Now it’s really gonna piss me off when someone doesn’t thank me for holding the door open for them. But before we get to that…
JIM: For perhaps the first time on this show, Littlefinger seemed at a loss for words. Why? Perhaps he wasn’t prepared to meet such a forceful Sansa. Perhaps he was scared Brienne would actually kill him. Perhaps he realized just what a shit he was to put Sansa in the Ramsay position in the first place.
A couple interesting plot takeaways from this scene, however. Littlefinger did manage to remind Sansa that Jon Snow is ONLY a half-brother, the implication being he’s not fully trustworthy as an ally. He also gave an update on your favorite, the Blackfish. Seems Uncle Brynden has re-taken Riverrun from those Frey creeps and is in a position to possibly help re-take Winterfell.
Tormund continues his courtship of Brienne by making creepy smiley faces at her and it occurs to me that they might be the best-matched characters in the whole Game of Thrones universe… aside from maybe Bran & Hodor. Sigh.
Oh yeah, questions—did Littlefinger really think it would be easy to waltz right back into Sansa’s life or do you think he never expected her to survive in the first place? Will you hug the screen when the Blackfish appears? Is Sansa to eventually give in and utilize the knights of the Vale?
ES: Well, I think that Littlefinger was at a loss for words, because the dude fucked up, and he is not used to fucking up, so he doesn’t really know how to act or what to say. He fucked up in either not knowing Ramsay was a complete and total fucking sociopath, OR he fucked up in leaving Sansa with someone who is a complete and total fucking sociopath and expecting either: a) Stannis to defeat the Boltons, and/or b) Sansa being cool with him leaving her there when he sees her again. Basically his desire to become Warden of the North just got a whole lot more difficult, and I’m sure he knows this, which would also probably lend itself to his silence.
My question is… how in the blazes did he get from the Eyrie to Mole’s Town in the blink of an eye? Aren’t they like hundreds of miles apart? Also, he’s there by himself?? That seems REALLY odd.
That said, the scene was a good and powerful scene, and gave Sansa the opportunity to finally put her big girl pants on and give her uncle-in-law some what for, but him even being that far north all of a sudden just sort of threw the whole thing off for me. There’s some Heroes-level speed-of-light travel bullshit going on this week.
Annnyway… I think that he did expect Sansa to survive, because I’m honestly not sure he knew about Ramsay. That said, leaving her with the family who’s lead by the man who murdered her brother and seized her home and her father’s title… yeah, probably not a good thought.
Who knows what I will actually do when the Blackfish reappears, but hugging the screen would be a good start. Dude’s a little too old and not really my type for me to be full on making out with the screen, so what’s in between a hug and a full on make out? Maybe a friendly couple pecks of my TV screen will suffice? Annnnnnd let me get out of this answer before I say anything else ridiculously strange.
Finally, I think that Sansa will indeed need the knights of the Vale, because really, more soldiers means better odds, and they have lots and lots of soldiers. I think that she DESPERATELY doesn’t want to accept anymore “help” from Littlefinger, though… and really, can you blame her?
JIM: This week in Braaaaavooos, Arya plays tag with wooden sticks and earns herself an assignment! She is tasked with killing an actress named Lady Crane and when she does her due diligence, she is treated to a play where her bumpkin of a father gets beheaded and her sister gets molested. Backstage she’s treated to some STD-laden cock & balls and observes that Lady Crane is on the sauce so killing her shouldn’t be too difficult.
Do you suppose killing this woman is a priority or did Jaqen send her there to witness the play and test her commitment to giving up her old life once again? Do you think it gave Arya pause? Does she truly believe in the faceless way or is she just planning to take the training so she can head back to Westeros and kill a bitch?
ES: I think that someone probably put in a hit on this actress… probably even Other Actress, who Arya suspects… but this may be a super-special assignment for the No One Formerly Known as the Wolf Girl because of the play and its content. Jaqen certainly is testing the hell out of her, and by the look on her face during the play, she certainly wasn’t passing it… and she really really wasn’t passing it when she started asking ALL THE QUESTIONZZZ to Jaqen.
