The following recap contains massive spoilers (DUH). Please don’t read ahead unless you are perfectly ok with that fact or have seen the episode.
This week’s Game of Thrones begins with the Masters attacking Meereen. Tyrion tries to make Danaerys feel better about what’s happening by describing how much better Meereen was doing before the attack. He tells her of how the market was beginning to thrive, and how she had the support of most of the people. Danaerys, however, tells Tyrion that she plans on not only burning down the Masters fleet for this, but also their cities. Upon hearing his, Tyrion tells Danaerys about the plan that her father had for King’s Landing. Essentially, he had planned on blowing up the entire city in order to take out his traitors. He didn’t care if his innocent citizens died along with them. At first Danaerys tries to say that her plan is different than that, but Tyrion tells her that when she says she wants to burn down entire cities, the plan isn’t that different. Tyrion proposes a different plan.
Later that day, Danaerys, Tyrion, Grey Worm, and Missandei meet with the masters in order to discuss surrender. The Masters assume that Danaerys wants to discuss her surrender, but she corrects them. Drogon comes down from behind the building in which they are standing in front of, and Danaerys climbs upon his back. They fly above the fleet attacking Meereen, and begin to burn it all down. Also, the Dothraki army arrives and begins to attack the Sons of the Harpy who are attacking the citizens in the city. When the Masters see the destruction that Danaerys is bringing upon their men, they realize they have been beaten. Tyrion tells them that because they violated the pact they had made, they had to be punished. Missandei informs them that Danaerys has commanded one of them must die. The two wealthier Masters throw the poorer Master under the bus. When the poorer Master is on his knees, Grey Worm approaches and instead slices the throats of the two richer Masters. Tyrion tells the one still living to spread the word of what he’s seen. Tyrion wants the world to know that Danaerys will not tolerate their shit.
We are then taken to Winterfell where Jon and Sansa are awaiting to speak with Ramsay. Ramsay’s first [sleezy] words are to tell Sansa he misses her. He then tells Jon to bow before him and to profess him to be Lord of Winterfell. Ramsay knows Jon doesn’t have as many men as he has, and tells Jon they should try to avoid as much loss of life as possible. Jon agrees with Ramsay, and says they should settle things the old way, in a battle just between the two of them. (Jon said, “U WOT M8 1v1 MII IRL”) Ramsay declines, and reminds Jon that he has twice the number of men that Jon has. However, Jon asks Ramsay how many men will still fight once they know Ramsay refused to fight for them. In rebuttal, Ramsay asks Jon if he’s willing to let his little brother (Rickon) die for his cause. Sansa doubts that Ramsay even has Rickon, and so Ramsay produces Shaggydog’s head as proof. Sansa looks at the direwolf’s head, and tells Ramsay to sleep well, for he will be dying tomorrow.
Later that night, Jon is discussing his battle plans with Tormund and Davos. Since they have fewer men, they will have to have patience. They will wait for Ramsay’s men to come to them. When Tormund and Davos leave, Sansa accosts Jon for not asking her to give input on the situation. Sansa knows Ramsay intimately, while Jon doesn’t know him at all. Jon asks her what she thinks they should do, but Sansa doesn’t know. She just knows they don’t have enough men to take Ramsay out, and she wishes they had waited. Jon tells her that waiting wouldn’t have done anything, since there was no one else left to ask for help. Jon also says that battles have been won against greater odds, but this doesn’t comfort Sansa. After a brief scene where we see Tormund and Davos discussing the next day’s battle, Jon enters Melisandre’s tent. He asks her if she has any suggestions for the next day, but she has none. He then tells her that if he falls, she is not to bring him back. She informs, Jon, though, that she can only do what the Lord of Light tells her to do. Jon asks her why the Lord of Light would want him back, and she says she does not know. (It’s obvious that she is shaken by being wrong about Stannis.) Afterwards, we see Davos discover where Stannis burned his daughter. He had been sent away when Stannis committed this atrocity, so this is the first he’s known about it.
In Meereen, Theon and Yara have made their way to ask Danaerys’ for support. They all question each other, but eventually they are able to come to an understanding. Danaerys clearly has respect for Yara as a female wanting to rule. Danaerys does have a stipulation, though, that the Greyjoys cease their way of life of pillaging, stealing, and raping. At first Yara is hesitant, but eventually she acquiesces.
The battle of the bastards begins. Both armies are in position and Ramsay comes out with Rickon on a rope leash. Just as we think that Rickon is going to be killed by Ramsay, Ramsay instead cut his ropes and told him to run towards Jon. As Rickon is running, Ramsay starts shooting arrow at him. Jon then tries to ride to Rickon in order to save him, but he fails. One of Ramsays arrows pierces Rickon’s heart right in front of Jon. Then, feeding right into Ramsay’s hands, Jon begins to charge in. The Wildlings follow suit and an all out charge begins. Ramsay orders his archers to fire, even though some of his own knights are also charging in. The barrage of arrows creates a pile of bodies in a line on the battlefield. Then, some of Ramsay’s other men trap the Wildlings in with shields and spears. Just as it seems as if everyone on Jon’s side is about to die, including Jon himself, Sansa arrives with Littlefinger and an army. Littlefinger’s army is able to break through Ramsay’s ranks and save the day. Ramsay himself falls back to Winterfell where Jon, Wun Wun, and Tormund follow. Upon sieging into Winterfell, Ramsay tells Jon that he’s changed his mind and wants to fight 1v1. Jon is able to overtake Ramsay, though, and begins to beat him senseless. Sansa arrives, however, and Jon stops to allow Ramsay to live and face judgement. The Starks have once again taken Winterfell.
Ramsay is tied up in a chair and bleeding. We can hear his dogs growling. Sansa approaches him and Ramsay still taunts her. She tells him that the world will eventually forget him, and his family. In that moment he realizes that his dogs are near him. He tells Sansa that his dogs will never harm him, but then Sansa reminds Ramsay that they haven’t been fed in seven days. The dogs are starving, and therefore loyalty is out the window. Sansa stays for a moment while the dogs begin to eat Ramsay alive, but eventually she walks away…. Smiling.
This episode can be described as nothing less than epic. Between Danaerys asserting her power, the battle of the bastards, and Sansa’s “F U” to Ramsay, the episode was full of “EFF YEAH” feels. I’m so glad that Sansa got some closure. As much as I started not liking her, I’ve really grown to have mad respect for her. It really feels as if things are starting to come together, and I can’t wait to see how next week’s season finale plays out. Starks have Winterfell again, Danaerys is ready to make a play for the Seven Kingdoms, and Ramsay Bolton is FINALLY dead. This was a good week… I can’t wait until next week.
Game of Thrones airs on HBO and simultaneously streams on HBO Go on Sunday nights at 9PM ET.