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As expected, the wi-fi in Dorne is severely lacking (similar to their plot I suppose). It is unclear when a man will even get to watch what took place in “The Door.” As a result, I have recruited our good friend Clare, a very wise Unsullied herself, to fill in as a man battles technological woes and travels northward on the Kingsroad. Please give a warm, Unsullied welcome to Clare!:
With the Great and Powerful Unsullied Recapper away I was asked to fill in once again. Of course, my first thought was “What sort of horrible thing will I have to recap this time?”
Well, considering the last episode I recapped, wherever we went wasn’t going to hurt as much. But it’s really close. I’m still trying to figure out what I just watched.
The episode opens with Sansa sewing something and receiving a letter. The seal tells us it’s from Littlefinger. She asks how far Mole’s Town is, because he wants to meet her and obviously Sansa wants to chop him up into deceitful little pieces for everything he’s put her through for his own gain and she’s not stupid enough to believe him any longer.
Sansa goes to Mole’s Town and she brings Brienne with her. Oh yes! Littlefinger is finally going to get what’s coming to him.
Damn, she’s just going to talk at him.
I actually wonder if there was a flicker of remorse in Littlefinger when Sansa was talking about the horrors Ramsay put her through. I kind of doubt it, but there’s a moment where he takes in a deep breath that makes me wonder if there is just a tiny speck of not-asshole who regrets what he did to Catelyn’s daughter.
Sansa isn’t having any of it and insists on telling Littlefinger everything. Her voice never shakes. She never cries. She is hardened against it all. There are precious few people she trusts and rightfully Littlefinger is no longer among them.
Unfortunately, Littlefinger may still be useful, as he has the troops from the Vale at his command. All Sansa has is the army of her brother. Or half-brother. What’s with that crack? It’s not like it makes the army half-effective.
Really think Brienne should just whack his head off. People letting Littlefinger walk away has been the source off way too much trouble.
In Braavos, a girl is getting her ass kicked by the Waif yet again. You would’ve thought that getting her sight back would’ve made things better for Arya. But no, she’s still getting knocked to the ground and the Waif is smug. Kind of the same thing we’ve been getting lately.
Then Arya goes in for another attack, but the Waif drops her staff. Okay, I’ll give the Waif points for style. This was pretty cool. She defeats Arya with her bare hands, using Arya’s attacks against her. The Waif mockingly calls Arya ‘Lady Stark’ and tells her that she will never be one of the Faceless Men.
Jaqen slinks in and says that the Waif has a point. He leads Arya into the Hall of Faces and explains the history of the Faceless Men. Arya’s way higher born than the original Faceless Men, who were slaves in Valyria.
When Arya asks who the first Faceless Man was, Jaqen replies “No One”. And I laugh for a good three minutes on something that isn’t even a joke. Jaqen explain that the Faceless Men founded Bravos on the industry of killing people and then using the dead’s faces to hide themselves until they themselves die and their faces are used by other Faceless Men. You know, recycling programs are important so good on them.
Arya is given another vial of poison and a new task: kill an actress. It is her last chance to prove herself to the Faceless Men. One way or another they are going to add a new face to their collection.
It turns out the actress is playing Cersei in a dramatization loosely based on the last three episodes of season one. Arya is amused by Faux-Robert’s buffoonery even in the throes of death and him smack faux-Joffrey around. This is the first time in a long time I can remember her smiling.
The smiles quickly fade when Faux Ned Stark enters and is portrayed as a power-hungry idiot. Faux-Joffrey is shown about to pardon Faux-Ned and Faux-Sansa’s request when the axeman slices off his head anyway. Faux-Tyrion then proclaims himself Hand of the King and says he will marry faux-Sansa, exposing her breasts. Arya is doing quite the good job as a Faceless Man, simply looking mildly hurt rather than burning the entire square to the ground.
