Monday, June 20, 2016

Discussing Game of Thrones: Battle of the Bastards

* Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen “Battle of the Bastards.”

Holy seven hells! First, I got this recap posted for today! Second, was this a crazy episode or what?! "Battle of the Bastards" promised to be a full hour of must-watch television, and was it ever!

But First Let's Check in on Meereen

I wasn't sure if the entire episode was going to focus on the North, and it did not. We open with Meereen still under siege by the masters. Tyrion has some serious explaining to do to a displeased Daenerys. He tries to point out that the city is actually on the rise, despite the ongoing attack. His queen is ready to destroy the masters and their cities, and Tyrion reminds her that her father had a similar plan in mind for King's Landing if Jaime hadn't killed Aerys. She argues that this is entirely different. Outside of the pyramid, the two sides face off. The masters tell Daenerys and her entourage to get out of Meereen and never come back, but they're interrupted by Drogon, making yet another appearance at a most opportune moment. He takes to the skies with his mother, and they're soon joined by the other two dragons. The Dothraki, led by Daario, charge against the Sons of the Harpy, while Daenerys and the dragons light up the fleet.

The Warm-Up Before the Main Event

Jon and Sansa come face-to-face with Ramsay, who says bloodshed can be avoided if they surrender. How fierce did Lyanna Mormont look in the background, staring Ramsay down as he spewed his BS? Jon challenges Ramsay to a one-on-one fight, which gets declined. Ramsay is almost giggling over his army's numbers vs. his opponents'. Sansa asks for proof that Ramsay has Rickon, and he hurls Shaggydog's head. The battle is set to commence in the morning!

Jon and his allies hold a strategy meeting later that night. When they're alone, Sansa tells Jon that he doesn't know Ramsay at all. She fears that Rickon will be killed before the battle is over because he's a trueborn male Stark heir. Jon and Sansa resume their previous argument about the number of men they have to fight, with Jon stating that it's not as though they didn't try to gather more. Sansa tells him that if Ramsay wins, she's not going back to him alive.

Outside, Tormund and Davos talk about how they both put their faith in fallen kings. Tormund points out that Jon is not a king.

Jon goes to see Melisandre in her tent and notes that she wasn't at the war council. He asks her for advice, and she tells him not to lose. Jon in turn tells her that if he dies, not to bring him back this time. Melisandre says that she serves the Lord of Light, and it's him she answers to.

Out walking, Davos sees a pile of old wood. In a find nearly as "coincidental" as when Jorah Mormont discovered the ring Daenerys had dropped in some grass, Davos spots the toy stag he had given Shireen Baratheon. Davos is a smart man, and if he hasn't figured out what really happened to Shireen already and who was behind it, he will very soon. I've been waiting for this to happen since the beginning of the season!

The Iron Fleet Must Have Had Some Awesome Winds!

Because Theon and Yara have already reached Meereen! Tyrion reminds Theon about the last time he saw him, at Winterfell, and the jokes Theon made at Tyrion's expense. Tyrion isn't completely buying into Theon being a changed man because of his recent experiences, but Daenerys is quite digging the idea of a woman ruling the Iron Islands. Theon tells Daenerys about Euron's plans, including the one where he marries her in exchange for his ships. Daenerys is a bit skeptical of Yara and Theon's plans, but Yara insists that she only wants the Iron Islands back. They reach an agreement, but the Ironborn must basically give up their way of life. So maybe now they'll have to start sowing?

It's Battle Time!

The much anticipated battle is about to begin. In between the two armies are burning crosses with bodies on them. Jon's army looks rather ragtag compared to the very organized Bolton lines. The tension is almost unbearable as you know that Ramsay is about to do something really, really twisted. Because he's Ramsay. Sure enough, he brings out Rickon. It appears that Ramsay is going to kill the boy on the spot, but instead he cuts the ropes binding Rickon's hands. When Ramsay tells Rickon that they're going to play a game, you know this isn't going to be good. All Rickon has to do is run to Jon, but of course it's not as simple as that. No. Rickon starts walking, and Ramsay reminds him that he needs to run. Because Ramsay begins shooting arrows at him. Jon spurs his horse into a run towards his brother, and just as they're about to reach each other, Ramsay's arrow kills Rickon.

Jon gets this crazy look on his face and rides for Ramsay. He loses his horse to archers' arrows and is right in front of the cavalary charge. Luckily for him and not for the last time during this epic, all-out, gruesome battle, he narrowly avoids death when his own men charge past him. The fighting is insane. It's complete chaos and bodies everywhere. Jon is in the thick of it, while Ramsay sits back commanding his archers.

