Game Of Thrones Recap: Hold The Door, Hodor
Game of Thrones’ fifth episode, “The Door,” begins with Sansa calmly knitting. This is what Sansa does when she is not being raped or traded like Pokemon cards among her male peers. It’s good to finally know. But, almost immediately and of course, her peaceful self-care is interrupted by a man, who hands her a letter from Littlefinger, another man. Littlefinger is hanging out in a place called Mole’s Town, an exciting tourist destination where people stare blankly at the floor inside old, freezing sheds. “One ticket to Mole’s Town, please!” says Sansa.
Sansa proceeds to verbally decimate Littlefinger in a way that I imagine the writers believe makes up for all the raping. It does not. Still, it’s a great speech, one that’s firmly backed by Brienne, Sansa’s future wife. Sansa begins by calling Littlefinger an idiot, then forces him to imagine and vocalize the things Ramsay Bolton did to her, then forces him to listen to her talk about these things in semi-graphic detail, then forces him to name six types of pancakes that they serve in Mole’s Town. He can only name three (plain, chocolate chip, mole), so she tells him to leave her alone forever.
Somehow, though, by the end of all of this, Littlefinger feels free and jaunty enough to (1) implore Sansa to seek out her uncle, who is named after a depressing SeaWorld documentary; (2) implore her to take him up on his offer of backing her with an army; and (3) rudely remind her that Jon Snow is only her half-brother (though this is an important detail to remember for later, when Sansa and Jon coyly flirt over her impossible knitting project).
In Braavos, Arya is being beaten to near-death with a pipe, as is her wont. Her salty colleague, whose primary characteristic is “being a bitch” and whose secondary characteristic is “hitting Arya with various objects,” is doing both of these things at once. After she lays the smack down on Arya for the 54,000th time, she reminds Arya that she’ll never be good at being bitchy and hitting people with objects because she is a “lady.” Jaqen, who is always standing conveniently in the doorway observing their interactions, agrees, but still decides to send Arya out on an errand to murder a stranger anyway.
The stranger Arya is sent to murder just happens to be starring as Queen Cersei in a play about the murder of Arya’s father. What a small world! For some reason, the writers think we need to watch several minutes of this play, probably hoping we would find it winking and meta and Shakespearean. No. It is boring. This play is boring. It’s useful, I suppose, in that it demonstrates the general ignorance of people who don’t actually live in Westeros, who believed Ned Stark to be an idiot and Joffrey to be a chill bro. But even Arya’s like,
The good news, though, is that immediately following this play, we get our first dick of the season.
Sure, it’s the uncircumcised dick of a person we met four seconds ago, and it has warts on it, but it’s a dick nonetheless. For a brief millisecond, the nudity scales are balanced. Then we see boobs twice.
We also learn that the actress Arya is set to murder is about to fuck the actor playing Cersei’s brother, Tyrion. OK! Great character development. Arya goes back home to her house full of detached human flesh and tells Jaqen that she will murder the actress by poisoning her rum. OK! Arya asks Jaqen who wants the actress dead and why, and Jaqen is like, “Are you kidding, or?”
Speaking of people who just do not.fucking.get.it., here’s Bran. He’s warging with the Three-Eyed Raven; this time, he’s watching the Children of the Forest play Duck, Duck, Goose. Wait, no, actually they’re creating the White Walkers by stabbing a human male through the heart with some type of jagged implement—probably dragonglass—and turning him into an undead zombie who will multiply exponentially and eventually destroy everyone on the planet. Bran, back at the old tree and absolutely horrified, asks the Children why they created the Walkers. “We were at war,” explains The Main One. “We needed to defend ourselves. From you. From men.” Oh.
Over in the Iron Islands, the Kingsmoot is on. The men are smooting about the king. Yara Greyjoy makes her claim for the throne. It’s pretty convincing; there’s a lot of smooting. One of the old white dudes—Gardblop—is like, “But what about Theon?” Theon, as usual, begins to cry—a woman’s work!—but musters enough strength to get the men smooting about Yara again. “We will find no better leader!” he yells, his lil’ chin shaking. All is going well until Euron, Balon’s brother, pops up out of actual nowhere after getting a GCal alert: “Smooting: 4:30–5 p.m.”
