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“Damn it! Juke. Zig-zag. Run backwards. Lay down. Do cartwheels. Shit, shit shit!!”
The sixth (and potentially last) chapter of the epic 9s is in the books, and it most definitely did not disappoint.
A man shall do his duty and attempt to lead you through the carnage that was, the Battle of the Bastards.
Breathe, goddamit! Breathe!
We kick things off with the continuing onslaught of the great balls of fire at the Meereenese pyramid. Dany is shown glaring at Tyrion like he just got caught using magic markers to draw a mustache and beard on Grey Worm’s face.
Tyrion reminds Dany of the mistakes her father made. For some reason, hearing the stories of the Mad King and the wildfire never get old. This exchange may also indirectly serve as a reminder to viewers as to the wildfire and its locations within KL for future reference (some unsolicited Unsullied speculation for you).
I’ll be brutally honest (I typically don’t hold back anyway)… for a moment, Dany was completely pissing me off making Tyrion try to defend himself from the obvious storm of shit surrounding them without the benefit of the backstory. But as it turns out, she was wisely willing to hear his advice.
Next up would be a meeting between the Masters and Dany’s entourage in which the Masters would demand surrender. The shot of Drogon silently approaching from behind during the conversation was a nice touch. Dany climbs on the best ride in MeereenLand and begins the attack on the ships. The dragon siblings would emerge from the dungeon and follow Drogon’s lead bringing the attack to a halt.
To add to the complete 180, the Dothraki horde led by Daario would do their part by taking out the Harpy. It is abundantly clear that Dany, in a very short amount of time, has reestablished complete control and now has a formidable force moving forward, wherever that may be.
Later, Dany and Tyrion are met by Yara and Theon. The similarities between Dany and Yara are exhibited in a discussion about their fathers (on Fathers Day, no less) and they agree to terms. This agreement would give Yara control of the Iron Islands so long as she recognized Dany’s claim to the throne. It would also give Dany 100 more ships to add to her fleet.
Overall, I really like the way this all played out. The dragon scenes were fantastic and did a great job of exhibiting the firepower of the three being used in unison. I guess if anything could be nitpicked, it could be the convenient timing of the escape of the other two dragons. But I’m not nitpicking, because this was one of the better scenes involving Dany in quite some time.
The Meeting of the Bastards
Jon and Ramsay have a pre-battle meeting with the end result being about what we expected. Jon suggests a one-on-one with Ramsay instead of thousands of men being killed. But Ramsay knows that he has the upper hand with his numbers and refuses.
Jon, Davos and Tormund discuss how to beat the Boltons with a focus on patience. After the others retire for the night, Sansa voices her frustration at not being asked her opinion considering she knows Ramsay the best. She says that Ramsay is the best person at manipulation that she has ever seen and will wait for Jon and company to make a mistake. This scene reminded me of the conversation Cat had with Robb while strategizing against the Lannisters in Season 3.
Sansa also states that she will die before she goes back to Winterfell with Ramsay. I can’t say I would blame her.
Jon and Melisandre
Jon visits Mel in the official Lord of Light tent and tells her that if he were to fall that she is not to resurrect him. She states that it is not her decision to make, but rather it is the will of the LoL.
The Walk of Davos
It’s kind of hard to believe that the atrocity that happened with Shireen in episode 509 made it to episode 609 before Davos discovers the truth. On his walk, Davos comes upon the place where Shireen was burned and finds the toy stag he gave her before leaving to go back to the Wall in S5. It was almost as painful to watch as the act itself. Davos can sell ice to wildlings, but Liam Cunningham can sell emotions with facial expression better than anyone in the game.
It is unknown at this point if even the Lord of Light can save Red Velvet from Mad Davos.
Battle Bullet Points
- I would have bet that there was no way to create more tension than was already present at the onset of the battle. But somehow, the writers (and Ramsay) found a way by making Rickon run across an open field avoiding Ramsay’s arrows. It was a perfectly horrific way to open. And damn it, he almost made it.
- The slow motion of the horses running into battle was beautifully shot.
- Jon looks to be defeated before the battle even begins. But then his army arrives just as the Boltons do. Amazing cinematography.
- Davos makes the decision not to loose the arrows that would, in turn, kill their own men. Ramsay doesn’t give a shit.
- The Jon-centered shot of him maneuvering the battlefield during the ongoing chaos was pure genius. It somehow accurately depicted how fast things would be moving in that situation. The only comparison I can draw is my experience during my football days and how watching it from afar seemed normal speed while being on the field in the midst of it all felt like 200 miles per hour. Fantastic.
- Wun Wun knocking over a horse and tearing a man in half were as great as expected. More Wun would’ve been welcome.
- The circle of Bolton shields combined with the mountain of dead men and the suffering contained therein may have been the scariest aspect of the whole ordeal. I’m liable to see the Flayed Man and a spear coming at me in my sleep for weeks.
- Jon under the pile of humanity really had both Ozzette and I believing he was done. It would have been a shitty way for the show to depict his death, but realistic in that situation nonetheless.
- Same feeling goes for Tormund in his fight with Umber.
- You knew that the only real chance any of them had at this point was if Littlefinger and the Knights of the Vale arrived in the knick of time. And they did. But even knowing that they were most likely coming, there was a huge sigh of relief when they actually did.
- Wun Wun busting through the gate of Winterfell and the following moment he and Jon shared before his death was emotionally draining.
- I was too exhausted to cheer, but the Stark banner replacing the Bolton was something I wasn’t sure we would ever see again.
- Not feeding dogs for seven days is a poor decision.
- In the end, Ramsay getting gnawed to death by his own hounds was about as fitting as you could ask for.
- Miguel Sapochnik, even through all of the hype, somehow managed to do it again. Pay this guy what he wants and let him direct the rest of the series.
Episode 609 Personal Awards
“Despite appearances, I think you’ll find the city’s on the rise.” –Tyrion
“It always seems a bit abstract, doesn’t it? Other people dying.” -Tyrion
“Will your men want to fight for you when they hear you wouldn’t fight for them?” –Jon
“You’re going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton.” –Sansa
“Did you really think that cunt would fight you man to man?” -Tormund
“If I do, if I fall, don’t bring me back.” –Jon
“We may as well be taking shits back here.” –Davos
“Our time together is about to come to an end.” -Ramsay
Two Guys I’d Most Want to Grab Some Sour Goat Milk (but preferably a beer) With: Tormund on one side and Davos on the other
Ow, That Shit Hurts Award: Take your pick. I’ll take Tormund’s bite of Umber and the dog’s bite of Ramsay’s face.
Eternal Jackass Award: One last time, Ramsay Bastard Bolton for the murder of Rickon and Wun Wun.
Overall Thoughts: I think you get the gist of my perception.
Even with all of the hype that surrounded the episode, it delivered on every level promised and then some. It was a finale-worthy episode that came a week early, but that’s why we call them the epic 9s. Battle should rightfully take its place among the top of the epics and the series overall. Luckily (and sadly), we’ve got one more episode to follow it up before the cold, dark night of the off-season rears its ugly head.
Until next week, hang out and stay awhile. Invite an Unsullied to join us. And may there always be peace in your realm. –Oz
Find Oz on Twitter.
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