures be ingrown) in charge think that better representation is also good for business. So screw those Internet guys claiming “feminists” are ruining their media by complaining about dat “medievally correct” misrepresentation and androsentrism, while at the same time deriding those celebrating the moments where women come out on top. It is almost like the “negative tone” is not actually what these guys dislike.

    • I am worried about the ecosystem of the Iron Islands. I assume they’ll have to invade nearby lands to steal flax and trees since it appears that there isn’t much farm land to start with…

      Wasn’t the theater scene brilliant? How information disseminates in this world–when not someone with Varys’ Little Birds–is quite convoluted. I loved how it served two purposes: to show us that our POV isn’t the POV of the average person of Westeros/Essos and two, to push Arya into a real choice. (I know what I want of her, but I’m happy to watch either outcome, honestly.)

      I really appreciate the support my readers show me here–I’m at this point unable to participate in other comment sections for sites I love that also talk about this show in an Unsullied way. I’ll pop in and see myself being ripped apart and… well, it just takes the wind out of your sails. I continue to believe I have the best readers and comment participation over here, and i just love you guys.

      “It is almost like the “negative tone” is not actually what these guys dislike.” HAHAHAHA, whoa, whoa, WHAT?! You mean… there’s something deeper happening with these folks? ;) Hee.

      <3

      • Lyanna Mormont

        Oh! Varys impressed me with what his little birds had told him – he already knows Stannis is dead! that only happened in last season’s finale, which was like four days before last episode, so… Quick work, Little Birds!

      • Deceptively Calm Scientist

        I apologize unreservedly on behalf of my fellow y-chromosomes. They’re really just damaged X-chromosomes, aren’t they?

      • Cyrano Thebirdsareback

        Also, the crown of the Iron Islands looked like driftwood, not bone. It was by far the most sh!tty crown we have seen on GoT. Even the crowns in the play Arya was watching in Braavos were better.

        • Waaaah. I was hoping it was a narwhal jaw bone or something cool. ;)

        • Deceptively Calm Scientist

          The Iron Islands are pretty Holy Grail, aren’t they? “How can you tell he’s the king? Because he’s not covered in shit”

  • Johan Kristian Milde

    If the Blackfish is to move his army to Sansa’s aid, that might be complicated by the fact that Littlefinger’s army has camped at Moat Cailin, which controls the road into the North. Will Sansa be forced to accept the Vale’s help by Littlefinger’s politicking? Or perhaps Jon will accept the help, reinforcing the “not your army”-bit?

    • ORRRRRRRRR, the Vale–far enough away from Bad Boob Sucker’s Moon Door influence–manage to do away with Littlefinger and come to Sansa Stark’s aid? Well, one can hope. ;)

      • chortles81

        Maybe, JUST MAYBE, the Blackfish can break out from Riverrun (I imagine that he’s able to at least hold out for the foreseeable future) and help clear another route for the valemen to bypass the Twins? Part of the point of the initial deal between Houses Stark and Frey whose breaking led to the Red Wedding was that the Twins were the only QUICK route between the north and the south — and thus for Robb to quickly capture Jaime, lift the Lannister siege of Riverrun, march for King’s Landing (though this last one was unwittingly always going to be too late) — so I can’t think of a way for the Littlefinger to already have the Knights of the Vale at Most Caitlin that doesn’t involve him having already made an arrangement with Walder Frey.

        • Deceptively Calm Scientist

          Then again, perhaps Blackfish will drop in on old Walder and express his displeasure. With a rusty spoon.

          • Cyrano Thebirdsareback

            Slooooowlllyyy.

  • Original-S

    To start off, is it weird that now, since I am able to watch the show in real time, there is a little voice in the back of my head constantly asking “OH EM GEE DEE, how will Stoney react to that?!!?” That voice was practically shouting during the scene with Sansa and Littlefinger. Oh man, she was a stone cold BAMF and I just want to take that moment and roll around in it like a dog with a squirrel carcass. Her character has come so far and I love that she was able to make the unflappable Littlefinger appear genuinely uncomfortable by holding him accountable for what his actions did to her. Oh Sansa, <3 <3 <3 <3

    Side note, the BF and I are in agreement that Brienne and Gjördkr the Bær Fuçkër need to find their own hot spring cave and just get primal on each other. Like, yesterday.

    Arya's scenes, to me, seem to be dragging. I get that it's all "We're gonna need a montage" for her training scenes and whatnot, but come on. I wanna see what A Girl is gonna do! (Also: Suddenly, PENIS! )

    Euron: If you like dicks so much, go find a big bag of them and chow down, please. Yara and Theon? As you were. (You were being supportive and awesome siblings, fyi)

    Meanwhile, in Mereen, Varys makes good points but gets gobsmacked by Fire Crotch Mage, the sequel. Tyrion tries to keep things civil and that made me giggle because they both heartily ignored him as they each tried to one up the other with "Hey, look what I know". Sadly, FCMx2 lands a KO and mic drops out of there. :(

    The scene with Jorah and Dany was both sweet and heartbreaking, but with all the other emotionally charge scenes this episode, it was a bit overshadowed, I think. Still, I REALLY hope Jorah finds a cure….I also hope he goes home, because Mormonts are a house sworn to the Starks and I would like to see him fighting for another strong, firey lady: Sansa.

