Synopsis of 6×05: The Starks find themselves all fighting incredibly different battles and growing immensely in this past episode, Dany and Jorah are reunited, and we’re never talking about holding doors ever again.
Me right before this episode: “Man it’s kind of becoming a chore to watch Game of Thrones.”
Me after this episode: “Oh….. oh no…..”
Game of Thrones is determined to keep its fanbase and put out another fantastically strong episode this past Sunday. The show succeeds when its stories are contained, or when they choose to only focus on a set of characters as opposed to jumping around and visiting them all. While this past episode caught up with various characters, everything was so seamlessly edited that everything made sense. The story was solid, the acting great, and it was just another good episode.
Until the end, but we can hold off on those feelings for now.
Back at Pyke, Yara is ready to stand for the Kingsmoot. She has the experience to be a great queen, but Theon surprisingly has supporters despite his less than favorable reputation. Theon immediately stands up for his sister though and it seems like people are warming up to her before their uncle (and father’s murderer) stands up and makes his claim.
Through a series of impassioned pleas, he rallies enough of the people of the Iron Islands to his side and is named the next king. Yara and Theon know that this does not bode well for them at all, and as the priests of the islands begin the ceremony to crown the next king they set sail with their supporters and leave as quickly as possible.
Which is good, because the moment their uncle regains consciousness and is named King, he looks out to see their departing ships and immediately calls for them to be hunted down.
In Meereen, Tyrion tries to keep things under control and meets up with another Lady of the Light who talks of how Dany is the next true King. Apparently these people all have the same prophecies but they’re all about different people (or maybe the same families? DUN DUN DUNNNNNNNNN). Her words leave Tyrion unsettled, but he has no idea what he’s about to witness regarding Dany’s return.
One of the simplest scenes of the episode was also the most heart wrenching. Even though Jorah has been a despicable man, there has to be something said for his devotion to Dany. He has been there for her since Day One, even though he made a lot of stupid decisions during his time as her guardian, and his love for her might be all consuming but it is also very real.
When she is about to leave with Daario and the Dothraki he reveals to her that he has Greyscale and will not be returning with her. For the first time ever we see her break her shell when it comes to Jorah. She’s never been one to show her true side to him, but when he says that he’ll be leaving her and that he’d always love her she stops him and gives him the potentially last order she will give him, “Find a cure and return to my side.”
Regardless of any sort of shipping discussion, the care and devotion they have for each other was apparent as they turn away from each other for maybe the last time. Why does this show gotta play with my emotions like this?
The Starks though… man the Starks have had a series of great episodes haven’t they? We were able to visit Arya in Braavos, and while she is gaining more physical strength and skill as an assassin there is something that she’s missing, and that’s honestly the ability to forget who she is. Everything that Arya has been striving for has been fueled by revenge, and this is something that she can’t just give up lightly.
When she’s sent to a theater performance to kill the lead actress the story they are telling is the one of her father’s beheading, and how he was a fool before he ended up dead. It’s apparent that Arya cannot give up on her past, and her future in the House of Black and White is uncertain if she can’t become a girl with no name.
Sansa does not have that to worry about though – everything she’s doing now is driven by her family and openly in her family’s name. Littlefinger showed up at the Wall wanting an audience with Sansa, and she finally is able to tell him exactly what she thinks of him.
Standing tall, she doesn’t waver as she demands that he tells her what he thinks Ramsay did to her, and when he tries to skirt around the question she stops him at every move, saying that she doesn’t have a problem telling him what she went through and that she’s disgusted about what he did to her in the name of “protecting” her. She demands he leaves, saying she wouldn’t feel guilty about having Brienne strike him down, and he leaves, but we know we’ll be seeing this S.O.B sooner than later.
Sansa is determined to fight, and determined to take back her home and bring her entire family back together. After seasons of abuse, Sansa is the one Stark who is standing tall and taking direct action on fulfilling her dreams. Jon and her share a tender moment where she gives him a cloak that resembles their father’s, and they take off to go to the smaller houses of the North and ask for their support in fighting against the Boltons.
Bran is learning that there are a lot of harmful actions to his curiosity though. Bran’s time with the Three Eyed Raven has been short and ultimately hasn’t led to many startling revelations about his magic or its source. He knows that he is witnessing the past, but he has believed this entire time that they are merely observers, and that no one else is cognizant of their presence. The random tree people (Children of the Forest, I know, but still) he’s been hanging with reveal through a vision that the White Walkers exist because of them, but when he presses for more information he’s met with silence.
Because Bran is still learning, he goes into a trance and finds himself face to face with the Night’s King. What surprises Bran though is when the King reaches out and grabs onto him, snapping him out of his trance and back to the past where we see that it was real – his arm is frozen at the spot that the King grabbed him. There is now a mark on him, and the Walkers are quickly approaching. Meera is outside when the Walkers appear and she rushes in to save Bran and Hodor.
Meera proves her strength once again this episode, taking the lead and rushing out with Bran in his wheelbarrow as he’s deep in a trance with the Raven, one that the Raven warns him that he’s not ready for. The Raven is killed by the Walker in the present, removing him from the past that they are witnessing at Winterfell.
Summer (yet another direwolf) dies trying to save Bran. One of the Children of the Forest sacrifices herself to protect Bran as they escape. And Hodor… Oh Hodor…
We’d already seen a glimpse of Willis, the boy that Hodor was before he became the Stark’s one-word servant. He seemed to be a normal boy, kind and gentle just as the Hodor we know today. But in this moment, we learn the extent of Bran’s powers.
Meera is begging Bran to take over Hodor so they can fight, she’s begging Hodor to hold the door so the Walkers can’t get them, and Bran’s powers show their true power.
While in his trance, Bran takes control of Willis to get to Hodor and the two worlds collide. Seeing Willis collapse to the ground struggling and screaming, “HOLD THE DOOR,” until he gives up and can only mutter “Hodor” was heartbreaking. Seeing what this meant for Hodor in the present was even worse. We see him completely under the control of Bran, the worlds colliding as he struggles to hold the door closed and save the boy he’s been carrying for years now.
Bran watches as Willis slowly slips away and Meera watches as Hodor’s life comes to an end and the viewers are stuck there at the end, emotionally destroyed.
What does this mean for Bran? What do his powers really entail? He was told that he can’t change the past… but what if he’s the one really controlling it from the beginning?
This episode was an emotional one, some calling it the saddest death in the show thus far. So you know what?
I leave you with this.