This is probably the saddest episode since the Red Wedding. I hope you all have stopped crying after that ending because I know I haven’t.
This week’s episode starts with the reunion of Sansa and Peytr Baelish. The tension thick and Sansa is not holding back her clear anger towards him. She demands if he knows what happened to her, if he knew about Ramsay: “If you did know you’re my enemy.” Baelish at least has the decency to look somewhat uncomfortable and ashamed over what happened to her with Ramsay, but she is relentless in her interrogation. “He did what he liked with the rest of me, as long as I could still give him an heir,” she tells him, letting her horrific experiences be known. It’s a satisfying showdown and showcases Sansa’s growth into a strong woman.
Despite threatening to strike him dead, Sansa tells him to leave as she never wants to see him again. His illusions will no longer work on her and she doesn’t want his help in reclaiming the North. However, Littlefinger always seems to have something up his sleeve. He advises her to seek out her Uncle Brynden, the Blackfish, who had reclaimed Riverrun and has an army that could assist them. Looks like he has the key to unlocking this alliance.
In Braavos, we find the other Stark sister dueling with the Waif – who is still a cocky bitch I might add. Arya goes by “no one” but the Waif isn’t buying it: “You’ll never be one of us, Lady Stark.” The leading Faceless Man takes her to the Hall of Faces and recounts the history of the First Faceless Men. He gives her a vial and a task she cannot fail: “A girl has been given a second chance. There will not be a third. One way or another, a face will be added to the hall.” Will it be hers?
The scene cuts to a theatrical performance, a comedic reenactment of the end of Robert Baratheon’s reign and Joffrey’s succession to the throne. It’s not all that funny for some of us though. Arya, who is hiding among the crowd, appears uncomfortable as her father, Ned Stark, is portrayed as a buffoon. It pains her to re-live his death in such a comedic manner, a death that still bears pain with the rest of us.
But she is able to focus on her mission: Lady Crane. She discovers lady Crane only drinks rum and from a small bottle on her desk, which she will poison. Back at the Hall, Jaqen reminds her: “A servant does not ask questions.”
One of the biggest reveals this season is when Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven discover it was the Children of the Forest who created the White Walkers. We see a man tied to
to the Weirwood surrounded by Children of the Forest. They slowly stab him and his eyes transform into the same blue as the Night King – the first White Walker. Bran confronts the Child of the Forest, who defends the action as a response to being at war with the First Men.
Back on Pyke, Yara claims the Salt Throne but she is met with protests because she is a woman and the Iron Islands has never had a queen. Theon also has returned, which some believe to be Balon’s rightful heir. In a tense moment between the siblings, Theon defends Yara: “We will find no better leader! This is our queen,” he says as cheers erupt in the crowd. Yara casts Theon a hopeful and relieved look, a small victory for the siblings. Just as things look dandy, along comes Euron with his claim to the throne.
Yara accuses him of killing Balon to which Euron cheerfully admits, stating that Balon was getting them nowhere. Having been around the Seven Kingdoms, he announces his plan to create an Iron Fleet, take it to Daenerys in Slaver’s Bay and seduce her with his power and ships in hopes of combining their forces to take the Seven Kingdoms. This wins the Ironborn over and he is made King of the Salt Throne through baptism by drowning: “What is dead may never die.” Euron returns to consciousness, breathing through the lungs of a king.
In the meantime, Yara, Theon and their loyalists flee Pyke on their best ships. Good thing too because Euron had been on his way to murder Yara and Theon. As ambitious as ever, Euron says, “Build me a thousand ships and I will give you this world.” Looks like the Ironborn are making a comeback.
In Essos, Dany thanks Jorah for his assistance. In that moment, Jorah reveals his greyscale skin, to which Dany is upset to see for she cannot touch or embrace him without contracting it. Jorah gives a heartfelt farewell: “All I’ve ever wanted was to serve you. Tyrion Lannister was right. I love you. I’ll always love you.” As he makes his departure, Dany calls him back and commands him to find a cure for his condition and then return to her. “When I take the Seven Kingdoms, I need you by my side,” she says, tears in her eyes. It’s a poignant moment between these two characters after all they’ve been through.
With Dany on her way back to Meereen, Tyrion, Varys, Grey Worm and Missandei note the fragile peace they have with the slave masters – how will the freed slaves see that what they’ve done is for them? They bring in the High Red Priestess from Volantis, who believes Dany is the promised one (much like Jon is for Melisandre). While
Tyrion is prepared to take her on board and employ her help, Varys calls her a fanatic. What about Stannis Baratheon and his failure to be the promised one? His criticism and doubt do not impact the priestess. “Terrible things happen for a reason,” she says, reminding him of his mutilation and how it has brought him to his position. She reveals he had heard a whisper, a name when his parts had been thrown into the flames. For once, Varys looks uncomfortable.
We are taken back to Bran who decides to dive into the past by himself. He is back at the Weirwood where the White Walkers were created. The tree is now white with a circular pattern of stones surrounding it. He turns and finds to his horror a huge army of White Walkers in front of him. He walks to them – he can walk when he’s dreaming – and finds the Night King, who gazes into his eyes. Usually unnoticed, they see him this time as the King grabs his arm. The Three Eyed Raven tells Bran he has the Night King’s mark, meaning he will come for him. It is time for Bran to become the Three-Eyed Raven, despite the fact he is not ready.
At Castle Black, Jon and Sansa strategise how to take the North and fight the White Walkers and Bolton’s army. Davos explains that Jon needs to convince them to join their fight as they can’t rely on Northerner loyalty. Sansa reveals that the Blackfish has an army they could use without disclosing it was Littlefinger’s knowledge. And how will they contact the Blackfish you may ask? Our bae Brienne is to go and deliver the message in case Ramsay intercepts it.
Brienne, having lost those she has previously worked for, is unsure about leaving Sansa behind, revealing that she knows Davos and the Red Woman assisted in killing Renly. Sansa insists she is safe. “Jon is Jon. He is my brother, he’ll keep me safe,” she says. Jon is starting to feel confident again and after Sansa gives him a gift, he seems prepared to march. We see some more Tormund and Brienne before they depart, leaving poor Edd in charge of Castle Black.
Meera and Hodor begin preparations to leave but they’re too late. The White Walker army are at their doorstep. As the Children of the Forest hold them off with magical fire stones, Meera struggles to wake Bran up from his dreaming with the Three Eyed Raven. The Night King and his main posse make it into the cave. The wights break through the ceiling and they must fight, even Summer. Meera is able to get Bran to Warg into Hodor to carry them to safety. But not even Summer can get out alive.
As they make their final departure, the Three Eyed Raven is killed by the
Night King. Bran is still dreaming during all of this. The last Child of the Forest sacrificies herself to save the trio. While Bran is controlling Hodor, his younger self called Wylis sees Bran and freaks. “Hold the door!” he repeats, echoing Meera as she drags Bran away.The wights manage to break through the door and tear at Hodor as Wylis’ words slowly start to combine together.
“Hold the door”… “Holddoor”… “Hodor, Hodor, Hodor.”
Hodor had been experiencing his future death for years and it’s finally happening.
God damn, Game of Thrones. He was so pure. Why?
Check out last week’s recap and stay tuned for more next week!