[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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?)
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.
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.
(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.
Hold the door. Over and over.
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.
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.
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)