Game of Thrones: Battle of the Bastards (Ss if we don’t know one isn’t!)
Whenever they show flashbacks to previous seasons during the teaser, I get nervous. We’re at the zenith of the season, y’all. And I for one am pumped. Welcome to HBO’s Game of Thrones.
Mereen is under siege because Tyrion made a dumb choice. Dany and crew go to discuss surrender — not hers, mind you, but the masters’. Drogon is proving a mighty valuable asset, and she uses him to rouse her other dragons. They burn the attacking ships to ashes while the Dothraki handle the Sons of The Harpy. The dragons are huge and terrifying and fucking awesome! Meanwhile Tyrion, Missandei, and Grey Worm handle the ringleaders of the masters. They do an excellent job of sending a powerful message to all slavers. That message? Don’t. Mess.
Back in Westeros, the Stark siblings work at wearing down the Bolton Bullshit. Jon suggests a duel between himself and Ramsay. Ramsay refuses and throws them the head of Shaggy Dog to prove that he’s got their little brother. Sansa is stone cold and I look forward to her murdering Ramsay, even as he tries his pathetic little scare tactics.
Planning is awkward. Tormund seems a little lost, poor fella. Sansa calls out Jon like crazy in regards to how to plan the battle. I’m really loving the interactions between Jon and Sansa, it feels like something that the whole series has been building up to, even as they scream at one another. Sansa swears death over going back to Ramsay, and I don’t bloody blame her. She’s finally thrown aside her romantic songs and stories and it’s horrible.
Davos and Tormund have a nice chat. It’s kind of sweet, in a complicated “who knew these two would ever meet” sort of way.
It’s tense between Melisandre and Jon, and she swears up and down that she has no powers beyond that which the Lord of Light has given her. Jon is insistent that, should he die in battle, she should not resurrect him. Hm hm hm.
The Greyjoy siblings show up in Mereen. Tyrion has a long memory of Theon making bad height jokes at him. The Iron fleet offers a hundred or more ships. All they ask in return is the murder of their uncle and the return of the Iron Islands. (Yara and Dany are flirting and I am LIVING for it.) Dany takes the deal, but with the condition of no more piracy on the part of the Iron Islanders.
[Side note – this is the point where my HBO Now went down for about fifteen, twenty or so minutes. Irritating, and something that a lot of people suffered, according to Twitter. What gives?]
Jon prepares the troops for battle. It’s looking rather hopeless, and he knows it, since Ramsay has about double their number and is burning people in the shape of the Bolton flag as a warning. He’s also got Rickon on a leash. I STILL want some damn explanation as to how he and Osha got caught, because I don’t find it in any way plausible. Ramsay cuts Rickon’s binds and tells him to run to his brother, just as he pulls out one helluva’ longbow. Jon rides out to get Rickon, which I’d guess is exactly what Ramday is hoping for. Rickon gets caught smack in the lung with an arrow. It’s very clearly meant to rile Jon up. Jon takes the bait and rides out into the field LIKE AN IDIOT. Rickon is very clearly no more. He absolutely deserved a better death sequence than that and I’m disappointed that he did not receive one. As usual, shame on the shitty writers, I’ll be waiting on the book to make that even close to right.
Ramsay’s horsemen charge. Jon is way too accepting of it to be believed. The battle begins. This is also some of the worst CGI I’ve seen in Game of Thrones, and I’m really disappointed by it. This was a time for practical effects and they went for CGI instead, and it’s painfully obvious. For? Some?? Reason??? Davos gets off his horse before charging in? This makes zero sense, tactically and historically speaking and I’m offended, as a historian by training, that anyone would even attempt such bullshit.
The Boltons go full on Spartan after that, and make mincemeat of the pro-Stark forces. Should have listened to Sansa, Jon. The Wildlings help, but it’s just not enough. Luckily, Sansa’s bold gambit comes in at that moment – in charge that Arryn forces. Thanks Littlefinger, you creepy sonofabitch! They shatter the Bolton line with ease. When Sansa says she’s not going back, she MEANS it. Arya is going to be so proud when they reunite.
Ramsay retreats and barricades himself in Winterfell, feeling smug that they can’t handle a siege. He wasn’t prepared for a giant. I worried the whole time that this was the final battle for the last of the giants, and it seems I was right. But he cleared the door for the army, so in they go to take back Winterfell. Ramsay starts shooting at Jon, so Jon beats the everloving shit out of him. Good. It’s chunky, but I’m not even mad about it. Only regret I have it that he didn’t let Sansa get in a shot.
The Starks reclaim their rightful seat. They bury Rickon in the crypt. Ramsay is beaten to a pulp and in captivity. Sansa goes to see him and it looks like she will get her shot indeed! She’s got him in the kennels, the very ones where he’d been starving his dogs for a week. This is absolutely fitting. They taste blood. Sansa watches and does not flinch. I was grinning the whole time.
Tags: a song of ice and fire, ASOIAF, game of thrones, game of thrones recap, got