Game Of Thrones S06E09 – Battle Of The Bastards

It was the week everyone was waiting for. Game Of Thrones usually gets it poppin’ with Episode 9, up until last year, when that shit was upstaged by the prior episode: the battle at Hardhome. Then the episode title was released and “Battle of the Bastards” was supposed to bring it back. Did it? I’m sure everyone is happy with the result, but I’m not sure on the path they took to get there. Let’s go….

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-Alright, so it’s nice and easy, two locations this week and we’ll obviously start with Meereen, where Dany is lookin’ at Tyrion like a mother who caught her kid having a party while she was out. Dany wants to kill the slavers, but Tyrion suggests some sort of surrender plan, so they set up a meeting with the leaders of Yunkai, Volantis and Astapor. The masters suggest that Dany and Tyrion leave, but they also get the Unsullied and Missandei will go back into slavery and her dragons will be slaughtered. Man, it’s hilarious that all these dudes in this show just think they can roll over Dany, like she ain’t got some big-ass dragons. So she looks at them like, oh that plan just won’t do, this was about your surrender…..and up flies Drogon, big as shit, and Dany rides him off into the sky, and they’re joined by Rhaegal and Viseron. You know Drogon was like, yo, I know moms fucked up by locking you away, and we’ll deal with that later. Right now, we got some thangs to take care of. Meanwhile, Daario and the Dothraki ambush the Sons of the Harpy, who are just killing everything in sight, and the soldiers that were with the masters were like, man, fuck this, and they peaced out with the quickness. So the masters are left, and Grey Worm says that one of them have to die, and two of the masters (Yunkai and Volantis) immediately point to the Astapor homie…..Grey Worm is like, y’all hoes ain’t loyal, and cuts both of their throats. Then Tyrion walks up to Astapor and tells him to go and spread the word that Dany will fuck your whole life up if need be.

Shortly after, Theon and Yara get to Meereen to talk to Dany, and they say that they’ll offer the Iron Fleet if she’ll help them kill Euron, who has to be on, what, ship #17 of 1,000 at this point. They wonder why Theon isn’t leading, and Tyrion makes some cracks from what he knows of what he did at Winterfell, but Theon says that Yara is in charge and Yara tries to lowkey holla at Dany on some “I’m down if you are” type game. I can imagine Tyrion chillin’ with a glass of wine watchin’ and shit. Dany says she will, but the Ironborn can’t rape and pillage anymore and Yara is like, WHAT ELSE ARE WE GON’ DO? But she agrees and Queen Latifah’s “Ladies First” plays in the background. It was a great week for the GOT ladies, which is nice for a change. I’ve always said that women have carried this show, and they dominated this week.

For me, this was the best part of the episode. Why? Dragons, b. Three of ’em. But Dany needs to be gettin’ on the go soon. Get out of Slavers Bay. At least start making your way to the Iron Islands, Westeros in general, really. Just do something. This was very cool and all, but we’ve seen Dany save the day too many times and then not to do anything.

That being said, this was pretty fucking cool.

-Now, to the North, where Jon, Sansa, Tormund and Davos meet up with Ramsay and Smalljon Umber to talk about this battle. Ramsay says he’ll let Jon go for breaking his Night’s Watch vows, which is hilarious because the Night’s Watch is full of criminals and bastards and I don’t know why they follow these vows, but whatever, fine. Oh, and Ramsay wants his wife, Sansa, back. Jon is like, all these people don’t have to die….why don’t we just fight and Ramsay is like, I heard you were good and I’m not about that one-on-one life and my army can beat your half-army. Jon tries to make Ramsay guilty, saying that his men won’t fight for him if Ramsay won’t fight them, and Ramsay really gives no fucks about all that and instead, threatens Rickon, and we’ll get to that fuckboy in a minute. They ask how they can trust that they have him, and Smalljon throws Shaggydog’s head at them. Sansa is like, fuck y’all and you, you’re dying tomorrow, and rides off. So, it’s about to go down. And this was Jon’s first mistake, actin’ like Ramsay has feelings and shit.

