Battle of Bastards has delivered its ethereal soul in one episode where the bastards clashed, warriors fell and new regimes were made.
It was one of the most anticipated episodes this season. After watching it, it might have become one of the most historic episodes on the historical show that is Game of Thrones. Miguel Sapochnik, who helmed “Hardhome, returned once more to film and deliver the epic battle for the North between Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton. The whole battle sequence reportedly took a month to shoot. It was edited and presented the true essence of the carnage and bloodshed signatory to battles.
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It was not about the North at the start though. As much as we expected the episode to just kick off in the North battle camps, it started in the under siege city of Meereen. In the last episode “No One”, many fans complained that Daenerys entrance was abrupt and short. There was no purpose behind it except a teaser perhaps.
Irate, the fans probably got all their Daenerys action in the ninth episode. The Masters’ fleet is tearing Meereen apart while Tyrion tries to explain his deal and his course with the Queen. He assures her that Meereen was on the brink of being reborn. Something that the Masters could not bear. Since there will be no slaves in Meereen, the Masters will have no one to rule.
A valid argument to which Daenerys responds that she will bring them down. Tyrion enquires about her strategy and with a manic expression, she lays out a plan to burn all the Masters and their cities. Tyrion interjects, telling her that her father, the Mad King also proposed to do something with his stores of Wild Fire. We saw a very rational and moralistic Tyrion who acted as Daenerys’ guide in her time of madness.
We can see that she might be heading somewhere with that emotion. We also found out that this was the plan that made Jamie determined to kill the Mad King. He suggests an alternate strategy and they step outside to discuss the terms of negotiations. The Masters, smug and arrogant demand an array of things from the Queen who says that they are mistaken to assume that they are negotiating her surrender.
Just then she mounts Drogon and becomes airborne with the other two dragons flanking their side, they set fire to the armada while the Dothraki attack the Sons of the Harpy. Grey Worm and Tyrion then convey to the Masters that they will not be intimidated in quite some fashion.
With that settled, we go to the Battle of Bastards where Jon Snow, Sansa, Tormund, Davos and company negotiate with Ramsay Bolton and company. Ramsay tries to pull Jon and Sansa’s strings in every way possible. He tells Jon to kneel before him and declare him the ruler of the North. Jon however proposes to fight one on one so no human life will be lost except for one of them.
Ramsay refuses and Sansa announces his death in the battle before riding off. We then see Snow, Tormund and Davos planning their battle strategies. While they are convinced and confident that it would work, Sansa tries to dissuade Jon to fight thinking that they are leading Ramsay into a trap. She emphasizes that Jon doesn’t know Ramsay like she does. She asks him to wait for more reinforcements but Jon refuses saying that he had fought much worse enemies than Ramsay Bolton. She tells him that she will not go back to Bolton alive and he swears to protect her. She confesses that no one can protect her.
We see Tormund and Davos sharing their battle histories and their kings. They later part ways to prepare for battle. Davos comes across the pyre that burned Shireen Baratheon and finds the wooden deer he made her. Jon consults with Melissandre about the battle and she tells him to win. He orders her not to bring him back if he dies. She tells him that the order to bring him back could only be given by the Lord of the Light.
Meanwhile, Yara and Theon are in Daenerys court asking for her help in briging down Euron Greyjoy. Tyrion gives Theon a hard time for his insults to the imp in the past. However, Yara and Theon convince Daenerys that Yara is to be the queen of Ironfell and they will recognize her as the ruler if she gave them back their land. Daenerys agrees to help only if they promise to uphold a moral conduct and Yara and Daenerys shake on it as future rulers.
The battle for Winterfell comes into focus as Snow’s army assemble to watch the Bolton house of arms in action in live pyres. Bolton comes forward on his horse with Rickon on a leash. He then unties his hands and tells him to run to Snow. Jon charges towards his brother on his horse but Ramsay shoot the young boy with an arrow as well as injures Jon’s horse. Jon harnesses himself against Bolton’s charging troops but his own troops charge as well and an onslaught occurs.
Bolton then orders his archers to shoot on the fighting men which creates a mountain of the wounded and dead and stops Jon’s troops from advancing. Ramsay then orders his men to form a phalanx around Jon’s army and they are surrounded. Bolton’s troops close in on them step by step, killing them methodically. Tormund orders them men to climb up the mountain of bodies to get out but the troops come charging in and they are in severe congested battle.
Just when it seems like the end, a horn sounds and Sansa appears with Littlefinger, accompanied by troops of Vale. The battle is turned and Jon, Tormund and the giant give Ramsay chase to Winterfell. The Giant breaks down the door and advances in. The Wildings and Jon charge the castle and take over. Ramsay declares that he’s changed his mind about one on one battle. Jon grabs a shield and takes his arrows before punching him down. He then beats Ramsay’s smug face to a pulp before realizing that Sansa is watching and leaves him be.
The Stark banner is raised again. Jon tells his men to bury Rickon in the crypt next to their father. Sansa asks Jon where Ramsay is. We then see Ramsay’s bloodied face opening his eyes and flexing his fingers. Sansa is just beyond the bars, watching him. They have a little chat where Sansa declares that no one will remember him or House Bolton. She then set loose his hungry hounds on him who devour him alive. Sansa turns with a little smile. She has finally got her revenge.
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So it was one hour of pure, on the edge entertainment that we can only expect to be given by Game of Thrones and HBO. We also got a sneak peak in the next episode where Jon and Sansa will set their priorities straight, Daenerys will make a choice and Cersei’s fate will be decided in the Capital.