Skip to main content

How 'Game of Thrones' created the best battle scene

Since Season 1 of “Game of Thrones,” the ninth episode of every season has been the key episode, the one fans look forward to year after year.

Even with all that hype headed into the ninth episode of an action-packed Season 6, “Battle of the Bastards” didn’t disappoint. If anything, it set a standard that television shows will have to live up to for years to come.

Prepare for “Game of Thrones” spoilers from Season 6, Episode 9, “Battle of the Bastards.”

That battle though!

  • “Game of Thrones” has set the bar for battle scenes for both film and television for the next decade. The battle between Starks and Boltons ranks right up there with battle scenes from “Saving Private Ryan” and “Braveheart.”
  • What made the battle so good? A quick rundown.
  • It was styled after true medieval battles.
  • This is the first real man-to-man battle we’ve seen on the show. There’s been some gory multi-men melees on the show, but nothing to this scale.
  • The 300-style infantry collapsing in on our heroes. There was something so barbaric about the big Bolton killing machine.
  • The pacing of the entire battle was so thrilling. Even if you thought Jon would live like I did, you were on the edge of your seat hoping he wouldn’t get crushed at the bottom of the pile of bodies.
  • Did I mention the giant pile of corpses?
  • In general, the suspense of the last half hour of the episode left me with chills. When you saw Rickon running for his brother, you knew Ramsey was going to kill him, but you couldn’t help but draw yourself to root for Rickon to just keep dodging those arrows.

Now what?

  • There’s a definite riff between Sansa and Jon now. Her involvement with Littlefinger saved the day, but she hid that information from Jon. In addition, Sansa warned Jon not to fall into Ramsey’s trap and that’s exactly what he did.
  • Speaking of Littlefinger, we’ll find out what exactly his reward and motive is in Episode 10. I’m curious how that ends up working out for Jon. Sansa can marry Littlefinger and he’ll own the North, but will Jon be OK with this?
  • While Jon continues to say how he’s fought beyond the wall, and fought worse than Ramsey, he makes several stupid moves in real warfare. He ignores Davos’ advice to let Ramsey come to him. He ignores Sansa’s pleas about not falling into Ramsey’s trap. If it wasn’t for Littlefinger, Jon is dead. You have to think this will be a big emotional blow for him.
  • I mean, seriously, Jon talks a battle plan with Davos, Tormund and Sansa for at least five minutes, but within :30 seconds of battle, he throws it all away? How stupid do you have to be?

Quick hits

  • As if one giant battle wasn’t enough, the 2nd Seige of Meereen lived up to all the hype. If you thought one dragon setting people on fire was cool, how much better was it to see all three of them in action?
  • I like how this season continued to show women in power, especially with Daenerys and Asha agreeing to a pact. Even though Tyrion and Theon could be the more powerful men viewed by Westerosi society, the two women stand tall for their respective beliefs.
  • I love that Sansa got the Ramsey kill. With everything that she’s been through in the series, it was great to see her get the upper hand with Ramsey. Made several seasons of her storyline worth watching.
  • Ramsey was the most brutal villains in “Game of Thrones,” so it’s fitting that his death was the goriest of recent memory.
  • So who takes Ramsey’s spot as the top villain? I bet that Euron Greyjoy steps up to that challenge.
  • Looking ahead, I’m really worried that we won’t get a resolution in Bran’s storyline in Episode 10. That means no Tower of Joy flashback. It’s a shame to tease that huge story, only to not get a bigger payoff.

Anthony J. Machcinski writes reactions to “Game of Thrones” every week after the show for Follow him on Twitter @ChinskiTweets.