6 seasons. 6 years. In that span of time, I never thought of writing a review for an episode but the last one was so epic, I have to put it off my head.
When the Stark flag was re-installed at Winterfell, it was a bittersweet moment for me. When Ned took the King’s offer in Season 1 and left with Arya and Sansa; when Jon decided to take the black; when Bran was still a t the verge of death; When Caitlyn and Robb waged war… since that point, Winterfell was never the same. It was conquered by the Greyjoys then later on the Boltons. It’s sweet because once again, Starks were back in Winterfell even if one is a woman and technically a Bolton and another a Bastard. It was bitter because of the things they have been through to get something that was rightfully theirs. Also, the cost of Winterfell was Rikon.
Recap and review **SPOILER ALERT**
The show started with the conflict with Mereen, where it also left off the episode before that. I must say, the Masters truly have guts to wage war against the Queen and mother of Dragons. Maybe they thought Daenarys was still somewhere else but the Pyramid. Little did they know, she was back and was planning a mass murder. Thanks to Tyrion who talked her out of it. You see, I’m starting to doubt Dany at this point of the series. Her plot is getting boring and she does repetitive things: Burn people, prove she is the unburnt by walking out from the fire, do her long and unnecessary speeches and of course, instill fear through her dragons. I am in the middle ground for her. I feel like she is at the middle of being a villain and a great hero. I guess, we will find out in the next seasons. That being said, I was surprised that the battle in Meeren gave me goose bumps. Again, she was showing off her dragons but this time it’s for a good cause of saving Meeren. I was so thrilled to see the three of the dragons finally free. Also, I totally forgot about the Khalasar so when they ride for the heads of the Sons of the Harpy, it was a nice reminder.
To the battle: Jon and Ramsay met for the first time and it was, as expected full of insults from Ramsay. Jon asked him for a duel but he refused because obviously, Jon is a better warrior. He has twice as much of Jon’s army, giving him the upper hand. He obviously knew it well. Sansa was right though in a few scenes ahead. Jon should have listened to her. Although Sansa was being a little bit vague, too.
Jon: Tell me what should I do then?
Sansa: I don’t know!!
She didn’t give a concrete answer. She just said don’t do the things he expects you to do—which was 100% correct. She really does know her “husband”. She added, Ramsay is the one who doesn’t fall for traps. He set them up. However, she didn’t tell Jon the most crucial part—she asked help from the Vale AKA Little finger. Her intentions, I have no idea. Either she wanted to control the situation on her own or she wasn’t sure of the help—if they were coming or if they will be on time for the battle. Anyhow, her character development was huge. Sometimes I see Caitlyn in her—strong, and independent. I just hope she doesn’t lose her roots and be blinded with vengeance. For honestly, I think she didn’t not care so much that Jon might die, hundreds of wildlings might die or even Rikon only to get her revenge. And to be honest, she merely convinced Jon to do the battle.
Anyway… the battle happened and Jon fell for the bait. Listen to Sansa, Jon! Ramsay asked Rikon to play a game: he has to run but then Ramsay’s bows will chase him to death. I’ve seen a lot of comments asking why Rikon did not zigzagged his way to Jon. The only logical answer I can thought of is… please remember that Rikon was 3 years old at the start of the series (at least in the books, maybe older at the series). Even if he was always there when his older brothers were trained for bows and arrows, a kid will not simply get the training. He was young, and was still when he died. I think he was just too desperate to run to Jon after all the captivity he has been through. There was no room for him to think that, “Hey, I should zigzag rn.” I actually thought Ramsay will kill Jon rather than Rikon but I was wrong. When Rikon died, I saw the change in Jon’s face—it looked so angry without saying anything and just like that, he was beast mode. He fell for the trap.
Give the credit to whom it’s due: Ramsay’s tactic was actually brilliant. Hands down. He did the trap to Jon then when he was too far from his army, he showered him with arrows. Contrary to what other people said that Jon didn’t have a shot, I think he was shot on his leg. I think I saw him pulling an arrow (I have to watch again to see). It was so lucky for him not to get hit there. The best cinematography for me was when he stood up from the dead horse and saw these men on a horse going for him. It was perfectly made. Later I found out it wasn’t CGI and it made me even drool at that moment. Again, Jon was lucky his army got there on time and the battle started. I felt like I was there on how they directed it—it was chaotic and bloody. Jon looked a little bit overwhelmed and confused but he kept fighting. He went lucky with his men dodging some guys for him. Then I realize… this is how a war is. That brutal, that inhumane. Men killing each other for the agenda of people who were just watching from a far and won’t dare to die for their own men.
Once more, credit to Ramsay to think of circling them to a lock then with spears just slowly kill every man. It was brutal in every way; heartbreaking even. There was no way they will survive that. I was gripping my hands because it was intense. I was telling myself, where are you Knights of the Vale?? You have to show up now?? All the men who were trapped were so desperate to live; they have trampled Jon along the way. He was struggling at first and the moment he slowed down a little bit I thought… it may be the end. Maybe the red lady was right. The lord of light brought him back just to die again. However, Jon fought, it was struggle but he managed to finally get up and gasped for air. Strange enough, he was in the middle of the circle, as if everyone was protecting him.
I was so relieved when I heard the horn and the flag of house Arryn showed up. OH MY. Why do they always do this to us? Lol. When Ramsay saw the Knights attacking his men, he knew he will lose the battle and instantly run to Winterfell. But, not so fast, Bastard. Jon, Wun Wun the Giant (RIP, sweet fellow) and Tormund trailed behind them. The last duel between the bastards was too over powered. Jon was so angry, it was scary. He looked like he just lost his entire honor and sucker punched the hell out of Ramsay.
That’s when I saw how loving Jon was not only for his friends but most especially his family. He gave Arya needle because he knew she would need it one day, He said his goodbye to Bran even if Caitlyn was throwing shade at him, He almost quit the brotherhood when he heard his father was killed. He mourned for Robb and even for Caitlyn who was never nice to him. He set himself for a trap just to save Rikon. He went to a war for Sansa. Jon was always the cast-away, the one who doesn’t fit and doesn’t belong; the Bastard. He knew he doesn’t have a place at Winterfell so he went to serve the Watch. But undoubtedly, Jon is one of the characters who have a big heart in this show despite the hate he got from other people; he has the most honor despite being a Bastard. His love for his family is so great he was willing to die again for them. I’m for Team Jon no matter how bad he handled that war. He has never been to a war, to be fair and he didn’t listen to Sansa. But, fan girl mode on. #TeamJon
The only loophole was Ramsay wasn’t prepared for the Knights of the Vale. He heard stories about Jon but he didn’t hear how big the army of the Vale has considering, they are related to the Starks. Maybe he thought the little lord was a weakling and will never do a war, who knows.
At the end, Jon realized it wasn’t his fight so he didn’t kill Ramsey. Sansa’s last scene was so powerful and her face, too, as she watched the most ironic death of all. His own hounds ate him; his own brutality killed him. It was too vicious that I felt sympathy for him at the last minute.
So, what’s next for the last episode? I’m guessing it’s about Westros, the trial of the faith and Arya. What awaits Winterfell? Will Jaime attack it?
Anyway… feel free to comment. I need someone to discuss this with!
PS: PICTURE ARE NOT MINE. ALL FROM THE INTERNET. Caps lock for Internet police lol