Season 6, Episode 9.
Where do we even begin? Typically, Game of Thrones has a reputation of constantly being down in the dumps, with all our favourite characters repeatedly belittled, murdered and generally having a pretty bad time. Until now. Season 6, episode 9 has to be the most uplifting episode yet. Now don’t get us wrong, it came with some heavily emotional moments, but in the end – it was completely worth it. We will be discussing the blatant spoilers at the end of the review. So be warned if you haven’t seen the episode. But if you haven’t, just know that it was masterfully produced and is one of the best episodes in the series.
The opening sequence was so satisfying in many ways as we see the Slavers continue attacking Mereen as Tyrion informs Daenerys of the situation that they’re in. Tyrion has some of the best dialogue written for him in the show, and this episode was no exception. It’s clearly a dire situation that they’re in, but he still manages to find a way of being humorous in a cynical manner. But in the first of many fist pounding moments in the episode, Daenerys proves how far she’s come… as she rides Drogon into battle. Visually, this was incredibly stunning as she soars over the city. It’s no wonder that it’s one of the most expensive shows on television, but it certainly shows. The opening sequence rivals even the best of special effects in cinema.
But then we move North into the main portion of the episode, and whilst it’s a huge battle piece, it’s also one of the strongest character episodes in terms of development. It really shows the true calibre of the production, writing and directing that goes into Game of Thrones, they manage to weave together intense battle sequences whilst simultaneously pushing their characters’ emotions to their very limits. We are of course talking about the huge battle between Jon Snow’s forces and Ramsay Bolton’s. It’s a dirty, awful fight – and it’s visually harrowing in places.
It’s most definitely not for the faint of heart, as it’s gory, gritty and it’s everything you would expect from Game of Thrones and then some. The moment when Jon is being crushed by the overwhelming number of bodies around him is heart stopping as we see his desperation. Kit Harrington really needs to be commended for his performance throughout the episode, and he has next to no dialogue whatsoever. The episode is thoroughly rewarding for viewers that have gone on this journey alongside their favourite characters, and the end scene is so satisfying. Especially on Sansa’s behalf, Sophie Turner has definitely cemented her role as the show’s new badass.
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So we get our first prominent death of the episode that prompts Jon to charge in on his own, the death of Rickon. Ramsay heartlessly shoots the younger Stark, just as Jon manages to reach him on horseback. The ensuing battle is visually horrifying, with their forces obliterated and beaten down until the Knights of the Vale save the day thanks to Sansa. And when Wun-Wun beats the door down like the unstoppable giant he is, Ramsay shoots him through the eye, as Jon once again charges at him. And much to the pleasure of the audience, beats him to a bloody pulp. We don’t know about you, but seeing the slimy, twisted villain get his comeuppance was so satisfying. But ultimately, when Jon realises that it’s not his life to take and lets Sansa have him instead, we were brimming with excitement. Was Sansa about really come into her own and get revenge? Yes, yes she is. And it’s so fitting for the Bolton villain, that we nearly cheered.
It’s the grin she gives as she hears his screams that is strangely comforting. Sansa is the new Game of Thrones badass, and we love it. It’s a stellar episode, and has a huge payoff that fans will love. But where will it go from here? We have one episode left next week, and after this – we can’t wait.
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Visually compelling and horrifying simultaneously, episode 9 is a thrilling and emotional watch. The finale is hugely satisfying, is Sansa our new favourite character? Maybe so.
- Jon V Ramsay
- Sansa's final grin
- Intense battle