Game of Thrones: Battle of the Bastards


God, how I wish I didn’t have to start my review with this. We lost a great actor today. Anton Yelchin was killed earlier and I’d like to take a moment of reflection. I didn’t personally know him, but he was ‘in the circle’ of some friends. Eff 2016. I think we can all agree that this is the year that shouldn’t have happened.

According to a friend, this ‘Battle of the Bastards’ is the only episode HBO submitted to the Emmy Awards for both writing and directing. If this is an indication of how good the show will be–we’ll see. I’m an outspoken critic of a lot of the writing on this show but it does have it’s moments HODOR! There are so many bastards on this show, it is rather hard to guess which will be the main bastard group fighting. Of course we’ve seen the battle of the Snows (Snow Job, anyone?) teased, but we also know that King Chubby Face and Gendry are both bastards. If they bring Gendry back or not…

Well, after a few false starts due to HBO Now, we can finally begin.

We start in a siege from the sea to a towered fortress. Tyrion must be having flashbacks right now. Daenerys looks a bit upset at Tyrion, but really he did the best that he could in the situation. Whilst she ran from the issues, he tackled them. Her response was a bit Targaryen. I think she needs a bit of a history lesson. It is Father’s Day, but me thinks Daenerys is going a bit too far. The parlay seems to be an interesting setup for things to come. The terms of surrender always go like ‘We want it all!’ and the other person will go ‘You stupid fool. Did you even LOOK at the cover art for the BluRay?’ The dragon proves a bit more mighty than just cover art. I can’t say this enough–I hope she burns their entire fleet…and most of 2016 with it. Neither siege deserves to continue.

The full charge of the Dothraki riders was rather cool. The dragons coming into their own is also great to see. All is foreshadowing, but it’s not bad to see a payoff to this scale. Burn, baby, burn. Our Queen does love ships, doesn’t she? With one moment of awesome sauce, Grey Worm deals out some justice.

One good battlefront deserves another and we switch on to Jon, Sansa, and Ramsay. It is the ultimate showdown of superpowered people. Will Sansa’s telekinesis win over Ramsay’s ability to…ummm…I sorta forgot what his original power was in Misfits. Time travel? It looks like we won’t get to see the powers collide when Jon challenges Ramsay one on one. Of course, the psycho-coward that he is, Ramsay backs down. Maybe he’d be more excited if Jon was a helpless man/woman tied up to rape. Note to Sansa–never ask a Bolton for proof of life. She’s lucky to see just the beast’s head instead of part of the kid. I find it telling that Ramsay tried to scare the Wildlings and Ser. The two people who probably have least craps to give about threats to their body.

Jon’s war council is actually rather tight. Here comes Sansa to throw in some reality to that party. Her self confidence is great to see. She really lays down the Rickon won’t come back. She’s a bit right about Ramsay. Her trauma does blind her a bit and, at the same time, Jon’s past victories might have blinded him. I really wish Sansa would just take her shirt off. See. See how darn right creepy and inappropriate that sounds? Sorry, that hasbeen from last week still gets to me.

Ser and the Wildling have a bit of a chat. Ser finally realizes his mistake in his blind loyalty to Stannis. Jon Snow is not a king–and if he can keep his mind about him, that will be the edge in this fight. Of course another edge could be the Red Woman. Jon orders her to not bring him back if he dies. Why even go that far? Why not just make a demon spawn kid to shimmy over to Winterfell and fist Ramsay Snow to death? Another talk about gods and fate makes me believe that the finale (not so much this season, but the show’s finale) is going to see a lot of god play.

I don’t have much to say about Ser in the snow, but that’s rather a haunting last scene.

Theon is back–and this time he’s talking to Tyrion and Daenerys. At what point does Theon just drop his pants and show the price he paid? It seems that Danny does have an interest in the ships, but not so much marrying a big willie. She points out that everyone at that throne had a dillweed for a dad (Happy Father’s Day!) and lays down the law for would be pirate queen–let’s see if that ‘no more’ sticks in the end. I believe they agreed a bit too hastily here.

