Game of Thrones S06 E09 “Battle of the Bastards” Review

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“Battle of the Bastards”

Warning the following is dark and full of spoilers

Oh man, when Game of Thrones delivers it frickin delivers! Episode nine always, and I mean ALWAYS, delivers!  How awesomely satisfying was this week’s episode though?  I’m still shaking from the excitement; I don’t even know where to start. There was also so much female empowerment it was insane! This episode wasn’t just about the bastards–like the title would suggest–it was about female empowerment. The women this week killed it and got their revenge.

Daenerys Targaryen was not playing around this episode. She no longer cares what a hater gotta say; she’s the Queen and her reign has begun. Tyrion tries to give her excuses about how Meereen is actually doing well and Dany isn’t having any of it. She’s done talking, she’s done negotiating, she’s done. She took action for the first time in a long time and it was everything. She showed those Masters that she had dragons; they never stood a chance. The best part? All three dragons got some action! The two in the dungeon broke free and helped their brother scare the Masters into surrender. The Sons of the Harpy were even trying to murder the people of Meereen but Dany also has a giant army of Dothraki that shut all of that down.

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It was all so epic. Even Tyrion was better; Dany and Tyrion are better together. We waited so long for these two characters to be together and so far it had been a bit lackluster to be honest. I mean back when Game of Thrones still had travel, it took Tyrion an entire season to get to her; there was a lot of build up. This episode showed us what we waited so long for: these characters to get stuff done and take some names! Tyrion had the best line, “It always seems so abstract, other people dying.” Yes Tyrion yes!! The Tyrion we all know and love—at least I do—is back and hopefully here to stay. Tyrion and Dany are the best team Westeros has got, or so I thought before Yara got to Meereen.

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Yara and Theon wasted no time—teleportation is a thing in this universe I swear—getting to Meereen. They stood before Dany offering their ships in exchange for her support in Yara being Queen of the Iron Islands; Dany loved the fact that Yara wanted to be the first Queen of the Iron Islands. They were basically falling in love, and I for one loved the heck out of this interaction. Yara explained to Dany that their uncle was on his way to offer her his ships if she would marry him. That he would demand that she marry him. Dany asked if they were making the same demands and Yara says, “I’d never demand but I’m up for anything, really.” Dang, that is a proposition! Could you imagine if Dany and Yara got married and ruled Westeros together?! Do you understand how amazingly refreshing and progressive that would be?! I am all for that; I beg for that to happen with every fiber of my being. The way Dany was looking at her suggested she was into it. Make it happen Game of Thrones! If that doesn’t happen, at least these two are teaming up, something I would never have guessed– but watching this scene it all made sense to me. They both want a title that has never been given before, they both have fathers that sucked, and they both don’t take crap from anyone; it all works so well, they are the perfect pair! All hail the Queens!

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Now to the actual title of the episode, the “Battle of the Bastards”. This battle was so epic: it soared above the white walker battle last season. Seeing as it was the same director, this guy knows how to film a battle sequence! I read that it was 25 days of shooting and had about 500 extras and 70 horses. This must’ve been a nightmare for the costume department, but they pulled it off; it was all very impressive, everyone looked great! Could you imagine though: we have to clothe how many extras? Some extras had a great day though, getting to fall all over Jon Snow’s body and just lay there; that would’ve been my favorite day. Sorry got lost in a daydream. Back to reality: what else can I say about this battle other than yes, just yes. There were piles of bodies, blood everywhere; Tormund got his nose bashed in, and the Giant ripped a man apart– it was great.