    Finally….the scenes with Bran. I just…. oh sweet baby G. I can't. I mean, it was acted to perfection on the part of past and present Hodor. That just made it more heart breaking. Such a sweet, gentle boy who had his whole life ripped away and now died alone, in the freezing cold, being torn apart by undead. I just…he did not deserve that. He was a good man, and dammit, he held that mother fucking door. Ugh. My heart. Also, fuck the writers for killing off another direwolf. I get it, he was Summer and now summer is gone, but still. F that. They are magic and I feel like they are being killed off because the show just doesn't want to animate them or whatever. Ugh, Dany can have dragons but you can't let the Stark kids have their puppies? Pardon me while I cry into whatever pastry I can find to eat these feelings away.

    • Of course I love that you worry about me. I LOVE IT. <3

      You know, I c-l-e-a-r-l-y get upset when the Direwolves are killed, but I think there's a purpose to it? It's not just willy nilly (Well, maybe in the case of Shaggydog, but I'm waiting for more information on that whole sitch.). Sansa lost Lady when she lost EVERYONE she loved. Robb lost his when he lost everything, including his own life. Summer died–and we don't know if Bran will come out of the warging, can you imagine?!?–saving Bran and Meera, giving them an opportunity to save millions. (One hopes!)

      But I swear to the god of your choice, GHOST AND NYMERIA NEED TO LIVE.

      (I assume to keep this balance of 2, Dany is going to lose Drogon.)

      • Original-S

        I really hope that is the case. I don’t want puppies to die for no reason besides the fact they’d be inconvenient for the plot or because they are a pain to animate. :/ But I don’t want Dragons to die either! ;_; Ugh, this show is a roller coaster of emotions and no matter how many times it makes me barf, I don’t want to get off!

      • Lisa

        I think Summer died because Bran is now the 3 eye Crow (and winter is here).

        • From the recap: “SUMMER IS GONE AND WINTER IS COMING/HAS COME”

          Summer HAD to die, yes. :(

      • chortles81

        Does a Reddit AMA answer by Oathbreaker/Book of the Stranger’s director count as a spoiler?

        Also, I somehow doubt that Jorah would be willing to fight for House Stark considering why he was exiled to begin with (read: by Ned).

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Suddenly, a wild penis appears!

      Yeah, that was random. And unlike most female nudity we’ve seen, not at all sexualized, so… Slightly more equal, perhaps, but certainly not Equal.

      Other than that, yes, yes, and yes.

    • Deceptively Calm Scientist

      I’m afraid Gjördkr the Bær Fuçkër’s lust for Brienne is hopeless. She’s seen Jaime Lannister naked so now she’s spoiled for all other men.

      • HAHAHA. But. The man fucked a bear. I feel like if he started saying m’lud and m’lady and held chairs for Sansa, she could be swayed to look past his crude manners. ;)

        • Deceptively Calm Scientist

          And he has one advantage. He’s not just totally cool with Brienne being a warrior woman (as opposed to all those monobraincells in the South), he’s delighted by it!

  • D

    Watched the leaked episode, read some comments – re-watched later, read some more comments. Biggest take away for me that I haven’t seen anyone else mention from that episode was Varys seemed concerned more for the comment [sic] ‘If you truly serve the Queen you have nothing to worry about’ – the red lady just told him something no one other than maybe Tyrion knew – seems she would know of any other plot he had hatched that was not pro Dany.

    • I’ll have to watch that scene again to pick up on that myself!

      • chortles81

        I can’t think of any possibility of why Varys would have spent the time/put himself at risk with Daenerys’ camp unless he thought her to be the one… unless he decided for her later in the show and Kinvara is referring to his signing off (as King Robert Baratheon’s master of whispers) on the first-season assassination attempt that Jorah choose to thwart?

    • Lyanna Mormont

      My thought at that comment was “So the moment YOU decide I don’t ‘truly’ serve the Queen in the way you think I should, I’ll have something to worry about.”

      You know, a little like if the High Sparrow told Margaery “If you repent your sins and serve the gods you have nothing to worry about.”

  • SaintsGrrl

    Haven’t read yet.. I first wanted to say that I thought of you last night and how another crushing blow must be affecting you. This season has become a huge exercise in mental exhaustion… now on to read.

    • It has, it really has been that. But there are so many good things happening that it FINALLY feels like a little balance is coming to this world? FINGERS CROSSED.

      Also: [hugs] I love my readers. :)

      • SaintsGrrl

        And now I’m all weepy again (and at work. not good, bob). Agree about the balance because if not for the really good happy scenes we’d all be walking around in puddles of our own making. But in any case, this is going to be a lot of us from now on…

        • I saw that last night!!!!! [cries some more]

          On the other hand, I love how all of us are rallying around this gentle, simple and good character. Maybe one of the best moments on TV. It’s up there in the Top 5 Emotional HOLY SHIT WHAT IS A HEART?? moments, honestly. It’s up there easily.

  • magnusk_98

    OMG, the tears. :(

    I’m a bit too broken up right now for more of a response. Hodor.

    • …and he did. :( [sniff]

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Hodor.

