Game of Thrones Brings Us Some Big Deviations
Death, Sansa don't play out as expected
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2016 5:33 AM CDT

(Newser) – And then there was one ... Season 6 Game of Thrones episode left, that is. Here's what's being said (spoiler warning) about Sunday night's war-filled "Battle of the Bastards," the penultimate episode in a series that usually plays it big when it comes to episode 9:

  • At Esquire, Matt Miller dubs the episode "anti-Game of Thrones," something George RR Martin "never" would have written and something "purists of the books" might be panning over their morning coffee. He explains why, while allowing that it was a "satisfying" deviation.
  • Indeed, Spencer Kornhaber at the Atlantic writes that the show "usually kills off characters who err in the manner that Jon [Snow] did tonight." The habitualness of that lent the episode a "sense of danger" that gave us this: "one of the squirmiest, most unsettling moments in Thrones history."
  • Speaking of the dead, at Vanity Fair Joanna Robinson takes issue with the characters who have lost their lives this season—namely, that there haven't been any big ones (no, not even Hodor) despite the circumstances they faced. "Unbelievable survival seems to be the new world order," she writes, making for a season that has lacked believably high stakes." Next week could change that, though.

  • "Is Sansa [Stark] making huge mistakes or just playing the game?" asks Robinson in a second piece for Vanity Fair, in which she examines how far Sansa deviated from the traditional Stark path. Robinson provides her "worst interpretation" as to why Sansa might have withheld some vital information from Jon.
  • At Time, Daniel D'Addario calls the final scene with Sansa "remarkable" given her history, reminding viewers just what type of character she was six long seasons ago.
  • But that scene gives Graeme Virtue pause at the Guardian. "If retaking Winterfell is supposed to be the launchpad for their comeback, [the Starks are] off to a morally muddled start."
  • At Vox, Todd VanDerWerff counts five winners and six losers in Sunday's episode. It's possible you fall into the loser category.