Back in Winterfell we see, well, a Brave Heart speech about to go off (I’m guessing as I type). I bet Mel Gibson wished he had a giant back then. I’m an ewok man myself, but even I would bring a giant to a Bolton fight. Who will turn first? That’s the main question here. Which army will have a deserter first? Jon’s men are loyal due to his own selfless leadership, but Ramsay has an army loyal out of fear. Him cutting the Stark free is a bit of a bad setup for something horrible. Running was offered to Theon too, if I remember correctly. See if Jon sacrifices himself for his step brother. Would Bolton aim for the wee one or for the one to actually cause harm? Run, you fool! Zig-Zag at least! And with one shot to the body…(oh how the Stones were rather accurate here) it all turns. Rickon, we hardly knew ye. Seriously, I had to look the guy’s name up. We really hard knew ye.

Another battle is coming. Oh, my beating heart. Like this HBO Now failure wasn’t bad enough, the battle starts in slow motion. Unless Jon can pull a storm demon childe out of his butt, it’s over here. The entire calvary is about to run him down. Does the Lord of Light have plans for him or…Nice time on the charge for Ser! When he holds back the arrows to avoid killing his own men and Ramsay lets them fly, he about single handedly demonstrates why people fight for Jon. Why fight for a guy trying to kill you? Ramsay is an insane git.

I’m not liking how much killing Jon is doing, though. This seems to be a setup for him dying. The bigger the hero in Game of Thrones, the bigger the cut down. A pile of bodies big enough to fight upon and the day is just about to start. Who holds the North? Well, let’s see who will hold their peckers sitting far behind the lines. Sansa better be crawling her butt over to knife Ramsay herself because Jon isn’t getting close. A giant kicking the crap out of a horse is rather funny but is it enough to break the lines? They are rather surrounded right now. If the North doesn’t remember soon enough then this is going to be over sooner than most predicted.

The Giant is someone who best not die. I find his brute force too entertaining. With this turn of the battle, we know it will come down to a cheap shot against Jon Snow, right? No dragon. No white walker army. No Red Woman. They need a plan and they need it now. A battle horn seems to be enough distraction to see Tormund jack up some person who forgot who really held the North. Much like life, I really don’t like traitors in Game of Thrones. The Vale to the rescue! I never–ever–thought I’d say this but, thank God for Little Finger. And like a hot knife through butter, the calvary slices up Ramsay’s men. Now, Jon will either kill the bastard or be the bastard to be killed. Ramsay is heading back to retreat and you can almost hear Sansa scream ‘No!’ as Jon follows. Ramsay forgets one small detail. They had a darn giant with them. He will probably die a Hodor, but he will get the door open. If anyone has played the video game from Telltale, you probably have a small woody right now. Ramsay just killed the giant and offers one on one. Please don’t be this stupid, Jon Snow. Let us see Ramsay get fisted by your men. He’ll just pull a knife out and jack you, man. Unless Jon keeps pounding his face in, but Sansa distracts and Bolton knifes him for it. Okay, so maybe not. I do write this as it happens and I was worried that would be the end.

Let’s face it. Jon Snow just did to Ramsay what most of us want to do to Cancer and/or 2016 as a year. Beat it until there is nothing left of its smug little face. Of course, I would prefer to have fisted the peehole too (for this, you can check out the new issue coming soon of RBY!). Sansa gets her alone time with Ramsay. He seems to think that he is a prisoner who will be kept safe. It looks like the hounds were hungry and Ramsay put a bit too much faith into a dog who hasn’t fed for over a week. I wonder what part of him they will bite off first and if we can pretty please see it in slow-motion?

For the number of Boltons who were devoured by those dogs, it was rather fitting to end it that way. Okay, so it’s done. HBO submitted this to the big show, eh? I think this did have some rather fine moments in it but was it something that stood out beyond other episodes? It is a keystone before the season finale and we did get to see a bit of what we want but is it enough? I think if they handle the next episode well, they will have a real winner on their hands.

That’s it! My finale Game of Thrones for this season! I’ll be flying (literally in the plane) when next week’s episode comes on. It’s been a fun and wild ride. We have seen what the show runners can do without a real novel to use for source material. Some of it was rather grand (Arya and Jon!) some of it made me cringe (the 30,000 dick jokes about Theon). All in all, it was a great ride. We got to see a stronger arc for Jaime and a continued arc for Arya and Jon. Sansa has come into her own in ways that I couldn’t imagine when I first saw her. The North remembered and the Hound has been unleashed. We’ve seen the dragons actually be used and Daenerys come back to set her house in order–and heed the advice of those wiser than she.

If this series is any indication on how the book will turn out, all I can say is HODOR!


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