Photos courtesy of Home Box Office (Game of Thrones)
How are you guys feeling? Still pumped from all that Jon Snow hack-and-slash from Episode 9? After almost a whole season of waiting, we finally got to witness the most action-packed episode of the entire series in the form of Battle of the Bastards. We thought nothing could top the Battle of Blackwater Bay and Battle of Castle Black. It turns out we were highly mistaken. The hype is real!
Highlights of Battle of the Bastards:
- The battle for Winterfell was masterfully done and avoids the trap of looking fantastic or synthetic. It was ugly and brutal, like a true battle should. There was nothing sensational or glorious about it. The bodies just piled up like discarded pieces of meat, and Jon almost suffocated because of them. Everyone was dying left and right, and you’d have to wonder how these guys knew who to hit since all of them were wearing gray colors. You can see the panic in Jon and Tormund’s eyes— the struggle is more than real. Kudos to the GoT team for an episode with such a high production value.
- YAAAS, we get the bastard versus bastard showdown that’s been a long time coming. Although Jon beating Ramsay to a bloody pulp was so satisfying to watch, it’s still somehow disappointing that they didn’t really have a fistfight, or even a brief swordfight. Ramsay should be smarter than a goof who shoots arrow after arrow at a raging guy with a shield.
- Okay, so people are angry about Rickon’s death but not because of the reason you’d expect. We knew he was going to die. Heck, even Sansa knew it. At this point, I think nobody has an emotional attachment to him anymore and Shaggydog’s severed head would have elicited more emotion from viewers. People are actually angry because they’re saying Rickon should have run in a zigzag manner instead of a straight line. Because the Internet is such an awesome place, a lot of memes have come out, prompting Art Parkinson to comment about his character. We can complain all we want, but Bran is again at fault here. Tsk tsk, if only he took Rickon with him, then they’d be having a picnic with Uncle Benjen right now.
- Battle of the Bastards, although excellent, is not without clichés. Many fans saw Littlefinger and the Knights of the Vale from a mile away, and a lot of references to the Battle of Helm’s Deep from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers were actually made in the predictions. Is Petyr Baelish now as valiant as Gandalf the White? Sure, if Gandalf didn’t lead the charge and stayed behind and looked on with pure smugness on his face.
- Unlike Battle of Castle Black which focused on, you guessed it, Castle Back the entire episode, Battle of the Bastards dedicates a few minutes to Team Daenerys and their ongoing efforts to save Meereen. They finally get their bearings. Daenerys and Drogon burn the enemy ships to kingdom come while Grey Worm shows he has a certain set of skills. One swipe, and you’re dead. Yara and Theon Greyjoy get to meet with Daenerys and discuss their alliance (How did they get there so fast? Are there jets in Game of Thrones now? Haha). Theon seems to be really reformed as he does not go on defensive mode when assailed with Tyrion’s insults. Yara and Daenerys have a who-run-the-world-girls moment, and all is well for now.
- Speaking of girl power, let’s talk about how Sansa has transitioned from being the worst character in Game of Thrones to arguably the best and most interesting. She now has a steady spine to play the game and actually made a deal with the devil when she called on the Knights of the Vale. If Sansa were an NBA team, she’d be getting bandwagon fans by now. Sansa’s character has been redeemed and all the transgressions against her are now far behind. Fearless forecast: One of these days, she’ll manipulate Littlefinger and after she gets what she wants from him, she will kill him in his sleep (or through another morbid act). Just wait for it! That wicked smile she gave when Ramsay was being eaten by the hounds could be a foreshadowing of what she will accomplish. Maybe Daenerys is not the one in danger of becoming the Mad Queen?
- I should be totally happy that Ramsay is gone, but I’m not. I’ll miss the guy, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this. He was far from the plain villain we usually get, and Iwan Rheon portrayed his sinister ways wonderfully. Ramsay is now dead, Joffrey has been dead for three seasons now. Who are we going to hate now? Can we ask Melisandre to bring Ollie back so Jon can kill him again? Haha. They better introduce an annoying character again in Season 7. As a dog lover, I felt sad that the hounds were trained by their master to eat human flesh. Sigh. There’s a popular theory now that says Ramsay Jr. might be alive inside Sansa’s belly? What could be the possible consequences if this is proven to be true? Wow, a Stark-Bolton. Imagine the possibilities!
- Even if you forget everything in this epic episode, I’m pretty sure you won’t forget Wun Wun the Giant. Much praise has been given to WunWun by the Internet. Just watching the fella go during the battle was enough for us to be glued to the screen. Did you see how he snatched that Bolton footman and snapped his body like a twig? All that power was enough to punch through the front doors of Winterfell like it was nothing. Alas, a multitude of spears and arrows got the better of him in the end. It wasn’t really a surprise that he died though. It would probably be costly for the show to always have a giant hovering around Winterfell, and story-wise, Jon’s army would just be too strong with a giant in it. Nevertheless, forget about Lebron James or Stephen Curry; Wun Wun – you da real MVP and GOAT (Greatest of All Time). You saved everyone’s butts in this battle.
- Mereen is saved and the Starks are finally home. Is this the best Game of Thrones ending or what? Knowing D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, this is probably the best we’re going to get in a LOOONG time. I actually feared an Oberyn moment when Jon didn’t finish Ramsay off; part of me thought Ramsay was going to get up and slit Jon’s throat. Hahaha. Despite Rickon’s death, we can still say that the good guys finally won.
BEARDICT: If you took a leave last Monday or called in sick to watch Game of Thrones, then it was a worthwhile deception. Battle of the Bastards is that episode you need to watch right away (As they say, “the night is dark and full of spoilers.”). It is a welcome break from a show that usually centers on medieval politics and power struggles.
We get the finale next week. Ugh, we should definitely have Game of Thrones 9 months out of 12 instead of the opposite. Haha. Here’s to hoping HBO produces a new show with top notch caliber while we wait for our beloved GoT to come back.
Catch Game of Thrones every Monday night at 9pm (Philippine Time) on HBO.