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Game of Thrones - Battle of the Bastards - Review

Game of Thrones “Battle of the Bastards” was written by the creative team of David Benioff and D. B. Weiss and was directed by Miguel Sapochnik. This episode contains, possibly, the best battle scene ever filmed. When the episode began with Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and the dragons, I thought, well, that’s going to be hard to top – and they did! We also say goodbye to Ramsey (Iwan Rheon), which, admit it, was bitter-sweet. There’s no possible way he could have died painfully, slowly, or satisfyingly enough, and there’s always that part of me that misses the character you love to hate!

The episode begins in Meereen. The city is still being pummeled by the Masters and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) is still flinching every time the Pyramid is struck. Daenerys is completely unfazed. Tyrion knows he’s in trouble and tries to reassure his Queen that despite appearances, the city is actually thriving. He tells her, “Commerce has returned to the markets. The people are behind you. Well, not all the people of course. No ruler that ever lived had the support of all the people. The re-birth of Meereen is the cause of this violence. The Masters cannot let Meereen succeed because if Meereen succeeds, a city without slavery, a city without Masters, it proves that no one needs a Master.” And that pleases Daenerys.

Daenerys replies, “Good. Shall we begin?” Tyrion is uncertain as he asks if they have a plan. Daenerys does: “I will crucify the Masters, I will set their fleets on fire, kill every last one fo their soldiers and return their cities to the dirt.” She sees that Tyrion doesn’t approve.

Tyrion tells her, “You once told me you knew what your father was. Did you know his plans for King’s Landing when the Lannister armies were at the gates? Probably not. He told my brother and Jaime told me. He had caches of wild fire hidden under the Red Keep, the Guild Halls, the Sept of Baylor, all the major thoroughfares. He would have burned every one of his citizens. The loyal ones andn the traitors. Every man, woman, and child. That’s why Jaime killed him.” Daenerys says this is entirely different, but Tyrion doesn’t back down – it’s still destroying cities – but he has an alternate approach to propose.

However, the mention of the hidden wild fire is important. We haven’t heard any mention of it for several seasons, but is this the “rumor” that Qyburn told Cersei was true last week? Will Cersei use it to defeat her enemies? We know that she is ruthless enough to do it with no thought of collateral damage. But could this also be the thing that finally drives Jaime away from her?

The action shifts to a meeting with the Masters. They think Daenerys is surrendering and are completely disrespectful to her, telling her that she will leave the city on foot like the beggar Queen she is. Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) and Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel), who stand with her along with Tyrion, are both to be sold back into slavery, and her dragons are to be slaughtered. Daenerys lets them finish and then tells them, “We obviously didn’t communicate clearly. We’re here to discuss your surrender.”

Razdal mo Eraz (George Georiou) tells her, “I imagine it’s difficult adjusting to the new reality.” We only see him from the side until he says, “Your reign is over.” And then we see Drogon in background. Daenerys tells him, “My reign has just begun” as Drogon cries. Yezzan zo Qaggaz (Enzo Cilenti) recognizes the sound and turns. And then we get the awesome shot of Drogon flying over top of them to land on the building behind before landing behind Daenerys, protectively circling her with his wing and neck.

She climbs on his back and the fight is really on! Rhaegal and Viserion break out of the pyramid to join Drogon. And we get to see what happens when Daenerys commands “Dracarys” to adult dragons – the Masters’ fleet burns! These were fabulous special effects. Meanwhile, the Sons of the Harpy are slaughtering men, women, and potentially children – much as Daenerys’ father would have – but they are stopped by the arrival of the Dothraki lead by Daario (Michiel Huisman).

Grey Worm addresses the Masters’ soldiers: “You have a choice. Fight and die for Masters who would never fight and die for you, or go home to your families.” They immediately lay down their weapons and flee.

Tyrion addresses the Masters: “Thank you for the Armada. Our Queen does love ships. Last time we spoke, we made a pact. You violated that pact. You declared war upon us and though our Queen does have a forgiving nature, this cannot be forgiven.” Missandei is the one to deliver their punishment. One of them must die. The other two immediately try to throw Yezzan under the bus, insisting it be him because he is low born and an outsider! Do they even realize who they are talking to? Every one of Daenerys’ followers and close council are outsiders!

Tyrion simply nods at Grey Worm, and he steps forward to carry out the execution. Yezzan pleads for his life and goes down on his knees. While he’s down there, in a truly beautiful move, Grey Worm slits the other two’s throats in a single fluid motion.

