Monday, June 20, 2016

Game of Thrones: Season 6 Episode 9 - Battle of the Bastards

Hello everyone and welcome to our Game of Thrones coverage for season 6.  Put another episode 9 in the history books folks.  This one was pretty darned amazing.  It's easy to tell that HBO pulled out their wallet for this one allowing the most impressive battle imagery ever seen on TV to take place.  The episode was fantastic.  I do have a few nitpicks to address that the fandom has been discussing this season, but it doesn't take away from the visually impressive spectacle that was accomplished.  Let's dive in!

Discussion Points

Surprise!  This episode didn't just cover the Battle of the Bastards.  We got the Siege of Meereen too and the most amazing dragon shots to date!  If anyone was fearful of what things might look like in an eventual face-off between dragons and white walkers, this episode was a taste of things to come.  
  • We got a scene of Tyrion defending his stance on Meereen being in better shape than when Dany left it despite appearances.  Commerce has returned, the city is behind Dany but the slave masters from Yunkai and Astapor are fearful of a successful Meereen.  
  • Dany didn't break her smoldering look all episode.  She is hell bent on destruction of her enemies.  Tyrion tried to warn her of her father.  It was also a nice reminder of how Aerys (the Mad King) Targaryan stashed wildfire all over King's Landing and was ready to burn every man, woman and child in the city instead of allowing the city to be sacked.  It's not the first reference to wildfire this season either with Bran having a vision of it in King's Landing. 
  • Anyway, Tyrion offered an alternate approach to destroying Meereen.  Dany, Grey Worm, Missendi and Tyrion met with the 3 leaders of the Slave Master Rebellion.  They game to negotiate terms of surrender.  Comedy ensues when the slave masters assume Dany is surrendering.  Dany tells them their reign is over and hers has just begun.  Drogon, larger than life, sweeps into town like he was silently summoned by his mother.  Like a boss, Dany climbs up the wing and flies off to observe the chaos.  Drogon is then joined by his brothers who smash out of their confines (thanks to Tyrion unchaining them weeks ago.  So they just chilled there anyway?).   Dany gave her command, "Dracarys" and the dragons burned a couple ships down.  It looked FANTASTIC!   
  • Meanwhile, Daario rolled in with the Dothraki horde to take out the Sons of the Harpy Ground Troops.  
  • Some questioned last week why Dany just didn't burn the fleet when she rolled into town.  The answer is multi-faceted.   A. Dragons look more bad-ass during the day time.  B. Dany wanted the ships.  C. A united attack with the Dothraki.   
  • Grey Worm demanded that one of the masters must die.  2 of them both offered up the newbie slave owner guy that bought Tyrion and Jorah last season.  In one crazy shot, Grey Worm slices the neck of both of those masters.  And then to ensure that Meereen would stay thriving after Dany heads west, Tyrion tells the one man standing to spread the word of what happened here.  If anyone in Yunkai or Astapor have any ideas of reconverting to slave cities, remind them what will happen when Dany and her dragons roll into town.    Dany wins without a full on slaughter!  We get hints to how Tyrion will be a good balancing act for Dany in the future quest to come.  
  • But before we can cut back to Westeros we need a display of Girl Power.  Out of nowhere, Yara and Tyrion and their 100 ships have rolled into town and are already in the throne room chatting it up with Queen Dany and her esteemed advisors.  
  • Tyrion got in a few jabs on Theon, who when he last saw him was in season 1 at Winterfell.  Long story short.  Dany and Yara bond over having similar ambitions with similar tyrannical fathers.  They warn Dany of Euron and his goals of bringing a fleet with an offer of marriage.  And of course, they couldn't let the episode continue on without Yara giving a subtle flirting message to Dany and Dany giving a knowing smirk.  Surely, they're not going there right?  
  • In exchange for their allegiance and support of Dany's quest for the Iron Throne they only ask to be given their homeland back and assistance on taking down Euron Greyjoy.   Dany accepts the conditions but has a condition of their own.  There is to be no more reaving or raping under Dany's rule.  Yara was taken aback but eventually accepts.  Dany looks back at Tyrion before agreeing to the handshake contract.  He approves and Dany gets her first Westerosi alliance.  

The North (Winterfell)