I really don’t believe that she is No One yet, which more than likely is going to get her in trouble… if not outright killed. I also noted from this scene that she doesn’t have sweet bo staff skills, which is almost always a detriment. I’m starting to think that she got herself in over her head and I don’t know how she’s going to get out of it. I mean, she has to get back to Westeros at some point, right?
That said, I’m concerned for the Wolf Girl, I really am.
JIM: It’s Iron Islands election day! The Kingsmoot has begun and Yara, despite having a vagina, is the early favorite. Even Theon, with his fancy new haircut is able to muster a rousing speech on the efficacy of her candidacy and Yara inspires some rousing chants, until…
We needed Jim Ross to narrate Euron’s late entrance and subsequent verbal pummeling of Balon, Yara, and Theon. He pulled a Trump and belittled everyone involved by mocking Theon’s fancy vocabulary that he picked up outside of Pyke while also big-timing everyone by bragging about his experiences in the wider world. Doublespeak—wow, he really is a politician!
Euron also passed the Drowned God test and immediately asked where his niece and nephew were so he could give them a hug with his knife… but they already hightailed it out of there, taking half the fleet with them. This puts a serious kink in his plan to impress Dany with a thousand ships but he’s all “meh, no big whoop, we’ll just make new ones.”
Where do you suppose Theon and Yara are headed? Can the Iron Islanders possibly make 1000 ships fast enough to even get involved in this war, let alone impress the Mother of Dragons enough to form an alliance? How does the Damphair feel about all of this?
ES: What would have been great is having Jim Ross like you said, but also having Eruon’s theme music hit and some overdone pyro go off. Now that would be awesome and really set up a great slobberknocker!!
Annnnnyway… I’ve given this some thought and I really don’t know where Yara and Theon are headed? MAYBE to Dany to warn her about their ass-up crazy, all types of murdery uncle? I mean, where else would they go? They can’t go to the North. They can’t go to King’s Landing, right? Do they go to Dorne and join that awful plot? Do they run away and hide in Braavos or Pentos or one of the other free cities?
Well, I don’t think that last option is too viable, as I’m sure they want to take back the Iron Islands from their uncle. But, I guess the question is, how do they do it? Do they get a Faceless Man (or Faceless Wolf Girl) to murder the fuck out of him? Wouldn’t that be something?
I have to think that while the Ironborn have some mad ship building prowess, making 1000 ships will take a WHILE. By that time, Yara and Theon could be in Asshai. That’s right… fucking ASSHAI. (If you don’t know this place, check out this expanded map of the world and look for it… that’s right, it’s FAR FAR away… think far right near the bottom.)
Anyway, I get distracted by maps, what was I talking about? Oh yeah, the Greyjoys… I literally have no idea what they’re doing back there. I never know what they’re doing back there. Also, I’m not so sure the priest character is indeed the Damphair. Do they say he is or is this just wishful thinking on your part, James? (Ed. Note: Oh, there is an Aeron “Damphair” Greyjoy listed in the episode credits, so how dare you?!?)
JIM: Meanwhile, in Vaes Dothrak, old man Jorah says “Fuck it” and puts all his cards on the table—those cards being a love proclamation and a nasty case of the scabies. His greyscale revelation moves his Khaleesi to actual tears and she “orders” him to find a cure and then come back to her.
It was a quick scene but a highly effective one, I thought. But does he have the wherewithal to transform himself from Jorah the Sulk into Jonas the Salk? Wasn’t Shireen cured of her greyscale before she was, ya know, burned alive – by her parents? Where does Ser Bad Decision go from here? And what are his chances of living to see Khaleesi ascend to the Iron Throne?
ES: I think that that Ser Bad Decision coming clean about his the greyscale shows a bit of his growth in that he never wants to hide anything from his queen again… plus, you know, your boy Daaaaaaarrrriiiooooo saw it, and you know that fucker is going to tell Dany, so Jorah really had no other options.
