DISCLAIMER: The following article contains spoilers from TV Shows of the past week. So if you haven’t SEEN the episodes of the week, and you detest spoilers, then I suggest you leave while you can. If you haven’t and you don’t mind spoilers, feel free to enjoy. If you have seen the episodes, then by all means read on and lets ki-ki.
REVIEW OF THE WEEK: Game Of Thrones – S06E09 (The Battle of Bastards)
Welcome to my weekly recap of Game of Thrones, the greatest show that ever was and ever will be. If you don’t agree, please argue with someone else. 🙂
First off, can we take a moment to appreciate just everyone that was behind this amazing episode? From the writers, to the editors, visual effects folks, producers, stunt folk and actors. This is as close to perfection as one gets.
Okay, let’s dig in!
So this week’s episode opens back at Meereen. Last we checked, the Masters had broken their pact with Tyrion because they are stupid, selfish idiots (just in case you needed to know), and were currently trying to take the city. Daenerys watches all this unfold and then seeks Tyrion’s counsel on how to handle the situation. Daenerys isn’t one for subtleties and so her plan is to crucify the Masters and basically just burn them all. She once had a similar plan when she first got to the city, a plan that Barristan Selmy advised her against back then; she ignored the advice and that of course led to the rise of the Sons of the Harpy and Barristan’s death.
This time, Tyrion is against that plan too, and this time she listens. A “diplomatic approach” instead is what he suggests. A meeting with the Masters to discuss terms of surrender 🙂
This part actually makes me laugh. Surely these Masters know she has dragons, right? After all, she didn’t conquer all their cities with just her charm, sweet mouth and flowing weave! They know this, and yet they still try to take her city and then ask her to surrender? Please is this not madness?
Also what is it with the men in this show and constantly underestimating Daenerys? Every single time they end up paying for that mistake with their lives, but they don’t learn, do they? Starting with her brother Viserys, and then recently the Khals that got roasted… Like seriously, they need to watch themselves.
Anyhoo, the Masters think this meeting is to discuss her terms of surrender, and the Head Bitch in charge is like, “My bad, I’m deeply sorry. I can see how I may have been misunderstood. We are here to discuss YOUR terms of surrender.”
They laugh at her like many men before them have, and then BAM! She summons Drogon. Drogon really is his mother’s pikin. Just like his mama, this lil bitch knows how to make an entrance! (He’s such a Beyoncé).
And bless the CGI heavens, because he looks so GOOD! And can we talk about the theme music in this part? LAWD JESUS! THE THING GOT ME HYPED AS FUCK!
And they do. And the sight is glorious!
Meanwhile, the Sons of the Harpy are back in the city, slaughtering citizens. But don’t worry, because just around the river bend is Daario Naharis and the Khalassar, and they come riding in hard to play polo with the heads of the Sons of the Harpy.
Back on the formation tour, Daenerys has arrived her destination – the Masters’ ships, and with one cold resting bitch face, she looks down at them and commands, “Dracarys!” You know what that means? It’s time to burn shit up!!! God, I was so hyped!
The dragons burn a select few of the ships (Obviously we can’t go wasting ships, they are precious) to send a message. The Masters receive that message, and with fear suitably rammed into them, the Three Musketeers (Missandei, Grey Worm and Tyrion) proceed to tell them the terms, which is that one of them has to die. The spineless idiots select the “Low Born” amongst them, and Grey Worm proceeds to kill them instead. LOL.
Tyrion tells the lucky survivor to spread the tea about what happened. “Tell your people what happened here. Tell them you live by the grace of Her Majesty. When they come forward with notions of retribution or ideas about returning the slave cities to their former glory, remind them what happened when Daenerys Stormborn and her dragons came to Meereen.”
GBAM! ENOUGH SAID!
In the North meanwhile, just ahead of the Battle for Winterfell, the two bastards decide to meet to discuss… Nah! Scratch that! It’s just basically to check the size of each other’s balls, that’s what these pre-battle meetings are always for, because nothing ever gets accomplished.
