This post contains HUGE SPOILERS. If you have not seen the latest episode of Game of Thrones, look away now! If you missed last weeks review, catch up here.
So far this season has felt really odd in comparison to other seasons, everything from the writing style to the violence has felt softened and adapted for wider audiences. The language has become more casual, colloquial and “modern” which is a strong step away from the bleak and dark nature of the show and makes it more comparable to our world, that said, the violence has also taken an unwanted, sharp turn towards banal. I miss the good old days of peoples heads being squeezed to pieces and seeing flesh and bone rip and break while simultaneously plummeting into a pool of despair at the end of every episode. This season has lost its unpredictability somewhat, we all knew Jon Snow would come back, we knew Arya would get her sight back and we knew that Daenerys wouldn’t rot forever with the Dothraki’s. Up until now, I felt like Game of Thrones had lost something, that it was compromising, giving fans what they wanted rather then upsetting us and making us cry. Until this week that is, the finale of “The Door” had me secretly hiding my tears behind my Hodor shaped scatter cushion.
This weeks episode mainly tackled the growing tensions in the North, focusing mainly on the Greyjoys and the Starks. The fact that these two families dominated the episode and its not until now that I realize there were no Lannisters in this episode, just shows that what is bubbling in the North is what is important and integral to the season and at the moment, whatever nonsense is happening in Kings Landing is boring. I’m sure, true to form, Game of Thrones will make me regret saying that because everything is happening for a reason, its just that the reason is completely unknown at the moment and overshadowed by everything that’s happening in the North.
The Iron Islands are ready to choose their next King, as the only surviving male heir, Theon is the obvious and favored choice. However, still broken (physically and psychologically) from being Ramsey’s play thing, Theon doesn’t feel well equipped to be King and declares that his no-mercy, no-nonsense sister takes the throne as Queen instead. A WOMAN?! A WOMAN AS QUEEN OF THE IRON ISLANDS??!! I know, crazy right? Don’t worry, Euron is round the corner to take that glimmer of hope away and he is chosen as the King. During his Coronation, however, Theon and Yara steal the fleet and flea the Islands, with Euron vowing to build a thousand ships and murder his niece and nephew.
Sansa and Jon Snow are working together at taking back the North and she’s even embroidered a nice dress for herself and pressed a belt for Jon with the Stark’s signature wolf head on. This prompts Jon to let out ANOTHER smile, that’s two in two episodes, be still my beating heart! Meanwhile, Bran Stark is continuing to hone is warging skills and learns about the origin of the White Walkers, that they were created by the Children of the Forest as a weapon during the war, they plunged something magical into the heart of a man and he became a White Walker. Bran decides to warg alone when he can’t wake the three-eyed raven and while out he approaches an army of White Walkers and he is touched by the Night’s King. This is bad news for Bran, Meera and Hodor as now the Night’s King knows where he is and can enter the tree where they are hiding because he has made his mark on Bran. The three-eyed raven tells Bran that he must replace him now so the two of them warg together.
While watching another moment in Ned Stark’s life, the White Walkers arrive at the tree, Hodor freezes and is unable to help so Meera tries to wake up Bran, yelling at him that they need Hodor to get him out of the tree. Bran wargs into Hodor, who is present at the scene in Winterfell. Hodor under the tree grabs Bran and runs down the long passage with a mass of White Walkers closing in on them. As they reach the exit, Meera runs off with Bran and yells at Hodor to “Hold the door”. It is now that we are shown the truth as to why Hodor is called Hodor and only every says “Hodor”. Its because while Bran was warging into him in Winterfell and Meera was yelling to “hold the door” he repeated those words while in a trance and having a seizure. He repeated them so quickly and so frequently that the three words merged into one word. Hodor.
This episode was not about the big names of Westeros, the Greyjoys got their King, Jon Snow and Sansa are building their army, Tyrian has teamed up with another Red Woman but what this episode was really about was the White Walkers and that up until now, they haven’t felt like much of a threat in this season. Seeing them as an army and seeing their power and their strength fills you with total dread and now they are chasing down Bran its terrifying to think how fast they are going to travel. Its like if a massive asteroid was to hit the earth and wipe out all of humanity, it would make all the fighting, war and petty political debates seem utterly nonsensical, that there is something greater and bigger and enough to put an end to everything. The White Walkers are the same, if humanity stands a chance then the fighting needs to stop and they need to come together and fight them off as a united force. Hodor dying in this episode was a bleak reminder that the White Walkers are brutal and they are the very epitome of death itself.
My highlight of this episode was the brief but wonderful cameo appearance from Richard E. Grant! I hope he is back in another episode!
Next weeks episode looks like we will be seeing more of Meera and Bran as they run for their lives, but it would appear the episode mainly belongs in the South as Margaery prepares for her walk of atonement and Daenerys continues uniting the people and building her army. Take a look below: