Manipulation has always been a key factor in Game of Thrones. Littlefinger lives for it, Tyrion excelled at it while he served as the Hand of the King. In its fourth season, the show has seen an increase in the manipulation of young and less developed minds.

Joffrey’s corpse is barely rotting, but Tommem’s strings are already being pulled in a billion different directions. If his grandfather’s not telling him what to think, then he’s got his mother in his ear telling him what’s what. Margaery Tyrell is already seducing the kid, and I’m not entirely sure he even knows what an erection is.

(Poor) Sansa is being used by Littlefinger in so many ways. She’s one of the heirs to Winterfell, a key piece to the North. She reminds him of the woman that he loved, her mother Catelyn. Her absence is being used as evidence against Tyrion for the poisoning of Joffrey. On top of that, she’s been promised to wed another undesirable. This time the lucky lady is betrothed to her breast feeding cousin, Robin. I keep waiting for Sansa to look at the camera and frown with the rejection sound from The Price is Right playing.

This brings us to Hodor. Last week, a member of the rebellious Night’s Watch muttered to the captive Hodor, “If I was your size, I’d be the king of the world.” Hodor is what he is, a simple man in a large body. All he can say is his own name. It’s this simplicity that leaves him open to possession by Bran (which the previously on recap at the beginning of the episode reminded us of with the subtlety of the Hound).

Hodor finds himself used by Bran as an act of desperation. Roose Bolton’s man, Locke, was carrying Bran away from his destiny to an unknown fate. His wolf was locked away. All he could do is use Hodor as his last salvation. Watching Hodor’s realization at what he had done after waking up from his Warg control was a little heart-breaking. He had broken a man’s neck and had no knowledge of it, just the blood on his hands.

I’m sure this won’t be the last time that Bran uses Hodor’s body to get what he needs. It has saved his life, and most likely will again. That manipulation and violation of this simple man that does everything he can for him is both wrong and necessary. It’s a slippery slope, and Bran needs to be careful. It could sweep him away. That much power with a great mind behind it? One could have delusions of ruling the world. With great Hodor comes great Hodor.


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  • I have to admit that I was mildly disappointed in last week’s episode, considering the great Michelle MacLaren directed it. This week, however, the action was top notch. The Hodor head snap and Jon Snow finishing off Karl Tanner were fantastically done.
  • So, this whole capture the Iron Throne thing is coming together pretty great. We’ve got the best trained slave army in the world, a weakened opponent, ships, and three god damn dragons. It’s time to sail to King’s Landing! Oh, there’s this other stuff that I thought was taken care of but apparently isn’t? Okay, I guess I’ll go do that instead.
  • It’s okay Sansa, Brienne is coming to save you from that creep Baelish. Oh, she’s headed to Castle Black? Well, shit. Maybe she’ll take down the entire Wildling army herself.
  • This week on Arrested Westeros fodder: cousins getting married! Also, Lysa’s reaction to getting married to Littlefinger reminded me of Rita. Married married married! I want to have sexual relations!
  • It’s interesting to note how often Braavos is being brought up. Arya mentions her training under Syrio. Tywin mentions his immense debt to the Iron Bank. Ser Davos wrote a letter to the Iron Bank a couple of episode ago. I’m sure the people of Braavos will be coming into play very soon. Maybe Syrio survived! Or, maybe he was just full of shit, like the always sunny Hound suspects.
  • A Lannister always pays his debts. Except when that Lannister doesn’t have any money left to pay those debts and has to sweat it out while forging an alliance with their rich neighbors.