  • Andy Street

    Wow…. what a fantastic season it has been. And we are only at the half-way mark.
    It was great to see Sansa having the opportunity to explain to Littlefinger exactly what he did to her. Was that a sliver of genuine remorse?
    Loved the little cameo from Richard E. Grant as ‘Robert Baratheon’. He was basically playing Richard E. Grant if he happened to have been born in Braavos. I want to see a spin off focusing on the lives of these theatre luvvies as they tour Essos…
    Damn it people need to stop criminally underusing Max von Sydow in things I like!
    We now know that, like 50% of all zombie apocalypses, this one can be put down to short-sighted eco-terrorists. It looks like the same Child of The Forest that Bran has been hanging around with was the one in the vision? The one that blew herself up with a grenade to take out all the wights. Leaf – she’s called Leaf. You always were an asshole, Leaf.
    As for the ending – it’s almost too sad to discuss. Poor, poor, harmless, eager to please Wyllas. I feel like forcing Bran to undergo a daily ritual of chanting ‘His Name was Wyllas’ Fight Club style for the rest of his life. He really destroyed that poor man’s entire life.
    I just assumed you were making an Elder Scrolls reference with the Atronach thing. You learn something new every day! (Incidentally did you know that Bethseda were offered the rights to make a ASOIAF RPG way back before it became a TV series and went huge. After a lot of deliberation they decided to turn it down in favour of continuing to tell stories in their own TES setting. Its easy to see what must have been a lot of their initial ideas made it into Skyrim, though!).

    • I AM SO NOT SURPRISED TO HEAR THAT ABOUT BETHESDA. Not at all. I feel vindicated. And yeah, CLEARLY some influence in Elder Scrolls, right?!

      Poor Wylis/Hodor. What a good. WHAT A GOOD. [cries softly]

  • Lisa

    This was so heart wrenching and scary and heart wrenching. Dany/Jorah break up (sob) and then Summer. And then… Then… Hodor! Sweet, sad, endlessly tragic Hodor.

    Goodnight sweet Wyllis.

    • It was SUCH a heartbreaking episode, but there were so many wonderful siblings moments, too! CLING TO THAT. <3

    • Lyanna Mormont

      Tormund, yeah – and Edd! “I’m not the Lord Comm…” Looks around. “Oh, just shut the gate.”

  • Andy Szymas

    Hodor didn’t die a hero. He was used/abused by Bran to cover the door; he didn’t choose to. In an episode where Sansa regains much of her agency, Hodor loses all of his and dies in doing so… :(

    • [TROMBONE NOISE]

      D: BUT WHY WOULD YOU??

      • Andy Szymas

        That’s totally fair (to keep wanting to call Hodor a hero). Maybe I just watched Jessica Jones too recently.

        • HAHAHA. Yeah, I skipped that one. I can only take so much darkness… ;)

    • Michael

      I agree, which is part of what makes the ending so emotional. That being said, his brain was locked into a “hold the door” cycle. It wasn’t being ordered to be kind to Bran, to support the Starks, and to be the big cuddly Hodor we knew him to be. That was all his decision. I’d like to think he’d have held the door even if it wasn’t an accidentally mentally-reinforced order from Bran(and it wasn’t even Bran saying it, it was Meera…though I assume Bran mentally reinforced the call). Maybe that’s just me desperately holding onto something nice to think about after that…

      • Michael? Don’t make this weird. I just need to…

        [holds your cheeks, smiles, plants a fat smooch on your face]

        Thank you for this.

      • Jaehaerys

        In that same vein, I think it is possible that that moment at the door was the first bit of real mental clarity that Hodor had had since the original accident in his youth. I almost felt like Wyllis both foresaw/experienced the moment of his death. Thus, at the end he WAS in some way the real Wyllis again, not warg-Bran (or not only warg-Bran), doing an heroic deed to save his friends. In fact, I think the way the magic worked out, the “pain” of the experience may have been shared or perhaps even channeled wholly onto young Wyllis (causing the lifelong trauma), thereby making it easier for latter-day Hodor to actually endure and hold the door against the wights as long as possible (even as they were starting to tear him apart).

        • Well now I have to watch it again to see it through this view. I think it holds water, honestly.

          And again: Wylis/Hodor is a gee damn hero.

  • Char Turner

    This Game of Thrones episode “The Door” had me crying harder than any GOT episode so far. Sweet Summer you brave Direwolf, she had no idea that she didn’t have a chance against the Whites, because you can’t kill what’s already dead.

    • PUPPY!!

      You know, I wonder if Summer COULD take some out, though? Like how Dragons can destroy, there is magic in a Direwolf, too, although I’m not quite sure what. I feel like Ghost helped defend Jon at some point, but it’s been awhile since Jon was north of the wall fighting…

      • Lyanna Mormont

        Didn’t Ghost save Sam’s life when running from zombies, like at the beginning of season 3? Or was that someone with a sword, maybe? My memory’s getting foggy on some details that far back.

        • EvilDragon

          He dragged the wight away and kept Sam safe that way until Lord Commander Mormont set it on fire.

