Game of Thoughts: The Battle of the Bastards (6.9)

20 Jun

Hello and welcome to Game of Thoughts! This is a feature in which I recap the latest episode of everyone’s favorite grimdark fantasy, Game of Thrones. We do things fun around here so for more in-depth coverage of big themes, check out Patrick Sponaugle‘s incredibly witty and fun blog posts. Note: These recaps WILL contain spoilers.

Let’s DO THIS!

Note: It’s been a long, emotional day. I went to the Candlelight Vigil at Lake Eola in Orlando for the Pulse victims and that was as emotional as it could have been, and I’m banging this out way, way after my bedtime. I’m sorry it’ll be a bit short! 

  • Goodness Gracious Great Balls of INCOMING!!! – So that is how flaming pitch is stored and delivered during sieges! Neato. Tyrion is selling nothing good, and Danaerys makes the same face  I do when the one thing I need at the store is totally sold out. We wait impatiently through his talks, and then we’re back with the Masters, and here comes the hail mary pass and THIS is what this show has been teasing for 6 years – aerial, flaming dragon combat! It’s magic on the screen and I want to slam it into my veins for all the days to come! Apparently Viserion and Rhaegal were just waiting until they really, really wanted to get out of the dungeon. Good thing Tyrion unchained them. Gray Worm takes out the shittier of the Masters and throws in a nice Picard Maneuver with his jacket. Well done, son. I want him to be one of the dragon riders, he’s earned it.
  • Live, From the Bastard Bowl Media Tent – I thought the strategy bits were good, but Sansa suddenly blowing up with ‘you didn’t ask me what I thought omg’ seemed a bit petty and stupid. If what she had to say was so important then the adult thing is to say ‘Hey, you and I need to talk. Now.’
  • Ramsey and Sansa Face to Face – Unh. Unnnhhhhhhh it’s so horrible.  Tormund should write copy for Pepsi, he’s really selling that fermented goat milk. Also, Davos DID see a demon, he saw Melisandre give birth to a goddamned smoke monster and if that’s not classified as a demon in Westeros then they need to broaden their classification. Davos learns the terrible truth about Shireen Baratheon, indicating that Melisandre’s days are numbered.
  • Congratulations, It’s Another Shitty Pep Talk! – I am not even sure what this relates to, I just wrote down ‘another shitty pep talk, take a drink everybody!’ I’m sure it was someone playing down someone else’s trauma. Tyrion at Theon? Probably.
  • The Chat That Launched a Thousand Ships – The Yara/Danaerys fandom has landed. I didn’t realize I needed it in my life, but that’s the magic of discovery. Yara is blatantly flirting with Dany and it’s the best thing ever. This scene did not land with the dramatic weight I had hoped it would, but I’m glad everyone is setting sails for Westeros – it’s about damned time. Interesting that 99% Danaerys’ foreign policy is meeting new people and requiring them to change their entire way of life. What the hell are the Dothraki going to do in Westeros? Farm? Pssh.
  • Rickon’s End Was Bullshit – I am 100% sure that’s not how he goes out in the books. IF he dies at all. What a terrible waste! How stupid! Yes, people die in the books horribly, and life is not fair, but from a narrative perspective it was just a huge waste of time. The battle was amazing, and WunWun was THE BEST, and that bit with Jon being crushed within the press of bodies was amazing. That’s literally how the Romans beat the Gauls, by using the phalanx formation. There were moments that stretched credibility – Jon should have gone down in the hail of arrows, Tormund should not have been able to survive an attack on a shield wall, Wun Wun was not put to proper use, but here’s me, Monday-morning quarterbacking a fantasy battle. I can’t help it. It’s because I care! I pick because I care!  Also, I said ‘hey look, they’re bodysurfing!’ and laughed for way too long. And then the Rohirrim Vale Lords showed up and all was well. Seeing the Flayed Man banners thrown in the trash was so, so good. They needed a scene of the Winterfell people repainting the tower shields with the dire wolf, because you don’t throw away good equipment.
  • Hoisted By His Own Petard – There are things happening I do not approve of – Ramsey and Sansa’s dialogue was not one of them. However, wasn’t there a mechanism Ramsey could use from the hallway that opened the cages? I thought Sansa used that to open the cages at first, which would explain why these starving animals were just sitting there while fresh meat was unconscious and bleeding at them. Also, eaten by his own hounds is a little too poetic justice for Ramsey. It would have been nice if Jon had beaten him, then let Sansa cut his throat while he was on the ground. Just bag the trash and move on with your lives, for heaven’s sake!
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4 Responses to “Game of Thoughts: The Battle of the Bastards (6.9)”

  1. patricksponaugle June 20, 2016 at 4:38 pm #

    Sansa used her Jean Grey Telekinesis to open up the kennel doors. It is known.

    I was really bummed by that Sansa talk to Jon, exactly how you described it. I’m really looking forward to S

    • patricksponaugle June 20, 2016 at 4:42 pm #

      – gah! Something happened here. Okay, to continue…

      looking forward to Sansa trying to justify her not telling him about the knights of the Vale.

      Sansa: If you had asked me, I totally would have told you.
      Jon: You mean, when I asked if you had any other suggestions.
      Sansa: As if! You mean you couldn’t think to ask “Sansa, do you have any leverage with the knights of the Vale?” Obs!

      So, Sansa might be some of these things…

      1) bad writing
      2) Sansa just not trusting Jon, and hoping things will turn out
      3) Sansa operating on a Julius Caesar level… knowing that cavalry is on the way, but wanting Ramsay to commit to a ground assault and leave Winterfell, and not wanting to risk Jon vetoing the plan or trying to make use of her assets.

      There are painful takeaways from each scenario.

      • jennnanigans June 20, 2016 at 10:17 pm #

        Good points, all! I honestly feel like the show is wobbling due to iffy writing. Some of these decisions are just… Odd. They don’t seem very well thought out in terms of the larger world of Westeros.
        Re: Sansa’s Secret – Some folks on I09 were thinking that Sansa didn’t want to tell Jon because she wasn’t SURE anyone was coming, and telling somebody that the calvary’s on the way on the eve of battle when they aren’t – not the best move. Someone else pointed out taht Littlefinger might have held them back until the last possible moment, when he was sure of victory, but the reality of moving that many troops at once, in secret, doesn’t support that idea. I like the one where she doesn’t tell him because she’s not sure herself, and for the aforementioned reasons.
        What’d you think of the setup with Davos finding the burned stag?

      • patricksponaugle June 20, 2016 at 10:20 pm #

        I was all about that. I have been waiting for Davos to confront her witchy self. But I need her to have a reunion with Arya.

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