Game of Thrones Season 6: Hold The Door

hodor-game-thrones.jpgWill the simple question or request to Hold the Door ever be perceived, heard or reacted to in quite the same way after Hodor’s demise? Will any of us be able to hold open a door without feeling the breath of a White Walker upon our necks and seeing Hodor ripped to shreds, as he endeavours to save his friends?

Last week Game of Thrones broke the internet again. Hodor’s fate and ultimately the reason and explanation for his existence and monosyllabic conversational skills was on the tip of nearly everyone’s tongue or keyboard last week.

What an intricate and well planned out storyline. George R R Martin must have known from the very first book where this particular character would end up.

It was heart-wrenchingly sad, and yet at the same time an absolutely epic moment in the Game of Thrones series. I have to admit to shedding a tear. Not so much at adult Hodor holding the door, but more so as young Wylis screams the words that slowly meld into the only word he will ever say again.

Hold the Door, Hold the Door, Hold the Door, Holde door, Holdedor, Hodor….

Episode 6 of Season 6 was more of an information top-up. Filling in the gaps, lead-ups to events coming up in the next and last four episodes. Despite the fact it finishes with an impressive Dany and Drogon scene it just didn’t and can’t top the last scenes of S6 Episode 5.

Bran makes a mistake that kills one of the more docile, inconspicuous and yet we later find out he is one of the most important characters of all.

One could argue that it isn’t a mistake at all. He chooses between life or death, his own of course. He decides to take a ride into the past without the Raven, thereby sealing the fate of the Children of the Forest, the Raven and Hodor.

He returns to the tree where the first White Walker was made only to find an army of the Undead. He walks through them with such a blasé attitude, bordering on arrogance, thinking they cannot see him. When the Night King looks straight at him he turns to find the Undead also staring at him. So much for being invisible, next time ask Harry Potter for his cloak, mate. Suddenly the Night King is right next to him and he grabs Bran’s arm. Bran returns to the cave screaming. The Raven knows and sees the truth of the boy’s mistake.

He touched you. He knows you’re here. He’ll come for you.He can’t get in.He can now. His mark is on you. You must leave. All of you.

The Three-eyed Raven realises that it is time to exchange batons on this dangerous relay race of time-travel and epi-centre of wisdom.

The time has come for you to become me.

Meera sees Bran breathing out cold air while he is in the middle of a trance and realises that the White Walkers and their army have come for them. The Children of the Forest lob homemade Molotov Cocktails at the Wights in an attempt to hold them back. The creepy vampire like undead crawl at the bottom, side and top of the cave like a mass invasion of creepy ants, outnumbering the Children, Meera, Hodor and Bran. Meera screams at Hodor to Get Bran and Run!

Meanwhile Bran is with the Three-eyed Raven in the past when the Night King comes for the Raven. They see Rickard Stark preparing Benjen to be sent to Wall to join the Night’s Watch. This is more of a reminder to viewers about Benjen’s supposed fate beyond the Wall.

Bran’s direwolf  Summer succumbs to the many Wights ( a White Walker direwolf, now that’s an idea) as the old Raven is killed by the Night King, and subsequently Bran becomes the new Three-eyed Raven.

After Leaf becomes a one woman suicide bomber Hodor and Meera manage to open the exit with the Undead fast on their heels.

Meera asks Hodor to Hold the Door, as she drags Bran into the cold night. Meanwhile Bran is in the past. He can hear Meera shouting for help and asking him to wake up, she screams at Hodor to hurry up and open the door. Bran realises to save himself he has no other choice but to sacrifice the young Wylis of the past by making Hodor of the future try and fend off the Wights. Brans looks straight at Wylis and wargs him or his mind into the past. Wylis starts to fit and scream Hold the Door.

I’m not sure what is more shocking, realising Bran is setting many of these things in motion, the fact Game of Thrones has now gone from fantasy into the dark corridors of Sci-Fi or that Hodor and Bran are actually in the middle of a causality loop. A temporal paradox.

This also means we will probably never know which event came first and caused the second or third. Bran wargs Wylis into the past thereby rendering him unable to speak before Bran was even alive, but if Hodor was already like that when Bran was born…what came first the chicken or the egg? Or perhaps Dr Who and the Bootstrap Paradox? Obviously it is way more complicated than that, but you get the general drift.

We were discussing this in our house, as we often do, because the many different theories are what makes this series so entertaining. What if Bran is the one who inadvertently sets off other events in the past by visiting? We already know he can be heard by those in the past. Did he perhaps whisper in the Mad King’s ear? It gives the story an added layer or dimension, yes the pun is totally intended.

