Recap: GAME OF THRONES – Don’t Ask Me To Hold The Door

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Episode 55 “The Door”
Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss
Directed by Jack Bender

I really want to talk about Hodor. I really, really, REALLY, want to talk about Hodor. But I can’t. Not right now. I still need to process, and possibly stop crying.

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Once again we open up in Castle Black, like nearly every episode this season. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a little frigid with the North as our start, but I’m not the writers. Speaking of which, a hearty thumbs up and pat on the back to David Benioff, D.B. Weiss, and Jack Bender for this brilliant tear jerker of an episode; you boys did damn good. Now, onward and upward.

Sansa (Sophie Turner) receives a letter from Lord Baelish (Aidan Gillen) asking her to meet him in Moles Town. Very fitting I would say, given Petyr’s past employment with a brothel. Sansa and Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) confront him, and the ice shooting from Sansa’s cold glare could have killed the Night King (Vladimir Furdik).

Petyr goes on about how relieved that she is well, trying to use his silver tongue to keep her docile, but little does he realize how changed, and wizened Sansa has become. She cuts him to the quick, using his affections for her against him. She asks him many times “What did you think he did?” in regards to Ramsay (Iwan Rheon). Petyr attempts to evade the question, but Sansa will have none of it, telling him how he hurt her, but without the details; she lets his imagination fill those parts in. He tries to offer the army of the Vale, and she shows him the door, telling him she never wants to see him again.

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I’m proud of our little Sansa, but at the same time I kind of want to shake her. Here is a chance to use an army, a large one, to take back Winterfell. She could use some of that newfound strength of hers and devise a way to use the Vale to her advantage and then ditch them. That’s how this world works, after all, but alas she does not. Instead she obtains information that her uncle, The Blackfish, has retaken Riverrun, and rebuilt the Tully army. Why does she feel she can trust this information? She said she couldn’t trust Petyr, so why take his, and only his word, about her uncle? Seems suspect to me. Later on she divulges this information to Jon (Kit Haringtion) but lies about its origin. Why lie? Is it because she doesn’t wish to look a fool in her brother’s eyes? Could it be that she herself isn’t sure of the validity of the information, and wants to hold on to the hope that it is true? Brienne has her doubts but agrees to ride to Riverrun to convince The Blackfish to take up arms, and I’m nervous what may await her there.

Far away in Braavos, A Girl (Maisie Williams) and Waif (Faye Marsay) practice fighting with staves, and A Girl continues to get beat, but refuses to give up. It’s obvious that Waif has no love for her, even more, she may have contempt, and tells her “You’ll never be one of us, Lady Stark.” This is a low and well placed blow, as Arya had ditched her past, and taken on her position as a servant of the Many Faced God. By calling her Lady Stark, Waif is refusing to accept her as one of their own. She may even believe that Arya hasn’t actually let go of her past, and is only portraying what Jaqen (Tom Wlaschiha) wants to see. Jaqen takes A Girl through the hall of faces and explains to her how the servants came to be. They had all once been slaves, and she was the first servant to be born from a Lord and Lady. While Waif may not believe that Arya is truly ready, Jaqen seems to, and gives her one final chance to prove herself, by assigning her to kill the actress Lady Crane (Essie Davis). He reiterates that she must not fail, for either way, a face will be added to the hall.

Arya goes to the play in her own face and almost immediately we see the true intentions of why she was chosen to carry out this task; for the play is a satire, a mockery, of her deceased father and the Baratheons. This isn’t just an assignment, it is a test to see if she truly has given up Arya for good, and is solely a servant of the Many Faced God. As she watches, the humor fades from her face, and is wiped away completely when the actor playing her father comes on, portraying him as a dumb, and greedy man. Maybe she hasn’t let go of Arya after all, for it visibly offends her, and if she were truly No One, then she would not have been phased by it.

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After the play she watches the actors backstage as they go about getting undressed. She learns that the young woman playing Sansa is upset by her two lines, whilst Lady Crane, who plays Cersei, has a much larger part. Arya also learns that Lady Crane enjoys her rum, and this is how she plans to poison her. A Girl gives this information to Jaqen and he seems pleased until she begins to question why Lady Crane must die, who it was that put the price on her head, and then makes assumptions about her morality. Jaqen cuts her curiosity down with a glare and “A servant does not ask questions.”