The main event!  There was a lot of build up in this episode to the battle.  Since Jon and Ramsay had never met, they had to build up some animosity between the two if we were going to be fully invested in the amazing spectacle.  They didn't disappoint.  But, yikes on the casualties from this episode.  War is real folks!  Game of Thrones kills characters.  Or should I say Game of Thrones brings back characters for one episode and then kills them off?  The season 6 theme!  I'm getting ahead of myself.  
  • We kick off with a meeting of the leaders on both sides.  Sansa joins Jon and gets the "you don't have to be here" speech.  Karstark and Umber lords join Ramsay.  Ramsay gives a pretty noble "Warden of the North" speech playing the "respectable game" and not hinting that he's a raving lunatic.  He accuses Jon of abandoning his Night's Watch post, he thanks him for bringing his wife back to him.  He tells Jon he doesn't have the men and there's no need for battle.  Take the knee and Jon will be pardoned.  He claims to be a man of mercy. 
  • In a callback to Jaime and Robb Stark in season 1, Jon offers to end the war right there with a battle between the 2 of them.  Ramsay says he's heard rumors of Jon's skills and said it's not certain he'd win.  But, the odds are in his favor with the army numbers.  
  • Sansa asks for proof that they have Rickon.  Poor Summer's head keeps getting thrown around and makes yet another appearance in this episode.  
  • Ramsay then starts to show his crazy self referring to how hungry his hounds are since he hasn't fed them for 7 days.  He gets vulgar in describing what parts they'll attack first.    Sansa promises Ramsay that he will die tomorrow.  
  • Jon, Davos and Tormund discuss strategy that night.  Tormund is worried about the horses but Jon talks about how to avoid getting sliced up like the wildlings did with Stannis's troops.  It's clear that Tormund doesn't understand Westerosi battle tactics.  Jon talks a good game with strategy, but Sansa tries to argue with Jon once again that he doesn't know Ramsay Bolton. 
  • Here's where the gripes start.  WE KNOW that Sansa wrote Littlefinger.  We've known that she has access to the Lords of the Vale.  But she NEVER tells Jon.  Why?  The only thing that makes sense is that the information was withheld for plot purposes.  Sansa has no reason for withholding the information unless there is some fear of signing your soul to the devil (Littlefinger) and how Jon will react to it.  Afterall, he did betray Ned Stark in season 1.  I had been speculating in our comment discussions that the Knights of the Vale would roll in when all hope was lost similar to Helm's Deep in The Two Towers (Lord of the Rings).  It pretty much unfolded like that.   Instead Sansa just keeps yelling at Jon that he doesn't understand Ramsay and you can't play his game. Jon keeps saying we don't have the numbers and have to fight with what we had.  Lots of opportunities for Sansa to tell Jon what she has done.   Maybe they'll reconcile everything next week and explain why she withheld the info.  
  • Oh right, and Sansa has already written off rescuing Rickon.  Again, she knows Ramsay.  Rickon is a true heir to Winterfell and a threat to Ramsay's position.  There is little chance they'll get to him alive.  Maybe this explains Sansa's very short or non-existent mourning period.  
  • Davos and Tormund have a fun discussion on the eve of battle.  They bond over having followed the wrong leaders who they thought would lead them through the long knight.  They imply their mistake may have been believing in kings.  And both agree that Jon is know king but is destined for greatness.  Tormund goes to drink his sour milk and Davos goes for his walk.   
  • Davos stumbles upon an old pyre and the stag he gave Shireen last season.  Something tells me Davos and Melissandre are going to face off next week! 
  • Speaking of Mel, Jon goes to her and they have their first big discussion since she brought hi back.  Jon asks that if he falls that she does not bring him back.  She says she would have to try, because the Lord of Light wants him alive for some reason.  Maybe it's just for this battle, but it may be beyond this.  She has to do what he commands.  She still speaks much less confidently than she had in the past.  She sees herself simply as a powerless agent of her god.  
  • Day comes, the battle lines are drawn.  The shots of both armies is pretty impressive.   We see Jon and Ramsay take place in front of their soldiers.  Ramsay has a leash behind him.  Jon has Wun Wun.   Ramsay has flayed men burning on crosses.  And then the fun begins. 
  • Ramsay pulls Rickon Stark forward. He pulls out a knife.  The tension is high, but he just cuts him loose.  He then tells Rickon they're going to play a game.  Run to your brother.  The sooner you get to him the sooner you see him.  He sets Rickon on his way and gets his bow and arrow.  It's easy to see he's toying with him and missing on purpose.  Jon gets back on his horse and races to retrieve Rickon.   We already know this won't end well.  Just as Jon is about to retrieve Rickon the arrow goes through Rickon's heart and he falls to the ground never to rise again.  
  • ....... SERIOUSLY?????  Rickon Stark is dead?  The one potential male Stark that could've resumed the post as Warden of the North?   And they brought the actor back this season to not utter one line of dialogue.  This dude is the Luke Skywalker of Game of Thrones!   Don't get me wrong, this served as plenty of motivation and hatred to be invested in the battle.  But, it's just crazy that the show killed him off like that.  I wonder if George R. R. Martin has similar plans.  I always just assumed that when all wars were over Rickon Stark would at least be standing to carry on the Stark line.   But who knows?  Maybe they plan for Sansa Stark to become Warden of the North?   Regardless, RIP Rickon! 
  • The battle begins.  I'm not going to give a play by play here.  There was lots of impressive shots.   Every time Ramsay yelled "loose" the shots of arrows hitting Jon's army was pretty awesome.  The Point of View shot of Jon in the midst of battle was amazing too.  It went on pretty long with no camera cuts.  And of course, reenacting the Trash Compactor scene from Star Wars with the Bolton Army was something I never envisioned being part of a battle.  The Boltons surrounding Jon's army and just slowly pushing in.   Watching Jon nearly suffocate and get trampled on by his own men.  I saw on reddit a picture comparing Jon coming out of the pile of men mirroring Dany's shot of being surrounded by the free slaves.  Not sure if it was intentional but a cool nod to the Ice and Fire of the story.  
  • As the crew were still getting squished we did get a shot of Tormund getting the upper hand on Lord Karstark by biting his neck.  NICE! 
  • Of course, as we already referenced, when all hope appears to be lost, we hear a horn.  Sansa and Littlefinger are on horses like Gandalf and Eomir.  The Knights of the Vale roll in and pretty much plow over the entire Bolton army in one fell swoop.   Ramsay's grin goes away and he rides for Winterfell to lock up for a siege.  (Game of Thrones loves their sieges this year!) 
  • While he thinks they can wait them out behind Winterfell's walls Wun Wun has a different idea.  He barges through the door sacrificing himself in the process.  These giants and half giants and their sacrifices with doors.  Precious stuff!   (I miss Hodor)
  • Jon, Tormund and the whole army were right with Wun Wun and they reclaim the castle.  Ramsay then decides to honor Jon's 1 on 1 request and tries to take him down with an arrow.  Jon fights off each attack with a shield and then takes Ramsay down beating him to a bloody pulp.  Every punch feeling so sweet.  He then sees Sansa watching.  I figure he's going to ask her to finish the job right then and there, but he just walks away.  
  • Best shot of the episode is when they took down the Bolton banners and raised the Stark banners.  CHILLS folks, chills!!  (Keep an eye on the opening credits next week. There better be a Direwolf sigil back on Winterfell!) 
  • We then get the aftermath.  Davos has the stag and is looking at Melissandre.  Rickon is brought in and Jon asks him to be buried next to his father in the crypt.  Sansa, without batting an eye asks Jon where Ramsay is.  She goes down to the dungeon to see him.  Ramsay its off a few more vulgar expressions and claims that Sansa can't kill him.  In fitting fashion Sansa unleashes Ramsay's hungry hounds on him.  She almost walks away in an instant, but then decides to linger and watch Ramsay getting torn to shreds before finally walking away with a smile on her face.  Ummm lied to Jon almost killing him and all of his men and your brother Rickon JUST DIED!!!  What are you smiling about?  Sweet revenge?  Okay, maybe I was smiling a bit too.  But still, just seemed like awkward timing! 
  • Ramsay, please do not RIP!   Good riddance!  
So, all of our hardcore villains are pretty much out of the picture now.  The chess board is ready for Dany to come to town (to assume the villain position?) and the White Walkers to head south and bring on the bigger war to come.  Exciting times folks, exciting times!    Of course, we still have drama in Riverrun and King's Landing to deal with as well.  Hopefully, with next week's "longest episode ever" we'll revisit everyone's plots including Bran's.  But, I will say despite my minor gripes this was one amazing episode of television.  I look forward to discussing further in the comments.  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week! 