Euron says a lot of shit, most of it uninteresting and in an incomprehensible accent. He makes fun of Theon’s dicklessness, which, like, that’s a very 2014 joke, Euron. He promises to fuck Daenerys, which seems unlikely, considering he is filthy. Somehow, Yara knows that Euron killed Balon and calls for his murder. This doesn’t happen, even though Euron fully admits to murdering his own brother and Theon calls him out for being a Shameless Gallivanter. Instead, Euron is smooted up and gets to be the king.
First, though, like the swaggering, soot-caked frat pledge he is, Euron is drowned to near-death on purpose, forced to inhale gallons of seawater to prove himself worthy of the Iron Throne. “Let the sea wash your follies away,” sings Gardblop, who, along with the rest of the smooters, looks deeply uninterested while waiting to see whether Euron will expel torrents of seawater from his lungs or just die on the beach. Wow, what a fun town full of kind people. Putting it on my bucket list after Mole’s Town.
While Euron’s busy lying on the beach, Yara and Theon go and steal all of his best ships. Ultimately, he lives to discover this. His response could double as a synopsis for all of Game of Thrones: “Let’s go murder them!!!!!” More importantly, though, he gets a JCPenney crown as a gift for that whole thing where his men drowned him on purpose. Then he casually orders these men to make him 1,000 ships, which will take approximately 1,000 years of wet-person labor to complete.
Daenerys has finally gotten her hair back under control. She thanks Jorah in a roundabout way for saving her life, but is like, “I can’t take you back, and I can’t send you away, and I can’t tell how old you are, so … can you just …?” Jorah takes a page from the Jewish Mother Playbook and guilts Dany by revealing his progressive disease. “I’m dying, and I love you,” he says solemnly. “Welp, bye!” This works wonders: Dany breaks down in tears and orders him to travel the world to find a cure for himself, then “come back” to her. Daario looks on like, “Daafuq?” Honestly, amazing work by Jorah here.
Tyrion and Varys are drinking and plotting. Tyrion decides that in order for the unwashed masses of Meereen to trust them, they need an objective third party who can’t be bought and who has good tits. “Where will we find a man like that?” asks Varys, suddenly a fucking idiot because it is convenient to the one second of dialogue that follows. “Who said anything about a MAN?!” trills Tyrion. Everyone laughs maniacally for 15 hours. “He really got us!” screams Greyworm. Missandei is so shocked by the deft bait-and-switch that she explodes into smithereens. Varys calmly cleans up what’s left of her from the floor and puts it into a little baggie.
Actual seconds later, Tyrion is meeting with the Nordstrom Rack of Melisandres. He begins to convince her to talk up Dany around town, but she’s already down to do that—she’s certain that Dany is the One Who Was Promised. Uh-oh! Melisandre said that about Jon Snow last week. I guess that’s why they call it the blues. Nordstrom Rack tells Tyrion that Dany’s dragons will “purify non-believers,” which frightens both Tyrion and Varys, who’s skeptical of Nordstrom Rack’s religion and Trumpesque intentions. Nordstrom Rack is like, “LOL, I saw your dick get cut off and then I saw you talking to a fire.” This silences Varys.
Bran is brooding inside the old tree, pouting and lounging about like Justin Bieber on his tour stage. Everyone is asleep but Bran ISN’T TIRED, MOM. Instead of being kind and thoughtful and normal and having a good haircut, Bran wargs into the tree and fucks everything up for everyone! Here are all the mistakes he makes: (1) He is born; (2) He wargs into the old tree when the Three-Eyed Raven is sleeping despite express orders never to do this; (3) He sees a bunch of White Walkers; (4) Instead of running away, he walks toward them; (5) He wanders through the crowd blithely, like Bieber at a meet-and-greet; (6) He swaggers up to their leader all cocky, like Bieber at a North Korean cabinet meeting; (7) He lets the leader touch him, and thusly seals the dark fate of every single person who has been taking care of his sorry ass for years.
“He touched you,” intones the Three-Eyed Raven. “He can get in now. His mark is on you. You must leave, all of you.” To be fair, this sort of extenuating circumstance is definitely something the Three-Eyed Raven could’ve brought to Bran’s attention yesterday. But it’s fine. He was busy giving Bran free college-level classes while living inside a tree stump.
