GAME OF THRONES Recap S6EP9 BATTLE OF THE BASTARDS

Paul Mendoza

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Wow! What more can you say? It was an episode filled with ‘Wow’ moments. I was so obsessed with The Bastard Bowl that I was surprised when the episode opened on the Siege Of Mereen! The show is wrapping up some unfinished business in these last two episodes and many are about to die. They didn’t hold back in this episode. It was as exciting and thrilling as any hour of television I’ve ever seen. Let’s dive in!

The Siege of Mereen

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 “My reign has just begun.”  Daenerys

The Masters seem to have Dany and her city right where they want them. Hurling huge iron balls from their hundreds of ships to smash against the mighty pyramid. Inside Tyrion is on the hot seat with Dany.

 “Despite appearances, the city is on the rise?” He tells her.  Dany is not pleased.

“Shall we begin”, she tells him.

“You have a plan?”

Duh! She has three dragons!! They meet with the Masters to discuss terms of surrender. The Masters prattle on about how they’re going to put Missandei back in chains and kill her dragons. Are they stark raving mad!

 “We’re not here to discuss our terms of surrender.  We’re here to discuss yours.” Tyrion tells him. Then you hear that familiar sound. There be dragons here! Drogon swoops down and lands right next to Dany! “Hi Mom! Who are these bums?”

Dany mounts Drogon and flies off to attack the armada. Then we see the other two dragons burst out of their dungeon to join their mom and big brother. Drogon descends on one of the ships and Dany gives the command, “Dracarys!” That boat was toast!

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On the ground, the Sons of the Harpy are slaughtering some unarmed, helpless people when they hear a loud sound.  The turn to see hundreds of Dothraki warriors with Daario in the lead, headed at them full steam! Daario slices off one of the masked men’s head. The Harpys are done!

“Thank you for the armada. Our queen loves ships!” Tyrion tells the three Masters who are now pissing their pants. He tells them that one of them must die for going back on the deal they agreed to with Tyrion. Immediately two of them point at their colleague in between them and say ‘kill him’. The poor guy drops to his knees as Gray Worm approached.  Gray Worm drew his sword and then sliced the throats of the two still standing. Tyrion then tells the third master to go back to his people and tell them what he say here today.

 Winterfell

“My dogs are desperate to meet you. I haven’t fed them in seven days, they’re ravenous.” Ramsey Bolton

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Jon holds a parlay with Ramsey.  Sansa is by her side wearing a dress with the Stark logo splashed on the front. Tormund, Ser Davos and young Lady Mormont are also present. Ramsey leers at Sansa. “Thank you for bringing Lady Bolton safely. Now get off your horse and kneel before me.”

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Jon has a proposition for him. “Thousands don’t need to die.  Only one of us.”

Mano a mano! Old school! But Ramsey isn’t having any of that! He’s heard the talk about Jon being a great swordsman. He knows his army is twice the size of Jon’s ragtag lot. Jon tries to get under his skin but he doesn’t know this guy. He likes ‘games’. He tells them that he still has their brother Rickon. He throws the head of Shaggydog before them as proof. At this point Sansa has heard enough.

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“You’re going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton. Sleep well.” And rides off. I love how those blue eyes just burn red with hate when she looks at Ramsey.

Later on at the war council meeting Ser Davos advises that they need to make Ramsey advance on them. They don’t have enough men to charge at them. “They have the numbers.  We must have the patience.” Ser Davos tells him. Tormund asks Jon, “Did you really think that cunt would fight you one on one?” “No,” Jon admits, “I wanted to make him angry. I want him to come at us full tilt.”

Tormund and Davos leave and what follows is one of the best acted scenes of the season and perhaps the best scene Sophie Turner and Kit Harrington have had in the show. Sansa is upset that Jon has not sought her advice.

“Making your plans on how to defeat a man you don’t know. I lived with him. I know the way his mind works. I know he likes to hurt people. Did it ever once occur to you that I might have some insight? You think he’s going to fall into your trap he won’t.”

“You’re right. Tell me then.”

“Don’t do what he wants you to do!”

“What do you think I’ve been doing all my life? Playing with broomsticks? (Nice shout out to Harry Potter there)

“I’ve defended the Wall from worse than Ramsey Bolton”

Then Jon asks Sansa how they would get Rickon back.