Tyrion walks up to Yezzan and puts a comforting hand on his shoulder: “Tell your people what happened here. Tell them you live by the grace of her Majesty. When they come forward with notions of retribution or ideas of returning the slave cities to their former glory, remind them what happened when Daenerys Stormborn and her dragons came to Meereen.” Tyrion pats him again and walks away, leaving Yezzan essentially in shock.

The action moves from one meeting between warring sides to another – the meeting of Jon (Kit Harington) and Ramsey. Jon tries to tell Sansa (Sophie Turner) that she doesn’t need to be there, but she insists that she does. She must face Ramsey if she has any hope of defeating him in her own mind. Their eyes lock as he rides up. Ramsey immediately tells her, “My beloved wife. I’ve missed you terribly.”

And then to Jon he says, “Thank you for returning Lady Bolton safely. Now. Dismount and kneel before me. Surrender your army and proclaim me the true Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North. I will pardon you for deserting the Night’s Watch, and I will pardon these treasonous Lords for betraying my House.” Jon just stares at him, but perhaps the best part of this scene is Lady Mormont (Bella Ramsey) simply sneering at him.

Ramsey continues to taunt Jon, calling him Bastard several times – seemingly forgetting that he too is a bastard. Ramsey tells him, “There’s no need for a battle. Get off your horse.  Kneel. I am a man of mercy.” And Jon would have to be a complete idiot to believe that! I was struck by the fact that Jon always seems like he is in despair by the expression on his face.

However, he tells Ramsey, “You’re right. There’s no need for a battle.” Ramsey continues to smirk, but Jon goes on: “Thousands of men don’t need to die. Only one of us.” And Ramsey is clearly not happy. “Let’s end this the old way. You against me.” And it’s clear that Sansa is far from happy about this, and it would seem that neither Davos (Liam Cunningham) nor Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) knew that Jon was going to make that proposal.

Ramsey just laughs at Jon – though it’s clear he’s caught him slightly off guard. He replies, “I keep hearing stories about you… Bastard. The way people in the North talk about you, you’re the greatest swordsman who ever walked. Maybe you are that good. Maybe not. I don’t know if I’d beat you, but I know that my army will beat yours. I have 6,000 men – you have what? Half that? Not even?”

It’s Jon’s turn to smile in return: “Aye. You have the numbers. Will your men want to fight for you when they hear you wouldn’t fight for them?” And it’s exactly what Grey Worm just said to the Masters’ soldiers! Ramsey is clearly pissed – Jon has gotten the upper hand – but not for long. Ramsey laughs and wags his finger admitting that Jon is good – very good. And then his smile is gone, and Ramsey plays his ace: “Tell me. Will you let your little brother die because you’re too proud to surrender?”

Sansa is the one to demand proof that Ramsey even has Rickon (Art Parkinson). Smalljon Umber (Dean Jagger) produces Shaggydog’s head and throws it between them. Ramsey’s smirk is back. He begins, “Now. If you want to save him…” And it’s Sansa who cuts him off, telling him, “You’re going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton.” And Ramsey is actually shocked into silence. She finishes, “Sleep well,” as she spins her horse around and gallops off.

Ramsey smiles, and he seems actually sincere when he admires, “She’s a fine woman, your sister.” And then he goes back to taunting Jon: “I look forward to having her back in my bed.” Jon is clearly not happy. Ramsey goes on, “And you’re all find looking men. My dogs are desperate to meet you. I haven’t fed them in seven days. They’re ravenous. I wonder which parts they’ll try first? Your balls!” And Ramsey laughs at his own juvenile joke. Neither Davos nor Tormund looks either impressed or afraid. And it’s a nice foreshadowing to what they DO eat first…

Jon, Davos, and Tormund discuss strategy while Sansa watches. Jon suggests that if Ramsey were smart he’d simply stay inside Winterfell. Davos points out that “That’s not his way. He knows the North is watching. If the other Houses sense weakness, they’ll stop fearing him. He can’t have that. Fear is his power.” And this is the point that Tyrion was trying to make too – and what Grey Worm used against the Masters. It’s fine for your enemies to fear you, but not your allies. Jon responds, “It’s his weakness too. His men don’t want to fight for him, they’re forced to fight for him. If the feel the tide is turning…”

Tormund, however, is worried about the calvary, remembering Stannis’ cutting through his men, “like piss through snow.” Jon assures Tormund that it won’t happen because they have dug trenches, so that Ramsey won’t be able to hit them the way Stannis hit Tormund with a double envelopment. Tormund clearly has no idea what Jon is talking about. Jon and Davos are astonished that a seasoned soldier like Tormund doesn’t know this term, but Jon explains, “A pincer move,” and still Tormund has no idea.