Then the crew discuss what they’re up against and their battle plan, and Sansa tells them that they don’t have enough men, but Jon is like, NOAP, this is how we’re doing this. Sansa then gets up in arms because they didn’t ask her what she thought….and she’s right. No one knows Ramsay better than Sansa, for better or for worse, and she could have told Jon that tryna guilt Ramsay wouldn’t work worth a damn. She also points out that he likes to play with people, which we see later on. But Sansa has more on the line than any of these people: if they lose this, she has to go back to Ramsay, and she says she’ll kill herself if that happens. Which is fair; shoutout to Sansa to not killing herself when she was with him.

Next, Davos and Tormund are talking about the wildlings’ battle with Stannis, and they come to the conclusion that they were probably serving the wrong king, but you serve who you serve and that is that. Tormund says he’s going to drink some goat’s milk, while Davos says he’s walking out far enough to take a dump and Tormund tells him, “happy shitting”. Everyone has their pre-battle routines, I guess. Davos gets out to the pyre where Shireen was burned, and he finds the wooden stag that he made for her, because it’s not like it hasn’t snowed a bunch there since then and it hasn’t been windy or whatever, but hey, Davos gotta get pumped up somehow. Then Jon goes to see Melisandre, and he tells her not to bring him back if he dies, and she’s like, bruh, they’re gon’ ask me and I have to try, but it’s up to the Lord of Light. Ain’t that some passin-the-buck shit.

So now, it’s go time. The armies meet up and Ramsay has Rickon tied up, and he tells the youngest Stark that they’re gon’ play a game. The game is for Rickon to run towards Jon, but he has to run, which he does, and Ramsay pulls out his bow. Rickon starts to run towards Jon, and yo……I mean, Rickon, I know you’ve been gone for a while, and you don’t even have to be the next Barry Sanders (NFL running back, shifty as all hell, I know some of y’all won’t get that). But Jesus everlovin’ Christ, can you tuck and roll? Zig-zag just a little? Turn around, see where the arrow is and move? SOMETHING? Dogg, you can’t just run in a straight fuckin’ line and not expect to die. Then on the other side and this was brought up to me by a friend, Jon got off his horse, walked 20 feet, was like, yup, that’s Rickon, then he had to walk all the way back to said horse and then get going…..stay on your fuckin’ horse, bruh. Anyway, they’re running towards each other and Ramsay missed twice, but we all know that he wouldn’t miss a third and it would happen right before he got to Jon. This is where my problems started with this battle, but we’ll keep going. Then Jon gets off his horse and waits for the cavalry to come and again, this was pointed out to me by a friend (thanks, Melissa). It was filmed in such a way that Jon looked like he was lighter than everyone else, and it was like this throughout the battle. Is he the Lord of Light? He’s something. I don’t know what, I assumed it was just because it is Jon Snow and everyone is so pressed for him to be the savior of everything. But there is something to it, for sure. But go back a minute to when the two cavalries meet and it just sounds like a thousand NFL offensive lines colliding. I’ve never understood these battles where mufuckas just rush with their swords pointed straight out, like, I’ma stick this mufucka out and if you get hit, your fault. Meanwhile, they’re doing the same thing, and if you’re on the front line, that’s gotta SUCK.

They get to fightin’ and if there is one thing I’ll always say about Jon Snow, that dude is a helluva swordsman, like Ramsay said earlier. I won’t go through every fight, obviously, but he was mowing mufuckas DOWN left and right, and the filming of this whole thing was reminiscent of Saving Private Ryan, so I’ll never say that wasn’t cool to watch. But then the Bolton army surrounds Jon’s army in a horseshoe formation, and this is a brilliant move by Ramsay. They basically push them in the middle and no one in the Stark army can do anything, really, except Wun Wun, who was ripping people literally in half and that shit was great. Then there are piles of bodies and dead horses and all sorts of shit, and Jon somehow gets tramples by either retreating wildlings or incoming Boltons, hell, probably both, I don’t really care, he was gettin’ trampled by mufuckas, tho. Then, problem #2: Jon is running out of air, but I keep waiting for when he burst out of the feet and people and takes that big gasp of air…….then he did it and I hit the most vicious sideeye of the whole season. And really, this is my biggest issue with this battle and why I don’t think it was better than Hardhome. I never once, ever in life, thought that Jon was in danger of dying. Maybe it’s because he has already died once and they brought him back. But at Hardhome, I thought there was a genuine chance he could die, even though I’m not a Jon Snow fan, I thought he could. This time, I don’t care if he was trampled by a thousand horses and Boltons and Ramsay shoved a spear in his ass, at no point in this episode did I ever think Jon was going to die. And then, of course, just as Jon and ’em are gettin’ worked, a horn sounds and here comes the Knights of the Vale, while Sansa and Littlefinger are chillin’ on a hill and Ramsay is like, what in the fuck…..I didn’t plan for this at all. While this is happening, Smalljon was kickin’ Tormund’s ass, but he looks to see the Vale and Tormund goes full-on Rick Grimes from The Walking Dead and bites that mufucka’s whole throat out. That was the best part of the battle, for me.

