Game of Thrones 6.9 – The Battle of the Bastards

Ramsay Bolton battle bastards

I HATE THIS PERSON (the character–the actor is so freaking awesome) WITH EVERYTHING IN ME. EFF YOU RAMSAY BOLTON.

[Previously] [Unhappy Part Two] Well, this was an exciting week. I won’t belabor the point (you can always click back to catch up and please note that the particular issue I’m referring to is handled and done) but I’ll say that THERE IS TO BE NO BOOK TALK HERE. You have the whole damn internet for it. You just do not have my website. It’s been borderline lately, and you guys know it. Lots of minutiae in the comments that is CLEARLY book stuff. Some of you want to really get into fine details from the books in comments, and I’m telling you right now: KNOCK IT OFF. Talk about the show, talk to each other, but leave the books and most importantly SPOILERS out of the discussion. Thanks ever so.


Before we get there, though, we need to beat back the Masters in Meereen. Man, their fleet is something else. And Dany has the audacity to seem pissed towards Tyrion for the siege on the city. LADY, HE IS DOING HIS BEST. Okay, maybe she’s just letting him sweat. She has a plan: to end the Masters utterly. That’s a good plan. It’s the whole “razing cities, including the innocent citizens” bit that gives Tyrion pause. You know, harkening back to the Mad King and all that.

I like that Dany has Tyrion–wise, educated Tyrion–as a guide.

They meet with the Masters to parlay.

Masters: We want your families dead. We want your houses burned to the ground. And we want you to grovel at our feet. Then, we want you dead and burned to the ground.
Dany: LOL, same. By the way, say hello to my little friend.
Dany: Yes, baby, just fine. Now let’s go torch the Masters.
Drogon: WHEEE!
Trogdor and Sister: WE ARE COMING, TOOOOOOOOO.
Dany: First off, my Dothrakis are going to hit the Sons of the Harpy.
Dothraki: [lay waste with a gleeful vengeance]
Dany: Second, burn the ships, my beloved babies!
Dragons: [HOOOOOOOOOARK but flames]

Daenerys Targaryen Drogon dragon

Hi! My kid graduated, too. You know what he got? HIS MASTER’S. [Look, it’s been a long week, okay?]

Grey Worm: So you soldiers defending the Masters, want to go home?
Dudes: YES. Later, Boners! [exit stage left]
Tyrion: Always seems a bit abstract, doesn’t it? Other people dying? But, sigh. One of you must. IS THIS YOUR CARD? [nods at Grey Worm]

Grey Worm kills everyone but just one quivering, kneeling master, and they send him back to tell the tale. And I stood and shouted and cheered. Just if you wondered. That was tidy! And awesome. I mean, this wasn’t the battle we tuned in to watch, so I’m okay with the swiftness.

Up north where it’s less sweaty, Sansa rides at Jon’s side to converse with the Bolton’s party. Maybe the most ridiculous thing ever uttered on this show is when Ramsay Bolton, after telling Jon to kneel before him and pledge allegiance, says, “I am a man of mercy.”



Jon’s all, “Bro. Let’s just do this the old way: hand-to-hand combat. The best man *cough*me*cough* wins.”

Ramsay is smarter than that, however, and knows there is no way in hell he’d beat Jon in a sword fight. But his army? Pretty boss. Hmm, will they stay fighting for him when the Stark rally cry shouts out, I wonder? My guess is there would be a pretty significant number of deserters. (Or maybe that’s my hope?) But before we can find out, Sansa posts up and says, “YOU WILL BE DEAD IN THE MORNING,” and “SLEEP WELL” then turns and leaves, a mic rolling back and forth on the ground at Ramsay’s feet.

Sansa? Girl? I love you with everything in me. Keep growing, child. KEEP IT UP.

Ramsay trying to scare Ser Davos and Gjödkr is hilarious. Tormund is all, “Um. Yeah, ‘sic the dog on my balls’, ooooh! I’m trembling! Stupid git. That’s a mating call where I’m from!”

