Unsullied Recap, Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 9: Battle of the Bastards

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Spoiler note: The discussion in this post is primarily for non-book readers as well as viewers who have NOT been spoiled by leaks (book fans can discuss the show-only here). We ask that all Sullied book-readers refrain from posting spoilers in the comments here, veiled or otherwise. No spoilers, at all! This show is best viewed without knowing all the surprises beforehand or afterwards, so please be respectful of your fellow fans. Thank you!

“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.

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Breathe, goddamit! Breathe!

Meereen

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.GOT_MP_101815_EP609-5730[1]

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.

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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.

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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.

Meereen dragons

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.

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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.

11

Strategy

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.

14

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.

15

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.
Kit Harington as Jon Snow. Credit: Courtesy HBO

Kit Harington as Jon Snow. Credit: Courtesy HBO

  • Jon looks to be defeated before the battle even begins. But then his army arrives just as the Boltons do. Amazing cinematography.

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  • Davos makes the decision not to loose the arrows that would, in turn, kill their own men. Ramsay doesn’t give a shit.

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  • 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

  • Wun Wun knocking over a horse and tearing a man in half were as great as expected. More Wun would’ve been welcome.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

LF and Sansa

  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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

Favorite Quotes:

“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

3

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.

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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.

**SPOILER NOTE: The Management of this fine site would like to remind you that spoilers (book or leak) are not allowed in Unsullied posts. This includes spoilers that may be covered by code or otherwise. Personally, I appreciate feedback from Sullied and Unsullied alike, so long as they do not include any type of hinting or conversation related to the written verse. However, spoiler coded comments do tend to lead to further Sullied conversation and for that reason, we ask that you please refrain from posting any SPOILERY content whatsoever in Unsullied posts. Thank you for the coop. -Oz

129 responses

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    1. Some thoughts on this weeks episode:
      – The body count of known characters was smaller than I expected. I’m glad that both Davos and Tormund made it out alive.
      – Rickon’s death was sad, but somehow predictable. Sadly, he will always be the “forgotten Stark”, serving no other purpose than to create drama. They could at least have given him a scene with Osha or some dialogue between him and Ramsay and a chance to show us that he is as much a badass as the other Stark children. It felt like we didn’t even know him. And as I said some weeks ago: I hate that they bring back all these long lost side characters only to kill them off after one or two scenes (Balon, Osha, Hodor, Blackfish, Rickon,…). This is meant to create drama and to keep the body count up without reducing the main cast, but it doesn’t work if the characters don’t have a chance to shine before they are offed, which especially was the case with Osha and Rickon. They spent more than 10 minutes of screentime this season for Tyrion drinking wine and telling bad jokes with Grey Worm and Missandei, but there was no chance to include a single word from Rickon?! ö.ö
      – The much discussed burning bodies on the X-crosses turned out to be unknown persons, maybe Stark loyalists from Winterfell’s smallfolk?
      – The moment when Jon draws Longclaw and faces the charging cavalry totally mirrored Stannis’ attack on Winterfell in 5×10. That scene was beautiful.
      – I’m a bit disappointed (but not surprised) that the Show!Umbers were really against the Starks and loyal to Ramsay. But why include Smalljon’s “I will not kneel” speech then?
      – I’m also a bit disappointed that the Manderlys were not involved in the battle after all the name drops this season.
      – What happened to Lord Karstark? He wasn’t seen after the parley.
      – How did the Knights of the Vale manage to pass through Moat Cailin unseen so that they were able to surprise Ramsay? They could have played it out in a way that LF offered Ramsay to send reinforcements from the Vale and he only realises that they are on the Stark’s side once they show up and attack his shield wall.
      – Sansa has to be some kind of fortune teller. How did she know that Ramsay did not feed his dogs for 7 days, when she was already gone once he mentioned it in the parley scene? It’s the same thing with her statement “The Umbers can hang, they gave Rickon to Ramsay” from 6×05. How did she know that it was the Smalljon who handed Rickon over? She did not know where Rickon was hiding and Ramsay did not mention the Umbers in the Pink Letter 😀 #ItIsKnown Sansa the Frog CONFIRMED!

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    2. You know an episode is epic when Dany hops on Drogon and goes X – Wing on the slave ships and that’s just the opening.

      Great episode. Top 10 for me. The last two episodes really defines what makes GoT special: The quiet resolutions like Riverrun where talking and cajoling wins the day, contrasted with the epic brutalities where everyone’s mettle is tested by sword, spear, and arrow.

      Standing O’s for the cast and crew this season!

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    3. TheKingWhoCares,

      Ramsay told them he hadn’t fed his dog in 7 days while he was taunting them at the pre-battle meeting, a meeting in which Sansa was ahorse right next to Jon.

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    4. Oz.

      You cannot imagine how much I agree with the football refference. Although I do think you didn’t mean ”soccer”, which is what I play.

      But is sooo true in both sports. On the bench it’s so easy to criticize and say how you would do it differently!! But on the pitch everything is different.

      Loved your recap, as always but this tiny little thing really brought a smile to my face, because I know exactly what it feels like.

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    5. Why does Rickon’s death hurt even though we saw it coming 7 episodes ago? Aaargh, damn you David n Dan you twisted lil cunts….

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    6. TheKingWhoCares:
      Lyanna_Targaryen,

      Yes, I know, but Sansa left the meeting moments before Ramsay threatened Jon and the others with his hounds and mentioned that he had not fed them in 7 days 😉

      Jon could have easily told her offscreen, but, yeah, more likely that was just a production mistake. Tbh, I didn’t realize it until I re-watched the episode, so it didn’t bother me.

