Game of Thrones: Season 6/ Episode 9 “Battle of the Bastards” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

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The Battle of Bastards certainly doesn’t disappoint, but neither does Daenerys’ retaliation against the masters. Overall, just prepare for blood, guts, and gore.


Trigger Warning(s):
Blood (gore), Death (Animals) & Body Horror

Major Characters

Daenerys | Jon Snow | Sansa | Tyrion | Theon | Yara

Main Plot (with Commentary)

Let’s begin with Daenerys. Upon her return you can see she isn’t too happy with Tyrion. The man who is spoken so highly about has her coming home to a siege. One in which he is one of the primary causes. Yet, despite his failure to maintain the peace in her absence, there is no punishment, no downgrading of his position or him being sent out to die. No. While Daenerys wishes to be a conqueror, and could be quite good at it, she needs someone like Tyrion to teach her to be a ruler. For her first idea is pretty much a massacre. Crucify the old masters, kill all their men, and burn all their ships. Basically wipe out everyone and everything. Said idea leads Tyrion, even in his weakened position with the would-be crown, to remind her of the Mad King and how well the plan she is pursuing mirrors his. Thus leading to her backing down and, once again, trying some form of Tyrion flavored diplomacy. Mind you though, she still burns one ship with all three of her dragons and leaves Greyworm, Tyrion, and Missandei to negotiate the masters surrender. Of which requires a sacrifice. However, with two of them being cowardly, they push the lowest among them forward, thus leading to the two cowards losing their necks as the Dothraki storm Meereen and take care of the sons of Harpy. Leaving you to wonder what is next eh?

Well, enter Theon and Yara. Two people who could have easily died by accident for just having their ships on the water, yet here they stand in the throne room asking for an alliance. One which, from Daenerys’ perspective, isn’t much different from their uncle’s, sans a marriage. But then a choice is made. One which would make it so Daenerys would put a woman as queen of the Iron Isles, not have to have a husband, but then there is the catch. One in which raping and pillaging would no longer be part of the Iron born way. The end of a tradition likely as old as the iron isles themselves. Something which, with Yara being between a queen in the making and a king after her head, she decides is the best deal she is going to get – so she accepts. All the while Tyrion remains as sniveling as ever, especially as Tyrion recounts their past encounters with not a bit of glee.

Leaving what perhaps many care about the most: Ramsay vs. Jon Snow. Well, in truth, there isn’t much different between Daenerys’ story and Jon’s. Jon is all about a good battle, but can’t plan for one at all. He only sees the potential of his men, the potential of his glory, and strategy isn’t at all his strong suit. Luckily though there is Sansa. She, proving herself to worthy of sitting in on war councils, has the Vale storm in, with Little Finger by her side, and they provide not only the strength Jon so desperately needs, but the last minute save he required.

For, you see, before the Vale came marching in, it seemed Jon would have had a hard fought battle with a grand loss. It begins with the death of Rickon, and then with archers mowing down so many of Jon’s men. It continues with eventually spearman creating a barrier around Jon’s remaining soldiers, with a mountain of bodies behind him. Things get so bad it even seems Tormund is ready to retreat. Yet then comes the Vale and they free Jon, Tormund, and the giant, to pursue Ramsay who doesn’t even get into the thick of the battle. Being the watered down Joffrey Baratheon he is, he watches from a safe distance. But it all ends in Winterfell.

Poor Ramsay. He thinks the walls of Winterfell were made to stop a giant. Well, even with being stabbed countless of times, having arrows point out of him like he is a porcupine, the giant still stands. That is, until Ramsay fires one last arrow into his eye and kills him. Leaving that being perhaps the last of the giants. However, his death isn’t in vain. Jon, with men who come out of nowhere (it is hard to be sure if they were of Wildlings or Vale allegiance), take Winterfell and we watch Jon pummel the hell out of Ramsay. All the while Sansa watches and you beg for her to dig her heel into Ramsay’s head till it caves in. Yet, she doesn’t. She doesn’t get her hands dirty. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t get to watch Ramsay die. In fact, Jon gives her a private viewing. One in which Sansa can watch Ramsay, all tied up, get devoured by the dogs he loved so much.

Making for an ending which is just a bit too happy and joyous. For while, yes, another Stark had died, the question remains of what Littlefinger wants in return for such a triumph? Much less, this is a major win and surely won’t go unnoticed by the Lannisters and the Freys. So can Winterfell be held or will we find ourselves once more bidding adieu to another Stark and seeing their name buried in the history books?

Things To Note

  • Not sure if Lyanna Mormont survived the battle, but she was seen prior to its beginning when Jon challenged Ramsay to a one on one battle vs an all-out one. Which, naturally, Ramsay wasn’t for since numbers were more in his favor.
  • Ser Davos lives, and it seems the little token Stannis’ daughter, Shireen, gave him maybe his new good luck charm.

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