In the past, Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) and the Three Eyed Raven (Max von Sydow) walk around the Weirwood where their present bodies lie amongst the roots. They come upon a clearing surrounded by pillars of rock where The Children huddle conversing. Over on one of the pillars stands a man, bound and gagged. Leaf (Kae Alexander) approaches him with a shard of dragon glass and pushes it into the man’s heart. Instead of dying, his eyes turn icy blue. Bran, horrified, pulls out from the memory, and asks Leaf why they created the Night King. She tells him it is because of Man. They needed protection, for they were being slaughtered and their sacred trees cut down, only it backfired.

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On the Iron Islands, the people meet for the King’s Moot. Yara (Gemma Whelan) stakes her claim as Queen, and is met with rejection, for they had never had a Queen before. They want Theon (Alfie Allen) to rule instead. Theon objects and puts his faith in his sister. The people are convinced until Euron (Pilou Asbæk) appears, and persuades the people to crown him their king even after admitting to murdering his brother Balon (Patrick Malahide). He reveals his plan to sail his fleet to Daenarys (Emilia Clarke) and give her his fleet along with a marriage to him, so that they may conquer Westeros together. Good luck with that buddy. She will take no man to wed, and will gladly feed you to her dragons.

Euron is put through the coronation for the Salt Throne by drowning. It is believed by the Iron Born that a king who can be drowned and come back to life, is strong enough to rule the people. He lives, and goes after Yara and Theon to murder them, but finds that they had gathered those loyal to them, and stolen the fleet. Euron commands his people to begin building him a thousand ships.

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Far off in Dosh, Khaleen Daenarys confronts Jorah (Iain Glen), at a loss of what to do with him. He had been banished twice, and had come back twice. She goes to embrace him, but he steps back, and reveals to her the Greyscale spreading up his arm. She inquires about a cure and how long it will take. Jorah is not sure, but promises to end his life before it can fully take him. He bids her farewell, and admits his love for her, and how he has always loved her. Took him long enough. She knew it all along, hell, we all knew it, but he was too loyal as her advisor to ever step over that line. Daenarys, realizing this, gives him one last command as his Queen; to find the cure, heal, and return at her side. They both know he can’t find the cure in time, but the command has more weight to it than what it is perceived. This is Daenarys’ goodbye to him, it is her way of thanking him, of telling him that she too loves him, but she won’t say goodbye. She wants to hold on to the hope that he will live. If only she had kept him at her side all along; banishing may be her one major regret in her life.

In Meereen, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) feels that even though a fragile peace has taken over the city, it is not enough to rouse the people’s continued trust and faith in their Queen. So he arranges Varys (Conleth Hill) and himself to meet with Kinvara (Ania Bukstein) a Priestess for the Lord of the Light. Kinvara wishes to help, and support the Queen, stating that Daenarys is the Princess as promised. Hold up, didn’t Melisandre (Carice van Houten) say that Jon was the Prince that was promised? Could this mean that the theory Jon is the son of the Mad King be true? If so, that would make Daenarys and Jon cousins. So who is the rightful ruler? Varys has skepticism for the priestess, stating that one of their own had proclaimed Stannis (Stephen Dillane) as the Promised Prince, but he was killed, so how could they put their trust in her? I’m with Varys on this one. Don’t bring in a fanatic, especially without the Queen’s approval or belief in a religion that is preaching her name. I don’t care what secrets this Priestess knows, I don’t trust her, especially since she has the same amulet at her throat that Melisandre has, which means she is as old if not older than Melisandre. This woman is nothing but trickery and magic, and you don’t mess with magic.

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Now that all of the events have been cleared up, I guess it’s time to delve into the part that made all of us weep like babes, and it’s all Bran’s fault. He sits awake in the cave while all the others sleep, so he gets bored, and decides to warg, and it lands him not too far from the cave, in present time, amongst the army of White Walkers.

Stupid, stupid, stupid Bran.

