Game of Thrones Season Six, Episode 9
Tonight's Game of Thrones episode was the greatest hour of scripted television in the history of the medium.
I know we live in a society steeped in hyperbole, but I don't believe this is an exaggeration. This was incredible writing -- the best written Thrones episode I've ever seen -- matched with stupendous technical achievement and edge of the seat level suspense.
Put it this way, there is no way on earth that any movie this summer will be better than "Battle of the Bastards."
I just wish I could go watch the whole thing all over again in Imax.
With that in mind, here we go discussing an episode that will live in television history as one of the greatest to ever be made.
If you got to watch the U.S. Open -- thank you Paulina Gretzky -- then "Game of Thrones" and then you topped it off with Game 7 of the NBA Finals, it's truly impossible to script a more entertaining Father's Day. (The fact that GOT chose to air "Battle of the Bastards" on Father's Day after airing Tyrion killing Tywin at the end of season four two years ago is absolutely perfect.)
1. The show opens with a flaming catapult slamming into the temple in Meereen.
Tyrion and Daenerys discuss what the proper response to the attack should be and eventually we have a meeting between the masters and Daenerys. They want her to surrender, but Drogon has different ideas.
This episode set an all time record for mic drop lines, but they begin with Daenerys informing the masters that she's there to discuss their surrender, not negotiate her own.
Drogon flies into the meeting, picks Daenerys up and we have incredible footage of the two other dragons breaking out of the temple and all three of the dragons dodging catapult fireballs and burning down a ship.
As if that beat down wasn't enough the Dothraki army arrives and crushes the attacking army.
The masters surrender and Tyrion deadpans, "Thank you for the armada, our queen does love ships."
Then Grey Worm informs the three masters that one of them will be killed, two of the masters immediately toss one man forward to be killed, but Grey Worm kills the other two and then Tyrion tells the surviving master, "Remind them of what happened when Daenerys Stormborn and her dragons came to Meereen."
This scene alone was strong enough to be the best scene in some prior seasons, but, amazingly, it's like the 25th most interesting thing that happened in tonight's episode.
2. Ramsay and Jon Snow meet to discuss their upcoming battle.
The writing here is fantastic, crisp, penetrating and layered dialogue that pops, which has been a real strength of season six. I haven't read the George R.R. Martin books, but my belief is that since there are no books to base the story on now, the writers have been freed from the written text. The result has been an explosion of word play and wit this season.
In typical Ramsay Snow Bolton fashion he begins the discussion by saying to Sansa, "My beloved wife. I have missed you terribly."
Ramsay then demands that Jon Snow, "Get off your horse and kneel, I am a man of mercy."
Jon Snow wants to fight one on one rather than having many deaths occur in battle, "Let's end this the old way, you against me," Snow says. But Ramsay is uncertain if he'll win, "I know that my army will beat yours."
Then Snow responds, "Will your men want to fight for you when you wouldn't fight for them?"
Ramsay proves that he has Rickon by tossing the dire wolf head out and then Sansa, who has become a true star this season, responds, "You're going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton, sleep well."
Ramsay says he wants Snow fed to his hounds -- who haven't eaten for a week -- and then drives home his final line with the perfect layer of villainy, "In the morning then, bastard."
3. Jon and Sansa have an argument about battle strategy inside his tent.
This is after Snow and Davos have devised a plan to wait to be attacked by Ramsay.
"Don't do what he wants you to do," Sansa says.
Which, you know, isn't that helpful.
After five seasons of victimization, Sansa has finally risen to the challenge, becoming a badass character in her own right. She says, "If Ramsay wins I'm not going back there alive."
And then she delivers yet another mic drop line, "No one can protect me, no one can protect anyone."
4. Davos and Tormund walk around the camp at night discussing the coming battle.
Tormund wants Davos to get drunk with him, and he pronounces his alcohol, "Stronger than that grapewater you Southern twats drink."
What a line.
If nothing else, Game of Thrones may singlehandedly bring twat and cunt back into the popular vernacular.
Davos goes off on his own walk and finds the toy deer he made for Stannis's daughter.
5. Snow meets with Melisandre and tells her that if he dies she shouldn't revive him again.
"Any advice?" Snow asks.
"Don't lose," Melisandre replies.
Later Snow asks what kind of god would bring him back to life only to see him die anew, "What kind of God would do something like that?" he asks.
"The one we've got," Melisandre says.
6. Yara and Theon arrive in Meereen to pledge themselves to Daenerys.
But first Tyrion has to ridicule Theon for his bad jokes. Just wait until Tyrion finds out Theon doesn't have a dick anymore. Between Theon, Varys and Grey Worm, there are more dickless men in Meereen than in a Deadspin editorial meeting.