Ramsay was his regular awful self bringing Rickon to the start of the battle and making it look like Rickon could be saved. He said, “Do you like games, little man? Let’s play a game”, so Rickon started running and Ramsay was shooting arrows at him as he was running towards his brother. I have one thing to say to Rickon: SERPENTINE! When someone is shooting at you, you serpentine, meaning you run in zig zags so they can’t aim at you; you don’t just run straight. Rest in Peace Rickon, but seriously, serpentine, you dumb little boy. He was also hit with an arrow inches from being saved by Jon which is typical for the Stark family–the almost reunions. Can I just say that Ramsay has great aim though? He is actually skilled at something and that’s archery; Rickon was probably over 100 feet away. Sansa knew we wouldn’t be getting Rickon back and she was right. He is the true heir to Winterfell; there’s no way Ramsay was going to let him live. Jon had to try though and it kind of ruined their whole plan of attack. They wanted to let Ramsay’s army run at them first and they would have patience, but instead Jon listened to his anger and gave in to Ramsay’s tricks. Sansa tried to warn him that she knew Ramsay better than him but Jon is set in his ways and underestimated her.

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My girl Sansa should not be underestimated because she delivers in a big way. I was one of many who thought her letter to Littlefinger was a dumb decision; she was walking right back into his manipulative arms. However, it ended up saving the battle and winning it for Team Stark. All looked as good as lost until the Knights of the Veil showed up and destroyed Ramsay’s army. He of course—like the coward he is—ran back home. Jon, Tormund, and the Giant ran after him of course; he wasn’t getting away that easy. The Giant slammed through the doors of Winterfell allowing Jon and what was left of his army to run through and take Winterfell! The Giant sadly did not make it thanks to Ramsay’s impressive bow and arrow skills. Jon beat the crap out of Ramsay and it was oh so satisfying. The best part, though, was that he didn’t kill him. He looked up at Sansa and agreed that this was hers to end; it was always hers to end. She’s the one that put together the idea of taking back Winterfell, she’s the one that saved the day with the Knights of the Veil, and she’s the one that has been raped, tortured, underestimated and undermined throughout this series; this was her moment. So she visited Ramsay in his cage and watched his hounds rip him to shreds. She was the one to kill him like I had always wished she would. Ramsay hadn’t fed his hounds in days so that they would be ready to rip Jon to shreds but it backfired in his face—literally. He thought his hounds wouldn’t touch him since they were his, but Sansa threw it back to him by saying, “They were. Now they’re starving.” Moral here: feed for dogs. Sansa was the real hero this week. This was the win she’s been searching for all season and I’m so glad she got it. I discounted Sansa several times in the past but everything she has been through set her up for one of the greatest comeback stories since Jaime Lannister—in my opinion.

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A few extra thoughts: Littlefinger still needs something from Sansa in return I feel. This wasn’t all just a debt owed to her, he’s too conniving for that. I wondered why—during the previously on GoT segment—they showed Shireen’s painful walk to her death again until Ser Davos found the carved deer he gave to her in the snow the night before the battle. He had no idea until then what Melisandre had done. Shireen was like a daughter to him; he’s going to hate Melisandre for this. Rickon never got to say a word in his return this season, probably because his voice didn’t sound right. Poor Rickon, he got the spotlight for a second only to be killed and will soon be forgotten like he was for the past three seasons. Let’s take a moment of silence for Rickon…alright moving on.

This season Game of Thrones has really stepped up their strong female character game. There have been so many awesome moments of badassery for each woman in this show—something the show has been severely lacking up until now. I think the writers are finally understanding that women can do more and they are doing so much more this season. It’s really helpful—as a woman—to see representation like this. I only wish it hadn’t taken six seasons to figure out that women can get stuff done.

Next week is the finale and I’m not ready for it. For other shows we only have to wait a few months to see our beloved characters back on the small screen. We have to wait almost an entire year for the next season, it’s torture! There’s so much that has been set up and I know the pay off can’t happen in one episode so we will have to wait so long for some storylines to be resolved. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, I suppose, but it’s more like withdrawal and longing and sadness. I’m getting ahead of myself; we still have next week. Somethings will be resolved next week and by the looks of the preview each storyline is getting some action.

I’m not sure what the finale will bring or end, I have my theories–we all do–all I know is Game of Thrones knows how to throw a great battle. I will end with an awesome thought I had: what if everyone–excluding Dany, Arya, Lady Mormont, Sansa and Yara–took off their faces and revealed they were all Jaqen H’ghar; he isn’t no one, he is everyone and the women ride off into the sunset together? That would be an amazing ending.

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