“We’ll never get [Rickon] back. Rickon is Ned Stark’s trueborn son… He won’t live long.”

Damn! Sansa doesn’t mince words!

“If Ramsey wins I’m not going to him alive.”

“I’ll protect you.” Jon tells her.

“No one can protect me. No one can protect anyone.” Sansa says and makes her exit.

Good day, sir!

Jon visits Melisandre and tells her “If I fall don’t bring me back.”

“I have to try.” She tells him. It’s not up to her it’s up to The Lord of Light.

“Maybe he brought you back to die again.” She muses.

“What kind of god would do that? Jon asks.

“The one we’ve got.”

Tormund and Ser Davos have a nice talk. Two warriors preparing for battle.  They both are out to avenge the men they loved. Stannis Baratheon and Mance Rayder. Tormund says he always gets drunk the night before a battle and asks Davos if he would like to join him for a bottle of sour goat’s milk. Davos graciously declines and says that his ritual is walking. He walks all night until he gets far enough away from camp to shit in peace.

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“Happy shitting.” Tormund tells him.  But Davos does have somewhere in particular to walk to. He comes across the place where Shireen was burned alive. He looks down and finds the wooden stag he made for her and that she was clutching as she burned. He will need to avenge her death. All in due time.

Mereen

Theon and Yara turn up in Mereen. They offer their ships and ask Dany to support Yara’s claim to be the ruler of The Iron Islands. At first, Dany thinks it’s Theon claim. “What’s wrong with you?” she asks him.  “I am unfit” he tells her. “On that we can agree on” Tyrion chimes in.  Tyrion hasn’t forgotten that Theon teased him the last time they met.

Yara and Dany have a flirtatious exchange as they bond over both having fathers that made bad kings and done in by usurpers.

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“And I imagine your offer is free of any marriage demands?” Daenerys jokes.

“I never demand, but I’m up for anything, really,” Yara says and Dany smiles. Is it getting hot in here?

Dany agrees to support her claim but she has a condition.

“No more raiding, stealing or raping.”

“That’s our way of life.” Yara tells her but in the end agrees.

Winterfell

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The two armies face each other. This is Jon’s ‘Braveheart’ moment. “FREEDOM!”

There are several flayed men hung upside down and on fire on crosses. That is the Bolton logo so why not? Then Ramsey brings out a bound Rickon. He pulls out he knife and raises it above his head. But instead of killing Rickon he cuts him loose.

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“Do you like games, little man?” he tells Rickon. He tells him to run to his brother and if he makes it he wins. But Ramsey’s part involves shooting arrows at him. Poor Rickon starts running.  Jon can’t help himself. He starts riding towards Rickon. NO! Didn’t you listen to Sansa? This is just playing into Ramsey’s plan. Jon and Rickon keep getting closer as arrow after arrow misses him. For a second it looks like they will be reunited but just as Jon gets to him an arrow goes right through his chest. Again, Sansa was right.

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No Jon is out there all alone. Ramsey sends his cavalry. Jon draws his sword. Bloody hell! But just at the moment Bolton’s men reach Jon they are met by Jon’s cavalry.  They smash into each other forcefully. The battle is on! The battle is shot magnificently. I don’t know how they did it. The scene did take 25 days to film and they shot 86 hours of film to create the battle. It’s just crazy. Bodies flying everywhere, arrows hailing down all around, men taken out by charging horses. The choreography is amazing.

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The bodies are piled up that men have to climb them like mountains. Some the bodies are dead, some are still alive. Ser Davos had stayed behind with the archers but then they eventually charge into the pile. Ramsey sends in the rest of his forces, the Umbers, the Karstarks. At one point Jon has fallen and starts getting trampled on, literally being buried alive under hundreds of panicked men.  He manages to get back to his feet but by this point they are surrounded.

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The Bolton forces then fall into the old Roman formation – shields up making a wall and then advancing with soldiers stabbing the enemy with spears from behind the shields. Wun Wun tries to break through their ranks.  He picks up one guy and rips him in half! But still they cannot break through. Things look pretty grim. But just as I had hoped, the army of The Vale rides in! And I mean a lot of them! They just start pouring into the Bolton forces, ripping them apart. We see Sansa observing with a smile with Little Finger smirking alongside of her.