Sansa rightfully gets pissed at Jon for not including her in the battle plans. She knows Ramsay is the one who lays traps, not falls for them. Jon suffers from a serious case of Ned-itis. He’s honorable; he expects people to be honorable. Hell, the Night King in Hardhome was honorable! He respected a retreat!

Will Ramsay? Hardly.

Sansa Stark Battle Bastards

Sansa SNARK amiright??

“No one can protect me,” Sansa says after explaining that she won’t go back to Ramsay alive. “No one can protect anyone.”

God, that should be the tagline for the show.

So I’m hitting pause on my remote to say, remember how Ramsay sneaked into Stannis’ camp and attacked in the middle of the night? I’m assuming that’s going to happen again. And why isn’t a group of Wildlings sneaking into Winterfell to, I don’t know, steal gun powder, kill horses (cry!), poison the water, something? Okay, hitting “play.”

Gjördkr the Bær Fuçkër and Davos take a late night stroll to talk strategy. (I’m a little irritated by the whole Tormund is a simpleton thing. I know, I know, I’m being touchy, because I love Gjördkr the Bær Fuçkër okay??) I do like their friendship, though. “Happy shitting.” Hahahaha.

Jon very importantly tells Fire Crotch Mage not to bring him back, should he fall. She has her ‘come to Lord of Light’ moment realizing that she has no power, and maybe Jon is only here to play a small part in the big picture.

Jon: What sort of God would do something like that?
Me: ALL OF THEM, BASICALLY. See: bugs that bore into eyeballs, cancer in children, the existence of Carrot Top, etc. etc.

Davos, on his stroll to find the perfect freak out spot, spies the wee stag he carved for Little Newt in a long-dead pyre. And then a horn blows, signifying the morning and the upcoming battle. Look sharp, buddy.

And then HOLY SHIT BALLS HOLD THE DAMN PHONE, THE GREYJOYS HAVE LANDED IN MEEREEN. After Tyrion puts Theon in his place for being a wonky, spiteful shit when they last meet (and deservedly so, and don’t you think Tyrion was a little upset to have the wind taken from his sails, so to speak, and not have any sass to slam down?), Dany intercedes and wants to know who’s going to rule the Iron Islands. She’s decidedly cool with Yara being the Queen and again, let me say #SAVETHELESBIANS. I am HERE FOR IT.

Yara Greyjoy Daenerys Targaryen

Life goals: to fill out some leather pants like Yara Greyjoy, daaaaamn.

Seriously, Yara and Theon are such a great pair of siblings (comparatively speaking). Dany’s feeling Yara’s sassy tongue. (Oh, is she now? HBO: At Night.[dirty bass line] Hahaha. Sorry. …for not being sorry.) God, didn’t we know that these two women would get on like a pyramid on fire?? I love everything happening here, the sly looks, the double entendres, all of it.

Dany lays out her conditions.

Dany: No more pirates and pirate behavior.
Yara: But… why is all the rum gone? Ugh. Fine.

They shake on it in a really intense bit of touching, or is that just me? BUT. WAIT. WHOA, REALLY? NO MORE SALTY SEA PIRATES? I… don’t know how I feel about this.

Up north, the Starks and their army line up and we get the “They’ll never take… our… FREEDOM” shot of Jon moving through the troops to the front, standing by Wun Wun the giant. (And ha, all the metalheads in the crowd. I love it.)

Game Thrones Battle Bastards

Let’s be frank: this was a beautifully shot episode.

In the battlefield are bodies flayed, hanged upside down, and set on fire before the Bolton army, just that much larger, that much better kitted out. And then here comes Ramsay on a horse, dragging something on a rope.

Oh god.

It’s Rickon. And these are Northerners watching. They know who it is. So. There goes the chance of any folks joining the True Northerners, huh? Ramsay pulls a knife, ready to kill him there or… cut his bonds and release him? Well, there’s going to be a game first. “Run to your brother. Ready? Go.” And then an archer shows up.

