All aboard the Hype Train! In preparation of Season 8 of Game of Thrones, Kelly is doing a rewatch for the greater good to refresh our memories, catch the things we might have forgotten, pick up the things we might have missed, and maybe make predictions! Hold onto your fur rugs from Ikea and AWAY WE GO.
Rules of this series: We’re deep diving into these episodes and I’m watching them on a per-episode base because I like digesting the episodes. Spoilers lie ahead. As you can tell, I’ve failed at keeping this episode/season specific. Onwards!
6.5 The Door
“But what is the door? Is it an actual door? Is it a metaphor?” We all wondered when this episode first aired. And oh, how wrong. How wrong we all were.
The Door opens on Sansa receiving a scroll from Littlefinger and heading over to Mole’s Town, the small village where the Night’s Watch goes to party sometimes. Littlefinger can’t hide his surprise when seeing Sansa with Brienne and praises Sansa for escaping unharmed. Sansa tells him that he and the Knights of the Vale are a little late to “save” her from Ramsay and she indirectly accuses him of using her for his allyship with the Boltons and to get what he wanted. Littlefinger claims that he had no idea about Ramsay, but Sansa’s too smart- she knows that as a brothelkeeper, Littlefinger would know exactly some of the sexual proclivities of men seeking power and in this case, Northern power to produce an heir. Sansa declares that she doesn’t trust him anymore and that she sees Littlefinger for what he really is- a coward, a schemer, defenseless, and no good with a sword.
Littlefinger promises Sansa that he would “do anything to undo what’s been done to her” and we’ll just put that in the same box as Episode II’s “I wish I could just wish away my feelings!” Let’s just ignore that.
Before he leaves, Littlefinger tells Sansa he heard her uncle, Brynden Tully, is back in Riverrun with his army and implies that the men in the North are loyal to Jon and not her- yet he’s just her half-brother. He’s already trying to plant a wedge between Sansa and Jon before they get too close and dependent on each other. It’s not a dumb move, but thinking that Brynden Tully owes Sansa anything is pretty bad planning.
Over in Braavos, Arya trains with the Waif and it turns out she was better blind against the Waif than she was with her sight. Cough. Arya refuses to quit, the little spitfire she is- but even unarmed, the Waif still embarrasses the heck out of her and rubs salt in the wound calling her “Lady Stark.” Arya’s dismissed for Jaqan’s history lesson, in which he teaches her that the Faceless Men began with one man, a slave from Valyria, who was taught how to change his face by the Many Faced Gods and eventually the other slaves and followers fled when Valyria was destroyed- and founded Braavos and the House of Black and White.
Jaqan tasks Arya with a second chance and her next assignment- to kill an actress called Lady Crane and he hands her a small vial of poison as he did before.
Arya goes to see the play that Lady Crane is starring in and it turns out she’s playing Cersei in a play about the death of King Robert and the fall of House Baratheon. It accuses Ned of trying to steal the throne and portrays him as a bit of a doofus. Arya’s amused at first but she quickly becomes upset as “Ned” prances around demanding the Iron Throne. Finally, when it comes to his beheading scene, Arya’s reminded of how her family was shattered. What’s genius about this scene is that Arya’s reaction is very much the same as the viewers- thinking that’s not how that happened, and a bit of anger at the way that our favorite characters are being played. Tyrion is a highly exaggerated sexual deviant, Ned is a thousand times more oblivious for the wrong reasons, Sansa is a ditz.
We then get a flaccid penis and a topless young 20-something year old lady because gender equality, right?
