Article by: Anthony Florez
Spoilers ahead! Spoilers ahead! Spoilers ahead!
The Door is, in my opinion, the first great episode of season six. With the Kingsmoot hastily completed the Ironborn’s role in the greater game is finally established. Jon and Sansa are setting out to liberate the north, without the aid of Littlefinger (although I have a feeling the Knights of the Vale won’t be packing up and heading home just yet). Arya has a new assignment at Assassin Academy, which still feels middling, but that’s alright. And things took a turn for the crazy pants up at Holy Tree Fort where Bran pulled a bonehead move that brought the Undead Army down around everyone’s ears. The big revelation, however, was the simultaneous origin and fate of Hodor and- stop looking at me, I’m not crying, you’re crying, stupid jerk-face with your face of a jerk.
Deanerys is rolling out once again with an even bigger army of primitives but not before sending Jorah the Andal off on what may be his final mission: find a cure for the greyscale infection that is slowly turning him into The Thing from those awful Fantastic Four movies. Call me a big ole sap but there is something trite but compelling about, “I love you. I’ll always love you. Now I have to leave, bye forever.” Even with Daario waiting in the wings with an expression that seemed to say, “I am still going to be hitting that, though, right.” Probably, Daario. But keep it in your banana-hammock until we get back to Mereen. You just know that guy wears bikini underwear.
Tyrion has made an interesting decision to enlist the support of a new friend in the form of a Red Priestess of the Lord of Light. I like that Varys confronts the woman and makes an interesting case about fanaticism directly to her face and like any true zealot she is only more certain of herself and her belief. This whole idea feels like making a wish on a cursed monkey’s paw and hoping for the best, nothing good happens when asking for help from religious crazies or do we need to ask Stannis Baratheon how that turns out. Granted, Melisandre is a lot more tolerable now that she isn’t advocating kid fires but that’s only because she’s experienced real doubt and loss of purpose. This Red Lady in Mereen still has that crazy lady sheen to her.
Euron Greyjoy has got some moxie, I’ll give him that. What’s really surprising is how often the royalty in Westeros murder their relatives, including Lords and Kings at this point, and no one really seems to mind. Throwing his brother Balon off of a rickety old bridge in the middle of a storm was the perfect crime, allowing him to subtly usurp the throne in the Iron….”I KILLED MY BROTHER”- Euron at the Kingsmoot,….oh, well alright, then. And right after being drowned into office his first order is to get right to the family murderin’, because that’s how they do it on the Iron Isles. If there is any humor (and there must be considering the Ironborn crown is a stupid piece of driftwood) left at all in this story, Theon and Yara will sail to Mereen themselves as Balon has essentially Bond villain monologued his master plan to the entire island practically.
Speaking of humor, how about that Braavosi play about the Lannister/Stark families, which really made for a fun synopsis of the first season of Game of Thrones? Arya didn’t seem to think it was funny, of course, considering the fact that she was actually there. But it really feels like Jaqen is just screwing with her at this point, trying to evoke the most traumatic memories of her past that she will have to let go of in order to become No One. And I honestly don’t know that I want her to succeed. How effective would she be back in Westeros face-changing and shapeshifting her way into Winterfell. Call that wishful thinking, I’m still trying to figure out where she factors in to the bigger picture. Also, it appears as though showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff heard all those complaints about the lack of male nudity in the show and just threw some full frontal action right in our collective faces. That was a risky click, I admire your boldness.
All this is, of course, putting off talking about the finale of the episode which finally brought some action to the underground tree fort that Bran, Meera, Summer, and Hodor have been sheltering in while receiving tutelage and exposition of some kind from the Three Eyed Raven. And in true Sorceror’s Apprentice fashion, Bran foolishly goes off the reservation on his own and encounters the Night King who is somehow able to touch his arm in the real world and track them all down. I’m not sure if I’m mad at him for this at all, really, considering how long they have been there and what seemingly meaningless visions of the past Max Von Sydow has been showing him. I would want some more answers myself and the Raven has only been offering more questions, if you didn’t want him to snoop maybe satisfy a little curiosity for once.
The two big revelations here are the origin of the White Walkers, created by the Children as a weapon, and the reason why Hodor has only been able to say “Hodor” since he was a chil…. ack, STOP LOOKING AT ME. The escape from the Heart Tree is hands down the most thrilling sequence this season, punctuated by the loss of figuratively and literally the biggest minor character in the show and a huge fan favorite. The logic of it, time-travel notwithstanding, was mind-blowing as the realization started to take hold and my heart started to break. And although Bran and Meera are still in serious trouble at this point, the implications of his abilities are now massive. How is he able to affect or interact with the past? To what degree? And why didn’t the Three Eyed Raven tell him this was possible?
All I know is, I rarely write immediately after an episode, I usually need to digest and process but last night I did not pass Go, I did not collect $200, I went directly to Bar and ordered a Dewars neat so I could start writing down my thoughts. We also saw the end of Summer the Direwolf and although that sucked, I had to google him to remember his name. In a way, and this is going to sound pejorative but I have a point, Hodor was kind of like a dog. Kind of simple, occasionally a utility, but unflinchingly and unquestioningly loyal. I didn’t used to understand why people got so upset when a dog dies in a movie or a TV show while no one cares as much when humans die all the time. And now, as a dog owner, I know the reason is that loyal, loving, and good are all a dog knows how to be. That’s it. People can be all kinds of worthless or selfish or vile but a dog never will be, if it’s raised right. So in that sense, Hodor was as close to man’s best friend as any person can get and that comparison is the ultimate compliment to his character. And he will be missed, all the more now that we know it was ALL BRAN’S FAULT.
Bonus: The romance continues…