This week’s episode of Game of Thrones was full of action and emotion, so much so that we wouldn’t blame you if you missed some of the finer points of the show in all the commotion. Just like the books by George R.R. Martin, there’s a lot going on just beneath the surface that many viewers may not have noticed on the first watch.
For that reason, we thought it might be useful to take a closer look at episode five, ‘The Door’, and share some interesting details that came out of it.
New Faces, Familiar Faces
The play Arya watched in Braavos was full of faces that should be familiar to people who watch British television. Hidden under the big beard and robe of Robert Baratheon was prolific actor Richard E. Grant, and the actress playing Cersei (the unfortunate soul Arya is set to kill) is Essie Davis of The Babadook fame. Brass Eye‘s Kevin Eldon rounds out the troupe as a buffoonish Ned Stark.
Of Monsters And Men
The Game of Thrones producers also slipped another subtle cameo into the show. The band accompanying the play was none other than Iceland’s folk rock group Of Monsters and Men. Past musical cameos included fellow Icelanders Sigur Ros (who performed at the Purple Wedding) and American metal band Mastodon (who got to play Wildings at Hardhome), both of whom were favorites of showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss. Click here for a more complete breakdown of Game of Thrones cameos.
Come And See
Here’s more evidence that there’s something suspicious about the so-called Bastard Letter that Jon Snow received from Ramsay Bolton. Book readers have long speculated that Ramsay never sent the letter, and a new theory suggests it was sent by Littlefinger to incite war between Jon Snow and the Boltons.
Take a look at the wax seal on Littlefinger’s letter to Sansa Stark above. Now look at the Bastard Letter’s seal below, and compare it to another letter sent by Ramsay Bolton in the past. While there’s nothing conclusive to be gleaned from this, it’s enough to make you go hmmmm.
Ghosts Of Our Fathers
A lot of big developments occurred during visions in this episode, but there were also some smaller, more subtle moments from the past, as well. Once again, Bran and the Three Eyed Raven returned to Winterfell, where we got our first look at Lord Rickard Stark as he was sending a young Ned Stark off to be fostered by Jon Arryn in the Vale.
A decade later, the Mad King would burn Rickard alive and demand Arryn turn over Ned. Instead, the Vale rose up and kicked off what became known as Robert’s Rebellion, the war that nearly wiped out the Targaryens and put Robert Baratheon on the throne.
A Familiar Face
Another small, but important detail from a vision: the face carved into the heart tree where the Children of the Forest created the first White Walker looks uncannily like the Three Eyed Raven. Does it only look like this in the vision because the Three Eyed Raven is looking through its eyes? Or are we seeing it as it really was? Considering the vision took place thousands of years ago during the war with the First Men, this would give us more evidence that greenseers from the future can sometimes be seen by those in the past — someone may have seen the Three Eyed Raven and carved his face in the heart tree.
Do the Children of the Forest have a deeper connection or understanding regarding the time travel aspect of visions? And if time can be affected in this minor way (and not so minor way with Hodor), how else can greenseers change the past … or the future? We’ll have to keep watching to find out.
Speaking of faces, take a closer look at the face of the human the Children of the Forest transform into an Other. Yep, it’s the same actor who plays the Night’s King! The unsure expressions on the Children of the Forest as they work their magic makes me think we just witnessed the creation of the original Other. If that’s true, the Night’s King isn’t just the leader of the White Walkers, but the first White Walker ever made! Considering what the Children of the Forest did to him, I’m starting to understand why he always seems so angry.
The Winds Of Winter
There also seems to be a connection between the vision of the Children creating the Others and Bran’s next vision where the Night’s King touches him. In the first vision, we see a heart tree in bloom with a distinctive rock swirl pattern. In the next, we see the same heart tree buried under snow and ice. The surrounding hills and waterfalls are now frozen and dead. The White Walkers have taken control of the land, and they have brought winter with them.
There may be more to the rock pattern that surrounds the heart tree than meets the eye. The distinctive swirl from the tree has been seen before in season three, when the White Walkers recreated it with corpses at the Fist of the First Men:
Like The One Father Used To Wear
Back in the lands of the living, Sansa Stark lovingly made her half brother Jon Snow an outfit befitting a Stark. She said she made it “like the one father used to wear… as near as I can remember.” After officially quitting the Night’s Watch, Jon had already changed into some pretty familiar Stark armor. And now Sansa has nailed the remainder of the outfit, giving Jon that classic Ned Stark look.