Lots of jaw-dropping this week: the ladies take control, the Whitewalkers rear their ugly, ice-blue-eyed heads, and secrets from the past are revealed, mainly, “Hold the door!” Finally, in the sixth season of Game of Thrones, “The Door,” Hodor’s namesake and destiny are revealed: to hold the door closed and keep the Whitewalkers away from the escaping Meera and Bran. In a present-meets-past time travel trick, Bran instills within Hodor, at the price of Hodor’s mental stability, that he must help Bran and Meera escape.
I would say that their visit to the past happened just in the nick of time, but in the nick of time for what? Everyone, even Summer, Bran’s direwolf, has died at the hands of the Whitewalkers—how will two kids on the run, one without use of his legs, be safe? While Bran and Meera escape, and their story moves along, we’re left with still more questions regarding their role and futures.
Some backstory about the Whitewalkers are revealed: we learn that the Children of the Forest created the Whitewalkers as a tool to help combat the First Men (from whom the Starks are descended), but clearly the Whitewalkers are now their own autonomous and bloodthirsty creatures looking to take over. The Whitewalkers have long been a threat in the background, which only the Night’s Watch (and others in the North) know about. Given the decreasing numbers of the Night’s Watch and the betrayal of their Lord Commander, it’s not a very reassuring thought for the safety of the Kingdom if the Whitewalkers get on the move, especially as Jon and Sansa’s energies are going to be focused on taking back the North. I’ve been predicting that the Whitewalkers will force the Kingdom into union for a common cause, the whole “unite against a greater foe” story, but knowing GoT I don’t think it will be quite so simple as that.
The men on this week’s episode weren’t the most inspiring of characters, save Theon and his backing of his sister (though, to be honest, the show has intentionally ripped Theon’s “manhood” away from him). After a lot of chest beating, Euron, the dead King’s brother (and killer) wins the Kingsmoot, though we all know his plan for Daenerys is downright laughable, as she would most likely rip out and eat his still-beating heart than marry him. The Kingsmoot, actually, was in the books, though the scene differs greatly from the TV version: Euron does ultimately wind up King of Pyke by claiming to have a horn that can control any dragon, but many other men make claims to the Salt Throne and Theon is still in captivity. Asha flees, but her troops are overrun and taken prisoners by Stannis (who is still alive in the books). So . . . it will be interesting to see where this one goes.
Yes, this week the women definitely dominated. Instead of backstabbing, they support each other, as with Lady Brienne and Sansa. Sansa stands up to Petyr Baelish, now becoming an expert in how to play the “game of thrones,” as evidenced when she lied about Blackfish troops intel. Arya inches closer to acceptance in the Faceless, even though she keeps being told over and over that she isn’t ready. Her defiance is consistent and she presumes herself to invalidate that. However, her first mark just happens to be an actress who plays out the scene of Ned Stark’s beheading. It’s a not-so-subtle reminder that no matter what, you can never escape your past.
Dany sheds tears for Jorah when he reveals that he is turning into stone. She commands him to seek the cure in what is one of the most heartfelt moments in the show so far. As the High Priestess reminds us, people make mistakes: Dany and Jorah’s relationship is about mistakes and redemption—in short, the stretches and strengths of humanity.
When will we discover what Varys heard that night from the fire? Can’t wait to know!