Battles have been staged, storylines have become intertwined and *R+L=J HAS BEEN CONFIRMED*; in short, the sixth season of Game of Thrones could easily be its best to date. Between the devastating reason why ‘Hodor’ says ‘Hodor’, immense spectacle in episodes nine and ten, and Daenerys finally setting sail to Westeros… there is much to be discussed. Split by house, our writers have provided the ultimate guide to the sixth season of Game of Thrones.
House Bolton, now wiped from existence after the culmination of Season Six, will almost certainly be remembered for a very long time (much to Sansa Stark’s disappointment).
Roose Bolton, present since season two, has not been featured a great deal in the show, but has nonetheless sent shockwaves throughout the series; his involvement in the Red Wedding safely secured his place on the list of Game of Thrones baddies. However, his bastard son, Ramsay Bolton, has become known as one of the greatest villains television has ever seen.
The first time we see Ramsay in season six, he’s ‘grieving’ for Myranda, his would-be-wife, after she was murdered by Theon in his escape from Winterfell with Sansa at the end of season five. Now under threat from his father’s new-born son with Walda, Ramsay knows his claim to Winterfell is slipping away from him, especially since Sansa’s escape. Such a threat sparks Ramsay to enter full psychopath mode, not hesitating in killing first his father, and then Walda and her son. Perhaps the most disturbing part in all this is Ramsay’s lack of remorse – he reveals no inclination that he is sorry for the loss of his father, but rather seems satisfied with his actions. He then becomes Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, and sets about retrieving Sansa from Jon, sending a threatening (and disturbingly poetic) letter to them at Castle Black. It is the relation between these two antitheses that brings the season to its peak.
The ‘Battle of the Bastards’ was quick to be labelled as one of the best episodes in the history of Game of Thrones: all throughout, Ramsay maintains his cool, calm and calculating manner, only breaking when Littlefinger arrives with the Knights of the Vale, forcing Ramsay to return to Winterfell where he ultimately meets his ironically gruesome death. Thrones is famed for its epic battle sequences and grisly swordfights, and the battle for Winterfell does not disappoint; Ramsay never fails to instil fear in his opponents as he draws Jon in, using Rickon as bait. It is evident Ramsay has planned this out incredibly carefully, and Jon charges headfirst into his trap. Before the battle even begins, it seems as though Ramsay has the upper hand, and the odds do not improve as the two forces engage, but, thanks to Sansa and Baelish, Jon manages to come up trumps.
Ramsay Bolton may well be one of the most abhorrent characters to ever receive air-time, but his ability to chill the blood has proven to be surprisingly popular among viewers. Since the season ended, Iwan Rheon has received an outpouring of well-deserved admiration and congratulations on his part as the Bolton Bastard. As much as you may despise his character, few people can deny Rheon has an unparalleled ability to get viewers on the edge of their seats, readily anticipating Ramsay’s next twisted move. Such a talent will surely be missed, as Thrones loses perhaps the best villain it ever had.
Words by Ruth Grove