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‘Game of Thrones’ recap: It’s Jon vs. Ramsay in epic battle to the death

In a series boasting some of the most epic combat scenes in TV history, Season 6’s “Battle of the Bastards” would prove one of its greatest - and emotionally satisfying
Kit Harington in a scene from “Game of Thrones.”
(Helen Sloan / HBO )

The vilest character on HBO’s “Game of Thrones” since the late and terrible King Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) suffers a gruesome fate on “Battle of the Bastards,” Season 6’s penultimate and oh-so-bloody Episode 59.

Psychopathic Lord Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) has committed innumerable atrocities during his reign of terror.

He savagely raped his bride, Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner), on their wedding night. He fatally stabbed his father, Roose (Michael McElhatton). And he fed his stepmother, Walda (Elizabeth Webster), and newborn half-brother to the dogs.

Now the only obstacle standing between Ramsay and complete control of northern Westeros is Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and his outmatched, ragtag army marching on Winterfell Castle.

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“Why lead these poor souls into slaughter? There’s no need for a battle,” Ramsay tells Jon with a cynical smirk. “I am a man of mercy.”

In exchange for surrendering his soldiers and proclaiming Ramsay “the true Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North,” Jon will supposedly be pardoned for deserting his Night’s Watch post.

But Jon doesn’t bite. And Ramsay doesn’t bite at Jon’s counteroffer to settle their conflict mano a mano. Jon might prevail in a swordfight, but Ramsay’s army will surely defeat a force half its size.

“My dogs are desperate to meet you,” Ramsay taunts Jon in parting. “I haven’t fed them for seven days. They’re ravenous!”

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Ramsay’s smartest strategy would be to remain inside the castle and repel an attack. However, Jon’s military advisor, Ser Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham), believes Ramsay that will fight on an open field.

“If the other houses sense weakness on his part, they’ll stop fearing him,” Davos says of Ramsay. And fear is House Bolton’s prime weapon.

Just as predicted, Ramsay and his troops leave the protection of Winterfell and prepare to charge.

But first Ramsay plays a cruel game by releasing his hostage, Jon’s half-brother Rickon Stark (Art Parkinson), and ordering him to run. As Jon attempts a rescue, Ramsay slays Rickon with a well-aimed arrow.

Soon the battle erupts with epic, horrifying carnage.

When Ramsay’s men raise their shields, point their spears and form a tightening ring around Jon’s troops, it appears House Bolton will triumph.

But suddenly Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish (Aidan Gillen) and his soldiers from House Arryn arrive and crush Ramsay’s forces.

Retreating to Winterfell doesn’t save Ramsay, for Wildling giant Wun Wun (Ian Whyte) batters down the gate before crumbling to the ground with dozens of arrows lodged in his body.

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Jon avenges Rickon’s murder by ferociously pummeling Ramsay until his face is a disfigured mess. But Sansa has the honor of delivering the final blow.

“You can’t kill me,” Ramsay protests. “I’m part of you now!”

“Your words will disappear,” Sansa coldly replies. “Your house will disappear. Your name will disappear. All memory of you will disappear.”

With that, Sansa releases those ravenous hounds. And that’s how wicked Ramsey meets his demise, while Sansa walks away with a satisfied smile.

But wait. There’s more!

Across the Narrow Sea in Meereen, the slave masters with their fleet of ships hurl fireballs at the Great Pyramid in an attempt to topple Queen Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke).

Dany’s counselor, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), tries to put a positive spin on the dire situation.

“Despite appearances,” Tyrion says, “I think you’ll find the city’s on the rise.”

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Though Tyrion favors diplomacy, Dany favors military action.

So she soundly defeats the slave masters by deploying her three fire-breathing dragons, her Unsullied warrior-eunuchs, her Second Sons mercenary army and her fearsome Dothraki horsemen.

Dany’s message to those who would restore slavery on the continent of Essos?

I’ve got dragons!

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