          • UGH, thank you for this! I was sure Ghost had interacted with them at some point…

  • JCDavis

    Leaf the Magical Forest Child; Ming the Merciless; Sweet Summer Child; and Hoderiffic Wylis. And so many many more who fell in the line of doing the right thing. Most shocking of the night was to learn that Leaf and her peeps built this bomb to save themselves. What??? *cartoon eyeball moment*

    I tell you honestly, I am feeling lucky to be here today. After the first viewing last night I realized my heart was pounding and my chest was on fire. Don’t they realize that I have a flippin’ heart condition in real life? Jayzzz. I don’t think I took a breath from when Meera see’s her breath and runs out to the start of the credits when it ended and then I am sobbing like Judith Light in All My Children. I ended up watching the damned thing four times until 2am, which isn’t good as I have to be at work at 6:30am. I am mentally and physically exhausted. Emotionally wrung out!

    So much to think about and cogitate on. But I have to agree with you all that this season…oh THIS SEASON. I can’t believe how much has happened and with all I can think of now after 5, I know there is much more purple vapor inducing minds to be blown.

    *hold me* Oh and get my meds while you are at it. Oh Oh and don’t forget the alcohol on the way back please. *opens a new box of tissues*

    • I love you for summoning the bold shoulder pads softened by the pastel silks of Judith Light into this space. Thank you.

      This season has just been jam-packed, and it’s all been done so BRILLIANTLY. I, too, felt like I didn’t catch a full breath until.. [checks watch] Crap, hang on, let me make myself do it now.

      Ugh, the payoff for all the sorrow and agony is so wonderful, but that, of course, doesn’t mean we’re going to have rainbows and kittens because life doesn’t work that way. But I finally feel like I can truly trust the writers?

      (Hopefully not famous last words!)

      • JCDavis

        I should be hogtied and flayed. I was looking online for Karen Woleck and her famous courtroom crying scene played by the lovely Judith Light and it was NOT on All My Children, it was One Life to Live. I believe this was 1979… Oi! Very sorry, I don’t know if I can leave a link, but around 5:30 is where it really starts….blubber.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ez79MbbIeFA

  • magnusk_98

    Okay, I am more collected by now. Man, this season. You just don’t know what will happen and every episode has at least one shocker.

    One thing which is seriously starting to annoy me, though, is the lack of geographic accuracy. Sounds like a nitpick? I don’t know, Littlefinger seems to be able to teleport medieval armies thousands of miles in a few days. I don’t think we are supposed to think that weeks have passed between each episode (at the very least Brienne and Gjördkr would have already eloped otherwise ^^), so Littlefinger being able to teleport at will around Westeros really annoys me. And now he has extended this ability to entire armies.

    • Lyanna Mormont

      I actually think this may be the first time there really has been a passage of time between two episodes this season. I mean, the first one picked up right where last season left off, then Jon’s resurrection, came before that same day ended, then the execution of the Stabby Gang seemed to be the next day, then Jon was packing his things in last episode so that wasn’t more than a day or two later – so, three four days between last season’s finale and episode four this year? At least up at Castle Black, because we know time sometimes runs differently in different storylines. But with this episode we had no such clear-cut indication that it had to be right after the previous one, so here I can buy that some time had passed.

    • Oh my gosh, I’m with you on the geography and time. I have NO idea when/how long and it gets me a little frustrated.

      Then I pour myself a new glass of wine and shrug. Hahaha. And let me offer you a [fist bump emoji] for that elopement idea. YES, PLEASE. ;)

  • Lyanna Mormont

    Well, fuck. Last episode made me actually cry for HAPPY reasons, and then this one makes me all teary-eyed with grief. Shit. That last scene got a bit blurry at the end, honestly.

    I’ve seen some speculation prior to this episode – starting around the time the title of it was leaked – saying maybe Hodor stood for “hold the door.” I kinda snickered, thinking it was ridiculous.

    It was not ridiculous.

    Okay, then. Starting at the beginning of the episode: how do I love Sansa? Let me count the ways. 1) She’s a survivor. 2) She owns up to her past mistakes. 3) She takes no more bullshit from Creepyfinger. 4) She will wipe out the bastard who did this to her. 5) She respects Brienne and listens to her, but… 6) she will ultimately make her own decisions. 7) She makes Stark clothing for both herself and Jon. 8) She believes in loyalty. 9) She will not give up just because the numbers are against them – she’ll figure out a way to fix the numbers. 10) She hasn’t lost all faith in people, despite everything she’s been through.

    I could go on and on and on, really.

    Arya doesn’t really have faith in people anymore, though, and Jaqen really isn’t helping with that. Part of me wonders if maybe the “poison” Arya was given was fake, just to test her willingness to follow orders she doesn’t like… but another part of me considers the theme in this episode of religion and how far people will go for it, so I’m not sure. (Varys and his mutilation, the red priestess, Melisandre and Stannis, the Children creating the Walkers…) And yeah, that play. Ned as a buffoon, Tyrion as Richard III, Joffrey as the naive prince…

    Yara and Theon – so close. (Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality…) Uncle Euron takes a different tack than I expected, with his “Yeah, I killed him, he was a bad king, let’s propose to the dragon queen and use her army and dragons to conquer the world, but hey, let me just murder my niece and nephew first.”

    Theon, though. Speaking for Yara, backing her even when you could SEE him thinking for a second there that he could take it all for himself… And they all cheered and chanted her name, for just a few moments there, until Uncle Killjoy had to ruin it. But Theon took off with the others, gathering up weapons and deciding not to simply lay back and let himself be killed. He’s not Reek anymore, nosirree. Theon Greyjoy is back – different, but Theon again.

