Game of Thrones Memory Lane 605: The Door

Hodor's Death on Game of Thrones

Welcome back to another Season Six Memory Lane! This year I thought it might be fun to look back over The Door, apparently forgetting that this episode basically broke me internally. But that’s alright! Hold the door, Watchers, we’ll get through this together.

The episode starts strongly with Sansa finally giving Creepyfinger a piece of her mind over what he did to her. Is it just me, or should his sigil just be like a huge slimy worm instead of a mockingbird? It’d be more fitting. Anyway, it’s a satisfying scene as Sansa lays down some hard truths on Littlefinger.

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Also a reminder for everyone that you should always bring a Brienne to a fight, even if it’s just a verbal one.

From a verbal spar to a physical one as the action catches up with Arya and the Waif, who’s being her typically pleasant self. A Man has also come to watch, make cryptic comments and give Arya a quick history lesson. Business as usual in the House of Black & White. Jaqen tasks Arya with making a kill: an actress called Lady Crane. Cut to Ye Moste Accurate Portrayale of Sum Eventes in Kinge’s Landinge (™) which is excellent for so many reasons:

  • Arya’s cute new outfit
  • Awesome Essie Davis
  • The cut from Arya’s increasingly saddened face to fake Joffrey’s warty penis
  • Richard E Grant and his fake intestines
  • The actor Kevin Eldon:

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Arya has a few reservations about this murder, which she voices to Jaqen. It’s good to see she’s not fully slid down the slippery slope of Faceless Assassination. A girl still has a moral compass.

Beyond the Wall it’s Happy Bran Flashback Hour, as the Three-Eyed Raven shows him a vision of Leaf creating the first White Walker. In her defense, people were getting busy cutting down her trees. So that answers one particular question and throws up a whole host of other ones. Vision Quests: never not confusing.

On the Iron islands, it’s Kingsmoot time and it turns out folk there are pretty sexist. Luckily Theon supports his sister’s claim to the Salt Throne and it seems like things are going their way, until Euron shows up. As if the show would allow Theon a brief moment of happiness. Although I wonder if anyone would be so keen to get behind Euron if they knew about this….

(Hands up everyone who now ships Euron and his favourite Danish Hipster Friend)

Good luck seducing Daenerys, Euron. I’m pretty sure there’s only one Greyjoy she’s interested in.

Speaking of Daenerys, she’s having trouble with our favourite yellow-shirted knight in exile. It’s a heart-breaking moment when he finally reveals his love for her, knowing full well he’ll probably be dead before he ever finds the cure she demands him to find. In Meereen, the rest of Team Dany chat politics and Tyrion invites Kinvara, High Priestess of the Red Temple of Volantis. Tyrion is pleased when she agrees to spread the good word of Daenerys, but Varys is more skeptical. Kinvara certainly has some inside info on the eunuch, does serving R’hollor give you kick-ass Googling skills as well as an age-defying necklace?

Back beyond the wall, Bran is so bored he’s throwing rocks at Max von Sydow, the wee scamp! As Rock Throw at Three Eyed Raven is not yet a recognized sport in Westeros, Bran takes another trip into the past and ends up branded by the Night King. This is what happens when you don’t take Max von Sydow with you on trips. Trips to the past, trips to the seaside, anywhere. It’s just a bad idea.

Three-Eyed Raven: The time has come.
Bran Stark: The time for what?
Three-Eyed Raven: For you to become me.
Bran Stark: But am I ready?
Three-Eyed Raven: No.

At the Wall, the war council discusses which houses are still loyal to the North. Sansa reveals that Brynden has retaken Riverrun, but flat-out lies when asked how she knows this. Brienne calls her out on this, but Sansa doesn’t give her reason why. Maybe she doesn’t completely trust Jon ‘I like the wolf bit’ Snow, but she still sews him a rad new outfit ‘cos Sansa is the needlework queen.

Stop. Brienne X Tormund Time

Image via http://hellogiggles.com/brienne-tormund-game-of-thrones-shipping/

Image via http://hellogiggles.com/brienne-tormund-game-of-thrones-shipping/

Oh, and Edd’s Lord Commander now. That’ll end well.

Back beyond the Wall. Brace yourselves, emotions are coming! Meera has a cute little conversation with Hodor (I like my eggs the same way he does. HODOR!) Seeing all those White Walkers is just terrifying. Meera tries to snap Bran out of his vision, but he’s too busy watching Ned & Co: The Wonder Years. It’s still pretty cool to see Meera and Leaf taking out White Walkers, although poor old Summer doesn’t stand a chance. The Three Eyed Raven makes like Voldemort and is scattered to the four winds in Bran’s vision. Leaf makes a heroic last stand buying Meera, Bran and Hodor enough time to get out and well…you know the rest. Hodor holds that door like a DAMN HERO while his former self has his brain fried. Both Sam Coleman and Kristian Nairn put in tour de force performances as past and future Hodor. It’s fine. I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING. *reaches for gin bottle* It’s fine.

Poor, sweet Hodor you were far too good for this world. As we haven’t reached this point in the books yet and I was watching the episode unspoiled, his death was a big old shocker for me and it’s still painful on re-watch. That aside, this is an excellent episode for Arya, Sansa and Yara character development as well and made me all excited for Season Seven. Memory Lane job done, I guess?

hodor

HODOR!


Introductions:

  • Izembaro and his theatre troupe (Clarenzo, Camello, Bobono, Bianca and Lady Crane)
  • Kinvara the Red Priestess

RIP:

  • Summer
  • The Three-Eyed Raven
  • Leaf
  • HODOR

Beautiful Death for The Door, by Robert M. Ball.

The door

121 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. My heart!!!!!

      I will never forget the first time I watched this episode. I was on a BUSINESS TRIP IN CHINA, alone in my hotel room, a full day after all you people watched it. A 20something woman balling in her hotel room.. lol.

      This episode is amazing, and not only for the cave sequence. I loved everything about it except of course, Euron.
      – Dany was amazing in this episode, her moment with Jorah… 🙂
      – Ugh — to Euron.
      – Arya’s face watching the play about Ned, I cant handle…. 🙁
      – LF die please.
      – The WW origin story – OMG
      – And Summer and Hodor (sooooooooooooo sad about those two deaths). I was really hoping Bran wouldn’t lose his direwolf. The score during the ending with Hodor holding the door, wow. This is actually the SADDEST scene in the entire series.

      – I absolutely loved the scene with Kinvara. I am very intrigued by all this. I don’t think we will see her again, although I would love to. But she is in Essos. I would also loved to know what she is referring to when she is telling Varys about the voice. This is another thing I don’t think we are going to find out. I think they were trying to show us how powerful she is (by her knowing everything).. etc.

      AMAZING EPISODE <3

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    2. Dee Stark: . I would also loved to know what she is referring to when she is telling Varys about the voice. This is another thing I don’t think we are going to find out. I think they were trying to show us how powerful she is (by her knowing everything).. etc.

      I think that’s a very astute point. Some people are expecting way too many answers, especially from characters such as this one. Mystery is the whole point of them. Revealing absolutely everything would just kill that magic.

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    3. Isaac rarely gets much to do, acting-wise, even as his plot line seems increasingly geared toward exposition over everything else, but I thought this episode’s wordless reactions as he realizes what’s going on are some of his strongest work. Also, even if the show didn’t end up making Bran’s character more interesting here than in past seasons, more interesting things are happening around him, at least. Meera was one of the stealth MVPs of the season.

      The troupe of players plot element is good fun.

      Dany saying goodbye to Jorah, likewise a good scene.

      The Kinvara scene is memorable, but knowing that this goes nowhere at all makes it feel a bit random in retrospect.

