Battle of the Bastards Fought off All My Doubts For This Season

*Disclaimer: I reserve the right to the excessive use CAPITALS and exclamation points!!!*

got 6-9

I swear 90% of this made me shriek “OH MY GOD!!!! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!?” Because this episode put the EPIC back in epic fantasy (yes I went there).

My one complaint is that this felt like two episodes. I don’t see why they couldn’t separate the two battles into two episodes, considering how so much of this series has felt sorely lacking in action. If all of the battle at Meereen had happened last episode, then there would have been a lot more satisfaction from viewers about the last episode. But other than that this episode was PERFECT- so I’m gonna quit complaining pronto and get to talking about the SHEER AWESOMENESS that is Game of Thrones! So Let’s start with:

Part 1– The Battle of the “Bastards” – Dany in all her Glory

*This will get spoilery- starting now!*

The first part of this episode restored my faith in dragonkind. I may have mentioned this once, or a thousand times on this blog, but dragons are by far my favourite mythical creature. So I was disappointed this year that I wasn’t as roused by the dragon scenes this year- until now. Because three dragons wreaking havoc puts me in a good mood for some reason. At last, Dany was back to her glorious self- meting out justice, listening well to Tyrion’s excellent advice and  kicking some seriously pathetic tyrant butt! Just what I like to see!

dwarfs

But, let me be honest- that subheading is a bit misleading as none of the people involved in this battle were actually bastards- even if a few characters did semi-disown their fathers in their admission that they were monsters. I guess I will just have to invoke Tyrion’s adage that “all dwarfs are bastards in their father’s eyes”- because this was a battle for all the “bastards” of the world. It really felt like the downtrodden are finally having their day. And while not completely oppressed, it did feel like the episode was living upto that theme when the Greyjoy siblings stepped onto the scene fulfilling my dreams of a Targaryen-Ironborn alliance. And with it came Dany’s promise of a new world- restoring my faith in her ability to be more than just a conqueror queen and reminding me why she has always been in my top 2 picks to sit on the Iron Throne.

And while we are on the subject, let’s turn our attention to my other pick to rule Westeros…

Part 2 – The (Real) Battle of the Bastards – Jon Snow Lives On

…. But I think I’m going to die after this episode. There were parts while I was watching this where I *literally* couldn’t breathe. And not just because of the tension- but also because of the way they it was shot- which frankly was some of the best cinematography I have ever seen. Because of the camera angles, it 100% felt like I was experiencing the battle from Jon’s perspective. When the Boltons started to close in, I started to feel claustrophobic. When the army charged, I felt the panic. When the army was being trodden underfoot, I felt like I was being crushed. I could completely feel the chaos of warfare. Nothing- no battle I’ve ever seen on tv or film before- has ever felt more real. The whole thing really got my blood pumping and my heart freaking out! After it was all done, I was left shaking and with definite palpitations in my chest!

And then there was also the crazy emotional turmoil of the episode- like the visuals and the music seconds before the armies collide practically made me tear up. (Honestly I could go on about that stuff all day!) But let’s face it- we’re all thinking of the same gut wrenching scene: the moment when Jon rode out to save his brother. I’m sure every other viewer was like me in that moment- urging him on and practically screaming “C’mon Rickon! C’mon!” All the while knowing he wasn’t going to make it- and when he didn’t- it felt like my heart was pierced through with that arrow just as surely as his was. It was straight up one of the most awful scenes I’ve seen on Game of Thrones– and that’s saying something.

I confess I was rather wooed by the rather romantic notion that the Umbers were still loyal to house Stark that I’ve seen online over the course of this season. Obviously that would have been far too easy for Game of Thrones. The most now that survives from that theory is that Lord Umber hesitated for just a moment when he saw Jon Snow- other than that, the dream of those Northerners being loyal is as dead a Rickon Stark. (RIP) So yes, this was absolutely gut wrenching in more ways than one.