As if to make up for the random and gratuitous shot of the fake Sansa’s breasts, we get a loving close-up of faux-Joffrey’s warty cock, which he is examining backstage worriedly. Arya tries to make her way backstage without being noticed. Richard E. Grant is giving Sansa’s actress a hard time about her bad acting, but she thinks she did fine for her tiny, tiny part. Cersei’s actress meanwhile flirts with Tyrion’s actor in an expository way to give Arya what she needs to know for the assassination.
Arya goes back to Jaqen and fills him in on her plan to poison the actress’ rum. She then theorizes faux-Sansa hired the Faceless Men because of her jealousy. Jaqen tells her that jealous money spends just as well and even if the actress is a good woman she has to die.
Beyond the Wall, Bran is on a vision walk and since it looks like the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey, I think it’s at the dawn of Westeros. The Children of the Forest have a stone and… Hot damn! There is some half-naked writhing guy tied to a tree. The Children drive the stone into the guy’s chest and his eyes turn blue, like the Night’s King.
Bran wakes up from his vision and wants to know WTF. Leaf just shrugs it off, defending turning the guy into a weapon. The Children were at war. Oh, and it was with humans. But we’re still cool, right, Bran?
In the Iron Islands, the Ironborn are pretty boring because just give it to Yara and let her be awesome and have Theon go back to Westeros and redeem his traumatized ass. The Ironborn are the same misogynistic asses as the rest of Westeros and don’t want Yara to lead them. Theon tells them Yara should lead them.
Then Euron shows himself and his argument boils down to “You need a dick to rule and neither of you have one. I’ve got a big one and I’m going to use it with the Dragon Queen and wage a war.” Excuse me while I fall over laughing. That is not a sound plan. I also don’t see how throwing a guy off a bridge in the middle of the night with no one around is the ‘Iron Price.’ But I guess people like what Euron says and decide he’s going to be King. Considering how they go on about the Iron Price shouldn’t there be like a fight to the death or something?
Crowning someone in the Iron Islands is like baptism dialed up to eleven. While Euron is dunked to the point of drowning, Yara and Theon steal the best boats and sail off. Does this mean that Yara is going to seduce Dany now? I might be into that. Euron is not, and wants the Iron Islands torn down to build new boats to go after them.
In Vaes Dothrak, Dany’s managed to find herself clothing fit for the Khaleesi of All Khals. She tells Jorah that she’s sent him away twice, but he keeps coming back and saving her. So she’s not really sure what to do with him. He tells her it’s not really her choice any longer and reveals his greyscale, which shocks her. He then reveals his feelings for her, which shocks absolutely no one.
It does touch Dany and she commands he find the cure for the greyscale, so he can stand with her when she takes the Seven Kingdoms.
In Meereen, the peace seems to be holding, but Tyrion thinks more needs to be done to assure the people that it was Daenerys’ will. He has an idea as who can be spokesperson: Kinvara, High Priestess of the Red Temple in Volantis. She’s all for talking up Daenerys, because Kinvara thinks she’s the chosen one that Melisandre previously thought was Stannis and now thinks is Jon.
Varys calls her out on this. He’s previously stated to have no time for religion and Kinvara knows why. She asks about the voice Varys heard in the fire while the sorcerer burned his genitals. Varys is not only stunned, but he’s scared and holy crap Varys is scared. What am I watching?
Bran is chilling in the Twisty Tree and he touches a root near the Three-Eyed Raven. He spirit-journeys into the frost-covered world and is surrounded by thousands of wights. He walks among them and up to the Night’s King. The Night’s King slowly turns and….
The Night’s King just saw Bran. And now the rest of the White Walkers and wights are looking at him. Bran, get your astral out of there!
But Bran isn’t able to get out of there until after the Night’s King grabbed his arm. The White Walkers can find them now and enter the tree. The Three-Eyed Raven tells Bran it is time for him to become the Three-Eyed Raven.
The HSQ of the Beyond the Wall story is interrupted by some talky talk about alliances that can be made against the Boltons. While Davos and Jon handle a lot of the logistics, Sansa is leading the meeting. Like Yara in the Iron Islands, she is the true power in the North. She knows it and she is not afraid to yield it. Sansa wants to send Brienne to Riverrun, lying to Jon about how she discovered Uncle Blackfish had an army for them.
