As many Game of Thrones fans know, the 9th episode of the season is usually a whopper. Ned’s beheading, battle of Blackwater, the Red wedding, the battle at the Wall, and Dany’s dramatic escape from the fighting pits were all events that presided in the 9th episodes of their respective seasons. With that kind of dramatic build up over the years, fans are always frothing at the bit for the 9th episode. The Battle of the Bastards, in my opinion, did not disappoint.
The Starks of (not currently) Winterfell are prepared to take their home back from Ramsay Bolton. Not only does he have their ancestral home, but he has taken captive Rickon, the true heir of Winterfell. Jon is doing is best to prepare for what will obviously be a bloody battle. Ramsay would have it no other way. But it is obvious Jon’s forces do not compare in number to Ramsay’s. Though in terms of heart and fight, they will give the Bolton force a good run of it.
Sansa is such an important person in this regard, because of her knowledge of Ramsay. This knowledge goes completely unused, and that was such a disappointment. Sansa is not the little girl who left Winterfell all those years ago. She has endured more than anyone can imagine. Sansa was held captive by her father’s enemies and then forced into not one but two marriages, one man who was kind and one who was as completely unkind as a person can be. I never thought there would be a character I could stand less than Joffrey, but Ramsay Bolton is truly Seven Hells on two feet. She was used as political fodder because of her ties to the North again and again. But still she stands! And Sansa has learned things from her experiences, particularly under the tutelage of Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish. But her experiences are discounted by Jon who, while he went to dead and back which is no small feat, has more battle experience. However, it is Sansa’s actions that in the end taste much sweeter for the Starks of Winterfell. Lady of North? I hope so!
The visual effects of the battle were phenomenal. The different military tactics that were represented were quickly appreciated by this viewer. So many different battles have been fought throughout Westeros in these past seasons. Whether on sea or by land, the tactics have varied immensely. So to see what would have been common military tactic used in this circumstance was enjoyable. Also, have a giant if at all possible. Extremely helpful in battles, they are.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, a couple other political ladies are having their own moment. Daenarys and Yara are in talks over how to handle Westeros. Yara and Theon are on the run from their uncle who has taken the throne of the Iron Islands for his own. He would propose marriage to Dany for political gains, and in Yara’s words more nicely “his male appendage.” This does not appeal to the Mother of Dragons, as she prefers to do things her own way. Which she does quite effectively in this episode. Are we perhaps on our way to seeing a female run Westeros? Not to shame the men, but they haven’t been doing all that swell of a job themselves. Perhaps women running the show might make a good change. Beyonce had it right when she said, “Who run the world? Girls!” Not that we’ve seen them in some time, but we know the Sand Snakes hold Dorne. Could women in political positions across all the nations come to a more peaceful accord? It is certainly something to consider, and something I personally hope comes true.
But while the 9th episode is always something to look forward to, it also means that the season is soon to be at its end. Fans will soon have to wait months and months for a new season. Sometimes, it is downright painful to wait that long. But all good things must come to an end before they can inevitably start up again. Here’s a taste of what is to come in the season finale.
Right now, the stakes are at an all time high for everyone in Westeros. Because not only do they have their own circumstances going on, but winter is coming. Soon political rivalries will matter little to the hoard of White Walkers. There is no option but to fight. And it will likely be a bloody battle.