      Elsewhere, the Northern plot begins to careen off the rails here, which will continue for the remainder of the season. The initial Sansa/Littlefinger scene is Season 6’s equivalent to the whole “you can’t frighten me” scene in Season 5, in that it gives Sansa a bunch of crowd pleasing lines that gets people talking about how Sansa’s powerful and independent now , only for the rest of the season to completely undercut this. Indeed, Sansa’s already back to listening to Littlefinger by the end of the scene (a manipulation a six-year-old should be able to see through), and within one episode she will be forced by the narrative to crawl back to him, having totally failed to back up everything she said about “doing it myself if I have to” (to quote the preceding episode). From 605 onward, Sansa contributes nothing whatsoever to the Team Stark cause, all of her political advice is wrong, and she’s a total failure as a diplomat.

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    4. Aguero,

      Yeah, we’re on it, don’t worry 😉

      Sean C.: Sansa’s already back to listening to Littlefinger by the end of the scene (a manipulation a six-year-old should be able to see through)

      Sansa knows Littlefinger’s doing his usual manipulation (he isn’t being subtle about it.) She also fears he’s not wrong. That’s the point.

      Sean C.: From 605 onward, Sansa contributes nothing whatsoever to the Team Stark cause, all of her political advice is wrong, and she’s a total failure as a diplomat.

      I do wonder sometimes if we are watching the same show. Well, that’s not fair. But I do wonder if we are watching the same Sansa scenes 😛

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    5. Hodor and Summer were loyal to the bitter end. What more can you ask for in a friend? They deserved better.

      I hope we don’t see Hodor again in some reanimated form. I’m not a fan of that BS

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    6. While ‘the cave scene’ was as sad as it can get, the entire thing was a terrifying example of what the NK brings, and what we have to look forward to when the Great War begins. The battle at Hardhome was an example but they also had an escape route unlike Bran and Meera that just had more forest to run through.

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    7. 3rd favorite episode of season 6 for me behind BOTB and WOW.

      I enjoyed the theatre troupe more than I thought I would. I love the goofy acting, the farting sounds, and the music being played gives the whole scene a renaissance festival type flavor that I particularly enjoy, even on re-watches. The kid who played Joffrey in the play squealing and then screaming “murder!” is just too funny for words.

      The scene with Kinvara is mesmerizing to me. I was hoping to see more of her in season 6, but oh well. Perhaps we’ll get to see more of her in the wars to come. And yes Kinvara, please tell us all exactly what words the sorcerer said when he tossed Varys’s parts in the fire! Inquiring minds want to know.

      The end scene was tragic and exciting, but damn, couldn’t Summer have been a little bit more useful than just diving into a pile of wights to die? Yeesh! Don’t the direwolves have any use anymore?

      The Arya scene frustrated me a little bit in this one because we FINALLY saw her making progress against the Waif in episode 4 only to have Arya regress again in episode 5. Ugh.

      I didn’t hate the Kingsmoot scene as much as others, but I was fairly indifferent about it. Although, I thought the montage was done really well when Damphair was giving the Drowned God speech.

      I love all the White Walker scenes so I very much enjoyed what they contributed to the episode.

      Yes, the moment when Jorah finally confesses his love for his Khaleesi was emotional and I thought it was done very well. When he says “Goodbye Khaleesi” I got a bit verklempt. (Excuse me I have something in my eye!)

      Personally could care less about the Brienne/Tormund shipping, though I get why some find it amusing.

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    8. Sean C.,
      You’re awfully harsh judging the Sansa plot as “careening off the rails”. The writers probably want to delay Sansa removing Littlefinger from her side until a set point in the narrative, because she probably doesn’t have much story after that, and they need to parallelise the different subplots. Jaime’s story is one that seems to be subject to the same pressure. (We know that he leaves Cersei in the books, so he will probably do this on the show. But he can’t do it too early, probably because there simply isn’t much plot remaining for him *after* he does it. So, until that time, he lingers in doubt and indecision, and goes back and forth, and hesitates. So does Sansa.)

      But this type of see-sawing is actually fairly realistic and representative of people in toxic relationships, so…

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    9. Mr Derp,

      I’m just gonna piggy-back on your comments because I’d write about the same thing. 🙂

      I’ve referred to this Daenerys/Jorah/Daario scene a few times. Loved it! What I always remember though is thinking how different she looked due to lighting or something. I had a funny comparison come to mind when I saw it… Every Christmas at my sister’s she watches the Hallmark Channel movies and a couple years ago Mariah Carey had one called The Christmas Melody. What was funny about it is that whenever she was on screen she had ‘special lighting’ separate and different than others in the scene. It was so obvious it was funny. example:
      http://imagesvh1-a.akamaihd.net/uri/mgid:uma:image:vh1.com:11183908?quality=0.8&format=jpg&width=980&height=551

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    10. Clob,

      Oh no, get Mariah Carey the f outta here! lol…j/k

      I know what you mean about Daenerys in that scene. She almost looks like she had plastic surgery in that one scene alone. Never saw her look like that before or after.

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    11. A fun recap of a powerful episode with outstanding performances by many.

      I am always impressed with Robert M. Ball’s work with his Beautiful Death series and especially the one for The Door. Bran seeing Willis at the door and the shadow of Hodor behind him (at least that is how I see it) sums up the heart breaking sacrifice in one image. Do those blue eyes in the Hodor shadow mean we will see him as a wight in the future? Thanks for including the Beautiful Death posters with these recaps. And lucky me, I got my first “Hodor!” on this very appropriate post!

      The Pilou tour of Copenhagen was a hoot, thanks for including it.

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    12. Shock! Joy! Saddnes! Satisfaction!- the feelings I experienced through this episode which was surely the most unexpected one from the season for me.

      Where is it… where is it… searching through history writings… ah, here it is:

      Lord Parramandas writing his 5th review after experiencing the biggest surprise for this season and getting overwhelmed with special feelings again written on May 23rd 2016

      Usually, I would start with “I’ve just watched the episode and it is time for my (brief) review”. But this time there are only two words to properly describe this…. “ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE!”

      I liked everything. Everything! And there is nothing to review. If “Home” managed to squeeze itself into my 10-rated episodes and “Book of a stranger” ventured deep into them, this episode made a huge leap over them and landed among my top 3 episodes. It has surpassed The Children and Blackwater, which automatically puts it at least on rank 3. Because of the final scene, it possibly surpassed Hardhome as well, thus making it on rank 2.

      Just a couple sentences about the scenes that really stood out: I was expecting a WW attack on the tree this season but I had absolutely no idea that it would happen that soon or be so destructive! Summer, Three-Eyed Raven, Leaf, Hodor… That basically leaves only Meera and Bran alive. And not while ago, I thought Meera was a dead girl walking…. And the fact that CotF created the WW was a great addition to the story.

      I often say that I’m not a big Daenerys’s fan (I don’t hate her either) but if her scenes continue to be like this one, I may actually start to like her. So far, this was my favorite scene of her.

      Only second apperiance of Euron and he already made such an impression. I really like that he is not as one-dimensional villain as in the books, but still dangerous in his own way.

      Sansa is as lovely as ever… Probably my favorite character at the moment.

      The show in Braavos was hillarious.

      And at the end, my biggest praise goes to the director Jack Bender who has become my favorite GoT director (along with Sapochnik). He was also a director of LOST, the show that is and will remain my favorite ever, especially considering the characters (GoT and TWD are so close but yet so far from it).

      By this point, I’m determined to put this episode on rank 2, preceeded only by Watchers on the Wall and followed by Hardhome.

      Side note: I’ve just read that this episode was leaked. I had no idea about that… Not that I would have watched it…. I NEVER watch leaked episodes!

      Another side note: I remember I even made a post in LOST FANS UNITE! group that day, praising Jack Bender as a director of this episode (who also directed many LOST episodes). Here it is!

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    13. And for those who still think of me as a Dany-hater (which I’m not), I really loved her scene in this episode and I really wish similar ones will happen in future season.

