S06E05 – Hold the door! Never has such a normal phrase held so much emotional devastation.
By Mumbua Nzula Nzyoka.
Hold the Door is the phrase that trended on Twitter sometime after the episode aired. Why? Well, the answer to that question is quite simple, Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 5.
The episode aptly named “The Door,” might be the best episode of the season yet. In a few short minutes, the episode managed to give its viewers a devastating backstory, a white walker battle, and a heart-breaking death sequence.
“Game of Thrones” (GoT) is well-known for delivering heart-breaking death scenes – Ned Stark’s beheading, The Red Wedding, Jon Snow’s stabbing – but “The door” gave us another heart-breaking scene that was both devastating and shocking. The victim, this time, was the beloved gentle giant, Hodor.
You’ve got to hand it to G. R. R. Martin. GoT answered a question fans have been asking since Season one (What does Hodor mean?) in three minutes and frankly, we regret ever asking the question. “Hodor” means “Hold the Door.” As a young boy, Willis saw future Bran – in his warg state – and immediately collapsed while yelling the words Hold the door.
In his final scene, Hodor leans against the door standing between them and the army of the white walkers. He leans against it yelling “Hodor” as he tries to hold off the army of the undead as Meera and Bran escape. And suddenly Hodor, the man, begins to make sense. As the camera cuts back and forth between Willis yelling “Hold the Door” and Hodor saying “Hodor” it becomes clear that Hodor has been repeating this single phrase all his life in preparation for this one moment. As Willis’ pronunciation becomes more garbled, and his epileptic fit becomes stronger, the words “Hold the door” suddenly become “Hodor.”
Watch the whole scene.
That is great character development for a character who only said one word, “Hodor,” for six seasons. And he died a hero. Some heroes put on capes and some just simply Hold the door.
The rest of the episode…
- Sansa Queen in the North
Sansa has grown into a strong woman, and that fact became clearer in this episode when she told Little Finger in no uncertain terms that she did not need him anymore. She did not need a man who sold her to a monster (Ramsey Bolton) under the guise that it was a good move to make. Petyr Baelish did, however, give Sansa sound advice. He asked her to seek out an army that is loyal to her, her uncle’s blackfish army. It is unclear whether her not telling Jon Snow about Petyr Baelish is a foreshadowing of a future disagreement between the two. For now, however, the Starks have left the Wall to take back Winterfell.
- The Children of the Forest created the white walkers.
This episode didn’t just deliver one origin story, but two. The children of the forest created the white walkers as a weapon against the humans who had been tormenting them. Knowing that makes the fact that they were killed by the undead army in Sunday’s episode even more tragic.
- Euron Greyjoy is the king of the Iron Islands.
Yara Greyjoy and Theon Greyjoy did try to argue their case before the people of the Iron Islands, but their inspiring speeches were interrupted by the arrival of their uncle, Euron Greyjoy. Ignoring the fact that he murdered their former king, the people decided to put the crown on his head. Fortunately, Theon and Yara took all the ships and ran just in time.
- Another Red Woman
Tyrion and Varys make a deal with another red woman (not Melisandre) to push their agenda in Mereen. This red woman does not need much convincing because she believes Daenerys Targaryen is “the one that is promised.”
- Tormund’s crush on Brienne of Tarth.
This cute crush can be aptly summed up in one Gif.
- Summer, the dire wolf, dying signals the end of summer. Winter is here.
- Ed finally realizing that he’s the Lord Commander was funny.
- Daenerys commanding Jorah to find a cure was a sweet moment.