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    7. Jon instructed that Rickon be buried next to Ned in the crypts. Is this the first time we heard that Ned’s bones actually made it to WF and that (I guess) the Boltons actually entombed him properly? I was a little confused by this.

      Loved the episode!

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    8. Why does something need to be nitpicked? lol

      “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.”

      My response for this would be that they know that Dany is back. And they know they were needed. It was explained very well in episode 2 that they know Dany is not here and refuse to give two fucks about anything while she was gone. She has a connection to these dragons, its so obvious.

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    9. This episode was the best! Perfect on all fronts.

      Meereen took me by surprise. I knew it would be in the episode, but thought it would be much smaller due to the battle in the North. But it was awesome.

      Great to see that Dany and the Greyjoys made an alliance. Will Dany now finally go to Westeros?

      Loving it that the new generation of the Houses are standing up.

      Sad to see Rickon die. That scene was intense! Though he was going to die no matter what. As Sansa said, he is much more valuable to Ramsay than her or Jon.

      The whole battle? No words. Just amazing! It looked so chaotic, but you still had oversight of what was happening. Miguel Sapochnik did an amazing job.

      Loved the moment when the Stark banner replaced the Bolton one. Like I said in the Open Chat thread, I am looking forward to next weeks opening sequence.

      But the best moments were Jon beating Ramsay to a bloody pulp (somebody needs to make a 10 hour loop of that) and then Sansa feeding him to his own dogs. Perfect!

      I am wondering though how Sansa is going to deal with Lysakiller next episode. And how she will explain it to Jon.

      Great recap as always Oz!

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    10. Is like bloody Rickon only existed to die. I thought that was poorly done.

      But I loved most other things in the episode.

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    11. Ramsey said there is a part of him in Sansa…this bothers me a lot. Sansa told littlefinger she could still feel Ramsey where she stood….Ramsey’s offspring through Sansa could be coming…….Hodor held the door and he died, Wun Wun opened the door and he died….Our favourite giants went out in style.

      I have seen some people on this site complaining that Game of Thrones has become predictable because good guys are winning and I am kind of confused. I thought we all wanted the good guys to win????? Besides I would not be surprised if it is the same complainers that started saying that GOT is predictable because of killing good guys. There is just no winning with these people.

      Great Review Overall

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    12. It seems like a small thing, but seeing (hearing) a Dothraki Screamers’ charge onscreen after all these years of hearing about them literally gave me fangasm chills!

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    13. IDK why everyone has to find things to pick at. You just don’t get this kind of quality endless you have a HIGH budget movie. This was a master piece and im sooooooo excited to see what the battle at the end of the season looks like.

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    14. Truly a great episode, but I constantly asked myself why doesnt that giant have a telephone pole, or a door – shield, and some face armor? That would’ve made him a killing machine! I guess it had to end this way due to more dragon and zombie scenes coming next year on a limited CGI budget… Wun Wun still was the hero of the day, and he will be missed.

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    15. I’ve been lucky enough to see 3 episodes of GoT on the big screen and none disappointed. I am DYING to see this one in a theater!

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    16. Mihnea:
      TheKingWhoCares,

      They clearly planned this with Ramsey being tied there, the cages open…etc.
      It wasn’t only Sansa.

      Oh, I am certain she wouldn’t have to search long among the inhabitants of Winterfell to find a couple willing to help her with any kind of cruel plan to get rid of Ramsay… the same people could have let her in on info about the hounds’ diet, to set this plot element staight too.

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    17. Any idea who that is in the preview for the finale after the Dany/Daario scene and Tyrion saying his “great game” speech? Some guy with his back towards the camera walking out of a building?

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    18. Mihnea,

      It holds up amazingly well! HBO did a few screenings in previous years (guess they don’t need the publicity now 🙂 ) and they were so much fun – GoT beer, prizes, an iron throne and of course the episodes on a big screen.

      THIS one is just made for the big screen – we should start a petition and / or beg!

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    19. As others have mentioned, it was a cookie cutter battle. Whilst the battle was technically and visually impressive, I can’t help but feel we’ve seen this all before. The Knights of the vale were essentially what the Tyrell’s were to Blackwater and stannis to the Wall.

      Meereen was actually more interesting for once.

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    20. What an amazing episode.
      Mereen, that was probably the best we have seen of Dany. Excellent battle scenes (well, dragon scenes to be exact). Great interaction with Theon and Yara. She knew exactly what to say to take the Queen on her side, and not let her for her uncle. Well played, Yara.
      By the way I wonder if Dany has set the same rules (no pillaging, reaving, raping etc) on the Dothraki as well.
      It was good to see that she does listen to Tyrion and she will be less trigger-happy.
      Another mention of the wildfire and the reason of her father’s death… Hmmm…

      The North, oh my God. Excellent cinematography. That sky…
      I cried for Rickon. Imo, it was good he didn’t have any more scenes. It was hard to watch him die as it was.
      I loved John. I loved the battle, although it was so cruel I don’t I could rewatch it. Oh my God, those piles of bodies. To think that people had to fight like this. How could they even tell who was on their side? Oz mentions football but even there opposing teams wear different colours. That carnage…. I loved the scene of Jon fighting to get some air. What a rebirth (another one).
      The Vale Knights arriving… that was so Lord of the Rings. Loved it. I just wish they had known about it earlier. I mean, didn’t Sansa know it? Why didn’t she say anything? It could have saved lives… I really hope Sansa, a character I love since season 1, will not go all high queen and stop caring about anyone but herself. Those poor soldiers, damn it.
      On the other hand, maybe that little weasel had not replied to her letter and she didn’t want to assume he was coming, because, after all, who can trust the Littlefinger? I am almost certain he was there some time, watching the carnage and only deciding to join when the Stark forces were decimated. Next thing, I expect him to plan to marry Sansa.