The Bolton troops end up completely surrounding Jon, Davos, Tormund, and their men. They're literally being squeezed from all sides, and Jon gets trapped under the press of bodies. He gets free, but you don't need to peer into any flames to realize that this situation is dire. The Boltons just keep closing their circle, and there's nowhere for Jon and his companions to go. But, just as all hope seems dead, a horn sounds, taking even Ramsay by surprise. It's not that much of a surprise to viewers, though, when the Knights of the Vale ride in and turn this thing around. Littlefinger has turned up with Sansa, and the smug look on his face is gross. If Sansa thinks that he helped her out of the goodness of his heart or to somehow make up for marrying her to Ramsay, she doesn't know Littlefinger. There has to be some kind of price.

Ramsay, not calculating on the Knights of the Vale materializing at the eleventh hour, ditches the battlefield and rides back to Winterfell. Jon sees him getting away and pursues. Soon there's some knocking on the Winterfell gate, and it's Wun Wun. The poor giant is full of arrows and spears from the fighting, but he battles on. It's Ramsay himself who delivers the killing blow to Wun Wun. I swear, if Ramsay didn't die in this episode, I was going to rage quit the show. For like 2 seconds.

So now Ramsay is finally ready to fight Jon one-on-one. After shielding himself from Ramsay's arrows, Jon gets a hold of Ramsay and proceeds to beat him to a pulp. I actually thought Ramsay was dead. Jon looks up and sees Sansa, and he stops.


Rickon's body is brought back to Winterfell, and Jon says he's to be buried in the crypt. Sansa asks Jon where Ramsay is, and next we see Sansa pay him a visit outside of his cell. Ramsay is a bloody mess, which is just perfect for his hounds, which he himself boasted earlier in the episode hadn't eaten in 7 days in anticipation of Ramsay feeding his enemies to them. Ramsay, an arrogant bastard to the very end, sneers at the idea that his loyal hounds would eat their master. But they do, and at long last, justice is served to one of the most despicable characters ever.

In the Next Episode

IT'S THE SEASON 6 FINALE! NOOOOOOOO!!!!! I'M NOT READY FOR IT TO BE OVER YET! It's judgment day for Cersei and Loras. Walder Frey celebrates getting Riverrun back; wouldn't this be the perfect moment for a certain lady to crash his little party? Littlefinger acts like a creep. Davos calls out Melisandre in front of Jon. Daenerys and Tyrion have a chat—is it about sailing to Westeros? And dear gods, both the old and the new, please let us find out what that damn rumor Qyburn and Cersei were discussing in Episode 8 is all about!


  1. I was happy to see your recap is up! Last night was a trip. Not only that but I use HBO NOW to watch, and HBO NOW went down just in time for the show. So... it took an hour to come up so I had to wait. It was so funny watching all the comments on Twitter lol.

    I loved Meereen! I'm not really into that storyline but those dragons wheeling through the air, and setting ships on fire- awesome! My favorite part of the episode. They did a fabulous job with the dragons. And seeing Viserion and Rhaegal join the party- yes!!!

    Funny to me how Melisandre has... nothing. No spells or glamors or tricks to help Jon. What use is she now? I have a feeling she'll be more important in the books? But who knows. I had some problems with the Winterfell battle but won't belabor those- and I was sorry to see Wun Wun go. :( But yes to the Stark banners once more over Winterfell. That was awesome. And Sansa... you go girl.

    I loved Yara and Dany together. The smirking and sizing each other up- what a team! Tyrion and Theon can just get out of the way- those two are gonna kick some ass I think! And I DO think we MIGHT just see Stoneheart... they keep denying but why else are going to see the freys? Hmm...

    1. I'm glad HBO NOW finally came back up and you got to see the episode! The service probably couldn't handle all of the demand, lol.

      I'm not overly invested in what's going on in Meereen either, but those were some great scenes there this week, especially with the dragons! The meeting between Daenerys and Tyrion and Yara and Theon was very well done, too.

      What is going on with Melisandre? I know Stannis not being the Lord of Light's chosen was a huge blow to her, but still....

      I'm going to miss Wun Wun, too. :'( He went out like the badass he was, though!

      I got the chills watching the last of the Bolton banners fall and the Stark banners unfurl. That moment was so long overdue.

