While Game of Thrones is never short of shocking and intense moments, episode nine of each season is usually the stuff of legend. Following in the steps of such iconic moments as the Red Wedding and last season’s Hardhome, “Battle of the Bastards” did not disappoint. While some took a more measured approach, many are calling this the best episode of Game of Thrones ever. Regardless of your opinion, you can’t deny that the battle itself is one of the greatest ever put to film.
While serving up the most necessary death of the entire series, “Battle of the Bastards” also brought new alliances, Stark nobility, and Lyanna Mormont’s epic death stare. As the bodies piled up, so did the epic quotes, so as you rewatch the episode (you know you’re going to), these are the ones you’ll be saying right along with the cast.
“Remember what happened when Danaerys Stormborn and her dragons came to Meereen.”
Dany may have been away from her people for most of this season, but the Mother of Dragons still knows how to make one hell of an entrance. Despite Tyrion’s assurances that Meereen was actually doing well before the masters returned to take back their “property,” Dany has a mess to clean up, and she does it the only way she knows how: by setting everything on fire. After destroying the fleet with her three dragons in tow, Tyrion gets the final word. After sparing one of the slave traders to serve as the emissary, Tyrion sends him on his way to warn all would-be enemies to beware of the Dragon Queen. She may not be a great ruler, but she can certainly inspire fear in those who would wrong her.
“No one can protect me. No one can protect anyone.”
Season six has been the season of Sansa, and she appears to be the only Stark who has learned from her mistakes. While she may have been all icy confidence with her first meeting with Ramsay Bolton (“You’re going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton. Sleep well.”), she is more of a realist when she’s alone with Jon Snow back at the Stark camp. In a perfect world, Sansa would be able to trust her half-brother implicitly, but this is not a perfect world. And she’s absolutely right. Sansa has been wronged by nearly every man in her life. While she should have told Jon about the possibility of Arryn reinforcements, no one could blame her for playing her cards close to her chest. It may be brutal, but she is learning how to excel at the game.
“If I do, if I fall… don’t bring me back.”
Jon Snow may be more warrior than tactician but he still knew the odds facing him on the eve of the BastardBowl. As brave as the remaining Wildlings and Stark loyalists were, there was little hope for them to beat the superior Bolton forces. As he faced what could likely be his second death, Jon approaches the Red Woman and asks her to let him stay dead should he fall again. Her denial and insistence that he is the Prince That Was Promised combined with Jon’s seeming invincibility on the battlefield lead many to believe that there are magical forces at play. Now that he is likely the Lord of Light’s chosen one, can Jon Snow even be killed?
“Our fathers were evil men, all of us here. They left the world worse than they found it. We are not going to do that. We’re going to leave the world better than we found it.”
If we learned anything from this episode of Game of Thrones (honestly, this entire season), it’s that the women of Westeros are ready for war. Yara and Theon throw their forces behind Dany’s claim to Seven Kingdoms, and it’s pretty clear that this union will bear fruit. While the flirtatious (yeah, even Tyrion was picking up on the sapphic vibes) queens without kingdoms claim to be different than their fathers, the increasingly proud and violent Dany is beginning to show more than a few characteristics of her mad father. They may be starting with the best of intentions, but pirates don’t change overnight.
“Your words will disappear. Your house will disappear. Your name will disappear. All memory of you will disappear.”
While there was some worry that no death would be satisfying enough, Ramsay getting torn apart by his own hounds while Sansa looked on came awfully close. While Jon may have unleashed his anger upon Ramsay through a torrent of punches, he left the killing blow to Sansa, who had lost more than anyone to the sadistic bastard. While the bloodied Bolton may taunt Sansa with the claim that “he’s a part of her now” (please, for the love of God, let this not mean that Sansa is pregnant), the eldest Stark firmly reminds him that he is nothing, powerless, and quickly forgotten. As she smirks while he screams in agony, it becomes increasingly clear that there is a new power player in Winterfell.