Arya catches the Lady Crane only drinks rum from her own stash and she knows how Lady Crane needs to be poisoned. She tells Jaqan that Crane is a good actress and seems decent- as if once the play was over and Lady Crane was no longer Cersei, Arya suddnely had a conscious about killing her. Arya notes that the younger actress playing Sansa is most likely jealous of Lady Crane so it must have been her that hired the House of Black and White and here come all of these questions about the House of Black and White- are the faceless men just hired assassins for any cause? So they’re not Robin Hoods trying to get back at the wicked in the name of good? Because if that’s the case, then they really don’t have any purpose. On top of that, why poison? Why make Arya train is all they do is poison people with a dash of the wrist? Why take away her eyesight? What’s the purpose of teaching her all of-
CUT TO THE THREE EYED RAVEN, BECAUSE FUCK QUESTIONS AND EXPLANATIONS. Bran is standing in a weirwood, and quite a healthy looking one. He spies on a group of Children of the Forest, including Leaf, stab a man in the heart with what looks like obsidian- and the man’s eyes turn blue. It turns out the Children of the Forest created the White Walkers in a reaction to their world being destroyed by men themselves.
Cut over to Pyke, where they are conducting an Entsmoot Kingsmoot to elect the new King of the Iron Islands. Yara steps forward and presents her case- she’s the daughter and blood of Balon, plus the Iron Islands have never followed tradition so why must their leader be a man? Theon steps forward and relinquishes his inheritance to Yara, explaining that Yara has grown up on the sea, and that they deserve her strength. It’s a touching moment between Yara, who has tried to bring Theon back into the fold so many times, and Theon, who finally feels a bit empowered at his sister’s side. They’re all chanting Yara’s name until Euron steps forward, shits all over Theon and his missing penis, admits he killed Balon in the name of progress, is the best sailor in the world. Euron proposes to build a fleet, sail to Dany, and then conquer the Seven Kingdoms. The ironborne break out into chants of Euron because they suck and are easily persuaded. During his coronation, Yara and Theon sneak away with some of their loyal men on the best ships, knowing that his first act of business will be to slaughter Balon’s heirs.
Euron demands to cut down every tree in sight and to build a thousand ships because all fifty men on the Iron Islands can do this.
Fully clothed and leading the Dothraki (like, all of them), Dany looks over Vaes Dothrak and tells Jorah that she doesn’t know what to do with him- he’s come back every time she has sent him away, tried to kill her, and saved her life. He shows her the greyscale and it’s a bit of a tipping point for her- she’s perfectly fine with the idea of sending him away but now he’s pretty much heading for death and she’s faced with losing him for good. As a compromise, she commands him to find a cure and then return to her- it will have shown his worth, it allows him to serve her order, and the idea of serving Dany gives Jorah purpose again.
In Meereen, Grey Worm reports that violence has significantly died down since Tyrion’s bargain with the Masters and he and Varys celebrate their negotiations. Since it was successful, Tyrion now wants to spread the word that Dany is responsible for not only freeing the people but bringing security and stability to the city.
A red priestess, Kinvara, is brought to Tyrion, and he asks her to spread the good name and deeds of Dany. Kinvara immediately agrees and calls Dany the one who was promised, and she was also born of fire- which happens to be the element of choice for the Red God. Varys challenges the rumor that Kinvara’s colleague, Mel, anointed Stannis as the one who was promised- he’s wary of any witches or warlocks or magic, especially considering how he was mutilated as a boy.
Kinvara knows all about how Varys was cut as a child, which he has only relayed to Tyrion and there’s no way for Kinvara to know his history. Varys doesn’t challenge her again, and sure, maybe this higher power is real, maybe it isn’t- I’m not sure how the Red God ends up playing into all of this or what Kinvara’s effect is, because she doesn’t show up again and Mel is out of it for most of this season as well.
Back with Bran, the Three Eyed Raven is asleep, but Bran is tired of waiting and wants to pursue his training. He goes into the Weir-Matrix alone and unsupervised and finds himself facing an army of wights. He turns- suddenly the Night King is behind him and he reaches out to grab Bran’s arm. Now awake, the Three Eyed Raven says that they must hurry as the army of the dead now knows where Bran is and the magic protecting the cave has been broken. Meera and Hodor prepare the sled and Bran and the Three Eyed Raven go into Terabit mode so Bran can take over as the Three Eyed Raven.
