Monday, May 23, 2016

Game of Thrones: Season 6 Episode 5 - The Door

Hello friends and welcome back to our Game of Thrones coverage.  Wow!!  What an episode!  These big ones always seem to happen when I'm out of town and even more limited with time.  But I'm going to jot some thoughts on the key points down and then open the floor for discussion! Let's dive in.

Discussion Points
  • Arya's Assignment - Arya got a little history on the foundation of Braavos and the many faced god religion.  She is the first highborn to try and become no one.  And she is getting one more test.  She has to kill an actress.  She deduced that a younger actress wants the older one dead.  Arya was conflicted because the actress (can't remember the name sorry) seemed to be a decent person.  But, she knows how she will kill her if she decides to follow through with it.  The Waif  is convinced Arya will never be no one and referred to her as Lady Stark.  I've already spoken my feelings on the matter.  There's a reason she didn't throw away Needle.   Anyway, the play setting is actually reminiscent of a chapter called "Mercy" from the unreleased "Winds of Winter" (book 6).  And it was no coincidence that one of the actors actually mentioned "The Winds of Winter" in their line reading.  The play itself was different though and was basically a recap of some of the King's Landing antics of past seasons.  But told from the perspective of the playwright and possibly the public perception.  I had noted before (in recap or comments) that the Stark Name is in need of redemption due to how Ned Stark was taken off the table.  This play reaffirmed that notion that the perception of Ned is that he was power hungry and tried to usurp the throne after his friend Robert Baratheon died.  It also portrayed Theon in poor light too.  We'll see if Arya honors her assignment to kill Actress Cersei to please Actress Sansa. 

  • Meereen Stuff - We had a small council meeting of sorts with everyone discussing how Sons of the Harpy attacks and Master slayings has been decreased since their agreement forged by Tyrion.  Tyrion still wants to make sure that word gets out that Dany is behind the peace.  He enlists a red priestess (who he actually made eye contact with in Volantis last season) to help spread Dany's message.  This priestess indicates that Dany is the one who is promised (i.e. Azor Ahai, the one to lead the people out of the dark night and in direct contradiction with Melisandre who thinks Jon Snow is that same person).  Varys is skeptical as he knows Melisandre once thought Stannis was this person.  But then this woman got creepy knowing Varys history of being castrated and the scream he heard in the fire.  It's possible this woman is a lot older than she seems as well.  But how does she know all of this stuff?   Anyway, the woman is inclined to help them as they both want to serve Dany.  We'll see how this progresses. 

  • Dany and Jorah - Long story short.  Dany is bringing her hoard of Dothraki out of Vaes Dothrak and had to figure out what to do with Jorah.  Joran reveals he has grey scale.  This deeply affects Dany and she charges him with finding a cure and then returning to her side to take the 7 Kingdoms.  Awwwww.  Good luck Jorah!  

  • Pyke - We finally got our Kingsmoot!  Yara put in her claim for the throne with Theon's support but Euron Greyjoy showed up and staked his claim.  The people ended up supporting him since they never had a queen before.  And he also promised to lead them to Meereen to meet Danaerys Targaryan who has a huge army and is unmarried.  He will woo her with his ships and forge an alliance to take the 7 kingdoms.  (I told you that fleet was burned for a reason!)  This is very much in line with what happened with the books.  Even the ritual to essentially kill the new king by drowning and then have them rise again (What is dead may never die) stronger.  But, it's taken on a new twist with Euron trying to kill Yara and Theon as they fled with the entire fleet that are loyal to Yara.  Where will they go?  I have my speculations but I'll keep that to themselves.  But Euron is going to build a bunch of new ships and go after her and kill his niece and nephew.  That shouldn't take too long right?  Maybe they can hire Floki from Vikings. 

