Game of Thrones isn't subtle. When it wants you to know something, it hits you over the head with it. In Sunday night's episode, titled "The Door," faceless man Jaqen H'ghar pointedly asks Arya, "Does death only come for the wicked and leave the decent behind?" Of course not. Good, innocent people die all the time in Westeros, especially those in proximity to Starks. So looking back, I should have known something terrible was going to happen to a Good Guy. Alas, I was not prepared.
Neither was our bear. (He's still in shock.)
"The Door" was an emotionally grueling hour packed with devastating mistakes and major revelations. It was also confusing as fuck. Dragons weren't enough for you, Benioff and Weiss? You had to introduce time loops too?! Never fear, dear readers, I am here to answer all of your questions. I may not know as much as the Three-Eyed Raven (who, apparently, knew everything from the jump), but I do know *some* things, including but not limited to embroidery, the Salt Throne, and the difference between dragonglass and dragonsteel. So let's get on with it, already!
How did Meera kill that White Walker?
Meera Reed can now join Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly as the only other character to shatter a White Walker, but how did she do it? She used her obsidian spearhead, which was forged from the sack of obsidian Sam conveniently gave her back in Season 3.
Remember, Jon was able to shatter that White Walker at Hardhome because his sword is made of dragonsteel, otherwise known as Valyrian steel. Meanwhile, Sam was able to kill that wight back in Season 1 with his obsidian dagger, which was made from dragonglass. (Are you sensing a pattern here?) While fire and and normal weapons don't stop the White Walkers, dragonsteel and dragonglass do -- and you can probably add dragon fire to that list. So Daenerys might want to hurry up and get to Westeros already.
Is Arya truly No One?HBO
Jaqen H'ghar is testing Arya. If a girl is truly No One, then she should have no problem killing Lady Crane, and yet, she does.
She initially came to Braavos to train with the Faceless Men so that she could better learn how to take out the people on her kill list. But now that she’s found herself in a dangerous tango with the Many-Faced God, is it really going to be so easy for Arya to hold on to her need for vengeance? Or will she sacrifice it all to become No One? I believe a girl is still a Stark as long as Needle is around, and as far as I know, Needle is still hidden beneath that stone wall outside of the temple. Arya would be wise to stick with her training and become a skilled assassin, but at the end of the day, she's going to eliminate people from her kill list -- not somebody else's. I wouldn't be surprised if we find her on a boat to Westeros in the season finale.
Who are the Children of the Forest?HBO
We know they created the White Walkers to use as a weapon against man, but the show skipped a few of the major details. The Children of the Forest are creatures who live North of the Wall. For thousands of years, long before man arrived, they lived happily in Westeros, worshipping the trees and carving faces into the weirwoods. In fact, you may have caught one of their carvings in the episode; it looked a lot like the Three-Eyed Raven. (This could mean that the Bloodraven was (A), older than we thought, and (B), some kind of deity.)
When the First Men arrived from Essos, they burned the forests and cut down the trees. This forced the Children of the Forest to create the White Walkers as a weapon to use against mankind. Sensing their huge mistake, the Children eventually joined forces with the First Men to build the Wall. This drove the White Walkers back into the North, where they eventually fell into a deep sleep. They slept for so long they became folklore.
Who was the Andal turned into the Night's King?HBO
The show seems to suggest that the very first White Walker that was created is the Night's King. This is where the show seems to deviate from the books. In the books, we have yet to meet the Night's King. That big battle at Hardhome in Season 5? Yeah, that never happened in the books. According to George R.R. Martin's text, legend has it the Night's King was the 13th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch who fell in love with a wight woman and eventually became one of them to be with her. The show, however, has taken a different approach to the Night's King's tale. So it's possible that he's the very first Andal the Children of the Forest turned into a White Walker. Perhaps the more important question is whether his previous identity is of some significance. At this point in the story, it's hard to surmise.
(Aside: I find it really annoying that the show has renamed the Night's King to Night King. Personally, I like Night's King better, so that's what I'll be using going forward. SORRY, SHOW.)
Is time a flat circle on Game of Thrones?HBO
It would appear that way, wouldn't it? What happened to Hodor was a direct result of a time loop created by Bran. The young greenseer made the crucial mistake of warging into Hodor in the present while in one of his visions of the past. This event connected Hodor to his past self in Winterfell and had a devastating effect on poor Wyllis. But this is where things get a little complicated. Bran’s mistake may have fried Hodor's brain, but that brain has always been fried in Bran’s reality. In essence, this is a time loop. We're destined to repeat past mistakes -- and Bran and company may have already repeated some. Bran's meddling could very well be responsible for anything and everything on the show. My brain hurts just thinking about it.
Wait, so can Bran change the past?HBO
Theoretically, yes. But we've only seen him do so via a "casual loop" in which he alters the past to lead to a preexisting outcome -- not an entirely new event. However, we know that he may possess the ability to communicate with people in his visions. When Bran and the Three-Eyed Raven traveled back to the Tower of Joy to watch a young Ned Stark defeat Rhaegar Targaryen's kingsguard, he cried out to his father and Ned seemingly heard him.
Whether what Ned heard was nothing more than a whisper on the wind has yet to be answered, but in GRRM's A Song of Ice and Fire series, Bran is able to communicate with Theon Greyjoy through the weirwoods at Winterfell. So yes, Bran may have the ability to change the past -- and, therefore, change the future -- but knowing how GRRM likes to subvert genre fiction tropes, whether he'll be able to use his powers for good is an entirely different story. What if Bran just keeps repeating the same old mistakes?
Why does Varys hate magic?HBO
Next to Littlefinger, the Cockroach of Westeros, Lord Varys is the slyest character on Game of Thrones. He's always three steps ahead of everyone else vying for the Iron Throne, so it was surprising to see how unnerved he got around Kinvara, the First Servant of the Lord of Light. Varys wasn't so welcoming of the new Red Priestess in Meereen, and he has a good reason for that. Back in Season 3, he explained the traumatic event that left him scarred, physically and emotionally, as a young boy in the Free Cities.
While there, he was bought by a man who cut off all his parts and threw them into a blazing fire. He then heard a voice -- but who was that voice? Since we seem to be blaming Bran for everything, I'm just going to go ahead and assume it's BranFlakes. (Just kidding! Maybe.) As Kinvara already proved when she aired Varys's dirty laundry out in the Great Pyramid of Meereen, she's got great power -- and a massive web of influence among both citizens and the Red Faith. So you better watch your back, Varys.
Can't get enough of Game of Thrones? Listen to this week’s Game of Crones podcast, featuring MTV News pop culture writers Teo Bugbee, Leah Beckmann, and yours truly, Crystal Bell.