(NEW YORK) — (SPOILERS AHEAD!) After last week’s fiery conclusion, this week’s Game of Thrones focuses on the icy part of Westeros. Jon and Sansa plan their attack on Winterfell, the White Walkers return, and we finally learn the truth about Hodor. Plus Arya gets a mission, and a new Red Woman enters the fray to champion Daenarys as the true ruler promised by the Lord of Light.
After finally reuniting with Jon Snow, Sansa Stark reunites with someone she is much less happy to see: Petyr Baelish, aka Littlefinger. He tells Sansa that the Knights of the Vale are ready to fight for her in her quest to retake Winterfell from Ramsay Bolton, but Sansa refuses his help. She is very distrustful of Baelish, as he was the one who arranged her marriage to Ramsay. Sansa makes Petyr recite how he thinks Ramsay tortured her, and Littlefinger tries to apologize. He also tells her that her uncle, Brendan “The Blackfish” Tully, has assembled an army, and advises her to seek him out. Sansa decides to tell Jon about The Blackfish’s army, but she does not mention Littlefinger and lies to him about how she heard the news.
Arya is back in the House of Black and White and is no longer blind. Though even with her eyesight restored, the Waif is still a better fighter. After another brutal combat lesson that ends up as a bare-knuckle brawl, Jaqen H’ghar interrupts to give Arya a mission. He tells her to poison an actress who performs plays in the street. After watching the play, which turns out to be basically a reenactment of the first Game of Thrones season, including the beheading of Ned Stark, Arya follows the actress backstage and realizes how she can poison her.
Under the Tree
Bran embarks on another vision with the Three Eyed Raven, and this time he sees the non-human Children of the Forest, who are thought to be the first inhabitants of Westeros, Bran sees the Children create the first White Walker. When Bran wakes up, one of the Children says they created White Walkers to defend themselves from men.
Later, Bran again enters a vision, but without the guidance of the Three Eyed Raven. He sees an army of inanimate White Walkers. As he walks through the crowd, he reaches the Night King, last seen leading the White Walker army during the Massacre at Hardhome. Though Bran is in a vision, the Night King sees the young Stark boy and grabs his arm. This marks Bran in real life, and allows the Night King and the White Walkers to enter Under the Tree, which had previously been immune to the creatures. The Three Eyed Raven tells Bran that the time has come for him to take his place. When Bran asks if he’s ready, the Three Eyed Raven replies, “No.”
The Night King soon arrives with a massive army. As this happens, Bran and the Three Eyed Raven return to the vision that showed Hodor, formerly named Wylis, talking. Bran then wargs into Hodor, and pulls his body out of the cave as they run from the invading White Walkers. He does so, and a Bran-controlled Hodor pulls Bran’s body out of the cave as they run from the invading White Walkers. They escape the cave, and Meera continues to yell at Hodor to “hold the door.”
Back in the vision, Bran watches as Wylis fall over and go into a seizure. His eyes go white, and he starts to yell “hold the door.” As he continues to yell, “hold the door” soon becomes “hodor,” revealing how Hodor’s condition came to be.
With Lord Balon Greyjoy dead, the time has come for the Iron islands to pick a new ruler. His daughter Yara Greyjoy declares her intention to take the throne, though many do not want a woman to rule. The recently returned Theon Greyjoy, Yara’s brother, then throws his support behind his sister, which sways most of the dissenters. Just when it looks like Yara will be crowned queen, Balon’s formerly exiled younger brother, Euron Greyjoy, appears and claims the throne. Yara accuses Euron of killing Balon, which he happily admits to doing. He then declares that he’s going to seduce Daenarys Targaryen and team up with her and her dragons to conquer Westeros. Euron is then named king of the Iron Islands, and Yara and Theon escape with the best ships in the Ironborn fleet.
Following her dramatic burning of Temple of the Dosh Khaleen and winning the hearts and minds of the Dothraki people, Daenarys turns her attention to another matter: Jorah Mormont. Although Daenarys has banished Jorah twice, he still helped save her life. As she decides whether or not to banish Jorah a third time, he makes the decision for her by revealing that he shows that he has the fatal disease greyscale. Before Daenarys has time to grieve for him, Jorah reveals another secret, albeit one that everybody this side of the Narrow Sea already knows: he’s in love with her. Jorah then prepares to leave his Khaleesi for the third and final time, but Daenarys stops him. She commands Jorah to find a cure for greyscale, and once he does, he is to return back to her and advise her.
After striking a tentative agreement with the Masters of Slavers’ Bay, Tyrion and Varys try to figure out how to show the people of Mereen that Daenarys can keep them safe. Enter: another Red Woman. This priestess says that she saw Daenarys claim victory in the flames, and is thus the real champion of the Lord of Light. Varys is skeptical, as he’s seen the Red Woman Melisandre make similar proclamations about Stannis Baratheon, which did not turn out so well. To prove her claims, the new Red Woman begins to retell the story of Varys’ castration as a young boy. As a horrified Varys listens, the priestess implies that he heard Daenarys’ name on that night, proving that she is indeed the Lord of Light’s choice.
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