A Recap of Thrones: Season Six, Episode Nine: Battle of the Bastards
By Holly Hill (@hollishillis)
SO MANY THINGS. I feel like a million epic events happened tonight. Events we have been Owaiting for since the end of Season one. In Lord of the Rings style epicnesss, we’ve got dragons, we’ve got revenge, and we’ve got TWO battles. On a directorial note, the cinematography of this episode was some of the best I’ve seen on TV, perhaps ever. I hear an Emmy calling.
In Mereen, Dany is back, and instead of scolding Tyrion for prolonging the inevitable, she’s ready to get to work and figure out how to stop the take over. It’s super satisfying to see her trusting Tyrion, and really looking to him for advice and counsel. Dany wants to run in and kill everyone, burning the cities to the ground. Tyrion reminds her that she sounds like her crazy old dad, and he also manages to make mention of all that Wildfyre her father planted around Kings Landing (foreshadowing for the finale, anyone?), and Dany quickly takes back her statement.
The old masters try to get Dany to surrender which she predictably refuses. The other dragons are released, and don’t seem too pissed off at having been chained in a dungeon for several seasons. Dany sets dragon fire to the ships, and makes it pretty fucking clear there will be no more slavery. In a move that makes the world of Essos and Westeros look like it’s the distance from Florida to New York, Yara and Theon show up in Mereen and offer their ships. There is some very epic flirting between Yara and Dany, which I fully support, and now officially ship. Dany accepts their ships, and their offer, and it’s the start of a beautiful friendship.
Ramsey, Sansa, and Jon all meet up before the battle to exchange words. Jon offers hand to hand combat with Ramsey so no one has to die, except one of them. Ramsey obviously refuses, and so battle is declared. Davos finds Shireen’s burn site, and the daggers in his eyes confirms we haven’t heard the end of it.
At the start of the battle, Ramsey releases Rickon. He shoots arrows at the kid, letting him run back to Jon. Rickon runs in a straight line to get back to his rightful side. WHY IN THE WORLD DID HE NOT RUN IN A ZIG-ZAG FORMATION?! I know NOTHING about battle tactics or how to outrun an arrow, but it seems entirely obvious that his go to would have been zig-zagging as to not get hit. At the last moment one finds him right in the chest. It’s sad to see, but I think we all agree that if we had to pick any Stark to die tonight, it was going to be Rickon.
The battle starts and I can’t help thinking, where was Ghost? I’m guessing with the dragons, the giant, and the dogs at the end, the CGI budget was completely tapped out at the end of this episode. The battle is some of the best shit I’ve seen on TV in a long time. It was chaotic and grimy, and the tactics medieval in nature. It was one of the best scenes of this entire series. There’s a terrible moment when it looks like Jon might die of asphyxiation from being crushed to death by the weight of dead bodies. For some reason my mind blanked on Sansa writing that letter to ‘someone’ which we all guessed was Petyr Baelish but it was never confirmed. So just as it seems all hope is lost the Knights of the Vale show up, and with some relief, Jon, Wun-Wun, and Tormund charge for the gates of Winterfell. It’s a tough gate to crack, but I guess when you have a giant, it seems like childs play.
When Ramsey and Jon lock eyes again, Ramsey tries to bargain with a one-on-one fight. Jon has had enough of this little shit, and charges him nearly beating his face in to death, but stopping just in time as he sees Sansa. The look in her eyes says, “Please let me decide how this fucker goes.” And so Ramsey wakes up in a holding cell where his man-eating dogs surround him, having not fed them for seven days. In a beautiful form of revenge, the dogs eat Ramsey alive, and I can’t really think of a better way for that death to go.
Stark banners fall on the walls of Winterfell once more (new intro next week?), and we end the episode with a beautiful ghost of a smile on Sansa’s face as she listens to the dogs rip Ramsey’s face apart.
Things that still need to be wrapped up:
- Where is Arya headed and when will she get there? With this new teleportation system the show has going on, hopefully she can reunite with her siblings in Winterfell soon.
- What’s Bran up to? Where is he going, what is his new purpose, and will he see his family again?
- What will be the fate of the Lannisters? Jamie is breaking bread with the Freys (despicable), while Cersei awaits trial with Loras. Will she take King’s Landing down with her? How much longer does Tommen even have on the throne? Where is Ser Pounce?
- Why is the Hound back? What will be his purpose? An epic showdown with this zombie brother?
- Will Brienne and Pod make it back to Winterfell?
- When will Dany set sail for Westeros?
- Will Davos out the Red Lady for killing Shrieen?
Best quotes this week:
– “My hounds will never harm me.” – Ramsey Bolton
– “Our father’s were evil men. All of us here. They left the world worse than they found it. We aren’t going to do that. We are going to leave the world better than we found it.” – Dany
– “Happy shitting.” – Tormund Giantsbane
– “Bury my brother in the crypt. Next to my father.” – Jon Snow
– “His big cock. I think he said. Yuron’s offer is also an offer of marriage, you see you won’t get one without the other.” -Yara
“And your offer is free of any marriage demands?” – Dany
“I never demand, but I’m up for anything really.” –Yara