    Okay, I’m not a Jorah fan, but that moment with Dany got to me a little bit. Just a little bit. A tiny little lump n my throat.

    Also, the cut from Euron to Dany was good. Other than that, the episode had some cuts I’m not so fond of – too abrupt, throwing you from the big reveal of how the White Walkers came to be into a new storyline with no chance to let it sink in, for example. Or the cut from Bran’s eyes going white to the planning table at Castle Black; for a minute I wasn’t sure if Bran was seeing that in his warging, and wondered what the point of THAT was – was he going to call for help?

    Fun role reversal with the “Who said anything about ‘him’?” line. But for a moment I got really excited because I thought Tyrion was talking about Missandei – although I did wonder if she wasn’t already doing her share of attributing all good things to Dany. But no, they needed religion on their side. And Varys is NOT a fan of religious fanatics. Varys is my man.

    (Yes, Euron. A eunuch is still a man. Fuck you very much.)

    Oh, Brienne, giving me a chance to smile for a moment with your “That wildling with the beard.” He really does like you, you know. He’s jnot making fun of you, I swear! (But I’m also worried – Sansa sending her away feels like it has a lot of potential to backfire.)

    And, of course, Bran’s storyline. We all knew he’d go off sight-seeing on his own sooner or later, and we were worried it might lead to bad things (because defying your wise old mentor usually does) but this… This. Oh. Like you, Laura, I thought losing Summer was going to be the worst of it, especially so shortly after Shaggydog. But Hodor. Our sweet Hodor. That was… Fuck. I’m going to start crying again.

    Hodor. Hodor? Hodor!

    (Hold the door.)

    • Yara and Theon bonding, though!! OPEN YOUR EYES. Look up to the skies and sea… (hahaha)

      So many ups and down, everything (well, the Arya arc is wearing a little thin, but I’m holding faithful it’s for a reason) earning their emotional through lines, and even though it’s so painful, what a gorgeous bit of storytelling for our beloved Wylis/Hodor.

      OH, THE AGONY. Absolute agony.

  • Julie Martin

    It is hard to add anything coherent to the conversation when you are a puddle, but I will try. I’m really glad Sansa has Davos. He can be like her Tyrion/Jorah helpful advisor who reminds her how loyalty doesn’t work so well in the face of flaying! Seriously, he is going to be the best and obviously that means he will die. Speaking of which: HOW did I not guess Summer’s fate given her name? Seriously, I am from New England, and should have remembered that Summer can’t hold off winter forever :-( But on the plus side, can a Ghost ever die?

    For thematic reasons, the story of the Children creating the Walkers in order to win a war, even if they were doing it for the “right” reasons, and then finding themselves unable to control the carnage they unleashed makes me suddenly VERY nervous about Dany’s dragons. I have been waiting 6 years for her to fly them over Westeros but now I think that may be a bad idea.

    Since Yara has some boats now (of course she stole the ships – PIRATE!), perhaps she will be the one to create an alliance with Dany, but it won’t be one based on penis worship but on the mutual respect between two strong women, yay, butterlies and sunflowers, crap Yara is going to die too. But maybe Theon will meet Varys and Greyworm and learn about all the places he can go post-genital mutilation?

    Jorsh should be more careful with his horribly contagious disease. At least cover the infectious bits with a heavier shirt? I’m worried we may end up with a “Bring out yer dead!” situation in the east, though I auppose that is one way to wrap up that storyline.

    Bran’s shout to dad earlier in the season was clearly the gun on the wall in Act 1, but I did not expect Hodor to be the one shot at the end of the play. Whhhy? Also, did poor Hodor have to see his own death, or was his mind just horribly confused? I reeeaallly hope the latter. I imagine it is the former though, and is it PTSD if it hasn’t happened yet? Bran needs to do SO MUCH to make up for this.

    • “But on the plus side, can a Ghost ever die?”

      !!!!!! I HAVE HOPE. You have GIVEN ME HOPE. <3 You're officially my favorite. Don't tell anyone. ;)

      And the whole time Euron was talking about Dany, I was thinking of Valor Morghulis. ALL MEN MUST DIE. "But we are not men." Given the choice between Yara and Euron, I'm going with her wanting to work with yara. Yara doesn't want more than she can handle. She wants the Iron Islands (and their pirating, so, you know, not totally on the up and up) but she's not after the Throne.

      I really need Jorah to put that leather band over his infection. REALLY DO.

      • chortles81

        Getting Into Fights They Can’t Win Just Because: A Male Greyjoy Tradition. Too bad Yara didn’t make herself a campaign poster with that, but then again until Euron showed up it would probably have just confused the voters…

  • jonno99

    Thanks Laura – I really enjoyed your review.

