Game of Thrones Recap: The Door
Just when you think you’ve become a cold-hearted GoT cynic, the show finds new ways to make you cry. The Door advances us deeper into the Bran story line and gives us one pretty big, and sad, reveal.
BEYOND THE WALL
I will start here. Usually, I like to withhold big reveals or plot points to the end of a recap but this one is just too heavy.
The White Walkers found Bran and attacked the cave. During the retreat, tree man and his tree nymphs were killed. To help cover their escape Hodor goes into a trance but it doesn’t seem like Bran was controlling him. Usually Bran’s eyes go white and he is unconscious but in this scene Bran is in the past and witnesses the present. Hodor holds the door closed behind the White Walkers as he yells “hold the door!”
In the flashback that Bran is visiting, Hodor has a seizure and yells the same thing decades before in Winterfell. His yelling shortens from “hold the door” to “hodor” hence the name. The trance broke the space-time continuum and scrambled his brain while Bran was visiting him in the past. Hodor’s sacrifice allows them to escape at the cost of his life.
It seems time travel is possible.
In any event, it was an amazing twist, beautifully executed, and heartbreaking. Well done by the people of HBO and George R.R. Martin. I don’t know if this is in the novels but wow, that was a great little reveal.
We also learn the little tree children created the White Walkers. Back when the cave and tree were in the middle of a temperate climate, they did a human sacrifice and transformed him into the leader of the White Walkers. They did it to stop the advance of the first men into their land (Westeros). It makes me wonder if the wall itself was designed to hold them back and not the Wildlings. Maybe the Night’s Watch and the people of Westeros simply forgot its original purpose and assumed it was to keep the wild tribes back.
Bran has to be put on deathwatch. He and the girl are out there alone with an army of White Walkers behind him. There is no way he makes it back to the Wall. Unless there is something or someone else that intervenes, he is in serious trouble.
As for the magical events taking place, I have no idea where it is going. I don’t like magic fantasy that much and really get annoyed when there seems to be no boundaries to all this stuff. How does a crippled kid and a girl survive up there? Seriously?
Petyr “Littlefinger” meets with Sansa to apologize and pledges to help defeat the Boltons. Sansa does not accept his apology, and lays down the gauntlet, describing what happened to her. Brienne was there and ready to cut him down. While he pleads for his life and pledges his aid, Sansa refuses. He lives but she doesn’t want his help.
Totally understandable but probably not a smart move. It may be that she will never trust Petyr and doesn’t want him to get any kind of grip on the North. She wants it for her family without his meddling. Still, if Petyr returns to the Vale they lose a powerful ally.
The mystery of Littlefinger is starting to clear. It looks like he simply made a mistake, and misjudged the Boltons. As Sansa very eloquently laid out: “if you didn’t know you’re an idiot, if you did know you’re my enemy.” He has to know she will probably never forgive him or trust him again. Still, his strategy was to set up the Boltons then knock them down so my guess is he will stay in the North, help Jon and Sansa, and try to cement some sort of alliance between them, Blackfish, and Robin Arryn.
For his power play to work, the Vale needs allies. He needs the North and Riverlands on his side, so I think he will stay there. Going home gains him nothing.
Stark, Tully, and Arryn combined is a pretty substantial force against King Tommen. Given the Iron Islands seek independence and Dorne is in chaos, Westeros looks more and more like it will be partitioned into three or four kingdoms instead of one ruled by the Iron Throne.
We also get news of Blackfish Tully, finally! I’ve been asking about this guy ever since the wedding. According to Littlefinger, he has raised an army of Tully loyalists and recaptured Riverrun from Walder Frey. He is an ally of the Starks and wants to destroy everyone responsible for the Red Wedding. Sansa will send Brienne to seek him out.
Jon Snow wears the dire wolf sigil, and leaves with Sansa, Brienne, Davos and the Red Priestess. Their plan is to unite the North houses that have yet to support Bolton. The major houses are largely on Ramsey’s side but most midlevel and smaller ones are simply neutral. Sansa is optimistic they will rally to avenge her father but Davos has doubts. I do too. They won’t join a faction unless there is a chance of success. Plus, nobody in the North likes Wildlings.
So, Ramsey Bolton is still the strongest force in the North and has the advantage. The knights of the Vale (Littlefinger) is likely second with Jon Snow third. Combined they should be enough to retake Winterfell. As long as nothing happens to either of them while they are separate.
As expected, Euron Greyjoy wins the Ironsmoot and becomes king of the Iron Islands. After promising to execute Euron, Yara flees. As Euron is anointed, she and Theon escape with much of the fleet. Euron wants to build a new fleet to go after them and kill the pretenders to his throne.
Euron won because he is a guy and had a plan for ensuring their power and independence: he would marry Daenerys Targaryen. Her armies would arrive in his service to help destroy King Tommen and any other challengers in Westeros. In effect, he will provide the ships that will bring her, at last, to her promised kingdom.
Only, will she accept the offer? Will she leave Meereen as is?
Queen Daenerys learned of Jorah’s disease and orders him to find a cure then return. Very touching scene. Her new army marches south.
Attacks from Sons of the Harpy are down and order is restored, thanks to Tyrion’s deal with the Masters. He sees that the queen needs to take credit for the move, not him. So he invites a Priestess from the Lord of Light. The Light people (I don’t know what else to call them right now) believe she is their messiah and eagerly want to elevate her to mythic status. With their help, the people will see she is responsible for the peace and all great things to come.
Just as the Sons of the Harpy are a religious sect with political backing, Tyrion realized they needed their own religious component. The Lord of Light was setback with the loss of Stannis but still believe in messiahs. The very sexy priestess (with that magical necklace that probably makes her sexy), believes firmly in Queen Daenerys. Varys is skeptical with good reason, they steered Stannis to disaster and, oh yeah, it was a Red Priest who castrated him.
I am curious to see if Queen Daenerys will shrewdly accept support and adoration from them, or will be careful not to adopt any new religious titles or monikers. The intermingling of political and religion can augment both or undermine both. My impression is she will be agnostic. There is also the question of whether she will carry out Tyrion’s deal or use her new force to eliminate the Sons of the Harpy and their financiers.
We see Arya going out again, slowly returning into the good graces of the Faceless Men. Her combat skills are still not elite but are getting better. We also got some full frontal, male and female, during one of the scenes. I guess this was thrown in to give a little balance to the nudity time. Women seem to get naked eight to ten times more than men in the show, and I think HBO is under some pressure to even things out.
My guess is the North war will drag on between Ramsey and Jon. Blackfish is the key. Will he advance north or stay in the Riverlands and finish off Walder Frey? The Greyjoy storyline might go on pause for a while, since nothing imminent will happen. It is possible Yara and Theon attack their uncle and supplant him but not likely.
The next episode will show us the final battle between the Sparrows and the Throne. I think Marjaery lives but Loras will die. A civil war may proceed but I think King Tommen has the edge over the zealots. If Loras lives, the Tyrells will make sure he does not spend another day in King’s Landing. Take him home and marry him off. Get an heir! He’ll just have to keep a boyfriend on the side.
GoT has picked up the pace in the past couple episodes. I am having a harder time predicting what will happen next. Can’t wait til Sunday!
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