Yes, we were all waiting for this very badly. Episode 9 of every season has earned itself quite a reputation over the years, and the Battle of the Bastards didn’t promise anything less. Two of the oldest houses – Targaryen and Stark are all set to rise from ashes and emerge stronger than ever. This episode is as big as TV can get. In fact, only an Imax can do justice to a series of such a scale. Shocking. Bewildering. Exhilarating. Yes, this episode doesn’t disappoint.
The two featuring plots have now changed their course. They promise to have happier days ahead. But we are well aware that if you keep such dreams, they would be shattered like Wun Wun shattered the castle gates. Pretty soon.
We start off with a gigantic shot of Meereen being under attack by the Slave Masters and Daenerys confronting Tyrion. She now has the dragon power that we were all waiting for, but there was a very crucial decision to be made. Should she go into the path of her father Aerys and be called the “Mad Queen” someday? Or would she be the Targaryen that the world didn’t knew of? When she has one of the best political advisors in the realm, it is quite certain what she chooses. Another such instance is during her meeting with the Greyjoy siblings. She clearly feels whatever her father did was wrong and she has to embrace a new system, make new friends.
Sansa also had to rekindle her friendship with Littlefinger to bring the much-needed and perfectly-timed aid by House Arryn. One could say that it is was more of Sansa’s war than Jon’s. And she was practically responsible for winning it. Having fought with the Others, Jon was certain that the Boltons weren’t much of a threat and a simple war strategy would defeat them. But all along, it was only Sansa who understood their opponents completely. She even confesses that Ramsay wouldn’t let Rickon live for long. From being a shy girl only dreaming of handsome princes to one of the best players of the Game of Thrones,Sansa has come a long long way. Here is the Stark that we were longing for. What would be even more exciting is to see her crossing paths with her sister. Arya heading to the North, isn’t she?
The battle sequence is without a doubt the longest, best and most elaborate one to be seen in the history of televison. It is also rumoured to be the most expensive episode of the show. The battle sequence alone took a whopping 25 days to shoot. It wasn’t just gore and cinematography that impresses, but also brilliant war tactics being showcased ( Ramsay’s horseshoe formation as Umber attacks from the rear ) and absolutely amazing fight choreography. Okay, so these guys clearly have money. But making such epic scenes require more than that – sweat, patience and talent. A huge round of applause for the team. You nailed it, guys!
In terms of shock value though, I didn’t find anything eye-opening. When Jon was below that stampede, we knew he won’t die. When his army was almost about to end, we knew someone would come to the rescue. And given Ramsay’s reputation, we knew how would he die. Given Rickon’s zero character development, it was evident he would be killed off too. I was quite uncertain of the fate of Ser Davos and Tormund, but they too have come out alive. Such a massive war with no important casualties can be a bit difficult to digest. But such was also the case during the Battle of Blackwater. So maybe I had too high expectations.
Technically, Game of Thrones has trumped all the other shows (expect huge Emmy wins ). We only hope that the story keeps taking brave turns.
Quite obviously, it was extremely difficult to choose one. But I found myself jumping with excitement when all the three full-sized dragons flew high into the skies of Meereen. The entry of Drogon was whistle-worthy!
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.
In between all the mayhem of battle and dragons, this one scene stood out. “Our fathers” also includes Tyrion’s, if you missed that.