Previously on Game of Thrones, “No One”
This was so worth the hype and it was extremely satisfying. My heart is as full as Ramsay’s dogs’ bellies. This episode slew harder than Grey Worm’s double throat-slice. It was more lit than the Great Masters’ ships. It was fiercer than Sansa’s final smile.
I loved it.
After Tyrion explains to Daenerys why her city is being attacked by the Great Masters, he talks her out of taking the scorched Earth approach for revenge - sort of.
While the Great Masters look on in stunned disbelief and soiled underpants, Daenerys mounts Drogon, does a fly-by the catacombs were Rhaegal and Viserion have had just about enough of captivity and break free, and then proceeds to light some of the attacking fleet on fire, Blackwater-style.
Meanwhile, Daario leads the Dothraki in chopping off the heads of the Sons of the Harpy.
The Masters soon surrender, offering up one of their own as an apology per Daenerys’ command, but Grey Worm kills the two who offered up the third by slicing both of their throats in one fell swoop. The survivor is told to go home and remember what he’s seen today - and then tell his friends to stay off these Mereeneese streets.
Yara’s Iron Fleet didn’t save the day, but her offer is too sweet for Daenerys to pass up. After Tyrion gets his petty out for all the shit Theon talked to him back at Winterfell, the two women strike a deal. The Greyjoys will lend her the ships and their men, pledge their allegiance, and give up their pillaging and raping ways, and in return Daenerys will give Yara rule over the Iron Islands. Oh, and she’ll help them kill their no-good, ain’t-shit uncle.
Battle of the Bastards
I’m just a girl and do not know the ways of war, but for some reason both sides typically meet before a medieval battle to … give the other side a chance to come to their senses? I don’t know, but Jon and Ramsay meet on neutral ground and Ramsay offers peace if Jon will bend the knee and return Sansa.
Jon offers a man-on-man fight, sparing the lives of their men. Ramsay’s heard about the ass whippings Jon has handed out like candy so he takes a hard pass on that. Jon points out that Ramsay’s men may not be too keen to fight for a commander who won’t for them.
His bitchassness properly revealed, Ramsay plays the only card he has left to end this without a fight: Rickon. After showing Shaggydog’s head (where was he keeping that for all these weeks?) as proof, Ramsay expects the Starks to back down. But he didn’t get the raven that Sansa did not come to fuck around with these heauxs. She won’t negotiate, tells him he will die upon the morrow, and then rides off like a boss.
That night, at their strategy session, Jon and company devise a plan to make Ramsay come to them and make it so that they cannot be flanked. Alone with Jon, Sansa scolds him for not seeking her advice. After all, she knows Ramsay better than all of them. And while she may not know battle strategy, she warns him to not allow Ramsay to use Rickon to bait him into a trap.
After a chat with Tormund where they both lament losing their kings and Tormund offers up some yummy sour goat milk, Davos takes a walk and finds the pyre upon which Shireen died. He knows it’s the spot because he finds the stag he made for her in the ash.
Mellie, you in danger, girl.
Speaking of, Jon asks Melisandre not to resurrect him if he dies again. She doesn’t answer to him, though, and figures there’s a reason she was given the power to bring him back. This is also what Thoros of Myr said to Sandor Clegane last week.
For the first time, Melisandre talks about her visions in the flames with uncertainty. She admits that she interprets them the best she can. Hope this is good enough for Davos when he comes for that ass next week.
The next day, Jon does exactly what Sansa warned him not to do: He rushes in to save Rickon from Ramsay’s arrows, but fails. And when Rickon dies, Jon finds himself stranded in the middle of the field - well outside of where his men expected the battle to take place. He seems to accept his fate, and like several characters from the last two episodes, he’s ready to go out fighting. Fortunately, Davos sends their men to Jon mid-field and they arrive before Jon is plowed down.
The battle is bloody - as we knew it would be.
It’s not long before Jon and his men are surrounded by Ramsay’s calvary and a wall of their own fallen soldiers killed by arrows. Yet, they still fight. Tormund’s crazy ass rushes in and takes out a few. Wun Wun rips a man in half. But it’s still not enough. Tormund yells for their men to retreat and Jon is trampled in the stampede.
Jon surfaces, gasping for air, just in time to see Tormund being beaten by Smalljon Umber, his other men dying around him, and Wun Wun still going despite numerous arrows protruding from his body.
Then a horn blares. It distracts Umber long enough for Tormund to go all Rick Grimes on his neck and then stab him to death… well, more death. A new army provide to Ramsay’s men what Jon and his men feared would happen to them: a savage mowing down by opponents on horseback.
It’s Sansa, Littlefinger, and the Knights of the Vale. Ramsay looks over like:
He turns tail for Winterfell, but Jon, Tormund, and Wun Wun are not far behind. Just as Ramsay is sure they are safe behind the walls, Wun Wun bangs on the door. Repeatedly. It begins to buckle and Ramsay looks at the door like:
Once inside, Wun Wun falls to his knees. Whether he could have survived his injuries we’ll never know because Ramsay puts an arrow through the giant’s skull. Jon proceeds to beat the shit out of Ramsay, only stopping when he sees Sansa watching.
The Bolton banners are taken down as snow falls, and the Stark banners are raised. Melisandre looks on, pleased that her vision has finally come to pass. Rickon’s body is taken to the crypt to be buried alongside Ned.
Sansa asks to see Ramsay.
Ramsay is tied up in the kennel where he taunts Sansa because clearly he doesn’t know he’s lost yet. She makes it very clear he’s going to die, his family name is going to die, and that none of this could happen to a more deserving piece of shit. When his dogs appear, Ramsay is still confident. His loyal dogs wouldn’t dare attack him. Maybe not before, but Sansa reminds him of a threat he’d made earlier. He starved his dogs for seven days in preparation of eating Jon and his men. So, now, any flesh will do. And sure enough, despite his commands of “Down!,” his dogs eat him alive.
Sansa watches, walks away, and smiles.
UPDATE: An earlier version of this incorrectly listed Tormund fighting Karstark.
Here are some other great photos from the episode:
Game of Thrones S6E9