Game Of Thrones S06E09

[all images courtesy of HBO]

I would just like to begin this blogpost by saying that tonights episode contained my favourite ever on screen TV battle scene. Without a doubt this is the greatest battle to grace our screens since The Battle Of Helms Deep. No lie. I want to THROW awards at Miguel Sapochnik who for lack of a better phrase DIRECTED THE SHIT out of that episode. Here’s what I thought of tonights visionary genius scene by scene…

The very first shot we see of a burning Meereen gives us an insight into the type of cinematography that we’ll be working with tonight. The first episode of this season opened with a similar panning shot but instead of Meereen it was of the glimmering ice of the wall and Castle Black. Another reminder that the real battle here is ice and fire. Instantly we can see that Tyrion has established some form of respect from Daenerys as she intently listens to his comparisons against her and her father The Mad King. He is very much suited as her advisor with her lack of Westeros knowledge and his extensive wisdom. If this dynamic between them continues I’ll be very pleased with it’s progression as I think they’ll be real nice balancing act between eachother.

The dragons have vastly improved in appearance since last season. Dollar signs fall all around them (not literally.) It’s clear to see that the money that HBO have reigned in for this episode has been put to good use and it doesn’t even look overdone in the slightest. If you’re an avid reader of my blog you’ll already know about my distaste for bad CGI and after a few rocky moments in S05, I’m glad S06 has avoided this so far!

Cut to scenes of the sons of harpy doing their thing. They are abruptly stopped as all three dragons wreak havoc in the skies burning everything Dany tells them to (yes she can control them with words now) I kind of wish we were given a bit more of a hint as to the true identity of the Harpys as this would have been a perfect opportunity to have a cheeky mask removed here or there but it’s all soon forgotten as we are swiftly took to the cold lands up North and suddenly I don’t care about Meereen at all.

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What is truly amazing in this first scene between the Bastards is how Iwan Rheon is able to portray such madness in a subtle kind of way which leaves Jon, Davos and Tormund looking extremely uneasy. This downplayed psychosis emphasises what an incredible character Ramsay is and how well Iwan plays him.

Sansa is annoying. Whilst in all fairness she should have maybe been at least asked about her knowledge on Ramsays brain, SHE is the only one being shady. Yeah it’s amazing that she pulled off the Gandalf moment but she was still dishonest to Jon and that’s not okay. Whilst her dishonesty gets me down, she did turn out to be right about Ramsays tatics regarding pulling Jon out on his own. She had a far more rational view of Rickons fate and managed to set aside her feelings for her little brother in order to see the bigger picture. It’s nice to see the writers give Sansa that delivery because so often in TV and film we see women suffering because of there “inability to separate logic and emotion.”

Davos finding Shereens pyre and little toy he gave her is no doubt going to be consequential. Will he try to kill the red witch for the third time? He’s had no luck in the past and Jon clearly needs her close too. I hope things don’t end messily but if Davos acts out of passion or hate it’s not going to end well for anybody, especially not him. It was a horrible act but Melisandre has clearly proven she has some form of power so I feel like he needs to give her a break on this one. Also remember that time she took her necklace off and became a 800 year old woman? Will that ever happen again this season or has that plot done a Dorne? *I feel like it’s been long enough now that we can start to use “doing a Dorne” whenever referring to a plot that got quietly dismissed*

Jon asking Melisandre to not be brought back from the dead, was an extremely sobering moment. Melisandre however, is right to refuse him. As she explained, she wouldn’t have been able to be bring him back if there wasn’t a higher power manipulating Jon’s fate. The weariness in Jon’s eyes created a very somber tone which was just all round sad. Sorry Jon but you’ve gotta stay. If not for Westeros, for us. 