Ramsay talks and the legend that is Lyanna Mormont sums up my feelings toward the buffoon. Ramsay says, “Thank you for returning Lady Bolton safely to me. Now dismount and kneel before me and proclaim me the true Lord of Winterfell and Warden on the North.”
LOL. She is queen biko!
Anyway, shebi I said this was a dick measuring contest. SMH. Jon suggests they fight one on one instead of having their armies slaughter each other. But Ramsay is smart; this bastard knows he stands zero chance against Jon and dismisses him. Ramsay taunts them by providing proof that Rickon is in his custody. Recognizing this for the trap that it is, Sansa tells Ramsay, “You’re going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton. Sleep well.”
I swear our Little Red Riding Hood is now Maleficent, and I couldn’t be prouder. *wipes single tear*
Back at the Jon Snow camp, the children are strategizing, and listen to what Ser Davos says here: “It’s crucial to let them charge at us. They’ve got the numbers. We need the patience.” Sansa looks on as the children talk, and when they leave, she questions Jon Snow, telling him that she lived with Ramsay, she knows how his twisted mind works, perhaps they should have asked her what she thought of their plans. They have an asset right there, but choose not to acknowledge that. The men in this show and their underestimating the women sha. They do it unconsciously now even.
Sansa shows that she is truly transformed by stating the fact! They’ll never get their brother Rickon back. This is a fact. This is the same Ramsay that killed his father and fed his stepmother and stepbrother to his hounds because of the newborn’s stronger claim to the North. It’s bananas to think he’d let Rickon Stark (the one “known” person with a stronger claim to the North than Jon or even Sansa) live. She lays this fact out and Jon still doesn’t see it. It’s a trap and he is walking right into it. Sansa lets Jon know that if he loses, she’ll basically take her own life than return to Ramsay. Jon replies, “I won’t ever let him touch you again. I’ll protect you, I promise.” To which Sansa replies, “No one can protect me. No one can protect anyone.”
Sansa, ladies and gentlemen! She is ready. FINALLY! WELCOME TO THE GAME OF THRONES. Took you long enough!
Jon goes to meet Mellisandre for advice and she has useless! Seriously, I know she is having a crisis of faith or whatever, but when Stannis Baratheon needed reassurance, you birthed a fucking demon baby for him. Is birthing another one or two too much to ask?! Jeez! Get your head in the game, woman, and quit this sulking nonsense!
Back in Meereen, Theon and Yara Greyjoy have arrived. Tyrion and Theon exchange pleasantries:
Tyrion: Ha! Remember that time when you used to make jokes about my height! I hear you are now dickless!
Theon: Not cool, bro. Not cool!
Seriously, everyone on this show needs to cut Theon some slack. The dude has been through hell.
So apparently, they have brought a hundred ships (Daenerys does love her ships), and in return, they want her to support Yara’s claim to the Iron Islands’ throne. Yara and Daenerys go on to flirt – I mean, share their similarities. They both had horrible fathers and both want to be Hilary Clinton. Daenerys can relate but tells them to drop their raping, stealing and pillaging traditions. Yara agrees and they have a deal. I can’t wait to see where this plot line goes. I am giddy with excitement.
And now, for our main event: The battle of the bastards. We have the Starks in one corner and the Boltons on the other, complete with actual flayed men (Can’t say they don’t take their house sigils seriously). Ramsay turns up and in tow – you guessed it – Rickon Stark. The young lord unbinds his prisoner and tells him to run to his brother.
And so he starts running and Ramsay prepares his bow and arrow. Jon recognizes the situation (AKA IT’S A FUCKING TRAP, BUT WHO CARES! RICKON NEEDS HELP), and gets on his horse with the hope of meeting Rickon halfway. Ramsay meanwhile keeps missing (this gives the viewer just enough hope for another reunion. Yeah right, LOL) on purpose. And just when it matters, just when Jon is agonizingly close to Rickon, an arrow pierces the wee laddie’s heart. And just like that, another Stark is gone.