      Overall, a great episode. Sorry we lost Wun Wun. Funny he wasn’t armed though. But he did his best, we would be facing a siege if it weren’t for him.

      If I had to nitpick a little, it would be about Davos finding the stag, after all this time and snow… But, nevermind.

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    21. Mihnea,

      Thank you for that. I felt inclined to include it because of how well the scene captured the on-field chaos. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it handled more effectively.

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    22. Roocat:
      Mihnea,

      It holds up amazingly well!HBO did a few screenings in previous years (guess they don’t need the publicity now ) and they were so much fun – GoT beer, prizes, an iron throne and of course the episodes on a big screen.

      THIS one is just made for the big screen – we should start a petition and / or beg!

      Yeah I went to the IMAX Experience and it was amazing seeing it on the big screen. I hope they do it next year with BotB.

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    23. After Yara and Dany’s pact and Sansa taking over at WF, it makes me think about Dorne and the fact that women are in charge there as well. I could really see Dorne being the landing spot for Dany and Co. Theon left Sansa on good terms and also Tyrion treated Sansa well. I could see Sansa pledging the North to Dany. The Sand Snakes could ally with Dany. Who knows, at the end of this season it could be Marge in charge in KL. An all lady cast to fight the WW with Bran and Jon.

      I really hope they spend a LOT of time setting up Bran’s role next season. Time travel/Warging/Dream Sequence stuff is so hard to get right. I’d hate for the series to be derailed by plot holes that have to do with time travel. Very few stories get that stuff right. Initially, time travel stories are awesome, but after you get to watch them a few times you start finding holes all over the place and it can really diminish it. This is one of those properties that you want to watch over and over and I hope they really set it up properly.

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    24. TheKingWhoCares:
      Sansa has to be some kind of fortune teller. How did she know that Ramsay did not feed his dogs for 7 days, when she was already gone once he mentioned it in the parley scene? It’s the same thing with her statement “The Umbers can hang, they gave Rickon to Ramsay” from 6×05. How did she know that it was the Smalljon who handed Rickon over? She did not know where Rickon was hiding and Ramsay did not mention the Umbers in the Pink Letter

      Somebody told her?

      You know, things do happen off screen.

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    25. >>In the end, Ramsay getting gnawed to death by his own hounds was about as fitting as you could ask for.

      I think it would have been even more fitting if his men (or the Umbers) had turned on him in the end (for instance, because he was the sort of commander to kill his own men with arrows from afar) and it was a metaphor for that as well. Make the loyalties of the North lords be clearly the result of fear and not love, so that once weakness is shown they desert him. Oh well…

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    26. mau:
      Your words will disappear. Your house will disappear. Your name will disappear. All memory of you will disappear.

      This

      Unlike Lord Tully last week by comparison

      There’s something quite fitting that Ramsay disregarding all of Rooses advice, from staying behind the Walls to acting like a Mad Dog and being treated like one came back to er, literally bite Ramsay

      And that he has ended up being the undoing of his entire House

      Dreadfort up for grabs to anyone who wants a Castle?

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    27. ManderlyPieCompany,

      Sansa does not have control of WF, Jon Does. Unless LF is going to launch a coup to overthrow him Jon is the one everyone looks to for leadership. Sansa is a behind the scenes player. She complains about no-one listening to her but just stands there in the war room and says nothing. She is not a leader of men like Dany, Little Lyanna or Yara. She is more the power behind the throne like Cirsei, Margery.

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    28. WalkerWhite,

      Yes, because NO ONE COULD POSSIBLY HAVE TOLD HER either after the meeting or after the battle when they were deciding where to put Ramsay.

      Jesus, people. Let it go.

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    29. Tyrion’s: “Thank you for the armada” to the slavers was freaking hilarious. Nobody does that patronizing brand of sarcasm better than Tyrion.

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    30. Gotta say, Ramsay killing Wun Wun was not really that much of a jackass thing to do. The guy was an enormously powerful enemy who had just breached the gates. Even a good guy would have done the same in that situation. On the other hand, murdering Rickon basically for fun definitely earns the jackass award.

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    31. Great recap as always, Oz. As someone who has spent many years participating in historical re-enacting, I can tell you that participating in a cavalry charge and fighting from horseback is an adrenaline rush like no other. You have to not only think about yourself, but your horse as well. One time I was at a big event and was unfortunately sidelined– but I’ll never forget watching the lines of cavalry coming over a rise. And coming, and coming… And when that many horses charge, you can literally feel the ground shake. Still gives me goosebumps!

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    32. redxgod:
      WorfWWorfington,

      I disagree. As long as Jon is alive he controls the North. Some of those Vale generals like Royce are not to fond of LF either.

      Indeed! LF is there to help remember, saving Robyns cousin from the Boltons! Si unless he gets Salsa to turn on Jon, though I cant imagine.