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I am all about Yara and Daenerys. The writing in this scene was witty and precise whilst being delivered excellently by both actresses. This is where Daenerys is reasonable because she is not interested in fuckboys like Euron and doesn’t need to be told twice. In this sense, she’s a lot more human than other characters which is perhaps due to her humble beginnings away from the wicked world of Westeros. In the books Daenerys has lesbian tendencies and it would be interested if this was brought to screen and empowering if Daenerys and Yara could rise together. 

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The battle. Where do I begin? From the moment of the opening shot we were given brilliance. We were shown a panned view of each side, along with the burning flayed men, which created a very tense atmosphere. I was nervous that Rickon was going to be running from the hounds but the reality of Ramsays arrows weren’t any less terrifying. I would just like to thank the twittersphere for clueing me up on how to dodge arrows because before this episode, I too would have no idea that running in zig zags would have been the safest bet. My thought process during this scene went something like this:

“well what are you doing…RUN…

…FUCKING RUNNNNN!!!!!!…

…Can Ramsay even aim?…

…Wow the editing of these arrow shots is incred-OMG RUN FASTER…

…YES HE’S GONNA MAKE IT…

…HE’S GONNA DO THAT COOL JUMP ON A HORSE ONE HANDED THING…

…phew he’s nearly there and surely out of shot – FUCK NOOOOOOO…

…JOOOOOOONNNNNN MOOOOOOOOOOOVVVEEEEEEE…MOVE!!!!!!!!!

For one long moment I honestly thought Jon was going to die. They brought him back to kill him?! But alas, no, fate took it’s course and he was miraculously goaded through the battle dodging every potential attack in a way that was too perfect to be of human influence. The ways that Jon dodged death was as if it was being guided by a higher power, once again affirming Melisandres religion force that thrives throughout him. I LOVE the slow mo shot of the horses riding into battle – it was completely epic. The harmonious side shot gallops clashed against the shot of Jon flying off the horse leading us into thundering chaos. Another insane detailing were the arrows that were released and the camera point of view of them landing. The multiple arrows puncturing Rickon were a perfect reminder as to why Game Of Thrones is an insane no fucks given show – and that’s why it’s the best of the best. I could honestly talk about this battle for hours with all the incredible stunts, cinematography and general choreography but I’ll try and refrain from it (I’ve been told my blog is wordy enough as it is.)

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The camera work behind Jons crush scene was unbelievable. I thought for a moment my TV was glitching as the style of shots was so unlike the usual shots used in Game Of Thrones. It was suffocating to watch and like one big trip. Notice how when Jon finally emerges his shot looks awfully familiar…

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The realisation that Jons army was surrounded was sickening. Especially seeing Tormund on the front line. The ever growing wall of the wounded was harrowing with a few tasteful shots of someone holding their own intestines and others ripping faces off. Classic GOT. Even the sound of the Bolton army made me uncomfortable. They were inhuman, animalistic, we rarely saw their faces. It was one big ball of chaos and SO REALISTIC! Whilst the battle may have held the Hollywood budget and production, the choreography and direction of the battle kept it very lifelike.

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Another battle highlight was Tormund biting the neck of his opponent. Is it weird that this made me 10x more attracted to him? Don’t answer that.

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Seeing the knights of the vale arrive felt all too familiar but it still released a lot of my frustration. What I preferred was seeing Jon, Tormund and Wun Wun run after Bolton and his close comrades. Everything about his final capture was perfect. Wun Wuns death was nothing short of tragic to be honest but moments later we had this moment to soothe us forever and a day. Here’s the GIF to save and watch over and over in your darkest moments…

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and again…

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satisfied yet?

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Whilst would have been bloody lovely to watch every piece of skin be flayed from Ramsey and see him tortured for weeks, it was inevitable that a quick death had to happen in terms of plot closure. Ramsay reaffirmed my theory of Sansas pregnancy once again right before his death. Despite the hatred I hold for him I’ll for sure miss Iwan’s incredible performance in the show. 

I can’t believe we only have 1 episode left!

Join me next week for a special finale edition of my Game Of Thrones segments!

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