Anonymous said...

I found the best scene to be when Sansa watched Ramsay get eaten. Also one of the most ironic when she told Ramsay that his house will be no more. Ramsay was given the Bolton name by Roose, so he was legit heir. The Stark house has no legit heir going forward. Its' essentially done. Sansa is not a Stark btw. Jon Snow was not given the Stark name by Ned. Arya's a stark but can't have any heirs. So, when the Stark banners were flown it was nice but also sad to me

The Yara/Dany stuff has so much wrong with it that I will need more time and so will get into it later. But, for one thing she was not robbed by Euron. The people voted him in. So, that was just an outright lie.

Mike V. said...

Bran can still be the heir. I just didn't expect it. And in an episode where Dany and Yara talked about Queens taking over Westeros...something tells me Dany might approve of Sansa taking the helm of Winterfell one day too. If she were to win over the 7 Kingdoms that is.

Euron stuff....true that the people voted him in. But those people also seemed to be supporters of Yara too. They could've flushed that Kingsmoot out a little more. But there's a lot of storylines to service. I guess Dany is going to have to target Euron for those ships he's building now since they don't have quite enough to make it west yet.

Stark Reunion - I guess there's a chance now that we could see Bran and Arya returning home for all remaining Starks to be in one place before THE LONG NIGHT begins. All trained with their new skills to take on the next threat.

Mike V. said...

Couple more points I missed/might have messed up on the recap:

Rickon's Running pattern - A straight line really??? Come on man...zig zag! lol (I'm not the only person who has commented on this, but I definitely was thinking it as I was watching)

Tormund's Victim - Might not have been Karstark..might have been Lord Umber. Regardless, it was awesome! lol

Anonymous said...

BTW, did anyone notice how anti father this ep was on fathers day. Just interesting given the title, the battle, the bad father scene at Mereen. And of course the reminder that Stannis burned his daughter--not much of a Dad there!

The very last second thing with the Vale showing up was the too predictable and mirrored the scene with Rickon/Jon being so close to safety. But, it was just obvious that Rickon was going to die that I thought they wouldn't do as a cliche--which they did.

Sansa criticising Jon about the battle plan but yet not having anything to offer was kind of silly. Especially since she still at that very key point didn't mention anything about the help from the Vale. I can't imagine Jon ever trusting her again.

BTW, why has nobody in any recap on any site pointed out how Ramsay out maneuvered Jon in the charging/surrounding strategy. He turned the tables perfectly. I was yelling at the screen--Jon, you're so dumb--charging with fewer men is even dumber than if Ramsay did it. What an idiot and yes pointed to how Sansa with her worthless over generalized critical comments was right--Ramsay is awful and good at killing. Jon is not a good battle leader. Actually, he seems to fail at being a leader in most ways. As does Dany. But maybe that's just part of the saga.


Anonymous said...

Oh and while it's on my mind. From the last ep to this ep it was like 2 different Tyrions. One all apologetic admitting to failure and this one where he's defending his great strategic moves. It just seemed dumb.

MJ said...

Holy crap ! That was some battle. And I loved loved loved Ramsey's end. RIP Giant! And Rickon - though like Osha and Hodor they never let us feel involved with his character. The hardest part about Rickon's death was watching Jon. For a bit there I thought they were killing Jon again when he was getting trampled.

Loved Dany and Yara.

will read your recap and the other comments now.

Captcha acting up again

Mike V. said...

@Richard -

Doesn't get more anti-father than Tyrion killing his own father on Father's Day 2 years ago. lol So it falls in line with Game of Thrones traditions to be anti-father.

I may have to pull up my comment that you'd be coming on here saying how predictable it was when the Vale rolled in at the last minute to save the day. I was actually surprised a bit by the Rickon thing. I shouldn't have been...but it's just crazy that they killed off the most suitable HEIR to winterfell.

Yeah...Sansa had so many opportunities to come clean...I just can't see any logical reason for her withholding information. I read the interview with Sophie Turner on EW...and she said pretty much "Jon wasn't listening to her so she came up with her own backup plan"...yes but she didn't clue him in on it! Did she think he wouldn't support getting more troops????

I've read in countless places that Ramsay should've won that fight. He definitely had the better strategy. I forgot to write about it. It all goes to Sansa's comment about Jon trying to fight the traditional fight and Ramsay doesn't play by the rules. But yes...i think the battle was meant to be ugly..and it wasn't meant to be a clean win for Jon. The fallout will be interesting. And there better be a scene where Jon questions Sansa. And I'd like there to be a somewhat logical answer. lol

The 2 different Tyrions....I think Tyrion was just trying to put a good face on in front of his new boss. Even if you admit to your still try to spin things positively to your boss, right? lol I don't think it was dumb more than comical given the timing.


With was more the impact of his death on the people we did follow for me. Though Sansa smirking at the end was downright creepy given the circumstances. But she had already counted Rickon off as dead when Ramsay's letter came north. So, she was just hellbent on revenge for Ramsay. Apparently that whole trampled scene was not originally part of the battle plan Dave and dan wrote out. But it was due to running out of time in the filming....There's a whole interview with the director on EW....and basically they let him improvise based on his credibility from Hardhome last season. Pretty cool.

