Game of Thrones S6 E5 Recap: Holding the Door and Holding Our Hearts

(Photo Courtesy of Highlight Hollywood)

Three “television enthusiasts,” the dynamic brother-sister duo of Marci and Rusty Buehler and Zac Hirschbeck, watch Game of Thrones each Sunday night and exchange their thoughts on the show’s happenings.

Marci: HOLY MOLY!!! This was certainly a momentous weekend – my big brother Rusty got married (which is why he won’t be contributing to the discussion this week – HONEYMOONING), and Game of Thrones gave him a very memorable episode to celebrate his wedding.

I think first thing’s first here – R.I.P. Hodor. What an insane ending to last night’s episode – the entire scene from the moment when Bran was touched by the Ice King while warging to the arrival of the White Walker army to the Magic Tree and ensuing chase scene, with the final terrifying and sad image of Hodor realizing his fate after speaking of it for an entire lifetime – this was certainly a sequence that both made your heart race and tugged at the heartstrings.

I can’t help wondering what will happen next though – that was a HUGE army of White Walkers and they are following Meera and a paralyzed Bran. It seems to me that it won’t be long before they catch up to them – and I don’t imagine that will end well.

I’m a bit confused about the whole time traveling logistics as well – mostly because I’m dumb…but, how was young Wylis/Hodor able to tell his future fate? Was it because Bran was hanging out with him during a flashback? I also didn’t think that people were able to see Bran as he traveled through time – it didn’t seem like Young Ned Stark took note of him outside the castle a few weeks ago – so why were the Ice King and Young Hodor able to see / interact with Bran while he warged into their scenes?

WARGING IS CONFUSING! And it seems dangerous – it seems like something one should have to get a license for – and definitely not do whilst intoxicated. And since the Three Eyed Raven also met his maker last night, Bran is on his own now with his warging. Is he ready? Probably not. But that’s life, I GUESS.

It was also revealed to us that the Children of the Forest invented the White Walkers in the first place – to use as weapons against the humans who threatened their existence. Turns out their weapons were used against them last night, as the walkers slayed many Children of the Forest during the tense chase sequence.

AND, we lost another Direwolf – R.I.P. Summer. Rusty was right – somebody needs to call the Westeros SPCA and get some animal cruelty laws going up in there.

Jeez, what a crazy kill count – and that was just in the last few minutes of the episode! Zac – what did you think about all the crazy revelations of this week’s episode? And how did you feel about the other happenings of the evening – Jorah telling Dany he loves her, Arya watching an odd comedic performance about her dad’s execution and Sansa confronting Littlefinger about his betrayal? So many plot points, so little time!


Zac: First off, a heartfelt congratulations to Rusty! Enjoy your honeymoon!

Secondly, as you aptly put it Marci, the ending to Episode 5 truly tugged at the heartstrings. In a matter of minutes we saw a pair of harmless and sympathetic characters, being Hodor and Summer, sacrifice themselves to save Bran’s life. As someone who’s really enjoyed the presence of the White Walkers anytime they’ve been featured on screen thus far in the series, this week officially turned them into the monstrous villains that they will surely serve as moving forward. While the Night’s King and his army of frozen zombies have long been looming figures of future destruction, the ordered assassinations of Hodor, Summer, the Children of the Forest, the Three Eyed Raven, and very nearly Bran and Meera seems to indicate that the White Walkers have accelerated their timeline for a complete takeover of the North. And with that, I’m greatly looking forward to the moment in the show’s final season when the Night’s King is put down by Jon Snow.

Marci, I too remain confused as to what exactly happened between Bran and Hodor. However, I have to believe that’s exactly what the show runners would like its audience to feel. My interpretation is that Bran possesses the ability to change the past as he journeys through it. As he was simultaneously flashing back and being dragged out of the cave by Meera, Bran was warging into Hodor’s mind THROUGH the flashback. In doing so, he was altering Hodor’s entire life while traveling through time. Perhaps I remember it differently from you, but I thought they hinted at Bran’s ability to alter the past weeks ago during the flashback to Ned’s battle beneath the tower. When Bran called out to his father, Ned turned his head but saw nothing before hurrying his way back up the steps. This week, Bran was able to manipulate Hodor as a child, and it subsequently altered the gentle giant’s entire life. Perhaps I’m off base in my “analysis,” but if I’m right, and he and Meera remain out of the grasp of the pursuing White Walker army, Bran being able to  manipulate the world as he time travels would obviously have a pretty significant impact on the show moving forward.

As far as the show’s many other happenings this week, I really loved the interaction between Daenerys and Jorah. Jorah has long been a sympathetic character throughout the past five-and-a-half seasons, and while it’s very much up in the air as to whether we’ll see him again, I really hope that we do. If I were writing the show, I’d have Jorah disappear for a season or two and then have him return to the Mother of Dragons’ side when she needs him most. That would be awesome.

While the three of us have certainly voiced our boredom when it comes to Arya’s storyline, it appears that her time in Braavos is at least beginning to become a bit more interesting. It’s clear that Jaqen H’ghar sent his newest trainee to the theater as a means to test whether she really has discarded her terrible past. And while she didn’t fail, she really didn’t pass either. It seemed very clear that Arya has not forgotten the atrocities that were committed against her family, and rightfully so. As a viewer, I’m a little unsure as to what direction I’d like to see Arya go in. When she was taken into the House of Black and White, I was excited at the prospect of her becoming a badass assassin. However, I’d really like to see Arya reunite with her siblings, and that doesn’t seem to be a realistic possibility if she remains in Braavos. Hopefully the show can somehow manipulate future circumstances to allow both to happen.