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    14. Sean C.,

      ” The Kinvara scene is memorable, but knowing that this goes nowhere at all makes it feel a bit random in retrospect.”
      —————-
      —————-

      But do we know for certain it “goes nowhere”?
      Afterwards, we’ve got Varys warning Tyrion about the risks of empowering religious fanatics. (Really. What could possibly go wrong? *cough Cersei cough*).
      We’ve got the head red priestess talking about burning infidels by the thousands. Mel Redux. And she speaks ominously about the imminent threat of the “great war” to come, but doesn’t seem to be in a big hurry to confront it. Only red priest Thoros and His Merry Men aka The Brotherhood without Banjos are actually doing something about it.
      And is there anything to Kinvara’s (proprietary?) assertion that Dany’s dragons are a “gift from the Lord of Light”?
      Finally, can the show really drop a “mystery bomb” about whose voice Varys heard and what it said when his detached stones and pillar were roasted — and never detonate it?

      Add to that the wonderfully creepy performance by Ania Bukstein as Kinvara. Along with (wight)Karsi, and Rila Fukushima as the red priestess in Volantis locking eyes on hooded Tyrion, Kinvara is a character I’d love to see again.

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    15. Clob,

      If I remember correctly there have been episodes in both season 5 as well as 6 that have leaked early. I’m really hoping no episodes will leak early this year.

      HOLD THE LEAK!

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    16. Clob,

      Omg I just went through to look at my comments hahahaha I was so nervous, in China for work, all alone, waiting….

      Also Clob we had a discussion and you mentioned you like Mariota (Titans fan here)
      YAY!

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    17. For me it was one of the best episodes of the series. So many revelations and so much secrets had been told by that episode… and on that episode you can smell also the end game of the whole series. Eventually will know what was said in the flame for Varis… and what is the full potential of ran. But at that point so many doors has opened and a lot of secret have been discovered. I hope that there will be yet another episode like that that will be centered not only around the plot’ but also myth of the world of ice and fire.

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    18. I remember that my parents were visiting me that weekend, so we all watched “The Door” together. My mom follows Game of Thrones, so she had no trouble, but my Dad didn’t really watch the show at the time, so you can imagine how confused he must’ve been watching “The Door” as his introduction to Game of Thrones.

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    19. Yeah, I wept. The ‘Hodor’ reveal was traumatic and mind-blowing, with Bran serving as a time-bending, mind-infiltrating conduit for Meera’s desperate request. Speculation met truth with visual, horrific acuity.

      One can wonder if Bran’s power will escalate from here and alter more past & present decisions (a la Inception). Was saving himself and Meera a keen strategy in a moment of desperation or reckless assault? Will Bran eventually tap into the dead-controlling power of the NK? Surely, there must be similar mental energy at work there, right?

      In any case, everything about Bran’s scenes in this episode was a stunning revelation. The CotF created their own worst enemy. Bran’s curiosity got the best of him and gave the NK a significant advantage. Another direwolf gone (two in subsequent episodes!), ageless CotF perished (Leaf!) and the ultimate mentor, BR, hacked (and sublimated from Bran’s perspective!). Just gut wrenching.

      As Sean C stated above, Isaac really did knock his scenes solidly out of the park, with great support from Max Von Sydow.

      Kinvara’s support and words were intriguing and a bit distracting and the Braavos play was a cool future chapter adaptation but I was mesmerized by what happened at weirnet central and north of the wall this episode and season.

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    20. Haha, I’m re-reading my own review and I’m surprised how little I actually wrote compared to reviews and Memory Lanes I write in these days… if I went to write a review for this episode now, I would have really hard time stopping myself.

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    21. The Children of the Forest revelation in this episode was a good start, but there are still so many unanswered questions about what exactly went wrong between the WW and COTF and why.

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    22. Sean C.:

      Elsewhere, the Northern plot begins to careen off the rails here, which will continue for the remainder of the season.The initial Sansa/Littlefinger scene is Season 6’s equivalent to the whole “you can’t frighten me” scene in Season 5, in that it gives Sansa a bunch of crowd pleasing lines that gets people talking about how Sansa’s powerful and independent now , only for the rest of the season to completely undercut this.Indeed, Sansa’s already back to listening to Littlefinger by the end of the scene (a manipulation a six-year-old should be able to see through), and within one episode she will be forced by the narrative to crawl back to him, having totally failed to back up everything she said about “doing it myself if I have to” (to quote the preceding episode).From 605 onward, Sansa contributes nothing whatsoever to the Team Stark cause, all of her political advice is wrong, and she’s a total failure as a diplomat.

      It’s quite rare to see a Sansa fan who feels this way. I agree. Sansa’s biggest contribution was trying to warn Jon about Ramsay’s nature, and even here, she did it in the worst way possible. One day before Jon was about to go lead a battle for the first time, starting a conversation by attacking him about not asking her opinion, thereby immediately putting him on the defensive, was not really smart. There were surely better ways to broach this topic. I don’t say this because of any hate for the character, rather her arc (and Jon’s) in S6 genuinely disappointed me.

      Bran just taking a stroll through the Lands of always winter, because he was bored! It’s like there was a competition among the Starks as to who can fuck up the most lol. But the scene overall was one of the best in the series, ultimately leading to what was probably the most heart breaking moment in the show so far. Such scenes make this show what it is.

      The Dany-Jorah scene was well done. It was a nice change to see the emotional side of Dany. I liked the Kinvara scene as well, her talk with Varys was wonderfully creepy.

      The play in Braavos and the introduction of Lady Crane was also done well.

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    23. Mr Derp: The Children of the Forest revelation in this episode was a good start, but there are still so many unanswered questions about what exactly went wrong between the WW and COTF and why.

      I wouldn’t say there are “unanswered questions,” really. “We created a weapon so powerful it got out of control” is a well-known story, so it doesn’t necessarily require much more explanation, in my opinion. That said, I’m not against getting the specific story of how things went wrong.

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    24. Geoffrey, what a terrific review. We’re finishing up our show re-watch and saw this episode last night. I found it even more moving than previously, with young and old Hodor’s sacrifice as the heart-wringer. It was full of sacrifice–Summer, Leaf and her mates, Old 3ER even though Bran wasn’t ready. It hinted that Bran will continue to make mistakes…until he doesn’t. I even liked how Sansa handled her ultra scumbag mentor, who I think knew about Ramsay’s predilections. I love the play scenes, especially how in a way they propel Arya to reconnect with herself. Besides…we need some comic relief. Plus, they were filmed in Girona, a place I love. Again, thanks to you, Sue, and the other mods for this saunter down memory lane.

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    25. Luka Nieto,

      I know what you mean but I’d like more explanation because I would assume it would help answer the fundamental question of why the WW have returned. Perhaps there are more answers in the books, but I don’t know since I don’t read them.

      I mean is it as simple as the COTF are hippies and got upset that the First Men were cutting down so many trees so they decided to create an army of the undead to stop it? Please tell me there’s more to it than that.

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    26. Mr Derp,

      Agreed. If there’s more to their motivations than “weapon out of control,” maybe that broken pact theory, that would of course need to be addressed.

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    27. Alon,

      Jack Bender and the writers deserve a lot of credit for the way they ratcheted up the suspense in that final segment, alternating back and forth between the (initially) tranquil setting in PastWinterfell and the clusterf*ck erupting in the PresentCave.

      Also… I understood the 3ER’s choice of “tree tripping” destination + instruction to Bran to “listen to your friend [Meera’s voice] as simply his recognition that Wylis was always destined to be brain-fried into Hodor, and now was the time.

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    28. Mr Derp: I mean is it as simple as the COTF are hippies and got upset that the First Men were cutting down so many trees so they decided to create an army of the undead to stop it? Please tell me there’s more to it than that.

      I’m sure there’s a bit more to be unveiled on the show (possibly more in the book) but I wouldn’t expect a doctoral thesis on the rationale. Even Tolkien had a simple and cursed “one ring to rule them all” motivation that lent itself to good and evil.

      But like Luka implied, there is something missing regarding the AA “Pact” and magic behind the Wall that may need to be further explored. Go Sam and Bran!

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    29. Yesterday was the last Sunday for almost 2 months that there will no new Game of Throne episodes! The wait is almost over!

