Violet recaps Season 6 Episode 9 of Game of Thrones, titled Battle of the Bastards, where the armies of Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton fight for Winterfell, and Daenerys decides how to handle the invasion of Meereen. Following the recap, both Josh and Violet share their thoughts about the episode.
- His thoughts on Battle of the Bastards, Episode 609 of Game of Thrones
- Her thoughts on Game of Thrones, Season 6 Episode 9: Battle of the Bastards
Battle of Meereen
Daenerys watches from the balcony as the city is attacked. Tyrion tries to assure her that he has improved things in Meereen since she has been gone. Daenerys has a plan: decimate the Masters and their cities. However, Tyrion advises against this, and suggests an alternate approach.
They meet with the leaders of the Masters to discuss terms of surrender. Of course, the Masters are not willing to surrender. Drogon flies in and Daenerys climbs on him . As they fly overhead, down below the other two dragons escape from their holding area and fly out as well. Then the dragons all breathe fire upon the invading ships, destroying them. Meanwhile, Daario leads the Dothraki as they attack the Sons of the Harpy attacking the citizens of Meereen.
The soldiers who accompanied the leaders of the Masters run off when Grey Worm offers them the chance. Tyrion tells the leaders that this betrayal cannot be forgiven, and Missandei informs them that Daenerys insists that one of the leaders must die as punishment for their crimes. Two of the leaders push the third forward, saying he should die because he’s a low-born outsider. The man drops to his knees, begging Grey Worm for his life. Grey Worm takes out a blade and slices the throats of two other men. Tryion tells the remaining man to tell his people what happened here, and that he lived by the grace of her majesty. He says that if the others have any ideas of retribution or returning the slave cities to their former glory, to remind them what happened with Daenerys and her dragons.
Later, Theon and Yara arrive in Meereen and come before Tyrion and Daenerys. Theon apologizes to Tyrion for having made fun of him in the past. Daenerys assumes that in return for the 100 ships they’ve brought her that Theon wants her to support his claim to the throne to the Iron Islands. However, he tells her it’s not his claim, it’s Yara’s. When Daenerys asks, Yara informs her that, like Westeros, the Iron Islands has not had a Queen before. Theon fills Daenerys in about their Uncle Euron. Daenerys says she’s been informed that their father was a terrible King, but Yara points out that she and Daenerys have that in common. Daenerys asks Tyrion if 100 ships will be enough, and he says possibly, with the remaining ships from the Masters’ fleet. Theon affirms that there are more than 100 ships in the Iron Fleet, and Euron is building more, which he is going to offer to Daenerys. But Yara informs her that Euron’s offer comes with the requirement of marriage. Yara says she wouldn’t demand marriage, but is up for anything. Theon warns Daenerys that Euron will murder her as soon as he gets what he wants – the Seven Kingdoms. Yara and Theon don’t want the Seven Kingdoms, they just want the Iron Islands returned to them – and her help murdering uncles who don’t think a woman is fit to lead. Tyrion is skeptical, as this could lead to others demanding their independence. But Daenerys points out that Yara isn’t demanding, she’s asking, and that the others are free to ask as well. Daenerys gives Yara her terms: she will support her claim as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms, and respect the integrity of the Seven Kingdoms – which means no more reaving, raiding, or raping. Yara protests, saying that’s their way of life. However, Daenerys says that is no more, and Yara agrees. They shake on it.
Battle of the Bastards
Sansa accompanies Jon Snow’s riding party to greet Ramsay Bolton’s riding party prior to battle. Ramsay tries to talk Jon Snow out of leading his army to slaughter. Jon Snow says that thousands of men don’t need to die, and that they should do this the old way -Jon against Ramsay. Of course, Ramsay declines, saying that he doesn’t know if he’d beat Jon Snow, but he does know his army will beat Jon’s, based on the numbers. Ramsay brings up Rickon in an attempt to get them to surrender, but Sansa asks for proof that he has Rickon. His man tosses the head of Rickon’s direwolf, Shaggydog. Sansa tells Ramsay he’s going to die tomorrow, and rides off. Ramsay tells the others that his dogs are ravenous and looking forward to meeting them, as he hasn’t fed them in 7 days. Ramsay says he’ll see them in the morning, and he and his men ride back to Winterfell.
That night, Jon Snow and the others discuss battle plans. After the other men leave, Sansa criticizes Jon for making plans to fight a man that he doesn’t know, and points out that she lived with Ramsay, so she knows the way his mind works. He agrees to listen to what she has to say, and asks her how to get Rickon back. However, Sansa tells him they’ll never get him back, because he is Ned Stark’s trueborn son, so as long as he lives, Ramsay’s claim to Winterfell will be contested. Jon doesn’t want to give up on their brother. Sansa warns Jon that Ramsay wants him to make a mistake, and though she can’t give advice about the battle, she does advise Jon not to do what Ramsay wants him to do. She also says that if he’d asked her earlier, she would have told him not to attack Winterfell until they had a larger force. However, Jon says they pleaded with every house, and though it’s not enough, it’s what they have, and that battles have been won against greater odds. She tells him that if Ramsay wins, she’s not going back there alive. Jon Snow promises to protect her, but she replies that no one can protect her.
