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Battle of the Bastards Complete Recap
- Updated: June 20, 2016
Wow. The Battle of the Bastards was arguably the most hyped episode in Game of Thrones history, and director Miguel Sapochnik delivered with arguably the greatest battle scene ever filmed. Yes, the plot itself was predictable, but this was an emotional and visceral roller coaster. Ingenious camera angles thrust us right into the racket and ratcheted up the intensity the entire hour, while the sounds of gore and blood spray filled the cold Westerosi air. Stir in the top dragon action in the history of the series, and Season 6’s Episode 9 is instantly thrust into the G.O.A.T conversation.
— Roto Street Journal (@RotoStJournal) June 20, 2016
The epic action also meant an absurd fantasy scoring pace (click here for points system), and I was stiffer than Scott Hanson when Four Quad Boxes of scoring delight are capturing a ridiculous Sunday of touchdowns. For sadly the second-to-last time this season, let’s recap it all.
Surprisingly, Episode 9 leads off in Mereen, as we follow a catapulted ball of flames straight into a wall. The Masters assault is full-on, which brings Daenarys and Tyrion to the screen.
Amidst the chaos, Daeny both lambasts and forgives Tyrion for the city’s status in one fell swoop, confirming the two will remain united as the ultimate mix of beauty and brains. They go down alongside Greyworm and Missandei to parlay with the Masters; somehow these eye-shadow wearing tool bags don’t realize there’s no debate when a 2,000+ fire breathing monster is part of the opposition. Thus, as no progress is made and neither side yields, Daeny announces: “My reign has just begun.”
Mother fucking Dragon time.
The sky is filled with a piercing shriek, followed by the ground shaking whoosh of those massive wings. The Masters get a face full of Drogon, and a brown liquid has to be dripping down their legs as they realize their idiocy. Daeny mounts her monstrous steed, and is joined by Rhaegel and Viserion for a quick joy ride around a city of carnage and murder.
Then, Daeny utters the word that causes a Niagra-falls level of blood flow straight to the main vein:
The ensuing, infinite rivers of fire pouring from the three dragons’ mouths provide an unparalleled visual treat. Flesh sizzles while the conflagration rains from the skies, netting Drogon owners a massive, Rob Gronkowski type of reckless, three-TD performance. By our expert count, we had 16 bodies on the flaming boat, thus racking up a massive 32 points for the fire-breather in just a minute span.
— Wolf of Roto Street (@WolfofRSJ) June 20, 2016
Amidst this fiery hell over the ocean, plenty of bloodshed and fantasy scoring were happening on land. A wasted first kill goes to a random Son of the Harpy, as HBO continues to show no mercy: helpless women have their throats slit and backs stabbed right before our eyes.
Not for long. With a deafening “Yi Yi Yi Yi Yi!”, the Dothraki are led by Daario Naharis to swoop in for the save. The elite sell sword reminds us that badass kills aren’t exclusive to beasts, swiping off a head with his arakh as if a pitcher had laid him a meatball down the middle of the plate (+2 points). Immense talent, a rise through the ranks, and a knack for the clutch moments continues furthering Naharis’ Tom Brady narrative.
Our ten minutes of exhiliration end with Grey Worm adding one last incredible kill sequence to this amazing opening. In one rapid motion, The Unsullied captain opens the throats of two rat fuck masters who were throwing their third friend under the bus (+4).
Thus, in just 14 minutes of air time, we nearly double Season Six’s fantasy scoring. Bodies are piling up at a historic pace, and we haven’t even stepped foot in the North for the Bastard Bowl. If this is just the foreplay… 💦 x 100.
Whether a UFC fight, football game, or a night at the bar, the pre-game is always crucial. Game-planning. Going through rituals. Sizing up your opponent. Regardless of the arena, the preparation beforehand is critical to success.
After such a frantic first 10 minutes, Game of Thrones gave us a quick break with an inside look inside the pre-game locker room before The Bastard Bowl:
For the first time in weeks, Ramsay’s wormy, frigid face returns to the screen. Indeed the man is light years beyond evil after the endless tortures, rapes, and even infant kills he’s brought to Westeros; still, I somehow missed the icy tension he brings with each lingering, demonic stare.