  • Raja

    I do feel like the writers redeem the Sansa/ Ramsey scene from last season with the Sansa/ LF scene from this season. Sansa recounts her wedding night to LF – and we know exactly what she’s talking about because the show didn’t shy away from it, and showed us almost every second of it. Her words have more weight to them precisely because we were in that room with her and Theon. That rape had consequences and shaped sansa’s conversation ( and her story arc) with LF – it wasn’t just there to show us that Ramsey is a monster. The rape isn’t there just for the sake of it. At least this is my reading of this scene. I’m glad it came back and actually had some significance in the story ( unlike Jaimie/ Cersei scene)

    I’m not saying the show is always good with these scenes but I think credit should be given to the writers here when we’re all collectively so prone to criticising them ( and sometimes with good reason). I hesitate to even post this comment as this is a conversation that people don’t particularly want to have online ( due to trolls, morons and idiots) but I think it’s worth pointing out. Hopefully I’m not coming across as the sort of ‘dude’ you mentioned in your piece, because I don’t want to ( I was as disappointed as most show watchers that Yara/ Asha lost at the kingsmoot)

    • Oh my gosh, what a good point about Sansa (even though of course I was VERY VOCAL about how tired I was by constant rape). That’s some really excellent stuff for me to think about. God, I love my readers. HAVE I MENTIONED THAT?! <3

      I'm going to mull this over, and that's always good for me to try to think of more than one POV. And I'm so happy that we've got such a "family" culture here in the comments where you felt you could bring this up. I'm certainly willing to listen to reason, and I really appreciate you saying this.

      • Johan Kristian Milde

        I think Sansa’s storyline is exactly why GoT should have held a bit back on various background rapes, rape-threats-to-showcase-how-evil-this-guy-is and accidental rapes (I said this a year ago and I will gladly repeat it: HOW DO YOU EVEN ACCIDENTALLY RAPE A MAIN CHARACTER WITH ANOTHER MAIN CHARACTER) in order not to desensitivise the viewers long before the one rape you want to build something on. And even now it is crucial to the so-far-at-least somewhat success of this storyline that Sansa do not base her entire world around that wedding night assault – she wants Winterfell back, she is angry for everything that has happened to her family and she wants to save her brother.

    • caycos

      I feel like they still could have managed to show how awful the wedding night was without what they showed. We know how awful Ramsay is, and seeing Sansa suffer from the clear after-effects of rape would have been fine – especially with this scene to double-down on it. This season seems to have much more power to the women, but that shows how they’ve learned, it doesn’t get them off the hook for past mistakes.

      • I agree about the past mistakes.

        I sort of hate myself for this, but I will say that with Sansa’s wedding night, we HEARD it. We saw Theon’s reaction to it. I mean, I do not in any way wish to have seen Sansa being raped. But they at least didn’t show it as it happened.

      • Raja

        See, I’m not sure they’re doing it as a reaction to the criticism. And I’ll have to disagree – I still remember that scene quite well – especially the look on Sansa’s face, as well as the sound. Actually seeing it on screen made it more memorable for me than if we had someone telling us about what happened.

        I’m not saying the show is always good with the depictions of violence against women, I just feel in this case the writers should probably be given a bit of credit. Like I said earlier – I don’t even know what the fuck ( I can swear here, right?) they were doing with that Jamie/ Cersei seen – the pity with that is that it had ZERO effect on that story. Unlike the Sansa/ Ramsey scene.

        The show has *certainly* used rape far too often to try and give the move the plot/ provide motivation etc. – I agree with that much. But I feel like there’s a temptation to see GOT as one extreme or another as opposed to something in the middle.

        • I agree with the Cersei/Jaime scene. It was HORRIBLY filmed, because they all thought it WASN’T a rape scene. And we were all, “Uh.” So that certainly is true that it pushed the audience into the feeling of “the writers/show are abusing this very serious thing and it serves no purpose,” which led to a lot of knee jerk BURN IT TO THE GROUND reactions.

          • Raja

            I don’t even know what they thought, to be honest. For example, the music cue for that scene is quite sinister – so it’s clearly a scene that’s supposed to make us feel uncomfortable but then the post episode comments made it feel like they had no idea what they were doing.

            I didn’t mention this before, but man, that Waif/ Arya fight scene is spectacular!

    • And dammit, Raja, did my comment to you disappear?? I’m sorry! On the chance the internet ate it, thank you for this thoughtful alternate POV. I appreciate you knowing this is a place where you can have an alternate POV and the goodness to present it in a thoughtful way. This idea has given me a lot to think about. <3

      • Raja

        I can see your comments fine :) Though some of the other comments seem to filter in/ out depending on when I check the site!

  • Pingback: Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 5 "The Door" Written Recap Round-Up | Watchers on the Wall | A Game of Thrones Community for Breaking News, Casting, and Commentary()

  • Anthony Gitto

    A classic GOT Episode that was awesome but SUCKED terribly for my psyche. I also don’t have as good of a feeling for our main character’s outlooks afterwards as the rest of you…

    Poor Sansa… Does she realize that Littlefinger managed to poison her new found relationship with Jon already? AND point her in a specific direction without her even knowing it? She’s STILL getting manipulated by Petyr, even though she knows what he does!

    Arya’s snail pace montogue is nearing it’s end (we can hope.) I just hope that she dwells a little bit on two things..
    1. How BADLY she still hurts and wants to take down the Lannisters
    2. That Arya has NEVER been one to just take orders, even from the House of Black and White.

    I totally did not see the Children being parents to the White Walkers AT ALL, but it makes soo much sense. I am really confused on how DragonglassObsidian in the heart does it… but I guess I’ll have to wait for this in the books to understand it better (since it looks like the children are all dead now. Maybe another Bran flashback?) As for the rest of this storyline in tonight’s episode… that was rough, and I don’t have anything new to say that hasn’t already been said. But I seriously fear for Bran now that he’s lost his 3 strongest protectors. I hope that Meera is up for the challenge.

