An all-female ‘Game of Thrones’ roundtable: A surprise death and surprise dick


Every week, the ladies of Fusion will join together to discuss the most recent episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones. This week, political reporter Katie McDonough and culture reporters Tahirah Hairston and Kelsey McKinney tackle the fifth episode of season six, “The Door.”

In this week’s episode (SPOILERS): We cry about the reason Hodor got his name. Sansa starts flexing her strength and tries her hand at scheming. The Greyjoys have a Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump moment. And after six seasons of men acting like dicks, we see an actual dick.

A surprise death that made us all cry

Katie: I just re-watched the last scene and I am teary again. Almost took a personal day to continue to mourn Hodor. Packed an emotional fucking wallop to know that the course of Hodor’s entire life had been set by Bran, and that he was essentially doomed by Bran.

Tahirah: I paused the TV because I couldn’t handle that entire scene.

Kelsey: HODOR! I will admit that I have an emotional hangover this Monday morning from the end of last night’s episode. I cried a little!

Katie: So we also learned that Bran can change the past. And since we are already in a Bran-altered world, my next question is: What else has Bran fucked up?

Kelsey: To be honest, I had to watch that scene three times because I was CRYING the first time.

Tahirah: We lost Hodor and a direwolf in one night. I can’t handle this. I seriously screamed out “NOT THE DIREWOLF” when Summer died. I am very attached to the animals on Game of Thrones.

Katie: That part sucked. All of these people and animals dying for Bran because he couldn’t keep his hands off the fucking tree. Fucking Bran.

Kelsey: Summer was a good dog. RIP Summer. Bran is bad.

Tahirah: Seriously, fuck Bran. He better have some good drama coming up because essentially this whole thing happened because he time-traveled without the Three-Eyed Raven. Also, that was such a childish thing, and it made me remember how young Bran actually is.

Kelsey: I will forgive Bran if and only if he makes Sansa Queen of the North.

Sansa Stark and Yara Greyjoy do the Westeros version of Lean In

Kelsey: Sansa has had the biggest turn of any character for me personally. I HATED her in seasons one and two and thought she was so whiny and terrible. Now I want her to rule them all.

Katie: That scene when she tells Littlefinger, in brutal detail, what Ramsay Bolton did to her was her most powerful yet. She wouldn’t let him get away with what he did without knowing what he did. This is the second time we’ve seen Sansa’s commitment to exposing men’s brutality in full force. Like, when Jon Snow received the raven from Ramsay and stopped reading the letter out loud, but Sansa told him to finish it. And the part he had left out was about brutally raping Sansa.

Tahirah: Exactly. She’s not embarrassed about what’s happened to her and not afraid for other people to know how badly she was treated. Littlefinger tried to deflect and Sansa was like, not this time, little trickster.

Kelsey: Also, I think there’s power in her forcing men to feel uncomfortable. I hope to channel this myself.

Tahirah: My favorite line was: “Did you know about Ramsey? If you didn’t know you’re an idiot, if you did know you’re my enemy.” I don’t think Littlefinger ever sees the consequences of his scheming. And now Sansa is becoming a big player, too. She’s like, I could murder you, Littlefinger, but you’re better alive for my use in the future. She’s thinking very strategically and not emotionally.

Katie: I think some of Sansa’s power will involve scheming. As much as I believe she is relieved to be reunited with Jon, I think life has taught her that she is better off trusting herself first. Except Breanne. She can totally trust Breanne.

Kelsey: It’s also interesting to me that, in this episode, we saw two brothers being asked to put aside their own interests in favor of their sisters’ potential reigns. Jon Snow for Sansa and Theon Greyjoy for Yara Greyjoy!

Tahirah: Yes, I love that. It’s like loyalty starts with the family first. But in this case, both of the sisters survived on their own without the brothers, and it’s now that they’re coming into their own power that the brothers are attempting to protect them. Theon is not fit to be a leader, and Jon Snow is technically not a real Stark (until… we find out he’s a Targaryen).

Katie: Can I say that Yara Greyjoy is Hillary Clinton and Euron Greyjoy is Donald Trump? Like, down to the dick joke. A woman who has been in the shit all of her life up against a random-ass man who drops in from nowhere after galavanting around the Seven Kingdoms.

Tahirah: I thought the same exact thing. He’s talking about how he’s fit to lead, and everyone is like, but where have you even been? What have you even done? Until he tries to say what they’re all thinking, and then people like him for being so “outspoken.” Yara is like…you guys have known me forever and seen what I can do, what is happening?

Katie: And Theon straight up says that, and then Euron’s like: You have no dick! And all of the other men are like: It’s true, he does not have a dick. This guy really tells it like it is.

Kelsey: Oh my god, that is literally Donald Trump.

Katie: It honestly made me a little nervous about our own election and how the Clinton surrogates who go on the attack after Trump might not be able to best him at his own shit, but that is neither here nor there this morning.

A surprise dick that is for once an actual dick

Katie: On the topic of dicks like Euron, we saw an actual dick. A surprise dick. And guess what? I did not like it

Kelsey: Omg, we did! I screamed “PENIS!” when it happened.

Tahirah: They have never shown a penis like that. Or at all, I think? It was like getting a surprise dick pic: I didn’t ask for this. Who is this, even?

Katie: I think we’ve seen them sometimes in brothel situations, dicks off in the distance, but this was a close-up! No warning! In some ways, it was the kind of senseless, gratuitous nudity that we usually see from female extras.

Kelsey: One thing I love about television is that, because it is being created as criticism is being written, the show writers can respond! So last season everyone was like, “how come there is no male full-frontal,” and now Game of Thrones is like, “HERE DO U LIKE THIS.” And we are all like, “no.”

Katie: Yeah, they’re like, OK, we’ll give you male full-frontal but it will be up close and it’ll be about genital warts, you’re welcome.

Kelsey: This is also kind of silly, since we just had Jon Snow laying dead on a table and then waking up naked. That would have been the optimal dick shot opportunity.

Tahirah: It felt like a full minute of dick, but I’m sure it was five seconds.

Katie: Dick time moves slower, I think.

Kelsey: My review of the penis shot: Why?

Tahirah: My review of the penis shot: Keep it.

Katie: I’m down to keep it, but only because I love equality.

Tahirah: Even though I hated the surprise dick, I agree with Katie. I like that GoT changed the gaze of objectification and showed a meaningless penis just because they could. I wouldn’t even call it a “female gaze” because it wasn’t shot with the intent of sexually pleasing women. The other references to penises in the episode—Varys and Theon not having theirs—were very important as well. It’s implied by some characters that a man without a penis is powerless and like a woman, but in both of those scenes, women were taking the lead and exerting their power.

Hotties of the Week

Katie: Iron Throne of Hotness? I vote Hodor.

Kelsey: Comin’ in with a controversial take this week! For the first and only time, I nominate Theon to the Iron Throne of Hotness. Because his jawline was looking good this week, and also he stood up for his sister.

Tahirah: Theon cries so much, it’s beautiful. I vote him for keeping it real.

Katie: I love how Theon cries every word he says now! It is the best thing.

Kelsey: I’m like, “same.”

Tahirah: Also, can I note that the casting of the Greyjoy family is so good!

Katie: Yes! They legit look like fam. OK, Theon it is. Sorry, Hodor. I tried.

Kelsey: Congrats Theon!

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