Game Of Thrones Season 6, Episode 5 Recap: ‘The Door’

Spoilers for the season six, episode five of Game of Thrones are below.

Damn you, Game of Thrones!

How can you take us from the happiest episode in recent memory to one that delivers a serious gut-punch? Make no mistake about it: this was a terrific and important episode to mark the midpoint of the season, but man…

Here’s what happened.

Mole’s Town: New Sansa is quickly becoming a force, meeting up with Littlefinger and going on the aggressive, calling him out for pairing her off with Ramsey Bolton. She recounts the horrors of their wedding night, telling him “I can still feel it, what he did in my body standing here right now” in a very painful recollection.

To his credit, LIttlefinger mostly just apologizes, mostly – the one other thing he says is that Sansa’s uncle, Brynden “The Blackfish” Tully, reclaimed Riverrun from the Freys and has pledged the Tully army to Sansa’s fight against the Boltons. He offers the Knights of the Vale too, but Sansa makes it clear she doesn’t want his help.

On his way out, Littlefinger, ever the strategist, reminds Sansa that Jon is her “half-brother.” Dude always wants to drive a wedge between people and trying to keep them on his side if possible; he’s good that way.

Braavos: After Arya and the Waif have another stick fight, which eventually just turns into the Waif tossing her stick and flooring Arya with an uppercut, Jaqen H’ghar rolls in to give Arya another chance at being an assassin, assigning her to take out an actress named Lady Crane.

Arya goes on a reconnaissance mission and watches a play that is basically a recap of the first two seasons of Game of Thrones, except her father Ned is portrayed as ambitious and power hungry, while Joffrey is played as benevolent and it seems to rub Arya the wrong way. Once she gets backstage, the assassin-in-training sees her potential path to murder – Lady Crane’s penchant for rum.

The Waters Around Pyke: It’s Election Day in the Iron Islands, where the process basically consists of stating your claim to the Salt Throne and trying to rally enough support to your side from amongst the huddled masses.

Yara steps out first, makes her case and gets some support for being the first Queen, before some objects get raised because old Theon is back and why would the iron-born follow a woman when they can follow a man? But true to his word, Theon walks out and gives a strong speech supporting his sister, who seems to have this thing all sewn up…

Until Euron rolls in, confesses to kill Balon, apologizes for not killing him sooner, mocks Theon for getting turned into a eunuch and playing the whole “I’ve been all around the world and you haven’t card.” Plus, he’s got a plan: he’s going to build a massive fleet and offer it – and his manhood – to Dany and the two of them will rule the world together.

The masses side with Euron, who gets sworn in as King, which involves a “trial by drowning” that he has to pass in order to ascend to the throne. While he’s getting dunked in the sea, Yara, Theon and some iron-born steal his ships and set sail.

Just Outside Vaes Dothrak: Dany and Jorah have their reunion, which starts with Dany reminding the Lord of the Friend Zone that twice she’s banished him and twice he’s returned. She makes it clear that she can’t welcome him back to her service and Jorah explains that he can’t, revealing his greyscale.

He also reveals that Tyrion was right, telling Dany, “I love you. I’ll always love you.”

A tear rolls down Dany’s cheek as Jorah starts to leave and she calls him back, reminding Jorah that he had pledged his life and service to her for eternity and she hadn’t dismissed him. Tears still on her cheek, she orders Jorah to find a cure for his greyscale because when she takes over the world, she is going to need him by her side.


As Dany rides off with her Dothraki horde, Jorah heads out in another direction in search of a cure.

Meereen: Tyrion gets a report on Project: End Slavery from Grey Worm before he and Varys meet with a Red Priestess named Kinvara, who looks like Melisandre’s younger sister, one that is trying to dress up like her big sister, right down to the necklace and ample bosom. Kinvara declares Dany “the one who was promised” and tells Tyrion she’s sing the praises of “The Mother of Dragons” to the masses, rallying their support behind her.

Before she can head out, however, Varys objects, asking about the previous leaders that had been declared “the one who was promised” and how that turned out. Rather than responding to his query, Kinvara asks him about the day he was castrated as a child, dropping all kinds of kernels of information that shakes the usually unflappable Varys. Before departing, Kinvara tells Varys that as long as he’s friends with Dany, he’s fine.

Castle Black: Team Stark is having a strategy meeting, trying to figure out which Northern families still haven’t picked sides in the impending battle over Winterfell. Sansa shares the information about “The Blackfish,” but not how she found out, which causes Brienne to question Sansa’s motives and safety since she’s being sent off to collect the Tully’s.

