Game of Thrones season 6 episode 5 S06E05 entitled The Door was a black horse episode, at least to this reviewer, that not only was a surprise but hit to the gut! After last week’s epic Daenerys Stormborn Targaryen’s fiery finale, I had expected a milder episode this week, and instead HBO and the Game of Thrones producers gave a thought-provoking performance that hit the heart in many ways.
We lost some good people (and animal) this week in the land beyond the North Wall: Leaf and most of the “children” who were under the protection of the 3-eyed Raven and his apprentice Bran Stark, the 3-eyed Raven himself; Summer, Bran’s beloved white Dire Wolf and most tragic of all… Hodor, the gentle giant who gave his life protecting Bran. More on that story, and the revealing of a huge secret below.
Back in Dothraki land, where Daenerys as the Khalesi who withstands fire, has won herself a loyal army, she confronts Jorah Mormont. She says she has banished him twice and he has returned twice but he has saved her life, therefore she is figuratively between a rock and a hard place. She is struggling with the fact that she cannot accept him nor reject him; but he makes the choice easier for her. He shows her his greyscale disease, making sure she does not touch him, and you can see Daenerys’ heart break.
As Jorah tells her he loves her and always will, he turns to leave but Daenerys calls him back. As his Queen who he has pledged to serve she reminds him that he does not walk away from her. She commands him to go out and find a cure for greyscale (I would start with research on how Stannis Baratheon’s daughter got cured if I were him) and to cure himself and return to her when she will need him as she takes the Seven Kingdoms.
Sansa Stark receives a missile from Littlefinger and she and Lady Brienne go to see him. She reams him with hateful, bitter words on how he failed protecting her. He took her out of the hands of those who killed her family (The Barratheons) and delivered her to others who killed her family (The Boltons). She even went into detail on the horrors that Ramsay Bolton did to her on their wedding night and other times and wants to know what he wants now.
Littlefinger apologizes, humbles himself as much as he can and says he will do whatever she bids of him now including his death. But he tells her that he as assembled an army source for her should she need it with her uncle Brandon “Blackfish” Tully at Riverrun.
When Sansa and Brienne return back to the Wall to discuss their army options in their “war room”, it is apparent their choices are small and as Jon Snow says they will have to rely on at least 2 dozen smaller families of the North to appeal to. Sansa drops the bomb of her Uncle Blackfish’s army at their disposal without revealing the truth how she founds out. Ser Davos and Jon are highly encouraged, and Sansa plans on sending Brienne out on a mission to prepare the way. Finally, Jon Snow leaves his post as Lord High Commander of the Night’s Watch and heads south with his group: Ser Davos, Melisandre, sister Sansa, Podrick, Lady Brienne, Tormund Giantsbane (who seems to have a thing for Lady Brienne), and a small army of Wildings.
In Meeren, as Tyrion and Varys await the return of Daenerys (which looks like it will be a joyful reunion now) Tyrion has reached out in another direction. Since his 7 year plan to the Sons of the Harpies to halt rebellions seems to be working, he is looking for another person to give the unsullied hope. Enter: another lady of fire, Kinvara.
Kinvara, like Melisandre, is a high priestess of the Red Temple of Volantis. She is also called the First Servant of the Lord of Light, perhaps even out-ranking Melisandre. The Red Temple is the source of the Flame of Truth and the Light of Wisdom. She comes before Tyrion and Varys with the objective of helping.
She considers Daenerys as the rightful ruler and chosen one and agrees that she should be worshiped and obeyed as well as her representatives when she is absent. Tyrion is pleased and hopeful; Varys is skeptical. He brings up the mistake of Stannis Baratheon being the chosen one and Melisandre’s misguided help. He wants to know why they should trust Kinvara?
She proceeds to reveal knowledge about Varys that no one should know except someone of innate magical powers and appears to render him speechless.
Arya Stark, back in Braavos and the House of Faceless Men with her eyesight restored, stills battles the Waif and loses. The Waif tells her she should leave before it is too late, and Jaqen H’ghar gives her another mission and second chance. He makes it clear there will be no third. Her mission is to kill a Lady Crane, an actress in a traveling theater group and new character to Game of Thrones.
In scouting out her assignment, Arya is enjoying the playfulness of the acting troupe until it becomes apparent they are acting out the death of King Robert Baratheon, complete with making fun and ridiculing members of her family. The characters of King Joffrey, Queen Cersei (who is Arya’s target of Lady Crane), Tyrion Lannister, her father Ned Stark and sister Sansa are all depicted on the stage in degrading manners including the beheading of her father and betrothal of her sister.
The look on Arya’s face is giving this author hints to the struggle within, and I will not be surprised, nor disappointed, if she once again runs off on her own and decides she wants to keep her face (and her family) after all. Time will tell.
Last week, Theon Greyjoy made it home to the Iron Islands and pledged to help his sister Yara become Queen. This week a “Kingsmoot”, an iron-born custom of picking the next ruler is in session. Yara puts in her bid for leader, and when the population calls for Theon, the rightful heir to speak, he lives up to his pledge. However, there is another among them who seeks the title.
Their uncle Euron Greyjoy came forward with ugly, spiteful words for Theon, his nephew and ignores Yara’s attempt. Yara asks how long he has been back and figures out immediately who killed her father. She confronts Euron with this, and he admits it and even goes on to explain it should have been done much sooner.
The people of the Iron Islands appear to want Euron to be ruler, and when they begin the drowning process of becoming King, Yara and Theon take advantage of that time to take their supporters and sail away with every available ship in the fleet.
Although the viewers may have been wishing for Euron to actually drown and fail the test, he revives and upon being King of the Iron Islands pledges his first duty to murder his nephew and niece. First, they must build a thousand ships.
Game of Thrones season 6 episode 5 The Door closes on the events happening North of the Wall with Bran Stark and his visions. It is very confusing, complicated and subject to many interpretations, but after this author watched the goings-on twice, it is apparent that a new element of sorcery is in play.
The 3-eyed Raven, before he was killed by the White Walkers told Bran it was time for him to become him. Was he ready, asked Bran and the answer was no, but it is happening nonetheless. No one escaped last night’s bloody battle with the White Walkers except Meera and Bran.
Bran was in a coma-like vision during the entire battle, but in the “past” part he had warged into Hodor as a boy, so he could learn more about him. This may have been the epic moment that changed Hodor and the past, present and future…all because of Bran!
While in the vision, Hodor’s mind and the past, they could hear the battle happening at present and in their future; as Meera, pulling Bran in the sled ran through tunnels and out the back gate of their once protected environment, Hodor was given the task to HOLD THE DOOR!
In the past vision, Hodor has what appears to be a convulsion or fit while screaming the words “Hold the door!” over and over and over. It finally weakens to “Hold door” then to “Ho door” and the secret is out. The poor child never recovered, and only spoke those words for the rest of his life.
Is Hodor’s death and many others all Bran Stark’s fault?