Game of Thrones

‘Game of Thrones’ Season 6: 10 Questions Raised By Episode 9 Source:

The Bastard Bowl has come and gone, and it’s fair to say that it was a resounding triumph. “Battle of the Bastards” is easily one of the most exciting, brutal, and narratively satisfying episodes Game of Thrones has ever done. We not only get to see Dany lead her dragons into battle for the first time, but Ramsay Bolton, the show’s most exasperating and despicable character, finally gets his comeuppance in dramatic fashion. There’s only one episode left in season six, and it’s shaping up to be a busy one (there’s a reason it will clock in at a 69 minute runtime, the longest in the show’s history). Although “Battle of the Bastards” only focuses on two of the show’s many ongoing plots, it leaves a ton of lingering questions for next week’s episode and beyond.

10. Why Didn’t Rickon Zig-Zag?

Poor Rickon. The youngest Stark sibling was finally brought back this season after a long absence, only to be used as part of another one of Ramsay’s twisted “games” (hell, Rickon didn’t even get a single line of dialogue!) As soon as Ramsay took out that bow, you knew Rickon was getting offed, but his death still felt like a bit of a stretch. Call me crazy, but if some maniac was firing arrows at you, wouldn’t you try to make it as difficult as possible for him to hit you? An unpredictable target is much harder to hit than one that’s moving in a straight line, so why didn’t Rickon do some zig-zags to try and throw Ramsay’s aim off? Ramsay’s clearly a skilled archer, but there’s a good chance that if Rickon moved erratically enough, he could have made it out of range and to the safety of Jon’s army.

Either way, Rickon needed to die to help build even more dramatic tension within the episode, but it just would have been nice to have seen the Stark everyone forgets about actually try and make things difficult for Ramsay instead of giving him an easy target. Source:

9. Why Do Dany’s Dragons Obey Her Now?

After six seasons of waiting, “Battle of the Bastards” finally gave us a scene we’ve all been waiting for: Dany flying her dragons into battle in a literal blaze of glory. Although the scene of Drogon, Viserion, and Rhaegal torching the Slave Masters’ ships did not disappoint, the whole thing did feel a bit too neat and tidy. Season six has established that Dany’s dragons pretty much do anything she wants now and it’s never really been explained why. Viserion and Rhaegal were locked away because they couldn’t be controlled and Drogon abandoned Dany for a significant period of time. So what’s changed?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for Dany being able to control her dragons since it would be quite ridiculous and uninteresting if they were still ignoring her commands, but it would have been more satisfying if there had been a scene where Dany forces Drogon to submit to her will. Instead, he just kind of decided that she was in charge out of nowhere, which just doesn’t feel as dramatic. Although, if this means we’ll be seeing Tyrion ride one of the dragons in the near future, I’m okay with all of this.—season-6-episode-9-battle-of-the-bastards Source:

8. What Will Happen To Ramsay’s Hounds?

In a bitter twist of irony, Ramsay was devoured by the very hounds he deliberately starved so that they’d have an appetite for a different victim. While this was probably the most fitting end for Ramsay imaginable outside of being flayed alive, I can’t help but wonder what will be done with his hounds now that their master is gone. Despite letting them go to town on Ramsay, Sansa doesn’t strike me as the type to start feeding all of her enemies to the hounds, as it’s a brutal way to kill someone. The problem is that the hounds have a taste for man flesh, so they seem rather dangerous to keep around. I highly doubt we’ll see any resolution to this issue given how minor it is in the grand scheme of things, but it also wouldn’t be all that surprising if it’s revealed later on that Ramsay’s hounds were put down. Then again, Ghost could always use some playmates … Source:

7. What Happens With Euron Now?

Although it felt a bit too neat and tidy, the pact between the Grejoys and Daenerys definitely feels like an alliance worth rooting for (primarily because it involves two badass women bonding over their fathers being awful human beings). The stage is now set for Dany to finally sail to Westeros, but as Yara mentions, Euron Greyjoy is on his way to Meereen as well to try and strike up an alliance with the Mother of Dragons. So what exactly is going to happen when the two parties encounter one another?

Dany just proved in spectacular fashion that her dragons can make quick work of an enemy’s naval force, so Euron definitely seems like he’s at a severe disadvantage if the two sides engage in conflict, but it’s important to remember that Euron is a weathered pirate and master of naval warfare. Either way, it’s hard not to see Dany coming out on the winning side of all of this, but it could very well come at the cost of a large portion of her Dothraki and Unsullied army dying at sea before they even make it to Westeros.

Source: HBO

6. Is Dany A Hero Or Villain At This Point?

“Battle of the Bastards” featured the fiercest Daenerys Targaryen we’ve yet seen, to the point where it looked like she might order Tyrion’s execution for even daring to question her. As much as Daenerys is thought of as one of the main heroes of Game of Thrones, is it possible that she’s slid into a villain role and we’re all just too mesmerized by Emilia Clarke’s screen presence to notice? After all, Daenerys was ready to go lay waste to every city in Slaver’s Bay before Tyrion helpfully reminded her that this would mean killing countless women and children too.

