What a ripsnorting episode! It’s always nice when we’re treated to an outing where stuff ACTUALLY happens, and the plot progresses. This episode provided on both fronts.
We begin in Castle Black, Sansa has been given a hidden letter, asking her to head to nearby Mole Town to meet someone undisclosed. She takes Brienne of Tarth with her, as one would follow a friend for a late night and slightly iffy Maccas run.
Much like those Maccas runs, there is a sense that no good would come if it comes to pass, as the devious Lord Baelish(or Little Finger) greets her in a barn.
Sansa isn’t too pleased with him. On their last meeting, he’d dropped her off with Ramsey Bolton and wished her well. Sansa accuses him of knowing that Ramsey is the worst villain conceivable, and that if he knew about Ramsey’s wicked ways, he is her enemy.
— Emily van der Nagel (@emvdn) May 24, 2016
Brienne shows a little cold steel, and the crowd gives a pleasurable whimper at the thought of the sword running him through. We want blood!!
But nope, it isn’t to be. He pleads ignorance, and bears good news. Her uncle, Blackfish (now Lord Tully), has taken back her mothers land and castle, Riverrun, and is head of its sizeable forces. She allows Little Finger to live, and he slinks away.
Someone needs to kill this guy. Seriously.
Next we have a fully sighted Ayra Stark, still knocking staffs with the strange young girl in the house of the Faceless God.
H’Ggar and Ayra then bond over cleaning a corpse- as we all have with a close friend.
He tells her of someone she needs to do away with, and hands her the poison. Ayra is to kill an actress, but alas it isn’t Kate Winslet post-Titanic, it’s the member of a popular acting troop.
— Cersei the VIOLENT (@NiceQueenCersei) May 23, 2016
After watching the show they’re putting on (about the death of Robert Baratheon), and seeing her father portrayed as a traitorous dunderhead, she returns saying the woman to be poisoned seems a good sort. The Many Faced God doesn’t really do ‘having a conscious’, and Ayra’s orders are reaffirmed. We leave her there.
Up north of the wall, Bran is still under the tutelage of the Green Seer in the tree. He is shown how the Children of the Forest created the first White Walkers in order to win the war against the invading men, thousands of years ago. Turns out, they did so by sacrificing a man, in a Weirwood grove, the trees that the Green Seers can traverse time through. Convenient.
— King Renly Baratheon (@Renly_B) May 23, 2016
Poor old man in the tree. Imagine being so bored and isolated by little freakish elves that to reduce the tedium, you allow a tree to grow through you.
We’re then taken to the Iron Islands, where things are progressing pleasingly quick. The Kingsmoot goes as we all expected. Theon and Yara put on a good show, but Euron ‘Crows Eye’, Theon’s uncle, rocks up and spoils the show. He promises to complete the fleet that Yara has promised, then promises to use it to aid Daenerys in taking her armies across the sea to reclaim her thrown.
To be fair, I’d have voted for him. Classic political move to steal your opponents policy then make it better. And he’s so handsome and fatherly. If he had added a three word slogan, like ‘Start The Boats’, I’d swear he had stolen the Liberals playbook.
We head further east, where Daenerys is standing on a hilltop addressing Jora Mormont and Daario. Unsure what to make of Mormont, who’s betrayed her but proved himself twice now, she simply stands there, declares the obvious and cries. Great work, Mother of Dragons.
Mormont shows her his greyscale, and says he’ll leave her side immediately, not failing to kill himself before the disease consumes his mind and turns him into a rock monster (similar to a rock lobster in rhyme only).
Daenerys won’t have it. She demands he cures himself and remains in her service.
— Tyrion Lannister (@GoT_Tyrion) May 24, 2016
Back in Meeren, Tyrion and Varys calls in the local Lord of Light Priestess, and strikes a deal in which she’ll tell her underlings to pump the populace full of Daenerys and dragon love.
It seems the Lord of the Light crowd have done an about face, and they see her now as the reincarnate Lord of the Light.
Uncharacteristically, Varys begins to give her a dressing down. She cuts to the quick of the matter, somehow knowing some very personal details about the Lord of the Light Priest, who cut off his junk way back when, and mentioning the words he heard as his funny business was thrown onto the street for the dogs to enjoy.
His face contorts in what could be an emotion other than smug content.
We’re then back with Bran under the tree. As his master sleeps, he is transported back thousands of years, to when the five white walkers and their army of the undead were silently facing off against the tree he exists within in his present day.
But as he approaches the white walkers, the head white walker can see him, and grabs his arm. Bran instantly awakes, and is told by the old man that the spell that protects them is broken, and the undead will arrive shortly. Better break out the bunting. He then tells Bran that it’s time he take his place, and become him- whatever that means?
— Holly Brockwell (@holly) May 23, 2016
Slightly south, Sansa, Jon Snow, Lord Davos and other members of the Castle Black brains trust are discussing how to get the members of the Norths various Lord families to join them in their quest to take Winterfell back from the Boltons. Sansa tells them of the Blackfish’s return to power in Riverrun, but protects Little Finger, saying she heard the news in Winterfell.
Jesus Christ Sansa! Way to protect the biggest little shit greasing up Westeros.
Finally back north, the White Walkers and undead army have arrived. The Children of the Forest attempt a rather uninspired defence of the tree, but are outnumbered…and are probably sick of living in a big tree.
Everyone is butchered, but Bran and Meera escape through a back tunnel. Bran is brought back fast enough to enter the body of Hodor, who carries him down the tunnel and opens a rather heavy door. Hodor then shuts the door, but has to remain on the outside, holding it against the ravenous undead army.
Bran, still in the past whilst controlling Hodor in the present, witnesses past Hodor have a fit, just as Meera yells ‘Hold the Door’. In past Hodor’s convulsions, all he can say is ‘Hold the Door’, which eventually combines and becomes just ‘Hodor’.
— Brett (@Brett_B_) May 23, 2016
Bran and Meera get away, but Hodor has the door cut down around him, then himself is cut down. A tear falls from every eye in the house.
So that’s all! Rickrolling. Hodor killin’. Dothraki Boot Scootin’! Get ready for the next episode as Theon’s dismembered member returns to The Iron Isles to retake the thrown, and Daenerys teaches the dragons to roll over.
next week: melisandre brings hodor back, as a door pic.twitter.com/EMef11eFkV
— Mezrahi, Samir (@samir) May 23, 2016
Words by William Henderson.
Header via HBO.