  • Castle Black and Molestown - Sansa reunited with Littlefinger in Molestown and gave him a piece of her mind.  He still claims to not have known how bad Ramsay was.  She pretty much spoke for the audience in how poorly conceived that plot line was.  Either he is a liar or incredible stupid!  He knows everything else! Anyway she kept pushing him to tell her what happened to her.  She pretty much recapped her experiences to the audience's discomfort.  But he did bring news with him of Blackfish (You may remember him from season 3.  He escaped the Red Wedding by having to take a piss) regrouping forces in Riverrun.  I'm not sure if he promised him the knights of the Vale or not too.  But this could certainly help in their quest to take back Riverrun.  Later they meet with Jon, Davos and Melisandre and go over the state of things.  Sansa thinks they can get the Karstarks back on their side even if Robb Stark beheaded their father.  She lies to Jon and says she found out from Ramsay about Blackfish.  Anyway, she wants Brienne to go on a quest to recruit him.  This is a twist on events in the book.  Blackfish does come back into the story but it's Jaime Lannister that goes to meet him.  Brienne does have additional stories in Riverrun in the books so I'm hoping this is a possibly a return to that story!  In the show though, Brienne has reservations against leaving her with Davos and Mel.  And she comically made comments about Tormund, to which we got eye rolls when he made some looks at her too.  Loving this subplot!   Anyway, she says she trusts Jon with her life.   We also finally see everyone depart Castle Black and Dolores Edd assume the post of 999th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch.  It looks like Edd and Jon left on semi-good terms too.   And awwww Sansa made Jon a coat like Ned Stark's! 

  • Origin of the Night's King and the White Walkers - This is brand new information to Book readers and Show watchers alike.  (I think)  We follow Bran into the past and see the creation of the Night's King.  This is confirmed by EW as the actor/stunt double that plays the Night's King played the man who got stabbed by Dragonglass by LEAF, one of the children of the forest.  Apparently, the White Walkers were created to protect the children of the forest from MEN many many years ago.  The threat has gotten much worse since then and it would seem they have turned on the children of the forest.  But, it does present a possible eventual twist with the White Walkers' purpose in the show.  We have discussed such twists in our "book spoiler" commentary in past recaps.  Everything on the show is pretty ambiguous and doesn't really come down to Good vs. Evil so maybe the same will be true with the GREAT BATTLE TO COME. 

  • Hold The Door!!! - We finally see Bran sneak in a peak in the greenseer network without the 3 eyed Raven and he is taken to what I'd have to assume is the present day with the wights and white walker army amassed somewhere North of the Wall.  Bran walked right up to the Night King and the king reached out and grabbed Bran.  This essentially marked him and eliminated the magic protecting the Weirwood Tree from the White Walkers.  The 3 eyed Raven said it's time for Bran to become HIM even if he isn't ready.  They go back into green seeing mode for some last minute learnings, but their time is short.  The Night King is on his way.  Apparently, this vision was really to fulfill a destiny.  It needed to happen, because it already had happened (ahhh it appears we did go the LOST route of time travel with Whatever Happened Happened.)  We go back to Winterfell where Ned Stark is receiving advice from his father Rickard Stark to keep pushing on when all hope is lost.  Wyllis (Hodor) is there too.  In the present day, the White Walker and Wight army has arrived.  Leaf and Meera are trying to fend them off.  They create a fire wall with their crazy magic grenades.  This keeps the wights out but the walkers come through.  Meera kills one with a dragon glass spear (must've been the children of the forest's spear).  But she calls out for Bran that they need Hodor to pick him up and get them out of there.  Summer defends Bran as well but ends up getting killed by wights coming in through the top of the tree.  COME ON HBO!  Stop killing dire wolves!!!! RIP SUMMER.   Bran starts hearing the calls of Meera in his vision.  The Raven tells him he should listen.  Meanwhile the Raven gets slayed by the Night King and he disappears from the vision.  His destiny is fulfilled.  Bran stays too long in the vision and connects with Hodor in the past and present.  They are escaping in the present but there are too many wights.  Leaf sacrifices herself to give them more time.  They get out the door but there are hundreds of wights behind them.  Meera and Bran both tell Hodor to HOLD THE DOOR.  And he does.  He keeps yelling Hodor.  In the past Wyllis starts yelling "hold the door" and going into seizures.  Hold the Door is repeated many times until it morphs into HODOR and we see the origin and end of Hodor.   Bran was the one that cause his condition due to his evolving powers and meddling with time.  Bran and Meera escape to head out to who knows where.  Amazing and crushing scene.  RIP Hodor.  You will be missed!
I knew this episode stood out as being expertly directed.  This was the first outing of Jack Bender the main director from LOST.   They seem to direct episodes in pairs so I think we have the next one coming from him as well.  This episode was fantastic from start to finish and I look forward to discussing it further time permitting!  But, gotta get back to my vacation for now. Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week! 