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    30. Luka Nieto,

      Hey Luka, know of any place where I can find recordings of some of the Con of Thrones panels? Most of all I’d like to hear those with contributions by our very own Watchers like yourself!

      I noticed Other Worlds panel among those you took part in. Any particularly interesting SFF books you’d personally recommend? I am always on the lookout for new stuff.

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    31. I adore this episode. Third favorite of the season for me, and easily in my personal Top 10 for the series. Great write-up, Geoffery!

      Hodor’s sacrifice … it still wrecks me. I was fortunate enough to write about it for the 101 Greatest Game of Thrones Moments list, so I won’t rehash that here. But I will say that any scene where listening to the music alone (Ramin Djawadi’s heartrending “Hold the Door”) is enough to elicit tears is a scene that has left an indelible mark.

      The look on Bran realizes the lifetime of horror that he’s inadvertently inflicted on his to his oldest and most loyal friend is truly heartbreaking. Tremendous silent acting from Isaac Hempstead-Wright there, and all the more resonant because we know how close he and Kristian Nairn are in real life.

      Hodor’s heroism is deservingly what people remember most about this episode. But I would be remiss in my duties if I didn’t pay tribute to Lady Meera Reed, who KILLS A FREAKING WHITE WALKER in this episode, becoming only the third person in a thousand years (after Sam and Jon) to do so. And she fights off a bunch of wights. And she drags Bran to safety on a sledge that’s bigger than she is. Bow down. That little crannogwoman is a big goddamn hero.

      Salute to Summer as well. I know that some viewers cried foul on this death, as people do whenever any animal dies on any show. But sad as it is, I think it makes perfect narrative and thematic sense. Some may explain it away as cynical attempt to reduce the number of direwolves that the show’s VFX team has to deal with, but I think there’s a greater purpose to it. It’s right there in the name – Summer. Bran gave his wolf that name when he first woke up from his coma. At the time, he was still a sweet summer child himself, innocent and distraught that his dreams of knighthood had been taken away. Around the same time, he began receiving his visions of the Three-Eyed Raven. When he traveled to beyond the Wall to the great heart tree to pursue his destiny, Summer accompanied him North, into the heart of winter. And there, he dies, giving his life at the precise moment when Brandon Stark finally becomes the Three-Eyed Raven himself – an entity that, as the showrunners have stated, is not entirely human.

      Bran is no longer the boy who fell from the broken tower, who needed his direwolf to protect him. He’s become something more. So to me, it makes sense that as part of that ascension, he loses Summer to the Night King, who represents death, Winter and the encroaching darkness that Bran, in his new role, must resist. A tragic death, certainly, but ultimately a necessary one.

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    32. Jared: But I would be remiss in my duties if I didn’t pay tribute to Lady Meera Reed, who KILLS A FREAKING WHITE WALKER in this episode, becoming only the third person in a thousand years (after Sam and Jon) to do so.

      So cool. Question: Meera killed the WW with an obsidian-tipped spear and not a sword, right? Was it the same obsidian dagger that Sam gave them? Just wondering.

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    33. Dee Stark,

      Though I feel it might be necessary to deduct some points for being a Tennessee Titans fan. They suck!

      j/k Ha! They’re actually a popular pick to get to the playoffs this year.

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    34. Mr Fixit,

      Luka Nieto,

      Aww thank you both!!! That’s just too kind!!!! 🙂 🙂

      Mr.Fixit: I am generally a positive person in my day to day, but when I come here, I am just so happy and excited because I just absolutely LOVE this show and I love to talk about it. It makes me so happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How can you not be??? We are so blessed to have it. (I do not feel this way about any other show or movie or FAKE THING lol). But GOT is different 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    35. A few years ago I wrote a song for Arya called The House of Black and White, sung to the tune of the The House of the Rising Sun.

      Now here’s one for the Night’s King:

      Seven Kingdom Army
      (To the tune of the White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army)

      I’m gonna Wight ’em all
      A seven kingdom army couldn’t halt my attack
      I’m gonna break the Wall
      Down it goes with the last men in black

      And I’m talking to myself at night
      Because the dead don’t speak
      Back and forth I go through their minds
      Except behind a Weirwood tree
      And the raven with the three green eyes
      Says leave it alone

      Don’t want to hear about it
      No seven hero army can take me down
      Each one of them will bite it
      From the Lightening Lord to the Hound of hell

      And if I catch Snow coming back my way
      He’s gonna disappoint you
      And that ain’t what you want to hear
      But thats what he’ll do
      And the feeling coming from my bones
      Says you remember Hardhome

      I’m going to Winterfell
      Far south this Wall I march my dead
      I’m gonna work the cold
      Bringing ice into every homestead
      And I’m laughing, and I’m laughing, and I’m laughing
      Right before the Winter’s Lord
      All thoughts of what the Long Night brings
      he’ll think no more
      Because as the life leaves his body
      I enter forevermore.

        Quote  Reply

    36. Mr Fixit,

      Haha, Dee’s comments are always pure joy to read on this site and like I said on many ocassions before, she will always be the best example of a fan for me. Well, I could say that there are maaaaybe some moments she seems to be overreacting (Don’t get me wrong, Dee! I love your comments in general😉😉), but I know for myself how passionate I get when it comes to my favorite episodes (especially in the memory lane videos I made for LOST S5 and S6 finales… I surprised myself). So I would say, better be too positive than too negative! Even though I’m an admin in (non-GoT) group full of Dee-like members, she will always be the original proof to me how positivity can make the show even more special experience. Well, I’m getting a bit dramatic now…😅😅

        Quote  Reply

    37. Dee Stark: Sometimes I think that Bran is going to have to alter the past to save the future

      Yikes! That could get out of control quickly! “With great power comes great responsibility…”

      (Work-trip to China, eh? How could you get anything done? Tremendous distractions! Love the Jiuzhaigou in Sichuan!)

        Quote  Reply

    38. Mr Derp,

      I believe all of the COTF’s weapons were made of dragonglass.

      So Meera’s spear could’ve been made with the dragonglass Sam gave them, but it was more likely just one of the Children’s spears.

        Quote  Reply

    39. Hodors Bastard,

      HA! I definitely did not go there. Its beautiful!
      I was a ferry ride away from Hong Kong so I got to do that. It was hard to work, but gotta do it! LOL

      Re: Bran… I know, it would be very messy, but I feel like the Hodor sequence is not a one time thing.

        Quote  Reply

    40. Hodors Bastard,

      It was an obsidian-tipped spear, dropped by one of the Children of the Forest who had previously been slain. Meera picks it up, and delivers a perfect throw that hits this immortal demonic creature right in the neck and shatters it into a thousand fragments of ice. Bad-freaking-ass. One of the Night King’s top lieutenants, destroyed by a young woman that even other Northerners might mock as a frog-eater from Greywater Watch? Lady Reed’s got a resume to put them all to shame.

      Lord Parramandas,

      Yeah, Jack Bender was one of Lost’s greatest weapons, and he did a fantastic job with this episode as well. I’m so glad that he received an Emmy nomination for his work. He was never going to beat Miguel Sapochnik (and I would give Miguel the edge as well, as the Emmys did) but Bender handled one of the show’s most indelible sequences with an incredible level of skill, respect, and emotional power. He deserves all the recognition he can get.

        Quote  Reply

    41. Dee Stark:
      Hodors Bastard,

      Sometimes I think that Bran is going to have to alter the past to save the future

      We don’t know how time traveling works… maybe it works by “Whatever happened happened” principle and that means that whatever role Bran had in the past, it already left its consequences in the present. In other words… past cannot be changed if that’s the case.

        Quote  Reply

    42. Other things about this episode:

      Sophie Turner is fantastic in the scene where she faces Littlefinger again in the ruins of the Mole’s Town brothel. If she had received an Emmy nomination for Season 6, which I thought she deserved, this would have been the episode for her to submit.

