Reviews: Game of Thrones - Season 6 Episode 9 - Battle of the Bastards

The conclusion of season 6 nears with a perfect episode 9.

As many of those of you who browse social media on Sunday nights know, season six of Game of Thrones (GOT) continues this week with the ninth episode of the season “Battle of The Bastards “. “Battle of the Bastards” is an explosion of an episode that will leave a huge impact in the world of the Game of Thrones. The blood flows in one of the bloodiest and most engaging episodes of the season.  The show goes all out in one of the best episodes ever made. Action packed and well written, this episode will be the standard setter for big episodes of Game of Thrones to come.

This episode opens with our characters finally fighting back against the elements that have been holding them back. The opening scene of the episode involving Daenerys and her dragons is one of the coolest scenes in the show history.  It is nice to see these dragons finally do stuff that moves the plot forward and allows for some of the coolest visuals in the history of the series.  The main attraction of the episode is the Battle of the Bastards: Jon Snow vs. Ramsay Bolton. It’s a battle that we have been waiting to see for a long time. We have been waiting for this confrontation for a long time and thankfully, it lives up to the hype.  

battle of the bastards
Ahhh...yes. The joys of a never ending supply of Viagra. 

Every shot of this episode is composed in a way that moves the story forward and adds to the tension. The warm up to the big battle is one of the most tense and well edited sequences of the season. This is the biggest battle in series history, according to those who are involved with the production of the show, and it shows. It is a marvel of television filmmaking and hopefully leads to many awards for those who are involved with the show. This is arguably one of the best episodes of the season. The battle itself is incredible too.  It is pure chaos and packed with so much action that you won’t believe it. Every frame of this scene involves complicated stunt work and action. The scale of it is huge too. It is a massive and epic sequence. It is a standout in television history. This makes the White Walker battle look like amateur hour. It’s simply incredible. It is the high mark of a great season.

Not only is this episode a marvel of action filmmaking, it is a compelling episode filled with great dialogue and great performances. Kit Harrington does a great job this week. He is the MVP of this episode. He plays the scenes with a hunger to reunite his family. He wants to fight but knows that the odds are stacked against him and his men. This conflict fuels his performance in a way that offers us a glimpse into the mind of a character that usually is very closed off emotionally.  Sophie Turner does a wonderful job as a frustrated sister who also wants to reunite the family but wants Jon to be cautious. It's nice to see these characters feeling vulnerable and allows us to understand why they are doing what they are doing.  Iwan Rheon is terrifying as Ramsay Bolton. He plays the character in the most evil way possible. He does something so awful to a character in this episode that you can’t help but want to see him get his handed to him. He plays off of Kit Harrington so well that you will be upset that they haven’t interacted more throughout the season.  Peter Dinklage and Emilia Clarke get a nice couple of scenes at the beginning of the episode, but the excellent battle takes up most of the episode and serves to highlight an end of seasons worth of plotlines for the Stark and Bolton families. This is their time to shine and shine they do. 

The ending for the episode is not only emotional but also well deserved.  It’s a perfect and memorable ending for a perfect episode. This episode is the best of this season and is definitely in the top five best episodes of the show so far.  It is action packed hour that is simply brilliant and is one of the best hours of this show ever aired. It will leave you eagerly waiting for what happens next.

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Liam S. O'Connor