Game of Thrones Episode 5 Recap: The Door
Warning: This post is dark and full of spoilers. Do not read if you have not watched last night’s episode, The Door. For this particular episode, we encourage watching before reading.
We start on Sansa in Castle Black receiving a message bolstering Littlefnger’s seal, a few questions later and she’s already directly confronting him. While Littlefinger continues to attempt to placate Sansa and ask for her forgiveness under the vague guise that he didn’t know how Ramsay was, Sansa quickly ferretts out the truth from him. She is quick to tell him in no uncertain terms that she wants nothing to do with him, and viscerally expresses her pain of being beaten and raped by Ramsay.
To her, everything that has happened since her return to Winterfell is Littlefinger’s fault. Before he leaves, Littlefinger tells her that he has strengthened the Tully army, and that they have retake Riverrun. He encourages her to reach out to her uncle and reminds her that Jon is only her half brother before departing.
From here we switch to Arya who continues her training and is still getting her ass handed to her despite the progress. Her fellow trainee tells her to go home, that she would never be a-girl-with-no-name, implying that her former high born status would prevent this from happening. Jaqen H’gar all but agrees, telling Arya the story of the Faceless Men founding Bravos. She also receives her first assignment to kill since her first major mistake. H’gar is quick to remind her that she would not get another chance after this.
The target is an actress and Arya wastes no time in finding her. As she watches the troupes act, we find that it’s the story of her father’s death and it does not paint him in a kind light. Arya is clearly unamused of how lightly people treat the event which upended her world. The actress she is meant to kill plays Cercei. When we get backstage, we get a face full of penis HBO, we appreciate your efforts in keeping nudity equal! Once we get a look at the actress, Arya later questions H’gar about her demeanor. The woman seems like a decent person, and Arya wonders who/why she must die. All the same, a price was paid and she must die. Additionally, we find out Arya is still considered too inadequate to take a face from the wall.
Bran holds tightly to the roots of the tree and watches a moment of history long long in the past. He follows a child of the forest to a group of children, who have a man tied tightly to an old tree. As they execute him, his eyes turn a familiar cold blue. Upon waking up, Bran confronts the Child of the Forest about creating the White Walker king. The Child responds that its creation was in desperation while the Children were still fighting the ancient war against the First Men.
Back at the Iron Islands, Yara stakes her claim for the salt throne only to have her sex constantly used against her. It takes an impassioned speech from Theon to prove her worthy of ruling the Iron Islands. They nearly succeed when their uncle blindsides them with his own claim.
It doesn’t take Yara long to figure out he was the one who killed her father, and she openly accuses him of it. Shockingly, he doesn’t deny it. As a matter of fact, with great skill Euron uses the Iron-born’s hatred of Balon to bolster his claim to the throne. He then adds that he plans to head to Daenerys and marry her in order to use her army’s and dragons to take the Iron Throne. This coupled with the inherit sexism wins over the Iron-born and Yara’s claim is dead. As Euron is baptized to the salt throne, Yara and Theon make their escape, taking with them the best ships. Euron is unfazed and demands 1,000 ships for his plans to take over the world.
Daenerys looks over her Dothraki city before addressing Jorah. She tells him that she has banished him multiple times and multiple times he has returned. He’s also saved her life, putting her in the precarious position of what to do with him. Jorah however, shows her his arm and tells her to send him away to die from the disease that will surely take him. He tells Daenerys that he loves her, and bids her goodbye. Tearfully, she stops him and as her queen she bids him to find a way to heal himself and return to her. After Jorah is gone, Daenerys and her new army ride towards Meereen.
In Meereen, Grey Worm reports the activities of the Sons of the Harpy appear to have ceased. Varys is pleased with the new peace that has taken hold, but Tyrion remains concerned that without Daenerys it means little. In order to sew the seeds, and make the peace a bit more permanent, Tyrion calls on the Kinvara, First Priestess of the Lord of Light. In their uncomfortable encounter, Varys attempts to belittle the religion (with Tyrion trying to run interference) based on the actions of Melisandre.
The Priestess takes Varys’ questions in stride, saying people make mistakes. She then doubles down and talks to Varys about how everyone is what they are and who they are for a reason. If Varys had not suffered, he wouldn’t be standing before them. Then she asks Varys about the name he heard spoken from the fire the night he was tortured and reminds him that they both serve the same queen. Varys is understandably startled.
Bran is awake, and bored. He even tests to see if the Three-Eyed Raven can be awoken but he is fast asleep. So, Bran decides to take it upon himself to go on an unauthorized journey into the past. As he walks through the graveyard from before, he finds it covered in an eternal frost. He approaches an army of Wights and walks through them to see the four White Walker kings. One of them looks at him, and then suddenly all are looking at him. It’s this moment Bran realizes he can be seen and when he tries to leave one of the king’s grabs him. He wakes screaming and the Three-Eyed Raven tells him that being touched has given the king permission to enter their sanctuary. They must leave and Bran must become the next Three-Eyed Raven whether he’s ready or not.
Jon, Sansa, and Davos discuss the amount of men needed to re-take Winterfell from the Bolton’s. Jon tells Davos they can attempt to rally all the other houses aside from the Umbers and the Karstarks, which could equal their numbers. Sansa jumps in with the information about Littlefinger but lies about where she got the information from. Later, as they prepare to depart, Sansa bids for Brienne to go and deal with Littlefinger and gaining his army for their use. Brienne is not okay with this, she doesn’t trust the men around Sansa. Sansa attempts to reassure Brienne, who questions why Sansa chose to lie to Jon about Littlefinger.
Outside, Sansa presents Jon with a new cloak annointed with a direwolf. Jon bids Edd goodbye for the last time, and the group departs on their mission to rally the houses. Edd tries once more time, comically, to deny he’s Lord Commander before finally accepting his role.
Meera and Hodor are packing while Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven are speed studying to try and get Bran trained up. As they talk, Meera notices the drop in temperature and knows they have run out of time. Outside, the White Walker kings and their wight army begin their invasion. The Children of the Forest attempt to stall the army and Meera attempts to wake Bran. Bran is watching the past with the Three-Eyed-Raven and is unable to hear her.
The army gets inside and Meera begs Bran to warg into Hodor. Bran still trapped in the past with the Three-Eyed Raven, does so but warg’s through Hodor in the past which somehow pushes through and posesses him in the future. Meera kills a White Walker king on her exit, but a second king kills the Three-Eyed Raven who disappates in front of Bran. Bran’s wolf sacrfices itself in the fray, attempting to stall the incoming Wights. The last Child of the Forest does the same, exploding the tunnel behind Meera, Bran, and Hodor.
As they narrowly escape, Hodor holds the door shut. It’s here we find out how Hodor became Hodor. Bran who has warged through young Hodor can hear Meera screaming at present day Hodor, Hold the Door. As he does so, the wight’s get a hold of him and begin to kill him. The effect of being warged through the past, and experiencing his death in the future causes young Hodor to collapse and seize, screaming Meera’s words out loud.
Hold the door.
Oh, my heart.
That was one of the roughest episodes and left many in tears for Hodor, who’s character gained a full arc in just the last ten minutes of the episode. We also learned a lot from the encounter, including just how much influence Bran has on the past.
We can’t wait to see what comes next week, but hope that we get a reprieve on the death of beloved characters.