Mike V. said...

Just watched the show commentary by D&D at the end of the HBO Go Stream. They said the Hodor stuff came from one of their sit downs with GRRM. They were blown away when George told them that Hodor stood for "Hold the Door". So I guess this is coming in the books, but maybe not exactly in the same way.

Also I didn't really make the connection when watching but when the Night King was created it was at the same location of the Weirwood tree in the present day, but it should be noted that there was no snow. So the lands beyond the Wall weren't always covered in snow. That came with the walkers.

Also noted in the commentary, those crazy patterns that the White Walkers created with their dead bodies since the pilot originated from the Children of the Forest rituals. We saw the stone patterns from overhead before Leaf created the Night King.

All interesting stuff! Richard, hopefully this episode quenched your thirst for White Walker stories and approaching that end game that we all can't wait for. lol Even the Red Priestess stuff in Meereen was interesting too.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I did like the White Walker stuff. The origin story was great tracing back to the children and their need for protection. That of course begs for other questions like, why do the white walkers want to kill the children now. AND, AND, AND--the children are GONE--the first time ever. Ed being the 999th commander--seems like an ominous number with 1000 just around the corner. Adding those two things up and it seems like Dany's desire for a broken wheel is very possible. BTW, Bran is of course at fault for the death of Hodor and the Raven since he's the one who went behind the Raven's back and warged. So, selfish of a person to do what they want regardless of being told of the dangers. And so many died for Bran's decision. You can say it was predestined and that may be true. And Hodor particularly comes to mind as being the victim of Bran.

WHY are the white walkers attacking those who created them may be answered in the fear/anguish in the man's eyes when he was stabbed with the obsidion. But, that would mean they were never on the children's side. Something has changed, we just don't know what.

Could it be as simple as the white walkers want to use this winter to take over Westeros and establish their own kingdom? Something tells me there's more to it.

The Kingsmoot really turned out to be stupid and yet again took the Ironborn storyline to the ground when Yara sailed away with the ENTIRE fleet. Seriously, Euron won with a MAJORITY. How does a minority take the ENTIRE fleet. A few ships I could see, but the ENTIRE fleet is ridiculous. I really expected Yara to come out on top. It takes a year or more to build a ship and we're at the half way point of the season and it seems only a week or so has passed. I really don't know where Yara went unless she sailed South. I can't recall who her allies are. Not sure she had any. Maybe she's headed to the East coast of Westeros? Also, with the limited size of the Ironborne I don't see Euron taking out his(now Dany's) ENTIRE fleet unscathed and then taking a rag tag left over fleet to Essos for Dany.

Arya stuff was ridiculous especially the nudity/closeup--kind of gross really. They never showed a female like that btw. Anyway, the killing of the actress is to me a side story. The real story is whether Arya is capable of becoming a faceless man. BTW, they call them the faceless men, but most of the ones we see are women--lol. Arya's increasingly being shown as incapable of being faceless. As Juaquin said, a servant wouldn't ask. She can't help herself, she wasn't born a slave--she doesn't know how to be a servant. It will be interesting if she goes full tilt

I expect the Banners will come to help Sansa/Jon. Funny how he was just a background character in this ep. Looks like the Ramsay fight will be ep 9 or 10 as they are setting up some needed time for putting the force together.

