Game of Thrones Recap by AsimovLives
Season 6 – Episode 9
“Battle of the Bastards”
Hello. AsimovLives here
I’m a regular contributor to The Supernaughts. This is my series of recap articles about the episodes of the season 6 of HBO’s television series Game of Thrones, a show i dearly love, for your pleasure.
Game of Info:
Series: Game of Thrones
Created by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss
Based on the fantasy novel series A Song Of Fire And Ice by author George R.R. Martin
Episode title: Battle of the Bastards
Written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss
Directed by Miguel Sapochnik
Original Air Date: June 19 2016
Game of Synopsis:
Beware, spoilers ahead
The episode opens with the Dyson sphere globe of the world of Westeros showing the locations of … where the action takes place.
This episode there are two major battles, which i decided to mention in two seperate segments. I called them the battle of fire, Daenerys’ battle against the Slave Masters, and the other the battle of ice, where the forces loyal to the Starks fight against the forces of the Boltons, the latter also known as the Battle of the Bastards…
… or Bastardbowl if you are a ASOFAI nerd.
The Battle of Fire
Daenarys surveys the siege of Meereen high from the Great Pyramid. Tyrion convinces her this is the result of the city have prosprered without the Wise Masters, which the later cannot allow to happen because it shows a world functioning without slavery. Dany decides to strike back on the Slavers by burning down their cities. Tyrion offers an alternative solution.
Dany’s court meets with the Wise Master. The later are convinced that Dany wishes to surrender and offer harsh terms. Danys retorts they are negotiation the Master’s surrender and makes ado of that notion by riding her dragon Drogon and together with the other two dragons she sets an example by burning down two of the fire galleys.
Missandei ans Tyrion tell the Masters because of their breach of agreement, one of the Masters has to die. The two noblemen Masters offer the lowborn among them to be the one to die. Grey Worm instead kills the other two. The lowborn survivor is made to bear witness to what happens when Dany’s authority over Slaver’s Bay is challenged. Her generosity is great, and so is her wrath.
Later, Theon and Yara arrive at Meereen and an audience with Dany. Tyrion take jabs at Theon from the last moment they met back in season one where the later cracked jokes at Tyrion’s height. Yara tells Dany of the plan of her uncle Euron and if she instead make an arrangement with them there will be no other string s attacked than the assurance of the independence of the Iron Islands. Dany agrees but with the proviso that the Ironmen will stop their raiding ways. Reluctantly, but with the advise of Theon, she agrees.
The Battle of Ice
Jon, Davos, Tormund, Lady Lyanna and Sansa met with Ramsey for parley. The later deliberatly saboutages any attempt at conversation by… well, by being himself. But it’s Sansa who delievers the last threat: Ramsey will die tomorrow.
Jon challenges Ramsey to a duel, but Ramsey declines. He feels victory is so assured for him it’s nonsense to risk his life fighting one of the mightiest swordman in the North.
The night before the battle Jon, Davos and Tormund revise their battle stragery, consisting of waiting for Ramsey’s numerical superior forces to go to them. Tormund fears the assault of cavalry on the wildlings, remembering all too well how Stannis’s cavalry routed Mance’s forces at the Battlee of the Wall. Jon informs that the sides of their army will be protected with threnches to avoid an envelopment… a pincher manuever… an attack from the sides. Tormund understands the later description.
After the meeting, Sansa castigates Jon for not asking for her imput, as she knowns the mind of Ramsey. She warns him that it’s Ramsey who sets traps and Jon needs to be very careful to fall for the trap that Ramsey most certainly will lay waiting. She is also convinced that their brother Rickon is as good as dead, given he’s the one with the strongest legitimate claim to Winterfell. Jon is adamant they will fight with what they have, but Sansa wants to wait one more day.