Davos and Tormund discuss the upcoming battle, and Tormund seems to think there’s hope, given that his men and Ramsay’s men have never seen each other fight. They talk about the kings they lost – Stannis and Mance Rayder. Davos declines to drink with Tormund, saying that he prefers to keep a clear head, and that he walks the night before a battle.
Jon Snow pays a visit to Melisandre, who was not at the War Council. Her advice: don’t lose. He tells her that if he falls, not to bring him back. However, she says she’ll have to try, and that she serves the Lord of Light, so she does what he commands. She can only speculate as to what her god wants with him.
While Davos is on his walk, he comes across the remains of the wood where Stannis’s daughter, Shireen, was burned at the stake. He also finds the stag that he had carved for her. He puts two and two together and realizes what happened.
The next day, the troops line up for battle. Ramsay rides to the front line, then walks forth with Rickon. He raises a blade, but merely uses it to but the rope that binds his wrists together. Ramsay tells Rickon that they’re going to play a game – run to his brother, and the sooner he gets to him, the sooner he gets to see him again. Ramsay pulls out a bow and arrow, and Rickon runs. As Jon Snow sees what is going on, he rides his horse toward Rickon. Ramsay’s arrows miss Rickon the first few times, but then, just as it looks like Jon Snow might reach Rickon on save him, an arrow pierces Rickon’s chest, killing him. This angers Jon Snow, who charges forth, causing his men to charge forth as well.
Jon Snow rides alone into a sea of arrows, and his horse is hit, causing it to fall and throw Jon off. Jon stands up and watches as a sea of Ramsay’s horses charge toward him. Jon unsheathes his sword, ready to fight. But all the horses just charge past him. Jon Snow’s army soon meets up with Ramsay Bolton’s army, and the battle wages on. Davos has stayed behind to command the archers, which include Tormund. Davos tells them to stand down, as they’ll just kill their own men. Meanwhile, Ramsay mercilessly commands his archers to keep shooting.
The bodies begin to pile up. Davos commands the archers to run forth into battle. Ramsay’s men surround Jon Snow’s army with a wall of shields and pikes sticking out. The only side not surrounded by the semicircle is blocked by a pile of bodies. Ramsay’s swordsmen climb over the pile and attack. The shieled pikemen crowd in more, killing Jon Snow’s army. Tormund runs away from the pikes to fight the swordsmen. Jon faces off against a swordsman as well, but ends up getting trampled. He begins to suffocate as everyone gets more compressed and he struggles to get up. He finally succeeds, but it looks like it’s hopeless for him and his army.
Just then, a horn blares. The Knights of the Vale, bearing the flag of House Arryn, have come to help. Littlefinger and Sansa watch as their soldiers charge upon the battlefield, disrupting the circle that the pikesmen had formed. Ramsay, realizing that the battle is no longer going his way, retreats into Winterfell. Jon sees him do so, and follows, along with the giant and a few other of his men.
When Ramsay gets inside the gates of Winterfell, he says that the others don’t have the men for a siege, so all they have to do is wait. However, the giant breaks through the front gate. He is pelted with arrows. More of Jon Snow’s men follow, and fight against Ramsay’s men inside the gates. Jon Snow and Tormund watch as an arrow goes intothe giant’s eye, which finally kills him. Ramsay says he’s reconsidered Jon Snow’s idea for one on one combat, and picks up a bow and arrow to shoot at Jon. Luckily, Jon picks up a shield just in time and blocks the shot. He continues to block the shots as he approaches Ramsay, then hits him with the shield, knocking him to the ground. Then Jon repeatedly punches Ramsay in the face. That is, until he sees Sansa looking on, and stops.
The Bolton banners are removed from the walls of Winterfell, where they are replaced with Stark banners.
Rickon’s body is retrieved and brought to Jon. He says they’re going to bury him in the crypt, next to his father. Sansa asks Jon where Ramsay is.
Sansa goes to see Ramsay, who is locked in the kennel, tied to a chair. He tells her she can’t kill him, that he’s part of her now. She replies that he and everything about him will disappear. Ramsay’s hounds wander out of their cages, of which the doors have been left open, and approach their master. Ramsay says his hounds would never harm him, they’re loyal beats. But Sansa reminds him that he hasn’t fed them in 7 days, and they’re starving. One hound jumps up on him and licks his face, ignoring his “down” commands. Then the hound bites his face, and it and the other hounds finally get a meal. Sansa walks away, smirking.