      I’m wondering how LF and the red woman will get along, seems like an interesting combination

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    33. I liked this episode overall, but Davos really should never be in charge of a fighting force again. His cavalry charge I can understand after Jon fell into Ramsay’s trap, but sending the infantry, and then the reserve force/archers allowed their forces to be enveloped, and can not forgiven.

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    34. redxgod,

      We saw how well that worked out for Royce. PLUS, doesn’t LF technically still have a royal decree to kick out the Boltons? So, he made Sansa beg him to do what Cersei had already ordered him to do?

      When it’s all said and done, Sansa is going to wish she’d put out for Tyrion.

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    35. Mauro:
      Gotta say, Ramsay killing Wun Wun was not really that much of a jackass thing to do.The guy was an enormously powerful enemy who had just breached the gates.Even a good guy would have done the same in that situation.On the other hand, murdering Rickon basically for fun definitely earns the jackass award.

      Killing Rickin was a strategic move, not necesarily one a good guy would use but still.. drawing Jon out like that and making jon take a huge risk was achieved by it

      Maybe for starving the poor doggies ? Or killing his own men with the archers?

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    36. Cersei’s Brain,

      Littlefinger delivered the bones of Ned to Cat when they met at Renly’s camp. She probably managed to send them back to Winterfell before Theon’s attack.

      This is also what happens in the books.

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    37. A great review Oz as always 🙂

      Although of course the BotB was epic, those scenes at Meereen were just something else! Great CGI with all three dragons in action burning the Master’s fleet. I had a gut feeling that would happen in this episode and brave enough to predict it in an earlier post. That and also Davos finding the wooden stag he gave to Shireen in the ashes. I don’t generally speculate on what’s going to (or maybe) happen, but good to see on this occasion I was correct 😉

      I had no issue with anything that happened. Well, perhaps just the incredible timing of the other two dragons busting out of the wall of Meereen to join Drogon flame-throwing at the ships. They busted out spot on cue which of course in retrospect – They had to 🙂

      As for the anti-Sansa posts that’s permeated throughout the ‘open chat’ thread, I have to question the mentality of the ‘Sansa Bashing Brigade’ and all this fucking crap about why she kept it a secret from JS. i.e. that she’d contacted Baelish for help and in not telling Jon had caused the unwarranted deaths of thousands! It was pretty obvious she had no idea if Baelish had indeed received the message, let alone was on his way to assist Jon and his allies.

      The last thing Sansa would have wanted was to raise Jon’s hopes with him believing the Nights of the Vale were on their way and they never turned up? Seems pretty obvious to me and sure for most posters on WotW, but not for some of the ‘nitpicking morons’ that have turned up recently on this website 🙁

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    38. “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.”

      THIS. I read every spoiler, every leak, every speculation, and I was on the edge of my seat the whole time! Even aside from a strong script and delivery, let’s congratulate the man for a phenomenal medieval battle scene in both technical and emotional terms.

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    39. Black Raven: As for the anti-Sansa posts that’s permeated throughout the ‘open chat’ thread, I have to question the mentality of the ‘Sansa Bashing Brigade’ and all this fucking crap about why she kept it a secret from JS. i.e. that she’d contacted Baelish for help and in not telling Jon had caused the unwarranted deaths of thousands! It was pretty obvious she had no idea if Baelish had indeed received the message, let alone was on his way to assist Jon and his allies.

      Also, I think she believes (correctly, as it turned out) that Jon was too much like Ned and Robb, and will choose to do the right thing, instead of the good thing. That was going to get him baited by Ramsay. I don’t think she wanted to put the last card up her sleeve under his command and get them killed as she probably knew the others would be. That’s a harsh assessment, but for everyone who wanted Sansa to start playing the game, well, as Cersei said, “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.”

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    40. Oh Oz, thank you as always for your hilarious write ups. The bit about Tyrion drawing on Grey Worm has had me giggling like a loony for the last 10 mins so I did you a drawing. Well, a photoshop, Bad Tyrion! 😀

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    41. Jon Snow being caught in the stampede almost killed me. And yeah, I don’t get the extent of the Sansa hate either. Girlfriend has been used (and abused) through all seasons and has every reason not to trust anyone, especially Littlefinger who traded her like a piece of meat to the Boltons. So, she couldn’t have been sure he’d come nor does she owe him anything now – this was just him paying up for arranging the marriage to Psychoboy.

        Quote  Reply

    42. Ravyn,

      That’s a good comment. Something that hadn’t crossed my mind. Sansa made the correct decision in not telling Jon and arriving at the 11th hour with Baelish and the Vale army. It will be interesting to see how Sansa’s arc plays out from this point.

        Quote  Reply

    43. Mauro:
      Gotta say, Ramsay killing Wun Wun was not really that much of a jackass thing to do.The guy was an enormously powerful enemy who had just breached the gates.Even a good guy would have done the same in that situation.On the other hand, murdering Rickon basically for fun definitely earns the jackass award.

      Wun Wun was pretty much dead already. The final arrow in the eye was actually a bit of a mercy (not that Ramsey intended it that way). I was actually a little surprised Ramsey didn’t take that chance to kill Jon, while he wasn’t paying attention.

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    44. 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 60 second uncut shot right after the horses collided was the most amazing shot of the episode in an episode filled to the brim with them. It reminds me of the uncut 360 shot in the battle of the Wall, only better.