SERPENTINE, BRO, COME ON. FUCKING JON RIDES OFF TO INTERCEDE, and this is EXACTLY what Sansa was talking about not doing. Christ. Serpentine, child!! Now is the time for evasive measures!!! Run for the smoke of the burning bodies at least. And of course, one pierces Rickon’s chest just before Jon can get there. OF COURSE. Dammit. Rickon, we hardly knew ye. No, but literally. We didn’t know you so this isn’t that emotional other than the general, “You killed a child,” level of emotion.

But hang on, JON: GET OUT OF RANGE.

We knew Rickon was a dead man. Boy. …Child. We knew. But now Jon knows. Jon narrows his eyes, Tormund mutters, “Don’t,” and Jon is fucking up the whole plan by charging, so now Davos has to command the other men to follow their commander. FUCK.­

YOU CAN’T BE EMOTIONAL AND LEAD, FOLKS. You have to be heartless and cruel! I guess. Ugh, everything is terrible and my stomach is in knots. Ramsay sits cool as a cucumber as the whole thing is jacked up because of Jon. Jon’s horse falls, and Ramsay sends in the calvary.

Jon? Take a knee. Son? You’re a dumbass. You’ve just jeopardized the whole thing.

Jon Snow Battle Bastards

Okay this is pretty courageous. But like, Gryffindor courageous where it’s foolhardy and possibly of your own making. *cough*

He draws his sword as forty million horses bear down on him, give or take one or two thousand. BUT OH HO, our calvary runs in just in the knick of time! But Ramsay doesn’t care about his own men and orders the archers to shoot at will. (Nice camera shots from the arrow’s POV, with the extra awesome noise of the fletchings in the wind.)

Let’s just get this out there, this battle scene is fucking amazing and brutal and well-choreographed and shot and I don’t even know how to describe it other than Jon is about to slice a guy’s head off and a horse barrel-chests the guy to death before he can, arrows rain down, blood is flying, it’s chaos of screaming and grunting and swords flying, not to mention horses everywhere and GOOD LORD.

Just… excellent work, crew. God damn.

At this point, all Ramsay seems to have is his archers, and he continues to let bolts fly, regardless of who they hit. Pfft. The others are fighting on a sea of dead bodies. Ser Davos is tired of waiting and leads the remaining True Northerners’ archers into fight. Lord Bad Touch Karstark however, has his men fired up and are ready to join in from the backside. Pun. Totally. Intended.

Please note that Ramsay is a total wuss for sitting back and playing general while Jon is in the thick of it. Wun Wun points out though that they’re now surrounded by Bolton men with proper protection. Just what the Starks had mentioned doing but didn’t follow through on. AHEM, JON SNOW.

So. This looks terrible. Where’s a dragon when you need one?

Tormund and Wun Wun take it upon themselves to break through the (pretty fucking solid) Bolton defense, literally throwing themselves at shields and spears, and it’s so brutal, oh my god. Tormund, no!!

He takes an additional shoulder wound, the Boltons advance, and Jon comes face to face with Lord Bad Touch. But that’s right when Tormund is all, “Screw this, I’m going home!” and leads his men up the mountain of dead to fight through the non-be-speared side of this battle. Jon is almost trampled to death by the fighting Wildlings. Or maybe he is? It’s pretty intense. He pulls himself to standing, crowd surfs to see Tormund getting head-butted, maybe to death, when a horn blows.

And Tormund, lovingly first called Gjördkr the Chîcken Eåter here, uses this distraction to BITE LORD BAD TOUCH’S NECK OUT IN A MOVE THAT IS PURE RICK GRIMES. From here out, he is Gjördkr the Pêrv Nømm?. BLESS YOU, WILDLING, and your tenacious spirit of “Not going down without a fight!” Oh, if only Brienne had borne witness…

Oh, that horn? The mother trucking HOUSE ARRYN HAS ARRIVED, because family is family, and Ramsay, you are HOSED. I guess we all owe Sansa an apology, huh? I will not apologize to Littlefinger, but Sansa, sitting astride her horse next to him, looks pretty damn boss and smug. As she should.

Sansa Stark House Arryn

Bitterly pleased, as is befitting a woman in her position.