Meera drags Bran through the snow and the woods until she can drag no more, and the Wights catch up with them. Brans ominous ‘Meera, they found us‘ does not help the situation at all. Luckily for them Blood of my Blood is on hand to help them, as Benjen makes a spectacular return to the game with a scythe and a flaming ball and chain flail. It’s literally on fire.

You are the Three-eyed Raven, no?I haven’t had time to learn. I can’t control anything.You must learn to control it before the Night King comes.

Benjen’s face and limbs are part Walker. He explains that the Children of Forest saved him the same way they created the White Walkers in the first place, by thrusting a shard of dragonglass into his heart. The Children created them in an attempt to protect themselves from humans or man. In doing so they created a enemy bigger and stronger than they could ever have imagined.

Benjen works with or helps the Three-eyed Raven. Bran is now the new bird in town, which is why Benjen turns up. He attempts to fill Bran with more confidence.Then again he doesn’t really have a choice does he. The Walkers are coming and Bran is marked.

One way or other he will find his way to the wall of men, and when he does you will be there waiting for him. And you will be ready.

Overall the Starks are making a strong appearance in the last few episodes. Regrouping, connecting and reappearing. Rebuilding their strength and alliances to fight for the North. Took them long enough. After reconnecting, half siblings Jon and Sansa are becoming a duo to watch. Not so much perhaps for the Stark connection, but more so for the subtle subconscious non-dialogue taking place.

Sansa seems to be making a play of her own for the North. There is a scene with Jon where they are discussing how to gain support of the other Northern families. Davos points out that Jon isn’t a Stark in name and the North only follow the name. Sansa is quick, too quick to point out that she is in actual fact a Stark in name.

The North remembers. They remember the Stark name. Jon doesn’t have the Stark name.No, but I do.

Both of them realise Sansa is alluding to Jon’s illegitimate status. I think this is where Jon suddenly comprehends Sansa isn’t just his little sister, and despite what she says the status quo remains as it was when they were children. This is major, because the two of them are going to disagree about how to proceed. They may end up dividing the troops instead of bringing them together.

Sansa also lies about where she got her information about her uncle Blackfish taking charge of River Run. Brienne questions whether she really trusts Jon, Davos and that Wildling fellow with the beard.

Why did you lie to him, if you trust him?

Yes, why did she feel the need to lie about meeting up with Littlefinger and receiving information from him?  Especially after her powerful and empowering speech to him. Perhaps Sansa learnt more from the Lannisters, Littlefinger and Ramsay than we think. She is clearly quite devious. Then again her infatuation with Joffrey and the rich life is what set a lot of things in motion in the first place. She also isn’t about to let Littlefinger forget he is to blame for her ending up with Ramsay.

You freed me from the monsters who murdered my family then you gave me to the other monsters who murdered my family

Sansa demands answers from the snake Littlefinger. She wants to know if he knew what Ramsay was like before he gave her to him. Did he know Ramsay would rape her? Well, we all know the answer to that, don’t we. If she trusts him again she deserves what she gets going forward. There is no cure for stupid. Let’s just hope she is going to try and outsmart him.

I can still feel it. I can still feel what he did in my body standing here right now. You said you would protect me.

Not only does her little speech refer to the rape and abuse she endured it also implies something far more sinister. Could she be pregnant with Ramsay’s child, which would mean she is carrying the heir to the North.

Can we just take a short moment to snort at the clearly smitten Tormund giving Brienne the come hither smile and her completely blanking him again. Totally hilarious.

Arya has proven herself battle-worthy, but she still needs to jump over one final hurdle to prove she is one of the many faceless men.The Waif doubts her ability to do so.

You’ll never be one of us Lady Stark

Jaqen H’ghar wants Arya to poison a certain Lady Crane, an actress in a travelling theatre group. She plays Cersei in the re-enactment of the death of Eddard Stark and Joffrey. Someone has put a price on her pretty head. Arya is interested in the why, which is a no no when it comes to the assassin stipulations of Jaqen H’ghar.

Does death only come for the wicked and leave the decent behind?

Of course Arya knows from first hand and personal experience that death is fickle and takes the good more often than the wicked. She is intrigued by Lady Crane and soon figures out who wants her dead. In the end she chooses against killing the innocent. This turns Jaqen H’ghar against her.

And? As I expected.Shame, the girl had many gifts.You promised me.Don’t let her suffer.

Arya has made her choice. She is no faceless God, or nameless man. She is Lady Arya Stark. She digs up The Needle and waits patiently for the Waif to find her.