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    45. Oh my, I just saw the episode, after seeing a title in my newspaper this morning reading “GOT appologizes for rape”. I was angry that they would print such a blatent “spoiler”, and you can imagine how I dreaded watching the episode as I feared for Sansa. You can probably imagine my relieve when Ramsey didn’t make it! And I know this makes me a bad person, but I might have actually cheered when his dogs turned on him…

      The images from within the battle reminded me of the first 15 min of Saving Private Ryan. It had that same feeling of horrible reality, which is something battle scenes in movies and tv series almost never have. My only small nitpick would be that it didn’t make sense for Ramsey to waste an arrow on an already dying Wun Wun. He could easily have killed Jon with that arrow, which would have been much more in character. But this only raises my score from a 10/10 to a 10.5/10, because I was definitely not prepared to see Jon die! Again… 😉

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    46. This was an emotional ride from beginning to end. That let’s me overlook some of the reservations I always have with these kinds of big battles in film, because inevitably the mechanics of combat, the production and the drama don’t always match up perfectly in every moment. Emotion and cinematography were on point though: Total chaos and brutality.

      The Mereen scenes I think were almost perfect. I’m fully on board with the Mother of Dragons who has really earned that title by now. At this point she really is the hero in a story without heroes. I don’t expect that to last forever, but I’ll enjoy it as long as it does.
      Also a very fun meeting between Dany and Yara: My favorite quote was Yara’s “I’m up for anything” when it came to the talk about marriage demands and proposals.

      Two big expectations remain for next episode. One is obviously the confrontation between Davos and Melisandre, I’m looking forward to that one. The other has to be the question that everyone is asking for several episodes now: What’s the deal with Sansa? It was a horrible decision to send everyone into battle without the knowledge of the Vale army arriving. This was very evident in the scene where Sansa and Littlefinger oversaw the battle. The fact that Jon, Davos, Tormund and really anyone was still alive at that point was pure luck. It doesn’t seem likely that Sansa had some big plan in mind, although from the outside it almost looks like something Littlefinger would have done, play everyone and mop up what remains, but I don’t expect her to be that cold already. So it has to be some emotional decision, be it pride or something else. I hope this get’s addressed. From the discussion with Jon this episode I get the feeling it might be that Sansa feels the need to assert herself as a leader, making her own decisions, wielding her own power, because she’s not taken seriously by the men around her. That would be reckless, but I could see her do that.

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    47. Despite Rickon’s death been so obvious since the moment he was re-introduced, I was actually hoping he’d survive. When the penultimate arrow Ramsay shot missed, and the tension music faded, I thought he had made it, and then… Why..? :'(

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    48. Sou:

      If I had to nitpick a little, it would be about Davos finding the stag, after all this time and snow… But, nevermind.

      For all we know, the whole seaqson could have taken place in the time frame of a month. Certainly the first few episodes told the story of only a few days.

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    49. Halfman,

      Thank you Halfman, and to all of you who take the time to read a man’s jargon. You make every minute of lost sleep on Sunday night worth it.

        Quote  Reply

    50. Cock Merchant:

      Also a very fun meeting between Dany and Yara: My favorite quote was Yara’s “I’m up for anything” when it came to the talk about marriage demands and proposals.

      And now it is clear why Yara was shown in the promo photos kissing a girl, and in the last episode also. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have had the same effect 🙂

        Quote  Reply

    51. Oz
      I replied to you and my comment vanished, so tried it a few more times and same thing – you probably now have 3 very similar messages from me in the spam folder. Apologies to all if I end up with four posts saying basically the same thing. I did mean it but just the one post will get the message across ok I feel! 😉

      What I wanted to say was….you’re welcome! And thanks to you and all the WOTW crew for your hard work. I’m sure everyone appreciates it, even if we’re not very good at saying so. Having this site has really enhanced my enjoyment of the show 😀

      Ok gonna press post and see what happens…fingers crossed…. 😝

      Edit: Success 😀

        Quote  Reply

    52. Next week’s opening credits, Winterfell will have a Direwolf on in once again! No more Boltons, ever.

      I do suspect Sansa may be pregnant, but she would certainly have her child use the name Stark, fulfilling her promise that Ramsay’s name will be forgotten.

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    53. SweetTrix: And now it is clear why Yara was shown in the promo photos kissing a girl, and in the last episode also. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have had the same effect

      Wonder if its gonna be like Brienne and Tormund(which was one sided but still best example) or actually going somewhere, there isn’t that much time left so developing would need to serve a purpose,no?

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    54. That was a really well-shot battle. On-par with (or better than) any medieval/fantasy warfare movie I can think of off the top of my head.

      But the big surprise for me was Mereen. Not only the content itself, but also how much I enjoyed it.

      I’m way more jacked up for Danystuff now than I was at the end of s01 when she done hatched up those draguns in the first place, and that was the only other time I’ve ever felt really engaged in her arc in the past 6 years. I never necessarily disliked her or her story, but it always seemed like more of a weird sub-plot than part of the main saga. I used to worry that it would be jarring and hard to believe when she suddenly shows up in Westeros and starts effing ess up… but now I’m very excited to see what her part in the endgame will be.

        Quote  Reply

    55. Random question.. During the davos finding the carving, did anyone else notice a high pitch metallic sound mixed in with the audio? I couldn’t tell if it was part of the music or if my speakers were glitching.

