One of the best things about the Game of Thrones is how large its world is. There is no way its plot cannot move, and there is no story that it cannot accommodate. This week showed us how little we know about the future of Westeros and all the other lands that exist in George R. Martin's fictional world.
If you are spoiler averse, this is where you should leave.
This episode begins with Sansa. She enjoys a less than pleasant reunion with Littlefinger. He's one of the more mobile characters in the Game of Thrones, teleporting from North to South with very little difficulty. Sansa's evolution from doormat to assertive woman has been one of the joys of the season. She suffered at the hands of the Lannisters with all the qualities of a lamb being led to the slaughter and then she endured the sexual proclivities of Ramsay Bolton. She says, "I can still feel it. I do not mean in my tender heart. It still pains me so I can still feel what he did in my body standing here right now." It is clear that she no longer trusts anyone with her future. When Littlefinger reveals his intentions to protect her, she says, "You can't protect me. You won't even be able to protect yourself if I ask Brienne to cut you down."
With those words she showed a determination to take control of her fate. She's gained a measure of power and it is unlikely that she'll release it soon. To be powerless in the Game of Thrones is to ready yourself for death.
There's a battle in Winterfell's future. At the minute it looks like it will be the Starks and the Tullys versus the Boltons. Once the armies are in motion it is not clear which families will side with whom. Loyalty is not a quality that is common in the Game of Thrones.
After her scene stealing turn last week you may have expected more time with Daenerys, but we didn't get it in this episode. All she did was order Ser Jorah Mormont to find a cure for his greyscale. He's one of the people I think the series could do without.
The meat of the episode was a surprise.The Game of Thrones delved into the far too complicated matter of time travel. At first Bran was merely an observer in the past, now he knows that he's something of a catalyst. He knows that his words and actions in his present could have some sort of impact on the events that we now consider to be part of the canon. If the present and the past that leads to it, are likely to be changed or corrected, then there really hasn't been any point to the series.
God knows that I didn't watch five seasons of The Game of Thrones to be told it was all a dream.