Nerdy Basement

Game of Thrones S06E09 – Battle of the Bastards

FUCK. YES. This is what I’m talking about! Now that was an episode. I was super excited after the 9th episode, cos that episode is everything you want a GoT episode to be: eventful, exciting, incredibly well-shot and just so fucking good. Remember me saying at the last review that there are only two episodes left for GoT to find the set of balls it had lost since season five. And the balls were found in episode 9! Hell, those said balls were doing helicopters. Okay, let’s get down to it.

Let’s start with our Queen first, our beloved Mother of Dragons. I remember the scene where I fell in love with Dany. It was in season 1, the episode where Drogo gave Dany’s brother Viserys ‘the golden crown’ he so desperately wanted. And after brother dear died an excruciating death no doubt, we witnessed Dany calmly stating that he was no true dragon since he was killed by fire. Take it however you may, but that certain coldness and ruthlessness is what made me fall for Dany. I don’t like my hero being too honorable or naively decent. To survive in the harsh world of Westeros, you have to be tough and you have to be ready to make sacrifies. I saw the side of Dany that can make her Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. And for five seasons onward we see her gaining courage, wisdom and her dragons. She inspired loyalty and love but at the same time made powerful enemies. I know she is a good person inside and she possesses great amount of empathy. But I also see her not quite making it after she got her army of the Unsullied which was the last time I saw her utilize her ruthless side. And finally, episode 9 of season 6, the Dany who coldly watched her brother die, that Dany is back. I’m well aware how dangerous that side is, she could easily become her father. But her father didn’t have Tyrion Lannister by his side, Tyrion with his voice of reason partnering with Dany’s ruthless yet powerful side, I see this pair taking the Iron Throne. Her giving a great show with her three almost full grown dragons was really a sight to behold, and it really feels good to win. I do wonder though, can Dany communicate with her dragons telepathically now? Cos Drogon’s timing was spot on.

dany and yaraLater we see Yara and Theon arriving at Westeros and Yara and Dany having the mutual respect for each other surprised me a little. And the mild flirting surprised me a lot. Now the boring scene from earlier seeing them in the whorehouse at Volantis makes sense now, cos you gotta establish sometime that Yara is into girls. Cos I don’t believe it had ever even been hinted at that direction before. And they were in luck that Dany dislikes getting things she wants through marriage. Guess Yara and Theon are also a good source of the semi-latest news from Westeros.

Then the rest of the episode is about the Battle of Winterfell. First of all, Jon has to learn to listen to Sansa sometimes, cos she warned him about the monster that is Ramsay Bolton. It was very naive of Jon to even entertain the thought that Ramsay would let Rickon live. The show at the field was a spectacle with the sole purpose of making Jon angry and do just as Ramsay wanted him to. To run across the field trying to save Rickon. Ramsay had spent his whole life shooting arrows at living targets cos hunting people had been his favorite past time for a long time. So hitting Rickon who was stupid enough to run a straight line in an open field, Ramsay could probably do it with his eyes blindfolded. That fact that he missed on purpose three times before hitting the target right before Rickon reached Jon, there is my favorite bastard. Ramsay was one of the best villain ever. He would make you feel like you have lost even if you had won.

stupid jon snowGame of Thrones battles have always been interesting, like the Battle of Blackwater, the Battle at the Wall against the wildlings and the Battle of Hardhome against the whitewalkers. The Battle of Winterfell was by far the most well-shot one. It was up close and personal, perfectly depicting the chaotic nature of battles. Most of the time violence in movies and TV shows are done wrong. It’s often too loud, too bloody and too fast or slow. An excellent example can be found right here in this show: the very last scene before fading to black from the episode of the Red Wedding, where Catelyn Stark let out a final anguished cry when slashing Walder Frey’s young wife’s throat, and then had her own throat quietly slashed by Roose Bolton. That last cut, it was quiet, quick and effective. No fuss was made for the deadly act. And then there was the hanging of the traitors at the Wall in the beginning of the season, the fact that it took uncomfortably long for them to suffocate, just like in real life. Those were some great depiction of violence and death. Although well-shot and great at showing the chaos, the battle of Winterfell lacked some great violence described above. In short, no one important died to make an impact on me. The only meaningful death for me was Wun Wun the giant. He gave his all and used his last strength to break down the gate of Winterfell (but he couldn’t break the formation of the shield wall before?? Pfft). The arrival of Little Finger’s army was predictable and the great battle lacked a little bit of a satisfying ending. The face off of the bastards inside Winterfell, I did like a lot of details at that. I have said before that the arrogance and the need to show off of Ramsay were the weaknesses that would prevent him to become a great villain. The Rickon execution as a sadistic yet strategic move (to kill Jon Snow easily), but the shooting the severely wounded Wun Wun was a terribly cheap shot and a very very stupid one too. As if Jon wasn’t enraged enough. Jon picking up the shield with House Stark’s direwolf sigil to block Ramsay’s arrows was pretty awesome, and the beating of Ramsay was all kinds of satisfying. But I was glad Jon stopped when he saw Sansa, realizing that Ramsay wasn’t his to kill.

ramsays endI did appreciate the way Ramsay was executed, in the hands… jaws of his own hounds while Sansa looked on. But I felt it wasn’t enough. Here’s the thing with so-called good guys punishing the bad guys, they are never as imaginative and entertaining as the bad guys. I did love the wee smile Sansa had on her face when she walked away from the screaming Ramsay though. I’ve said it quite a few times now, it’s that I like Sansa. Many thought her to be annoying. But I like that she is very smart. She is like a blank canvas of a naive girl that was chucked into the cruel reality and forced to adapt. The blank canvas then became a sponge, sucking up all the knowledge and learning things that would help her survive from everyone she encountered. She learned to stay quiet, to tell people what they want to hear at the court of Kingslanding. She learned to lie really well and to manipulate people from Little Finger. And finally, even from Ramsay, she learned to be ruthless and even sadistic. From all people around her, she would take a little piece from them to form a Sansa that I can appreciate. She would never be a hero of the story, but the person she had become, she might yet cause some big waves.

I have high expectations of the final episode now. Let’s have a little preview here and I’ll see you next week.



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