The Three Biggest Deaths From the Battle of the Bastards

Nick Nunziata
TV Game of Thrones
TV Game of Thrones

The ninth episode of Season Six of Game of Thrones was a doozy, both for its phenomenal spectacle and its very personal interactions between major characters. As is often the case with HBO’s legendary show, many characters did not escape the episode with their lives. Here’s a look at the three biggest deaths from “The Battle of the Bastards“.

Mr. Bolton mulls his next charitable act.

Ramsay Bolton

Every series needs a truly despicable villain, and Game of Thrones has them in spades. Many TV watchers who hadn’t read the books thought Joffrey Baratheon was the worst of the worst, but then along came Ramsay Snow/Bolton, a sadistic, spoiled brat who made Joffrey’s petty machinations look like a child squashing bugs. Ramsay echoes the most vile villains of the past, from Caligula to Vlad the Impaler. He revels in the misery of others, has absolutely no honor, and has the most annoying smirk to ever grace television. There isn’t a single endearing trait about him, and kudos to Iwan Rheon for managing to play a character so utterly despicable.

The penultimate episode of Game of Thrones’ sixth season was the end of Ramsay, tied to a chair and fed to his own starving dogs. Sansa Stark, one of the few victims to survive his brutality, watches as the beasts tear into him, ripping his jaw clean off his face. It’s gruesome but somewhat satisfying – if anyone deserved to die horribly, it was Ramsay Snow. Despite the petty satisfaction of watching a monster destroyed, Ramsay still wins in a way because he has changed everyone he’s touched. Sansa’s smirk after watching the bloodbath hints at her own moral degradation and raises questions about the nature of revenge. Would Ned Stark approve of his daughter letting a man be devoured alive within the walls of Winterfell? No, probably not, and despite Ramsay now being the Westerosi equivalent of a can of Alpo, he has left his permanent mark upon the people who survived him.

Ramsay Bolton’s Greatest Hits

  • Tricking Theon into believing he had escaped – Ramsay’s torture of Theon Greyjoy, followed by tricking him into believing that Ramsay had led him to safety only to once again be strapped to the cross was a painful introduction into Ramsay’s brutality.
  • Mmm, sausage. – There’s a particular cruelty in eating a juicy sausage in front of a man (Theon) whose penis you’ve just cut off, and Ramsay does it with relish.
  • Feeding the dogs – Ramsay sure loves his hounds, and he fed not only his enemies to them, but his closest allies. The one person he ever shows affection for, Myranda, is fed to them just like everyone else because “she’s good meat”.
  • Ramsay predicts Game of Thrones‘ eventual finale: “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.

– Danielle Ryan

Wun Wun
Wun Wun surrounded by NBA scouts.

Wun Wun

Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun was a giant among men. No, literally. He was a giant, a Wildling one to be precise. Wun Wun did many things during his lifetime and was a proud owner of a dragonglass arrowhead that was a very effective tool against White Walkers. Wun Wun wasn’t much for talk but his imposing figure gave the Wildlings a lot of intimidation factor as he strode purposefully across the battlefield. He also knew his place, absorbing a lot of the Bolton men’s spears and arrows in order to buy time for his compatriots as they tried to figure a way out of the confining spaces their enemies had forced them into. A few more like Wun Wun would also certainly have helped even the odds should Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons had come to visit.

Was he the last giant ever? Time will tell, but if he was he sure did the bloodline proud.

Wun Wun’s Greatest Hits

  • That time he ripped a guy in half.
  • That time he grabbed a member of the Night’s Watch and smashed him against a brick wall.
  • That time he offered his one word vote for Jon Snow and changed the entire temperature of a conversation.
  • That time he took about a thousand arrows for the team before finally taking the long nap.
  • That time he squeezed a gentleman in half during the Battle of the Bastards.
  • That time he helped open the gate at Winterfell using just his cunning and his gigantic hands.

– Nick Nunziata


Rickon Stark

Last night we said goodbye to yet another one of the Stark children, albeit one who never quite had the relevance or nuance to really make audiences really care for him.

It’s unfortunate that Rickon‘s death has been used twice to reflect more upon other characters than on Rickon himself. The first time the boy “died” reflected upon Theon, who was desperate to prove himself to the ironborn who’d taken over Winterfell in season two. When Osha manages to escape the grasp of the ironborn with Rickon, Bran, and Hodor, it certainly doesn’t make Theon look like the capable leader the ironborn need. So he and Dagmer ride out, kill two farm boys, burn their bodies beyond recognition, and present them to the ironborn as Bran and Rickon. It speaks to Theon’s deepest motivation — to be taken seriously by his people and his family. To prove himself as a man of royal blood. This deceit and the motivation behind it tells us that Theon could be one of the more important pieces of the game, but it also serves as our first indication that Rickon is one of the series’ sacrificial pawns.

And in The Battle of the Bastards, he met his sacrificial end. And he wasn’t even given a line of dialogue. He was only there to remind us that yes, Ramsay Bolton is one of the most sadistic people in Westeros, and that Jon Snow is still naïve enough to be manipulated by jerks like Ramsay Bolton. Rickon’s death was sad, yes, but it says a lot when audiences reacted more strongly when they found out his direwolf had been killed. Poor Rickon. We hardly knew ye.

Rickon’s Greatest Hits

  • Rickon Was Right – Bran tried to comfort his younger brother when their family left Winterfell, but Rickon knew what was up. Ned, Catelyn, and Robb all bit the dust before ever returning to Winterfell.
  • Rickon and Bran Split – When Bran decides to travel north to Castle Black, he must make a terrible decision: to send Rickon away with Osha, so that he will be safe. It’s a heartbreaking scene, but again, it says more about someone else (Bran) than it does about Rickon.

– Travis Newton

Nick Nunziata
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