I really preferred Season 1 when they'd cut to black and someone would say, "That sure was some battle, eh?"
OFFICIAL Game of Thrones Thread - Page 429
First of all, not one thing that was unexpected, original, or interesting happened the entire episode.
The battle looked like a cartoon. A heap of bodies 30 feet tall -- right. Neither side keeps any reserve and everyone charges into an area about a hundred yards across. The gate of winterfell is made of the same materials as the gate to my backyard. "Ours is the old way -- feed 'em to the hounds!"
I think the fans that got hooked on GoT due to its unpredictable, no sacred cows approach to storytelling in the early seasons are only going to be disappointed going forward.
The show has to end sooner than later and I doubt they have the episodes left to engineer major plot twists.
I don't know how you can hate last night's episode. We have the Mereen plot finally moving forward: Dany is back with an army and this time she finally has her ships as well. We got to see the dragons again kicking ass (with much improved CGI than last season) The interaction between Dany and Yara was great, I didn't even know I would want such a thing but I ship it now.
The SnowBowl battle was amazing. Major props to the director (He also directed Hardhome last season), the cinematography was really outstanding. I loved the longer takes so that we could actually see what's going on. The stampede scene from Jon's pov was fantastic, one of the tensest moments in recent television. In terms of tactics, the Stark men were pretty much forced to charge once Jon ran after Rickon, they would just be leaving him to die otherwise. The pile of bodies was excessive but still pretty cool. The Boltons did keep reserves, Ramsay only sent his cavalry in at first, while keeping his archers back to shoot. Then the Bolton men-at-arms surrounded the survivors on three sides and the other northmen under Umber finished the encirclement.
While I enjoy military history and strategy too I don't really think going more into it than that is necessary for the show. It's a fantasy tv show not a historical simulation. Any more than that and most viewers will get bored.
The battle went predictably with Littlefinger showing up to save the day but we already got the setup for that a few episodes ago so it didn't come out of nowhere.