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What better way to mark the midway point of season 6 than with a lovely little chat about rape? Little Finger arranges a meeting with Sansa to apologise for accidentally on purpose handing her over to the most demented character to come out of George R.R. Martin’s skull, only to be threatened with a head stoving by Captain Phasma. It’s the least he deserves for making us agonise over this uncomfortable scene. And his face annoys me.
Speaking of annoying, the whole “a girl has no name” thing is wearing a bit thin. Arya is still training for the faceless Olympics, now taking on that pole-wielding scrubber in Soul Caliber-style combat. She takes more staff slaps to the face than a Dornish whore, but her spirit won’t be broken. She’s now off to assassinate an actress in her final attempt to impress the very people she’ll most likely slaughter when she teams up with the rest of the Starks.
Staying within their family tree and an actual tree, we visit Bran, who, for reasons I still haven’t grasped, is continuing to view the past through hallucinogenic visions. He’s seriously tripping balls this week, making the discovery that those wooden, fire magic sprites are responsible for creating the White Walkers. As it turns out, the ice zombies can see and even touch Bran during his visions, which makes everything 65% more dramatic.
Things are less exciting over at the Iron Islands. Yara Greyjoy is staking her claim as Queen and Theon is backing her, in the only way a man without a knob possibly can. But their uncle Euron is less progressive and thinks women can’t be rulers or football pundits, so he claims the throne for himself. He clearly then has some sort of stroke because he convinces himself that Daenerys Targaryen will be interested in his appendage and take him as her King. He’s obviously going to be reduced to pâté by one of her dragons.
In the sane world, Daenerys is completely over Ser Jorah stalking her and even sheds a tear when she discovers he’s turning into crazy paving. He takes this opportunity to tell her he loves her, because people are far more likely to reciprocate if they know you’re dying a slow and painful death. But she doesn’t. Instead, she tells him to fuck off and find a cure before he contaminates everything. She says it lovingly, though.
But the real heartbreaking comes in the final act. Having been touched by the White Walker King in one of his visions, Bran is now traceable, like a fugitive who accidentally used their credit card at a petrol station. This brings the undead snow skeletons straight to their tree house, where Summer the direwolf is killed, as is the Three Eyed Raven. With Meera dragging a paralytic Bran to safety, she instructs Hodor to “hold the door” separating them from the pursuing zombies – a command that echoes through Bran’s vision to Wylis, causing him spasm on the floor and incessantly scream the message until it’s contracted to ‘Hodor’. If that’s the thanks you get for helping the disabled then I say fuck ’em.