Ugh on Captcha. I would disable it, but I still get too much spam comments I have to clean up WITHOUT the captcha! lol

MJ said...

Ugh - that pile of bodies was just horrible and fantastic at the same time. Loved Greyworm killing the two masters that don't kneel. And Tyrion rightly reminding Dany not to be like her father. Not surprised they didn't use the dragons last week - have to draw it out ! But would have been better last week as there was so much action that was not shown. And Melisandre is definitely in trouble now that Davos found that stag he made Shireen. Didn't realize they were in the same exact spot as Stannis.

Enough of the girl power ! LOL Interesting Yara will be allowed to rule the Iron Islands - cause she asked. But also that they totally have to change their way of life. That won't be easy - hard enough to get the men to follow her but hten to tell them they can't rape pillage and plunder any more ? We shall see.

Was amazing to see the Stark banner hang from Winterfel once more. No surprose the Vale came to help - but could Sansa have not told Jon she'd called them and waited a day to attack ? Seriously ? Also have to wonder what Sansa had to give in return ? Herself perhaps ? Sansa totally reminded me of Catelyn when she takes Jon to task for not asking her opionions - Catelyn did that to Rob.

You forgot to mention in your closing that we also have The Iron Islands to close out and their uncle.

Comments: Since when is Sansa not a Stark ? And why can't Arya have heirs ? LOL on zig-zag - my husband was saying the same thing. This whole show is about bad fathers - so no - did not notice the theme on Fathers Day.

i doubt any convesation about why Sansa did not tell Jon is coming at all.

Mike V. said...

Girl Power - I wasn't taking it as far as Richard normally does. lol The hinted at lesbianism seemed like an unnecessary trope. lol But, I think Yara was jokingly flirting with Dany to show her personality. And maybe Dany appreciated the brevity. I'm hoping that's all it was. Love is love and all...but Dany has shown no interest in women before this unless you count her "practicing" for Drogo in season 1.

The corpse pile - yeah I forgot to mention it in the recap. It was insane. Didn't even consider Grey Worm killing the 2 that didn't kneel. I thought he was sparing the one that didn't rat. But the kneeling thing makes sense.

Stannis spot...yeah they made a big deal about where they were setting camp. Davos said Stannis used it as well due to the good location.

Yeah...i spent a good portion of the recap detailing my views on Sansa not being open and honest with Jon so I'll leave it there. lol But I agree. Doesn't make any sense except for plot and the "surprise" last minute arrival of the Vale.

Iron Islands - Yeah thanks for calling me out on that lol ...i did bring it up in the comments after the fact though. :) That seems like it'll be dany's next move to get those ships. I just can't imagine Euron building 1000 ships THIS season. lol Unless we have a flashforward to much later. Then again...Yara/Theon did travel all the way across the world which would take a long time. So time has passed.

Sansa/Arya - They are not Male heirs so traditionally they do not count in GRRM's canon. All the preceding seasons when they said there must always be a Stark in winterfell...they were speaking of the male starks only. I think this may all change in the future....but for now Bran and Rickon were the last male heirs. Granted... when Sansa was thought to be the only stark alive she was the "key to the north" and a male child produced by here would've been a powerful asset. But it's always the males in leadership positions. Just like the Iron woman has ever sat on the throne there either.

Sansa/Jon - probably not on the conversation. But it would be nice for them to clarify her withholding information. It was clearly for plot purposes and they should at least try to explain that.

Anonymous said...

Sansa is a Bolton by law.


Mike V. said...

Still wouldn't matter and I doubt the show will hold much weight in the "Bolton" marriage going forward. They'll just pretend it didn't happen. Plus, Ramsay is dead so doesn't that free her from her vows? Or am I thinking US Law and not Westerosi Law? lol

Mike V. said...

Alan Sepinwall wasn't a huge fan of the ep, Richard. And he points out the poor strategic thinking of Jon Snow. Just linking since you said you couldn't find anyone discussing it. People are discussing it. lol Alan says it too, but I still think he was acting on a lack of information from Sansa. And that fault goes to the writers unless they clear it up.

Anonymous said...

The Yara/Dany thing.
1. I predicted there was going to be a lesbo thing a week or so ago. So, where's the props.
2. Yara spent 2 seasons telling Theon how the Ironborne are, IE just exactly what Dany doesn't want. She just throws out their entire heritage/culture to STEAL the throne? Really, that's how it's going down?
3. Dany said she wants to RULE. So to on her VERY first Westeros deal, she agrees to fight for someone whom she was going to conquer? So, she's going to set up someone by fighting for her--a complex deal for two people who don't really know each other. Just doesn't make sense and would be difficult for two people who have known each other for a while. Just consider Sansa trying to get help as a more realistic comparison. The deal seemed overly contrived and therefore it made the group I was watching with gag.
4. It was really funny with Dany and Yara both getting negative looks on their face when they mentioned a cock.
5.If the show keeps going down this path it will only get weaker.
I could go on but I don't know if it's worth it.

Mike V. said...

1. I'll give you props IF it goes any further. All I saw was a brief flirtation on Yara's part and Dany appreciating the comment. lol I spoke my piece further above on it.
2. Perhaps Yara was inspired by Dany's wishes for a better world and feels Dany might be able to make it happen. Or...she is making promises she really can't uphold down the line.
3. Euron Greyjoy has something Dany needs....and Yara needs Euron dead. So, they're fighting for mutual benefit.
4. Think you're looking into that comment a little too much. lol Yara was being overly graphic on the concept of marriage. I didn't notice Dany's look except for the fact that she was appreciating Yara's candor.
5. Maybe...depends where they go with it. But, I would not be a fan of pairing them up more than an alliance. I doubt this will be the last alliance for Dany either.

Anonymous said...

That's a BIG part of my complaint of this ep. She's by law a Bolton and the show is just ignoring it. Even when your husband dies after your married and it's consummated btw--you're married. You could get it annuled within a year in the US. But, in Westeros this scenario has worked where Cersei maintained the Queen position(Baratheon) after Robert died.