    The Greyjoy storyline has been robbed of soo much, sometimes I find it hard to enjoy it at all. And Ironborn never making a mark? HARRENHALL was built by the Ironborn. Sigh. Moving on.

    Anyone that can make Varys uncomfortable is NOT to be trusted… even if she is drop dead gorgeous. She looks a LOT like Rachel Weisz.

    • Cyrano Thebirdsareback

      I think that dragonglass was what the Children pushed into the heart of the first one who was tied up, so it has some sort of internal magical logic that dragonglass can unmake the spell that holds them together.

      And I noted that the new Red Priestess had a similar necklace to Melissandre’s.

      • Anthony Gitto

        The pattern has shown up a few times… all on people or religions that tie back to Asshai or at the very least Shadowbinding. So far, Melissandre’s necklaces (she’s show 2) and then Quaithe’s (the Shadowbinder we met in Quarth) mask, then the Red priestess in Volantis’ clothes (no name given yet,) The Priest Zanrush in Mereen’s robe has the same pattern, and now High Priestess Kinvara’s necklace.

        • Deceptively Calm Scientist

          Bring back Quaithe! That mask was so gorgeous.

        • Cyrano Thebirdsareback

          Hehehehe…

    • Since I didn’t read the books, it’s all gummie bears and popcorn for me with regard to the Greyjoy storyline. (Which, ha, is exactly why I’m holding off on the books until the show is done so I don’t feel cheated out of the richness I’m sure they hold!) HARRENHALL. Oh, how I loved that spot back in the day…

      Oh my god, she looks EXACTLY like Rachel WEISZ! Damn, good call.

      • Deceptively Calm Scientist

        Rachel Weisz. Agora. *misty look*

      • chortles81

        I guess Yara left out Harrenhal because of what became of it: the last brick was laid the day Aegon, Rhaenys, and Visenya Targaryen made landfall with their dragons.

  • Andy Street

    Can’t believe I forgot to talk about the Greyjoys! You’re quite right, Pilau Ansbak (who plays Euron) could easily be Alfie Allen’s uncle. They have a real eye for casting.

    You know, if he’d left it at just ‘lets ally with Dany – she could probably use our ships in her conquest of Westeros’, Euron’s plan would have been entirely sensible as an exit strategy from the stupid war Balon got them into. But then – aww, he thinks he’ll just marry her and then he’ll be the one calling the shots. It never even occurs to him that maybe if he’s not careful Dany might turn right back around and decide SHE would prefer to pay the Iron Price for the ships. It’s not like she hasn’t done it before with objectionable salesmen….

  • Yali

    Have to admit, I initially found that last scene baffling. Painful viewing, but baffling. I’ve re-watched it a couple more times, and if I’ve got this right, we’ve found out that Bran is able to split his ‘consciousness’ into different parts, into different bodies, and in different times?! I know there was some debate as to whether Ned actually heard Bran in the episode ‘Oathbreaker’, but going by this episode, I’m now convinced that he did. The next question then is: If Bran can change or influence past events whilst warging, what else has Bran unwittingly done to change or affect this world’s history?

    This, of course, leads to crazy fan theories such as the following *which, for the record, is most definitely not in the books* …. Bran and Meera head south to the Wall, just in time to witness the aftermath of some event which has seen several people end up dead (winter starvation taking effect, or a fight between the NW/Wildlings perhaps). Bran, still not in full control of his powers, wargs back in time to the Red Keep during the reign of (the perfectly sane) Aerys II Targaryen, whilst simultaneously still being conscious at the Wall. Lord Commander Edd, upon setting up the funeral pyre, mutters the order “burn them… Burn them all”. Aerys II hears this (in the same way that Wylis was able to hear Meera), initially panics to himself, but becomes convinced that it must be the voice of a dragon speaking to him in his head. The king slowly loses grip of reality, becoming more obsessed with the voice that spoke to him and with following it’s instruction to burn people alive.

    So now, not only is Bran responsible for what happened to Wylis/Hodor, his warging has unintentionally led to the formation of ‘the Mad King’, the burning of countless people (including his grandfather), a massive war, and the tarnishing of Jaime’s reputation… which goes a long way to explain why he might want to chuck the kid out a window.

  • Gail

    *does the normal mid-season popping up out of lurkdom to say hello, and also to cry profusely at you*

    • GAIL!!!! *holds you*

      • Gail

        *huuug!*

        I’m feeling this season a lot more than the last one, but oh my god I am so sad right now. D:

        • This season is a gift to us all for holding on through the daaaaaaark. (Even though this episode is so deeply, DEEPLY tragic.)

  • Ana G

    I was *convinced* Bran was gonna see Benjen amongst the wight horde during his vision. Surprised when he didn’t

    • Deceptively Calm Scientist

      yeah, same here. But in the previews there was a mysterious person on horseback flinging fire in a snowy forest, so maybe….