Very Mumu Boy!
If you remember, Ser Davos had said, “It’s crucial to let them charge at us. They’ve got the numbers. We need the patience.” Well, that plan quickly goes to shit as Jon falls for Ramsay’s trap and charges first. One can’t really blame Jon as it was a lose-lose situation. He had to try to save Rickon, trap or not.
What follows is one of the most thrilling battle sequences I have ever seen, TV or film. It’s magnificently done. I can’t even attempt to recap it; one has to watch it to get it. What enhances it is that we are shown the battle mostly from Jon’s perspective. So it immerses the viewer into the thick of the action. When Jon starts getting trampled by the horde, I swear I started feeling claustrophobic. EISH! The music, the cinematography, the action. PERFECTION!
The Boltons obviously have a better battle strategy, and Jon and his army are headed for a heartbreaking defeat. Wun-Wun, the giant does the most. He tries, and so does Tormund the Wilding, who successfully kills Lord Umber. Ser Davos is also in there, slaying folks left and right, but it’s not enough. They are losing.
And then just when you thought all hope was lost, who sashays in? Littlefinger and the knights of the Vale. And who is that next to Littlefinger? Our Lady Sansa of course! I knew that bitch sent a text message to him. Upon seeing this, Ramsay Bolton…BOLTS (See what I did there? Lol, I’m so proud of myself) and heads for the safe walls of Winterfell.
Jon is in pursuit though. Wun-Wun breaks down the gate, but not before a flurry of arrows is rained down on our already-weakened giant. He drops to ground, and just as Jon is about to say his goodbye, Ramsay fires an arrow through the giant’s eye, killing him.
Jon finally goes head to head with Ramsay and of course, he bashes Ramsay’s skull in repeatedly. You can literally hear the excitement from the audience as Ramsay finally gets his comeuppance. Sansa shows up, and not be a selfish brother, Jon saves the last slice of Ramsay for Sansa to do with whatever she pleases.
She has him locked in with his hounds, the same dogs that he hadn’t fed for a week. Ramsay tries on some pathetic mind game, telling Sansa, “You can’t kill me. I’m part of you now.” And perhaps, he is right, perhaps the vicious part of who he is has rubbed off on her, because what she does next is release the hounds on him.
That head bashing from Jon must have made this one delusional. At the end of the day, they are animals and animals need to eat. You starve them come dey talk of loyalty, especially when you are served up to them already garnished and sauced? Bitch please!
The first hound licks his face just to get a taste. Ramsay must taste good because the next thing the hound does is GO IN! And it takes a huge chunk of Ramsay’s face with it. It’s a beautiful sight. It’s poetic. Ramsay’s screams are the sweetest music to our ears. We are enjoying this, and so is Sansa, as she can’t help but smile cheekily as she leaves him for dead.
⦁I read a few comments online where viewers complained that the episode was predictable. Well of course the outcome was predictable. What? Did they expect Ramsay Bolton to win and Jon Snow to die again, with Sansa captured or Daenerys falling off her dragons and dying? I think Game Of Thrones has successfully tortured these ones with huge profile deaths that now, that’s all they’ve come to expect.
Plus the show is coming to an end; don’t you think at some point the good guys should start winning? Not every time, mourning and grief; sometimes it’s okay to have jubilation and happiness.
⦁As much as I love this show (and boy, do I love it), it’s far from being perfect. The writing can be sloppy and production can sometimes be less than stellar (*side eyes Dorne*). But when the show is on top of its game like it was in this episode, there’s nothing quite like it on TV. Incredible stuff!
⦁I wonder if we’ll check in with Jorah Mormont in the finale.
