Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Game of Thrones Season Six, Episode 9 ("Battle of The Bastards")

by Dan Moore

NOW THAT’S MORE LIKE IT. For six seasons, this show has given us characters we’ve come to know and love and beaten the ever-loving snot out of them while allowing characters we know and loathe to thrive.  Scumbags the likes of which the land of television have never seen have become king on this show, or have become lords of many lands for butchering the nice guys we grow attached to. But not this week. Finally, we get some payback.


Jon Snow and his ragtag army are headed to Winterfell to take it back FOR THE GOOD GUYS. Outnumbered and outgunned, Snow has to make a stand Ramsay Bolton and his troops because the script says so. God forbid his sister Sansa tell him that she invited Littlefinger’s army to show up. Why would she not tell Jon that she sent a message to Littlefinger asking for help? That’s quite vexing to me.

Anyhow, they head to the battlefield, but not before Ser Davos talks a stroll around the place and finds Shireen’s toy that he made for her, all burned up. That gets the ol’ Onion Knight a-thinking. Is he gonna put 2 and 2 together and figure out Melisandre burned up that poor little girl? Is Mel gonna be looking down the business end of Davos’ no fingered assault? I kinda hope so. That scene with Shireen last year (check out what I had to say then  was BRUTAL. I hope she gets her own fiery end.

Before the armies engage, Ramsay pulls out his trump card, the youngest Stark, Rickon. He tells Rickon to go join his brother by running across the huge expanse of earth between them. As Rickon starts running, Jon jumps on horseback to grab his brother as Ramsay starts firing arrows towards the young lad.  Now, farbeit for me to tell this kid how to get away from a murderous torture man, but for Christ's sake, when someone is firing arrows at you, DON’T RUN IN A STRAIGHT LINE. Jesus, kid, zig zag for me one time.

Rickon's entire Madden playbook

Rickon clearly eats arrow and croaks. Which holds no real dramatic effect. He wasn’t a character; he was a plot device. I knew nothing about him except I was supposed to care about him because he was a Stark. But nah. This sets off the bloodiest, goriest and just plain grimiest battle in GoT history. Bodies everywhere, mud all over, and giants dispensing justice. It was a grand spectacle. As Jon’s army is out manned and out gunned, things start to look bad for our favorite bastard.

But then this week’s deus ex machina shows up in the form of the Vale’s army, led by Sansa and her man friend Littlefinger. I must say I saw this coming. I thought the whole battle itself was quite predictable and you KNEW they couldn’t kill Jon Snow again. It just woulda killed all narrative credibility. That being said, I still very much enjoyed the whole thing. It was predictable, sure but it was still visually stunning and quite well done.

Which leads us to two major events in the walls of Winterfell. Wun dies GODDAMMIT. The giant fell and there was much crying about the land. Then Jon Snow gets his hands on that prick Ramsay and beats him like a ho that had a bad Saturday.

"I'm gonna get a candy bar, I'm gonna get a candy bar!"

He lets his sister Sansa finish the job. And she does it perfectly by letting his stupid dogs eat his fucking dumb face off. The Bolton name is dead and the Starks are back in charge of Winterfell. All felt right in the world after this. Of course, it makes me think something TERRIBLE is on its way in the season finale this Sunday. It can’t end all happy like this, can it?

Mereen was where all the other action took place this week. The master's assault on the great pyramid continued until the standard Deus Ex Machina of the show appeared in the form of Drogon, everyone’s favorite dragon. He evidently put out the call to his dragon brothers in the dungeon and they escaped to help him burn the holy fuck out of some of the master’s fleet of ships. You’d think the two dragons that were locked up in a basement for months would be pissed at the people that locked them up, but eh, I guess dragons have short memories. Dany tells the last surviving member of the master’s council (the other two having been dispatched by Greyworm with a knife to their throats) to let all slavers know what happened here and warn them that fiery justice is on its way.

Finally, Theon and Yara Greyjoy bring their ships into Mereen (How they got in while a bunch of dragons were burning down a different fleet of ships is beyond me, but whatever). It seems the Iron Born and the Mother of Dragons are in cahoots, ready to bring about a ruling class that is better than what both their awful fathers had done before them. This Targaryen-Greyjoy alliance could be a tad contentious though, as Dany wants the Greyjoys to let their people know NO MORE RAPING! Aw, Yara looked so sad when she said that. But as it is, Dany now has her fleet of ships and is ready to head to Westeros. Will she get there by the finale? With the way the show has been having people make million-mile treks in the span of minutes, she’s probably already there.

The pieces are in place for a great finale. Will we see Cleganes fighting each other? Will the High Sparrow get his? And where the hell is Ser Pounce? Hopefully these questions will be answered.

If there's any justice, he'll be ruling the Seven Kingdoms by show's end.

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