Before they head out, Jon leaves Dolorous Edd in charge of Castle Black and Edd doesn’t seem all that excited about it. Can you blame him? Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch isn’t exactly a choice gig right now, what with the last one having been murdered and an army of White Walkers readying to burst through The Wall to take over Westeros.

Inside the Weirwood Tree: Bran and the troupe get the closing quarter of the show and there is a lot that goes down.

First, Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven warg back to the creation of the Night’s King, the leader of the White Walkers. Turns out, it was the Children of the Forest that created him, stabbing a man with dragonglass because they were in a battle with the humans and they needed a hand. Obviously, things went sideways.

After snapping out of it, Bran lashes out at Leaf – the Child of the Forest that’s been hanging out with him inside the Weirwood Tree – for creating the Night’s King, but Leaf rightfully points out that the humans shouldn’t have been ransacking the land and chopping down trees in the first place.

While everyone is sleeping, Bran goes on a solo warging and discovers the undead army, walking through them all until he’s stopped in his tracks by the Night’s King and his horseman, who is staring him down. Bran surveys the army again and just as the Night’s King grabs him, he wakes up screaming.

The Three-Eyed Raven explains that Bran has to leave – he’s been marked by the Night’s King and now he’ll be coming for him; they’re no longer safe under the tree. Excited, Meera starts packing up, eager to get back out into the world, but her breath turns chilly as the White Walkers have assembled en masse outside the cave and are ready for a fight.

The Children of the Forest try to fend off the approaching army, but the White Walker Commanders march right through their fire. Meera and Summer, Bran’s direwolf, fight off the wights that break into the cave, but Bran is warging out again, venturing back to old Winterfell when Ned was kid and Hodor was a young lad named Wylis.

Racing down a tunnel towards in hopes of escaping, Leaf sacrifices herself to the cause – palming a fire grenade to incinerate a gang of wights, giving Meera, Hodor and Bran a chance to keep racing down the tunnel. They hit the open air and Meera tells Bran that he needs to instruct Hodor to “hold the door.”

The Raven, still warging out in the old days at Winterfell, instructs Bran to listen to his friend, so he locks eyes with young Wylis – future Hodor – who has a seizure as Bran gives his command.

Wylis shakes on the ground, continuing to repeat the phrase “hold the door” over and over, the words blurring together and losing syllables until it becomes “Hodor.” Learning that Bran is ultimately responsible for turning Wylis into Hodor is rough, but the follow up is worse.

The gentle giant continues holding the door, keeping the wights at bay, allowing Meera and Bran to escape, but in the process, the wights engulf him and we can only presume that Hodor dies.

Roll the credits. (wipes away tears)

Talking Points and Takeaways

See what I mean about the “Damn you, Game of Thrones!” off the top? Ugh.

New, militant, ready to fight Sansa keeps being awesome and her feisty encounter with Littlefinger and leading role in rallying the troops is making her easy to root for and support. She’s quickly climbing the “could end up on the Iron Throne” standings, though she’s still behind a few obvious people.

Future ninja Arya seems to be struggling with the whole “murder the actress” assignment and Jaqen reminds her a couple different times about the stipulations of being one of the faceless assassins. I tend to think this is going to lead to problems because the chances of a Stark giving up her name in this story about families has always seemed unlikely to me, but we’ll see.

Theon stepping up with force to support his sister was great and the eventual open-water battle between Yara and Euron is going to be awesome, like Blackwater, but with both sides in ships.

The Dany and Jorah moment was great – a long time coming, sweet, honest and genuine. There are no guarantees that the greyscale doesn’t get Jorah before all is said and done, but he’s a survivor.

This new Red Priestess seems to know a lot and it takes a lot to shake Varys, so clearly she’s not someone to be overlooked in the second half of this season. Expect big things from Kinvara.

Tormund’s smitten looks at Brienne continue being awesome.

The whole Hodor sequence was amazing – sad, but amazing. Learning that future powerful Bran is the reason all he can say is Hodor and that it stemmed from him eventually giving his life to protect him is heartbreaking, but a great way for the mostly gentle giant to go out.

Bran being able to directly interact with the past is going to be important; you don’t kill off Hodor through that power without it playing a pivotal role in the future.

Lastly, it’s nice to see that the long-awaited war is finally starting to take shape. The Night’s King is one of the best characters in the series, even though we don’t see him often and he never speaks, but we should be seeing more of him and his army in the future.

Is it Sunday yet?

Tags: Game of Thrones, Game of Thrones Recap, Game of Thrones Season 6, Game of Thrones Season 6 Recap

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