Episode title: The Door
Director: Jack Bender.
Written by: David Benioff and D. B. Weiss
Summary: Sansa confronts Littlefinger about his decision to marry her to Ramsay. He claims that he was ignorant of Ramsay’s cruelty and offers her the support of the Vale. He reveals that her great-uncle, the Blackfish, has retaken Riverrun with the Tully army. Sansa orders Brienne to go and recruit the Blackfish for their cause.
Jorah reveals his greyscale to Dany. He admits his love for her, and she orders him to find a cure and return to her so he can be by her side when she conquers Westeros.
Yara makes her claim to the Salt Throne, with Theon supporting her. Their uncle Euron arrives to stake his own claim, and when Yara accuses him of killing their father, Euron freely admits to it. He promises to conquer Westeros by marrying Dany, and offering her the Iron Fleet. He is subsequently chosen as King. Theon and Yara flee with the best ships of the Iron Fleet. Jaqen H’ghar offers Arya Stark the assignment of killing an actress named Lady Crane, who is playing Cersei Lannister in a play recounting the deaths of Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark.
Tyrion summons the red priestess Kinvara, who agrees to preach to the people that Daenerys is the chosen one of the Lord of Light. She also claims to know what originally happened to Varys.
Bran observes a vision of the Children of the Forest creating the Night King by impaling a man with a dragonglass dagger. Leaf, explains that they were at war with the First Men, and had no choice. Bran decides to observe a vision on his own and witnesses a massive army of wights led by the Night King, who touches him during in the vision. Bran awakens to find a mark where he was touched, and the Three-Eyed Raven warns that he must leave, as the Night King is now able to find them. The Three-Eyed Raven begins transferring knowledge to Bran as the army of wights attack. Bran has a vision of Wintetfell in the past and splits his consciousness by both remaining in the vision and also warging into Hodor in the present. The Night King kills the Three-Eyed Raven.
As Bran, Meera and Hodor make their escape, Leaf and Summer, sacrifice themselves to hold back the wights. Hodor closes the door behind them while Meera escapes with Bran. Meera repeatedly orders Hodor to “hold the door” shut while they flee, which results in the Wights tearing him apart. In the vision, Bran becomes overwhelmed and wargs into a younger version of Hodor in the vision, then known as Wylis, forging a connection between the past and present. With Bran’s consciousness inside his head, Wylis suffers a seizure while hearing the echoes of Meera’s orders and he begins to yell the words “hold the door” over and over, until they slur together and “Hodor” is all that’s left that he can say.
My take: The Kingsmoot seemed a little low budget, as if they just decided not to build a new set for it. The penis shot amused me, as if the show runners were saying, “Fine, you want peen?” I also like the play because it brings up what the general public thinks of the events of the show. How do they see Ned? As a country bumpkin who is a traitor. Tyrion becomes the typical villain, and Cersei and Joffrey look like victims simply because they don’t see what we do. Hodor’s fate is crushing and not because he is a beloved character, or that he is innocent, we have seen both die before, what makes this event so sad is that Bran took his potential away. Who knows what Wylis would have become? Once again we see the Tully trait of acting impulsively without due consideration
Changes from the books: There are more candidates at the Kingsmoot, including Victorian, another uncle. Theon was not present at the Kingsmoot. Euron never admits to killing Balon. There is no character named Kinvara in the books. She is based on the book character Benerro, the High Priest of Volantis who preaches that Daenerys is Azor Ahai, or the priest Moqorro whom Benerro sends to Meereen to help Daenerys, or both. The Blackfish never retakes Riverrun, because Riverrun was never taken by the Freys. Robb placed him in charge of the castle before going to the Twins. Arya is sent to the playhouse as a performer, and plays a maid based on her sister, Sansa.
Nudity: The actor Bianca topless onstage and off, an actor examining his penis backstage
Locations on the Map: King’s Landing, Pyke, Winterfell, The Wall, Braavos, Meereen
Death Count: The Three-Eyed Raven, Leaf, Summer, and Hodor, killed by the Night King and the wights.
Quotes: Sansa Stark: You freed me from the monsters who murdered my family, and you gave me to other monsters who murdered my family.
