We reached the halfway point of season six of Game of Thrones this week with an episode that, among other things, saw some rare male frontal nudity, the return of the White Walkers, and the death of a truly beloved character. (Hodor!)
The first half of the episode seemed to jump from one plotline to the next without a whole heap even happening. Undoubtedly it was all necessary narrative developments in the grand scheme of things, but it wasn't until that final few minutes that the real drama went down.
So what did we learn?
1. Littlefinger has a lot of making up to do.
We doubt Sansa will ever forgive Littlefinger for leaving her in the hands of the Boltons but it certainly looked liked he felt genuine remorse for what Sansa had been through. Yes, he's conniving, manipulative and probably the least trustworthy person in Westeros, but Littlefinger certainly isn't the worst of the bad guys. At this point however, it would take a hell of a lot to redeem Littlefinger in the eyes of the viewer - a road trip with Brienne of Tarth perhaps? It worked for Jaimie Lannister.
2. Lord Friendzone is back in the friend zone.
There's just no shaking Jorah Mormont. As Daenerys pointed out, she's banished the fella twice and like a bad penny he keeps rocking up again. The pair shared quite a lovely moment this week though as Jorah finally admitted that he did in fact love Dany, and she then tearfully commanded him to find a cure for his progressing Greyscale so he could be by her side when she takes the Seven Kingdoms. Just as mates though. Obvs.
3. Roadtrip for Jon, Sansa and the gang
Having realised that they're short a couple thousand or so men in their army to reclaim Winterfell - Jon, Sansa and the gang have left Castle Black to recruit other families of the North to their cause. It looks like next week we'll even get to meet the Mormonts (the rest of Jorah's clan) while Brienne will be on a solo mission to set up an alliance with House Tully. It's been ages since we've had a good old fashioned Game of Thrones road trip, and even longer since we've seen Jon Snow outside of the walls of Castle Black so who knows what type of madhatter adventures they'll find themselves on next week.
4. Yara and Theon are on the run
Poor Theon is only off the boat five minutes and is already leaving the Iron Islands again as yet another mad man is after him. Sidebar - to become King of the Iron Islands you have to drown and then... come back to life essentially? Seems a tad risky - "we've lost another one lads".
Luckily Theon now has his sis Yara to keep him safe, but where will they turn up next with that gigantic fleet of ships? Winterfell? To help Jon defeat Ramsay per chance? AH GO ON.
5. There's a new Red Priestess
Move over Melisandre, there's a new Red Woman in town. As we know, these lot are obsessed with 'The one that was Promised', which this new Priestess (Kinvara) believes to be Daenerys - and it could well be. While Melisandre initially thought it was Stannis, she's now on team Jon Snow as the next chosen one. It could be either of them in fairness.... or BOTH!
There's even some fans who believe that there are actually three 'chosen ones' and that it's Jon, Daenerys and Tyrion. The "3 heads of the dragon theory" follows that Daenerys' dragons will need three people to fly them when the time for this great battle comes. This was confirmed to some by how well Tyrion seemed to get on with the other two dragons he met a couple of episodes ago, but sure who doesn't like Tyrion?
6. A rare male full frontal nudity scene
This was unexpected, to say the least. One minute we're watching some awful play mocking the Lannisters and the Starks and all that went down in season one essentially, and the next, well, there's some dude with his lad in his hand. The show is clearly trying to even out the on-screen nudity across the genders, which is great and all, but you know, a little warning would have been nice.
7. We now know where the White Walkers came from
Bran certainly had some creepy visions in this week's episode, but when he wasn't busy destroying Hodor's life (sigh, we'll get to that), he did manage to find out where the first White Walkers came from. Turns out, as Leaf explained, they were made by the Children of the Forest when they were at war with the First Men. Considering Leaf's fate in this week's episode, we're going to say that plan backfired. She did sacrifice herself to give Bran, Meera and Hodor more time to escape however, so we can't stay mad at you Leaf.
8. We lost yet another Direwolf
These Stark direwolves are dropping like flies, and this week, we lost Summer - a loyal companion of Bran's since day one. Saving him from death in the first season, and ultimately sacrificing his life for him last night (and not the only one who did either... dammit Bran!).
This means however that Ghost, Jon's direwolf, is the only one still alive.
*Update - Apologies, our trustee readers have reminded us that yes, indeed, Arya's direwolf Nymeria is still roaming around out there. Arya sent her off after she bit Joffrey, but Sansa's direwolf Lady was killed in her place.
Sorry Nymeria, we should never have doubted you.
9. Hold the Door! R.I.P Hodor.
There are a few Game of Thrones characters that, for some silly reason, we just thought were untouchable. Hodor, being one (Hodor!). In the final moments of this week's episode however, we realised the heartbreaking reason that Hodor only ever said 'Hodor', as Bran warging into him while still stuck in the past somehow caused a glitch in the Seven Kingdoms' Matrix. It resulted in a young Hodor experiencing what future Hodor was doing as he held the door against the army of the dead with Meera screaming to 'hold the door'... and so we understand how the gentle giant got his name.
The actor who plays Bran, Isaac Hempstead Wright, pretty much summed up all of our feelings at the end of the episode....
Nice one, Bran. ðŸ˜Å¾
— Isaac.H.Wright (@Isaac_H_Wright) May 23, 2016
While as usual, the internet has been having some fun...
— Diego J/NiTan Zorrón (@Nitanzorron) May 23, 2016
How the hell is Bran going to survive without Hodor carrying him about though? And just where will they end up next?
Watch the trailer for next week's Game of Thrones here.