Lastly, before I turn things back over to you Marci, Sansa and Littlefinger’s interaction was also saddening. Sansa has every right to be thoroughly angry with Baelish after “he saved her from monsters only to give her away to other monsters,” but it’s pretty clear that Sansa will need Littlefinger’s help moving forward. While it was certainly understandable, Sansa’s quick decision to turn away the military backing of the Knights of the Vale was shortsighted considering her brother’s pending battle with the Boltons. Hopefully Sansa’s justifiable anger won’t damage her chances at killing Ramsay and retaking Winterfell.

What did you make of all these plot developments this week Marci? What do you think of Euron Greyjoy’s ascent to the throne in the Iron Islands? How about Tyrion’s newest ally (and Varys’ newest nightmare) in Meereen? And on a lighter, but vitally important note, where do we stand in the show’s hottest new romance between Brienne and Tormund?


Marci: Ah, thank you for explaining the way that Bran can possibly control the past – it makes a little more sense to me now! I also liked the scene between Jorah and Dany, and I hope that he does indeed find a cure to his ailment and return at a pivotal time to help Khaleesi when she really needs it. It might be even more badass if he DID turn into a Stone Person, but his love for Khaleesi was so strong, he was able to control it and help her with his Stone Person strength! LOVE CONQUERS ALL!

Anyways, back to this week. I thought the Iron Islands election scene was quite riveting. I was so happy to see Theon supporting his sister’s bid for Queen, and the people rallying around them – it really sucked when Euron Greyjoy showed up and ruined the fun. However, I’m glad Theon and Yara had their wits about them and were able to steal all the boats while Euron did his ceremonial drowning. By the way, that is the worst way to welcome a new King I’ve ever seen – let’s drown him, and NOT EVEN HELP RESUSCITATE HIM! It’s a miracle that anyone becomes a King there at all. I hope Theon and Yara seek out Khaleesi and offer their fleet and assistance to her.

Tyrion’s newest ally, Kinvara the high priestess, certainly made an impression on Varys. The scene where she kind of implies that she knows how Varys lost his weiner was interesting, and was a strong way to introduce a new mystical character to the scene. I liked the back and forth between the characters here, with Varys’ skepticism countered by Kinvara’s reminder that she knows what’s up and she’s in charge – she’s woman, hear her roar. I also like that pretty much anytime Varys is in a scene, we have to make reference in some way to the fact that he doesn’t have a penis – LIKE WE FORGOT?!? #NeverForget

Another thing I’ll never forget are the scenes between Tormund and Brienne. While it seems that they might be separated as Brienne goes off to Riverrun to try to drum up support for the cause from Sansa’s uncle, I’m hoping these two get together at some point and have some crazy, crazy sex. I heard Brienne is a lady knight on a horse but a freak in the bed.

Zac, do you have any more thoughts about last night’s episode? The kill count was pretty huge on this one. And what did you think about the preview of next week? Looks like more big things are on the way in Westeros!


Zac: I too was amused at the Iron Islands’ ceremonial inauguration, and I also have the same exact hopes for Theon and Yara. When Euron shared his plan to sail Daenerys’ way, offer his fleet in exchange for her hand (and the rest of her body – Euron is quite the scoundrel) in marriage, and then conquer the world, I scoffed at the notion the show would even entertain such a thought. However, with Theon and Yara now on the run with the entirety of the Iron Fleet, I like the idea of the Greyjoy siblings uniting with the Mother of Dragons. Though I’m still not super invested in this storyline, it’s nice that there are actual happenings worth discussing in the usually dreary Northern wetlands.

Kinvara’s introduction to the show proved to be an interesting debut. Unlike Melisandre’s misguided belief in Stannis, Kinvara’s eagerness to serve Daenerys seems a bit more grounded. I mean if anyone is the direct descendant of the Lord of the Light, it’s probably the woman that is immune to fire and also has three fire-breathing dragons as her children. Speaking of which, WHERE DEM DRAGONS AT?!?

It does look like more big things are happening in Westeros next week!

Based on the trailer for next week, we will see…

1. Bran and Meera Continue to Flee From the White Walkers

Things certainly look grim for the pair. While Hodor bought them some time, it’s hard to imagine Meera and Bran escaping the Frozen Army of the Dead without some sort of help…

2. Sam and Gilly Return to Sam’s Home

Sam’s homecoming looks to feature a chilly response from his militaristic father. Is anyone invested in this storyline? Because I am not.

3. A Battle at King’s Landing

Now this is more like it! Will the High Sparrow surrender to the Lannister/Tyrell forces? Or will he stand his ground? And what’s the over/under for how many Sparrows Ser Gregor Cleganenstein kills? 25? 50? 100?!?

4. Daenerys is Taking What is Hers

With her rediscovered swagger, her new Dothraki army at her disposal, and her man-piece Daario back at her side, the Queen of Meereen looks ready to get back into the conquering swing of things. Where will she go?


Perhaps it’s just my imagination, but the show is moving at a far quicker pace than previous seasons. Aside from Episode 3, which almost entirely served as a set up episode, each installation this season has had major plot developments. From this past week’s saddening conclusion, to Khaleesi’s re-empowerment in Episode 4, to Jon Snow’s awakening in Episode 2, each week we see at least one major happening change the landscape in Westeros. While I’m eager to continue at this pace, and I’m eager to see what happens next, I just have but one wish for the rest of Season 6.

Please stop killing direwolves.

Leave Ghost and Nymeria alone.

Until next week Marci!


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