Hodor / HBO

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Game of Thrones – (Hold) The Door Review

SPOILERS ahead! We review Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 5 – The Door.

We already knew some of the things that might happen in this week’s episode, thanks to the photos and trailer released last week. However, we did not know how each scenario will play out, and I have to say I am satisfied with the answers given to some of the series most intriguing plot lines.

Hodor easily takes the spotlight in a tense, fast paced, and probably the most emotional of episodes so far this season. Before we get to Hodor, let’s start from the top.

Littlefinger Gets The Finger

Meeting Sansa after giving her away to the biggest psycho in Westeros was always going to be difficult for the deceptive Lord Baelish. His choice of words couldn’t have been worse as he greeted her – “Happy to see you unharmed” – He has got to be joking right? “Unharmed?” Sansa replied disgusted, implying that either Petyr is an idiot or her enemy, if he did or did not know about Ramsay. In an effort to warm up to her after she threatened that she could have him “chopped down” by Lady Brienne, Littlefinger offers his support in taking back Winterfell. He also gives Sansa a heads up on her uncle Benjen, the Blackfish, who has rallied troops in Stark’s cause in Riverrun.

Just as you think Lord Baelish may have truly become a new man (though his tone and demeanor make it incredibly difficult), he bashes Sansa for trusting her “Half-brother” Jon. Sansa, Now much wiser, will use this information later on.

When Jon and the gang meet to come up with a strategy to defeat Ramsay, Sansa handily happens to have information on uncle Brynden Tully (The Blackfish)  and his forces at Riverrun. She lies to Jon regarding how she happened to come across the information, and Brienne seems to be bothered by it. Oh, and Tormund is still the Casanova we always knew he was. We know this ship has already sailed.

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Tormund and Brienne / HBO

Wowaif

Who knew the waif had such skill? I gotta admit that her ass-wooping of Arya was pretty bad ass. Bare hands and Arya had nothing on her. And THAT uppercut. Straight out of the realms of Mortal Kombat. As Jaqen enters, he is not convinced Arya is ready, but he gives her an assignment anyway. Her target is an actress by the name of Lady Crane.

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Arya as Scorpion / Mortal Kombat

She goes to a play that her target is featuring in. The play happens to be a comedy of Game of Thrones itself, but aside from some chuckles early on, Arya was not amused as the play unfolded. Joffrey was sympathetic, Ned an ambitious hillbilly, Cersei caring, and Tyrion evil. When she saw the play’s version of the beheading of her father, you could see she was not yet ‘no one’, and very much Arya.

In very thronesy fashion, the next shot is a full frontal of male genitalia, and then some boobs for good measure. Watching her target, Arya learns that she is the only one to drink rum, so this will be her method of assassination. She does share her reservations with Jaqen, telling him that “Lady Crane seems decent”, but he dismisses the notion “Does death only come for the wicked, and leave the decent behind?”.

This will be a big test for Arya. I’m still not convinced that she will be able to murder someone who appears totally innocent to her.

Kingsmoot? Escape With Euron’s Loot

We abruptly hop to the Iron Islands and the Kingsmoot begins. Yara is the first claimant to the Salt Throne. After some reservations about having a woman lead them, Theon gives his blessing, insisting that his sister should be their leader and queen. Alas, Euron’s murder of Balon was actually a very good move on his part. Nobody liked Balon, and as long as he was King, the Ironborn never managed to make a name for themselves, always on the periphery, never respected. Euron aims to change all that by giving his fleet to Daenerys, in return for sitting on the throne beside her when the day comes. His plan worked and he is chosen to lead, but just before he sets out to murder his niece and nephew, they escape with his ships.

The Ironborn Inauguration ceremony certainly gives meaning to the tagline ‘What is dead may never die’.

I must say I expected more from this specific scenario, as it all went down so fast. I guess that having limited time each season to tell the story demands some shortcuts in storytelling *cough* Dorne *cough*.

