Game Of Thrones, “Battle Of The Bastards” finally sees Jon Snow, the bastard of the Starks of Winterfell, taking on Ramsay Snow and his Bolton army on the battlefield, severely outnumbered but determined to take back the castle of his father.

Game Of Thrones Recap

Mereen

Dany (Emilia Clarke) has returned to Mereen, courtesy of her dragon Drogon, to find the masters attacking the city that she had liberated and left in Tyrion’s (Peter Dinklage) hands. She wants to crucify all of the slave city masters, kill all of the men fighting for them and to reduce all of their cities to dust. Tyrion urges her to take a less of a scorched earth approach and to steer away from the short-sighted ruthlessness of her ancestors, including her father Aegon.

Parlaying with the masters, Dany hears threats from all three, who believe that they’re in a position to set the terms of her surrender. “Your reign is over,” they tell her, to which she replies, “My reign has just begun,” with Drogon making a dramatic entrance. Before finishing the conversation, Dany takes off on Drogon’s back, wakes her other two dragons and leads them all to the fleet of ships storming Mereen, commanding them to unleash their fire. Elsewhere, the Dothraki storm in on horseback to cut down the Sons of the Harpy.

Meanwhile, Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) and Tyrion continue the meeting with the masters. They make it clear that the armada belonging to the masters is now theirs. As for the matter of justice, Tyrion says that they will execute one of them in order to send a message, sparing two. As two of the men offer up the one of less noble birth, Grey Worm slaughters them, keeping the humbler man who bent the knee alive. “Tell your people what happened here,” Tyrion commands him. “Tell them you lived by the grace of Her Majesty,” he adds. “Remind them what happened when Daenerys Stormborn and her dragons came to Mereen.”

After the masters are taken care of, Dany and Tyrion take a meeting with Yara and Theon Greyjoy. Tyrion is dismissive of Theon, who’d mocked his height, but more importantly, turned a traitor to the Stark family. When Dany speaks, it’s to talk ships. She learns that it is Yara who hopes to rule the Iron Islands, which Dany seems to approve of. Yara and Theon explain that Euron, who is building more ships, would seek marriage and then would likely kill her. Dany appears won over by their desire to merely recoup the Iron Islands, and she and Yara shake on it.

Winterfell

Sansa (Sophie Turner) joins Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) for the parlay with Ramsay Snow (Iwan Rheon), who advises them to surrender their cause in exchange for pardons across the board. Jon agrees that the thousands of men in their armies don’t need to die. He offers that the two of them duel one-on-one instead. Ramsay laughs at the suggestion, knowing it’s more of a certainty that his army will beat the one that Jon Snow assembled than him beating the former Commander of the Night’s Watch in a duel. With the battle a go, Ramsay promises to feed them all to his ravished dogs, 7-days starved, upon his victory.

During a strategizing session, Jon Snow admits that he knew Ramsay would never go for a duel, but that he hoped to anger him. Davos (Liam Cunningham) chimes in that it will be paramount for them to be patient, allow Ramsay’s army to come to them. Sansa, who sat in on the session, confronts Jon after Davos and Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) leave. She’s frustrated that she has not been sought out for her personal knowledge of Ramsay. She believes that she has insight that he lacks, including the fact that Ramsay is skilled at playing people and that he won’t be quick to fall into Jon’s traps.

Jon Snow then goes to see Melisandre (Carice Van Houten) and pleads with her not to resurrect him should he fall in the battle to come. She refuses to make that promise, believing that the matter is up to the Lord of Light. The Lord of Light, incidentally, is also what apparently led Melisandre to call for Stannis to sacrifice his only daughter, Shireen. Walking through the snow, Davos comes to the place where Shireen was burnt alive, and finds her stag figurine.

When the time for the battle arrives, Ramsay trots Rickon out on a rope. Cutting the rope, he tells the youngest Stark child to run towards his brother. Jon Snow, seeing the game unfold, mounts his
horse and takes off across the battlefield. Ramsay shoots off arrows, narrowly avoiding Rickon several times before striking him through the back just as Jon is about to pull him up on his horse.

Instead of sticking to the battle plan, Jon Snow races off, compelling his men to race up behind him towards Ramsay’s charging army. A bloodbath ensues, with arrows raining down from both sides, swords slicing and plunging through enemies, men and horses alike being strewn across the battlefield. Once Davos leads the last line of the army into the fray, Ramsay gives the go ahead to the main plan, which sees his army surround Jon’s, pinching in with spears and shields, crushing them line by line.

Just as it looks as though all hope is lost for the Stark cause, the banners of the Vale crest over a nearby hill, racing into the fight and taking down the Bolton army. Sansa sits atop her horse next to Littlefinger (Aiden Gillen), who had been instrumental in getting the Vale to raise their banners for the Starks. With the Vale army taking care of the battle, Jon and Tormund and the giant race towards
Winterfell castle. They’re followed by a group of Wildling soldiers, who help them take the keep. Ramsay then takes Jon up on his offer for a fight. As Ramsay shoots off arrows, Jon Snow steadily advances before disarming him with a shield. With Ramsay on his back, Jon starts to pummel him, but, looking up at Sansa, opts out of finishing him off.

Later on, Sansa asks Jon where he’s keeping Ramsay. She finds him in the kennel, tied to a chair. “You can’t kill me, I’m part of you now,” Ramsay tells Sansa. He also confidently tells her that his dogs, who are drooling on either side of the cage in which he’s being kept, won’t harm him out of loyalty. Knowing he hasn’t fed them in a week, Sansa is not as certain – and was right to believe they’d tear him apart. Ramsay cries out as his dogs make quick work of him; Sansa turns to leave and offers a slight smirk.

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