Goofy or Great?
Game of Thrones gave us quite the ending with The Door, and I’m honestly not sure what to think about it. Let’s leave that to the end while we mull it over.
This was one of the most “old school” Game of Thrones episodes I’ve ever seen. By that I mean I was filled with the same curiosity and excitement that I felt when watching the first season six years ago. Maybe it was the focus on the Stark children, maybe it was the tone, I’m not sure, but I felt rather hopeful for the future of the realm (foolish, I know). With a heavy emphasis on Sansa/Jon, Arya, and Bran, I felt like things maybe haven’t gone as far down the tubes as I had thought.
Sansa has begun to (finally) come into her own, basically telling off Littlefinger and revealing to him just how much she has gone through. A good chunk of that hardship is directly attributable to him, so it was great to see Sansa give it to him. Sure, you could say that Littlefinger didn’t really care and that he’ll say whatever he has to in order to make it out any given situation, but given his, erm, feeling towards Stark women, I would say that the guilt he showed was at least partially genuine. Sansa’s growth is not just limited to her exchange with Littlefinger, however. She is proving to be quite the advocate for an attack on Winterfell, one that seems more and more likely with each passing episode. I’ve published my thoughts on the internet about this matter before (foolish, I know), but I really think that this resurrected Jon is going to turn out to be far more dark and vengeful, and an assault on Winterfell will be our episode 9 this season, and episode 10 will see the walkers take an under-defended Castle Black.
Arya, meanwhile, is researching her next mark…an actress from a traveling theater troupe. The actress playing Cersei is on the Many-Faced God’s hit list and Arya plans on poisoning her rum. Arya acts as the audience surrogate at this point, questioning why this woman is doomed to die. She is told, in turn, that the Many-Faced God does not only bring death to the wicked. It’s a test, of course, but it’s not without grounds. After all, she failed her first test rather miserably. Arya is tough cookie, and she certainly can do if she wants to, but watching the play reenact her father’s murder makes us wonder if she really wants to be an agent of the Many-Faced God.
Meanwhile, in the Iron Islands, we see Yara make a bid for the crown. She looks like she is going to get the approval, especially when Theon backs her, but their murdering uncle comes into the picture and claims the crown for himself. It was a heartbreaking scene, since the main reason for the dismissal of Yara is that she is a woman. Uncle Greyjoy gets the gig, and after being initiated (via near drowning?), Yara and Theon make off with the boats. These two characters have been the most tangential at this point, so my hope is that their paths cross with the main story in some important way in the near future. Perhaps he’ll join up with Jon Snow and they’ll go after the Boltons? It might be the best way to earn back the Stark’s respect after burning the place to the ground a few seasons back.
Well, now we’ve reached the end of the episode, so let’s start the game Goofy or Great? Cue the music, Mettaton!
Hodor’s name is a bastardization of the phrase “Hold the door!” His past self heard the phrase when Warg-Bran was warging into the past. Old Hodor was being told to hold the door against the white walkers, thus completing a loop of La Jetée caliber. So, what do we think…goofy or great?
To make the case for goofy: Really? That’s it? He’s holding a door? While he was never really a main character per se, it’s a bit of let down to see the character’s entire destiny be defined by something so small as holding a door shut. Sure, he was saving Bran’s life, but it felt like an off episode of Doctor Who, missing the mark just a bit.
To make the cast for great: Not everyone has a brilliant, star-studded destiny. There is a beauty in the simplicity of it all, especially since his story begins and ends with Bran. Now I haven’t gone down the rabbit hole with Game of Thrones time travel logic just yet, but this story checks out and, given GRRM’s comments in the past, isn’t just a fluke that the showrunner’s pulled out of their asses. It has all the elements…set-up, expansion, reveal, and pay-off. It just plain works.
So, what do you think…goofy or great?
Odds and Ends
- I hate how little emphasis was given to the origin of the White Walkers. The show basically said “Oh, yeah, here you go.” Kind of like how I just did.
- Very little happened with Dany this week…it was a lot of re-tread from season 1, save for the whole “Jorah has greyscale” thing.
- Those calling for more male nudity got their wish. Are you happy?
- I do wonder what other card Littlefinger has in his hand. He is an endlessly fascinating character and I would watch a show just of him.
Alex Russo likes to talk about television. You can read more of his insane ramblings on Twitter.