      Kinvara is extremely intriguing in her lone scene, especially the way that she handles Varys. Ania Bukstein did a great job making her appear eerie and supernaturally confident. Alas, it doesn’t appear that she’ll be returning for Season 7, which is a shame. I’d love to see her and Melisandre interact.

      Euron’s speech at the Kingsmoot is obviously pompous and off-putting, and the one line in particular is eyeroll-inducing. But I think it’s intended to be that way. I really believe that he adopted such a blusterous tone because he knew that it would win over the rigid-minded Ironborn who, for all of their other qualities, are not the most enlightened bulbs in the box. I think that the Euron we will see in Season 7 is closer to the Euron we saw on the bridge, assassinating Balon. Now that he has the Ironborn in his pocket, he doesn’t need to put on a show. Unless he wants to, of course.

      Theon’s speech on Yara’s behalf, however, is fantastic. Great character moment for him – Alfie Allen continues to crush it. I love Yara’s reaction to it as well; she’s apprehensive at first – is Theon about to double-cross her or collapse back into Reek? And then surprise, warmth, and gratitude take over as he proclaims her the Queen that their people deserve. This is the moment when she truly accepts and embraces the idea that her brother, who she had believed was lost forever, has come home to her. He’s obviously still massively damaged, but he is Ironborn again.

      The play in Braavos is wickedly funny, and great bit of funhouse meta commentary on the events of the series as a whole. I particularly enjoy the exchange where Lady Crane’s Cersei is talking with Camello’s caricature of Ned Stark (“The line of succession!”/”What’s that mean?”/”The proper progression!”/”What’s that mean?”/”The lawful ascension!”/”WHAT’S THAT MEAN?”) Never fails to crack me up. Speaking of Lady Crane … Essie Davis, man. What a coup for the show to cast her in this ultimately quite pivotal role. More on her later.

      Lastly, as a minor point, I love the map that Jon and company use to survey the North and talk about all the different houses whose support they need to win. I could try to say something more substantive, but it just looks cool. The show’s map game has always been strong.

        Quote  Reply

    43. Jared: It was an obsidian-tipped spear, dropped by one of the Children of the Forest who had previously been slain.

      I missed that detail. Thx. Appreciate the response. I was hoping that Bran would have asked “Why obsidian/dragonglass?” after revisiting the NK’s creation. Leaf had so many answers to share!

      Bad-freaking-ass. Lady Reed’s got a resume to put them all to shame.

      Damn right. Jon’s twin sister is quite special! 😉 (jk jk jk!) Like the Hound, Meera holds her own special place in this tale.

        Quote  Reply

    44. Dee Stark:
      Hodors Bastard,

      Sometimes I think that Bran is going to have to alter the past to save the future

      Hmmm. Bran forms the Army of the 12 monkeys and enlists time travelers James Cole and dr. Cassandra Railly to help him stop the apocalypse! Sounds almost familiar!

        Quote  Reply

    45. Dee Stark,

      But who’s the Witness? The Night King? Or will Bran with his time magic cause a paradox that makes him both the Witness/Destroyer of Worlds and the Savior at the same time?

        Quote  Reply

    46. In terms of writing and quality, best episode of the season along with Episode 7.

      Yes, yes, I know that’s sacrilege. I think the writing here is leagues better than Episodes 9 and 10.

      Aside from Sansa’s attitude with Davos, some disappointing aspects of the Kingsmoot, and the Children of the Forest reveal being a tad rushed, this is an extremely strong episode.

      Even in terms of excitement and spectacle, I was on the edge of my seat in a way I never was during Battle of the Bastards, or even Winds of Winter.

      I was even surprised at just how good this episode was when I rewatched a couple days ago for the first time since last year.

      Masterfully done.

        Quote  Reply

    47. Mr Fixit,

      Ah, but who’s time traveling rules are we following? 12 Monkeys? Terminator? Back to the Future? Family Guy? Maybe even Hot Tub Time Machine?

      Hopefully Bran won’t run into his own self otherwise it could create a paradox the result of which could cause a chain reaction that would unravel the very fabric of the space time continuum and destroy the entire universe!

        Quote  Reply

    48. Dee Stark,

      You should watch it. It is much better than expected. No Game of Thrones of course, but it’s been a pleasant surprise. Together with The Expanse it’s a solid attempt by SyFy to recapture the glory days of Battlestar Galactica.

        Quote  Reply

    49. Mr Fixit,

      The Great Hall panels were filmed, as far as I know. So the Watchers panel should be saved somewhere. The other panels weren’t recorded (though some panelists took it upon themselves to do so.) I’m not sure when any of them will be uploaded, though! Sorry about that. I guess we’ll know soon enough.

        Quote  Reply

    50. Mr Derp,

      Star Trek of course! You know when His Shining Baldness Jean-Patrick Picard Stewart causes the very anomaly he’s trying to prevent? He should really stop being Q’s plaything!

        Quote  Reply

    51. spacechampion:
      A few years ago I wrote a song for Arya called The House of Black and White, sung to the tune of the The House of the Rising Sun.

      Now here’s one for the Night’s King:

      Seven Kingdom Army
      (To the tune of the White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army)

      I’m gonna Wight ’em all
      A seven kingdom army couldn’t halt my attack
      I’m gonna break the Wall
      Down it goes with the last men in black

      And I’m talking to myself at night
      Because the dead don’t speak
      Back and forth I go through their minds
      Except behind a Weirwood tree
      And the raven with the three green eyes
      Says leave it alone

      Sorry Spacechampion. I had to abridge quote to save space. This gives me utter chills! It’s brilliant how your lyrics catch the NK’s defiance, solitude, determination, arrogance. Well done. Would you mind sharing your Arya lyrics too? House of the Rising Sun is such a classic we will ALL hear it in our heads. Thanks.

        Quote  Reply

    52. Mr Fixit:
      Mr Derp,

      Star Trek of course! You know when His Shining Baldness Jean-Patrick Picard Stewart causes the very anomaly he’s trying to prevent? He should really stop being Q’s plaything!

      Mr Fixit,

      Never saw that one. Must’ve been traveling back in time to recover his lost hair and then realized he looks better without it once he went back to the future. So tragic.

        Quote  Reply

    53. Stark Raven’ Rad:

      ”The House of Black And White” (lyrics changed from “House of the Rising Sun” by The Animals)

      There is a house in Braavos
      Upon a knoll of dark grey stone
      And it’s been the home of many a god
      Of many faces, but no one

      My mother was a high born lady
      She’s slain a fool in grief
      My father was a king’s right hand
      I’m just a beggar and a thief

      Now the only thing a girl needs
      Is a needle and thread
      And the only time she’s satisfied
      Is when her death list is said

      [Alternate version either substitute or add:
      And the only time she can sleep
      Is after her death list is said]

      [Organ Solo]

      Oh brothers tell your direwolves
      Not to take on more than you can bite
      Don’t lose your name or your face
      In the House of Black and White

      Well, nothing is just nothing
      I’m tired of being on the run
      I’m goin’ on to Braavos
      To swear service to no one.

      There is a house in Braavos
      Doors of ebony and weirwood
      And it’s been the home of many a god
      Of many faces, but no one.

        Quote  Reply

    54. Sean C.:

      Isaac rarely gets much to do, acting-wise, even as his plot line seems increasingly geared toward exposition over everything else, but I thought this episode’s wordless reactions as he realizes what’s going on are some of his strongest work. Also, even if the show didn’t end up making Bran’s character more interesting here than in past seasons, more interesting things are happening around him, at least. Meera was one of the stealth MVPs of the season.

      I very strongly agree!!!

      I just resubscribed to HBO Now yesterday, and of course I couldn’t help myself… I had a GoT fit in the wee hours and was watching this episode at 4:30 a.m. Isaac’s facial expressions were so heartbreaking and so well-played. I know there are many in the fandom who would like to see more outward manifestations of grief for everyone Bran’s lost, but I’m firmly in the camp that believes his journey is one in which both shock and grim determination prevent him from engaging in raw emotionality. I actually appreciate the choke-down-your-emotions aspect of his story, which (to me, anyway) makes for a nice contrast with Arya’s boundless expressiveness.