        Quote  Reply

    56. Peaksurfer,
      Oooh you might be on to something there. I don’t think we’ve ever seen the two of them together have we? They might be the good and evil parts of one person split up for some reason! 😉 One I love and want to live happily ever after and other I want to die horribly with all their plans in ruins. Can you guess which is which? 🙂

      Talking of animals, she segued, can I just say what a beautiful face the dog that attacked Ramsay had. It looked so lovely I though for one terrible moment it would leave him alone and perhaps attack Sansa. But like the bit in Raiders of the Lost Ark where spoiler alert for RotLA what appear to be angels suddenly turn into demons, doggy justice prevailed. Yay! 😀

        Quote  Reply

    57. Wonderful recap as always, Oz – though in an unrelated question, is there a particular reason that neither this nor Sue’s recap appeared on the home page? I had to come here through Twitter. The most recent post on the home page is announcing the Con.

        Quote  Reply

    58. WalkerWhite,

      She had left before he said that, yes; but Jon probably mentioned it after locking Ramsay in the kennels after the battle was over. “Where is he?” “He’s in the kennels with his dogs, who he hasn’t fed for seven days.” It seems reasonable to me.

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    59. Stavross,

      What other option did he have? If he did nothing, Jon and the rest of the army would be killed more quickly. If he fired arrows, Jon and the rest of the army would be killed more quickly. It seemed like he was out of options, so he took the only option which had a 0.01% chance of success.

        Quote  Reply

    60. SweetTrix,

      Are you suggesting that Theon made it from Winterfell, halfway to the Wall, then to the Iron Islands, attended a Kingsmoot, then made it to Volantis, then finally to Meereen, all in the space of one month?

        Quote  Reply

    61. When Dany suggested to burn slaver’s cities down, I got scared that she’s going mad. I hope Tyrion will be always by her side to counsel her for her sake.

        Quote  Reply

    62. hexonx,

      I suppose the logic for Ramsay not killing Jon instead of Wun Wun (aside from “plot”) is that Ramsay still actually believed he could talk his way out of the situation. So his (desperate) plan was to challenge Jon to single combat, beat Jon in single combat, and then everyone would honour this and proclaim him King in the North. Not the greatest plan of all time, but if he had killed Jon, he would have been filled with arrows instantly. So in other words, he needed Jon alive in order for this plan to maintain the 0.0005% chance of survival that he still had.

        Quote  Reply

    63. cabanners,

      That was great. I just wish she’d delivered a sassy putdown to Ramsay too. She’s doing such a great job, I’m sure they’ll keep her around for Season 7.

        Quote  Reply

    64. MotherOfKittenz,

      Logically, Littlefinger’s rescue act should definitely be seen as payback, and the debt is settled. But knowing Littlefinger, he will think he’s owed something for this act of valour.

      It’s interesting that Littlefinger and Varys are lining up against each other with the two main protagonists of the story, given their history and mutual antipathy. Will Littlefinger support Jon? He might, if he decides it’s in his interests. I guess we still don’t know what his end-game really is, though, so the question of whether he’s really on Jon’s side will remain uncertain, no matter what he says in Episode 10.

        Quote  Reply

    65. Bob Warren,

      The reason I *like* Game of Thrones is because it doesn’t hold your hand the entire time. Things can happen offscreen and it is ok. Not every single thing requires that obvious of exposition.

        Quote  Reply

    66. Great recap Oz! I always look forward to hear what you have to say.

      Wow! I loved this episode so much.

      I was quite pleased with the way meereen was handled. I don’t think that Dany and yara will be lesbo lovers. I do think that they will become great friends.

      Poor Rickon. We all knew he was a goner, but I didn’t think it would turn out that way. At least he will be buried along with his family in the tombs. I was afraid he’d become hound chow and nothing of him would remain.

      Speaking of that, what are they gonna do with Wun Wun’s remains?

      And what are they going to do with Ramsey’s hounds?

      Sansa is Not Preggers!!!! No way, no how.

      Also… Mel is in need of a good arse spanking. What a twat. And Davos knows it.

      That is my merlot induced rant for now.

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    67. So it turns out that the Umbers really were just a bunch of cunts, huh? So much for “The North Remembers”. The North obviously forgot what the Boltons (and Freys) actually did at The Red Wedding, what it signified.

      Karstarks were cunts too but you can understand their position a wee bit more. But the Umbers…to betray the heir of Ned Stark and to actually give him over to the Boltons of all people… That’s Frey-worthy…

        Quote  Reply

    68. Longfinger,

      Yeah; Just not a pleasant place to be right now. Been spending time reading reviews and interviews. Much more interesting 🙂

      Longfinger,

      S

      peaking of that, what are they gonna do with Wun Wun’s remains?

      I wondered that myself. Yikes.

        Quote  Reply

    69. The Starks have won back Winterfell. Realigning houses is the next step. But as far as “ruling” goes, it’s a yin and yang, and both of them are learning to trust each other. They weren’t the close siblings, and blood does not a relationship make.

      As for LF, I’m holding my breath for next week. Don’t know where we’ll be at the end of the episode, but we all know what you want, Creepy McCreeperson. One day it will be your downfall.

        Quote  Reply

    70. WinterRy71:
      Random question.. During the davos finding the carving, did anyone else notice a high pitch metallic sound mixed in with the audio? I couldn’t tell if it was part of the music or if my speakers were glitching.

      Can’ t say I heard that, but do other viewers of GoT (specifically via Sky Atlantic) get low audio during the spoken parts and the music track overwhelmingly loud? Perhaps its just me, but I can hardly hear what is being spoken and have to wind up the volume on the TV, but then reduce it if any background music plays.

      Other HBO programs I watch on Sky Atlantic I can hear fine – Just GoT I have this problem with?

