Please keep in mind as I write this review for Game of Thrones' "Battle of the Bastards," I just finished watching the episode, oh, about 10 minutes ago, so my heart is racing, my blood is pounding and my brain is hurting. And I love it.
WARNING: Do not continue reading unless you, like me, can't contain yourself after tonight's episode of Game of Thrones, and need to keep the conversation going because it really was that good. That being said, spoilers ahead.
Tell me a battle scene that was better than this. I dare you. Try to come up with one.
There is nothing, nothing in the history of film and television that can compare to the way Game of Thrones made the Battle of the Bastards feel so personal. The show put us up close and front and center to Jon's entire experience. We felt Rickon's death as Jon felt it. When Jon began cutting down men, our muscles twitched with him. When Jon was suffocating between men as he started losing the battle, we struggled to catch our breath. And when he was being trampled by soldiers we felt the disoriented toss and turn of panic.
These epic scenes were a culmination of gorgeous cinematography, clever and realistic CGI, on-par acting (go Kit Harrington!) and superb direction and editing. Now that's how you make history in television. This episode alone has earned Game of Thrones all the Emmys, in my opinion. Everyone go home. This year is done. Over. It just doesn't get any better.
Of course, it did get better.
It got infinitely better.
Because, as we all know now, Jon and Sansa won the battle.
The moment that Stark flag dropped over the gates of the castle, was the moment that just sealed this episode in memory for me. We've been waiting since Season 1 to see that flag fly once again on the gates of Winterfell, and to see that victory made all the sacrifice worth it. Obviously, thanks to my title, you can see that that moment in the show really did it for me. All in good fun, though, but how else do you describe the rush of excitement you felt watching the Starks reclaim their rightful home? Joking aside, that moment was exactly what I wanted it to be and one that will be imprinted in my memory of the series.
Yes, Rickon's death was terrible and horrifying, but as the show's creators, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, said in the after-show, once Ramsay got his hands on him, there was really no other way it could go for him. He was lost to the Starks, but his death was not in vain because he died in the effort to preserve his family's name.
After that episode, I think we all deserve a moment of happiness. Let's bask in the fact that the Starks are back in Winterfell and all is right in Westeros, or getting right.
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