In last week's episode, Sansa Stark and Jon Snow finally had a family reunion, Daenerys took over the Dothraki nation and the winds of war began brewing. I'd say season six is shaping up nicely.
(Here's a full recap of seas 6 episode 4 Book of the Stranger)
I just finished watching tonight's episode called "The Door," and it gets a big, fat A grade.
It was really excellent and it also answered quite a few questions about our cast of characters that has been nagging at us for many years.
What was the point of all the time spent on the Drowned God, the Iron Islands, Pyke and the Greyjoys, outside of Theon? We finally have our answer.
In episode season 3, episode 8 called "Second Sons," Melisandre placed a blood magic curse on the usurpers Robb Stark, Balon Greyjoy and Joffrey Baratheon. Euron Greyjoy, Balon's younger brother came back to Pyke and murdered his brother, fulfilling the final death of the curse and setting up how they fit in the the end game, so to speak.
Yara was poised to take the throne and be the first queen to lead the Iron Islands with the backing of her brother until their gallivanting uncle showed up to claim his kingdom. Knowing that they'd be killed immediately, Yara, Theon and some loyalists stole the best of their fleet and took off to save themselves.
However, the big reveal was that Euron had been witness to some of Daenerys Targaryen's reign in the East and plans to build her a thousand ships, in which she will conquer the Seven Houses of Westeros, bringing glory to the Iron Islands.
Bran was again being trained by the Three-Eyed Raven and traveled back thousands of years to learn that it was the Children of the Forest that created the White Walkers to defend themselves in their war against the First Men. Unfortunately, when the Night's King touched him, it marked his arm, exposing their location and making their warding ineffective against him. Max Von Sydow tells him that it's time for him to take over.
Arya is given her first kill assignment by Jaqen H'ghar, and it's an actress named Lady Crane, who's an actress in a satirical play mocking the beheading of her father.
Daenerys Targaryen thanks Daario and Jorah for saving her life only to find out that Mormont has greyscale. In a very touching scene that, OK, had me tearing up, Lord Mormont admits that he loves her and turns to leave, knowing he did all he could, but she commands him to stop and orders him to go to the ends of the earth if he has to and find a cure, because when she rules Westeros, she needs him by her side.
Back in Meereen, The Tyrion and Varys show continues, as the tentative peace agreement has held so far, but Tyrion knows it's not enough so he calls in a new player to help fill the void of Daenerys absence. She's the High Priestess of the Red Temple in Volantis, servant of the Lord of the Light named, Kinvara.
She agrees to help the Mother of Dragons, while demonstrating to a very skeptical Lord Varys, who has seen Melisandre fail numerous times with Stannis, that she's the real deal.
Sansa is turning into a shrewd leader before our eyes and with Brienne by her side, has a secret meeting with Littlefinger. She's no fool any longer and blames him for handing her over to the sadistic Ramsay Bolton. Even though he brings news that the Knight's of the Vale are at her service at Moat Cailin, she refuses his aid and never wants to see him again.
"You freed me from the monsters who murdered my family and you gave me to other monsters that murdered my family."
With Breinne piosed to cut him to shreds, he informs her that Brynden Tully, Blackfish, her great uncle is back at Riverun and has troops by his side.
Littlefinger has many secrets and plans in his arsenal as he hopes to sit at the Iron Throne, but I doubt he saw the queen emerging in Sansa. Do you think this setback will be all that counterproductive for him? He's a very ingenious weasel, that Petyr.
Later at Castle Black, the news of the return of the legendary Blackfish, brings hope to Davos Seaworth, Jon Snow and the rest of them as they plot a strategy of defeating Ramsey Bolton.
The other massive reveal relates to the title of the episode and what the fates had in store for young Wylis.
Wylis, if you've forgotten is Hodor's real name and the mystery surrounding his mental handicap turns out not to be a handicap at all. It was his mission!
I imagined since Westeros is such a brutal land, he had been subjected to some form of physical cruelty in his past that rendered him incapable of only uttering his name, but we see now what happened to him. (This is a little complicated to write out)
It was during another vision quest that Bran went back in time to be with his family and when Wykis was a normal boy and a very young Ned Stark was being schooled by his father on fighting, that the leader of the White Walkers showed up at their cave's entrance with his zombie army and attacked.
The Children began fighting and dying to protect Bran, while Meera kept calling out to Bran and Hodor to wake up. Hodor's eyes suddenly roll back in his head and then clear up and he awakes from the trance and puts Bran in his sled, then starts pulling him as the walkers breached their lair.
The Three-Eyed Raven tells Bran goodbye in the past, as the Night King chops him down in the present.
The walker horde is on their tail as Hodor, Meera are hurrying through the cave's tunnel pulling Bran behind them. They reach a big door and Hodor begins to pry it open, as Meera is coaxing him on. He forces it open, letting Meera slide Bran out with her into the cold and snowy night. She turns back and she yells at him to "hold the door."
Back in the past, young Wylis sees literally Bran, and then is caught in Bran's trance - his eyes turn white - falls to the ground.
Meera continues to yell at Hodor to "hold the door."
Back in the past, Wylis is seizing up on the ground and begins to mimic Meera's words, "hold the door," saying them over and over and over again, in sync with her cadence in the present, as Hodor uses his incredible strength to hold the door closed, blocking the walkers, trying to give them enough time to make their escape.
The images merge with past and present Hodor, as the walkers break through parts of the door, Hodor still holding them back. Wylis, continues to repeat the words,"hold the door." Finally, Wylis can't say the three words anymore and they merge into hm repeating 'Hodor," over and over again as present day Hodor is beating them back, but being cut to pieces.
Fade to black.
What an ending. Again, I teared up. That's never happened twice in an episode.
Hodor's whole life's mission was to barricade himself against a door to give Bran and Meera a chance to elude the white walkers. As Doctor Who, would say, it's a wibbly wobbly, timey wimey kinda a thing, but it works breathtakingly well.
*Waif is a bad-ass fighter. Since Bobbi MOrse left Agents of Shield, I'd love to see the Many-Faced God transport her to the present and let her be cast in season four.
(Please forgive any mistakes I've made,as I viewed this only one time and feel free to correct in the comment section)