In last week's episode, "No One, " Blackfish Tully was killed after being betrayed by his nephew, Arya kills Waif and wants to go back to Westeros, The Hound joins the Brothers without Banners and the Mother Of Dragons returns to Meereen.
Even though the last two episodes were not very good, we finally come upon the penultimate episode of the season - and as Game Of Thrones history tells us, these usually are the most exciting.
Hold up your hand if you were patiently waiting for these two bastards to mix it up? Well, George R.R. Martin and HBO didn't disappoint in episode 609, "Battle of the Bastards."
Like season 2 episode 9, 'Blackwater," we focus mostly on the confrontation for Winterfell and The North.
Before we get to the battle, Daenerys, Mother of Dragons has sacked the arrogant misogynist masters with her three dragons and held on to her throne at Meereen.
HBO spared no costs and finally gave the people what they wanted. Daenerys riding on Drogo's back along with Viserion and Rhaegal, they burn the sh*t out of the ships they have to and keep the rest for their own fleet. It was magnifique!
She lets one master live after Grey Worm kills to two high-born assholes so he can spread the word. And guess who happened to show up at just the right moment? Why, it's Yara and Theon Greyjoy.
They brought their one hundred ships to make a deal and all they want is to have Yara become queen of the Iron Islands. Dany smiled at that, knowing there had never been a queen there before, (Girl Power) but she put a condition on their agreement. There will be no more pirating, pillaging and raping.
But most of the episode took place on the fields of Winterfell.
Ramsay Bolton clearly has the advantage in manpower with at least six thousand troops, horses, archers and Rickon as a hostage, but Jon Snow knows they can't wait any longer and must go for it all now.
Snow, Sansa, Tormund and the Onion Knight have a parley with Ramsay. Bolton wants them to surrender peacefully since they are outgunned and he'll grant them all pardons if the do. He said, "I'm a man of mercy."
Instead, Jon challenges him to a trial by combat, trying to provoke him because he knows he'd never do it, but might act rashly. The Bolton bastard knows better and tells him that he's starved his hounds for seven days so they will feast on his men.
He also brings up Rickon which makes Sansa turn to ice and says, "You are going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton. Sleep well."
Back at Snow's camp they have a war council to discuss tactics and after it breaks up, Sansa gets pissed at Jon for not asking her help since she knows Ramsay better than anyone.
Even though he's a sociopath, she tells him Ramsey's no fool and she reminds him not to do what "he wants you to." Sansa wants Jon to take her life if they lose and he says, " I won't ever let him touch you again."
In these last few episodes, Sansa has aged in demeanor quite a bit. Lines run across her face now because of the torture she's faced for the last five years.
Tormund and Davos share a few moments together and it reminded me of the season five series finale of Angel, "Not Fade Away," when right before Angel and his crew are to do battle against Wolfram and Hart, each of them do one last thing they enjoyed because they knew they'd all probably die. Gunn went to help Annie out at her youth center, Spike got drunk and read some poetry, while Wesley spent his last night with Freed/Illyria.
Tormund likes to drink "sour goats milk," an invites Davos for a drink, but he prefers a clear head to think and very far walk so he can "shit his guts out." Tormund retorts, "happy shitting."
The next morning Ramsay plays the type of brutal games Sansa knows he loves and which will inflame Jon to make a mistake. As the two armies survey each other, Ramsey cuts Rickon loose and tells him to run to meet his brother. "...but you have to run. Those are the rules."
Jon sees what Bolton has done and takes off towards the battle field to try and rescue his brother. I thought Ramsay was going to sic a dog on him, but instead he takes out his long bow.
Arrows narrowly miss him purposefully as Jon is getting closer to Rickon and just as he's about to haul him upon his horse, Ramsay's arrow strike true and kills young Rickon Stark.
Davos sees this and wants Jon not to react, but Snow can't help himself while looking at his younger brother's lifeless body and he charges.
Davos orders more men to enter the battle and it erupts in blood and gore. Archers do the early work, but finally Ramsay orders his men to charge. So many bodies are being gorged and dying that they start piling up all around Jon Snow.
Davos leads the rest of their men to charge, but since Ramsay has such a huge man advantage, he surrounds them with a formation of men, shields clasped together, spears jutting outward that it makes a kind of vice that skewers every body in their path as they inch for forward. The giant is ripping men apart and then tries to breach the formation, but they are tightening their grip around them.
It's a killing field.
Jon has fallenon the ground and the push of the dead and fighting soldiers almost crush him under the weight, but he fights his way out.
They don't have long to last when we hear horns blowing in the distance. Out of nowhere the Knights of the Vale ride in and smash down Ramsay's men, which forces the Bolton bastard to retreat back into Winterfell. His army is destroyed but he knows they have enough provisions for a long siege when he hears a crashes at the gates.
Like Castle Black before, a giant splinters the huge door and then smashed it open, letting Snow's forces rush in. The giant is covered in arrows and is holding on for life until Ramsay shoots an arrow through his eye and kills him.
Now Ramsay approves of the idea of a man to man combat. Jon rushes forward with a shield and blocks Bolton's arrows then slams him to the ground, pummeling him to the point of death.
I'm sure all the millions of HBO viewers were cheering like mad, seeing him finally get his due, but Snow looks up, sees Sansa and knows what he must do.
Ramsay is bloodied and hurt badly, tied to a chair. Sansa greets him and he knows he's not getting out alive, but she won't kill him.
Suddenly, he hears a low growling sounds and Sansa has released his dogs into his cell. Ramsay smirks, "My hounds will never hurt me," he says right before they rip his face off.
As she leaves, a smirk slowly appears on her face as she leaves the starved dogs to feast on his flesh like he did to so many others.
Fade to black!
*Even though, as I predicted in episode six The Broken Man," Little Finger's men did swoop in and save the day, like Tywin Lannister did at Kings Landing in season two, it still was a great episode.
* I did hope to see Brienne join the battle at Winterfell and hook up with Tormund to share some of that sour goat's milk.