Seriously! Has he not learned anything from the Three-Eyed Raven? He continues to do what he wants, and when he can’t he gripes and moans about it. Well good for you, Bran, you’re about to get everyone killed. Why? Because by some unexplainable magic, the Night King can see you, and not only that he put his mark on you, nullifying the protection spell on the cave. Again, stupid, stupid, STUPID, Bran.

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The Three-Eyed Raven tells them they have to leave, and that Bran must become him. He asks if he is ready, and the Raven replies, “No” and they both warg into the past. Meera (Ellie Kendrick) and Hodor (Kristian Nairn) begin packing for their trip, and talk about how they look forward to eating eggs again, everything seems right, until Meera realizes that her breath is frosting in the cold, a sign that White Walkers are near. She sprints to the entrance and is met with the sight of the army at their doorstep. Leaf orders her to get Bran out now, while they hold them off. The Children begin throwing little fire bombs, cool, but what? Those seem a little out of place in their primitive world, but they work and take a few of the dead down, but don’t come anywhere near touching the Night King or his four look a like henchmen and they walk through the fire blocking the entrance while keeping the dead army at bay. Sadly this doesn’t stop them and they dig through the ground of the tree into the cave. One of the henchmen make it in and is killed by one of the spears made by The Children, but there are too many of the dead falling in, and all but Leaf are killed.

All the while Hodor is frozen in fear unable to move, while Meera attempts to wake Bran, begging him to warg into Hodor and get him moving. Bran, still in the memory, can hear Meera, and the Raven tells him to listen. Through the memory, Bran takes control of Hodor, through Willis (Sam Coleman). They make their escape down a tunnel; Summer, Bran’s direwolf, attacks the army and is immediately killed.

Damnit, Game of Thrones! Stop killing my wolves! Now only two wolves remain: Ghost, and Nymeria, wherever she may be. It’s possible that Shaggy Dog may still be alive, and the head that was presented to Ramsay was actually a regular wolf’s head, but I’m not betting on it.

Hodor, Leaf, Meera, and Bran make a break for it, when the Night King enters and slays the Raven. The dead keep coming, and Leaf sacrifices herself to save them. The way she did it, however, doesn’t make sense to me. She stops and activates one of the fire bombs, telling the others to keep running. The dead surround her and stab her repeatedly, when the bomb goes off, killing off all those around her. First off, she was the LAST of the Children, so you would think her staying alive would be very important. Secondly, why didn’t she just throw the fracking ball!? Therefore killing off the majority of the oncoming horde, while also keeping herself alive. Oh well, C’est la vie.

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Now it’s all up to Meera and Hodor to get Bran out. Why is he so important? What can he do to help the world? I didn’t see how the Raven helped any events of Westeros, so what is Bran supposed to do? Bran still remains in the memory, while Meera and Hodor escape out the tunnel. Meera shouts to Hodor to hold the door. Bran watches as Willis collapses to the ground in a seizure. Meera continues to shout, “hold the door”, and Hodor somehow uses the last of his brute strength to keep the dead from coming through. Meera disappears into the snow carrying Bran, Willis still in seizures as Bran looks on, shouting out “hold the door, hold the door, hold the door, hold door, hold door.” All the while cutting back to Hodor blocking the door, as he is torn apart by the dead. The episode ends with Willis, muttering to himself “hodor, hodor…hodor” and we all stare as the credits roll, tears puddling in our laps.

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It’s all because of Bran that Hodor died, and here’s the clincher: Hodor knew this would happen. I have the belief that the reason Willis had his seizure causing him to become dumb, wasn’t because of being warged through the memory to present Hodor, but that the actual connection made him see that moment in the future, and he watched as he died. You guys! This means that all this time, he has been stuck with that knowledge, and he has been telling them all this time, that he must hold the door, so Bran may live.

Think about that for a second. Hodor watched as Catelyn and Ned gave birth to Bran, and he didn’t kill him. Hodor watched as Bran grew up, knowing that he would be ripped to shreds to save this boy whom, ultimately, caused his death, and still he didn’t kill Bran. Instead he remained loyal to the Starks, accepted his fate, faced it, and died. The man that we all made fun of, the giant gentle Hodor that we didn’t really take any stalk in, caused us all to feel things we didn’t know we could feel from a show and it all comes down to Bran, and I hate him.

 

Game of Thrones airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on HBO.

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