Episode title: Blood of my Blood
Director: Jack Bender
Written by: Bryan Cogman
Summary: Bran and Meera are fleeing the wights. Bran has visions: Jaime Lannister killing King Aerys Targaryen, a dragon flying over the Red Keep, his fall from Winterfell which left him paralyzed, the Night King transforming Craster’s last son into a White Walker, the Massacre at Hardhome, Ned Stark’s beheading, the murder of his mother Catelyn and brother Robb in the Red Wedding, and wildfire exploding beneath King’s Landing. As the wights close in, a black-clad rider appears rescues them. Bran awakens to find the rider is his uncle, Benjen Stark. Benjen explains that he was stabbed by a White Walker during a ranging and was left to die and become another wight. He was saved by the Children of the Forest by being impaled with dragonglass.
Sam, Gilly and Little Sam arrive at Horn Hill, the seat of House Tarly. Sam warns Gilly not to mention that she is a Wildling, due to his father Randyll’s hatred of Wildlings. At dinner, Randyll insults Sam, but Gilly defends him, accidentally reveals her Wildling heritage. Randyll tells Sam that Gilly and Little Sam can remain at Horn Hill, but that he must never set foot in Horn Hill again. Sam bids farewell to Gilly, but then changes his mind and decides to bring her and Little Sam with him to the Citadel. As they leave, Sam takes House Tarly’s ancestral Valyrian steel sword, Heartsbane, as well.
Arya sneaks backstage during the play and poisons Lady Crane’s rum. As she attempts to leave, Lady Crane stops her, and they discuss acting and Lady Crane’s early life. Arya stops Lady Crane from drinking her rum, and warns her that her rival Bianca wants her dead. The scene is witnessed by the Waif, who returns to tell Jaqen H’ghar of Arya’s failure. Jaqen gives the Waif permission to kill Arya, on the condition that Arya doesn’t suffer. Arya retrieves her sword, Needle, from the rocks where she had hidden it.
The High Sparrow allows Tommen to visit his wife, where he discovers that Margaery has become a devout follower of the Faith of the Seven and repented for her sins. Jaime and Mace Tyrell lead a company of Tyrell soldiers to the Great Sept of Baelor. Jaime orders the High Sparrow to release Margaery and her brother Loras, threatening force against the Faith Militant. The High Sparrow declares that Margaery will not have to perform a walk of atonement, and instead presents King Tommen, who has agreed to unite the Faith and the Crown. King Tommen relieves Jaime of his duties on the Kingsguard as punishment for taking up arms against the Faith. Jaime is given orders to oust the Blackfish from Riverrun. Cersei expresses no concern about her trial, saying it will be a trial by combat and with “the Mountain” as her champion, she has no fear of a guilty verdict.
Lord Walder Frey receives word that Riverrun has been retaken by the Blackfish. Walder chastises his sons Lothar Frey and Black Walder Rivers, and demands that the Tully stronghold be taken back, refusing to be humiliated by not being able to hold a single castle. He orders his men to bring in Edmure Tully and declares that they will use him to retake Riverrun.
Dany finds Drogon and rallies the Dothraki by stating that she chooses them all to be her bloodriders, rather than the traditional three chosen by Khals. She then asks if they will cross the sea with her and help her retake the Seven Kingdoms, which they unanimously agree to do.
My take: This felt like a piece moving episode to me. You have to get Jaime out of King’s Landing, and Dany back with Drogon. Her speech echoed Drogo’s from Season One. We’re getting both Arya and Bran coming out of their Dagobah plots. Once again this is the season of clearing away old plots and tying up loose ends. Therefore we have the Freys and the Blackfish coming back. We answer a mystery from season one in what happened to Benjen Stark
Changes from the books: It is unknown how Margaery is released from the Faith, only that she is released to the custody of Randyll Tarly and will stand trial by the Faith on a later date. Benjen’s fate has not been revealed yet in the books. Martin denies that Benjen is Coldhands, a similar character in the books
Locations on the Map: King’s Landing, Winterfell, The Wall, Braavos, Vaes Dothrak, Meereen
Death Count: No one in the present, but Bran’s vision shows the Mad King being killed by Jaime.
Quotes: Daenerys Targaryen: Every Khal who ever lived chose three bloodriders to fight beside him and guard his way, But I am not a Khal. I will not choose three blood riders. I choose you all. I will ask more of you than any Khal has ever asked of his Khalsar. Will you ride the wooden horses across the black salt sea? Will you kill my enemies in their iron suits and tear down their stone houses? Will you give me the Seven Kingdoms, the gift Khal Drogo promised me, before the Mother of Mountains? Are you with me, now and always?