Tormund and Davos discuss their recent past followng kings and how badly it all turns out. Davos points that Jon is not a king, as if to make him an exception to the folly of kings. Davos walks about the camp, too agitated to sleep, and notices the remains of a pire. He finds a wooden toy, the stag he carved as a gift for Sheereen. He quickly deduces what happened.
Jon meets with Mellisandre and asks for advice. For once she refrains from giving high minded talsk about the will of the gods aand instead just advice Jon to not lose. Jon asks her that if he dies in battle, to not revive him again, but she can’t make such promise as he has to try to revive him, as she believes it’s what her God of Light commands.Jon asks what is the will of the God of Light, but Mellisandrte, uncharacteristically, claims she doesn’t know for sure, all she can do is to try to read the signs as best she can and hope the God has something good in store for him. Jon questions what kind of god can be so cruel and callow, which she replies, the the god they have. Jon leaves, not getting the consolation he seeked.
The next morging the Stark forces lay awaiting for the Bolton forces to march on them. Ramsey shows up on the battlefield with Rickon.
He frees Rickon and starts what he calles a game: he sends Rickon running toward his brother’s forces while he shoots arrows at him. Jon sees what is happening and rides on full throttle to catch and rescue Rickon. Ramsey’s misses the first 3 arrows but as Jon is about to catch up with Rickon the later is shot dead with an arrow to the heart. Ramsey had been deliberatly missing to give Rickon and Jon false hopes.
Jon is so furious at his brother’s death he charges the Bolton forces without thinking. Tormund and Davos panic and order their entire forces except for the archers to run forward to try to catch with Jon. The Bolton’s archers shot a volley and kill Jon’s horse. Jon realises the folly he did and resigns himself to die fighting the approaching Bolton cavarly charge. But at the last second he’s saved by the Stark cavarly charge that mets the Bolton cavalry head on.
What follows is pure war madness. The Starks forces hatch at the Bolton’s cavalry like madmen. Ramsey orders his archers to shoot volleys at the battleline, and his own cavalry is deliberatly shot down as well as his enemies. Soon a pile of dead bodies make for a macabre wall in the middle of the battlefield. Ramsey orders his infantry, forming a phallax, to surround the Stark forces. Pinned between the phallax and the wall of bodies, the Stark forces are inside the trap that Ramsey set for them.
The Bolton’s phallax is unpenetrable and not even the giant Wun Wun can do much to disrupt it. The phallax sustematically kill of the more unprotected warriors of the Stark army. Soon panic breaks out and Jon nearly is killed by being stomped by his own men. Tormund os attacked by Littlejon Umber and is almost killed.
At the darkest hour for Jon and his allies, an horn is heard. The cavarly of the Vale has arrives, commanded by Littlefinger and with Sansa at his side. The Riders of the Vale strike the Bolton phallax on the unprotected rear and smash through. The battle turned and it’s now the Stark and allies who are on top and win the day.
Ramsey, shocked by the turn of events, rides back to Winterfell. Jon, Tormund and Wun Wun persue. RAmsety believes safe behind the mighty walls of Winterfell because he reasons, correctly, that Jon’s forces are not enough to mount a sucessful siege and all he needs is just to wait out. But he doesn’t count on Wun Wun attacking the gates and shashing through. Wun Wun is sucessful and he succumbs to the many wounds sustained in battle and by the arrows shot by the Bolton defenders. Jon, Tormund and the wildling archers enter Winterfell and shot down the Bolton defense. Jon reaches for Wun Wun but the leter is killed with an arrow to the eye, cortesy of Ramsey. Ramsey, his sanity clearly gone, decides to have that duel with Jon after all. His idea of a diuel is to shoot arrows at Jon. Jon grabs a shield of a dead Mormont warrior and protects from Ramsey’s shots. After 3 unsuccessful shots, Jon gets close to Ramsey and strikes him down and viciously punches Rasmsey’s face into a bloody pulp. Jon stops as he catchs a look at Sansa.
The battle ends and the Starks won. The Bolton’s banners and flags are thrown to the ground and high hangs the banners and flags of the Starks.