To me, the big story of the ep is that an entire species(and the oldest of known time) was eliminated this ep. RIP--children of the forest.


Mike V. said...

Good point on the majority voting Euron but Yara still taking the whole fleet. lol I thought of that but didn't think about it too much. Maybe even though people voted for Euron because they knew they couldn't vote in a queen, maybe they were still loyal to Yara. I like how you twisted your words though from thinking Yara would win the kings moot to simply "coming out on top" lol You can admit you were wrong, it's okay! lol

I don't have time to comment on everything right now. But you do bring up a lot of good points. (agreed on the nudity in Arya's story. Unnecessary...but I thought the story was fine...and I have gone on record not expecting Arya to become truly faceless. It's just not in her character to do so)

Do we know if ALL of the children of the forest were killed? Obviously Leaf was and a few others. But do they all reside in one place?

Yeah...Bolton battle will probably be ep 9ish....and probably around the same time as a key reveal if Bran is still able to visit the past. He should be since Bran became HIM. lol

I'll try to comment more later. I'm surrounded by younglings right now! lol

Mike V. said...


Brienne going to Riverrun....HOPE FOR LS!! lol

Anonymous said...

I thought you were saying Arya would be successful as a faceless man--that they would accept her as a full member? I agree, I don't think she'll make it.

I admit it, I was wrong about Yara being elected. I really thought she would be. But, I think whether she ends up leading the Ironborne is still up in the air.

I think we're supposed to take it as that's all of the children. The tree where they created the white walkers is that very same tree. The graphics are similar and it all seems like where they've always been.


HMMM. Yea Brienne going to Riverrun and LS is a possibility. I doubt it since I don't know what purpose that storyline would have at this point. For example, the Tyrrells are going to be joining the fight against Ramsay and Brienne is going to be part of that fight too. So, with 5 eps left, it's just hard to see. Don't get me wrong, it would be great if LS appeared.

You and I have discussed the potential difference in Azor Ahai vs TPTWP. After this ep, it kind of makes sense that Jon is one and Dany the other. What do you think?


Mike V. said...

Agreed on yara she still may lead them without the title. Think she's headed to meereen anyway? Where else would they go?

No I wasn't suggesting that she'd be successful (arya). I think she's going to take her skills she learned and continue the quest of completing her list with needle in hand.

I guess I didn't put 2 and 2 together with the children of the forest. But you're probably right.

Sorry for brevity. On my phone!

*******book speculation*******

I dunno. Walder Frey is supposed to be back this season and I'm guessing that will coincide with arya returning to westeros (if that happens). But reintroducing the freys and stark revenge would tie in nicely to brienne's quest. It could start this season and continue next season pulling in Jaime too. All speculation. Realistically it is not happening but it would be awesome if they were trying to surprise us with it this season.

Yeah it's still possible there are both tptwp and aa and Jon is the prince and Dany is aa. Makes sense. Mel seems to think its all one person but she doesn't even know about Dany. Considering the show is making her god like it would seem she had to be part of the prophecy. Granted there still is no distinction between gods existing in this world or if it's just magic. they probably will never explicitly say.

Anonymous said...

OK, so we're seeing Arya the same way then. I think the time of her pulling needle out of it's hiding place could be by the end of this season. So you're Frey theory sounds possible. Maybe she will hitch a ride with Theon?

Headed to Mereen. I can only see one reason(conveniently replacing the burned fleet) for that but she doesn't have any contacts nor does Theon.

I was doing some thinking the other day and came up with the idea that the Lannisters' history doesn't go back very far on the show. BAsically their backstory is about their mines and those are played out. Which makes me think Cersei and Jamie's future could be dim.

Funny how the money problems aren't being discussed anymore.


Anonymous said...

I see some others have come to my way of thinking re Bran--lol.


