“The Battle of the Bastards” – Game of Thrones Season 6 Episode 9- Review *****


Warning: Read only the following if you have already seen (and survived) the latest episode.

This is it. The famous Episode 9. How will it weigh against all the previous five (plus Hardhome last season, which was a kind of precocious episode 9). We know what’s going to happen – a massive battle between Jon “ManBun” Snow and Ramsey “Who Let the Dogs Out” Bolton. Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s time for the Bastard Bowl! Get your bets in now!

But first, Meereen. Previously last week, Daenerys came back home to find her city under fire from the Masters, after Tyrion tried to make a peace pact with them. She is keen on going full Targaryen on everyone (it worked like a charm on the khalasar), but Tyrion says nooo, don’t be like your Daddy; let’s do it the Lannister way, I mean, not the get the Freys to kill them all at a wedding, but the intelligent, check-mate way. And Daenerys says, can you believe it, yes! We guess being reminded of what happened the last time a Lannister was alone with a Targaryen helped. So they go to meet the Masters and negotiate terms of surrender. Meaning, the surrender of the Masters. Because, you fools, dragons.  And the dothraki army (we forgot about them, didn’t we?) Also, your soldiers don’t like being burned to death, so, maybe you can’t depend on them that much. And to make matters worse, Grey Worm finally learned how to joke! Yes, little Master, go and tell the others what motherf*cking CGI you saw. And with this, Tyrion acquired some ships. Ships are good. Maybe one day Daenerys decides to sail her ass to Westeros! (one can only hope)

We know you all want to see the battle, but we have dragons!

We know you all want to see the battle, but we have dragons!

Meanwhile, in the North, Jon and Sansa meet the lovely Ramsey (aw, we haven’t seen him in a while) to have some pre-battle banter. Jon seems to be winning the rap battle, but then Ramsey takes a direwolf head out of his pocket, Sansa goes mad, goes all badass, and yeah, battle in the morning, and Ramsey promises to get some new dog food to his bitches. Oh IT’S ON, BOLTON PUPPY FACE, IT’S ON.

Ramsay looking as smug as the Pigs in Angry Birds

Ramsay looking as smug as the Pigs in Angry Birds

As Tormund, Ser Davos and Jon plan their Age of Empires attack (make x10 trebuchets), and they decide that under no circumstances they should attack first, Sansa goes all girl power and, when left alone with her cousin… I mean, half-brother, tells to his face that maybe, just maybe, he should ask her opinion on the matter of defeating her husband. Well, Sansa, spit it out, will ya. And as Jon gets all cocky because of his triumph (?) against the Night King and the Wildlings (didn’t Stannis save his ass on that one?) Sansa goes all Confucious Says, tells Jon to forget about Rickon, and to avoid doing a stupid mistake, or falling into Ramsey’s trap.

"I told you so"

“I told you so”

Ser Davos and Tormund reflect upon following the wrong king, while Jon visits Melisandre to tell her not to bring him back. She is but a shadow of her former self, and opines “well, maybe you were brought back to die again in this battle”, which is not a nice thing to say to a man about to go on battle, and that she takes orders from the Lord of Light, not Babyface Snow. Speaking of orders of the Lord of Light, Ser Davos just stumbles upon Shireen’s stag toy next to an old pyre (wow, amazing EU toy fireproof regulations, Westeros) and realizes that he hasn’t seen her for a while, and maybe someone forgot to tell him something about last season. And… scene.

"So this is why Shireen isn't answering my Whatsapps!"

“So this is why Shireen isn’t answering my Whatsapps!”

Back in Meereen, the Greyjoys stand in front of Tyrion and Daenerys. And boy, can you feel the sexual tension? Aren’t Daenerys and Asha like, the perfect power couple? Tyrion isn’t too happy about the Iron Islands claim, but hey, Daenerys would do anything to get under that sea captain. And they have so much in common! Lousy fathers that were murdered, claims to thrones…  they do a special handshake and let us hope for some nakedness between those two!!!

"Oh sh*t"

“Oh sh*t”

Meanwhile at the battlefield… no, we cannot describe how awesome this scene was. From Rickon’s stupidity in running in a straight line (doh) to Jon facing the cavalry alone, to the clash between armies, the arrows flying, the horses flying, the brilliant aerial scenes, the tension, the editing, everything, at every single moment, we were there, on the brink of despair, feeling the drama. If this episode doesn’t win all the TV awards there are to win, then, my friends, the game is rigged.

Who says girls can't play strategy games?

Who says girls can’t play strategy games?

And at the end, when we all cheer to see Littlefinger (say whaaaaat) Sansa shows that girls do know better, Wun Wun sacrifices himself breaking Winterfell’s gate (it’s all about doors this season) and as Ramsay meets his end in such a fitting way, the Stark banners fly at Winterfell once again. What the future brings, only the scriptwriters and George RR Martin can tell. For now, we know that Sansa Stark will be a fitting queen of the North. Did she get some evilness from Ramsay, or did she finally learn how to play the game of thrones? And did Jon just go a bit mad while smacking Ramsey? (We mean, who can really blame him, the guy just shot an arrow through his brother, but hey, he is all like honour and dignity and fancy words that get people killed in this series)


One more to go, my friends, and that will be mostly to tie up the King’s Landing mess. We doubt that it will be able to better this episode, though. Battle awesomeness all the way. Who let the dogs out. A dog is a man’s best friend, as long as you feed them. Make that dog a honorary direwolf and get on with it. Ok, ok, see ya next week.

Episode Stats


Nudity: None.

Dragons: Three! In full steam!!

Best moment: Sansa’s smirk walking away from Ramsay’s cell.

Fanfiction written about Daenerys & Asha: so, so much

Best line, ever: I never demand, but I’m up for anything, really.

Lady Mormont’s appearances: One!! #bitchfaceforever

Times we felt sad during the episode: Ok, ok, so Rickon and Wun wun die, but Winterfell! Sansa! Daenerys and Asha!! C’mon!!

Game of Thrones airs on Sky Atlantic at 9pm on Monday evenings. 

Sara is originally from Coimbra, Portugal, where she studied Film Studies before moving to London to enrol in film school. Having made her first short film about her neighbour's chickens when she was 9 (a dystopian sci-fi, still her favourite genre), she is now a London-based film director and editor, and also a writer for the Portuguese Take Magazine. She is a huge fan of Lars Von Trier, Krysztof Kiéslowski, and David Lean.