Sidenote: some people on Reddit did this thing where they confirmed that Sansa was writing a letter to Littlefinger. We ALL knew that was who she was writing, but some know-it-all mufuckas were pressed to be like, OOOOOOOOOH LOOK, I KNOW  I KNOW. You’re a dickhole if you participate in this. Watch the show like everyone else. Spend that time being a better person so, MAYBE, someone can love you.

Anyway, the Vale is runnin’ shit and Ramsay is like, I’m out, back to Winterfell and close the gates. But he forgets that the Starks have a giant, and Wun Wun busts through the door like a big-ass Kool-Aid Man. However, he also have enough arrows in him that he looks like a human that ran through a field of hitchhikers (don’t front like you don’t know what they are), and is brought down from an arrow to the eye from Ramsay. This was the most upset I was through the whole thing. Wun Wun went out like a fuckin’ G. The G-est of Gs. Pour somethin’ out for him. But Jon and ’em are through, and Ramsay is like, aye dogg, I was just playin’, how about that one-on-one battle you suggested, and started firing arrows at him. But Jon grabs a shield and just keeps going forward until he gets to Ramsay, and sweet Jesus, he starts kicking his ass and it sounds like someone punching raw steaks. But then Sansa shows up and Jon is like, you know what, you deserve this and again, predictable. So they take down the Bolton banners and the Starks are back in Winterfell, and it was nice to see the wolf banner back there after the Starks have taking more Ls than Steph Curry is right now. When was the last time they got a win? Hell, a tie? I’m not sure they’ve taking one. Jon orders that Rickon is buried in the crypts next to Ned, and Sansa is like, where is he, so Jon tells her down in a cell. Ramsay is a mess, but he says that she’ll never be rid of him because he is a part of her…….AYE YO, SANSA PREGNANT, DOGG? SANSA PREGNANT! Man, I’d throw that baby off the highest cliff so fast, it wouldn’t even be funny. Punt that shit like it was a football. But Sansa gets the last laugh (for now) as she releases his hounds on Ramsay, who hasn’t fed them in a week, he said, and he’s like, they won’t eat me. You ain’t fed them in a week, bruh. He tries to tell them to get down, and they did……ON HIS FACE. They start tearing at him as Sansa walks away to the sound of his screams, with a smile.

My take on this battle is that, no matter how they got here, everyone was just happy for Ramsay to be dead. The battle was fantastic, visually stimulating and all that. I just found it to be wildly predictable from start to finish. But hey, Ramsay died, so this is apparently the best battle ever. Here are my GOT Battle Power Rankings:

  1. Hardhome
  2. Blackwater
  3. Battle of Winterfell (this one)
  4. Castle Black (and you might be able to switch these if you wanted to)
  5. Whatever they’re callin’ the Stannis joint from last season.

It was fine. It was very good. It wasn’t the best, tho. I chalk it up to recency bias and the fact that Ramsay died, and fuck him. And fair enough, I guess. But the fact that I can think of two battles that are way better and it’s not even close, shows you the high standard to watch Game Of Thrones is held, and usually delivers.

Now, on to the finale, which is 69 minutes long and supposed to be packed with surprises, but I’m staying away from previews because I just wanna watch it on Sunday night and be done with it. I assume it’ll be largely filled with Cersei, they’d have to touch on Bran, a little bit of….actually, you know what? I’m not making predictions. Shit will be almost 70 minutes, so we might see everyone before going into the offseason. Let’s fuckin’ get it. One more week.

 

 

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