It was quite possibly the saddest moment we’ve ever had on Game of Thrones, which is full of sad and tragic moments. But to watch the two defining moments of Hodor’s life play out side by side and learn that they are one moment linked through warg magic is so incredibly heartbreaking. In the same way Game of Thrones fans have used “winter is coming” and “the north remembers” as mantras to identify their connection to the series, “hold the door” will be a line that will instantly incite grief. Hodor spoke only one line throughout the whole show, but you bet your ass he held that damn door. Here’s our recap of episode 5, “The Door.”
Blackfish Back on the Menu
We’ll build our way up to that Hodor moment, but first some other big situations played out elsewhere in Westeros in Essos. Up at the Wall, Jon Snow is still alive. So that’s good. Sansa receives a scroll from Little Finger, who is in nearby Mole’s Town and wants to chat. With the support of Brienne, Sansa confronts him about Ramsay. Little Finger claims he underestimated a stranger when he married Sansa to the flay-happy Bolton. With Sansa describing what Ramsay did to her, it is a rare moment where Little Finger appears shaken. But we know he sits on a throne of lies, so I’m hesitant to feel sorry for him or believe anything he says. He also claims that Sansa’s great uncle, Brynden “the Blackfish” Tully has retaken Riverrun. That would be awesome since we haven’t seen the Blackfish since he stepped out to use the little boy’s tree at the Red Wedding in season 3. But since we’re hearing this news from Little Finger, again, who knows if he’s lying? Sansa tells him to return to the Vale. She apparently doesn’t need his army.
At Castle Black, Sansa is less than honest about where she’s heard the news of the return of the Blackfish. She says Ramsay received a raven and never mentions Little Finger. Davos leads a meeting of all the characters we know at Castle Black to discuss army-building options. It seems the best bet is to attempt to recruit the smaller northern houses one by one since the Boltons already have two of the biggest groups, the Karstarks and the Umbers. Sansa orders Brienne to go to the Riverlands and persuade the Blackfish to join their cause. Brienne doesn’t want to leave Sansa. But now that something has gone right for Sansa, she’s feeling mighty confident all of a sudden. Jon, Davos, Sansa, Melisandre, Tormund, and Brienne leave Castle Black making Edd the reluctant Lord Commander of a very sad-looking Night’s Watch.
On the Iron Islands, we have a Kingsmoot. I had wondered what this event would consist of (along with the pronunciation, King-smoot, Kings-moot). Well we have our answer to the first question. People can make a claim for the salt throne and if you say anything half way intelligent everyone yells, “Aye!” “If I become King of the Iron Islands, McDonalds will serve breakfast all day.” “Aye!” Yara gives a good little speech, but people question her because she’s a woman and they’ve never had a queen before. Theon speaks up on his sister’s behalf. The crowd goes wild. “Aye!” But then in comes that already annoying new character that is going to be a pain in the tuchus, Euron Greyjoy. I don’t know how good of a ruler he can be when he’s late for the Kingsmoot he hopes to get elected at. When accused by Yara of killing Baylon, he admits it. He also then lays out his plan for ruling, which includes building a huge fleet and then using it to seduce Daenerys and conquer the world with her. I really never saw the Iron Islands playing any role in the actually important arc of Daenerys. Maybe she melts Pyke with the dragons on the way to somewhere that matters. But the Iron Born like the plan and choose Euron. “Aye!” At the ceremony where Euron gets crowned king, he is shoved under the water and drowned, but then spits up the water and wakes up. I haven’t drowned recently, so I don’t know if this was a supernatural thing or a typical response to such events. He announces he’s going to kill Yara and Theon, but they’ve already escaped with those loyal to them and the fastest ships in the Iron Islands. Euron commands everyone to begin building new ships.
Across the Narrow Sea, we are experiencing the aftermath of some big events from last week. Fresh off her Khal bonfire, Daenerys confronts Jorah (again!) about how she keeps banishing him. He reveals that he has greyscale and tells her that he loves her. Before he can go, she orders him to find a cure because she’ll need him when they take Westeros. “Hey I see you’re really sick. Well I command you to go cure yourself. I’ll just be over here staying away from you.” How sweet… Daenerys, Daario, and the Dothraki horde depart Vaes Dothrak. I can’t wait to see the reaction when she roles in to Meereen with this group. Well if that is where she’s going. She doesn’t share her travel itinerary with the audience.
