HBO’s Game of Thrones season six episode five titled ‘The Door’ found a beloved character dying in order to save his friends, the death of a key supporting player who we only got to know this season, and the likely demise of yet another direwolf. ‘The Door’ didn’t have time to squeeze in a visit to King’s Landing and barely squeezed in a few minutes with Daenerys, the newly crowned leader of the Dothraki. Fortunately, the reunion of Jon Snow and his half-sister Sansa continued, with Sansa proving she’s now fully a force to be reckoned with. However, it was Bran’s storyline that proved to be the most important – and heartwrenching – part of season six’s fifth episode.
The episode kicks off with Sansa (Sophie Turner) interrupted while sewing by the delivery of a message. Reading it, she asks the location of Mole’s Town. Once there she meets with Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen), accompanied by the imposing Brienne (Gwendoline Christie). Littlefinger claims to be happy to see Sansa unharmed and says he’s brought the knights of the Vale to help her. She asks if he knew about Ramsay, calling him either an idiot or her enemy depending on how much he actually knew about what would happen to her in his charge. She is angry, justifiably, as she says Ramsay did what he wanted to to her but never hurt her face because he needed to make sure the North would recognize her. Sansa asks what Littlefinger thinks he did, demanding an answer when he doesn’t respond. He says he made a mistake and Sansa says she thinks brothel keepers probably talk about the types of despicable things he did all the time. She doesn’t believe he will protect her and doesn’t think he’s even capable of protecting himself if she unleashes Brienne. Littlefinger says he’ll do whatever she asks and Sansa, who no longer minces words, asks, “And if I want you to die here and now?” Littlefinger says that if that’s what she wants, he’ll die. She tells him to leave and that she and her brother will take back the North without his help. Before he goes, he tells Sansa her uncle Brynden Tully the Blackfish has gathered the Tully forces and has taken back Riverrun and that she may need his help someday. As Littlefinger leaves, he says, “Half-brother.”
Arya (Maisie Williams) is training with the Waif and despite the fact Arya’s regained her sight, she’s still losing the fight. After being knocked down and taunted, Arya jumps to her feet. The Waif drops her fighting stick and still manages to get the best of the armed Arya. Arya’s getting her butt handed to her and the Waif tells her she’ll never be one of them, addressing her as “Lady Stark.” Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha) says, “She has a point.” He then walks Arya threw the Hall of Faces explaining the place’s history and the history of Faceless Men. He gives her a potion and tells her it’s for Lady Crane, an actress. This is her second chance and she can’t blow it or that’s it for her time in Braavos.
Arya watches a play on stage in which Robert Baratheon is killed by a boar. Actors portraying Cersei, Joffrey, and Ned Stark enter the play, with Arya’s dad made to look like a total buffoon. The play portrays Ned as someone who was easily tricked into believing everything Cersei promised. Sansa begs for Ned’s life and Arya – in the audience, unable to turn away from what’s unfolding on stage – watches as Ned’s head is chopped off. When the play ends, Arya heads backstage as the actors are undressing and sees Lady Crane drinking rum and toasting with the actor who played Tyrion.
Arya reports back that she’ll poison the rum since only Lady Crane will drink it. She thinks the woman is decent and Jaqen asks if only the wicked should die. Arya wonders who wants Lady Crane dead, guessing it’s the younger actress. But Jaqen reminds her she has no business even wondering who ordered the murder.
Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) is off on another walk through time using his Greenseer powers with the Three-Eyed Raven, watching as the Children of the Forest slice open a man. One of the Children pushes the dagger through the man’s chest and creates a White Walker. Apparently the Children made the White Walkers because they were being slaughtered and were forced into defending themselves from men.
Time has come for Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan) to step forward and claim the Salt Throne. She’d be the first woman to rule, delivering a rousing speech about their god, the sea, and how she’ll build a fleet to conquer the kingdom. One of the men steps forward and says since Theon’s back, he should be the leader as the sole male heir. Theon (Alfie Allen) looks around the group assembled, and as the last living son of Balon Greyjoy he points to his sister and says she’s the rightful ruler. Calling her a warrior and Iron born, he assures them they’ll find no better leader. “This is our Queen,” says Theon, and the men begin cheering until Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbaek) arrives to claim the Salt Throne. Yara and Theon’s uncle can’t believe Theon was taken prisoner and it’s only because he doesn’t have a cock that he thinks his sister should rule. Yara, unwilling to give up her quest for the throne, says her first act will be to execute the man who killed her father. Euron admits he did it because Balon wasn’t a leader or loved. He apologizes for not killing Balon years ago, and Theon says he couldn’t have since he was gallivanting around the world. Again, Theon supports his sister. Yara says she’ll build the largest fleet the world’s ever seen, but Euron says that will be his job. He even talks about Daenerys, a woman who has three large dragons and hates the Lannisters. Euron’s going to build a fleet and give it to her to take over the Seven Kingdoms. The men cheer for Euron, agreeing with his plan. The decision’s made and he’s held underwater while Theon, Yara, and a few of their loyal followers escape to the boats and leave. Euron revives and is hailed as the king of the Iron born. He looks around for Theon and Yara, can’t find them, and takes off with the men to murder his niece and nephew but it’s too late; the boats are all sailing away. Turning his attention back to the men, Euron demands they chop down trees and begin building a thousand ships. (He’s holding firm with his plan to help Dany.)