      Meera. Yeah, Meera is one of the strongest heroines in both books and show, and definitely the most unsung. No great name, no great wealth, no supernatural powers, no sense of entitlement over what she is owed. Just perpetually strong and steadfast.

        Quote  Reply

    55. Yaga:
      You’re awfully harsh judging the Sansa plot as “careening off the rails”. The writers probably want to delay Sansa removing Littlefinger from her side until a set point in the narrative, because she probably doesn’t have much story after that, and they need to parallelise the different subplots.

      Whether it’s convenient for the writers or not has nothing to do with whether it’s good writing. If the writers wanted to keep Sansa in Littlefinger’s orbit longer, they needed to not change the plot in ways that make that absurd. Beyond which, the things that derail the plot going forward are mostly not even directly about Littlefinger, but that the writers treat Sansa like she’s growing as a player of the game of thrones even though the plot they stuck her in doesn’t actually do that.

      Luka Nieto:
      I do wonder sometimes if we are watching the same show. Well, that’s not fair. But I do wonder if we are watching the same Sansa scenes

      A summary of Sansa’s political and strategic contributions beginning from this episode.

      1. Stating that the Karstarks can be persuaded to join them. Wrong, obviously, and it would seem to indicate that had she actually tried to “do it [herself]”, she’d have been immediately captured by Lord Harald and returned to Ramsay.

      2. More generally, stating that Northerners care about the Starks and will rally to them. Notwithstanding that this is the same opinion previously expressed by Varys, Olenna, Littlefinger, Tyrion, Tywin, Roose and Ramsay from episode 302 to episode 602, the writers have now decided this is both wrong and dreadfully naive, so she is wrong. Nobody cares about them.

      3. Tries to convince Lyanna Mormont to join their side, and bombs. Davos saves the day — Sansa later snarks on Davos for recruiting 62 men, despite this being 62 more men than she has recruited at that point or will recruit at any point going forward.

      4. Tries to guilt or berate Robett Glover into joining their side, and bombs. Thus endeth her two forays into diplomacy.

      5. Tells Jon they should go to talk to Cley Cerwyn because he would surely join them. But we meet Lord Cerwyn in episode 610, and he acknowledges Lyanna Mormont’s accusation that he was too scared to join, even though Ramsay murdered his family in front of him.

      6. More generally, tells Jon they need more men, but on their track record at that point there’s no indication they are going to find more, so this is like saying they need to find unicorn cavalry (which, admittedly, might be available on Skagos).

      7. Says “don’t do what he wants you to do”, to which Jon’s snarky “good advice” rejoinder is the perfect reply. “Don’t fall into an obvious trap” is vague to the point of meaninglessness.

      8. Says “yes” to the question “do you want a large army that could singlehandedly win the battle?” after initially saying no.

      And #8 really doesn’t rate as a political/strategic contribution, because it did not involve any political or strategic skill on her part. Season 1 Episode 1 Sansa could have said “yes” just as easily, and would probably have done so without any of the bluster about being strong and independent that Season 6 Episode 5 Sansa proved totally unable to back up.

        Quote  Reply

    56. Luka Nieto:
      Aguero,

      Yeah, we’re on it, don’t worry 😉

      Sansa knows Littlefinger’s doing his usual manipulation (he isn’t being subtle about it.) She also fears he’s not wrong. That’s the point.

      I do wonder sometimes if we are watching the same show. Well, that’s not fair. But I do wonder if we are watching the same Sansa scenes 😛

      If she fears he’s not wrong, she’s an idiot, and the manipulation worked.

      With all due respect, I don’t know how anyone can say with a straight face that Sansa made any political or strategic moves in Season 6. Hell, she did more in Season 4, at LF’s hearing/trial.

      All she did was refuse LF’s help, and then later change her mind at the last second. She shouldn’t get credit for accepting someone else’s help and lying about it to her brother. And that’s all she did.

      And everything she said to Davos in this episode about how the North would respond to the situation turned out to be wrong. She was wrong about everything. Three houses supported Jon (Mormont, Maisen, and Hornwood). She misread the situation, antagonized Glover, misjudged Davos (she told Jon not to trust him in Episode 7), gave Jon mostly unhelpful advice while withholding the most important information for no logical reason, and whined like a child about not being asked to speak when she could easily have offered her opinion like an adult.

        Quote  Reply

    57. Loved this episode! I don’t think there was a wrong move anywhere (in terms of acting and writing, not nec character decisions!) I remember when I was first reading, and was introduced to Hodor, I thought it sounded like Hold Door but obviously never put anything together. Heartbreaking scene (and I love the Beautiful Death poster )

      I might have posted this elsewhere, but it gave me a laugh. I was ordering the Dark Horse Hodor and Bran figure. There was a question from a buyer “can it hold a door?” I was cracking up, but apparently the people who answered weren’t GOT fans “you probably will need something heavier” ‘you might if its not a heavy door’

        Quote  Reply

    58. Sean C.,

      I know you’re a Sansa fan, but just because she never got her moment didn’t make the northern storyline suffer one bit. The northerners had already lost one war with heavy losses, so I found the northern lords’ reluctance to join yet another fight to be incredibly realistic. Robb screwed things up for them and marrying Talisa had caused serious damage. Not to mention that Ramsay started a terror campaign that put the fear of the gods into some of the northern lords. This storyline was all about the Starks, or in this case, Jon Snow, earning back their trust and their respect. Jon led the northern army against the Boltons, he risked his life to save his little brother, he, Tormund, and Wun Wun stormed Winterfell and broke through the gates before the Boltons could prepare for a siege, and Jon personally captured Ramsay Bolton himself. I disagree that this was where the northern storyline started to go off the rails. To me, this was where the northern storyline was getting the most interesting.

        Quote  Reply

    59. ghost of winterfell,

      . One day before Jon was about to go lead a battle for the first time, starting a conversation by attacking him about not asking her opinion, thereby immediately putting him on the defensive, was not really smart. There were surely better ways to broach this topic. I don’t say this because of any hate for the character, rather her arc (and Jon’s) in S6 genuinely disappointed me.

      Bran just taking a stroll through the Lands of always winter, because he was bored! It’s like there was a competition among the Starks as to who can fuck up the most lol. B

      I know I say this many times, but I think it needs to be said again. These are teenagers. Sansa has no experience in tactics or diplomacy. All she know is Ramsey, his games and his tricks. To her she is helping jon telling him to be wary, not to fall for them. And of course he does (because if I recall correctly he is still a teenager as well). Bran was stuck, angry he didn’t get his way, and way too bored. He did what teenagers do. Yes it was wrong and caused a tragic result, but still……he learned, and now knows everything apparently. Be interesting what he does with that knowledge.

        Quote  Reply

    60. Young Dragon:
      I know you’re a Sansa fan, but just because she never got her moment didn’t make the northern storyline suffer one bit.

      See, that’s the thing, the show thinks Sansa did get her moment. Indeed, it credits her with the victory. Everyone and their dog has made it quite clear that this season is meant to be about Sansa becoming a player and getting revenge on the Boltons. The show just fails completely to deliver on that.

        Quote  Reply

    61. Sean C.,

      I agree. The show failed to convey Sansa as a player, even though that’s what they were going for. But their intentions don’t matter to me. I never pay attention to D&D interviews because I don’t care what they try to portray on the screen. I only care about the final result. I liked the northern storyline a lot, even without Sansa taking an active role. Maybe if Sansa interested me more as a character, I would mind a little, but she doesn’t, so I don’t. That said, I’m sorry if you feel the show isn’t doing your favorite character the justice she deserves. I know that can sometimes be frustrating.