The action was great with the dragons, loved Sansa re Ramsay at the end(even though not realistic that she'd be there by herself) and liked the battle scenes. But those great visuals and scenes for me didn't overcome the absolutely hideous writing in many areas.


Anonymous said...

3, Tyrion said that with the slavers ships and Yara's ships that they should have enough. Without having enough ships they couldn't take the army to fight Euron anyway. So, if they said it's to get enough ships, they just contradicted themselves--again--lol. So, they don't really need Euron's ships. I didn't get that his ships was a big objective. It was more a part of conquering Westeros and the alliance is in that regard.

If this ep wins an award based on writing it will be criminal for the competition.


Mike V. said...

Fair point on Cersei still being the queen...but she also had CHILDREN she claimed were born of her and Robert Baratheon which legitimized her role further.

There was some very questionable writing this season, but I've still enjoyed the end product for the most part. I'd imagine we're going to continue to question things as we move towards the end. George had a very intricately plotted world, and they don't have his notes anymore and have been kind of forced to wing it. Granted...if we're questioning some pretty basic stuff, we have to question why they didn't or chose to ignore those that were questioning it.

Tyrion said the ships are ALMOST enough. lol He pretty much implied they still need more. They can't take the fight to Euron? They have Dragons...and the assumption is Euron would be coming to them I would think. Yara had to get there first to broker the deal with Dany. I think it just means we're staying in meereen just a bit longer. lol

I would agree that the visuals in this episode highly surpassed the writing.

Mike V. said...

I'm reading Hibberd's recap and got to this part:

"– The Bolton pincer movement: Producer Bryan Cogman described this sequence as the Thrones version of the trash compactor scene from Star Wars."

LOL for once it's not just me trying to find the Star Wars in the television shows I watch! The producers actually referred to it too. :)

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm not betting they'll take the yara/dany thing further. I'm about 50/50 on them going further and if they did Dany would be portrayed as Bi. And going further might hurt the alliance. Please tell me you get the comparison of difficulty in forming alliances with Sansa and the North vs Yara and Dany? It's ridiculous especially for what's at stake.

It has occurred to me a few times that Sansa might be pregnant with Ramsay's child. Wouldn't it be a GRRM twist for her to give birth to a Ramsay heir? I'd love it. Unfortunately these writers don't have GRRMs ability to be daring. They are the typical TV writers geared to a lower level educated audience who are looking for simple plots using current norms easily relatable.

So, you're thinking they will battle Euron in Mereen. I could see that. I mean building a 1000 ships and sailing around the world should only take an ep or 2 now--lol. Especially using the trees that are plentiful on the Iron Islands--lol. It just adds further to the nonsense we're seeing--lol. BTW, that would just add to my point on the alliance being silly given that defeating Euron doesn't help Dany conquer Westeros. The Iron Islands aren't really a part of the mainland--lol. There is so much that doesn't make sense.

Importantly in evaluating the writing and major holes in ;GOT lately I can more easily see why GRRM takes so long with these books. His concern over the butterfly effects are proven correct. These storylines are very complex and interwoven with bases horizontally and vertically which takes a lot of consideration to pull together. I don't think these writers are taking the time to do that due diligence if you will. So, these poorly written eps are displaying just how good he is and justifies his required time. I hadn't really appreciated that required time as much before.

We have often speculated about who the dragon riders will be. It now appears there may only be 1. Also, in what way can the white walkers compete with the dragons? You have to have some kind of launched projectile to get at them.


Mike V. said...

Dany/Yara - Yeah it could go either way with the relationship stuff. I'm just choosing to be optimistic. lol

Alliances - So are you suggesting that it should've been more difficult to form an alliance with the iron born or any westerosi house? Sansa and Jon were recruiting houses that just wanted to be left alone after being hurt by the starks in recent past. The greyjoys were seeking Dany out. And Dany wants allies in the West. It seemed to be mutually beneficial for them to work together.

Pregnancy - I actually edited it out of my recap and comments several times because I thought it would be absolutely ridiculous if they went down that line of thought. It's totally a TV cliche' to do that. Of course, Ramsay did make that comment that "I'm part of you now"...but he wouldn't know if she's pregnant. lol wouldn't be like GRRM to do that at all because Sansa wasn't even in that storyline in the books. But I get what you mean. I wouldn't call that bold writing on the writers' part just seems to soap opera-ish and convenient storytelling to put into the show. Just think about when Peter Bishop impregnated Faux-Livia on Fringe and everyone went up in arms until the writers said "it won't go down how you think it will!"

Euron/Meereen - Yeah...I commented about how I can't see the Euron resolution coming this season, but I have no idea. The writers have said that time is not the same between each there could be a huge passage of time in the Ironborn/Essos storyline when other stuff might be happening on shorter scales. Iron Islands are part of Westeros and they have ships that she needs. I don't see your argument that the alliance is not worth it. I bet they still sail to Dorne and revive that unfortunate storyline too!

Very good point with GRRM and his long writing. It's exactly why he takes so long to write. I'm sure it gives him a headache when he tries to keep all the storylines straight and connected. Books 4 and 5 and trying to untie the Meereenese Knot took 10 years. Of course...this latest book is now working on 6 years.

This is why I expect to see some questionable writing in the future too. They don't have the kind of time GRRM has allotted himself. They're contractually obligated to wrap this story up. And they have George's loose outline to work with. They were batting 900 out of 1000 with adapting the books....and they're about 50/50 with the original material. lol But it all averages out to still an awesome television show and experience.

I really never expected the White Walkers to win against the dragons so I never really thought about how they'll fight them. LOL but I'm sure they'll have some kind of idea. Surely, there will be a dragon casualty in this war. There ARE 3 of them afterall. As for riders. I'd still bet on 2 more riders. Unless Bran will be warging with one of them (which I still think is a cool idea)

Mike V. said...

