It appears that Season 6: Episode 9 will feature Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton facing off against one another in a Battle of the Bastards (although Ramsay is legitimized by King Tommen) and will surely be the Hardhome of Season 6. Fans of the bloodshed and battles of Game of Thrones will get a special treat, while the fans of the conniving and plotting of Game of Thrones will just kick it for an episode. However, what if I told you that we could be treated to not one, but TWO special secret tropes for the next episode?
Special secret trope number one-Littlefinger’s “swoop”
George RR Martin does this thing in A Song of Ice and Fire where battles appear to be going in favor of the antagonist until another army swoops in and saves the protagonist. It happened at the Battle of the Blackwater when Stannis was breaching the gates of King’s Landing, until the Tyrell army swooped in to save the day. It happened during the wildling attack on the Wall when all signs pointed to a wildling invasion, until Stannis swooped in to save Jon and company. It happened in the fighting pits when the Sons of the Harpy were about to kill Dany and Company, but then in comes a CGI-riddled Drogon to burn some fools. So, why should we expect any less from the Battle of the Bastards? Jon is outnumbered, and the Boltons have battle experience from the failed Stannis attack. Seems like a pretty easy W for the Bolton army, unless someone sent a mysterious raven to Moat Cailin to alert the Knights of the Vale led by Littlefinger and apologized for their rude behavior earlier in the season. Oh wait, it appears that Lady Sansa has already done that. This will surely happen. I think that most watchers can see this happening from miles away. However, I expect a slight twist on the trope. Maybe Littlefinger will pledge his services first to Ramsay before turning on the Bolton forces in the midst of battle? Maybe Littlefinger will pledge his forces to the Stark-Snow side before betraying them and his master plan for absolutely no reason? With Game of Thrones, no idea is too wild.
Special secret trope number two-Stannis?
“But Kyle, Stannis is dead! Brienne killed him! She said that she killed him! He’s dead!” Yes, other voice, I am aware that Brienne and Stannis had an encounter at the end of Season 5, and yes, she told Davos that she killed him. But HEAR ME OUT here, because I have some very compelling points to make. The show has no qualms about showing violent deaths for characters, and they tend to show the death of a character more often than not. Even only examining the Baratheon family, the numbers are quite staggering. Don’t believe me? (I think you know where this is going) Let’s take a look!
Robert Baratheon: Killed by a boar. While this death was not technically on screen, we definitely see that the King is beyond healing. Argue with me if you want, but I’m putting a tally in the on screen column.
Robert’s Bastards: Killed in various ways by the City Watch. While these technically aren’t on screen either, they’re all children. Killing children, whether on screen or not, is a pretty deplorable thing to do and goes against wanting to spare the audience from the death of a celebrated war commander. That’s now two for on screen.
Joffrey Baratheon: Killed by Lady Olenna/Littlefinger by way of Sansa’s poison necklace. They made quite a big deal out of this, and very clearly showed his death on screen. One could argue that since he was such a captivating main character that he deserved a captivating death. My counter argument would be that Stannis is a rather important and captivating character as well. We deserve to see his head lopped off if that is what actually happened. On screen with three marks.
Shireen Baratheon: Burned at the stake. This was on screen, and a fairly stupid thing to do… Unless you believe in the Azor Ahai prophecy. We’ll come back to that though. On screen now has four, and I think only two more Baratheons have died, so on screen looks like the victor here.
Selyse Baratheon: Suicide. While she didn’t necessarily die on screen, we saw her puffy corpse hanging from a tree. That’s a pretty gruesome thing to show on television, even for HBO. Five down, one to go.
Myrcella Baratheon: Killed by poison kiss. This was quite the gut wrenching scene too, as Myrcella just told her nuncle/father that she was okay with he and her mother’s incestual relationship. A clean sweep for on air brutal deaths.
So why spare the viewers the death of a man who burned his daughter at the stake and drove his wife to suicide, all to fulfill the prophecy of some sorceress who claims he is a form of Jesus? Because they aren’t done with him yet.
This may sound crazy, but deal with it. I’ll be right. Not like that time I thought Jon was dead for sure.