        Quote  Reply

    62. It’s like there was a competition among the Starks as to who can fuck up the most lol.

      And it’s a tough one:

      — Ned doesn’t even think about questioning the deserter from the Night’s Watch, or, gods forbid, taking him back to Winterfell so Maester Luwin might do so. Oh no, not Neddard Stark, who can do nothing but the “honorable” act of killing a helpless, frightened young man by swinging a great big sword at him. (Compensating much, Ned?)

      — Arya tells Ned to his face, and in Joffrey’s presence, that Joffrey is a whiny, cowardly little sh*t. Sansa blatantly lies to King (!) Robert (!!) about the incident (in which Arya rightly disarmed Joffrey) and (as mentioned elsewhere in this thread) Ned later rationalizes Sansa’s disloyalty to both her Stark sister and any semblance of royal justice.

      — Cat and Tyrion in the Eyrie. Cat and Jamie. Cat and anyone, really. Has anyone other than the Sorrowful Prince of Denmark ever fretted so much and accomplished so little?

      — Robb and Lord Karstark. Again, a Stark “leader” can do nothing except swing his big hard sword at the problem, when there are better alternatives being literally shouted at him the entire time.

      — Cat and Walder Frey, then Robb and Walder Frey. Walter Frey, the brilliant criminal mastermind of Westeros, who couldn’t slither his way across wet paving-stones without two sons helping him, outmaneuvers the surviving Stark “leadership” with pathetic ease.

      — Book!Sansa figures out she was the poison mule at the Purple Wedding. Show!Sansa needs it explained to her, word by word, complete with Littlefinger using the remains of her necklace as the prop.

      But Bran beat them all!

      Hodor. (*Sigh*)

        Quote  Reply

    63. ash:
      ghost of winterfell,

      I know I say this many times, but I think it needs to be said again.These are teenagers. Sansa has no experience in tactics or diplomacy. All she know is Ramsey, his games and his tricks.To her she is helping jon telling him to be wary, not to fall for them. And of course he does (because if I recall correctly he is still a teenager as well). Bran was stuck, angry he didn’t get his way, and way too bored.He did what teenagers do. Yes it was wrong and caused a tragic result, but still……he learned, and now knows everything apparently.Be interesting what he does with that knowledge.

      Well Sansa is supposed to be a diplomat, an expert at manipulating people, a real player of the game, as per the people connected with the show. That’s one reason I don’t buy that excuse. If she is such an expert, she needs to show it, somewhere. She did not know how to manipulate Jon, at all, just like she did not know how to manipulate Ramsay. As others have said before, there definitely is a disconnect between what we were told and what was shown on screen. Besides people in medieval Planetos mature much faster than rl teens, so it’s not exactly a fair comparison.
      As for Bran, yeah I understand his frustration, but still, taking a stroll into white walker land? Did he hope to find out something more? If so, his actions would be understandable, somewhat.

        Quote  Reply

    64. ghost of winterfell,

      Since when was Sansa supposed to be some sort of an expert manipulator? I would say that would be very much out of character for her.

      And she did convince Jon to go to war, if we’re at convincing people. And her tauting of Ramsay in S5 planted a seed which resulted in Roose’s death. And she managed to free Theon from his Reek-persona as well.

        Quote  Reply

    65. Young Dragon:
      Sean C.,

      This storyline was all about the Starks, or in this case, Jon Snow, earning back their trust and their respect. Jon led the northern army against the Boltons, he risked his life to save his little brother, he, Tormund, and Wun Wun stormed Winterfell and broke through the gates before the Boltons could prepare for a siege, and Jon personally captured Ramsay Bolton himself. I disagree that this was where the northern storyline started to go off the rails. To me, this was where the northern storyline was getting the most interesting.

      Wait, how did Jon earn back the trust and respect of the Northerners? By charging like an idiot towards Ramsay Bolton and getting many in his small army killed? If Sansa failed as a player and diplomat, Jon failed as a leader, letting his emotions get the better of him. If LF had not brought the Vale army to help, the North would have lost.

      Both Jon and Sansa were written badly. Jon was written as a terrible leader because they wanted to have a last minute save from bad-ass Sansa smiling from a hill top. But then Sansa had to go crawling back to LF for help because the Sansa/LF story is not done yet. Jon/Sansa were not allowed to get Northern support because Ramsay had to be all powerful, so they failed in diplomacy. Ramsay remained an one note cartoonish villain right till the very end and none of his father’s warnings meant anything.

      LF won back Winterfell from Ramsay. Not Jon. Not Sansa. LF. That was the Northern storyline – how the Starks failed and how LF won.

        Quote  Reply

    66. Sean C.,

      It brought me much joy to read that post. It’s all laid bare in stark array, and yet, somehow the debate will continue on, as it has for over a year. 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    67. Lord Parramandas:
      ghost of winterfell,

      Since when was Sansa supposed to be some sort of an expert manipulator? I would say that would be very much out of character for her.

      And she did convince Jon to go to war, if we’re at convincing people. And her tauting of Ramsay in S5 planted a seed which resulted in Roose’s death. And she managed to free Theon from his Reek-persona as well.

      According to the people connected to the show, Sansa is an expert manipulator now. This is just one of Sophie’s many interviews
      Turner adds, “And in a world where everyone is a manipulator—Sansa is one of the best—it’s becoming more and more difficult to tell who is loyal…even family.” Along with interviews by others who have said that Sansa has learnt to play the game from Littlefinger.
      Even without these statements, it’s not out of character to expect Sansa to have learnt from the master of manipulation himself, Littlefinger. In fact in Season 5 in the crypts, LF himself tells Sansa that she has learnt how to play people from the best, to which Sansa silently agrees.

      Sansa did not convince Jon to go to war. In fact, when she suggested this, he flat out refused her saying he would not ask the Wildlings to die for him. It was the arrival of the pink letter that convinced Jon, where Ramsay directly threatened Rickon, Sansa, the Wildlings and the Nights Watch. There was no way Jon would have ignored this threat, with or without Sansa being there to encourage him. What she did do was speed up the process.

      As for her jibe to Ramsay, did she actually intend to provoke him to do something rash against his own family or was it just a lucky jibe that found it’s mark? If it was the former, did she realize that this could make Ramsay eliminate his father as well as his new born brother? In a world where the Targaryen children were butchered and the perpetrators rewarded for it, did she really expect someone like Ramsay to spare the child?

      She did un-Reek Theon. Whether that should be credited to manipulation or just persistence, I am not sure. But yeah, she was responsible for Theon regaining himself. I don’t think this has any relevance to her ability to play the game though.

      The point is, the only “evidence” to Sansa’s abilities as a player of the game is her writing a letter to a guy who pretty much told her to her face that he wanted to help her. Which seems pretty inadequate, and when you tally that against all the mistakes in judgement that she made in rallying the north, it’s even more telling.

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    68. ghost of winterfell,

      And since when are the interviews more important than the show? It saddens me to see so many people grow negative on this board because of them and I honestly don’t understand what are people expecting from Sansa… my examples were not listed as proof that she’s a manipulator because I personally don’t see her as one, but examples of how significantly she was tied into the story. Does it matter if it was intentional or not? And when the stuff is ambiguous, isn’t it better to shape the events in your head in a way to like a character more, not hate the character more? Unless you all expect everything to be handled on a tray? Well in that case, you will never be able to fully enjoy the show.

      It really saddens me how a Memory Lane for one of the best episode had to evolve into another Sansa-hate thread, with some members writing nothing but criticism on the site. Not to mention I discovered yesterday that a chief admin of GoT Wikia even created a Youtube channel in which he openly bashes the show and especially the producers. Such a lack of respect from some so-called “fans” and it makes me wonder how a person like that is even allowed to edit Wikia, let alone be chief admin there. Is it really such a joy to be negative about the show we’re all supposed to be fans of? I know for myself that negativity brings me zero joy at all and actually frustrates me as hell.

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    69. Lord Parramandas:

      Since when was Sansa supposed to be some sort of an expert manipulator?

      Since the show has repeatedly claimed she is?