Over at the Wall, Jon and Sansa & Co. are trying to figure out how to get more men on their side so that they might have an actual shot at beating Ramsay. Sansa proves herself to be a brilliant military strategist, making Ser Davos appear stupid on more than one occasion. Jon lists a bunch of houses in the North to prove that he, too, knows stuff: “Uh, we’ve got Kerwin, Raisin, Horwin, Blorwin, and Blob.” Sansa doesn’t say anything about Littlefinger’s offer to help out, and she also lies about how she knows that her uncle Blowfish is still alive. Why? Because she doesn’t trust Jon. Why? Because Jon is too fucking cute to be trusted!!!
Brienne and Sansa have an adorable aside in their shared cabin. Brienne says she doesn’t want to leave Sansa alone with a cabal of gross men, and also makes fun of Jon for being the lead singer of A Perfect Circle. “Jon isn’t Tormund. Jon isn’t the Red Woman. Jon isn’t Maynard James Keenan. Jon is my brother,” says Sansa. “Then why can’t you trust him?” asks Brienne. “Because he is too fucking cute,” explains Sansa.
Days? Minutes? Years? later, Jon and Sansa are flirting outside. Jon says he likes Sansa’s dress. Sansa says she made it herself. Jon says he “likes the wolf bit.” Sansa says, “Good, because I made this for you.” She hands him a massive fur scarf-type thing. I believe a lot of things on this show. I believe that Jon Snow could come back to life via a simple spell. I believe that the Red Woman is a gross old lady. I believe that Tormund Giantsbane would break me in half if we were to become lovers. But I don’t believe that Sansa could knit this wolf scarf. When did she have the time? Where did she get the materials? The pattern? Was it during or after all the raping?
Everyone leaves for their various missions, splitting up again, because goddammit, this show. The Wyndham Wizard eye-fucks Brienne again. Please go back to your bleak corporate hotel chain and leave Brienne for Sansa. Thanks.
Days? Minutes? Years? after Bran ruined the lives of his only allies, the White Walkers have already caught up with him. The White Walkers took legitimately five seasons to reach Jon Snow. But somehow it took them a quarter of an episode to reach Bran. Sure. I’ll buy it. Just not Sansa’s scarf.
Meera attempts to do one thing for one minute that does not involve dragging Bran’s body around the inside of a tree. She begins to talk lustily about eggs. Before she can really get into her brunch fantasy, shit commences to go down. The White Walkers encroach upon Bran’s tree-cave. The Children of the Forest tell Meera to “grab Bran and run!” Meera, dreams of eggs dashed against the rocks, obeys. But Bran won’t wake up because he’s the actual worst. He’s hanging out in the North again, staring at young Hodor. All of his caretakers are dying violently around him. But all that matters is that he’s having a good time.
As the Children and the White Walkers do battle outside and then eventually inside the cave, the more skeletal of the bunch doing their best Evil Dead impression, Meera manages to both kill a White Walker and reach Bran in his paradisiacal daydream and encourage him to warg into Hodor. “Bran, we’re all gonna die!” she shrieks. Bran’s like, “Oh. Hmm. Ladeeedeeeee!” He takes his sweet time warging into Hodor. Meanwhile, the White Walkers descend upon Summer. The White Walkers descend upon the Three-Eyed Raven. The White Walkers descend upon the only Child of the Forest with a story line.
This next part simultaneously marks the most ridiculous and the most emotional moment of this entire season. Meera, racing out of the back door (?) of the tree cave with Bran in tow, screams at Hodor to “hold the door.” Back in the past, Bran watches as a young Hodor keels over and begins to seize, repeating “hold the door” over and over again until his words blur together to form “Hodor.” In the present day, Hodor presses his big ol’ body against the door, holding back the White Walkers, saving Bran’s life, and ultimately losing his own in the process.
I refuse to believe that George R.R. Martin thought of the “hold the door” thing when he named Hodor. We all know he was up late one night in Vegas, surrounded by sleeping strippers, popping Xanax in a cold sweat, whispering “Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor” until he came up with this entire cockamamie scene and sent its synopsis, months past deadline, to Benioff and Weiss. This is some Sansa’s-scarf-level shit. That said, learning that Hodor was essentially destined to save Bran and sacrifice himself for The Cause (whatever the hell it is) made me weep a little, both because Hodor is so wonderful and because Bran sucks so much. I also wept because I realized that Game of Thrones now openly subscribes to the Membrane Theory, and that means it is about to get 400 per cent more batshit.