HBO’s Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones Season 6, Episode 5: “The Door”

No, no, no. I liked last week’s ending to Game of Thrones much, much, much more. Just when I think my well of tears for Game of Thrones characters has dried up, you go and do this to me.

No.

Major episode spoilers ahead.

Spoilers for the currently published George R. R. Martin novels are discussed in the review and fair game in the comments. We highly suggest not discussing early preview chapters, but if you must, white it out. Have courtesy for the patient among us who are waiting and waiting (and waiting) for The Winds of Winter. Play nice. Thanks.

So, tonight’s episode was brought to you by Rust “Time is a flat circle” Cohle of True Detective. I had thought maybe “The Door” would perhaps, featuring Littlefinger, be a companion piece to season two’s infamous metaphor monologue in “The Climb.” (Remember “Chaos is a ladder?”)

Nope. It was quite literally about a door.

At this point in the season, this new undiscovered country of Westeros without Martin’s books, metaphors and subtlety are conspicuously absent. Maybe I just have character death-fatigue. Believe me, I felt for Hodor, steadfastly holding the door, and thought it was also pretty freaky and fascinating that Hodor’s “Hodor” was a whole time travel-induced warg-seizure thing. Did not see that coming. Nor did I see the death of Summer. Nor the early demise of the Three-Eyed Raven. But I find myself more interested in the implications of these deaths than the emotional weight of the deaths themselves.

young hodor

What does this “Hold the door” revelation mean in terms of Bran’s warg abilities and his ability to alter the past, whether with a careful guiding hand or totally, horribly by accident? Is Bran truly responsible for Hodor’s death and even his disability?

And how can the Three-Eyed Raven die before showing Bran the rest of that Tower of Joy flashback?! That’s like, oh, I dunno, Game of Thrones killing off a character then making viewers wait ten months and two whole episodes before resurrecting him. Ahem.

Now Bran has no direwolf, no Hodor, no mentor (the effect of the Three-Eyed Raven dispersing into black smoke was super beautiful though) and only Meera to help him escape the Night’s King. Where could they go now? Will another Stark show up at Castle Black?

Castle Black has no Starks, at the moment. I love this Sansa. This was the Sansa-That-Was-Promised after last season’s brutal missteps (and overblown press junkets hinting that Sansa would be a player.) This Sansa is a player. Loved, loved her (and Brienne) making Littlefinger squirm. Hell. Yes.

GOT-Sophie_Turner-large_trans++tGQB12KHxxQCrwnTZkX0nw8QS1d5AEdcMJ2lkWLqYx0

Hell no to Littlefinger trying to sow a seed of distrust in Sansa by calling Jon Snow her half-brother. Hey, he never sold her maidenhead to a sadist, so… yeah. Littlefinger’s kind of lucky that he has the Vale and news of Sansa’s great-uncle (and Cat Stark’s uncle-uncle) Brynden Tully, aka the Blackfish. The Riverlands! Who else might Brienne meet there? Hmmm… Hmmm.

Was it odd that Podrick was with Sansa and not squiring for Brienne? I mean, he made an oath to her. Did Brienne leave him on purpose?

Across the Narrow Sea, Jorah still lives to serve in the friend zone, only now it’s Khaleesi-sanctioned, making it less creeptastic for all involved. I’m glad she finally forgave him for something he did like six seasons ago. In the scheme of things, I didn’t think Jorah’s betrayal was that, that bad. Not after he did rather quickly swear loyalty to her. And tonight he finally declares his totally obvs love. The air is clear of all but the smoking remains of the khals.

Wait a sec: Khaleesi doesn’t need any man by her side. Except maybe a fireman. And she already has a more up-to-date advisor. She needs Tyrion more than Ser Nice Knight. Let’s be real. But best of luck to him as he tries to find a cure for an ancient plague.

In Meereen… Red Priestess Propaganda Machine yadda yadda yadda. Okay, Dany can come home with her khalasar now because Meereen is about as dull as King’s Landing. “A fragile peace” doesn’t have quite as much tension as I’d expect, seeing as you can’t trust anyone in that whole damn city. Except you can trust Varys’ resting bitch face.

arya_jaqen

In Braavos, Arya’s gonna be Arya no matter what. Surely it’s no coincidence that Jaqen’s redemption mission for Arya places her before a farce about her father’s execution. Was this the first time Arya’s heard what had befallen Sansa after they were separated? You can tell Arya is still Arya by how wide her smile was when she watched stage-Joffrey get slapped. Okay, maybe Arya’s just human. And, hey, welcome veteran Brit actor Richard E. Grant to the show! I didn’t recognize him in his King Robert wig until the rewatch. IMDb lists his character’s name as “Izembaro.”

Finally: the kingsmoot. Ugh. I take back all the nice things I said about the Greyjoys. I absolutely hate TV-Euron. Where’s his dragon horn? Where’s his eyepatch?! Is he more like a certain Dornish neckbeard in A Dance With Dragons or is Euron taking on traits of his stupider brother (not making an appearance in the TV show thus far) Victarion? Neither choice thrills me.

I had so hoped the show was trolling us and Euron would actually drown. I was so happy. For a whole ten seconds.

The bad ones always live.

Excuse me, I’ll go back to pouring out a Hodor for my Hodor who isn’t Hodor anymore.

Final thoughts:

  • Quote of the night: “Hold the door,” obviously. Runner up: ” A bit brooding, perhaps. I suppose it’s understandable, considering.” Brienne on Jon Snow. Gwendoline Christie is slaying me with her facial expressions of late.
  • Brienne + Tormund = LUV Update: Tormund is still googly-eyed. Brienne is starting to protest, but is it really protesting or is she fishing for confirmation that yes, the hot, large, red-headed stud is indeed genuinely interested in her. GIVE ME MORE.
  • The play in Braavos wasn’t quite as good as Gay of Thrones recaps, but 100% better than After the Throne. And After the Black. Pretty much any aftershow not featuring Chris Hardwick talkin’ zombies.
  • Elsewhere: female nudity is hot, male frontal nudity is gross/comical. Thanks for that, Game of Thrones. I got the memo, but not for as long as that dude will have genital warts. Oh, they go away in five or six years!? What is truly scarier—a world with White Walkers or a world without antibiotics?
  • This is the third episode in the series without a check-in at King’s Landing. Did you miss it?
  • Completely rando, happy news: I was thinking about Arya’s death list and how the executioner Illyn Payne was written out because the actor had a terminal cancer diagnosis, so I Googled Wilko Johnson and… his pancreatic cancer was less severe than first thought and he’s in remission and in love. Good news!
  • Next week: Samwell at Horn Hill, King’s Landing moves against the Sparrow, Dany is #sorrynotsorry for burning down the patriarchy.

Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights at 9PM E/PT on HBO.

Theresa DeLucci is a regular contributor to Tor.com covering TV, book reviews and sometimes games. She’s also gotten enthusiastic about television for Boing Boing. Send her a raven through Twitter.

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