Game of Thrones: “The Door” (S6, E5)

game-of-thrones-season-6-premiere-date-jon-snowIt seems like the general consensus is that “The Door” is not only the best episode of Season 6 so far, but also the best episode of Game of Thrones since last year’s “Hardhome.” There’s a lot to like, from the earth-shattering revelation about the White Walkers to the wonderful skit in Braavos that reenacted Season 1. It also helped that the episode didn’t waste time with Ramsay Bolton or Dorne. Yet, I think one reason the episode worked so well is that we didn’t expect the big revelation about Hodor. Continue reading “Game of Thrones: “The Door” (S6, E5)”

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Game of Thrones: “Book of the Stranger” (S6, E4)

game-of-thrones-season-6-premiere-date-jon-snowMost fans will remember “Book of the Stranger” for its finale. Daenerys Targaryen’s fiery coup over the Dothraki leadership certainly marks a turning point for the story. For me, this was the episode when I realized the potential of Sansa Stark.

I admit that I hadn’t been a fan of Sansa Stark. During the first season, she came across as a petulant brat who was willfully blind to Joffrey Lannister’s flaws. During the second and third seasons, I sympathized with her suffering, but didn’t find her to be a particularly interesting character. She had become a passive victim, little more than the object of Joffrey’s abuse. She seemed resigned to her fate. The contrast with Margaery is telling. Rather than put up with Joffrey’s abuse, Margaery learned how to manipulate him (something Sansa never did). Continue reading “Game of Thrones: “Book of the Stranger” (S6, E4)”

Game of Thrones: “Oathbreaker” (S6,E3)

game-of-thrones-season-6-premiere-date-jon-snowIn most video games, the player controls a character and attempts to overcome some obstacle. If your character dies, he or she gets resurrected and tries again. Some games limit the number of lives you can use before getting a Game Over, but even then you are usually given another chance to beat the game. In other words, in video games, death is merely a learning experience.

Not so in Game of Thrones. For the most part, death has been a shockingly permanent feature of the show. In interviews, George R.R. Martin himself has said resurrection should not be cheap or easy. He has insisted that death must have consequences and that characters brought back from the dead should undergo some sort of transformation. After all, knowing that you died should be a traumatic experience. Continue reading “Game of Thrones: “Oathbreaker” (S6,E3)”

Game of Thrones: “Home” (S6,E2)

game-of-thrones-season-6-premiere-date-jon-snowThe title of the second episode of Season 6 is “Home,” but it could just as easily have been “Parents.” One way or another, each of the younger characters had to come to terms with the legacy of his or her (often overbearing) parents. Even though Ramsay and Tommen and Yara and even Bran never interact, they’re all dealing with the same issues of filial relationships. The way each responds to overbearing parents says much about their characters. Continue reading “Game of Thrones: “Home” (S6,E2)”