Last week I complained that nothing was really happening in Game of Thrones.
I regret that now.
(Spoilers after the jump)
My, how Sansa has grown. She used to be the one in believed in fairy tales, courtly love and chivalry. Joeffry and Ramsay have stripped those ideals from her. She is a realist. Furthermore, she is a student of Littlefinger. Sophie Turner does a good job of expressing how far she has come. Of course, Littlefinger recognizes her for what she is. He does offer her help with the upcoming war on Winterfell. She refuses and lies to Jon about things she learns from Littlefinger. I can’t tell if this is foolish or wise, which makes it interesting.
Ayra has more training scenes, then things get interesting. She has to kill a member of a dramatic troupe. She goes to the play where they are basically doing a farce of the first season. Ned gets the worse of it. This Ned goes around telling people how smart he is, yet everyone knows that he is the dumbest. From her point of view, this play is dead wrong. However, there is always truth in satire. If you go back and watch the first season, you can see Ned making mistake after mistake. Of course, hindsight is 20/20 but he didn’t play any of his cards right. In fact, he was just as much, if not more, as an idealist as Sansa. It’s a brilliant move to put those scenes back to back.
Jorah gets a great scene with Daenerys as a goodbye scene. It will be interesting to see if we see Jorah again.
I hate to say it, but scenes with Tyrion are just not clicking with me. They are underwritten for Peter Dinklage. The new red woman, Kinvara, is just a copy of the other red woman. These scenes should be intense (there could be death at any moment if the truce breaks), but what we get is low-level bureaucratic-speak. How exciting!
And now for the minority report: the Iron Islands scenes were fantastic. The kingsmoot is an election and this one was exciting. Euron is a great new character that makes me believe he can do what he promises his people. I don’t believe for a second he will actually do it, just that he could do it. Theon has a great few moments during the smoot defending his sister. Now, if next week we only see them cutting trees and sewing sails, then I’ll agree that it’s boring. But for now, it is to me the second most consistently interesting thing about this season.
Scenes with Bran have been fantastic this season. Like I said last week, it doesn’t hurt that every scene he has had, Max von Sydow has been there. It’s a brilliant way to do flashbacks, espcially when we learn that the Night King was a man created by the children to protect them from men. Now, the Night Walker wants to kill the Children as well. And the one scene Sydow’s Three-Eyed Raven is not in is where all hell breaks loose. The Night King sees Bran in the vision and touches him. This changes everything. Now, the Night King can break past the Raven’s defenses. He can attack the Raven’s lair. At first, the attack made me let out a huge sigh because it was such a zombie scene it was almost making me laugh.
Then Game of Thrones had it is most terrible, horrific, and finest scene to date.
Bran is vision with the Raven seeing his father as a child. Hodor is there. Yet, the White Walkers are coming. In the vision, Bran takes control of Hodor. Hodor drags Bran away while Meera follows and everyone else, including the Raven, sacrifice themselves to save Bran. They get to a door and Meera tells Hodor to “hold the door.” Bran is still in the vision. Young Hodor has a seizure and repeats “hold the door” until it just becomes Hodor. It was a beautifully and thrilling sad moment. I grabbed four tissues. Handed two to the Mrs. and use the other two on both eyes. It was executed perfectly and reminds you, no matter how you feel about the scene in particular, that Game of Thrones has the power to emotionally devastate you. You care for these characters even though you know that the world they live in is so creul that death is the only true god. I had trouble sleeping that night because I could still hear the screams. I am not sure I can rewatch it.
The scene itself raises way too many questions: Can Bran alter time? Are we watching an ultraviolent Groundhog Day where we just wait for Bran to get it right? Is everything Bran’s fault?
Nice one, Bran. 😞
— Isaac.H.Wright (@Isaac_H_Wright) May 23, 2016