Tuesday, July 5, 2016

What I’m Watching: Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones: Season 6, Episode 9 “Battle of the Bastards” (B+)

This episode had a very clever and fitting title. It’s that seemingly requisite penultimate installment which contains an epic battle scene that sets up a finale that can’t possibly be as impactful. The hour actually opened with a snapshot of a different war, as Daenerys and Tyrion got to pretend to surrender only to turn the tables on their would-be conquerors with the help of her dragons. I like that she decided to support Yara after hearing a sound argument about the evil of their fathers and the validity of queens. Tyrion voicing his dislike of Theon because of the jokes he made at his expense showed a different side of the masterful statesman than we’ve usually seen, and this was one memorable negotiation. Nothing compares, however, to the extended battle sequence that took up most of the latter half of the episode. Jon tried to spare many people their lives, but Ramsay insisted on a show of strength and reveled in the opportunity to completely surround the assembled forces and trap them. That image of Jon holding out his sword to defend against the charming army was pretty fantastic, and fortunately Sansa came to the rescue with auxiliary forces. The most powerful development of the hour was Sansa executing her revenge on Ramsay after he cruelly killed her younger brother for sport, feeding him to his own dogs as the only legitimate form of punishment that would truly make him feel agony and come close to mimicking the torture he inflicted on so many others.

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