[WARNING: Spoilers for Game of Thrones season six, episode 9 "Battle of the Bastards" below]
We may have been robbed of #CleganeBowl (thanks to King Tommen), but the long-awaited "Battle of the Bastards" arrived exactly on time! Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton finally met, and the meeting was as friendly as you would think. Swords clashed, soldiers died, and Jon Snow pushed his way through thousands of Bolton men to come face-to-face with the Warden of the North himself!
But while seeing Jon unleash his fury on Ramsay and his men was amazing, it'd be a crime not to acknowledge the other heroes of this episode; the ladies of Game of Thrones.
That's right, the women of Westeros have finally been given their chance to shine after seasons of having to sit in the sidelines. All of the women featured in this episode have come a long way since we were first introduced to them, and they've all become stronger than anyone could have imagined. For example...
Dany's Reign Has Just Begun
When we first met Daenerys Targaryen, she was just the frightened daughter of a Mad King, on her way to getting married to a brutal warrior. No one thought that Daenerys would last long in the harsh and cruel world of Game of Thrones, but against all odds, she has.
Now, Dany is a powerful Queen, and the "Mother of Dragons- truly a force to be reckoned with! But despite all of her power, there was one group that Daenerys just couldn't beat— the Masters. The Masters had been a pain in Dany's backside for a long time, and despite all of her efforts, they just kept coming back to demand that she return their slaves.
Three Masters backed Daenerys and her team into a corner this episode, expecting her to surrender out of fear. Unfortunately for them, Dany's corner happens to contain three powerful dragons, and with the uttering of one simple word, Drogon and his scaly brothers laid waste to the Master's army! Daenerys has truly become a powerful ruler, and with her gunning for the Iron Throne, others aiming for the same goal had better be worried.
Yara Gets Some Powerful Sponsors For Her Campaign
Yara Greyjoy has never been a weak character. The daughter of a king and the strongest warrior in the Iron Islands, Yara has more than proved that she deserves to be Queen of the Salt Throne. Unfortunately for her, many Pike men believe that a woman will never rule the Iron Islands, a belief shared even by her father before his demise. As such, Yara has had to sit on the sidelines for the most part, unable to truly display her badass abilities.
Well it looks like Yara isn't having it anymore. After being robbed of the Salt Throne and being forced to flee her own home by her uncle Euron, Yara has traveled to Mereen with her brother Theon to seek help from the Mother of Dragons herself! Gaining the support (and maybe more?) of Dany is a sign of things to come for Yara, and I'm sure we'll be seeing her display her true power on the battlefield very soon!
Sansa Lets The Dogs Out
If you had told me that I'd be handing the "MVP of the episode" award to to Sansa Stark a season ago, I probably would have laughed. Sansa started out as a young girl who dreamed of becoming the Queen. Unfortunately, she was soon taught to be careful what she wished for when she caught the attention of the terrible King Joffrey.
She avoided marrying Joffrey, only to be eventually betrothed to an even worse human being, Ramsay Bolton. Sansa has been the show's number one damsel in distress for several seasons, and every decision she's made has gotten her in more trouble than before. That's why it's incredible to see how much she's changed over the years in this season.
This season was all about growth for Sansa, a fact made clear in "Battle of the Bastards". Sansa not only looked Ramsay in the eyes and told him that he was going to lose, but even assisted in beating him by calling in the Knights of the Vale to save Jon and his army! However, the greatest moment for Sansa was the very end of the episode, where she finally got to make Ramsay pay for all he had done to her and her family. It was an incredibly shocking and intense scene seeing Sansa walk away smiling after setting Ramsay's own starving hounds on him. Sansa is most certainly stronger than she's ever been, and after her actions in this episode, I wouldn't mind her being appointed Wardeness of the North!
Bonus — Lady Mormont's Death Stare
She had no lines, and only one scene in the entire episode, and yet still Lady Mormont managed to wow fans with her presence! We were introduced to Lady Mormont a few episodes back in Season 6, as Jon Snow and his group had to convince her to lend her troops to their cause.
The tough-as-nails young leader of House Mormont didn't flinch when Ramsay called her and the other Lords on Team Snow traitors, and basically threatened to kill her and everyone else. It's a shame that she didn't participate in the actual battle; the fall of the Bolton army would have certainly come a lot quicker if she had!
Game of Thrones has always been criticized for the way it treats its female characters. This episode is definitely a step in the right direction, and shows that the writers are listening to fans when they ask for stronger characters.
The focus of "Battle of the Bastards" may have been the face-off between Snow and Bolton, but it'd be hard and unwise to ignore the growth in strength and character of the women of Westeros shown in the episode.