Spoilers. Including one you’ll have to see to believe.
Tonight is dark and full of terrors, but it’s not the Lord of Light to blame this time. Before we get there, there’s a few things to comment on. We’re going to start at the Wall, where Jon Snow and Ser Davos are starting to plan strategy. That begins with the first obvious problem: they don’t have the numbers. The solution seems to appear a little too readily at hand – Littlefinger wants to help. Sansa has already turned him down, but now she realizes she can use some of the information. Specifically, Brynden Tully (aka the Blackfish) is supposed to have retaken Riverrun from House Frey. Brienne of Tarth now has a mission but how reliable is this information?
We’re almost moving a little too quick here. Are Sansa and Jon ready to lead an army to war? Can they really get one together that will not fight against itself? I think they might be in above their heads with such undertaking.
I like that Arya finally gets a second mission. If you remember how things went with her first, you’re probably just wishing she kills her mark without asking too many questions, but Jaquen H’ghar and the Waif might have a point. There’s still a Stark in there. I don’t expect Arya to become a Faceless Assassin, but I do expect her to become a stronger, more lethal version of herself.
In the Iron Islands, Yara Greyjoy claims the salt throne backed up by Theon. Euron however, shows up and claims it himself. But as he gathers support – even taking responsibility (paying the iron price, remember?) for killing his own brother Balon – his coronation by drowning is taken as an opportunity. Yara and Theon gather their supporters and take the fleet, burning the rest of the ships to leave Euron and his forces stranded. It’s just going to be a delay. The two Greyjoys will obviously need to ally themselves with someone and it’s not going to be the Boltons. I don’t know if I can count on them to ally with the Starks… yet. That’s a long trip they’ve just started.
The Mother of Dragons is gathering her new forces to return to Meereen. Ser Jorah Mormont is being given the task to find himself a cure and return to Daenerys, which is very possibly the safest thing he could do for anybody. Strange things are happening in Meereen, as Tyrion and Varys are about to ally themselves with their own version of Melisandre. We meet Kinvara, the Red Priestess of Volantis. Honestly, I hope Tyrion and Varys can hold things together until Dany gets back.
There’s always ONE thing we all NEED to talk about in Game of Thones and this episode, that’s going to be the one and only gut wrenching twist of Bran looking into the past. The impetuous warg already saw the origin of the White Walkers when he just had to steal another glance and it was one too many. The Night’s King can reach them now. That means now NOW. The White Walkers are coming. Winter is here. Bran needs to snap out of it and run. But Bran is pulled into one more vision by the Three-Eyed Raven although the undead army is closing in. So things are just coming apart as we realize that we’re about to get one crazy time-turning reveal. Bran manages to warg into Hodor to pull himself away, but it will be Hodor that will save the day.
As Bran watches, Wylis of the past goes into convulsions. He starts to chant one mantra, over and over. Hold the door. Hold the door. And of course, we learn what it means as Meera takes Bran and runs into the wild. It’s what Hodor has been chanting all along. He holds the door as they escape, even though he gets killed by the undead army as a result. Was Wylis a victim of Bran’s carelessness with time travel? It’s hard not to think so, but if so was Hodor’s destiny to become the unsung hero that allowed their escape all along? I’m not sure. I just know that you will be hard pressed to find a hero bigger in stature and heart than Wylis/Hodor in all the Seven Kingdoms and across the Narrow Sea.
- Wylis / Hodor we hardly knew you. Damn it, George R. R. Martin, that was beautiful and cruel at once. I almost forgot that the Raven and Bran’s direwolf, Summer, also bit the dust.
- Actions have consequences, with great power blah blah… Bran, stop playing around with power and get serious. It just cost you dearly to fool around. Other people payed for you with their own lives.
- That chase scene down the tunnel… If you ever thought to yourself how a crossover between Game of Thrones and the Walking Dead would go, forget about it. GOT has the scariest undead around.
- Sansa addresses the abuse she suffered by Ramsay, which Littlefinger could have prevented. No, this was not a mistake on his part. Petyr Baelish doesn’t make mistakes of this size. He makes plans of this size. Actually, it does seem at times everything going on is his plan.
- Can Sansa really trust Littlefinger regarding the information on Brynden Tully? Even so, can she trust the Blackfish? Hopefully Brienne’s mission does not turn into a season-long ride.
- Sorry but I don’t think Sansa and Jon are ready to lead an army. Going after the Boltons will require more experience, and since there’s no time they’ll have to get it on the fly which means there’s going to be some costly mistakes in this war that is just starting.
- Tyrion and Varys might not be able to hold Daenerys’ kingdom together. There better be a twist here, because I don’t want to see Dany reliving the battle to re-take Meereen. We’ll see what happens with the new Red Priestess in the show, Kinvara.
- I really wanted to get into the Greyjoy drama in the Iron Islands, but I couldn’t. Seems a little too far removed from everything else, even farther than Meereen and Braavos.
Coming up on the Calendar:
- Tuesday, May 24: The Flash (season finale)
- Wednesday, May 25: Arrow (season finale)
That will do for now.