The White Walkers are the biggest threat on Game of Thrones and their ruler, the Night’s King, is one ice-cold bad-ass. With the ability to raise the dead and command them, he seems unstoppable. But there’s one man who can fight back. One man whose destiny is to hold back the White Walkers and save the day. And that man’s name is Hodor.
No, seriously, this episode of Game of Thrones answers all of your Hodor questions, like how he got his name and why he can’t say anything else. If he wasn’t already one of your favorite characters, he is now.
There are also a few other developments like a new ruler for the Iron Islands, a new Red Priestess and yet another dead direwolf. Oh, and if you’ve missed seeing Joffrey get slapped over and over again, the show finds a way to remind us how satisfying that was.
Bran Meets the Night’s King
In a vision, Bran learns that the Children of the Forest, the pixie-like creatures who saved him, are responsible for creating the White Walkers. They did it because their forests were being destroyed by men.
Later Bran has another visision, an army of the dead led by the ruler of the White Walkers, the Night’s King. Despite being a vision, the Night’s King can see Bran and grabs him, marking him in the real world. This allows the Night’s King to track Bran, so it’s time for him to leave and become the Three-Eyed Raven.
Before he can escape, the Night’s King and his army of the dead arrive at the tree to attack. The Children of the Forest try to hold them off so Bran, Meera and Hodor can escape. It’s like a scene out of The Walking Dead as the zombies continue to invade, leaving our heroes in real danger.
In the fight, the Night’s King kills the Three-Eyed Raven and the skeleton army kills Summer, Bran’s direwolf (that’s four dead, with Jon’s Ghost and Arya’s Nymeria as the only two left alive).
Bran is stuck in a vision of his father’s past, but he’s able to warg into Hodor to get him and Meera to safety. They arrive at a door and are able to make it out, but Hodor must stay behind to hold the door closed as the skeleton army tries to break through, letting Meera and Bran escape.
In the flashback, Bran is also able to warg into the younger version of Hodor, making him almost catatonic. Young Hodor keeps repeating “Hold the door,” the same thing Meera is screaming at Hodor in the present. Eventually the phrase gets boiled down. Hold the door, hold door, ho’ door, Hodor!
That’s right, Hodor got his name and lost the ability to say anything else because Bran changed the past and turned him into a living, breathing prophecy of the future. Hodor was always meant to hold the door, it was his entire’ life’s mission. Now he’s done it and, sadly, it looks like the skeleton army breaks through and kills him. Hodor’s journey is complete, his destiny fulfilled.
Dany Goes Home
Now that Dany has conquered all of the Dothrakis, it’s time to march back to Meereen. But she’ll have to do it without Jorah, who reveals his greyscale to her. He leaves, but Dany makes him promise that he will seek out a cure and return to her when he is healed.
Back in Meereen, Tyrion and Varys meet with a Red Priestess named Kinvara to get her and her followers on board with their plans. Kinvara is willing to help and even scares Varys a little by revealing that she knows an awful lot about what happened when he was made a eunuch by a sorcerer.
Jon and Sansa Make a Plan
Littlefinger visits Sansa to suggest aligning, but she has no interest in working with the man who gave her to Ramsey. Sansa is channeling her inner-Daenerys, shaming Littlefinger by recounting the terrible things Ramsey did to her. She doesn’t need him or his pathetic little army, but he does inform her that Catelyn’s surviving relatives, the Tullys, might be able to help her.
Jon, Sansa and their allies at Castle Black know they need more armies to fight Ramsey, so they decide to go out and recruit other houses in the North, including the Tullys. With them gone, Eddison Tollett is left as the new Lord Commander, much to his surprise.
Arya Watches a Play
Arya is still training at the House of Black and White, but gets a new mission to kill an actress. Arya goes to see the play, which is a recreation of the death of King Robert and Ned Stark’s beheading. It’s a sublime, Tony-worthy production filled with fart jokes and Joffrey getting constantly bitch-slapped. Seriously, I would watch an entire episode of these actors recreating the events of the first five seasons.
But for Arya, it’s a cruel reminder of the worst day of her life. The good news is that the actress she’s supposed to kill is playing Cersei, so that should be cathartic.
On the Iron Islands, it’s time to elect a new ruler. Yara Greyjoy throws her hat into the ring even though there’s never been a queen. Some are skeptical, but they seem more OK with it when Theon endorses his sister.
That’s when Euren Greyjoy, Balon’s younger brother and uncle to Yara and Theon, shows up. He’s the dude who killed Balon and he freely admits it as a selling point for making him the new king.
His big plan is to create a giant fleet of ships, sail to Meereen and marry Daenerys Targaryen so they can join forces and take the Iron Throne. It’s adorable that this d-bag thinks he can tame the Mother of Dragons.
It works and Euron is chosen to be the new ruler of Pyke. The ritual involves drowning him and then waiting to see if he comes back to life, which sounds like the worst inauguration ever.
He survives and his first act is to murder Yara and Theon, but they were smart enough to steal the best ships and sail away with other defectors as soon as they lost the election.
(Image courtesy of HBO)