      And she did convince Jon to go to war, if we’re at convincing people. And her tauting of Ramsay in S5 planted a seed which resulted in Roose’s death. And she managed to free Theon from his Reek-persona as well.

      As noted above, she did not convince Jon to join the war. Ramsay did, effectively.

      She did not bring about Roose’s death, either. Not even Sophie, who is an old hand at trying to make up for the shoddy writing for her character with aggressive claims to the contrary (dating back to Season 3, when she claimed that Sansa was only pretending to be a complete moron to fool everyone), has ever suggested that. Roose straight-up threatens Ramsay with the prospect of his being replaced by Bolton Son #2; any comments by Sansa are meaningless when compared to that.

      She made literally one attempt to talk to Theon, in episode 507, after which she gave up. He eventually came around because of how much he related to her suffering, but that’s no more a result of Sansa’s own efforts than the Hound sympathizing with her was (in the show; in the books, the Hound sympathizing with her was the result of Sansa’s own compassion for him).

      Lord Parramandas:
      And since when are the interviews more important than the show?

      They aren’t “more important than the show”, but they tell us how the writers want us to interpret the show, so if the show itself doesn’t match up with this (and it doesn’t), then we have a problem. Beyond which, the dissonances are evident from the show itself; that’s why, for instance, episode 609 ends with Sansa getting trumpeting hero shots and being clearly framed as having defeated Ramsay in a masterful player move, even though she didn’t do anything impressive.

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    70. Sean C.,

      You’re proving my point about what bothers me about GoT fandom in general… paying too much focus on the story, wanting everything to be handled on a tray and thus sacrificing much of the enjoyment for characters themselves. You call yourself Sansa fan but your comment is written in a way to surely guarantee to dislike Sansa… and me on the other hand am satisfied with her character and S6 in general.

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    71. Probably my 2nd favourite episode of season 6 after TWOW, just packed with good and meaningful scenes.

      The Theatre Troupe are superb a good old roistering rendition of history with Post!Truth/Alt!Facts played much in the style of bawdy popular theatre of Renaissance times ( Fuck Shakespeare) – and some good old fart gags to boot.

      And then hit hits you with “Hold the Door”…

      If I tried hard I could join the Downers and find some faults I’m sure 😉

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    72. Lord Parramandas,

      The characters on the show are all treated as servants of the plot, so if the plot doesn’t make sense, how does one appreciate the characters? Moreover, the plot is pretty damn important, because that’s how the story is told. “Did Sansa actually contribute anything to Team Stark?” is a pretty fundamental question, and prima facie she doesn’t. The whole arc the show thinks it’s putting her on falls apart as a result.

      I’m a Sansa fan because she’s a great character in the books, and because I really adore Sophie Turner as an actress. That’s precisely why the shoddy writing annoys me.

      Jon isn’t any better written in Season 6, except to the extent that his prowess as a warrior (if not as a general, which he proves abysmal at) is something that can be unambiguously communicated onscreen.

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    73. Ser Not Appearing in this Series:

      If I tried hard I could join the Downers and find some faults I’m sure :

      Haha, sure, there are flaws in every episode in every TV series (I prefer “flaws” and “gaps” instead of faults). But why join the downers if we can rather focus on good stuff? At least I know for myself that being negative gives me zero joy.

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    74. Sean C.,

      Well, I personally watch GoT for characters themselves as I always felt the show was about them. And I personally like TV Sansa a lot more and she became my favorite character exactly because of season 6, because her character really gave me those “special feelings” I always long for in my favorite TV shows.

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    75. Lord Parramandas,

      How do you assess the characters separate from the plot? Sansa’s story in Season 6 is about showing off her ability as a player. If she doesn’t actually do that, then what? That throws off everything else.

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    76. If a fan site only contained everything always positive with hardly any differing viewpoint or critiques it would become very tedious after awhile. Besides, we aren’t all meant to love all of the characters. It’s not Mickey mouse club. That said I guess I could understand the frustration if you really like someone and see him or her get a lot of flak. But Sansa, from what I keep hearing, is there to sow some discord among the Starks. So, she is actually serving the purpose the author intended.

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    77. Sean C.,

      Like I said in my comment above, I personally have no problem with Sansa in S6. GoT is all about the characters for me. I admire Sansa for her internal strength and nothing will change this opinion of mine.

      ygritte,

      I heard this “it gets boring if not negative” countless times before but I know for myself it is not true at all, being proven that way every single day. Different viewpoints… fine. But being constantly negative? Not fine at all from my perspective. Sure, we don’t like all characters but why not focus on those who we like then? I see users here who only post criticism and it’s frustrating as hell when I come to the site where I want to share my personal enthusiasm for the show and make my internal feelings about the show even stronger and then I see half of the comments are negative… negativity is frustrating and it often gives me some sort of anxiety. I see absolutely no joy in that and it drives me away from the site.

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    78. SerNoName,

      I already listed all the reasons why Jon is a great leader. He moved out of position in order to save his brother. When that failed, his only way was forward to escape the arrows.

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    79. Dee, I’m not sure if you are wondering what merit the words that Varys heard can have in the show, or if you’ve forgotten the scene from Season 3 ep4 where Varys tells Tyrion the story of how he was cut, while fussing with a big wooden crate. Just in case, I went back and got the dialog for you, so you have some idea of why the Red Priestess got Varys so flustered:

      Varys to Tyrion:

      As a boy I traveled with a group of actors through the Free Cities. One day in Mere, a certain man made my master an offer too tempting to refuse. I feared the man meant to use me as I’d heard some men use small boys, but what he wanted was far worse. He gave me a potion that made me powerless to move or speak, but did nothing to dull my senses. With a hooked blade he sliced me, root and stem, chanting all the while. He burned my parts in a brazier. The flames turned blue, and I HEARD A VOICE ANSWER HIS CALL.

      I still dream of that night – not of the sorcerer, not of his blade. I dream of the voice from the flames. Was it a god, a demon, a conjurer’s trick? I don’t know. But the sorcerer called, and a voice answered, and ever since that day I have hated magic and all those who practice it …

      I liked the Traveling Actor troupe’s performance. What struck me though was the amount of completely false propaganda was being portrayed, and EVERYONE watching was buying the complete version, even Arya in a way, up until the portrayal of Ned as a complete buffoon who wanted the throne for himself. Not so different from the way we accept propaganda ourselves, is it?

      Every characterization was false – Joffrey was portrayed as a sweet loving boy, Tyrion was shown to be the brazen, scheming murderer of Joff, and the portrayal of Sansa seemed to make her a party to Joffrey’s murder. Lady Crane, (loved loved Essie Davis, too bad we won’t see more of her) showed Cersei as kind and gracious. None of it was true, and the whole audience believed what they were shown. Maisie was perfect in showing herself lurking around backstage, trying to get a grasp on what was going on.

      The whole thing with Hodor was heartbreaking. I had no idea what was coming, and was kind of dazed for a while afterward, not only because of the full tragedy of Hodor and his life and death, but because they killed Summer. I was bummed all the way around after that episode. The whole portion, under the tree, with the wights storming through, in the courtyard with Hodor, Meera fighting down her panic to get Bran to safety, the whole while screaming to him to wake up and warg into Hodor, to Leaf keeping a stoic look on her face as she was being stabbed, every portion was acted beautifully. It was a deeply moving, memorable episode.

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    80. Lord Parramandas: GoT is all about the characters for me. I admire Sansa for her internal strength and nothing will change this opinion of mine.

      Thank you so much. I, too, admire Sansa for her obvious internal strength. It makes me happy when someone else points that out.

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    81. What an episode! Even though I read on twitter that Hodor died before watching the episode thanks to it leaking early this one was an emotional rollercoaster. I watched it a couple of times afterwards and it still upset me.

      This episode I thought was strong through out and it finally convinced me to give up on westeros.org after I found people were slating it and giving it votes of 2/10 and I finally made watchers my only GOT/ASOIF site.

      I would give this 9/10 – the best of season 6 up until this point and in my top ten of all time for sure.

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