Yara and Daenerys pledge a double queen union with a strong forearm grasp. This is after Daenerys makes Yara agree not to rape or pillage anymore. and Yara's like, "But that's what we've done for generations!" Before the agreement is sealed in sisterhood Yara points out that Euron Greyjoy wants to give Daenerys his big cock, but that she has no such demands.
"I never demand," Yara says, "but I'm up for anything."
And I think I know what all of you are thinking.
Move over Hillary Clinton, we've got HOT LESBIAN QUEEN SEX.
7. Back at Winterfell both armies are lined up in front of each other and Ramsay has Rickon Stark all tied up.
Rickon must have the worst agent ever. He vanishes for several seasons, grows like three feet, gets tossed in a dungeon and then he's finally back but he still doesn't have a single line.
Only Ramsay is a sadistic motherfucker and we know that when he offers to free Rickon and allow him to rejoin Jon Snow that this isn't ending well. So as Rickon starts to run Ramsay intentionally misses a couple of times with his arrows. Jon, seeing what's happening, hops on his horse and rides as fast as he can to defend his long lost brother whom he hasn't seen since season one.
But, you guessed it, Rickon is killed by an arrow just as Jon reaches him.
An enraged Jon tosses the battle plan aside and begins a one man charge. I'm not sure what he's hoping to prove here, there are only six thousand people between him and Ramsay.
8. But from here on out everything is absolutely perfect.
There are so many moments to watch and savor, but everything is jaw dropping. The cavalries charge each other, arrows fly into the melee with Ramsay having no care that he's killing his own men as well as Snow's army. The pile of dead soldiers keeps rising and Jon Snow and Tormund are walking around just slaying people like crazy. (Snow has to kill like twenty dudes. I'm going to rewatch this episode and do a bodycount.)
The problem is Ramsay just has too many men.
The dudes with the shields and the long spears come in and surround Snow's army and slowly start advancing. Snow's army tries to break the formation, but they can't get through, not even the giant, who is picking dudes up and ripping their heads off while arrows keep slamming into him.
Jon Snow disappears into the ground and appears to be being buried alive, until he rises once more and suddenly grasps air.
Meanwhile Tormund is injured, but not too injured to bite the Umber dude's jugular with his teeth.
Good lord, he and Brienne are going to produce the most bad ass kid in the history of the universe.
9. Just when it appears all is lost, the Knights of the motherfucking Vale arrive.
Littlefinger, for the win!
We knew Sansa wrote to him asking for help, but he's timed his arrival perfectly. (I still wonder, however, why Sansa would permit Jon to attack Ramsay if she knew Littlefinger was coming.)
Sansa is up on the hillside watching as the Knights of the Vale just destroy the foot soldiers with the shields and spears. Her smile is absolutely perfect. I need this gif to use all the time.
At this point I literally stand up in my hotel room and start cheering like I'm at a sporting event.
Ramsay, who hasn't bothered to fight, realizes that his army is losing and races on his horse back into Winterfell, where he plans on staying since he doesn't believe Snow's army is strong enough to take the castle.
But the giant has other plans.
10. The last giant alive sprints alongside Snow and Tormund to the Winterfell castle door and begins battering it, eventually crashing it down and falling to his knees as arrows continue to pummel his body.
As Snow, covered in dirt, blood and badassedness, turns to speak to him Ramsay fires an arrow that leaves the giant dead.
Then Ramsay decides he wants a one on one battle, Snow picks up a shield and Ramsay fires three times at him -- Snow blocks all three with his shield -- and then beats the living shit out of Ramsay.
Every punch is perfect.
Just as it seems as if Snow will beat Ramsay to death, he glances over and sees Sansa.
He stops and we cut away to see, at long last, the Stark banners roll down the castle walls at Winterfell.
The Starks are back, bitches.
But they haven't gotten their full revenge yet.
11. Sansa asks Snow where Ramsay is.
Turns out he's in the dungeon, bloodied and tied up.
Sansa delivers his epitaph: "Your words will disappear. Your house will disappear. Your name will disappear. All memory of you will disappear."
She's going to feed him to his hounds!
"My hounds will never harm me...they're loyal beasts," Ramsay says.
Only...they eat him.
Sansa watches the hounds devouring Ramsay -- as he screams in terror -- and as she turns we get a perfect smile.
After several seasons of victimization, the world has turned upside down --look out, Sansa, the original do nothing bitch, is now a badass.
Now will Arya and Bran make it to Winterfell and can we have a Stark family reunion?
Season Six, Episode 6