“Games of Thrones”‘s sixth season is in the process of tying up loose plot threads while amping up the suspense. Despite concerns the series has surpassed George R.R Martin’s novels, show runners D. B. Weiss and David Benioff continue to take the audience on an emotional ride. The fifth episode, “The Door”, proves to be no exception.
Sansa Stark and Brienne (Gwendolyn Christie) meet up with Petyr Baelish (Aiden Gillen) in Mole’s Town. They confront him about why he married Sansa off to Ramsay Bolton, thus subjecting her to abuse and cruelty. Baelish tries to play ignorant, claiming he was unaware of Ramsay’s true nature and asks Sansa to forgive him. She proves herself to be a mature woman, cutting through his excuses and rejects his offers of assistance. As he prepares to leave, Baelish tells Sansa that her great-uncle, Brendan Tully, has an army at Riverrun.
Bran Stark (Isaac Hampstead-Wright) continues his learning with the Three-Eyed Raven (Max Von Sydow). During a vision, he finds a group of Wildlings in a clearing as they stab a man in the heart. As the man’s eyes turn blue, Bran realizes they are responsible for having created the White Walkers. Upon regaining consciousness, he learns from Leaf the Wildling that it was to protect them from men. Later, Bran goes alone into the past and encounters an army of Wildlings in various states of decay. Finally, the boy encounters the Night’s King, who grabs his arm before he can return to his body. Back in reality, the Three-Eyed Raven says the group must leave, because Bran has been targeted by the Night’s King.
Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick) wants to leave the cave, but she is horrified to encounter the White Walkers approaching them. While the Wildlings hold them off, Meera and Hodor (Kristian Nairn) try to get Bran to safety. What follows is an intense fight between the travellers, Wildlings, and the Walkers. As the fight spreads into the cave, the origin of Hodor’s condition is revealed, and the result is quite painful to watch. Although he has been seen as an gentle giant, Hodor has proven himself to be devoted and loyal to the Starks. One wonders if the series’ events have been caused by Bran’s training and interference with the past.
At the Wall, Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) and Sansa debate about how to take back Winterfell. Sansa wants the House of Umber to hang for giving Rickon Stark to Ramsay. However, Davos (Liam Cunningham) says the Northerners may be loyal but do not want to fight without hope. Jon argues they have two dozen families who still support the Starks. Even though Jon does not have his father’s name, Sansa knows her uncle Brynden Tully has retaken Riverrun with his forces. When Jon asks how she came to learn about this, Sansa lies about receiving the news from a raven. She sends Brienne on a mission to recruit Brynden. Brienne is reluctant to leave Sansa, because she fears what happened to Shireen could be repeated. As they prepare to leave, Sansa presents Jon with a fur-trimmed cloak with a similar tailoring to what Ned wore. Although this isn’t the same one, it brings to mind the idea that Jon could become a great leader of men.
In the Iron Islands, Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan) comes forward to claim the Salt Throne, but the men protest at the idea of a woman being a ruling Queen. However, Theon (Alfie Allen) supports his sister, claiming she is an “Iron-born” and a warrior. At that moment, their uncle, Euron Greyjoy, shows up and declares himself king. Yara accuses him of killing Balon, to which Euron admits he is responsible. He proceeds to win the people over by promising to marry Daenarys Targaryen and offer her the Iron Fleet. After he is anointed as king, Euron decides to murder his niece and nephew, only to find they have stolen the fleet. Enraged, he tells the Iron Islanders: “Build me a thousand ships, and I will give you this world.”
Having regained her sight, Arya (Maise Williams) continues training but is beaten badly by the Waif. Williams manages to convey Arya’s determination and steadfast resolve. It is amazing to see how far she has come since the first season. Jaquen H’ghar teaches her about how the first Faceless Men killed their slave masters and escaped to Bravos. Aya is given a job to assassinate an actress called Lady Crane, but she is warned she will not get another chance. At a satirical play of King Robert Bartheon’s death, she watches the actors ridicule her father and reenact his execution. She is stunned at the depiction of Ned, who is depicted as a moron and a traitor. Later, Arya begins to question the nature of her target.
In Mereen, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Varys discusses what must be done to keep peace. Tyrone argues the people need a hero who cannot be . They summon Kinvara the Red Priestess, who claims Daenarys is the promised saviour. Varys is skeptical as to Kinvara’s claims, but she responds by pointing out his castration. “We serve the same queen,” she says. “If you are her true friend, you have nothing to fear from me.”
Meanwhile, Daenarys (Emilia Clarke) tells Jorah (Iain Glenn) that she banished him twice, yet he came back twice to help her. Jonah reveals he is infected with the greyscale condition and won’t have much time left. He says that he has always loved her and asks permission to leave, but Dany commands him to find the cure and return. Daenarys says she will need his support after she takes control of the Seven Kingdoms. Later, she rides out with the Dothraki from Vayes Dothrak.
Overall, “The Door” proves to be another great “Game of Thrones” instalment. Special credit should be given to Turner, Harrington, Hampstead-Wright, Williams and Nairn for their acting. The series has continued to enchant and mystify viewers. Only five episodes left this season.