Jon finally tries, “They won’t be able to hit us from the sides.” And Tormund responds simply, “Good.” Davos insists that it’s crucial that they let the enemy charge at them – and it’s at that very moment that you know that something is going to prevent that from happening. While it’s a bit shocking how little Tormund knows about formal strategy, it doesn’t mean that he is stupid by any means. He completely grasps the importance of this tactic once it’s explained and he knows enough to realize that Jon should not charge right into the enemy. Davos stresses, “They’ve got the numbers; we’ve got to have patience.”

Tormund pulls Jon aside and asks him, “Did you really think that cunt would fight you man to man?” Proving that Tormund didn’t know Jon was going to try it. Jon tells Tormund, “No. But I wanted to make him angry. I want him coming at us full tilt.” But then, Jon doesn’t know Ramsey. Davos declares they should all get some sleep, and Davos and Tormund leave Sansa and Jon together.

Sansa is pissed that Jon has not asked for her opinion – she’s known Ramsey a lot longer than Jon has. She asks him, “Did it ever once occur to you that I might have some insight?” And it’s a mark of how far Sansa has come that she actually does have some insight. She really is coming into her own. Jon concedes that she’s right.

Sansa tells Jon that Ramsey won’t fall into his trap because Ramsey is the one who sets traps. Jon insists that he’s over-confident. Sansa insists that “He plays with people. He’s better at it then you. He’s been doing it is whole life.” Jon takes it as an insult, asking, “And what have I been doing my whole life? Playing with broomsticks? I’ve fought beyond the Wall against worse than Ramsey Bolton. I’ve defended the Wall against worse than Ramsey Bolton.” But she’s not questioning his bravery – but she knows that he’s never been exposed to the kind of treachery and cruelty that Ramsey thrives on. Jon is too honorable to fully comprehend what Ramsey is capable of.

Jon does ask “Tell me. What should we do? How do we get Rickon back?” And Jon is utterly shocked by Sansa’s answer – but it also demonstrates how hard life has made her and how much of a realist the romantic young girl has become: “We’ll never get him back. Rickon is Ned Stark’s true born son which makes him a greater threat than you, a bastard, or me, a girl. As long as he lives, Ramsey’s claim to Winterfell will be contested, which means he won’t live long.” Jon insists that they can’t give up on their brother.

Sansa begs Jon to listen to her: “He wants you to make a mistake.” Jon asks her what to do, but she concedes that she knows nothing of battles – but she proves she absolutely understands human nature now – or at least the worst of it. She tells Jon, “Just don’t do what he wants you to.” It’s good advice, but obvious. Once again, Sansa says that if he’d asked her sooner, she would have insisted they wait to have a larger force. Of course, we know she’s written to Littlefinger (Aiden Gillen), so why doesn’t she confess that to him?

Jon tells her that while it might not be enough, the army is what they have. He tells her that battles have been won against greater odds. However, Sansa tells him, “If Ramsey wins, I’m not going back there alive. Do you understand me?” Jon tells her that he won’t let Ramsey touch her, that he will protect her, but Sansa has no faith in other people any more, and tells him, “No one can protect me. No one can protect anyone.” Given that Jon then goes and asks Melisandre (Carice van Houten) not to bring him back if he falls on the battlefield, I have to wonder how he was expecting to protect Sansa from the grave. She’s right not to rely on anyone but herself.

Davos and Tormund share a moment as they walk away from the meeting. Davos asks Tormund if he thinks there’s hope, and Tormund – who has the best dialogue replies, “I’ve never seen these Bolton fuckers fight, and they’ve never seen the Freefolk fight, so yes. There’s hope.” Tormund assumes that Davos wants to avenge his King, but Davos doesn’t blame Ramsey for Stannis’ death, he blames Stannis himself.

Davos tells Tormund: “I loved the man. He lifted me up and made something of me, but he had demons in his skull whispering foul things.” Tormund is agog! “You saw these demons?” And it may seem like this is backward, superstitious thing to think, but remember that Tormund has fought the army of the dead. Davos clarifies, “What? No. It’s a manner of speaking.” But Tormund still looks utterly freaked out! Davos emphasizes they weren’t actual demons.