Ramsay highlights his mercy, and makes a generous offer to pardon Snow and his Lords should they kneel. Snow wisely tries to make this a big dick contest and challenges Ramsay to one-on-one combat, which Ramsay, despite some rage bubbling in him, just as smartly turns down given his numbers.
Thus, our main event is set. Our contestants are weighed in, barbs have been exchanged, and the World Heavyweight Title of the North is on the line.
The Game Plan
After this intense stage-setting, we get some pre game preparation speeches from Snow’s camp. Davos notes Ramsay’s need for fear, hence his reluctance to stay inside the safe walls of Winterfell. Tormund worries about the horses after Stannis’s animal advantage delivered a stiff iron price to the wildlings at the Battle at the Wall. The coaching staff draws up some plan involving trenches to aid against side attacks or something I’m too hyped to understand right now.
Sansa, the only one who truly knows Ramsay, is understandably frustrated with Snow’s reluctance to heed her advice. She wisely notes younger brother Rickon is a lost cause, a tough pill Jon which does not want to swallow. For some reason, and one of the few plot holes I can’t understand, she once again fails to mention the potential help of The Vale…🤔
No character has risen higher through my personal favorite character ranks than Tormund this season. Whether the relentless stare downs at Brienne or one-liners about Snow’s tiny pecker, Tormund has been on literal and figurative fire all year.
His discussion of pre game rituals with Davos, another fan favorite, only furthers his boss status. Some listen to music. Others meditate and visualize the upcoming game.
Getting shithoused on sour goat’s milk. “Stronger than any of that grape water you southern twats like sucking on.” Unreal.
Of course, Davos politely turns down Red Beard, as Mr. Reliable needs a clear head for battle. He murmurs about how he can’t sleep before a battle and so he wanders around yada, yada we know what he really means:
Tormund: "What do you do the night before a battle?"
— Roto Street Journal (@RotoStJournal) June 20, 2016
In addition to “walking” around, Davos also confesses his need for a hearty shit before a battle. Tormund gives him a knowing chuckle, before adding:
Scissoring it up
Somehow, someway, with only one episode left, first sex points remain on the table. There was a hornier, happier time when you couldn’t go two episodes without the sound of moans ringing through the whorehouses as a pipe was being laid. Hell, characters couldn’t make it through a funeral without ripping the clothes off one another and fucking over a corpse.
What is this cruel, prude world the Seven Kingdoms has become?
If Yara continues steaming up Daeny’s downstairs with her silver words, however, the sex drought may be near an end, as there’s a strong chance she’ll be putting that tongue to far greater use soon enough.
The hopeful Iron Islands’ Queen and her brother Theon arrive to Mereen looking to make a pact with Daeny: ships in exchange for rule of the Iron Islands (with a dead uncle or two tossed in). Unlike Euron, who’s massive cock size has officially been confirmed by Yara, the female Greyjoy doesn’t require marriage or offer the back-stabbing downside of her uncle. This makes her a safer play for Daeny.
As her panties dampen, Daenyrs ponders this decision. She then uses Father’s Day to bash Tywin, Aerys, and Balon as dads who all made the world a worse place before proclaiming she wants to make it better. Doing so, however, will require Yara and the Iron Born to give up life’s “Big 4” R’s: reaving, roving, raiding, raping.
In a moment that’ll be played at countless Beyoncé shows, the two agree with a stiff forearm shake. Soon enough, girls may indeed run the world of Westeros. Fantasy Game of Thrones players, however, are far more interested in all the underlying sexual tension bubbling between these two. Check the tape below:
There’s no doubt Daeny leaves this scene far wetter than when she entered. What remains to be seen is will this lead to some full fledged scissor action? In a world where 120 year old muff & fun bags are extensively flashed and infants are fed to dogs, this is a very mild ask. Yet, it could clinch a Fantasy Game of Thrones title with many sex bonuses still at play.
Are we expecting Yara and Daeny to get it on at some point in Season 7? #GameofThrones
— Roto Street Journal (@RotoStJournal) June 20, 2016
As mentioned in the lead-in, this battle was an emotional and visceral roller coaster to which no words could ever provide justice. The whistling whizzing of a constant rainfall of arrows. The never ending, ear-piercing rings of steel meeting steel. The squishing and splattering of swords entering flesh. Horse hooves and whinnying leading into the crunch of bones. All the senses were under constant attack as bodies upon bodies were stacked.