What also stood out about this episode was that it had some of the finest character development all season- which is funny considering how much of this season was dedicated to character development. But let’s face it, seeing people under pressure always shows off their character so much more than just idle chatter. Seeing Davos in his moment of realisation about what happened to Shireen was powerful beyond words- and a definite easter egg for the next episode. Jon Snow under pressure was also a sight to behold- and as I’ve already said, it felt like we lived this episode through his eyes- experiencing all his pain and anger and fighting alongside him. And yes, in terms of character development, he fell right into Ramsay’s trap- but let’s face it- that’s because he’s a human being with feelings and not an absolute psycho- cos only a psycho or someone that lived with said psycho would’ve been able to second guess those games… Which brings me onto the real star of this episode… Who might that be? I hear you ask. Well it was little Sansa Stark- all grown up.

sansa quote.png

And my goodness hasn’t this character grown so much more than any other on Game of Thrones (including her slightly feral sister)!?! Gone is the fragile, weak girl whose wolf got killed and saw her father die. She is now a force to be reckoned with! That moment when she rode in at the head of the Tully/Arryn army made my heart sing! She was absolutely legendary! Seeing her get her comeuppance on Ramsay Bolton was pure bliss (if a little grotesque- everyone that hoped he would have a bloody and poetically awful death was rewarded here) Finally all of Ramsay’s games have caught up with him.

Now I think that about sums it up- I think I’ve covered all the thoughts I had on this (minus all the swearing I had in my original notes 😉 ) Let me know what you thought in the comments below. Until next week…

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23 thoughts on “Battle of the Bastards Fought off All My Doubts For This Season

  1. Nicola Alter says:

    100% agree, this episode was incredible! So satisfying and harrowing in so many ways. Especially that battle scene when Jon first gets enveloped in the chaos… Just, wow. With Ramsay, although I am not normally one for gruesome deaths… I was truly glad to see him get this one. Given how many he sentenced to the same fate, and the fact he trained and starved those dogs in the first place, not to mention all his other cruelties esp. to Sansa… It just felt so right (Though I admit to flinching and wincing!). I also felt very sad to see the giant die – was he the last of his kind? I seem to remember he was but maybe I’m wrong. Anyway, this episode was just so full of great moments, and reading your post has reminded me of many of them that had already slipped my mind as there was just so much going on – thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Ahh I know right- that moment when he got enveloped left me so disorientated as well! I was in complete shock for most of the episode! Yup- me too- he definitely, totally deserved it- more than any other character on GOT so far. Exactly! I kept thinking of what he did to his step mother and half brother when it happened…. very just in the end. (Oh so did I) Yes I know- that was really sad! Although fairly predictable if I’m honest- partly because he was the last of his kind- it seemed like a death knell for some reason. It really was- so glad you liked it- you’re welcome!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nicola Alter says:

        Yes I also kept thinking of what Ramsay did to his step mother and half brother… just so dastardly and cruel and senseless (far worse than anything Joffrey did, and I already thought Joffrey was bad!).

        Like

  2. Paul @ The Galaxial Word says:

    I only read the first few chapters of the the first GoT book before I put it down, because I found it way too slow, but I think I’ll have to pick it up again some time. Someone spoiled for me that Jon Snow dies… tell me, IS HE RESURRECTED?? (I know nothing about the TV series)

    Like

  3. rainandcheese says:

    I did a lot of flinching and cursing while watching this episode. It was truly a horrible episode, in a good kind of way. I felt the battlefield with Jon Snow and I felt Sansa’s quiet rage. Plus, seeing Tyrion an dDany tag team again just makes me so happy! Sigh. This was an awesome awesome episode.

