You’re in the great game now. And the great game is terrifying.
Spoilers Inbound for events taking place between episodes 1.01 and 6.09 – obviously.
Woah. That was a big one. Not only was Battle of the Bastards the largest scale fight they’ve filmed to date, but it did something that a lot of shows don’t covet anymore – it gave fans some much-deserved payoff.
Fan service in recent years has been often looked down upon in favor of superior writing techniques, and in most cases that move is the right one. But here – we needed some fan service, and Jon pummeling Ramsey, before Sansa fed him to the dogs, that seemed to fill the need.
Through five or so seasons, the family Stark has been largely put-upon and nearly extinct-ed. Now come season six and those who have suffered through the deaths of direwolf after direwolf are finally getting some satisfaction. This season might as well have been labeled with Rise of the Starks or some such other spoiler-laden subtitle. And yes, I know things aren’t going great for Rickon or Bran, but Jon and Sansa are reunited. Arya has graduated murder-school and Benjen is returned from a 50-plus episode absence. For the moment, it would seem the North is back in good hands, Tormund, Davos, Lady Mormont (we assume), all survived the battle and now things can begin to progress. That said, we never know exactly what Littlefinger has planned, and we don’t yet know how those plans will intersect with the wishes of our conquering heroes.
From the ravenous dogs to the game with Rickon to the killing of
Wun Wun the giant, Ramsey did all he could to earn a death, and this one was a bit more gratifying than when Joffrey got poisoned. And between the banners falling, and Sansa’s last words to him, one can’t help but be reminded of the Rains of Castamere as the end of House Bolton is displayed on screen.
BONUS – While we all knew this week would be the battle for Winterfell, we weren’t expecting to see so much of Meereen, but we’re not disappointed we did. Dany makes an example of the Masters, allies with the Greyjoy kids, and says something very important;
Tyrion: What if everyone starts demading their independence?
Daenerys: She’s not demanding, she’s asking. The others are free to ask as well.
Now that the Starks are retaking the North, what happens when Dany shows up to conquer the kingdoms? The obvious answer is they will have to team up to defeat the White Walkers, bringing Jon and Tyrion’s relationship from season one back into play, as well as his marriage to Sansa. Can Tyrion convince the Dragon Queen to give the North back to the Starks? Will the Martells and Tyrells form an alliance to fight the Lannisters? When will Walder Frey finally get his? All this and more (probably) next season! But first, how about next Sunday…
Foreshadowing tells us that Cersei plans to burn the Faith Militant to the ground with wildfire – will she succeed? Will it cost her yet another child? What will Jon do about the Red Woman to appease Davos? When will Sansa open up to her brother and stop hiding things? Why didn’t we care more about Rickon? Why did the Umbers turn heel? Where are Sam and Gilly and Baby Sam? (Who actually cares?) Will this be the last episode 10 we ever get? SO much going on next week…