Below lies a play-by-play of all the fantasy relevant action.
The Bastard Bowl kicks off, of course, with a sadistic game from Ramsay. Like a ref about to drop the puck in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup, Ramsay holds his knife high in the air above the youngest Stark boy, letting it linger as anticipation and dread grow in equal measure.
Though many viewers expected this dagger to plunge straight into Rickon’s throat, Ramsay instead cuts the youngest stark free. Obviously the twisted bastard has more at play; a simple stabbing would be too sudden, he needs to savor this kill.
“Run,” he tells the poor young Stark, and I think every viewer knew how this was going down. This became especially apparent with Rickon not even zig-zagging on his desperate plea to reach brother Jon. Far too straight line & upright in his running style, zero fluidity in the hips and minimal agility, the kid stood no chance.
But arrow one misses. Ramsay gives a nonchalant, “whatever” shrug. He’s clearly just prolonging this for his own enjoyment.
This is confirmed as he rifles off arrow two while staring his buddy in the eyes. Pure douche at a party “let me look you in the eyes when I hit this,” and then pure whiff during a ruit game.
Now we slow down. Horse hooves pound as Snow nears closer. Arrow three removed from the holster. Heavy panting from Rickon. Jon reaches the arm out. Arrow three nucked, this time with far greater concentration from Ramsay. Determination and desperation in equal amounts take over both Jon and Rickon’s face.
A zoom-in on Ramsays’ eye shows him locked on to his pray. Desperate heaves and cries pour from the uncoordinated runner. A dissonant crescendo from the orchestra leads into a whizzzzzzzzz…
…the arrow thumps into the ground.
Horse hooves roll into deafening silence, save some heavy panting. The gap is near closed, as both appear on the same screen. Closing in. Closing in.
With a crunching schwick and haunting last gasp the arrow plunges right through Rickon’s chest, not ten feet from Jon. Thus, Ramsay nets +7 for a major character kill to lead off the Bastard Bowl scoring.
Had a good run #shouldazigzagged
— Art Parkinson (@art_parkinson) June 20, 2016
With a sadistic Ramsay grin, it’s game on.
Despite being far head of his troops, Snow is blinded with rage and storms ahead at Ramsay. En route he withstands two tidal waves of arrows that leave him unscathed but his horse crumbled.
As he stands up and takes in the approaching enemy, Jon realizes this is likely it. Nonetheless, he unsheaths his sword and shows he won’t go down without a fight.
With a thunderous thud, only feet from Snow’s face, the cavalries collide.
Now the carnage really kicks in. Horses and bodies are flying through the air in equal numbers. Amidst the chaos and another arrow downpour, a fantasy monster rises.
Snow’s massive day begins with knocking an approaching enemy of his horse and delivering a finisher to the head. Kill two comes is a quick slash across the gut, while slay three is a powerful blow to the back. After some masterful dips and dodges, Snow nets number four with a punishing chest swipe followed by repeated stabs to the abdomen. (+8 so far). Primed to net number five, Snow instead uses an enemy as a shield before watching a friend take an arrow to the dome.
After a deserved breather to take this all in, the fantasy beast gets back to the killing. Number fives comes after Snow plunges his sword deep into a gut; number six comes off a head butt and stab combination. A horse almost robs Snow of his seventh murder, trampling his opponent. This is no ordinary fantasy talent, however, and Snow makes sure to find his prey and deliver two finishing thrusts. (Seven kills, 14 points so far).
Now atop a mountain of bodies, Snow nets kills eight, nine, and ten in a sword-wielding clinic. (Ten kills, 20 points). The camera allows us to take in all the surrounding carnage: crumbling horses, airborne corpses, exploding flesh.
Snow’s screen return comes with a throat slit and kill number eleven. His Josh Gordon ceiling is full on display.
— Roto Street Journal (@RotoStJournal) June 20, 2016
Snow then sends a sword forcefully through a chest to net his 12th kill. Umber begins leading his troops out, while Snow is still slitting throats, gaining kill 13. The Night’s Watch commander gets knocked to the ground, but Tormund nets his first on-screen kill to save his ass. Tormund owners have to be pissed at the strict focus on Snow, as the fierce warrior has easily netted minimum ten off-screen slayings.