Tormund shrugs it off. He is there to avenge his King: “Well, you loved that cunt Stannis, and I loved the man he burned. Mance didn’t have demons in his skull, he didn’t torture people or listen to some Red Witch. I believed in him. I thought he was the man to lead us through the long night. Just like you.” Davos remarks maybe they made a mistake believing in Kings, and Tormund points out that Jon Snow is not a King. Tormund offers Davos a drink, which he politely declines in favor of his usual practice before a battle. He can’t sleep, so he walks and thinks.

Jon’s discussion with Melisandre is interesting. She seems both melancholy and still unsure of herself. She has definitely decided to take a back seat by not even attending the War Council. She tells Jon that she serves the Lord of Light and does what he commands. She tells Jon she doesn’t know why he was brought back – not even whether he has a big role to play or simply a small one. She confesses that she has no power of her own – only what the Lord gives her. Jon ponders the capriciousness of a god who would bring him back only to let him die again.

Davos is still walking as dawn begins. He’s outside the camp and comes upon the pyre on which Shirleen was burned and finds the burnt remains of the stag he carved for her. There is an absolutely stunning shot of him on the hill with dawn breaking behind him. It’s clear that he quickly realizes what’s happened. It’s also far more probable that he was always fighting to avenge Shirleen’s death more than Stannis’.

Back in Meereen, Theon (Alfie Allen) and Yara (Gemma Whelan) have presented themselves to Daenerys and Tyrion, who does not have fond memories of Theon from Winterfell. It would seem like stupid boyhood pranks and jokes, but they clearly made an impression on Tyrion. I loved how this scene was blocked so that Tyrion is above Theon on the Dias – he’s taller than Theon as he reminds him of the stupid Dwarf jokes he told. Theon tries to say it was a long time ago, to which Tyrion replies, “It was. And how have things been going for you since then? Not so well I gather. I can’t imagine you would have murdered the Stark boys if things had been going well.” Theon clarifies that he didn’t kill Bran and Rickon, but admits, “I did things that were just as bad or worse.” At which point Yara interjects that Theon paid for them.

Tyrion, however, isn’t satisfied: “Doesn’t seem like it. He’s still alive. It was complicated for you I’m sure, growing up at Winterfell. Never quite knowing who you were, but then we all live complicated lives, don’t we?” I have to wonder if Tyrion would be more sympathetic if he knew the exact price that Theon paid? I tend to think he may change his mind about Theon – he’s certainly surprised when Theon tells them that he doesn’t want the crown, that he’s not fit to lead.

Daenerys brings the conversation back on track. She assumes that Theon want support for his claim to the Iron Islands in exchange for their ships and the men to sail them. Daenerys is impressed and intrigued when she learns that Yara is the one who wants to be Queen. I loved the chemistry between these two!! Is everyone shipping Dara now? At least as a passing fancy!

Daenerys asks if the Iron Islands has ever had a Queen before, and Yara establishes their common ground by answering, “No more than Westeros.” Theon explains about their Uncle Euron returning, killing Balon, and taking the Salt Throne from Yara. He also relates that Euron would have killed them had they stayed. Daenerys remarks that Tyrion has told her that their father was a terrible King. Yara replies, “We have that in common.” Daenerys agrees – “And both murdered by a usurper as well.”

Daenerys asks Tyrion if their ships will be enough and he answers that combined with the Masters’ fleet it might be. Tyrion suggests that there are more than 100 ships in the Iron Fleet, and Theon tells them that Euron has the rest and is building more, intending to offer them to Daenerys. Naturally, Daenerys wants to know why she shouldn’t wait for him then. Theon says that the Iron fleet isn’t all he’s bringing for her – and Yara clarifies that he’s also wants to give her “His big cock.” Daenerys is utterly amused by this.

Yara explains, “Euron’s offer is also an offer of marriage. You won’t get one without the other.” Tyrion and Daenerys exchange amused looks before Daenerys replies, “And I assume your offer is free of any marriage demands?” To which Yara replies – oh so utterly perfectly! – “I never demand, but I’m up for anything, really.” And Daenerys is both amused and intrigued.

Theon clarifies that Euron will murder Daenerys after he gets what he wants – the Seven Kingdoms. Theon tells Daenerys that they don’t want the Seven Kingdoms: “Your ancestors defeated our and took the Iron Islands. We ask you to give them back.” Daenerys asks, “That’s all?” Yara adds, “We’d like you to help us murder an uncle of two who don’t think a woman is fit to rule,” and Daenerys considers that reasonable. Yara wants to kill both her uncles – after all the one anointed the other as King.

