I will be reviewing the whole of Game Of Thrones (GOT) season 6.
Be warned though, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS….
Castle Black :
Sansa meets Littlefinger at Mole’s Town and pours out all the hatred and anger she had against him for his betrayal. she even asks him what he thinks Ramsay did to her. Surprise, surprise!! Littlefinger is lost for words until Brienne steps in to remind him of her sword. Playing the game now, Sansa spares his life. Littlefinger though, is an even better player. He tells her that Brynden “Blackfish” Tully has retaken Riverrun. It would be good to know how he managed to escape The Red Wedding. For all the threat to his life, Littlefinger still gives Sansa a parting shot about Jon, calling him her “half brother,” after she tells him she has her brother’s army and doesn’t need his help. Neat!
Arya has improved in her fighting but still gets soundly beaten by the waif who taunts her, calling her “Lady Stark.” I had an eerie feeling. What if the waif is Catelyn Stark/Lady Stoneheart? Jaqen arrives to take Arya to the Hall of many faces and tells her its origin. This is an episode of origins. We have two more, much bigger origin stories told here later. Jaqen asks her whether she’d like to serve the many-faced God. She denies and he assigns her a hit on an actress.
That actress is part of a troupe that’s enacting streetplays about the death of Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark’s beheading. Arya watches intently until the play relives the memories of “Baelor,” S01E09 for her.
The Tree :
Bran and the Raven go on another of their trips to the past, only this one is so big it manages to answer a huge, huge question that had fans theorising for decades — The origin of the white walkers/the others. Turns out, the children of the forest led by Leaf stabbed Dragonglass in the heart of a human being to create the white walkers. The ceremony took place at a weirwood tree that had stones arranged spirally in the manner we saw back in season 2 when the Watch members went to The Fist of the First Men. so another throwback to an earlier season and episode. When Bran asks Leaf why they did so, she replies, “To defend ourselves from you, from men.” For those who don’t know, the Children were the first inhabitants of the forest and when the First Men arrived, there was a war between the two parties. The Night King’s identity is still a mystery but this reveal answered a real big question.
Iron Islands :
The Kingsmoot is on. Yara stakes her claim and despite some trepidation, Theon supports her. Then party-pooper Euron comes in. He mocks Theon and accepts Yara’s charge that he killed Balon (“because he wasn’t taking us anywhere.”) His offer – he’ll offer the Iron fleet to Dany — along with the unmentionables — and that will help the Ironborn get back at the Westerosi lords. Lo and behold! Euron is elected King. Much as I dislike Euron, I think that his elevation makes more sense, tying the story of the Iron Islands with the main storyline. I’m pretty sure though that he will meet his maker sooner than he has imagined (Prediction : Dany’s Dragons clean him up). Oh, and by the way, Theon and Yara know they’re up against a psycopathic murderer and escape with the best ships. No problem, the Ironborn will make new ships.
Vaes Dothrak :
Jorah wants to take leave and shows Dany his greyscale. She is teary-eyed and gracious for his loyalty. Jorah finally manages to try getting out from the friendzone. “I love you. I have always loved you,”he says to her in front of Daario, who looks really uncomfortable. Dany is going to cry anytime now. She stops him from leaving, asks him to find the cure for his ailment and return back to her.
Tyrion says the people of the city need to know who brought them peace. Varys thinks he’s talking about a male. “Who said anything about a “him?”,” Tyrion hits back. Remember the scene from the season 5 trailer when Varys told him about Dany? Well this was payback for that. They meet a priestess from the Red Temple of Volantis, Kinvara, who has the task to spread the good word about Dany. She says that she’ll put her “most eloquent priests” on the task. Time for Ian McShane to debut? Kilvara also says that Dany is the one who was promised. Varys taunts her and her God, saying Melisandre used to say Stannis is the one (Mel now thinks Jon is the one). Tyrion doesn’t think this is the right idea, messing with a servant of R’hllor. But Varys persists. He is put in his place by Kinvara when she tells him what voice called out to him from the flames the night he was castrated. Varys is horrified.
The Tree :
Seeing that the Raven and all others are asleep, Bran sneaks away on a warging trip. He returns to what I think is the same tree, but all snowy now. He walks through an army of wights who don’t know he’s there and comes face-to-face with the Night King, who can actually see him. Bran turns to find that the wights are all looking at him now. By now, the Night King is standing behind him. He screams out in horror as the Night King grips his arm. Bran wakes up from his warging and tells the Raven about it, who coolly says that he needs to leave the place, since the Night King can now enter the tree (“his mark is on you.”) He also says that the time has come for Bran to become the Raven although he isn’t ready for that, and begins uploading his whole data into Bran’s mind.
Castle Black :
Ser Davos is strategising for the Battle of Winterfell with Jon and the others. When he tells them that they don’t have much support in the North, Sansa questions him how much he knows the North. Jon is like why is she even messing with Davos? Davos though, coolly clears his point through his vast knowledge of men, never mind the North. Sansa tells the team that the Blackfish has organized the Tully army, but lies about how she came to know of it. For all her sisterly love for Jon (she even gifts him a overcoat/cape made herself, like the one Ned used to wear), there’s something about Baelish that’s holding her back.
And when they leave Castle Black, we have a funny scene where Tormund is eyeing Brienne, who looks away in filthy hate. Romance, maybe?
The Tree :
After all the big drama we had in the episode, we come to the best, and perhaps one of the most heartbreakingly shocking — not to say visually awesome — set-piece. Bran is getting the data upload when Merra runs out to see that the Walkers have arrived with their army. Leaf asks her to run away taking Bran while the Children hold the Others.
The first big shock – the White Walkers can walk through fire. The wights dig through the roots of the tree to enter the sanctum. Bran and the Raven are in the backyard at Winterfell where Rickard Stark is telling a young Ned to be strong during his stay in the Vale. The interesting thing here is, the voices from the present are seeping into the visions, as Meera is trying to wake Bran up and warg into Hodor. On the Raven’s insistence in the vision, Bran does so and Hodor takes up his sledge to take them through the secret tunnel through the tree. Meanwhile, Meera finishes off a White Walker with a Dragonglass-tipped spear. Ordinarily, we’d have jumped in joy at that scene. Here its just a footnote. Summer is lynched trying to save Bran and co. The Night King enters the tree, sees the Raven warging and gets ready to kill him. Back in Winterfell, the Raven says to Bran, “The time has come, leave me!” He looks forlorn, and we are also pained to see Max Von Sydow leaving the show so soon. It would have been nice to have more of him. A while later, even Leaf blasts herself with one of those round bombs they have to protect Bran and party. Hodor opens the tunnel’s door with great effort and Meera drags the sledge away, asking him to “hold the door” (reference to the episode title) against the oncoming wights. In Winterfell, Bran comes face to face with Wylis, the young Hodor who could speak. As the two lock eyes, Wylis wargs and gets seizures, repeatedly saying, “Hold the door” until it becomes, yeah right, ‘Hodor.’ Coupled with the melancholy soundtrack, it is an excruciatingly painful scene where have another origin story told only this one is more disturbing than any other. Hodor is holding the door in the present as the wights tear wood off it and start scratching him.
Even for a show that has made a habit of shocking and surprising us, this was something new. The origin of the White Walkers was explained, Braavos’ creation was told too but without doubt, Hodor’s history was something that defied genre boundaries. It was sci-fi and fantasy blended into one. One vould be mistaken for thinking that topping this would be tough for Messrs. Benioff and Weiss. But we know better, don’t we?
What do you think of the episode and its various reveals?Share your thoughts and theories in the comments section. Thanks for reading.
Images Credit : Google Images/HBO