Mike V. said...

Haven't had much time to comment and will respond to everything eventually (head home tomorrow)

But thought this was interesting to share. (Books vs show and what martin told D&D)

Anonymous said...

LOL, seriously two of the three big moments are already broadcast. And the Hodor deal is a TRUE book spoiler. I don't trust anything show runners or authors say about the future. Obviously there's going to be differences. But, these guys can't have their cake and eat it too. I mean, they can't be saying this is the story and then say well, it's NOT the story. Point being that if it's too different then it becomes too different by definition. We've posted about this several times, the show is going to have the same ending for the major characters. Otherwise it's a sham and I strongly believe they won't do that.

One could say they're walking a tight rope trying to please different audiences.


Anonymous said...

This is a great article about the Nights King, etc and Bran.


Speaks of the wall coming down.


Mike V. said...

I have to comment to all your posts still Richard, but I did have one comment to say.... Jon said to Edd when he left "try not to let the Wall come down while I'm gone".....probably good foreshadowing there. lol

I'll check out that article. Gonna try to respond to your other posts before my 1:00 meeting. If not, I'll do it later. :)

Mike V. said...

Predestiny - Yeah it was...but Bran is also a punk kid and wasn't going to understand the dangers until he saw it first hand. An old man stuck to a tree can speak his rants all that he wants...Bran needs proof before he'll things are real. Definitely selfish, but needed for his character's growth.
Totally missed the fact that Meera got the dragon glass from SAM when they ran into each other at the wall. So that's what she used to kill a walker. The ol' Checkov's gun rule at play! But yeah...there is a story there with the walkers and the children of the forest that seems to play an important role in the Walker's motives now. I'm sure there will be more to tell. I agree...probably more to it than turning Westeros into the North Pole lol

Kingsmoot - we kinda discussed that stuff.

Arya we kind of discussed too.

Jon/Sansa - Yeah...they really have downplayed Jon's resurrection in the past couple episodes. You'd think Sansa would've had more to say about it and Brienne (she made a comment on his brooding "which makes sense considering" or something like that lol ...guess they didn't want to waste screen time on it.....if only they had 13 episodes!!! (just had to add that in there for you Richard lol))

Spoiling the books - I think they wanted to make it clear that there are 3 BIG events from the future books that they are putting in the show too. There are probably fans wondering how many big events from the books will be spoiled from the show. And yikes...i wonder if the 3rd is R+L=J???? Would we really have to wait until the END of the series to find that out?? lol I just assumed it had to be coming this season. We'll see. Even with those events there's nothing saying they're going to go down the same way as in the books. But they've said time and time again that they're reaching the same end as the books, they're just getting there one would think the same characters would hopefully be alive.

I don't mind them lying though if it's to preserve experiences.

Mike V. said...

BTW - I'm glad I was able to do somewhat of a recap this week because I totally forgot they're airing an episode on Memorial Day. I REALLY DOUBT I'll have time to get a recap up for the Memorial Day episode but I'll surely put a post up for discussion. :)

Anonymous said...

Welcome back, yes me too==glad you could do one.

So, yea the marks on Bran and what happened to the magic in the cave are potentially critical. I think the single biggest issue which is NOT discussed on the various blogs is the children being wiped out. The cave being over run and the Night King marking Bran are all it seems firsts. Which easily opens up the story line to go a different direction. Yes, and Ed not letting the wall come down is a likely foreshadowing line.

I bet the next ep will be a lot of KL stuff since we seem to be rotating through the game board spots if you will.


Mike V. said...

People are obviously more focused on Hodor and Summer being axed than the children of the forest. And while your explanation makes sense I don't think there's been an official confirmation that ALL of the children of the forest are wiped out. I'm not even sure the cave and that location where the Night King was created are the same anymore after scanning the article you sent me. week should be very KL focused. I'm glad they focus on particular areas per episode. Gives them more time to breathe. They started doing that in season 4/5ish.