      I really feel like this is the best opportunity for Lady Stoneheart to appear if they're going to do it. The show runners also insisted that Jon Snow was dead, so I'm a lot more skeptical of their denials regarding Stoneheart now, lol. And exactly- why bring back the Freys? And the Brotherhood? That scene from the preview of next week's ep where Jaime is at the Twins with all the Freys assembled reminded me of the Red Wedding. What if it's the Freys who are ambushed this time? That would be a kind of fitting justice, I think. But I do hope Jaime will be OK. :D

    2. I would LOVE to see the Freys get wiped out. How awesome that would be. although yeah not Jaime... :) and they must be bringing the Brotherhood back for a reason?? And Sandor is with them... hmmm... something's up. :)

      Stoneheart would rock! And Brienne and Pod are in the area too... might they all come together? I need the episode now lol. I agree though, Melisandre has been a non factor after being so mysterious- for so long. I want to see her do something. And will Arya be back? Because let's face it distances don't matter on this show at the moment ha ha.

      Wun Wun will be missed. And the dragons were awesome!

    3. Something is definitely up with the Hound being back and being with the Brotherhood. And the show has really been pushing the whole we're all here for a reason message, lol.

      I can't get the idea out of my head whenever I watch the trailer for the finale and see the Freys and Jaime that something big is going to happen at the Twins. There's a lot of wishful thinking on my part that the Freys will finally pay for the Red Wedding, lol, but again, why are the Freys back at all?

      I'm hoping that we'll see Brienne and Jaime's story lines finish the way they did in A Dance with Dragons! And if Stoneheart turns up, that would be a killer way to end this season (probably literally, lolol!).

      One more day until the ep! I'm both super excited to watch it but also a bit sad that it's the last one for months. :/

  2. This episode is hands down one of the best in the entire series. I mean, it gave me all the feels while watching it.

    First off, Dany is that chick!!! When she flipped it and said you're mistaken, we're here to discuss your surrender, mounted big ass Drogon with Viserion and Rhaegal flanking them, and went to wreck shit...I was like Dracarys, Y'all!! When will you learn not to mess with the Mother of Dragons!?

    And the verbal sparring between her and Yara and the subtle flirtation was everything. Two powerful women going for theirs! I'm here for it.

    The Battle of the Bastards!!! This scene produced some of the same intense feelings I had during the Hardhome episode. Which makes sense now that I found out it was the same director. I mean it was terrifying, and vengeful, and sad, and rageful, and triumphant!! So many emotions I ran through during this battle. I didn't know if my heart could take it, all palpitating like crazy!

    And when Jon got stuck under the press of all those fighting bodies I felt claustrophobic myself, praying he was able to break free from that.

    Ramsay and his games. Poor Rickon was a victim of them. I'll never understand why Rickon didn't zig zag his running or stop, drop, and roll, or something. I was yelling at my screen, DUCK, don't make it easy for him! But when the poor boy got shot down right as Jon reached him...just heartbreaking. But the LOOK on Jon's face after that happened. I was like Ramsay, are you finished or are you done, because Jon ain't bout to let that stand.

    And can we pour some out for Wun Wun who, like Hodor, went out like a G! Wun Wun was clutch a few times so I was sad to see him go like that. Another sacrifice in this war.

    When the Bolton banners dropped and the Stark banners flew I was shouting like crazy!!! It was so good to see the Stark banner fly over Winterfell once again!

    And Sansa at the end, taking back her power from Ramsay and giving him the death he so deserves! I almost feel like the personality Cat was supposed to have as Lady Stoneheart, they have adapted to Sansa. She is stone cold and ruthless now. Glad she finally grew the hell up.

    That battle was epic, but the women, Dany, Sansa, Yara, they shined this week.

    I thought it was fantastic! Standing ovation!

    1. I'd expected the whole episode to focus on the North, but I really liked the Meereen scenes, too. The dragons looked spectacular, and the whole sequence with them torching the masters' fleet was one of the best scenes with them yet.

      I was on edge for all of the scenes in the North. I knew Ramsay was going to play as many sick games as he could, and I wasn't surprised that he never even came close to the front line of the battle, or that he ran away once the Knights of the Vale turned up. I wondered what the end would be for him, and I think the one he got was quite fitting.

      I rewatched the episode with my cousin, who wasn't able to see it on Sunday, and the first thing she said when Ramsay told Rickon to run was that he needed to zigzag! Maybe Rickon was too panic stricken to think of it? I don't know. But Jon's expression after their hands came so close to each other? Devastating. But then I wanted to yell at him not to be reckless. He'd said during the war council that he wanted to make Ramsay angry, but the opposite happened. I'm so glad Tormund had his back quite a few times!

      This was definitely one of the best episodes ever, and I wonder how the season finale is going to compare!


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