Speaking of Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), she’s looking out over the Dothraki camp with Jorah (Iain glen) and Daario (Michiel Huisman) at her side. She wonders why Jorah keeps coming back after she banishes him. She’s confused as she obviously can’t take him back and she can’t send him away again. But Jorah says she must send him away, showing her the greyscale which has now enveloped his whole arm. She tears up a bit, wondering if there’s a cure and apologizing. “All I’ve ever wanted was to serve you,” Jorah says. Jorah says Tyrion was right; he loves her and will always love her. With that, he says good-bye and walks away. Dany commands him to stop. “You pledged yourself to me,” she says, and commands him to find the cure, heal himself, and then return to her. When she takes the Seven Kingdoms she needs him by her side. He nods, and heads off on horseback to do as she asked. Daenerys and Daario ride off at the head of the Dothraki.
And now we catch up with the non-action in Meereen. There’s been no killing since Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) made the pact with the wealthy masters backing the Sons of the Harpy and now Tyrion wants to make sure the people of Meereen know it was Dany who made peace which means they need someone the people will respect telling them so.
Enter another Red Witch… Tyrion and Varys (Conleth Hill) meet with Kinvara, another red priestess who follows the Lord of Light. Kinvara (Ania Bukstein) says Dany is the one who was promised so she has come to help the cause. Dany has freed the slaves, survived fire, and her dragons are a gift from the Lord of Light. The dragons will purify non-believers by burning their flesh. Kinvara will summon her priests and spread the word Dany has been sent to lead the people as the chosen one. Varys is skeptical of Kinvara and her type, telling her about Stannis Baratheon’s death and how one of her fellow witches got that wrong. Kinvara says everyone, even honest servants of the Lord, can make mistakes. She also says terrible things happen for a reason. “Knowledge has made you powerful but there’s still so much you don’t know,” she says to Varys, asking if he remembers what he heard the night a sorcerer tossed his private parts into the fire when he was a child. She’s completely spooking Varys who turns white as a ghost when she says she serves the same Queen as the voice that he heard that night.
Bran is awake in the real world while the Three-Eyed Raven sleeps. He decides to use his greensight on his own and opens his eyes to find himself standing in front of an army of White Walkers. They are assembled at the base of a mountain, all mutilated or decomposed, and almost all are armed with spears. Bran makes his way through the army and comes upon the leaders of the White Walkers, with the one in charge staring right at him. He turns and all the White Walkers are looking at him. In the tree, Bran screams and awakens with the Night’s King’s mark on his arm. The Three-Eyed Raven tells him he must leave now and that the time has come for him to become the Raven.
Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is trying to figure out how to take Winterfell back and Sir Davos (Liam Cunningham) says the Umbers and Karstarks have declared for the Boltons. Sansa says the Karstarks pledged to the Boltons before they knew they had a choice. Sansa says the North people are loyal, but Davos reminds her no one rose up after the Boltons took Winterfell. Jon points out there are other houses and they can start with the smaller houses and build up. Sansa tells them The Blackfish has formed his army and retaken Riverrun, something she says she learned while still at Winterfell (which isn’t true). They need Stark, Tully, and a few more houses and it’s possible to actually go to battle.
Brienne’s concerned about Sansa traveling to see her uncle, The Blackfish, but Sansa says Jon will help keep her safe. Brienne’s leery of the Wildlings leader, Tormund, who in episode four seemed to have already developed a crush on Brienne. Brienne also wants to know why Sansa lied about where she learned about Riverrun and Sansa doesn’t answer. Before they take off, Sansa gives Jon a coat she made and Edd promises to take care of the Wall while Jon’s gone. And then off Jon, Sansa, Melisandre, Podrick, Brienne, and Tormund go.
Hodor (Kristian Nairn) and Meera (Ellie Kendrick) prepare to leave the cave, with Meera going on about delicious bacon and blood sausage. She senses something and races out of the cave to find the Children of the Forest outside the door facing the White Walkers all assembled and ready to attack. The White Walkers approach and Meera runs back in to get Bran.
Bran, meanwhile, has used his greensight to travel with the Three-Eyed Raven back to Ned Stark’s childhood at Winterfell. The Children of the Forest toss bombs at the White Walkers but the leaders don’t stop, walking through the fire. The rest of the army climb the mountain as inside Meera is trying to load up Bran without any help from Hodor. The Children try to fight off the White Walkers and Meera tries to wake up Bran while Hodor’s having a panic attack. Meera’s screaming finally makes it through to Bran who’s still back at Winterfell via his greensight, and Bran wargs into Hodor, making Hodor pull Bran into position to flee as Bran’s direwolf holds off the White Walkers. Unfortunately, we’re now down another direwolf as he was no match for so many of the White Walkers.
The Night’s King approaches the Three-Eyed Raven and slays him. Now there are so many White Walkers in the cave it seems there’s no hope for escape. One of the Children who’s running through the tunnel with Bran and company uses her last bomb to attempt to take out as many as possible as she’s being slaughtered. Hodor is finally able to open a door, slamming it behind him but the White Walkers are not giving up. Bran, whose mind is still back in Winterfell, watches as the young Hodor begins having a seizure and yelling, “Hold the door,” which is what he can hear Meera say through his psychic link to Bran in contemporary time. In Winterfell (in the past), the young Hodor’s repeated saying of, “Hold the door,” becomes hold door which becomes Hodor. Meanwhile the adult Hodor is holding the door to the cave shut, sacrificing himself to make sure Bran and Meera escape. We don’t see his dead body, but it’s obvious he’s outnumbered and has died while ensuring Bran survives.
More Season 6 Recaps:
- Episode 1 The Red Woman
- Episode 2 Home
- Episode 3 Oathbreaker
- Episode 4 Book of the Stranger
- Episode 6 Blood of My Blood