⦁I can’t even imagine how much was spent making this episode or how long it took. It is episodes like this that make the one-year wait between seasons worth it.
⦁How ill thought were the Masters’ plans though? They even came and demanded the Unsullied and Missandei be returned to their “owners”. LMAO! Between this and Jon Snow’s “let’s just rush into battle with fewer men and no battle strategy” plan, it definitely was a week for poor, poor planning!
⦁DRACARYS is like my new favorite word. It’s my response to almost everything these days.
⦁She doesn’t always get the credit she deserves, but Sophie Turner (Sansa) was the MVP of this episode. Both character and actress have come a long way and she really shined here.
⦁The Winterfell battle will get all the praise and deservedly so. But the dragon sequence at Meereen… That was some mystical level badassness! It set the tone for the entire episode. SO GOOD!
⦁Also credit to Iwan Rheon who plays Ramsay Bolton. It takes a certain level of skill to play a character that makes Joffrey Baratheon look like Santa Claus at times. For me, it’s always bittersweet when awesome bad guys are killed off. We love to hate them, and when they are gone, they leave this void that’s quite hard to fill. Iwan played Ramsay to perfection and while I may not miss the character, I’ll certainly miss seeing the actors work with the character.
⦁On his walk before the battle, Ser Davos stumbles across the toy he had crafted for Shireen. PS: Her death is still one of — if not the most — traumatic ones I have witnessed on this show. She was an actual innocent and pure soul. All the people that have died on this show, one can argue that in some way they weren’t completely innocent. Shireen was and her death was just… *sigh* Anyway, Davos knows now of her fate and will definitely be bringing it up if next week’s previews are anything to go by.
⦁I bet Varys would have loved to have witnessed Daenerys take back the city. I wonder where he is.
⦁Yara: Euron’s offer is also an offer of marriage, you see. You won’t get one without the other. Daenerys: And I imagine your offer is free of any marriage demands. Yara: I’d never demand but I am up for anything really. HA! And the award for smoothest talker goes to Yara Greyjoy. The girl is a panty-dropper. She’s good!
⦁Can we talk about how criminal it was that Wun-Wun, the giant, wasn’t armed with some type of weapon. A mace, anything! He’d have done more damage with that.
⦁Death toll: Aside from the thousands of men, major characters include two of the Masters, Wun-Wun the giant (RIP), Rickon “I can’t run in zigzag” Stark, Lord Umber, and of course, the one the only Ramsay Bolton.
⦁Next week, get ready for the longest Game of Thrones episode ever! I have a feeling the Freys will be next in getting a visit from Lady Karma; whether that happens via Lady Stoneheart or not remains to be seen. Something also tells me Oga Tommen won’t survive this season. This season has really been about our main players gaining the upper hand for once! Sansa, Jon, Daenerys, and even Arya have all had those arcs. Let’s see what the season finale has in store.
Oh and PS, Penny Dreadful has ended its run. It won’t be getting a fourth season, and so, the third season finale was the series finale, which IMO ended on a mixed note. There were good parts to it and there were other plot threads you could tell were rushed just to get to the end. The stories still had potential to go on for a couple of seasons more, but it is what it is. I am grateful that the series got me to appreciate Queen Eva Green and the rest of the cast, and I am excited for their future projects.
Orphan Black got renewed for a fifth and final season. It’s a bittersweet decision, but I am glad it’s happened. Hopefully they can go out on a high note. The good news is that this frees Tatiana Maslany to finally take on more roles and show mainstream Hollywood what she’s got.
Also the fourth season of Orange is the New Black was released last weekend. If you haven’t seen it, please do. It’s incredible and is probably their best season since the show debuted. Between this and House of Cards’ stellar fourth season, these Netflix shows are coming back in full force! Emmy voters have a lot of decisions to make as TV has been really great this year in general. I don’t envy them at all.
THAT’S IT FOR THE WEEK, FOLKS. SOUND OFF!
Written by Deola