We thought Game of Thrones would be taking a bit of a break after last week’s episode of fire, nakedness and pivotal family reunions. We were wrong.
In the fifth episode of Season 6 GoT outdid itself once more with the heart-wrenching death of Hodor, our gentle giant and loyal servant of Winterfell. There was also the standard nudity, bloodshed and awesome CGI effects we’ve come to expect of the HBO show.
Bran warged off into a vision (as he is rather fond of these days) where the Night’s King saw him and left a mark on his arm, resulting in him no longer being safe under the Three Eyed Raven’s protection. As the White Walkers descended and attacked the cave, he once again returned to a vision at Winterfell with a younger Hodor.
Then came the weird part. A sort of double-warging occurred, with Bran becoming the present Hodor in order to hold off the Wights. As Hodor held the door, he was seemingly devoured by the undead beasts while Bran and Meera escaped. Back in Bran’s vision a younger Hodor succumbed to a fit as he envisioned his future death. The past was already written, it was destiny, and it was horrible.
His screams of “Hold the door! Hold the door! Hold door! Ho-dor! Hodor” accompanied by some seriously poignant music and a daunting sense of realisation was nothing short of traumatizing…I can still hear the echoes. And I’ll probably never be able to hold a door open for anyone again without tearing up.
All the while, GoT author George R. R Martin rubs his hands with glee as all his career dreams come true…
Thanks again, George.
Hodor was essentially a minor character who simply repeated an odd phrase and hauled Bran around in a cart, yet his death managed to be profoundly devastating for fans. Bran, you better be worth it.
We also witnessed the death of the Three Eyed Raven, Leaf the forest pixie (who, it turns out, actually created the White Walkers back in the day when the Children of the Forest were at war with men) and Summer, one of the last two remaining direwolves in the show.
I think it’s safe to say fans were far more affected by Summer’s death than the Raven and Leaf’s. We were never given much opportunity to become emotionally invested in them, which is a good thing given the circumstances. Like many characters, they are tools in fulfilling Bran’s ultimate mission (whatever that is. Sorry, Bran, I’m still really upset about the whole Hodor thing).
Thrones really isn’t letting up this season. In this epic final scene we had an army of the dead, time travel, fire bombs and suicidal elves. It’s all getting a bit Dr Who meets The Walking Dead, is it not?
And across the water there’s a new Melisandre in town…Kinvara is a Red Priestess serving the Lord of Light (yawn) who teams up with Tyrion and Varys to big up Daenerys to the masses and reclaim her position of power. According to Kinvara, she is the ‘chosen’ one…yeah, didn’t you lot say that about Stannis? Hmm. She is awfully lovely to look at, though.
By the way, does anyone know where the dragons are?? They’ve been AWOL since Tyrion unchained them a few episodes back…Just saying.
Sansa met Little Finger again and it was Awkward Level 100. Understandably angry with him for leaving her with psychotic Ramsay to be raped and tormented, she wants nothing more to do with him. Although I doubt their semi-creepy dalliance will end there, Little Finger always has some trick up his sleeve and Sansa clearly has the hots for him despite everything.
Arya is still bashing around with sticks, except this time she is given another killing mission by the ever cool Jaqen H’ghar. Sussing out her victim at a theatre play that reenacts her father’s death and her sister’s marriage to Tyrion in a deeply cringe-worthy manner, Arya skulks around until she discovers she is to kill one of the actresses. Oh, and there was also full frontal man bits on screen at one point.
We were all geared up for Yara becoming Queen of the Iron Islands but, of course, Game of Thrones is cruelly unfair and likes to make us sad. So she was usurped by her crazy uncle, who seemingly wants to create an “alliance”” with Daenerys once he’s built enough ships. I really don’t think he’s Dany’s type, but who knows what lengths she’ll go to to take the throne?
I guess the only saving grace from “The Door” was Jorah Mormont’s cheesy love-confession to Daenerys. On discovering he is infected with Grey Scale, the Mother of Dragons tearfully commanded him to go off and heal himself before returning to her. Because, you know, she needs a sidekick when she takes back the Seven Kingdoms and probably feels super bad for putting him in the friend zone all these years.
But even this wasn’t enough to ease the pain of poor Hodor’s tragedy. The actor who plays him, Kristian Nairn, has interestingly pointed out that we didn’t fully see Hodor die on screen. Fan theories + track record of character resurrections = you do the math. But if he comes back as a White Walker I really don’t want to know.
RIP gentle giant, your watch has ended.
If you enjoy having your heart broken, be sure to stay tuned for next week’s episode of Game of Thrones, “Blood of My Blood”, which airs on HBO on Sunday 29 May.