The Cure

Jorah reveals his Greyscale to Daenerys. The Khaleesi is deeply shocked and isn’t going to let Jorah go down without a fight. She commands Jorah to go and find a cure for his ailment, and return when he has recovered because she needs him at her side. This does seem a little weird to me. Just last episode she was all “Boss” and now she suddenly can’t live without the man who began as a spy in her ranks. Lets see how it turns out. Wouldn’t be surprised if he came back like this –

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The Red Priestess and The Spider

The much discussed Red Priestess from Volantis finally met with Tyrion and Varys. Varys tried to put her and her faith in check, but she never flinched. She reminded Varys that certain things that happened in his own past, made him the powerful and knowledgeable man that he is today. I wonder if we’ll see any more of this priestess, since it looks like her character served her purpose. She is in support of Daenerys, and will aid Tyrion in Meereen in his search for a ruler in when they eventually depart.

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Tyrion and Varys the skeptics / HBO

I hope Daenerys arrives before Meereen’s part in Game of Thrones becomes too stale. Even Tyrion isn’t as compelling as he once was in this setting. Hopefully, Theon and Yara will spice things up in Essos when they arrive.

The Big Mistake

Holy S$%#! moment – Bran is in visionland again, this time seeing the Children of the Forest creating the first White Walker from captured First Men, as a means to defend themselves from outsiders. This First Man is possibly the Night King himself! whoaa!

Children of the Forest pack a mean punch - The Door / HBO
Children of the Forest pack a mean punch / HBO

In the final act of The Door, everyone’s favorite one-worder is on show . Bran, in his efforts to speed his “learning” process with the Three Eyed Raven, sets out in another vision. This time he is surrounded by White Walkers, and decides to go for a stroll among them up until he reaches the Night King. If anyone had doubts regarding his ability to sense Bran, we were awarded with an answer right away as he reaches for Bran’s arm and marks him. This sets in motion a Walking Dead turn of events. Meera, just about to have dinner with Hodor, suddenly faces a swarm of White Walkers heading towards the cave they are holed up in with the weirwood tree. The children of The Forest are there to aid in obstructing the White Walker’s advance, but there are too many to handle.

HOLD THE DOOR!

Bran, still in a vision (Unauthorized by the Raven), this time in the Winterfell courtyard, hears Meera screaming and asking him to Warg into Hodor. When Hodor finally comes to his (Bran’s) senses, Meera, Hodor, Leaf, Bran and Summer begin to flee. Sadly, this is not the season of the Dire-wolves. Summer dies trying to fight off White Walkers, and soon after, Leaf also makes the ultimate sacrifice to buy the trio some time.

Then, the answer to one of the biggest theories was answered. Bran Wargs into teenage Hodor in Winterfell, in a cross-dimension lapse, and Meera’s words from the present are etched in poor hodor’s mind. “Hold the door!” she asks of older Hodor, as they escape the cave and he fends off the White Walkers on their tail. Young Hodor is caught between two worlds, murmuring her plea over and over, until ‘hold the door’ simply becomes ‘Hodor’. And there you have it. Hodor = Hold The Door. We don’t see Hodor die, but if he does return, we expect him to do so as a Walker.

Moral of the story – Wargs need a license! One Raven isn’t enough to watch over a teenage Warg with immense power.

The Door
Hodor / HBO

I will miss Hodor. Retrospectively, this sheds a new light on his character, and I bet if I re-watched episodes with him, they will give new insight on his actions.

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You will be sorely missed – Summer / HBO

As for Summer.. There is a theory out there that all the dire-wolf names are prophetic (foreshadowing abound). Pretty convincing I might add. Summer was killed by the demons of winter (winter is coming, and so went Summer). Jon was brought back to life (like a Ghost). Sansa had Lady, who was killed by the Lannisters (the theory speculates the Lannisters “killed” Sansa’s lady-like personality). I’m not sure how this all applies to Shaggydog (except that Rickon, with his wild mane of mussed hair, looks shaggy himself). And Arya’s long-lost Nymeria  (maybe she becomes a huntress like Arya, but also is ‘no one’ since she is master-less and on her own).

With all the time-travel present, readers probably won’t be surprised that Jack Bender, the (first-time) director for this episode, was one of the main directors on ABC’s Lost. Hope he manipulates time better in Game of Thrones. And no more Wolf killing, please!

That’s it! What did you think about the episode and Hodor’s big reveal? Share your thoughts in the comments.

 

Written by Ethan Hall

I watch. I read. I game. I write.

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