In Meereen, we learn that since the deal was struck with the Masters last episode, there has been no Sons of the Harpy activity in the city. Tyrion believes the next phase of the plan is to show the people that it is Daenerys who brought about this peace. So he summons a red priestess named Kinvara to spread the word. She believes that Daenerys is the chosen one of the Lord of Light. Hmm, doesn’t Melisandre think that chosen one is Jon? And didn’t she used to think it was Stannis? Does every red priest and priestess have his or her own chosen one? Lenny down at the deli makes a mean Italian combo; I bet he’s the chosen one. Varys voices his doubts with the red priestess’ claims. He brings up the whole Stannis debacle. Kinvara quiets him by recounting all of the details of when Varys was castrated as a child. But even with the skepticism, she’s still on board with publicly supporting Dany.
Off Broadway, On Braavosiway
Arya sees her father in Braavos. …but not really. In the House of Black and White, the Waif continues to beat down on Arya in their training. I thought she’d be better since she can see now, but apparently not. Jaqen brings Arya into the Hall of Faces and tells her about the Valyrian slaves who became the first Faceless Men. They killed their Masters and went on to found the free city of Braavos. Jaqen then offers Arya an assignment. Kill an actress called Lady Crane. Arya goes and attends their performance, which is essentially the end of Game of Thrones season one. It goes from King Robert’s death to Ned’s beheading. But we know that they get some of the facts wrong. Joffrey is portrayed more like Tommen, innocent and naïve. Ned is an imbecile who wants to usurp the throne. Arya clearly has some trouble watching, but she’s supposed to be no one, not a Stark. Did Jaqen know what the play was when he sent her? I wouldn’t be surprised. Backstage she sees that Lady Crane is a decent woman. But when she says this to Jaqen he replies, “Does death only come for the wicked and leave the decent behind?” Jaqen tells Arya to stop asking questions if she’s going to serve the Many Faced God. Her plan is to poison Lady Crane’s rum.
Now beyond the Wall, intense would be an understatement. Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven witness a vision where the Children of the Forest create the White Walkers. Back in the tree, Bran confronts Leaf, one of the Children, who says they did it because they were at war with the First Men and had no other choice. Later while everyone is asleep, Bran decides to visit a vision on his own. Bad idea. In the vision, Bran witnesses the army of the dead. As he walks through, he sees the White Walkers. But, uh oh, they see him too. The Night’s King reaches for him and touches him right as he wakes up. Now Bran has an icy mark on his arm, which means the White Walkers can enter the cave under the weirwood tree. So the party is over. Everyone’s got to leave before the White Walkers turn up. The Three-Eyed Raven says it’s time for Bran to become him even though he’s not ready.
While bran and the Raven are in a vision back at Winterfell with young Ned and co., the Walkers show up. Meera and Hodor scramble to escape with Bran in tow. Meera manages to kill a White Walker. Summer, Bran’s direwolf sacrifices himself to buy them some time. Just a few minutes later, Leaf does the same. The White Walkers infiltrate the cave and cut down the Three-Eyed Raven. He disappears from the vision. With the army of the dead closing in on them, Hodor is able to barely open a sealed door to the outside. Once they escape, Meera yells for Hodor to “Hold the Door.” In the vision, Meera’s words echo through Winterfell. Young Hodor, or Wyllis, as he was known, appears to see Bran. His eyes roll back in his head as Bran wargs into his body. Wylis falls to the ground having a seizure. With Meera’s words echoing through his head, Wylis repeats, “hold the door.” His words begin to slur together. They eventually become “hodor,” the only word he will say for the rest of his life. Back in the present, Hodor fulfills his final words. He holds the door as the wights tear into him with Bran and Meera disappearing into the snow.
I think this one is tough because Hodor has been presented as a true innocent from day one of the show. Even through his death, we never saw him do anything selfishly in flashbacks or the present. But you get the sense from these scenes with Bran this year that this storyline will really decide the fate of everyone else on Game of Thrones. So if Hodor had to die (which he didn’t!) at least it was as a noble sacrifice for his long-time companion, Bran. Valar Morghulis, all men must die on Game of Thrones. So I guess all we can hope for is a good death for our favorite characters. I’m going to be super bummed if he comes back as a zombie with the White Walkers. Get Melisandre up there to bring him back ASAP!