Though we’be only really witnessed Snow’s elite killing upside, unofficial estimates give his squad a slight kill advantage, given the Lord Commander’s explosive start.
Team Snow: 14 Team Ramsay: 10
As the second quarter whistle blows, the tides turn, and rapidly.
The good guys find themselves completely surrounded by enemy troops that are squeezing in fast. Spears are piercing through the outer circle of men, while those inside are slowly being crushed.
Even in this hopeless situation, Snow proves matchup and situation proof, as he notches kill 14. Tormund is equally beastly, charging into the shields and netting kills two and three for his heroics. Wun Wun rips a body in half at some point.
Nonetheless, this situation is dire. Countless wildlings are finding themselves draped over spears. Space is collapsing. The body pile is growing at sickening pace, and suddenly people are found underneath Corpse Mountain. Snow adds kill number 15, which will also prove to be his last, capping an epic fantasy performance at 15 kills, 30 points.
Umber arrives to the ring, and Snow is about to meet him. Yet the tsunami of corpses catches him in the undertoe, and suddenly he’s buried.
Gasping. Corpses falling. Gasping. Troops rushing over him. Gasping.
Jon Snow dying through suffocation would be such a classic Thrones way of abruptly ending such a historic episode.
As Quarter 2 comes to a close, the good guys find themselves in a major hole. Viewers are filled with genuine fear.
Team Snow: 14 Team Ramsay: 31
As the third quarter whistle blows, we have more gasping from Snow. Gasping, trampled, gasping, trampled, gasping…
Legitimately as if being birthed, Snow squeezes out of the corpses and pours air into his lungs. He soon notices that the surrounding situation remains dire, as the human bodies continue compressing inwards.
Tormund, however, finds space. He’s engaged in a battle with Smalljon Umber, who lands a few head butts to stun the Jacked Ginger. Tormund’s situation continue growing bleaker as space becomes tighter, the bodies continuing being squeezed inward like an orange yielding blood.
Tormund appears to be the next heart-wrenching casualty…until the wily fighting vet pulls out the oldest trick in the book: the throat chomp..
Blood shoots into the air like a geyser as Tormund spits out a hunk of jugular. The burly red head then delivers repeated stabs to the throat to finish off the head of House Umber.
*Scoring note- Despite his influence in Season 6 of capturing Rickon and killing Shaggydog, the RSJ Crew deemed Umber unworthy of major character bonuses. He ranks #158 on the list of logged screen time, and after a huge Episode 3, we’re shocked at his minimal involvement throughout the remainder Season 6.
Nonetheless, Tormund’s efforts prove to be the tide-shifting big play that Snow’s army needed. He finishes his day with four kills for 8 points; had the cameraman hopped off Snow’s meat sword for even one minute, owners may have been looking at a 30+ day from the redhead.
Soon after the Smalljon’s throat pieces have hit the ground, a horn announces the (predictable) arrival for the Vale. The offense has officially found their X Factor, and are now peppering it with targets. The defense simply has no answer to this exploitation.
As the final whistle of Quarter 3 blows, we are reminded that sometimes all it takes is one big play and the right halftime adjustments. Just as suddenly as he was down and suffocating, Snow has his army in the lead and Ramsay on the run.
Third Quarter score:
Team Snow: 38 Ramsay: 31
We begin with Ramsay on the run. With Wun Wun blazing up the cold Winterfell track with a 4.35 forty yard dash, the bastard’s retreat proves futile.
The Giant proves the ultimate battering ram and sacrificial lamb, eating arrow after arrow as he rips the barricaded door off its hinges. The guy is literally just taking arrow after arrow, and as he storms into Winterfell, the giant crumbles to his knees. Nonetheless, he’s done the deed, and Winterfell has been infiltrated.
After eating 10, 15, 30 arrows as if stoned and plowing through a box of McD’s nuggets, Wun Wun is officially finished when one last arrow goes through his eye and straight to the brain. Far more moving than watching Rickon die, Wun Wun’s death also signals the end of any documented Giants. RIP.
Consistent with his highly-efficienct Season 6, Ramsay notches only his second kill of the entire Bastard Bowl, but he ensures it’s a major character (two major kills, +14). With no other options left, the Bolton bastard exclaims, “I’ve changed my mind, one-on-one combat seems like a wonderful idea.”