MJ is having Captcha issues here are her comments she tried to post:

MJ Said:

Gof T : Jon's poor planning - in real battles you never have all that you need when you need it. The reality is that you make the best of what you got and try to come up with the best plan. I don't think

Dany and Yara are going to have that kind of relationship.

Sansa/Arya - I get what you are saying - but Richard in the comments stated Sansa is not a Stark and Arya can't have kids. I don't know about either of those comments. As for being a Bolton by law - i don't think that matters. Cersei is a Baratheon - but still calls herself a Lannister by heritage. Sansa was also a Lannister - that never seemed to get undone before she became a Bolton.

Funny - I would not see Sansa being preggers with Ramsey's kid as 'daring' - that would be called a soap opera. They are on every day and do that very sort of thing.

Mike V. said...


Sansa - She never "sealed the deal" with Tyrion so the marriage was not binding. That is Westerosi Law! lol (serious, though I still have to laugh)

EXACTLY on Sansa being preggers!

Anonymous said...

Cersei dressed with Baratheon sigels and crown. True she also identifies as a Lanister particularly when Tywin was around. But, now she's really playing the Baratheon position as it's the strongest.

I think Sansa being pregnant would be brave on this show because of the very nature of Ramsay vs her family. I can't think of a similar plotline in a show. Maybe you guys have an example? BTW, Sansa not being a Stark mattered to one or more of those for whom she was calling in the banners. And there's none/zero future of a Stark house anyway. No male heir. Recall what Tywin was upset about with Jamie. The Lannister house is done for in the future as well. The Targaryan house is done--Dany's efforts can't last as it relates to her families' name. One of the only houses with a future is the new house made by Petyr. At least it has some of the best odds at this point. Maybe a Tulley house with Edmure could end up on top? The Baratheon house only has one shot with Tommen, unless Margery has done what the Sparrow asked.


Mike V. said...

Don't have time to write about everything but the pregnancy thing is a tv trope all too often used especially in soap operas. That was what mj and I are referring to.

As an example on this show the show made talisa pregnant for the red wedding to make the wedding even worse than it is in the books. And she was there where Robb's wife is still alive in the books.

Anonymous said...

Another example is Lady Stark. She was identified as a Stark after her husband died. She also pulled in her Tulley roots which is not uncommon. BUT, she was identified as a Stark.


Mike V. said...

Yes but Catelyn Stark was proud to be a Stark. lol I get the feeling that Sansa would do everything in her power to distance herself from the Bolton name.

Anonymous said...

It's a good thing feelings don't determine a laws existence--lol.


Mike V. said...

I had a feeling you'd say that. But, I'm not really sure what we're arguing about anymore. Sansa was considered the key to the north. A male heir from her would've been considered powerful because he would have Stark blood even if his last name was Lannister or Bolton. Sansa can still remarry....just like Tywin wanted Cersei to remarry after Robert's death.

But, I also don't think the old rules of the land may apply in the future. The future landscape of Westeros with Dany's influence and POST White Walker invasion may be totally different. If Sansa is the last standing Stark....I'm sure that won't be overlooked because she was married to Ramsay Snow Bolton.

As Doc Brown would say..."you're not thinking 4th dimensionally!" :)

Mike V. said...

MJ still having captcha issues:

MJ Said:

But everyone pretty much knows that she was sold out to Bolton. The reason she was key was that she is a Stark - no one in the north will ever forget that

Occurs to me - all the Sansa bashing about her not telling Jon - he was not really listening to her about how tricky Ramsey is and how he will not fall for any of Jon's plans. She said numerous times that he cannot be tricked that he is the trickster - in so many words. So I think that is why she did not tell Jon about the Vaal coming - and possibly planned for them to arrive after the cattle started. It was the one way to actually throw off Ramsey ! And if that is the case - it was a good strategy.

Mike V. said...

Sansa Bolton/Stark - Yep, she even received messages saying "the north remembers" when she was in Winterfell. They still supported her after her marriage to the Boltons too.

Sansa Non-Informing - I think that's the argument the show is trying to make and what Sophie Turner implied in her interview. I get that. But, in not telling Jon that there could be a massive fresh army heading their way it would've impacted their strategy. By not telling Jon, she indirectly caused many soldiers to march to their death. Maybe Rickon would've died regardless, maybe not Wun Wun and the many others taken down by arrows or crushed in the pincer move.

I understand they wanted to get the point across that Sansa and Jon weren't seeing eye to eye and he wasn't listening to her. But, didn't they send Brienne to river run because she thought the Tullys would help? I'd have to rewatch. It was her idea to send Brienne regardless and Jon listened to that.

Now...if they added a scene where a raven comes and Brienne failed to get the forces. And then Sansa tells Jon that an army might be coming from the Vale and Jon doesn't want to trust that information because it's uncertain....then I think all of the rest of what happened would work better. But in the way it is executed...Sansa comes off as a know-it-all who didn't want to share vital information because she wanted to show off how RIGHT and awesome she was.

I still loved the episode though. lol

Anonymous said...

Jon stopped and asked her what he should do. He asked her at least two different ways. She said she didn't know what to do. She was being critical while offering no good solutions EXCEPT that Ramsay is hard to figure out, that he's hard to beat. Well guess what--that's like saying when you're about to play the Patriots to watch out--Tom Brady is a great QB--lol.


Mike V. said...

Exactly. Yeah the point of the scene was probably to prove her right about not doing what Ramsay wants him to do and Jon falling into the rickon trap. But it was also the perfect opportunity to tell him she contacted the Knights of the vale.

I did hear the dialogue from the scene again and he did actually Mention the blackfish not coming through so maybe that slightly justifies him not expecting another Sansa plan to pull through too. I just feel there could've been one more scene to pull it all together.

Mike V. said...

So...considering a clip from the preview for the finale (mild spoiler if you don't want to know one line Jon Snow said) I'm a little optimistic that they'll attempt to justify Sansa's silence. Jon says something to Sansa like, "We have to trust each other." So maybe they'll both air out their grievances of not listening to what the other one has to say and Jon will ask why she didn't tell him about the knights of the vale. I think Brienne alluded to the fact that Sansa didn't tell Jon about it earlier in the season too. So, I think it's still an open item.