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Ahh me too!! Definitely- that’s the perfect way to describe it! Me too- I think this episode was one of the most successful at understanding what was going on inside the characters’ heads. Yes me too- I was initially against it- cos it’s not in the books and at first it felt like fanfic- but now I’m totally on board cos they’ve done it well. It really was!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Kat Impossible says:

    SANSA SLAYED! I am so ridiculously proud of our girl. I just get more and more confused by the people who are getting romantic vibes from her and Jon. I get that they might not be related the way they think they are, but they don’t know that! How is everyone staring to vibe them as a couple oO!? I saw more between Yara and Dany than those two. I both want to watch the finale so bad and don’t want it at all, because then comes the wait again …

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mystery Date with a Book says:

    I’m a regular extra on GoT so I’m a bit biased, but in my humble opinion the only thing missing from this episode were female wildlings (because I’m usually a wildling)! Haha! That battle was such an epic scene I wish I had been a part of it! I’m so incredibly proud of all my extra friends who were a part of that episode!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. awayinneverland says:

    This episode was so amazing I had to write my own review of it which is something I haven’t done all season because I was waiting to do a complete season wrap up at the end.
    But OH MY GOD THIS EPISODE!! It was absolutely amazing!! I love the cinematography as well! It really made you feel like you were in the middle of the battle and it was so epic because it was a perspective I’d never seen before in movie/tv.
    And Sansa’s development in that one episode alone gave me hope that they were finally going to make her badass like she was becoming in the books! I was squealing with delight when she backhanded Jon with her words about not consulting her with the battle plans and almost died of delight when she rode up at the front of the army!
    I’m nervous about next week though because I have a bad feeling the finale will fall flat after that …

    Like

  7. Lois says:

    100% agree with everything you’ve said here. I really loved the Dany/Yara interactions but I thought it was odd to have it featured in this episode and would make more sense to save it for the finale. I’m still not 100% sold by Dany as a ruler and if she didn’t have Tyrion I think she’d be doomed haha.
    Now let’s talk about that battle. The filming was amazing and I loved that we get to see how chaotic battlefields really are and that claustrophobic feel when Jon was being trampled was overwhelmingly tense and uncomfortable. Sansa Stark was definitely the MVP in this episode (and this season). I kept yelling at Jon to listen to her. I love Sansa and Jon as a team and I pray that Littlefinger doesn’t play his games and drives a wedge between them, he just needs to leave Sansa alone. I was surprised and delighted that Tormund survived the battle and all I can say with regards to Ramsey is he had it coming!!!
    I have no idea what to expect in the last episode but I can’t wait to see Davos confront Melisandre. I have a strong feeling that the Night’s King will make his move in the finale and that a certain parentage theory will be confirmed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      Yeah I do agree with you on it not being necessary in this episode- it didn’t really fit- ah well. haha that’s true- but she is willing to listen and she does have good intentions! (which usually wouldn’t be enough, but in Westeros just *wanting* to do good is already an achievement)
      YES! the battle sequence was unbelievable!! She really was- I was so impressed- especially cos I’m a sansa convert, aka I didn’t used to like her at all- but now she’s one of my favourite characters! Yeah me too- but I also kind of want sansa to get the better of him- and I kind of think she could now. Me too! I didn’t see that coming at all- although I read afterwards that loads of people predicted it. He did! I don’t know what to expect either, except that I expect it to be good! Me too- I hope that Jon supports him, but I’m not sure that coming back from the dead won’t have changed him too much :/ Yes that’s what I’m hoping for too!! (I don’t think I could wait another season for that to be finally confirmed)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Marian says:

    This was one of the strongest GoT episodes ever. I loved everything about it but particular how the fight sequences were shot. It felt like I was actually experiencing it. The way it brought about feelings of claustrophobia was insane. And that scene were Jon was nearly buried by all the bodies, was just so nerve wracking.

    I also adore Sansa’s character development, she is one of my favourite characters on the show right now.
    I’m ridiculously excited to see how the season will end, the teaser looks really good.

    Liked by 1 person

    • theorangutanlibrarian says:

      It really was!! Me too- it had absolutely incredible cinematography! Yeah it really did an incredible job of that- I actually couldn’t deal with how stressful it was!
      Me too- I definitely agree with that which is how strange it is, considering how I used to not like her at all!
      Me too! It really does- I’m waiting with baited breath!

      Liked by 1 person

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