    • OOOOOOOOOOH

    • Jaehaerys

      In fact, the fact that Bran did NOT see Benjen just increases my suspicion that Benjen is going to make like the Spanish Inquisition and pop up to save the day when you least expect him. Indeed, I think the last mention of Benjen (in the present, outside of Bran seeing him in vision-quest Winterfell as a child) was when Olly used word of Benjen as his ruse for getting Jon down to the traitors for stabbing. Still, even Rickon has had more screentime, no one is really expecting him to show up. And, now, we have Bran and Meera stranded in the North with an army of the dead after them… If Benjen were among the collected dead, I think Bran would have just seen him. Dramatically speaking, that would have had the most impact. Since he didn’t, I think the Benjen Stark gun has yet to be fired and given the situation of our heroes in the North, he may well be set to appear soon to help them outta the zombie jam their in! And then, BOOM! Suddenly, we have another Stark reunion that no one ever expected at all! OMG please make this happen!

  • PorkPie

    Hodor. :'(

    And puppy. Sigh. (Bark like a dog – a big dog! Nope, it’s not helping yet. But it is another beautiful day in Zamunda when you’re here with us. <3)

    • HAHAHAH, let me love you for getting that joke. <3

  • MaxwellJames

    OK, after recovering my senses, then watching the episode a second time and losing them all over again, I have an observation:

    I am pretty damn sure Martin got the idea for Hodor’s tragic story from the not-quite-a-classic 80’s fantasy movie Krull, which I watched far too many times as an impressionable young lad. Specifically the character of Rell the Cyclops, a kind giant who foresees his own death HOLDING A DOOR to save his companions, and being subsequently crushed by it.

    http://krull.wikia.com/wiki/Rell

    (Yes, of course there is a Krull Wiki).
    http://www.midnightonly.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Krull-4.jpg

    Good night, sweet Wyllis/Hodor. And Summer, too.

    P.S.: this ballad was your best yet.

    • MAXWELL, HOW COULD I FORGET KRULL?!?!?

      Oh my GOD. I think you’re spot on. SPOT. ON. Oh man, I haven’t seen that in an age. Probably since it first aired on HBO and I had to sneak and watch it at my neighbor’s house, where all the not-approved by my strict parents shows were viewed…

      And here’s a prime example of where someone can take a “cheesy” idea and in a master’s hand, turn it into a piece of art.

      (And you’re very kind, thanks. There was no room for self-deprecating humor in that one. <3)

  • moata

    Gutted. Absolutely gutted by Hodor, but also…Jesus, that was masterful. That was always how that was going to play out. I feel like GRRM pulled a Bran on all of us, ya know?

    Clearly we were going to be finding something out about Hodor’s origins and Hodorification, but I never expected anything like that. Every time I think I know what this show is, it surprises me and rips some crucial organ out of me.

    Also, I followed up this episode with watching the first ep of Preacher so yeah, I had some trouble dropping off to sleep last night.

    Also loved seeing Varys ever so slightly not composed, and Sansa just taking no shit from Littlefinger.
    MUCH WOW. SO SAD HODOR.

    Sigh.

    • That really was just a brilliant bit of storytelling. There are a few moments in cinematic history that have laid waste to me, and that was one of them. (Another: in The Last Picture Show, a movie that lives in my bones, as does the book, when Sonny Crawford screams brokenly at the old cowboys staring down at poor Billy in street, wondering what in tarnation he was doing there. “He was SWEEPING!” Kills me every. single. time.)

      I’m terrified of this Red Woman for being one of the only people who have ever put the fear of (god? fate? the past?) in Varys’ eyes. That’s some power, right there.

  • Byron Abrahams

    I’m not gonna talk about Hodor. I can’t. Not yet.
    But Sansa…. oh my…. Sansa.
    Fair to say I used to hate the character, and I don’t often change my mind about characters once I’ve made up my mind, but God, I am so in love with her right now. Her strength. That steel. And Sophie Turner is absolutely killing it everytime she’s onscreen. This might be the biggest rollback I’ve ever given a character on any show, and I admit it freely.
    I’m hoping for two things… that when she comes face to face with a defeated Ramsay after the Battle for Winterfell, Sansa slowly slides a blade into his throat ala Arya when she killed the dude who stole Needle. You know, in the “I’ll have all the chickens!” scene.
    And, 2, that when Jon finds out what Baelish did to her, he doesn’t bother asking questions, and just takes Longclaw and turns Littlefinger into a Littlerfinger. (I’m a sucker for older brothers standing up for their sisters, since I am an older brother)
    Anyways, thanks as always. Your reviews are something I look forward to almost as much as the show itself.

    • GORGEOUS.

      And oh by, how I hated Theon. How I HATED Stannis. (And then loved him. And then became so, so disappointed in him.) I get it. I love Sansa, too. LOVE HER. Love her growing up and coming into her own. It’s been an amazing journey with her.

      I love that you want the big brother protective thing. I have heart eyes. :D

      And thank you so, so much! I’m so happy to have found all of you folks willing to put up with my flailing.

      • Byron Abrahams

        Truly, I did not realise, how funny – and absolutely heartwrenching – the flailing could be.
        I was NOT ready for that poem.
        Its like being a boxer and getting knocked out twice in two days. Still a bit punch drunk.

        • Aww!! I’m sorry. Feelings are terrible. :(

          (hahaha)

          • Byron Abrahams

            And yet we persist with a show that keeps screwing with them. Says more about us than anything… :-)

  • Char Turner

    ‘The Door’ caused me to cry the hardest than any other episode of GOT …… so far. Hodor ????????