The newcomers slice through Ramsay’s men like a hot knife through butter. It’s incredibly satisfying. Jon, shocked but still ready to fight, sees Ramsay and immediately is ready to right some wrongs.

BRO. RIGHT THOSE WRONGS. GET THAT JACKHOLE ASAP. Also, Sansa? You are your mother’s daughter, just as Uncle Blackfish stated. [fist chest pound] Respect.

Ramsay, his knickers barely damp with piss, turns and rides off back to Winterfell. Jon, Wun Wun and Gjördkr the Pêrv Nømm? are hot on his trail. Ramsay hides inside Winterfell, but dude, you ain’t Blackfish. You aren’t prepared for a 2-year sit-in, are you? “They don’t have the men. And frankly, I don’t think they have the stone or anyone capable of getting through the door.”


But oh no, Wun Wun’s riddled with arrows!! No!!! The Bolton’s are now focused on him, enabling the remaining Stark army to run inside, and it’s the Boltons not prepared now. But oh, Wun Wun! [sad faces] An arrow from Ramsay through the giant’s eye ends his magnificent, single-syllabic life, and now you’ve done it, Ramsay, you dog-fighting, child-killing, discarded toenail clipping, you.

Ramsay’s all, “Let’s go back to that one-on-one combat thing!” But Jon gets him pinned down and beats the holy hell out of Ramsay’s face as Ramsay smiles. And then… Ramsay stops smiling.

Ramsay stops almost living, actually, until Jon spies Sansa and pulls his next punch. Ramsay’s face is basically a bowl of hamburger, so that could could have been the last one needed. And Jon knows Ramsay isn’t his to kill. OH HO. [rubs hands]

The greatest thing ever: the Bolton flags come down, the Stark flags go up, and everything is quiet in that way where things slowly skitter back out into the sunlight, ready to lick their wounds and get back to living.

Ser Davos, however, has that little stag in his hand and a deadly look pointed at Fire Crotch Mage across the courtyard…. You in danger, girl. Eh, I’m okay with that.

Sansa wants to know where Ramsay is being held, of course, and excuse me while I freshen my beverage and get some popcorn.


And while I would have loved Theon to be a part of this, Sansa can absolutely take the wheel here in ending Ramsay’s horrible life. Ramsay’s pretty sure that while he’s basically a bloodied steak tied to a chair, that T-Rex who they’re waiting on doesn’t want a goat chained to a pen! They want to hunt. Or something. Right? Ha.


Yeah, but remember how you starved your dogs? Gosh. I wonder how that’s going to work out for you, Ramsay? Spoiler alert: NOT WELL.

Ramsay Bolton dogs death

WHO’S A GOOD BOY? Who’s a hungry, bloodthirsty boy? You are! Yes you are! Who’s a painfully clipped killing machine? You are, Pansy, pretty boy. Now, Pansy: SIC ‘EM. (In my head the dogs are named after flowers. Petunia was sitting patiently waiting her turn for a bit of flesh.)

They literally eat his face off first, then eat the rest of him. He’s alive for most of it (Oh god) and Sansa watches until she doesn’t need to anymore. She walks away smiling. REAP WHAT YOU SOW, FUCKER.

[kisses fingers]

God damn. This was some brutal, bloody stuff. I mean, it’s war. It should be awful so that, you know, we don’t engage in it often. But still, not for the faint of heart.

Predictions: The Red Witch is going to die by Davos’ hand, but she’ll kill him too (noooooo!) we’ll get a pissy Daario walking in on Yara and Dany (god, please give me this), and HOPEFULLY the overthrowing of Cult Pope. Lord, hear my cry.


Winterfell House Stark Opening


Crap, this season has been amazing. Amazing. Maybe my favorite of all, honestly.

Only one more? ONE MORE?!?!?

Also: BITCHES GET SHIT DONE. Valar Morghulis, yo. (And please tell me how much you loved Lady Mormont sitting astride her noble Steve (that’s her horse’s name) there at the start of the battle. Even though she apparently had a portkey and went back to Waterfall House when the fighting began.) GUYS. GUYYYYYYS IT WAS SO GOOD.