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    71. Not that I mind because I can’t imagine he would have survived but where the hell was Ghost?

        Quote  Reply

    72. Roocat: I’ve been lucky enough to see 3 episodes of GoT on the big screen and none disappointed. I am DYING to see this one in a theater!

      Me too, it would be wonderful, I was hoping they would do the IMAX last year, but they didn’t, at least I didn’t see it in my area. and, wait … what three? I only saw two, Episodes 9 and 10 from season 4 “Watchers on the Wall” and “The Children.” Which did you see?

        Quote  Reply

    73. Bob Warren:
      SweetTrix,

      Are you suggesting that Theon made it from Winterfell, halfway to the Wall, then to the Iron Islands, attended a Kingsmoot, then made it to Volantis, then finally to Meereen, all in the space of one month?

      They took the fastest ships!

        Quote  Reply

    74. please i am not a hater but i really did not like this episode as much as i wanted to, here is why, we have already seen at the last moment, when all seems lost an army arrives, blackwater was the first then stannis’s army defeating the wildlings , last night, just the same kind of big army saves the day. i just wanted something new something fresh, i hope i did not offend anyone, it is simply just my take on it

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    75. If this truly was the final episode 9 I’m glad it was completely bonkers and badass. Mereen kicking off with some three way dragon action was awesome and Grey Worm with the double execution knife punch. I loved the Dothraki charge but wtf were the Sons of the Harpy even doing out there….that part felt so random but I didn’t really care. The Battle was a bit predictable yes, but it was so well done I was super nervous for Jon Snow even though I knew damn well he wouldn’t die of suffocation. Tormund scared the piss out of me though I was having major flashbacks to Grenn at the Wall. SANSA however…..I personally love everything she’s become. To me every single man in her life showed their influence in that episode. The Stark determination to take back what was hers. Tyrion and Littlefinger are two of the cleverest people and know how to be scheming, manipulative, and think like your enemy. Joff and Ramsey taught her cruelty and a tolerance for pain. That smile at the end…..The Hound “killing is the sweetest thing there is”

      Also thank you to Sue the Fury , I love Oz’s recaps I mean Lysakiller is now interchangeable with Resting Pedo Face as my friends name for Littlefinger….without the mods calling out the sly little crap book readers try to pull ( it’s not the least bit sneaky, cute or funny) it would quickly turn to shit and chaos…As if Cersei herself reigned….so thank you

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    76. People saying it was predictable for The Vale to arrive make it sound like it was hollow heroism, when the person they arrive with – LittleFinger – is not someone you want hanging around Jon Snow. If it was predictable, then it should’ve come with feelings of dread.

      The Knights of the Vale themselves are very heroic, especially since this is the first time they’ve got off their backsides and got involved, but Lord Baelish being at Winterfell is not a good thing, so comparisons to the Riders of Rohan aren’t quite accurate, really. Littlefinger isn’t exactly Gandalf, right?

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    77. Right now this episode is sitting as my top episode of the entire series, with Hardhome just behind it. I haven’t been able to rewatch it but I imagine that wont change my opinion.
      Dany’s scenes in Meereen were amazing. I love how Dany and Tyrion were trying to come up with a plan in the midst of all the chaos, it felt so real. During the meeting with the masters, when Drogon shows up to Dany, you can her finger kind of point on the side for him. I loved that. And then the two dragons joining in knowing their mom is back and she needs their help. I cannot imagine anyone else controlling these dragons, they are so connect to Daenerys its amazing.
      Dany + the Greyjoys was everything. I loved it. I am so happy that this has happened so quickly and hope to see her heading out next episode. I am not sure who she is going to leave behind in Essos.

      The North – Perfection.
      I was really hoping that Sansa would tell Jon but I understand that it happened this way for the story itself. I do also understand that Sansa was taking control of her own destiny no matter what. She really should have thought of all the people that were risking their lives but If she didn’t know if LF would even show up, maybe she didn’t know how to tell Jon. I don’t know. I am not sure much would have changed because at this point the battle was happening.

      Jon and Sansa were badass in the meeting with Ramsay.
      Loved the Jon Mel convo
      Rickon, I cried when that scene happened. Like actually.

      Jon risked his life to save his brother, understandable, if anyone touches my brother I will kill them. He did that on his own, knowing he may die in the process. This is a rash decision he made using his heart and not his mind. Rickon is the reason why he was there to begin with. Hes ready to fight, then hes ready to die, and then something happens and he is reborn from the pile of bodies.
      He was very brave. He showed the North he was willing to fight for everyone. He even told Ramsay, men will fight for someone who fights for them.

      And those final scenes with Jon and Sansa. First, Jon and Ramsay. Amazing. One of my favorite scenes of Jon, grabbing the shield and rushing ramsay. He released so much anger with those punches I was cheering and clapping. Revenge on poor Rickon and everything he had done to Sansa and their family. I love that he stopped punching when he saw Sansa. No one better to decide Ramsays fate then her.

      And then Sansa’s final scene was perfection. I am so happy she was the one to take care of him. And by his own weapons. It was amazing.

      The battle its self was spectacular. They showed us the rawness of the battle like no other. I cant even believe this is a TV show. It blows my mind. We are so lucky to have something like this.

      100/10.

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    78. Dee Stark,

      Looks like Jon forgives her, going by 610 preview. As for not telling him, I don’t think it would’ve made much difference.