Personally I hope Arya kicks seven shades of shit out of her after all those weeks of abuse. On the bright side, it is about time Lady Stark made an appearance in the North.

In King’s Landing the High Sparrow shows himself to be ten steps ahead of the anti-sparrow brigade.

Margaery is now a reformed religious zealot. Obviously she thinks she can can get the upper hand and save Loris by joining them instead of fighting the church. She is supposed to start her Walk of Atonement when the Tyrell army, Granny Tyrell and Jamie Lannister turn up to stop the walk of shame. Unfortunately they are outmanoeuvred by the now newly converted Tommen, and the High Sparrow.

The Gods have a plan for us all. A new holy alliance between the crown and the faith.

Tommen removes Jamie from the King’s Guard, thus leaving Tommen exposed to the threat of both the zealots and Margaery. He wants Jamie to leave for the Riverlands, but he in turn is reluctant to leave Cersei before the trial.

Methinks her reliance upon The Mountain in the trail by combat might be a little on the overconfident side.They already know who she will pick and will try and outwit the brazen queen mother. I wonder who they will pit against him? The Hound perhaps?

Sam returns to Horn Hill with Gilly and baby Samwell. He reminds her to stick with the story that the baby is his and not to mention the fact she is a Wildling. His father Lord Randyll Tarly is bigot and a racist, and quite frankly a terrible bully. Not only has he done Sam out of his inheritance, title and replaced his son with a better suited replacement, he also finds pleasure in taunting him in front of others.

Gilly defends him. She tells his family of his bravery and how he saved her by killing a White Walker. Her suggestion of these mythical creatures is laughed off. She inadvertently admits to being a Wildling, which makes Sam’s father kick off in a big way. He tells Sam to leave, tells him Gilly will work in the kitchen and that the bastard will be raised in Horn Hill.

At first Sam does what he always does, he swallows and accepts the abuse. He says nothing and plans to leave. Somewhere between the door and the hallway he finally finds his inner bitch, which he has been known to do now and again. He returns for Gilly and the baby. We are a family and belong together. He picks his balls up from the floor and goes one step further. Sam takes the family sword, his sword by right. (Technically not until his father is dead, but hey ‘Go Sam’!). The sword is called Heartsbane and is made of Valyrian steel. We all know this is going to be important further on down the line.

In the Iron Islands the vote for a new king is afoot. Yara stakes her claim, but is met with opposition because there has never been a queen leading the Ironborn before. Theon makes an impassioned plea on her behalf. Even-though he is the rightful heir.

Their uncle also states his claim and admits to killing their father, his brother. Euron steals Yara’s thunder by stealing her idea to build the biggest fleet of ships. He intends to combine forces with Dany and take the seven kingdoms.

The Ironborn are easily swayed by the images of war, and conquering a Targaryen. Euron is appointed King of the Iron Islands. Hmm well, it is more like they drown him and if he survives then he becomes king. An Iron Island version of the witch trials or Hunger Games.While they are playing duck and drown the king, Yara and Theon make a run for it. They steal some ships and make for the open seas.

Dany is completely unaware of her impending luck and possible nuptials or cooperation with Euron. Blissfully unaware. She is thanking Jorah for saving her life once again, despite being banished more than once. He shows her the greyscale, admits to loving her and says goodbye.

I command you to heal yourself and then return to me. When I take the seven kingdoms I need you by my side.

Surprise, surprise Drogon is back from his sheep stalking and child roasting holiday to support his Mommy dearest. Talk about making an entrance.

There isn’t a lot that will intimidate or convince a bunch of wild Dothraki warriors to follow a gal to war. Last week she killed all the Khals and this week she is using her dragon, the weapon of impending doom, to convince them to follow her to victory.

I do not choose 3 blood riders, I choose you all.Will you give me the Seven Kingdoms? The gift Khal Drogo promised me before the Mother of Mountains. Are you with me? Now and always?

She is sat on a god-damned fire breathing people eating dragon, of course they are with her. Wouldn’t you be?

Read more about Game of Thrones right here on the blog: Game of Thrones: Mother of Dragons, Queen of FireGame of Thrones: Dead or AliveGame of Thrones Et Tu, Olly?Game of Thrones Rise of the Dead, Game of Thrones Bend the KneesGame of Thrones Bite of The Littlest Lannister Lion42 Game of Thrones Chrome ThemesGame of Thrones The Little Lannister Lion Roars, Game of Thrones The Red Viper Bites,Game of Thrones Historical and Geographical Influences, Game of Thrones Here There Be Dragons, What makes Game of Thrones so compelling?, George R R Martin Doesn’t hate the Starks or Winter is coming to a desktop near you.

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