It’s Sansa who will have the final revenge on Ramsey. She sics Ramsey’s own bloodhounds on him, by now starving from having been denied food for a week. Ramsey intended to have them starved so to fed Jon and his allies to them, but now it’s him who’s being given to be fed by his own hounds. Ramsey tries to command them, but as Sansa reminds him, his dogs are now so hungry they know no master anymore. And as she predicted, Ramsey’s dogs attack him and slowly eat him alive. Sansa looks at the carnage and slowly walks away, with a smile of deep satisfaction.
Game of Opinion:
This was an extremely satisfying episode. Not just the quality of it, thanks to what might be the two biggest battle sequences seen so far in the while history of the series, but also because one of the most repulsive villains got his deserved end.
In this episode the mantle of Captain Failure was passed from Jaime Lannister to Jon Snow. Sure, in the end the good guys won, but they so nearly lost, and all thanks to Jon’s rash and immature decisions. His battle plan was actually pretty good, nearly textbook as what a force should do facing an opponent with advantage in numbers. And all was thrown away thanks to Jon falling for Ramsey’s trap. Which he had been awarned about by Sansa but which he payed little heed. I do think it’s in tune to his character, and if anything, this is the show putting it clear that Jon might be a great warrior, a kind hearted soul who is tireless is doing the right thing and he can be competent at command at a small scale, but on the bigger game he’s hapless. I think this is the show way of saying that Jon is not kingly material, he’s not the man to command a great house and lead it to victory.
In some ways, Sansa is the great victor. Her actions lead to the victory of the Stark forces due to her political machinations to have Littlefinger back to her side. At what price, we will have to wait for next episode to know.
And hers was vengeance. The final fate she gave Ramsey is so fitting in both cruelty and irony.
As for Team Daenerys, it was strangely satisfying to see the aliance between her and the two runaway Greyjoys. As Tyrion said, now, with the fleet that Yara brought to Meereen and the captured Masters fleet, they might have enough to carry Danys’ army to Westeros. There’s a line from the trailer of the next epiaose where Tyrion tells her that she is now in the big game, a possible implication that she has decided to initiate her invasion to claim the Iron Throne. Maybe it’s finally now.
Also, Dany and Yara meeting was chockful of sexual tention you would need dragonfire to cut through it. A preclude of things to come? (no pun intended)
However, for all the good feelings this episdoe brought, let us not forget the words said by an important character:
“If you think that this has a happen ending, you haven’t been paying attention” -Ramsey Snow.
The entire crew of a Fire Galley, two aristocratic Slave Masters, Rickon Stark, Smalljon Umber, Wun Wun, thousands of men of the Stark forces (needlessly i might add – thanks, Jon), thousands of men of the Bolton forces (thanks, Jon) and…. fucking Ramsey Bolton! Yes!! Bon appetitte, les chiens!
Quote of the episode:
Sansa (to Ramsay): Your words will disappear. Your house will disappear. Your name will disappear. All memory of you will disappear.
Game of Predictions:
I’m so glad many of my past predictions didn’t come to pass that as celebration I’m not going to bother to do some on this article. Maybe the lesson i learn here is that i need to predict more doom scenarios for the heroes so they will not come to pass and they get lucky and a break from all the doom and gloom, and villains get their comeuppence.
Game of Final Thoughts:
Two heroes go into battle, Daenerys and Jon. Daenerys curb-stomps her adversaries and came out the victor and the smartest. Jon nearly gets defeated due to his own making and it’s Sansa who did the deed that ensured victory. And Ramsey, the most detested villain since Joffrey, dies, in a very gruesome and satisfying way, by the hand of Sansa. All my hopes for Sansa during season 5 have come to pass this season.
Great episode on an epic scale rarely seen on television. Can’t wait for the next and last episode of this season.
As always, thank you for reading. This is AsimovLives signing off. Have a better one.