Given how strange the pacing has been this season it’s a miracle the grand battle in two different storylines was distinct and interesting, with memorable moments both in the North and across the Narrow Sea. Also here’s some merch!
-If you thought I was going to start with the battle, think again. Daenerys/Asha is where it is AT. Asha is weirdly enough exactly Dany’s type: cocky brawler with a killer smirk, this time with a bonus feminist perspective. The actresses have great chemistry and I hope this is a departure from the books that will have a happy ending (or several). The scene in the throne room also showed the first meeting of the “Progeny of the Worst Dads ever, band together in search of a better tomorrow” Club and I am all for it. With the exception of Theon whose journey is more personal, the rest of them have tried to improve the world as best they can on a wholesale level.
-The battle was absolutely incredible and very well shot and edited. It reminded me of Bernard Cromwell’s descriptions of battle, which are, despite anything else I have to say about his writing, excellent. All the mistakes were also in-character. Of course Jon ran out to get Rickon, and of course Ramsay foolishly decided to sacrifice his cavalry in the name of terror-inspiring slaughter. (Loved the parallel between Tormund and Brienne biting people). RIP Rickon and Wun Wun.
-DRAGONS. You know that’s about as intelligent as I’m going to get.
-Sansa’s treatment of Ramsay. I’m not just talking about her feeding him to the dogs, but her general disregard of his person and her refusal to let him have any influence over her. “You’re going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton. Sleep well.” is more thrilling than anything even potty-mouthed John McClane could come up with.
-Tormund and Davos had an excellent little scene, warm, despite their history, and oddly philosophical without resorting to beetles. More like this please.
-Jon’s talk with Melisandre is long overdue as is more conversations about how he’s dealing with things. Now that Sam’s gone we don’t seem to know anything about how Jon Snow’s tormented soul is fairing.
-Poor Sansa tried to warn Jon, but she wasn’t exactly sure about those reinforcements. She was right about the whole thing being too rushed and Jon makes the mistake Tyrion made earlier this season: not listening to someone who knows a situation far better than him. I do so love it when weird and wonderful parallels emerge.
-They picked the world’s most beautiful and adorable good boy to eat Ramsay. The dog was so pure it could not act.
-Honestly there’s not much I can be nitpicky about this episode.
-Winterfell looks like an old shack when compared to Riverrun. Just saying.
-Since I didn’t do do last episode, let me remind everyone that Jaime still doesn’t know about Lancel. Meanwhile Tyrion knows pretty much everything that has happened in the past, present and future of Westeros.
-I’ve mentioned this before, but a bitter Tyrion would make an offensive joke at someone’s expense, he would not however, do it on a lark as he has done several times recently, and his justified anger at Theon is a reminder of how shoddily inconsistent his characterization has been.