I'm not sure any excuse would justify not telling him...but I'll be happy if they at least address it. lol

********************BOOK STUFF/SPECULATION OF FINALE*************************

One of the people obsessed with finding every detail of the season ahead of time and does a "storm of spoilers" podcast is convinced we will be seeing TOJ again in the finale. That would make sense since it was set up earlier in the season. Maybe we'll finally get the reveal!

Anonymous said...

Jon listened to Sansa, that's why he asked her what she would have him do. Just because he didn't listen to her for a while doens't mean he didn't listen to her. Seriously, does she have to go first in the speaking order for it to count? This is beginning to sound like a marital thing where the wife wants to be heard and then after she's been heard a few times keeps complaining that no one listened--even after she was listened to. It's nuts.

Season 8 actor signings. This crud of 7 and 6 eps is just awful. I hate it when they milk. Add in the horrible writing lately and it starts being less fun to watch.


Mike V. said...

Jon didn't listen to her. Sansa said don't do what Ramsay wants you to do and he did. But he was in a lose/lose situation. He couldn't just stand by and watch Rickon die either.

I'm saying the point of that scene, for the writers, wasn't for Sansa to come clean about Littlefinger and the was for her to give the information about Ramsay and for Jon not to listen.

Obviously, I agree that this was not the best writing strategy and still seems to service the plot more than making sense. But, I'm hoping for some kind of fallout in episode 10 to make a little more sense for it. At least give some excuse for why she didn't tell him, even if it's a bad excuse. lol

I did read that the actors signed on through 8 seasons.

I still say less episodes with the same annual budget means more time and effects into less episodes. If you think about the logistics for these battles they have to film, they're going to take time to make. We don't expect Star Wars episode 8 to come out a year after Episode 7. They need time to film, edit and CGI the hell out of it. lol

We're going to have Dragons vs. White Walkers and potentially bigger battles than we have already witnessed. Battle of the Bastards took 5 times as long to make as any other episode in season 5. I think there might be logistical reasoning to the split as much as it is beneficial for HBO to get 2 seasons out of it as well.

I don't think it's just MILKING. But, I'm an eternal optimist and are not! :)

Anonymous said...

Jon asked her what she wanted to say--that's listening. Jon not going per his very own plan has more to do with his poor leadership and snap judgment. And of course he caused others to die for his rash moves. His charge AFTER Rickon's death was dumb, pure stupidity. Has zero to do with listening to her. His very own plan was violated at that point. It would be more accurate to say that he didn't listen to himself. Why do you think Tormund and Davos looked at what he was doing with those looks of like--"is he crazy, what about the plan".

I would say the point of juxtaposing his action after the planning meeting including Sansa's input is that NOTHING mattered once Rickon was killed right in front of him. All bets were off. Jon has had a history of doing his own thing anyway. Making rash spur of the moment decisions. Despite what others think. Just consider why some of the Nigtht's Watch killed him.

The actors are getting a huge bump in pay so a lot of the budget is for just the same old actors--lol.

That's true--I'm not an eternal optimist--fair point. And yes, you defend many things that many show runners do with your optimism.


Mike V. said...

Okay, you're talking from a logical perspective. I'm talking about the reason scenes were in the episode. The one scene was there to prove that Sansa knows Ramsay better than Jon. And Jon didn't heed her advice when it came down to the moment he needed it. Her not telling him about Littlefinger doesn't even seem to even have been in the writers' heads for those scenes. Jon charging towards the enemy was basically him accepting his fate after he knew he failed.

The Night's Watch killed him because he brought the Wildlings south of the wall. In the book it was more than that.

I don't even know what the budget is for the seasons coming up. I'm sure they're increasing it to cover the salaries. I still say that extra time allows for extra complexity in what they're filming. And I will continue to say that. I know you won't agree and will continue to think what you think so we can just stop discussing it.

I just don't have time to be overly critical of things. I love Game of Thrones and I'm just happy that the show is getting created. Have there been problems with the show since they've strayed further off book? Sure...but for the most part it's still quality television and worth my time. I still see it as an event for 10 Sundays of the year (and more since I do my crazy rewatches lol).

Same goes for Star Wars. Sure, I can point out flaws, but I'd much rather talk about my excitement in what was good about it and theorize on what might be coming in the future.

It's just how I roll. If something is really bad, I'll call them out on it. The only thing that really bugs me about Game of Thrones this season is this whole Littlefinger thing and Sansa withholding the info. I still will maintain that there will be another scene about it next week. Whether the end justifies the means, we'll have to see.

Anonymous said...

LOL, LOL--that's exactly it--the logic perspective. I'm an engineer and that's just how I am geared. And yes on the Wildlings--he did that despite being told by several he shouldn't. That's really the point--he goes with his gut and does what he wants. In a way Robb was like that. Jaime was like that too, but seems to have learned. I think Sansa has learned to be more contemplative and perhaps even more reasoned than Jon and that showed in the scenes.

I obviously like GoT a LOT. Otherwise, I wouldn't watch, contemplate and comment as much as I do.


Wildfire--just too many references for it to be avoided much longer. I just wonder when it will happen and how bad it will be.


Mike V. said...

Yes but Jon was right to bring the wildlings so his gut was right there.

Being quick here.


Definitely episode 10

Anonymous said...

MJ, on girl power==this is something the show runners said was a major storyline this year.