Tyrion rolls his eyes at how well the two women seem to have hit it off. He asks, “What if every starts demanding their independence?” Daenerys points out that she’s only asking – not demanding. The others are free to ask – it doesn’t mean that she’ll grant it.

Daenerys tells Yara, “Our fathers were evil men. All of us here. They left the world worse than they found it. We’re not going to do that. We’re going to leave the world better than we found it.” And that in a nutshell is why Daenerys should win and why Jon will also become an ally – who will ask and be granted the North.

Daenerys stands and descends to Yara. She asks her if she’s willing to support her claim as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms and to respect the integrity of the Seven Kingdoms. She also tells Yara, “No more reaving, roving, raiding, or raping.” Yara is a bit hesitant here – it’s their way of life! – but she has to be a supporter of stopping the raping at the very least. She agrees to the terms and offers her hand. Daenerys looks to Tyrion, who smiles and bows his head, before she takes Yara’s arm to seal the alliance.

And then, we finally get to the Battle of the Bastards. As expected there are simply too many beautiful shots to mention them all – there are the aerial pictures that show Jon’s tiny army – making it look even smaller. We watch Jon ride through his men to stand at the front with Wun Wun (Ian Whyte), Tormund, and Davos. And then, from their perspective, we see the giant mass that is Ramsey’s army. Between the lines, are the burning bodies of actual flayed men.

Ramsey rides through his own ranks, and at first, all we see is that he’s leading something by a rope. Did anyone not think it was Rickon? Ramsey dismounts and pulls out a blade, holding it high in the air. Jon dismounts in anticipation – and there is a look of horror on his face. But Ramsey just cuts the rope. He’s baiting Jon just as he does his dogs.

        Ramsey says to Rickon, “Do you like games, little man? Let’s play a game. Run to your brother. The sooner you get to him, the sooner you get to see him again. That’s the game. Easy!” But of course, it’s not. When Rickon would walk away, Ramsey insists he run – those are the rules.

It’s immediately clear what Ramsey has in store – but he’s not going to kill Rickon until he’s lured Jon far enough out – and made him hungry enough to abandon common sense in favor of revenge. It’s clear that Ramsey is missing on purpose, just as it’s clear that zigzagging really wouldn’t have saved him. This sequence is beautifully shot. The music dies out as Rickon runs and Jon gallops toward him, only beginning again in the heartbreaking moment that Rickon is killed, dying at Jon’s very feet.

Ramsey just stares and smiles. Tormund proves he may not know the technical terms, but he’s just as smart as the others. He mutters, “Don’t” even as we know that Jon is going to charge. Davos recognizes it at the same instant and tells his men to prepare to charge. Ramsey lets loose a volley of arrows and Jon charges headlong – his army follows him. I loved the slow motion shot of the cavalry – gorgeous!

And who wasn’t pissed when Jon got his horse killed? And who wasn’t thinking that Jon was about to die as Ramsey’s cavalry bore down upon him. Here was another great shot – again we see everything only from Jon’s perspective. He stands his ground, prepared to die, believing he is there completely alone. And here we get only the music until the cavalry breaks around Jon, saving him. Then we have only the sound of battle again.

There are amazing shots of the battle that perfectly capture the carnage and confusion of the battle. How many near misses does Jon survive? And the horrific pile of the dead – and later the dead and dying. The claustrophobia is also captured beautifully later in the battle when Jon is almost buried alive. There is a wonderful contrast between Jon become increasingly dirty and gore-covered and Ramsey remaining utterly clean – his only contribution to call “Loose.”

Tormund saves Jon at one point, and who didn’t love Wun Wun wading in and simply whacking a horse out of his way. But Jon’s men are sadly outnumbered and end up boxed in between the pile of the dead on one side and a line of shields and infantry on the other three. It seems certain that they are defeated, particularly as Umber leads another group over the mountain of dead. It’s a touching moment when Tormund is wounded trying to break through the lines and his men cry “Tormund” and rally to save him.

Tormund leads a charge to escape over the mountain of the dead and ends up in a fight with Umber. Jon manages to pull himself out of the dead and there is another beautiful aerial shot of him in the midst of the crush of his men. Wun Wun is a pincushion with arrows and spears and Tormund looks to be losing his fight – it seems they are all about to die, when we suddenly hear horns. Tormund rips out Umbers jugular – very Rick Grimes, I thought! And the tide turns.

Ramsey sees the Eyrie banners and thousands of mounted men. Littlefinger and Sansa watch from horseback as the cavalry cuts through Ramsey’s army – “like piss through snow.” Sansa smiles. Jon is joined by Wun Wun and Tormund and they go after Ramsey who flees to Winterfell. Sansa sees this too and is not happy. She wants her own revenge.