Brienne doesn’t want to leave Sansa alone. She still holds a grudge against Davos and Melisandre and expresses her discomfort about Tormund’s adorable creep stare at her. But Sansa insists Brienne go, saying that Jon will take care of her.
Sansa continues to show her fierce command by wearing a homemade dress, proudly proclaiming herself a daughter of the North, with a large Direwolf on the front. She also makes a cloak for Jon, mimicking the one Ned had worn. Finally, with his sister by his side, Jon leaves the Wall, hugging Edd good-bye and leaving him in command on the Night’s Watch.
Back to the far North and Meera and Hodor are having a happy chat and you know that can’t last for long, especially with where Bran left things. Meera notices her own breath and runs outside, seeing they’ve been surrounded by thousands of White Walkers, the Night’s King in the lead. He cracks the ground, beginning to collapse the cave.
Hodor frantically calls his own name, while Bran is in a vision of the past at Winterfell. The Children try to hold back the Night’s King with fire, but he passes through with no problem. The tree is swarmed by wights.
The past vision shows Bran his father leaving for the Vale. Meera calls for him to help her while the White Walkers and wights break in, fought off by the rapidly falling Children. Finally, Meera’s voice breaks through the vision. Meera tells Bran they need Hodor and Bran focuses on Wyllis, the young Hodor.
Bran wargs into Hodor in the physical world, picking up Bran’s body and dragging him away while Meera and Leaf fight off the White Walkers.
Summer leaps into the fray to defend his master, but is swarmed by wights and slaughtered. What? They’re seriously killing off another direwolf this soon? The wights chase after Bran and his friends while the Night’s King strides to the Three Eyed-Raven. In the vision of Winterfell, the Three Eyed-Raven tells Bran to leave him. As the Night’s King cuts into his body, his vision form dissolves into flying black stuff.
Bran, Hodor, Meera and Leaf continue to flee from the wights. Leaf stops and arms a magic bomb, sacrificing herself to slow down the wights. But they are not stopped, continuing after Bran, Hodor and Meera.
They reach the end of the tunnel, emerging out a door. But it can’t be locked. Hodor holds it closed with brute strength while Meera shouts “Hold the door!”
The words penetrate into the vision of Winterfell in the past. Wyllis goes rigid and wide-eyed while Bran watches. His eyes turn white as he collapses.
In the real world, Hodor pushes his full body against the door while the wights fight back.
Wyllis convulses while Old Nan asks him what’s wrong. He shouts, “Hold the Door!” over and over again.
The wights start to break through the door, grabbing at Hodor, tearing at his flesh. Meera drags Bran away while Hodor is ripped into. Wyllis can be heard yelling, “Hold the door!”
As the wights bite into Hodor, the words begin to blur together. Bran watches helplessly as Wyllis cries out “Hodor!” over and over again.
No seriously, what did I just watch?
“Hold the Door.”
Like I could really have any others.
Up until the ending this episode was a fairly standard middle of the season affair. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great. I am enjoying Sansa stepping up. After being a pawn and a magnet for abuse, I like that she’s gotten to the point where she’s not going to let anyone- not even her half-brother- control her. She’s going to be in on all of the decision-making. She has become a hardened woman that I could see one day ruling something all on her own.
I wasn’t joking about Littlefinger. I’m really over him. I don’t think he’s added anything substantive since he pushed Lysa Arryn out the Moon Door.
I had little interest in the Ironborn, but I might be intrigued by Yara and Theon taking to the seas, especially if they go to Essos. I am ready for more stories to be interwoven.
But the real substance of the episode falls to the action in the North. We get an origin for the White Walkers; Bran loses the last of his connections to home and must take the responsibilities of the Three-Eyed Raven.
Hodor- I should say Wyllis- is such a tragic character. Game of Thrones is story of loss, but the death of Wyllis hits hard. His whole life is dedicated to the moment of his death. That one thought was locked in the back of his mind, holding onto him until the time came to sacrifice himself for the greater good.
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