His late game Hail Mary proves useless. Snow shields his way through three arrows before delivering the ass-beating viewers have desperately yearned to see Ramsay receive. Swing after swing lands as blood explodes with each sickening crunch. The demented bastard obviously finds pleasure in such pain, and releases a quick cum before surely getting knocked out.
Before he caves Ramsay’s entire face in, Snow relents as he sees Sansa watching. As time expires and the whistle blows, Bolton is sent in chains to the dungeon, while the Stark Bastard Bowl banner is hung over Winterfell. An epic second half, aided by newfound depth and heroic individual efforts, lands Team Snow an ultimately decisive win in The Bastard Bowl. In a true rarity for Game of Thrones, today truly belongs to the good guys (is it weird that something so right almost feels wrong?)
Team Snow: 56 Team Ramsay: 31
— Roto Street Journal (@RotoStJournal) June 20, 2016
Sansa broadcasts live from Winterfell’s basement, and the fiery redhead has chosen the defeated Ramsay as her first interview. She does not appear to have many questions, however. Rather, the eldest Stark daughter’s growing dark side is on full full display, as she wants to soak in every last dying gasp of her former torturer.
Fools such as myself who drafted Sansa had to be hoping for a different outcome –a final murder here would net both major character and vengeance bonuses, and save an otherwise useless Season 6 fantasy performance. Alas, as Ramsay’s massive hound turns the corner, we soon realize there would be no more fitting way for the bastard to go out. Sansa mocks Ramsay, reminding him the beasts haven’t eaten in days, “You said it yourself.”
The bastard desperately tries convincing himself, “They’re loyal beasts.” But as the enormous face begins to sniff his, we see his confidence withering. With an emphatic chomp right to the jaw, Ramsay’s hound rips off a sickening amount of his owner’s face. We repeatedly hear, but don’t see, teeth shredding through flesh and the piercing yelps from the devoured Ramsay (-5 for death).
Sansa’s dark side is emphasized one last time; our interviewer leaves the press conference with a satisfied grin while a cacophony of tearing skin and dying screams roll into the end credits of a historic episode.
Drogon = 32 points (16 kills)
Jon Snow = 30 points (15 kills)
Ramsay = 9 points (2 major kills, 1 death)
Tormund = 8 points (4 kills)
Ramsay’s Hounds = 7 points (1 major kill)
Greyworm = 4 points (2 kills)
Daario = 2 points (1 kill)
Wun Wun = 1 point (3 kills, 1 death)
RSJ Expert League Standings
1. Lord Tires = 87 points
2. Grabbeth My Sandsnake = 44 points
3. Wolf of Westeros = 43 points
4. The Great White Stark = 40 points
5. King Beyond the Wall = 35 points
6. Sailor J’s Bastards = 32 points
Daily fantasy owners understand the importance of game flow: your running back’s team having a lead and needing to bleed clock, your receivers’ playing from behind and needing to keep the air under the ball, etc. In The Battle of the Bastards, Lord Tires rides game flow to a seemingly insurmountable lead at number one; he owns two killing machines in the front lines of the bloodiest battle we’ve ever seen on Thrones, and racked up 40 points in a single episode. Jon Snow is the real key here, as he is outscoring every single RSJ Expert team by 20+ points on his own with 63 points on the season… and came at the measly cost of a fourth round pick. While the risk was high given he began the season dead, Snow is proof why chasing ceilings in the middle rounds can be the stuff of champions.
Us other owners will need a massive, Drogon / Snow type of effort in the finale to even come close to Tires. Realistically, The Night’s King for myself, Drogon for Great White, or a huge Daeny / Mountain combination from Grabbeth are the only Hail Mary’s with 40+ point single episode ceilings. With Drogon flashing in Episode 9, we’ve likely seen the last of him for Season 6. Nonetheless, his enormous day at least provides Great White with some respectability after entering Episode 9 with a mere four points.
King’s Landing is primed for some serious action in the finale; maybe Jamie could net some sex and killing for The King Beyond the Wall, who remains scoreless without Melissandre’s drooping fun bags. Sailor J, meanwhile, finds himself in a familiar place: the fantasy basement.
Make what promises to be an epic finale even more exciting by doing a one-week Daily Draft using our Fantasy Game of Thrones scoring system! If you’ve missed earlier recaps and want to catch up on all the scoring from a wild Season 6, check out all the action below.