Down in Castle Black, Jon strategizes, saying that they can’t defend from the White Walkers coming from the North and the Boltons coming from the South- they need more men and Winterfell to properly defend Westeros from the Army of the Dead. And to take Winterfell, they need more men. Davos counts the Karstarks, Umbers, and Manderlys as the other heavy hitters in the North- but two of those have already declared for Ramsay. Jon’s solution is to gather the remaining small houses, including the Glovers, Mormonts, Cerwyns, Mazins, and Hornwoods, and two dozen more. I’m just naming them all because I love me some North. Together, they could amount to the men Ramsay has.
Sansa is faithful that the North remembers (I WISH THEY DID) and that they will rally to her side since she has the Stark name. It makes sense- if they are going to challenge Ramsay’s heritage, they can’t exactly present Jon as a legitimate heir. Sansa shows more of her hand, saying that the Tullys would also rally against the Boltons, due to the loss of Cat and treatment of Edmure, and everyone is surprised to hear about the Riverland forces on their side.
Sansa lies and says that she received this information from a scroll sent to Ramsay- she doesn’t want Jon or anyone else to know the information came from Littlefinger, knowing they won’t trust it. Davos is re-energized with the mention of the Tullys and says that should be more than enough men.
Sansa sends Brienne to find the Blackfish and Brienne doesn’t want to leave her with Mel or Davos who flipped sides very suddenly from Stannis to Jon. Sansa says she trusts Jon to keep her safe and Brienne points out that she just lied to Jon about the Tully forces.
Sansa realizes that she hasn’t been honest with Jon and that she’s been pulling power moves for the wrong reasons- they are allies and she’s been treating him as if he is an enemy. She’s acting how those in King’s Landing act instead of working together towards a cause. In an act of good faith, she makes Jon a new cloak that she modeled after the one Ned had. Meanwhile, Tormund makes progress with Brienne, meaning not any, now one of my all-time favorite gifs.
He hasn’t been voted in but Edd accepts that people have started addressing him as Lord Commander. Why is this okay? Not sure. Next.
Back in the Three Eyed Raven’s cave, Meera and Hodor sense that the temperature is dropping fast and Meera spots the Army of the Dead and White Walkers rushing the cave. Meera scrambles to pack up the rest of their belongings but Bran is stuck watching his father get sent off to the Eyrie to live with Jon Arryn.
The Children of the Forest try to stall the White Walkers with fire, but hey- they’re impervious to that too. The wights scramble up the sides and infiltrate the cave by falling into it from the top. Meera, the Children, and Summer hold off the wights and Meera implores sleeping Bran to log into Hodor to help- which he is able even from the memory he is in. While this is going on, Meera spears a White Walker with dragonglass, Summer is killed trying to hold off multiple wights, and the Night King takes it upon himself to kill the Three Eyed Raven, still asleep in the tree and he Voldemorts out of Bran’s memory.
Leaf sacrifices herself for the good of the group, as Hodor and Meera struggle to get past a door at the end of a hallway. Once they are through, Meera tells Hodor to stay behind and hold the door closed- and he’s killed as the wights stab from the other side, attempting to get out.
In Bran’s memory, young Wylis falls to the ground and begins repeating after Meera to “Hold the door,” which eventually slows into crosscuts of Wylis’ gasps of “Hodor” as present Hodor dies and Bran watches- he’s responsible for both the death of Hodor as well as pretty much ruining Wylis’ future. It’s unclear if Hodor’s Hodoring is due to trauma seeing how he is going to die, but it is quite a heartbreaking moment as Hodor didn’t have a place in anything other than simply being loyal to Bran. Next to Shireen, he’s the most harmless (or least harm intending) character and knowing his innocence, his loss is immensely felt.
Next up, we have 6.6 Blood of My Blood!