      If Ramsay saw they had the Knights of the Vale, he would’ve retreated back into Winterfell, stayed in hiding and let the cold take care of Jon’s raggety army. Even with Wun Wun, they couldn’t break a siege, cos a target that big would’ve been shot down by ten times as many archers than the ones that got him in the end.

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    79. Ive been thinking something, since we first saw Rickon earlier this season – what has his life been like since season 4 when he went off to the Umbers with Osha? Was he treated well there, or kept a prisoner all this time? He was so young, only 12. Mustve been so scared. I wonder if Jon will be confronting Umber on this.

      Rewatched the episode and it still stands as one of the best in the series. Nice to have the good guys finally win once in a while, even if it was brutal and ugly, and even tho we lost good people. Eager to see what Sunday has to bring!

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    80. ash:
      Ive been thinking something, since we first saw Rickon earlier this season – what has his life been like since season 4 when he went off to the Umbers with Osha?Was he treated well there, or kept a prisoner all this time? He was so young, only 12. Mustve been so scared.I wonder if Jon will be confronting Umber on this.

      Hi Ash *waves* hope you’re coping in the heat. Not sure if the bit I bolded is a typo or you got your turncoat scumbag Bolton supporting lords confused, but Umber is the guy Tormund was snacking on, so unless Jon has a ouja board I doubt it (unless Mel is a medium as well as a child sacrificer – that is totally going to bite her on the bum very soon) 😉

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    81. TheKingWhoCares,

      I don’t recall Jon and Rickon ever speaking to each other, so I don’t know why he was bothered by Ramsey tormenting him.

      See? We didn’t see them together at any point, but we know they would have spoken to each other.

      Picture the scene: Jon and co return to Sansa at camp.

      They all go to bed and don’t say anything we don’t hear. Ever.

      Or, maybe…

      Sansa: How’s it going?
      Jon: oh, alright.
      Sansa: what’s for tea?
      Jon: beans.
      Sansa: I hate beans, haven’t we got any lemon cakes?
      Jon: no. Only beans.
      Sansa: pfff.
      Jon: Ramsay’s hair looked a bit like Paul McCartney’s in 1966, didn’t it?
      Sansa: I thought it looked greasy.
      Jon: do you think he puts anything on it?

      Cut!

      I doubt it, don’t you?

      Sansa: I hate that bastard. Oh, No offence.
      Jon: he gives bastards a bad name.
      Sansa: did he say anything else.
      Jon: he said he’s not fed his dogs for a week and he’s going to feed me to them.
      Sansa: he probably will. Would, I mean…
      Jon: he probably will, yeah…
      Sansa: You can’t think that way, it’s as if he’s beaten you before the battle’s begun.
      Jon: he probably has, we’ve not got enough men.
      Sansa: erm. Yeah, you probably will

      That’s the question: they would have spoken to each other and Sansa would have had ample opportunity to tell him about Littlefinger. So why didn’t she?

      I think she wasn’t entirely confident that Littlefinger would keep his word, that he might not be able to convince Sweetrobin’s men to fight for her, that Jon would think she was mad to trust him?

      Maybe, maybe not. Maybe all of that. I suspect she didn’t tell him because she didn’t know if Littlefinger would come. She couldn’t raise Jon’s hopes by telling him in case he didn’t turn up; they couldn’t just hang around indefinitely and keeping her mouth shut meant that If Littlefinger turned up, so much the better. Hopefully they’d be alright, or delay it.

      That seems the most parsimonious explanation to me, given what happened.

      Next time,

      Jon: how could you have got Littlefinger involved?
      Sansa: I had no choice, we’d be dead, Ramsay would rule the north and the Night(‘s) King would turn everyone into zombies.
      Jon: now we’ve got to be nice to him.
      Sansa: I could marry him, he’s no more of a twat than husbands 1 and 3.
      Jon: why don’t you just set fire to me?
      Melisandra: you’ve had worse ideas.
      Davos: now, about setting fire to people…
      Melisandra: ooh, hang on, I think I left the bath running…

      Definitely. I should probably have spoilered all that, but I don’t know how. Like Jon, I also know nothing. About spoilering.

        Quote  Reply

    82. Corbyn Stark,

      I really hope so, I hope they stay together for a while.
      I’m anxious to see what happens to LF

      I don’t think telling him would have made much of a difference. But she was wrong not to tell him (it actually would have been better to tell him before night before battle)
      That’s what I was saying haha 🙂
      Had she told him before that she sent a letter to LF then they would have planned something different but then LF probably would have made them wait anyway. But she would have done her part!

      Alas , in the end I want them to stick together always. Kill LF please!

        Quote  Reply

    83. Lulus Mum,

      Yeah I got schooled elsepost. duh 🙂 Thanks (and we are handling the heat the way we do each summer – stay inside where there is AC as much as possible, until sometime around Halloween…..:) )

      MiddleRabbit,

      I don’t recall Jon and Rickon ever speaking to each other, so I don’t know why he was bothered by Ramsey tormenting him.

      He’s known him since he was an infant! They have memories of each other for sure. And of course they haven’t spoken lately, one was at CB and the other at the Umbers. Of course he cares for him and emotionally what he did was the good thing to do. Unfortunately at that moment it wasn’t the right thing, but for him not to be bothered by Ramsey tormenting him is beyond the pale, really.

        Quote  Reply

    84. I think you might need to read the rest of my post. I wrote that to demonstrate that, obviously, we don’t witness every conversation the characters ever have.

      Have a read.

        Quote  Reply

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