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Ramsey looks sick to his stomach.  Jon sees him and starts chasing him with Wun Wun and Tormund following close behind.  Ramsey makes it back to Winterfell and thinks they’ll be safe inside but Wun Wun just starts banging down the gate.  By this time, Wun Wun has taken so many arrows and spears he looks like a giant pin cushion but he demolishes the gate and Jon’s forces stream in killing what remained of Ramsey’s men. Jon looks over at Wun Wun who is on his knees and dying and just then an arrow is hot into his eye and Wun Wun collapses. Guess who shot it? Fucking Ramsey! Jon picks up a shield and advances on Ramsey. Ramsey begins shooting arrows at Jon who defends each one with the shield. Tormund and the others are looking on and saying, “What the fuck!”

Jon finally reaches Ramsey and starts beating the crap out of him! Ramsey even smiles. He’s one sick puppy. Jon would have beaten him to death but then he looks up and sees Sansa. He stops. I think he knew she should have the honor.

Then we get the scene we have all been hoping for. This was on my list last week of things I wanted to see. Ramsey is tied up and sitting in a chair in the kennel.  Sansa is looking at him through the gate.

“Sansa. Hello Sansa.” The words dripping out of his mouth along with blood. Sansa tells him, “you will disappear, your name will disappear, your house will disappear”. Then Ramsey sees his hounds come out of their cages. “My hounds will not harm me.”

“You haven’t fed them in seven days.”

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Then one of his beloved hounds leaps up on his lap and starts licking the blood off his face. “Stop! Stop!” Ramsey screams and then the dog takes a chunk of his face. The other dogs start ripping into Ramsey. Sansa starts to walk away but then stops and decides to keep watching. She then turns and walks away and we see a faint smile as she does. Sansa Stark has come a long way from that annoying young girl who wanted to marry a prince. And damn if she isn’t playing the hell out of this Game of Thrones!

 

Charlotte, I know muddy soldiers isn’t much of a fashion statement. What did you think of tonight’s episode?

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So this action packed episode was definitely my favorite of this season. There were so many great Daenerys and Sansa outfits! I also really loved the battle scenes, aerial views of the battle scenes, and Ramsey Bolton finally getting killed with Sansa pushing the button. Those dogs were hungry and Ramsey was evil and delicious.

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Daenerys had some truly sick looks last night. She really has accessorizing down, with her first winning look being completely head to toe- complicated braids, leather skirt cape thing, fitted burlap top, and gypsy belt. It sounds like an outfit an eccentric park sleeping nomad would wear but it looked so fierce. Then she transitioned into a grey draped gown, asymmetrical choker, and metallic belt and I like actually need to own everything happening there.

 

Missandei finally properly outfitted her leather crop top with a breezy turquoise maxi skirt, Sansa broke out her embroidered wolf stuff, and Ramsey Bolton and Jon Snow again wore fur blankets as clothes. I also really appreciated the fit of Yara Greyjoy’s leather pants.

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This episode was awesome and I had trouble paying too much attention to the clothes because there was too much long anticipated retribution happening. Next week looks super Lannister-centric. Let’s get some embroidered jewel tone dresses happening! See you next week.

Three Things I Think I Know

1 Little Finger will expect to marry Sansa. I think she will agree. He came to the rescue and they’d all be dead if he hadn’t.

2 Cersei will use wildfire to destroy the High Sparrow and the Faith Militant.

3 Arya will show up at Winterfell at the very end of next week’s episode!

Three Things I Want To See

1 I want to see Margaery survive the finale.

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2 Brienne running into The Hound.

3 Will we ever see what happened inside the Tower Of Joy!!!!!

My Favorite Quote

 “You’re going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton. Sleep well.” Sansa Stark

 Who Will Die In The Season Finale?

I’m thinking Tommen, The High Sparrow, Septa Unella, Lancel and rest of the Faith Militant.

This was one helluva good episode, Kit Harrington and Sophie Turner deserve Emmy nominations as does the episode for it’s many excellent technical achievements. I can’t believe we’re down to one!