Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones: 8 Things That Need To Happen In The ‘Battle of the Bastards’ Source: HBO

Game of Thrones is poised to deliver what could very well be its most epic episode to date with this Sunday’s “Battle of the Bastards.” As the title suggests, this episode will see the forces of Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton clash for control of Winterfell and the future of the north, and HBO is promising that it will be even bigger than season two’s “Battle of the Blackwater” or season five’s “Hardhome.” In many ways, this is the episode fans have been waiting for ever since Ramsay first arrived on the scene and proved himself to be the most vile man in Westeros, and as such, “Battle of the Bastards” comes loaded with some pretty high expectations.

Although Game of Thrones has been somewhat predictable as of late, this is still a show that routinely delivers shocking twists and turns, so there’s no way this battle is going to go the way we want it to in our minds (with Jon easily defeating Ramsay and chopping off his head, obviously). Still, if the following things don’t happen in next week’s Bastard Bowl, we’ll be more than a little let down.

8. A Dramatic Rickon Moment

With all the focus being placed on the large scale conflict that will take place in “Battle of the Bastards,” it’s easy to forget that, oh yeah, Ramsay kind of has an important prisoner to use as a bargaining chip. At this point, it’s practically a given that Rickon is going to die, as this is the type of plot that Game of Thrones lives for. Jon will try to appeal to Ramsay’s humanity and avoid bloodshed, and Ramsay will proceed to prove he has absolutely none by slitting Rickon’s throat, burning him alive, or some other form of brutal murder.

Of course, there’s also the slim possibility that Jon will be able to secure Rickon and get him to safety, which would also lead to quite the dramatic reunion. That being said, there’s no way Rickon is getting out of this alive and if that’s the case, his death needs to truly mean something and have an impact on the other characters, rather than just be included because it’s the obvious thing to do. Source:

7. Jon and Ramsay Duel

This episode is titled “Battle of the Bastards,” so we had better get some bastard-on-bastard action as part of the deal. Seeing Jon and Ramsay fight it out has been at the top of our wishlist for awhile now and it looks like we’re finally going to see it happen. Game of Thrones has been sorely lacking in good sword duels as of late, but fortunately, a Jon and Ramsay duel has the potential to be the show’s best ever. Both characters are skilled combatants and their polar opposite personalities should make for a brutal showdown.

Jon is probably the more skilled swordsman of the two, but Ramsay’s sheer ferocity means that he will fight dirty, and we wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up getting the better of Jon. He may even come close to delivering the killing blow … right before Tormund steps in and sacrifices himself for Jon. Hey, the show has been making them BFFs for awhile now, so what better way to seal that friendship than for Tormund to literally fall on his sword for Jon? We’re already anticipating the tears … Source:

6. Sansa Needs To Be More Than A Spectator

In the episode preview, we see Sansa for a brief moment overlooking the battle from a safe vantage point, which makes sense. Sansa has really come into her own as a force to be reckoned with over the last season, but she doesn’t have any combat experience or ability. Still, it will be more than a little disappointing if Sansa is relegated to just making comments about the battle from the sidelines the entire time. She doesn’t need to be part of the battle proper, but there are other things that Sansa could do, such as ride out to meet Littlefinger’s forces if and when they show up, or deliver the killing blow to Ramsay once he’s finally brought to his knees (yes please). Really, Sansa just needs to be used as more than a spectator because she’s come too far to just let the men fight her battles for her. Source: HBO

5. Wun Wun the Giant Needs to Survive

Who doesn’t love Wun Wun? The (seemingly) last surviving giant will probably be a big part of the battle (no pun intended), and of course, will considerably dip into the show’s CGI budget. The only problem is that Wun Wun’s strength and size paint a pretty big target on his back and since the rest of the giants are dead at this point, Wun Wun looks to already be marked for death. Hopefully, Game of Thrones will avoid going down the expected route and actually have Wun Wun survive to fight another day. After all, if they kill him off now, they won’t be able to use him in a future battle and that’s a scenario that nobody wants to see happen. Source:

4. Timely Arrival of The Knights of the Vale

This is an event that is almost guaranteed to happen, but it’s worth mentioning all the same. We saw Sansa write a letter to Littlefinger a couple episodes ago, asking him to send the Knights of the Vale to assist in the upcoming war with the Boltons. While there is a small possibility that Littlefinger will ignore Sansa’s requests (after all, she did kind of threaten his life the last time they met), his love for her is too strong to resist coming to her aid in a time of need. The episode preview doesn’t show any footage of the Knights of the Vale, suggesting that if they do show up, it will probably be in a moment when things look the most dire, similar to how the eagles flew in at the last minute to save the day in The Lord of the Rings.  Admittedly, Littlefinger does seem like the type to show up at the last minute and take all the glory. Source:

3. Bran Should Play A Part

Could Bran play a part in the Bastard Bowl? It’s pretty doubtful. As far as we know, Bran is still beyond the Wall with Coldhands and Meera, so he’s nowhere close to where the actual battle is taking place. Of course, this doesn’t actually matter that much, as Bran’s greenseer abilities enable his consciousness to travel anywhere, but even taking that into account, is there any reason for Bran to participate in this battle? Even though Ramsay’s forces outnumber Jon and the Wildlings, it seems like a safe bet that they’ll find a way to overcome the odds without the aid of a mind-jumping time traveler. The only way it would really make sense for Bran to be involved is if the White Walkers make an unwelcome appearance. Speaking of which … Source:

2. The White Walker’s Show Up

As Jon Snow and his Wildling army are already acutely aware, the real war is between the living and the dead, and it’s about time Ramsay Bolton and the rest of Westeros receive a chilling reminder of this fact. It’s difficult to say what the aftermath of the Bastard Bowl will be, but we’re leaning towards a hard-fought Jon Snow victory on this one. That being said, how terrifying would it be if the White Walkers showed up at the eleventh hour to remind every participant that they are the real threat in all of this?

This would make for a fantastic final scene, actually: Jon successfully retakes Winterfell and as he looks out from the battlements, he finds himself locking eyes with the Night’s King at the other end of the horizon, a newly raised-from-the-dead army of dead Boltons and Wildlings at his back. Considering that Battle of the Bastards will focus almost exclusively on the war in the north, it’s unlikely that we’ll see much, if any, of Jon and company in the season finale, so this would be a great way of setting up the full scale White Walker invasion that is to come in season seven. Source: Game of Thrones Wiki

1. Ramsay Has To Die

If Ramsay somehow survives this next episode, it’s going to feel like one big cop out … which is why that’s probably exactly what’s going to happen. However, keeping Ramsay alive would be a mistake. For one thing, it would make no sense. Let’s say that Jon does win the battle and rather than have Ramsay killed, he decides to imprison him instead. While Jon’s sense of honor would dictate that he spare the life of a surrendering enemy, Ramsay is too dangerous to keep alive.

The only good thing that could come out of a situation like this one is that it would provide Sansa with a much easier way of killing Ramsay and really, she should be the one who does it. That being said, Game of Thrones is a show that tends to keep its most detestable characters around just to piss off its audience, so expect Ramsay to somehow make it out of this episode alive to flay another day. Source:
Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)

Nick Steinberg (@Nick_Steinberg)