Sansa--I think what I said up above about her being more deliberative than Jon is tied with the girl power theme too. And further I have developed a theory that fits the facts re Sansa.
1. Sansa sent for Petyr 3 eps ago--plenty of time for Petyr to arrive before the battle.
2. Sansa's worthless non specific comments on Ramsay were to assuage her conscience since she was sending Jon in for a fight that she knew he was in over his head. EVERYONE knew he was outnumbered for example but even moreso she believed Ramsay to be a better leader/strategists. And guess, what she was right. One thing that tells me this theory could be accurate is when she replied to Jon that she couldn't offer any specifics about Ramsay was because she doesn't know battle tactics.
3. LIke Rickon, I think she thought Jon was likely already dead. And her main goal was getting Winterfell so pursued a winning strategy.
4. Her strategy, maybe formed with Petyr was to let Ramsay commit his troops which would expose a weakness first. Then come in and hit them from their back easily winning. Keep in mind that she learned from Petyr how to move pawns, etc.
5. Sansa was up North, Petyr down South so how is they conveniently rode up together over a hill. Why did the army and Sansa take up the extra time to meet up before helping Jon. With my theory, it was strategic. They wanted to wait until Ramsay had committed all of his troops. Petyr's army didn't need to meet up with Sansa before going into battle, but chose to.

BTW, for all of my criticisms of Jon, he was the ONLY leader to actual lead his troops into battle. Ramsay, Petyr and Sansa didn't lead anybody into battle. Jon even touched on Ramsay's men not wanting to follow someone who isn't willing to die for his men.


Mike V. said...

I've read those theories about Sansa and strategy to set up for the perfect attack by the vale except Sansa said herself she knows nothing of war tactics. And it makes her ruthless that she'd be willing to send all those people to their deaths. But after what she's been through it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibilities.

Another option is she wasn't sure if petyr would show. But still she could've given a heads up to Jon.

Jon was certainly brave you can give him that much credit. And he did take down Ramsay in 1 on 1 combat. So it's not like he was a total buffoon. Lol

Anonymous said...

Yes, this is my optimistic side coming out-lol

Jon was surprised when Sansa wrote Rickon off before the battle. I think that was to show us her capability of being ruthless in pursuing her goal. I mean, we already knew that Ramsay was ruthless. Plus it shows she's a strong female leader which is inkeeping with a major theme of S6

I had not read that theory anywhere btw. It was all mine after thinking a little this morning. But, glad to know some others see it too.

Her learning from Petyr was a part of last season too.

Will the Sparrow be taken down some or altogether in ep10? Cersei's trial is scheduled for then. It will be fun to see how she fights him and where Margery comes down on things.


I do find it interesting that Jaime, Brienne and Sandor could all still be in the Riverrun area for ep10. So, for one more time--maybe LS shows up?

If Jaime is not in KL, then the wildfire event is more likely. After that wildfire, what will Jaime think of Cersei? They're both supposed to be signed for S8.


Mike V. said...

In dc today with fam so won't be commenting. To your last question we can only hope! Lol and nice on being optimistic. I like it!

Mike V. said...

MJ emailed this to me to post yesterday. I told her we did discuss it earlier as well lol I may have to disable that CAPTCHA!

"Possible spoiler – certain Gof T actors have scored huge pay bumps for next year. Knowing who would potentially tell us who does not die this year. The pay bumps are for next season and a possible season 8 ! So be careful what you are reading people !"

Anonymous said...

I have found the captcha works better with my more high powered computers.


Mike V. said...

I turned off CAPTCHA for now. We'll see if the spam increases. I usually have more issues with the LOST blog (still) anyway!

As for the Sansa "theory" - Yeah...I didn't think you had read it. But it is one option fans are turning to to try and justify her behavior. It does make sense due to her history on the show and yes her exposure to Littlefinger. She's a changed person. But, her knowledge of military tactics? Not sure I'd buy that!

*****SPOILER SPEC************

It's a good question on Cersei/Jaime....I don't know why the show changed Jaime/Cersei's relationship at this point in the story. They still are very much in love where in the books Jaime won't even come back to rescue her because he's pissed at her for sleeping with Lancel and possibly more. It would've added an extra layer of disdain between him and Tyrion too if he was the one to tell him. And of course they skipped Tyrion's plot with finding out the woman he loved wasn't a whore but was made to believe she was by Tywin. I guess they didn't need all of that extra drama on a skinnied down version of the show but it adds more weight to some stuff. point being...maybe an action like this may cause Jaime to see her in a different light. And do we think she'll burn the entire city or maybe just the sept? And will there be other casualties? Margaery? Tommen? Or just Sparrow and Shame nun? lol

Anonymous said...

I'm not saying that Sansa has knowledge of military tactics. I'm saying that she coordinated with Petyr on coming in AFTER Ramsay committed his troops to attack them from the rear. Which is a well known tactic.


I don't see the entire city being burned, yet. But, I do think Dany's vision will come true. I can see Loras, Margery, Tommen, Sparrow and Shame Nun all die. But, for some reason I think Maregery may survive to give Cersei a hard time and to provide more "girl power"--lol.

The 7 is not the preferred religion for GOT, so the Sparrow could be on the outs???


Mike V. said...

Fair point, but I just don't think it's realistic that Sansa would've had that much time after her conversations with Jon to come up with a battle plan with Littlefinger. Did he just show up and hide his entire army while Sansa and Littlefinger were conspiring? Or did he show up just in time for battle and take care of things? You could be right, I just don't know if that's what they were going for. Maybe they'll clear all that up in the next ep. Surely there will be a Jon/Sansa scene (already seen in previews)....and Littlefinger will have to have discussions with probably both of them too.


So maybe Sept and the Red Keep?? (where the iron throne is) I think Dany's vision will come true too. Could you imagine if King's Landing burns in the same episode the wall would come down? (all speculation of course lol) That would really shake things up for the end game.

LOL on girl power. Yeah I wouldn't be surprised if Margaery survives especially since it's clear she has a plan...but surely there has to be some casualties here. You're probably right about Loras. Tommen...I could see him dying but that being an accident in Cersei's plan. So then all her children her dead which means she'd be next. (at the hands of Jaime? Tyrion? Arya?? We'll see)

Is there a preferred religion? There's a religion that is dominating the conversation lately (lord of light)...but there is the faceless god, the old gods, and the 7. But yeah...i think this season ends the sparrow stuff too. We get rid of these plots and then focus on the greater war for the final runs of eps.

Anonymous said...

Didn't the witch say that Cersei would die at the hands of her younger brother?


Mike V. said...

In the book not the show and they're technically both younger.