I would say the odds of him finding a cure are about 27,000 to 1, especially b/c the only other person we knew who was cured was Shireen, and her the greyscale was caught almost immediately… plus Stannis had the monies and the resources to bring in healers from all over the world.
So, I don’t know where Ser Bad Decision goes. Maybe to Asshai? (I have zero idea why I’m stuck on this place today.) I mean, where would you even start? Basically I think the old man is doomed. I can’t even guess what they’re going to do with his character next. With ALL THE THINGS they have going on, can they even devote five minutes every other week to him? Is he THAT vital to the story? My first instinct is to say no, but then again, I have absolutely zero idea where this is going.
JIM: In Meereen, Tyrion is forming an alliance with a Red Priestess named Kinvara. Is it church policy for all priestesses to have impressive breasteses? Cuz if it is, I may need to look into signing up. Varys is unable to hide his disdain for her religion but she unsettles him by discussing a slice of his younger life.
Considering the last time a Lannister tried using a religious sect as an ally turned out to be a damn shame (shame, shame), is this likely to blow up in Tyrion’s face or will the Halfman score one for the good guys?
ES: So, I don’t know who this new red priestess is, but I. like. her. It’s not just anyone who can saunter on into a throne room and the make Varys both afraid and uncomfortable. Not that I want to see him that way, mind you, as the Spider is one of my favorite characters, but she just flexed some mad boss skills by doing that, so I gotta offer respect.
And speaking of respect, you gotta respect a church that knows that sex sells. I think that they may have some magic on all the priestesses to make them beautiful. Though, maybe this doesn’t apply to the red priests, as Thoros was more than a bit mangy. Anyway…
I’m not sure how much Varys was put off by her religion, as much as it was him being put off by her magics. It was some crazy-ass magics that took his parts from him, so naturally he would have every right to be uber-leery of it.
All this said, I’m not too sure that this is going to blow up in Tyrion’s face from the recruited priestesses/priests perspective, as it seems that this chick is FAIRLY committed to Dany, thinking that SHE is the one who is promised. What may get Tyrion in trouble, however, is these red folks telling everyone that Dany brought peace… by giving seven more years of slavery. I have no idea how that’s going to sit with the Mother of Dragons, but I would guess not. very. well.
Part of me fears that Tryion is getting himself into deeper and deeper shit. It remains to be seen if he can talk his way around and out of it with Dany, and I would tend to think that he could, but it’s sure going to be interesting when the HBIC gets back to town.
JIM: So, that’s it, thanks everybody for checking in this week… oh, what? We’re forgetting something? OK, fine.
Quick recap: Bran wargs back to the origin of the White Walkers and discovers that the Children of the Forest are the ones who created them to help fight off the First Men. Then, cuz he’s a bored teenager, Bran wargs back un-escorted to check out an army of Wights, but it seems their leader can see him and is able to touch him, giving them access to the tree fort. Meera and Hodor prepare to leave while Ming the Merciless tries to squeeze in one last lesson for Bran but it’s too late. The White Walkers show up and all Hell breaks loose.
The Forest Children are taken out, including Leaf who sacrifices herself to explode a bunch of wights at once.
Down goes Summer! Bran’s direwolf is taken out as well, but will we see him again as one of the undead?
Ming the Merciless is killed, blowing away as a cloud of smoke in Bran’s vision.
Bran wargs into Hodor to get his old pal to drag him to safety as they and Meera are being chased by wights. Bran’s power, however, is so strong that it’s revealed that he is the one that fried Willis’s brain back in the day, forever turning him into Hodor.
They make it outside the secret back entrance at the last second with Meera shouting to “Hold the door” so they can escape. Flashback to young Willis and the seizure that did him in as he shouts “hold the door…hold the door…hold the door…hold…door…hodor…” and we realize his name and the only gibberish word he could utter has been a mantra all this time. An mantra…a direction…planted by Bran…that would enable Willis to grow up and save his friends…to sacrifice himself…to presumably die at the hands of the White Walkers…to hold the door while Bran and Meera escape.
