FULL SPOILER REVIEW AHEAD
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I have a lot to say about this episode, I cried, I was upset, I was happy, and my hope that the runners of the show have learned from their past mistakes is set up on an even high shelf. Please, please keep this going. But enough of that, let’s get to it.
The episode opens with Sansa, up at Castle Black, who receives a letter from Little Fingers and goes to meet him. A bit of this scene was in the trailer for the episode, with a single line from Sansa, and as I was terribly excited as well as anxious to see it, my hope what that this would be a long and complete scene/meeting for Sansa, as there is a lot to be said. Indeed, it was. Sansa arrives with Brienne and they both aren’t here to ask of little finger has been doing and hug him through the night. Little Finger attempts to bullshit Sansa, claims that he did not know that Ramsay was a complete sadistic asshole who was going to not only rape but also torture Sansa, Sansa doesn’t buy his shit, none of us do. The scene is powerful, as Sansa asks him to tell her what he thinks Ramsay did to her the night of the wedding, and the many nights she had to spend with him. He bullshits her, Sansa doesn’t budge. Brienne stands tall and strong behind Sansa, really to kill Little Finger if he doesn’t answer her question. She tells him that she still feels the things that Ramsay has done to her, not only emotionally, mentally, but physically, and this scene becomes too important and incredible for so many reasons. This Sansa retaking some of what was taken from her, this is Sansa speaking of things people would rather she didn’t talk about, this is Sansa being a survivor, a warrior. Little Finger tells Sansa that there’s an army out there for her, I’m half listening, I’m in awe of her.
We move to Arya who is still training. I wished she was still blind so we could get the amazing storyline that she was supposed to get, but nope. She gets her ass kicked, Jaqen H’ghar gives her a speech about the first faceless men and then tells her to murder Lady Crane, an actress. As Arya arrives to observe Lady Crane, she watches a play, a reenacting of the war of the five kings, Robert Baratheon, Cersei, Joffrey, as well as her father are played by actors, and Arya watches as her father as well as her sister, Sansa, are mocked. Nod’s death, mocked, Sansa’s suffering and marriage with Tyrion (from which Arya can assume that Sansa was raped), the people laugh, a girl does not. After further observing, she decides of the way she will poison Lady Crane. We see breasts, I’m not bothered by it, we see penis and balls, I’m surprised but I appreciate the equality in the nudity, thanks, D&D. Arya questions the reasons why Lady Crane should die, and the person who is behind it, Jaqen H’ghar doesn’t like that, I think of the books and the cat of the canals.
Back with Bran, Bran and the raven are within another vision, and we learn that the children of the forest are the ones who created the white walkers because of the war between the children of the forest and the first men. I’m really intrigued, but I wonder if this is a book spoiler.
The Kingsmoot is held and Yara claims the Iron Thrones. Some men don’t like that, Patriarchy is well and alive and having a female leader makes some people uncomfortable. They claim that Theon, her brother, hence, male, is the one who should take the throne, but Theon continues to back up his sister, until Euron Greyjoy, their uncle and the murderer of his own brother shows up, makes a joke about Theon’s genitals as well as Yara’s. Euron is an ass, he talks about his travels and how the fact that he has seen some shit makes him abler to lead the Iron Islands to greatness. He promises to marry and fuck Daenerys (I laughed) and wins the vote. As the priest declares Euron king, Yara, Theon and many other men steal most of the ships and leave, knowing that Euro plans to kill them. This whole part was surprisingly entertaining to watch, and I am excited to see more of Yara.
Meanwhile, with Daenerys, she thanks Jorah for his unwavering support and seems to take him back, until Jorah shows her his growing Greyscale. Dany’s face, her obvious sadness and distress at the news, and as Jorah finally declares his love for her, is touching. As she demands that Jorah finds a cure and returns by her side for she needs him, Dany redeems herself a little bit in my heart. Dany leaves with the Dothraki to return to Mereen with her army, Jorah leaves in search of a cure, I’m reminded of season 1.
In Mereen, the peace is holding, but it isn’t safe, and it isn’t enough. Tyrion believes that more is to be done, so they invite Kinvara, another high priestess from the Red Temple of Volantis. Tyrion is welcoming, but naïve, Varys finally talks. Varys’s scepticism created a great dialogue with Kinvara, as he tells her of Melisandre’s mistakes, Stannis, but is cut in his words as Kinvara reveals that she knows of Varys’s past, his emasculations, and offers to repeat the words that he heard in the flames that day. Kinvara gains some sort of respect for her abilities, I am intrigued.
Over the wall, Bran decides to start a vision because he’s smart like that, the Night King sees him and touches him, ending Bran’s visions and allowing the Night King to not only know where he is but allowing him to enter as well.
A meeting is held in Castle Black to figure out how this whole attacking the Bolton’s and retaking Winterfell thing. Sansa lies about where she got her information on her uncle’s army and retaking of Riverrun, Brienne notices but says nothing.
Sansa’s attitude of reminding people that Jon is as much his father’s son as Ramsay is of his own father can be taken both ways, either as a sad, almost insulting thing, or a reminder that he is a Stark, and is as legitimate as Ramsay is. Sansa tells Brienne to go meet her Uncle, Brienne worries, and then questions Sansa’s lie. Sansa doesn’t answer. A bit later, Sansa shows up looking real good, with a Stark sigil on her chest and gives Jon a coat similar to the one their father used to wear, with the same sigil. This is a great way to show Sansa’s growth, her acceptance of Jon’s as her brother. And Jon’s surprise, but joy. As they ride out of Castle Black, together, Brienne a bit uncomfortable with her new fan, it is great to see those two Starks on equal grounds. So far, this is my favourite storyline of the show.
Back with Bran, the white walkers are already here and shit goes south very fast. As the children of the forest try to push them back, Meera tries to wake up Bran who is in another vision, in the Winterfell of the past, watching his young father being sent to be trained, but Bran does not wake up, and neither does the raven. What follows cannot be described, it has to be watched or read through George RR Martin’s own words. The Night King is able to enter the tree, and other walkers make their way in through other places. Meera pulls Bran away, the children of the forest are being killed, Hodor is terrified, and the vision continues. While still in his vision, Bran controls Hodor to pull his body away, Summer is killed. Summer death seems completely random, unimportant, and unnecessary, as if even less than a secondary character.
The Raven, too, is killed, and although beautiful, his death, too, seems sort of empty, I keep thinking of the significance of Summer’s death, I think of the books and I miss them. Leaf sacrifices herself in order to buy Meera, Hodor and Bran some time. As Hodor holds the door keeping the white walkers out, Meera runs pulling Bran with her, asking Hodor to hold the door. Still in his vision. Bran’s present seems to affect the past he is witnessing, sending himself into Hodor as he hears Meera’s asking Hodor to hold the door. Here and there we get what seems to be one of the biggest book spoilers that the show has given us book readers, the meaning of Hodor and the fact that Bran is responsible for so much. I cried, and thinking of it I’m still filled with a lot of sadness at the revelation behind “Hodor”
It took me longer than usual to write all of this, and I’m sure it is messy and incomplete, but there is so much about this episode and its ending that I am unsure of or that made me feel emotions I wasn’t entirely prepared with. Sansa’s growth is amazing to watch, and I am curious to see if Daenerys has humbled down, but Summer’s useless and meaningless death, as well as the revelation behind “Hodor”, the spoiling of things I haven’t had the chance to read yet leave me with some bittersweet taste in my mouth. Yet, this episode was, in my opinion, even greater than the previous one. It’s finale, even more unforgettable.
10/10 – Great episode, I cried, I was happy and then angry, it fucked me up, but it was glorious.