There was very little action in the fifth episode of Game of Thrones’ sixth season. The Door, the season’s halfway point, merely served as a placeholder. That’s not to say it was without its gut-wrenching moments.
This week, we said goodbye to yet another beloved character, Hodor. What made this even harder to watch was, just as we see Hodor sacrifice himself in order to save Bran Stark and Meera Reed from the legion of wights, we also see how Hodor became ‘Hodor’.
Early on in the episode, Sansa Stark finally confronts Petyr ‘Littlefinger’ Baelish for leaving her at Ramsay Bolton’s mercy last season.
It was oddly satisfying and unsettling at the same time to see the glib, silver-tongued Littlefinger rattled when Sansa corners him, forcing him to guess what she might have gone through at the hands of Westeros’ new psychopath.
But then she learns her legendary uncle (her mother’s uncle, actually), Brynden ‘The Blackfish’ Tully, has gathered all of Riverrun’s forces and has a sizeable army with him. An army that can aid Jon Snow in taking back Winterfell.
So Brienne is dispatched to convince the Blackfish to join their cause. Littlefinger was not the only character to lose their composure in The Door.
Over in Mereen, thanks to Tyrion Lannister and Varys, we meet Kinvara, the High Priestess of R’hllor (the God of Light).
The chief Red Woman (Melisandre’s boss) wastes very little time and throws in with Daenerys Targaryen, even promising the absentee queen the untiring services of her priests and priestesses in spreading her legend.
Interestingly, Kinvara seems to believe Dany is Azor Ahai Reborn (the prophesied saviour of Westeros) as she emerged from fire unharmed.
And then, Kinvara, with a gentle smile, taunted Varys so much so that the normally unflappable spymaster seemed like a fish out of water.
And finally, we see the return of the Night King, the leader of the White Walkers. But that was only after we saw how the first White Walker, presumably the Night King himself, was created by the Children of the Forest as a weapon against humans.
In all, the exit of a fan favourite character, a major revelation and a curious reinterpretation of a prophesy. The fifth episode, while not doing too much, does enough to whet our appetites for the remaining half of the season.