And I’m spent…
This is easily one of the most effective scenes in this show’s run. What happens now? Can Meera really drag Bran through the snow? Where do they go?
George R.R. Martin set up a nugget, a seeming throwaway like a simple character muttering the same phrase over and over again and turned it into a beautiful and tragic moment of heartbreak that paid off YEARS later—especially when you consider that character has been speaking of nothing but his own death through all of these books and all of these TV episodes. It’s so good that it’s one of those “I’d give my right arm to have written it” moments. Thoughts?
ES: As our former recap partner and part carny (only part because she does NOT smell like cabbage), Lacey, texted us after the show, “I am not okay. Sweet baby Jesus, that episode was tough.” I happen to agree with this sentiment entirely.
Okay, so I don’t even know where to start, so let’s do what I always do: I’ll start wildly rambling and we’ll see where that takes us. Good? Good.
Firstly, shocking that Bran did not spend more time in the tree. I mean, the Three-Eyed Raven said that Bran needed to learn ALL THE THINGS, and there’s no way he learned even close to SOME OF THE THINGS. Like, it feels like he learned A FEW THINGS HERE AND THERE. Okay, enough with the caps.
That said, this is even more of a “fuck you” to the audience, because when the hell are we going to see Part II of the Tower of Joy Flashback??? How will that come about now?
And this is without even getting into the carnage that the White Walkers and the Army of Teh Deads unleashed on them. I have NO idea how Meera got Bran out of there alive. She’s basically hauling a cart with Bran in it while being chased by the wights, who look lightning fast while scuttling all over the place. So them getting out was very surprising to me, despite the sacrifices they endured.
I mean, first Summer sacrifices himself to give them more time, and that has me ALLL distraught and mouth agape at the TV, thinking “Not Summer! NOT SUMMER!!!” And then I start thinking that him dying has to be some sort of symbolism… like it’s the end of Summer, so Winter is here… or something. And more specifically, I’m trying to think of what it means for Bran and his progression. Sansa lost Lady and then had to deal with Joff and then Ramsay. Robb lost Grey Wind and then died right after. Rickon lost Shaggydog (apparently) and now he’s held captive by a madman. Bran loses Summer and…?
And I have no idea, even after Hodor…. *sob*…. holds the door, how Bran and Meera will get away. And really, where can they go? Can they really outrun the Army of Teh Deads?
And speaking of Meera, I forgot how good of a fighter she’s supposed to be. You can now add her to the list of people who took out a White Walker: Sam, Jon, Meera. That’s pretty impressive!
I feel like the Creepy Reed Kids were so underutilized up until this point, and while Jojen is the dead now, hopefully Meera does some awesome stuff in the near future… I mean, she better, or her and Bran are both going to wind up walking with the deads.
Though that raises an interesting question: If Bran dies and his corpse gets reanimated, will Corpse Bran be able to walk? Hmmm…
But speaking of which, their deaths also mean that Summer, the Three Eyed Raven, and yes, even Hodor will be joining that army, which may be the most disturbing fact out of all of this. I shudder to think of all the humans that are left facing the Deads and seeing a blue-eyed Hodor leading the charge. That makes my skin crawl… as if my runny eyes last night weren’t enough.
And lastly here, I was all upset when the Raven told Bran he had to leave because the Night’s King would be coming for him… then they sat around and went on another peyote trip again!! Like, doesn’t, “This awful, unbeatable monster is coming for you and you need to leave” inspire SOME sense of alacrity??!?
Then again, maybe the Raven knew with all his seeing and his foresight that he needed to show young Hodor to Bran at that exact moment, because that’s the only way that Bran would survive, and that was the only way that it would be guaranteed that Hodor would indeed hold the door.
That’s so Three-Eyed Raven.