Her Thoughts on Game of Thrones, Season 6 Episode 9: Battle of the Bastards
Where to start with this episode?! It is definitely up there as one of the best episodes of the Game of Thrones series. Of course, that is to be expected, as it is Episode 9 of the season, and by now, we’ve all figured out that the ninth episodes are always pretty epic. I was also pleasantly surprised that I got my wish about the episode not being entirely the Battle of the Bastards, and actually containing one other storyline. From the previews, and based on the fact that the last epic Jon Snow battle consumed an entire episode, I thought that this would be the same. Interestingly, the episode also featured Daenerys and the Battle of Meereen – which ended up being quite short-lived for the Masters, but still pretty awesome with the dragon attacks, and with Grey Worm delivering punishment on the two men who were quick to turn on the other. If such a battle is so easily won, how does this bode for the ultimate battle for Westeros and the Seven Kingdoms? They’d have to take out the dragons to have any chance.
The Battle of the Bastards was pretty intense to watch. The cinematography and point of view of Jon Snow was very well done, as well as the music. I was a little disappointed that Jon actually fell into Ramsay’s trap, after being warned by Sansa. Though it was sad to lose another Stark, it kind of seemed inevitable, given Sansa’s explanation. Heartless as it sounds, they might have been better off treating Rickon as the Blackfish had treated Edmure Tully, and given him up as a loss. I suppose it was all for dramatic effect though, causing Jon Snow to be standing alone, facing the horde of horses heading toward him. I’ll admit, at that point I thought it was a sure loss, and that Jon Snow was a goner — which isn’t that much of a tragedy, considering that it seems like Melisandre would just bring him back anyway. I’m glad it ended up being a win, as it was so satisfying to see the House Stark banners upon Winterfell after all this time. However, I’m still at a loss for why Sansa has been keeping some extremely important details from her brother. She had several opportunities to inform Jon about the soldiers that were on their way, but she chose not to. Why? It doesn’t make any sense.
It seemed like one of the running themes of this episode was girl power, or woman power, really. It was ultimately Sansa who was responsible for the win at Winterfell (though I don’t agree with her methods). Sansa, who was brutalized by Ramsay Bolton, finally got to see him get what he deserved. Daenerys and Yara joined forces. I really enjoyed this aspect of the episode.
In any case, except for the loss of Rickon, this was probably the best episode in terms of giving the fans what they want that we’ve had in awhile — maybe ever. So I’m guessing that means some bad things are coming in the season finale to take that joy away.
His Thoughts on Game of Thrones, Season 6 Episode 9: Battle of the Bastards
I think I am going to be a “Debbie-Downer” for this episode of Game of Thrones, as people who have watched the episode have thought it was amazing. I certainly enjoyed the episode myself, and I don’t want to sound too negative, but I have some gripes.
First, Jon Snow, what the heck were you doing? What I specifically am referring to is his actions AFTER Rickon Stark was dead. Prior to that, I certainly understand his actions of trying to save his brother…Even though Sansa warned Jon that Ramsay would probably try to get into his head–and Jon knew that Rickon would probably not make it out of the battle alive. But besides that, why on Earth (Westeros?) would Jon Snow then opt to charge headlong into the group alone? It makes no sense from a tactician perspective at all, which is what Jon set himself up to be the night before with the planning and such. It boggles my mind he would not try to get back to his group so he can take down Ramsay, rather than simply throw himself into Ramsay’s death numbers. I understand the emotional toll it can take on Jon seeing his brother die, but I would have thought Jon would have been rational enough to figure out how to defeat Ramsay.
The next gripe I have is regarding the mountains of corpses. Really? Mountains? It was a big battle, certainly, and I understand there being a hill of men, or moderate rise, but who the heck is climbing up this mountain of corpses, dying, and then having more come up and dying even higher? Maybe it could actually happen, but I would think it would be with a group of men much larger than sub-10,000 people. (I think Jon had under 3K and Ramsay at about 6K?)
My final gripe is Sansa. She could not provide any sort of assistance or notice to Jon that there would be reinforcements coming? There could have been a much better battle strategy planned if they had worked together. Instead hundreds upon thousands died because of Sansa’s motives–whatever they are.
I enjoyed seeing Ramsay get what was coming, but I would have preferred a sword to animals tearing him apart. Why stoop to his level?
As far as the goings-on in Meereen, I think my favorite scene in the episode was Grey Worm’s execution of the two slave masters. It was quick, clean, and what was needed.
As far as Daenerys and Yara, I am interested to see where their alliance goes. I wonder if Euron has a chance to stop it in any way. Regardless, it looks like Yara and Daenerys might see some differences with each other down the road, given the two have different ideologies.
Again, I am sorry to be such a downer about the episode. It was good, but I felt like the episode did some things for the sake of the shock factor that sacrificed the story. Let’s hope the season finale is fun!