Ramsey now plans on waiting them out in Winterfell. He knows he’s in trouble – that was clear on his face as soon as he saw the Eyrie banners – so now he’s ready to follow his father’s advice. However, he doesn’t count on what a giant can do – and once again, Wun Wun takes down the door. However, this time he’s already injured and he immediately falls to his knees once he breaches the door.

Wun Wun is immediately surrounded by Freefolk who go to work taking out Ramsey’s men. Jon rushes in and locks eyes with Wun Wun. He realizes he’s in a bad way – but there’s always seemed to be a special bond between them. Jon reaches out to Wun Wun – to reassure him? To comfort him? To simply acknowledge their friendship? But before he can touch him, Ramsey finishes Wun Wun by putting an arrow through his eye.

With all of Jon’s archers holding arrows on him, Ramsey suggests that he’s reconsidered one on one combat and thinks it’s now a good idea. After all, Jon has been fighting for his life for hours, while Ramsey has simply been watching. However, he’s still not considering a fair fight and nocks and arrow. Jon dives for a shield and stops it. He lowers the shield and advances, catching two more arrows before crashing the shield into Ramsey and driving him to the ground where he continues to beat him with his bare fists.

Jon looks up when he feels Sansa’s eyes upon him. He then stands up and walks away. No words have to pass between them. He knows she needs, wants, and has earned her revenge.

Melisandre watches from the balcony as the Stark banners are raised and the Bolton banners are taken down. Davos watches her from the ground, toying with the stag in his hand. He hasn’t gotten his revenge yet.

Jon and Tormund watch while Rickon’s body is brought into the courtyard. His body would have lain far from the actual fighting. Jon says that they will bury him next to their father in the family crypt. Sansa wants to know where Ramsey is.

Ramsey is bloody and tied to a chair. It’s not clear at first where he is – or it wasn’t to me. He wakes to find Sansa staring at him through the bars. Ramsey smiles when he sees her: “Sansa. Hello Sansa. Is this where I’ll be staying now? No. Our time together is about to come to an end. That’s alright. You can’t kill me. I’m part of you now.” But Sansa has also learned to be cruel and to find the weak spots of her opponent – and perhaps that IS the mark of Ramsey that will truly be left upon her. He’s taken a lot of her hope and her faith in people.

Sansa tells him, “Your words will disappear. Your House will disappear. Your name will disappear. All memory of you will disappear.” Ramsey smiles at her – and then we hear a growl. Ramsey looks to the side and we see the open door and one of his hounds looking out – drooling. Ramsey insists that his hounds will never harm him.

Sansa reminds him, “You haven’t fed them in seven days. You said it yourself.” Although, she wasn’t actually there when he said this, we’ll assume someone told her about it… Ramsey insists that they’re loyal beasts. But Sansa tells him, “They were. Now they’re starving.” And Sansa knows all about how they feel.

Ramsey finally looks nervous and tells them sit and then down – right up until the beast bites his face off! Sansa watches for a bit – perhaps just to make sure that he’s dead – before turning and walking away. Her face has remained impassive throughout – until she smiles as she walks away. Ramsey hurt so many, that part of me is still disappointed that Theon didn’t get to join in – and of course, I will miss being horrified by what Ramsey will do.

I loved how this episode focuses on reminding us of the leaders who have already been defeated. The emphasis on who the people were – were they like Mance, who just wanted to help his people, or were they like the Mad King or Stannis? I’m a bit concerned about how the tide will turn in this final episode of the season. It seems like we are moving toward a world governed by leaders who truly want to forge a better and more just future – but what of Cersei? And what deal did Sansa have to make with Littlefinger? Ramsey may be dead, but there are still forces out there that want power at any price. Yet Daenerys and Jon both would seem to want a better world, so there is hope – but will the season end on a note of hope?

What did you think of the episode? Were you satisfied with Ramsey’s ending? Is Dara your new ship? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

About the Author - Lisa Macklem
I do interviews and write articles for the site in addition to reviewing a number of shows, including Supernatural, Arrow, Agents of Shield, Agent Carter, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, The X-Files, Defiance, Bitten, Killjoys, and a few others! I'm active on the Con scene when I have the time. When I'm not writing about television shows, I'm often writing about entertainment and media law in my capacity as a legal scholar. I also work in theatre when the opportunity arises. I'm an avid runner and rider, currently training in dressage.
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