By the time Dany makes her pact with Yara and Theon, she seems to have regained her composure — and her claim that she and Yara are going to leave the world in a better state than the one they found it in is cause for hope — but all that dragon power could easily turn a good person bad (not to mention that madness already runs in her family). So is Dany a hero or villain? We’ll probably have to wait and see how she deals with Westeros to know for certain. Source:

5. Why Didn’t Sansa Tell Jon About Littlefinger’s Reinforcements?

Jon and Sansa spend the early part of this episode at odds over how to approach the impending battle with the Bolton army; Jon thinks they have to make do with what they have and Sansa argues that they won’t win without more men. It turns out that Sansa is absolutely correct, as it’s only thanks to the timely arrival of the Knights of the Vale that Jon proves victorious. So why didn’t Sansa just tell Jon that she already had reinforcements lined up? As far as we know, Jon doesn’t have any predisposition to not accept help from Littlefinger, so what would the issue be with telling him?

It’s almost as if Sansa was counting on Jon to screw up and have Littlefinger’s army show up right when they would be most effective, but then you also have to assume that Sansa was willing to let Jon die if need be just to prove a point. Of course, it’s also possible that Sansa wasn’t even sure if the Knights of the Vale were going to show up and had to ride out to meet them in order to lead them to the fight in time to save Jon’s army. Hopefully their shared bonding over getting to brutalize Ramsay will be enough to seal the bonds of trust going forward. Source:

4. Will Davos Kill Melisandre?

One of the most affecting scenes that quickly gets forgotten about once the carnage of battle begins is Davos’s discovery of Shireen Baratheon’s stag figurine. Clearly, Davos deduces that foul play took place and as the preview for next week’s episode shows, Davos confronts Melisandre about what happened to Shireen. What Melisandre did to her is unforgiveable, so will Davos lose his cool and kill Melisandre in a fit of rage? It seems very likely, given that Shireen was like a surrogate daughter to him and he’s already lost so much since joining ranks with Stannis. We’ve also never really seen Davos fly into a fit of rage before, so this could very well be the trigger for it. Can Melisandre even be killed with conventional weapons, though? We may find out soon enough. Source:

3. What Will Littlefinger Want In Return For His Help?

Although he is only seen briefly in a single wordless scene, Littlefinger arguably emerges as the real winner of the #BastardBowl. He now controls the largest army in the north and his dramatic rescue of Jon’s army will most certainly afforded him leverage if he wishes to seek payment (monetary or otherwise) for his efforts. The teaser for next week’s episode reveals that a marriage to Sansa is at the top of Littlefinger’s wishlist, but is there more to it than that?

I have a hard time buying Sansa being in any way interested in being forced to marry for a third time, especially to a guy who is essentially her creepy uncle, so what will Littlefinger do when (if) Sansa dismisses the idea outright? As has been the case pretty much from the very beginning, Littlefinger’s plans remain a giant question mark, but something tells me that whatever it is he wants from Sansa and Jon, it will be quickly overshadowed by the imminent White Walker invasion that is about to descend on the north. Source:

2. Did Ramsay Just Confirm A Sansa Pregnancy?

Pretty much every scene in this week’s episode was a triumph, but the final scene may have been the most satisfying of all. Seeing Sansa exact sweet karmic vengeance against her rapist and tormentor was a powerful moment, to be sure, but Ramsay’s final words to Sansa could hint at a popular fan theory. Ramsay tells his wife, “You can’t kill me, I’m part of you now.” Now, this could just be a tactic on Ramsay’s part to try and convince his wife to spare his life, but there could also be a more literal meaning to his words.

Telling Sansa that he is part of her now is a peculiar choice of words that echo Sansa’s statement from a few episodes to go. She tells Littlefinger that “I can still feel what he did, in my body, standing here, right now,” which means we now have two possible confirmations of Sansa being pregnant. Are we going to have a bastard baby on our hands before long? Hopefully not, as this would be a very uninteresting route to take with Sansa’s story at this point, but it sure would be a good way to keep the specter of Ramsay in the show long after his death. Source:

1. Where Does “Battle of the Bastards” Rank On The Show’s Best Episode List?

“Battle of the Bastards” is an immaculate episode of television; the direction is not only exceptional, but the war scenes themselves are some of the best in all of fantasy filmmaking. I don’t think I’m overstating things when I say that it’s one of the best episodes of Game of Thrones ever, but where exactly does it rank among this show’s other top offerings? I’d say that “Battle of the Bastards” should sit in the top 5, as it’s definitely of the same quality as other series highlights like “Blackwater,” “The Rains of Castermere,” and “Hardhome.” Is it better than any of those episodes? Possibly, but this is definitely a situation where it’s too early to declare for sure. All I know is that this was one of the Game of Thrones’ finest hours and it will be a tough one to top. Source:
Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)

Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)