The story of Hodor (Kristian Nairn) has always been a curious little mystery in the world of “Game of Thrones,” and now we finally know the tragic origins — and ending — of his character.
During his vision adventures into the past, Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) not only learns the origins of the White Walkers, he also comes face to face with The Night’s King.
As it turns out, White Walkers were created by the Children of the Forest — those little tree-looking girls who have been hanging out with Bran under the Weirwood tree. When humans first came to Westeros thousands of years ago, it was inhabited by the Children of the Forest, who were not so happy about men chopping down their sacred trees and taking over their home. In an attempt to fight them off, men were turned into White Walkers to be soldiers.
It appears to have been a bit of a Frankenstein’s monster situation, however, because now those same White Walkers slaughter the remaining Children of the Forest in an attempt to kill Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven (Max von Sydow).
Stuck in a vision of the past Winterfell, Bran wargs into present day Hodor to help them all evade their enemies. He is left to “hold the door” closed while Bran and Meera (Ellie Kendrick) escape. Bran accidentally wargs into the Hodor of the past, who subsequently witnesses his own death. The traumatized boy can only scream, “Hold the door,” until it warps itself into the familiar name we know him by: Hodor.
If that’s not tragic and heartbreaking enough, Summer is also left behind, sacrificing himself to buy Bran more time to escape the Night’s King’s army. Dire wolves are dropping like flies these days!
Speaking of tragic, Sansa (Sophie Turner) finally comes face to face with Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) again, and she gives him the verbal whipping he’s had coming for years.
After fans were in such an uproar over Sansa’s treatment last year — specifically her rape at the hands of Ramsay (Iwan Rheon) and the subsequent abuse she suffered — it’s vindicating to hear her speak out about her treatment and place some much deserved blame on Littlefinger. He traded her to Ramsay, and like Sansa said, he’s either an idiot for not knowing what would happen, or a monster for knowing and doing it anyway.
It obviously doesn’t make what happened to her any easier to stomach, but letting Sansa so frankly discuss the brutalities she suffered at least gives her back some of the agency that she was robbed of last year.
Other, less interesting storylines include Daenerys’ (Emilia Clarke) forgiveness of Jorah (Iain Glenn), and Arya’s (Maisie Williams) continued training montage in Bravos.
While not unexpected, it’s obviously touching that Dany would finally forgive Jorah for his betrayal and order him to return to her with a cure for his illness.
As for Arya, when are we supposed to start caring about her storyline? It couldn’t be more clear she’ll never be able to let go of her identity or lust for vengeance, so we’re eager for her to learn all the fighting skills she can before she bounces back to Westeros to kill her enemies and reunite with her family.
That’s probably a dream for Season 7, with the pace her journey has chugged along at so far.
“Game of Thrones” airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.