I've been a little late with my recent Game of Throne reviews as I'm currently busy with a move. I'd like to give my thoughts regarding Episode 9, but first just a quick word about Episode 8: 'No One.'
It was pretty solid throughout. Though the Riverrun battle was underwhelming, there were some very good scenes. I especially liked Gregor's attack, and the goodbye between Varys and Tyrion. Though I loved the way that Arya defeated the Waif, I wasn't big on her acrobatics with her severed core muscles (believability has become a significant issue with the series).
Now onto the Battle of the Bastards.
This was clearly the largest, most cinematic episode of the series yet, and easily one of the grandest episodes in television history. I was so happy to see where the money was spent his season. Obviously, the bulk of it went towards the the two battles of episode 9.
I loved the 'who is going to surrender' reversal, and the dragon destroying the fleet. The sf/x were darn good for television. I never buy Daenerys being able to hold onto a dragon, but it's a minor believability issue. The meeting between Daenerys and Yara & Theon was well written and acted, and did a fantastic job of setting up the inevitable conquest of Westeros.
The Battle at Winterfell was staged well, from the initial arrow shots at Rickon, to the phalanx with the pikes. The scale of the battle was well captured with grand, cinematic shots. Yes, the Littlefinger-cavalry-arriving-to-save-the-day was too much of a hand-of-God moment, but the post-battle stuff with Ramsay in the castle was oh, so satisfying.
So now I wonder--who is the main antagonist now that Ramsay is dead? I thought they would keep him around, and even let him gain power. It seems like for the first time there're more people we like that are left alive than those we don't like.
Obviously, the High Sparrow has to be overthrown. The new King of the Iron Islands too. Maybe Jamie & Cersei? I just don't know where they're going to go. It seemed like the whole buildup was for Jon and Daenerys to defeat massive armies in order to team up to take down the Night King and the White Walkers. But it seems like there's not a whole lot left for them to conquer.
Either way, I loved the episode. This season started out so poorly but really has become enthralling towards the end. These battles were exceptional for something shown on television. It's hard to imagine how they could top it with episode 10.