In what might be the last of the epic episode 9s of Game of Thrones we finally got that battle we have been waiting for all season. The Battle of the Bastards. And it was worth the wait because the penultimate episode of season 6 was nothing if not spectacular. The production value of the HBO monster hit has always been extremely high but what we got to see in this episode has to be unprecedented. When HBO announced they had bought the rights to A Song of Ice and Fire one could only dream that the show would end up looking this good. On the visual translation from book to screen the showrunners have consistently delivered and then some. But, there are a few issues with the narrative. Certain things that don’t fully make sense and the writers have made a few mistakes here and there. When the good news came that A Song of Ice and Fire was going to become a TV show I was naïve to think that the series was going to be perfect. It isn’t and I should have known that it wasn’t going to be. But even though it isn’t perfect it is still one of the best TV shows ever made and even though this episode may have not been a testament to that, it was still insanely epic!
While the Masters continue attacking Mereen Dany and Tyrion discuss tactics. At a parley with the Masters Dany rejects their terms of surrender and suggest that they surrender instead. When the Masters are not impressed Dany gets on Drogon and together with Viserion and Rhaegal they destroy part of the armada. Tyrion, Missandei and Grey Worm tell the Masters that Dany demands that one will be killed for the crimes they have committed. When the Masters give Yezzan up Grey Worm kills the other two. Later Yara arrives at Mereen and offers her ships to Dany. In return she wants the Iron Islands to have their independence. After a short negotiation Dany accepts.
Jon meets Ramsay on the battlefield and Jon challenges his opponent to single combat. Ramsay denies. The next morning the battle begins and Ramsay releases Rickon and tells him to run towards his brother. Rickon does so while Ramsay shoots arrows at him and purposefully misses. Jon rides towards Rickon and when Jon is in arrow range Ramsay shoots an arrow that kills Rickon. Jon rides towards the Bolton army in fury and the Bolton archers release a volley. Jon’s horse gets killed and when Jon is down on the floor Ramsay releases the Calvary. At this Davos tells Jon’s army to ride out as well and the battle truly begins. After a ton of casualties the Bolton army encircle their enemy and starts closing in. When all seems lost the Knights of the Vale ride in to save the day.
Jon, Tormund and Wun Wun chase Ramsay. Ramsay hides in Winterfell but Wun Wun breaks down the gate. Ramsay kills Wun Wun but Jon overmasters Ramsay. Later Sansa releases Ramsay’s starving hounds in the kennel and they eat Ramsay.
What I liked
The action in Mereen was amazing. The three dragons raising hell together and the Masters getting what they deserve! Yaass!!! I also loved how Tyrion reminded Dany of what her father was. She is becoming more and more the Targaryan. Dany meeting Yara was cool as well though the girl power thingie is starting to feel a tiny bit modern and Dany’s almost girly response to Yara’s flirtations was a tad too much as well.
The battle for Winterfell was genius. Director Miguel Sapochnik did an amazing job. The way they shot it that it was like the viewer was inside the battle was brilliant. The chaos and grittiness of it all and the fact that it is just as much luck as skill if you survive was perfectly portrayed. And even though it was unlikely, I love it how for a few seconds it actually seemed like Jon was going to die again and because they let the all is lost moment last so long it almost seemed that Littlefinger was not going to arrive on time.
What I didn’t like
I have talked about this before and I know that the showrunners have difficulty with showing the direwolves but Ghost really should have been there. I can sort of understand Jon’s emotion when he made those mistakes but I don’t understand why Sansa didn’t say anything to Jon about the Knights of the Vale potentially helping them out. Especially during that conversation where she wines about not being asked for her opinion, even though she had ample opportunity to say something, was the perfect moment to reveal her secret. I really don’t see why she didn’t tell him.
What I’m looking forward to
The repercussions of the battle for Winterfell. What will happen with the northern houses that didn’t answer the call? What will Jon do next? Who rules Winterfell? What does Littlefinger want? Will Dany meet Euron already? Will the finally set sail to Westeros? Where is Varys? I can’t wait!
Notes from the ravens
Even though I really loved the episode and there were a lot of great moments and it looked so good it missed the emotional punch of The Door. That’s a shame.
I really hope Sansa’s decisions will be addressed in the season finale.
I really don’t want them to do it but if they are going to leave the direwolves out of crucial happenings like in this one they might as well kill off Ghost too!
We will see the Tower of Joy again next episode. I wonder if and when Jon will find out about his true parentage.
I’m going to miss Ramsay Bolton. Said no one ever.
One thing I don’t understand is why some of the Northern allies of Ramsay didn’t revolt. They made a point of mentioning that Ramsay only rules by far and from the moment he ordered his archers to basically kill their own men as well as Jon’s I expected something to happen in his camp. But nothing happened.
Do you think that the White Walkers will play a role in the season finale?
Who should site the Iron Throne?