[Warning: This story contains spoilers for the fifth episode of Game of Thrones‘ sixth season, “The Door.”]
When Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) reunited in “Book of the Stranger,” it produced one of the happiest moments in Game of Thrones history. One week later, the Emmy-winning series returned and delivered one of the most devastating.
Such is Westeros.
Though the heartbreaking death of a major fan-favorite character is understandably top of mind at the moment, there were other major reverberations throughout “The Door,” the fifth and latest episode of Thrones season six. A major piece of the White Walker puzzle fell into place, for instance, while new parties began their quest toward Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), still making her way back to Meereen.
Here are 10 of the episode’s most important moments.
1. Children of Men
Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) was at the heart of all the hour’s most momentous occasions, beginning far in the past with the White Walker origin story. As it turns out, the Children of the Forest created the Walkers, shoving dragonglass into human hearts and turning man into monster. The Children claim it was because they needed weapons to fight mankind, referring to their long-ago war against the First Men — an ancient conflict with enormous repercussions in the here and now.
In his second vision of the episode, Bran returns to the site of the White Walkers’ birthplace, this time in the present. There, he encounters the Night’s King and his army, coming into physical contact with the frozen monster. When he wakes up in the cave, Bran’s forearm bears the Night’s King’s fingerprints, seared into his flesh. The mark allows the king to find the Raven’s cave, and one wonders if it’ll allow him to keep tabs on Bran moving forward.
3. The Three-Died Raven
The White Walkers marched on the Raven’s cave, killing several Children and others within — including the Three-Eyed Raven (Max von Sydow), cut to ribbons and turned into ash in Bran’s Winterfell vision. It’s not unlike Luke Skywalker watching Obi-Wan Kenobi die; now, the young apprentice is forced to become the master, without a true voice of wisdom guiding him forward.
4. Summer Is Going
Even worse than the Raven’s death is the demise of one of Bran’s most reliable companions. Two weeks after losing Rickon Stark’s dire wolf Shaggydog, viewers parted ways with another of the Stark siblings’ pups, Summer, killed in the raid on the cave. With Summer gone, only two of the original direwolves remain: Jon Snow’s Ghost, and Arya Stark’s Nymeria, not seen since season one.
5. “Hold the Door”
As if it weren’t bad enough that the Raven and Summer died, we also lost one of the most beloved characters in the entire series: Hodor (Kristian Nairn), ripped to pieces by the wights, all while holding them at bay so Bran and Meera (Ellie Kendrick) could escape into the night. What’s worse, this is the moment that turned Wylis into Hodor, a consequence of Bran’s time-traveling and warging abilities that zapped Hodor’s consciousness across time. “Hold the door,” are the final words he ever heard, and those words echoed all the way back to the past — a haunting development both caused and witnessed by Bran.
6. Banishing Baelish
Just south of the Wall, Sansa reunited with Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen), but it wasn’t nearly as happy an occasion as her reunion with Jon Snow. In a moment sure to fire up the Sansa fan base, the eldest daughter of Ned and Catelyn Stark essentially told Littlefinger to shove it, calling him an idiot and an enemy in the same breath. These words serve as a dagger to the heart, given Littlefinger’s obsession with Sansa … but just because he’s on the outs for now, there’s no doubt he’ll continue his attempts to win her over in the future.
7. A Riverrun Through It
Even on his way out the door, Littlefinger provides some sound advice for Sansa’s cause. House Tully once again controls Riverrun, according to Lord Baelish, and they’ll certainly join their forces to House Stark’s attempts to win back the North. To that end, Sansa sends Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) to solidify the alliance. It’s an exciting prospect for the show, albeit one that should cause book readers to wonder about a few future fates …
8. A Song of Fire and Water
At the Iron Islands, Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbaek) wins the Salt Throne, announcing his plans to sail to Meereen and team up with Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). But he’s going to have to get there faster than Yara (Gemma Whelan) and Theon (Alfie Allen), who escape Pyke with all the best ships in the fleet, intending to align with the Mother of Dragons first. Whether they arrive before Euron or the other way around, there’s now no doubt that the dragons of House Targaryen and the kraken of House Greyjoy are on an unexpected collision course.
9. The Bear and the Dragon
Despite all the blood spilled throughout the hour, there were several tears as well, particularly in the scene between Dany and Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen). After seasons of struggle, the two arrived at peace with one another, as Jorah confessed his love for Dany, and she reciprocated with some fondness of her own. While they’re not likely destined for a great romance, the reconciliation between the two was heartwarming all the same. Now, Jorah just needs to find the greyscale cure so he can live long enough to help Dany win the Iron Throne.
10. The New Red Woman
While Dany works her way back to Meereen, a new powerful woman enters the fray in the form of Kinvara, a Red Priestess of R’hllor. She describes Dany as “the one who was promised,” an echo of how Melisandre (Carice van Houten) currently describes Jon Snow. What’s more, Kinvara’s intimate knowledge of how Varys (Conleth Hill) became a eunuch indicates that her power levels are similar to Melisandre’s, if not even greater. It certainly can’t hurt to have more than one fiery sorceress in the mix, given the show’s brewing war against the White Walkers.
Here’s a primer on how Bran’s time travel might work on Game of Thrones:
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