Is there any other story that can wrap such an epic reveal in such a traumatic event? Only GoT can inflict such suffering and at the same time spark mind-bending questions about the nature of time, the fragility of the mind and the nature of culpability. Game of Thrones episode 5 inflicted emotional trauma on a global scale
with the epic reveal of exactly how Hodor became Hodor and his subsequent death. The sequence was the most heart-rippingly painful in the whole series. In a show that burned alive an 8 year-old girl last season and threw a newborn to the dogs this season, that is no small feat. Kudos to the young actor playing young Hodor for ripping our hearts out with that performance. Kudos to Kristian Nairn for making Hodor the most beloved character of the series.
Episode five had a couple of other epic reveals that were much less traumatizing, but never the less raise burning questions about where the story is headed. Among them:
Who is This Guy & Why Him?
That the Children of the Forest actually created the White Walkers was one of the most shocking revelations of the show. That they were driven to do so to defend their way of life from humans, not surprising. How did they pick the poor guy? Is it just some random human or was he chosen for a reason? Could he be a Stark?
Why Did Sansa Lie?
Everybody’s wondering why Sansa lied to Jon Snow about how she found out about her uncle’s army. Littlefinger told her, but she said that she had heard the news before she left Winterfell. There are several theories about this: A. she doesn’t trust Jon Snow but is using him to take back Winterfell. Or B. she trusts Jon but is cautious because life. C. Littlefinger got to her with that “half-brother” remark during their meeting and she’s having doubts. Other possibilities: She may not want anyone to know that she met with Littlefinger. Why? Hmm. Alibi? Like if he disappears from the face of the earth, no one can point the finger at her. Or, if she uses him for something terrible, same thing.
Sansa’s lie may have nothing to do with Jon Snow. There were several people in the room besides Jon (see the pic), although none that can be called a threat. That we know of.
Let’s not forget that Sansa also made a new fur-collared cape for Jon with the Stark wolf on the straps. This means that she accepts him as a Stark, and so should everyone else. It means that he speaks and acts in the Stark name for House Stark. Could all that be a ruse?
What’s With the Karstarks and the Umbers?
The two most Stark-loyal houses in the North have switched allegiance to House Bolton. Or have they? It’s easier to believe Karstark flipped because Robb had to kill Lord Karstark back in Season 2. But the Umbers? Despite SmallJon (as opposed to his father GreatJon) Umber’s “gift” of Rickon Stark to Ramsay Bolton, it’s still hard to believe that he has switched allegiance. Lord Umber’s hilarious appearance before Ramsay Bolton included insults, a refusal to kneel or pledge fealty to the Boltons and a plea for assistance fighting the Wildlings. All the while displaying a careless swagger (and gorgeous costume). This kickass Lord called Roose Bolton a cunt to Ramsay’s face and lived. Impressive. Is he what he seems, or is he part of the fandom’s favorite theory of the Grand Northern Conspiracy?
When Will We go Inside the Tower of Joy?
It was so frustrating to see this legendary (to book readers) fight and pivotal scene truncated at the last moment. The show did not return to it in this episode, but there was too much other action for it to be noticeable. We’ve seen a a huge reveal about the fight itself (Arthur Dane was stabbed in the back by Howland Reed). The scene was cut just before the reveal that we all wanted — whether or not Lyanna Stark had given birth and if so whether the baby was Jon Snow. How many episodes until we see the rest of it? Will it be this season?
Was Bran’s vision Past or Future?
In the vision that started the White Walker drama in the last episode, Bran sees an enormous army of wights in formation, so to speak. He walks through the lines of undead (the balls!) and comes face to face with the four horsemen we’ve seen in the trailers. References to the apocalypse not withstanding, has there been a battle of that magnitude between the white walkers and humans before? Oh right, Hardhome! Was that vision before Hardhome or another previous conflict? Is it a vision of a battle yet to come? And more seriously: How in the heck did the Night’s King touch Bran in a vision? Past or Future, that is another huge revelation.
Will the Night’s Watch Survive?
Dolorous Edd has a seemingly impossible task ahead of him as the new Lord Commander. The Watch has been decimated by mutiny and the Dead are coming sooner rather than later. How will he replenish their numbers quickly enough to help defend against the oncoming dread? King’s Landing has it’s own problems and probably won’t be sending any prisoners any time soon. Will the Night’s Watch be disbanded and the Northern Houses take on the fight instead? I can’t even.
Where is Yara Headed?
This is more a philosophical question. After having the Salt Throne stolen from her by her psychopath uncle Euron Greyjoy, Yara didn’t sit around moaning about it. While Euron was getting…crowned, she and Theon stole the Iron Island’s entire fleet of ships. All the best ones, anyway. She’s probably headed to Meereen to offer Daenerys support and passage to Westeros, but it’s a long way to Essos. Will she pirate and pillage her way to Mereen? Where will she stop first? I’m digging the idea of Yara and Daenerys raising hell on the high seas.
When Will Torienne Happen?
I am still loving this! It’s so hilarious and unexpected. Tormund, usually cool and forceful, is being creepy, I guess due to lack of any type of seduction technique. Look at that leer. Ew. Hopefully he’ll get it together soon and actually speak to Brienne. Eye-fcuking doesn’t count. Please, please Dan & Dave, let us have this happiness after all the bloodshed you have visited upon us. Just this one happy. Imagine the huge gorgeous blond viking warrior babies!