Game of Thrones 6.05 - The Door
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There is something to be said for the phrase ' you don't know what you've got till its gone . In this weeks episode of Game of Thrones that certainly holds true. George R. R. Martin has a propensity for building up characters and dropping them without a second thought. This week's episode entitles The Door is certainly no exception.
The loveable giant Hodor, along with Bran, were missing entirely from Season Five. This is not a negative against the characters and their story. Far from it, but with such a huge cast, and it at times being hard to follow, certain story strands are bound to be kept for further seasons. Thankfully, back in their rightful place, this particular story strand is, at least emotionally, front and centre this week. I can guarantee you, the end of this weeks episode is the water cooler moment of the episode. With Bran having shown their hideout position through contact with The Winter King, The Three Eyed Raven, Bran, Hodor, The Children of The Forest and Meera try and escape from the marauding White Walker army. The look and feel of these scenes are epic in scope, even for a television series. Snow falling, people crying out, epic widescreen action, with Hodor trying to escape with Bran on his sled, they escape just in time through the door that gives this weeks episode its name. The scenes that follow with Hodor trying to hold back the oncoming army are heartbreaking to say the least. Having had a taste of this weeks episode spoilt through Twitter this week I knew something was coming but I didn't expect this. Thinking to myself "I'm not ready for this" Hodor's death is heartbreaking. Such a simple loveable character with a heart of gold getting pulled apart by White Walkers and revealing why he says Hodor ("Hold the door...holdthedoor...Hodor") is quite a way to end an episode. Although as mentioned in other episode reviews, in Game of Thrones nobody really ever dies...
Elsewhere in Westeros, Lady Sansa is going from strength to strength and finding her feet in her rightful place. Powerfully manoeuvring and stating her thoughts, whether anyone wants to hear them or not, to Ser Davos and Jon Snow on how best to deal with the Bolton's (who are missing from this weeks episode). Its interesting to see a relatively young character stamp her authority in a show that is overtly masculine. Its good to see characters such as her and Brienne of Tarth (who provides a beat of comedy this episode with Tormund Giantsbane) show the men how it's done.
On the subject of strong female characters, now that she has her sight back, Arya is going from strength to strength being trained by The Waif and being overseen by Jaqen H'ghar. Given further tests to see if she is ready to complete her mission, Arya is getting closer and closer to her endgame. The only stumbling block in this episode is a comical 'interlude' where she gets to see a pantomime of a key Season One plot point. It's a little jarring, a bit to meta for my liking. A Game of Thrones character watching a Game of Thrones episode? Hmmmm.......
We find our loveable rogue Tyrion and his sidekick Varys deep in conversation with another Red Priestess, Kinvara, about the comings and going in Meeren. With the Red Priestess blackmailing our double act, we get to learn more about Varys' back story and Conleth Hill brings out a quiet vulnerability in Varys which we haven't seen before.
After last weeks (literally) naked emotion, its an added bonus this week when Daenerys and Ser Jorah get to have a more substantial emotional conversation about Ser Jorahs' journey to be by her side, even going as to profess his undying love for her. Ser Jorah showing her his greyscale is an interesting character beat. The raw emotion flashing across Emilia Clarke's face as Ser Jorah strips himself bare is riveting.
Rounding out our characters this week is a stand off between the Greyjoys over the Salt Throne. Yara Greyjoy (see another strong female character), backed by Theon, giving an impassioned speech why she should be Queen is rudely interrupted by her Uncle Euron Greyjoy, who crashes the party and chases the group off the island. It will be interesting to see some ship on ship battles in coming weeks.
Game of Thrones Season Six has a been a frenetic, propulsive season, with impressive action scenes and character developments, as we hit mid way thorough the season it will be interesting to see where the chess pieces being moved will eventually land up.