Thoughts on Thrones: Was this the most heartbreaking episode?

Our in-house Game of Thrones experts take an in-depth look at season six, episode five, The Door.

Robert Smith: In a world filled with noble knights and other heroes, nobody was more brave or honourable than Wylis, the big, dumb stable boy at Winterfell.

The latest episode of Game of Thrones marks the halfway point of the current season, so there is plenty of plot boiling away - the Greyjoys start their very own civil war, Sansa and Jon take some big steps closer to their ancestral home, Tomund is still giving Brienne the glad eye (and she isn't saying no), and the stories of Ayra, Daenerys and Tyrion all inch forward.

But it's the tragedy of Hodor that made this episode so strong, and emotionally draining. Hodor's sacrifice is monumental - his whole life has been leading to this moment, and he followed the one order he needed to, when he absolutely had to.

The time-travelling shenanigans that linked him to his own death shattered his mind, but never his will, and he followed that order across a lifetime, until it really mattered.

And while it comes with a touch of valiant destiny that matches anything to do with Azor Ahai, it's the tragic end of a kind and simple man, broken by magical forces beyond his understanding, that made this the best episode of the season so far. Surrounded by epic images - the army of the dead swarming over the hill, Max von Sydow breaking up into smoke and ash, poor Summer going down fighting - this was Hodor's moment. He was given one job, and he did it. He held the door.

Or, to put it another way -

Hodor.

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Sophie Ryan: The Door was one of the most heartbreaking episodes of the entire series. We lost some really good people in the closing scenes, so let's charge our glasses and pour a drink out for all of them.

Last night we said goodbye to Summer, Bran's direwolf, as the wolf was torn apart by white walkers. Winter has well and truly arrived and departed with Summer. That leaves just Ghost, Jon's direwolf, and Nymeria, Arya's direwolf that is thought to be roaming with a super pack. RIP Summer, you were loyal to the end.

We also said farewell to the Three-Eyed Raven. Raven, I never really connected with you, and you mainly spoke in riddles. Maybe I just never got on your level. Anyway, your coat that wrapped round you like folded wings was cool, so I'll pour one out for you, too. RIP Three-Eyed Raven.

Leaf and various Children of the Forest all met their demise in the tree with the Three-Eyed Raven and Summer. I liked the new imagining of the children's appearance in this season. They looked more creepy and a little sinister, which turned out to be totally true after it was revealed they were responsible for creating the white walkers. RIP guys, thanks for trying to protect our boy Bran the whole time.

Finally, we said farewell to Hodor. His death was one of the most harrowing scenes of the show. I know Cameron will be devastated to lose the big guy, so I'll leave the eulogy to him. He met his maker like the hero he always was. RIP Hodor, your death will not be in vain.

Rachel Bache: The Hodor/Hold the door revelation was absolutely heartbreaking. Not only does it see the end to one of the sweetest, most innocent characters, but seeing how Bran's warging completely messed with his life and led him to this one moment. I just can't. Poor, poor Hodor.

In other parts of the Game of Thrones world, seeing Theon stick up for Yara gave me hope that he is maybe going to get his figurative balls back. Also, having the young Greyjoys taking off with an entire fleet of ships after their uncle is named king of the Iron Islands is amazing. Sure, they're running for their lives, but it's also a great way of sticking it to their dastardly Uncle Euron.

And I have a theory about where they're gonna go: hopefully, straight to Daenerys Targaryen. Dany's in need of ships, Yara's got them in spades. Together they can take on the seven kingdoms. I'm also hoping that Theon will feel like he still needs to atone for betraying Rob Stark and will lend their new forces to Sansa Stark and Jon Snow so they can take back Winterfell and fight off the white walkers with dragons. But that's definitely the long game.

Also, Sansa! As much as I loved your verbal take-down and threats of violence with Brienne at your side ... why are you still trusting of anything Little Finger says? He's gonna screw you over again, silly girl!

Joanna Hunkin: I know I should be focussed on the death of Hodor and the great reveal of how his name came to be. But honestly, warty peen. Warty peen! What was that? I'm fairly sure when Emilia Clarke called for producers to Free the Peen, this is not what she had in mind.

But while it provided one of the more humorous moments in Thrones history, it quickly soured as producers felt the need to balance things out with, you guessed it, gratuitous boob shots. Note, they were not warty boobs. Of course not. They were lovely - as always. Perfect boobs. Warty peen. Does it matter? The fact I'm more concerned about this than the death of Hodor or anything else that has happened this season, suggests yes. Actually, it does.

Siena Yates: It's easy to forget about everything else after we had that Hodor bomb dropped on us (I love you, Hodor, you sweet, pure, beautiful man), but a lot of other important stuff went down and we need to talk about the inevitable witch fight heading our way.

Over in Meereen, Tyrion's inexplicably managed to get the High Red Priestess to come all the way from Volantis to take his side and spread Dany's word to the people.

Now, you know Melisandre's my girl - she's the mother of shadows who brings the dead back to life - but she doesn't really know what she's doing. In the grand scheme of things, she's Hermione Granger and the High Priestess is Professor McGonagall.

The High Priestess thinks Dany is the one that was chosen. She was reborn from fire, the mother of dragons who are made of fire, the unburnt - unlike Jon Snow who got stabbed and came back to life by the skin of Melisandre's teeth.

Not only that but the High Priestess is the first person to ever scare the unshakeable Varys, reminding him of his castration and the voice that spoke to him when his "parts" were chucked in the fire, and for once, the silver-tongued spider was speechless.

She's about to change everything for team Dany, and eventually she and Melisandre are going to butt heads over who was chosen and I can't wait. Having these witches around changes the game - suddenly people can rise from the dead, people can be murdered worlds away through blood magic, and who knows what happens when you mix the Lord of Light with three fire-breathing Dragons?

Now, if one of them could just bring Hodor and all the direwolves back to life, that'd be great.

Cameron McMillan: As a kid I remember watching Obi-Wan Kenobi struck down by the evil Darth Vader and being in absolute shock. 'They can't kill off the good guy'. This one hurt more. But like Obi-Wan, at least Hodor died for a good cause.

Valar Morghulis and all that but it doesn't mean all men must die meaningless deaths, as we've seen time and time again on Thrones (see Ned and Robb).

The final scene was brilliant television and it's great to read that it was all part of George R R Martin's plan when he first began writing the A Song of Ice and Fire books in the 90s.

My favourite 'Hodor' moment was when Sam and Gilly stumbled across Bran and his posse in the season three finale. Sam recognised Bran as Jon's brother - saying the immortal line 'And I've heard all about Hodor'. The light-up look on actor Kristian Nairn's face along with the delivery of the line 'Hodor' is priceless.

'Use the warg Bran'. Turn into Melisandre and get Hodor back in the game.

- nzherald.co.nz

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