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‘Game of Thrones’ Recap: Jon Snow Meets Ramsay Bolton on the Battlefield

Every dog has its day, and the hungry hounds in the kennel at Winterfell just had a doozy, y’all.

After three seasons of terrorizing, murdering, and otherwise ruining the lives of basically everyone he touched, Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) — the raping, sadistic, penis-cleaving, skin-peeling, and arguably all-around worst dude in Westeros despite some extremely stiff competition — got his long-awaited comeuppance in the Sunday, June 19, episode of Game of Thrones, titled “The Battle of the Bastards.” But he didn’t go down without a fight — or, alas, without taking a few beloved souls with him.

Kit Harrington Jon Snow
Kit Harrington as Jon Snow in the HBO show ‘Game of Thrones.’

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But First, Mereen

Although the titular bastard-battle was the main event this week, the showrunners juxtaposed the wintry action with a resolution to the hot fun going down in Mereen. With the assault on Daenerys’ (Emilia Clarke) city ongoing, the Mother of Dragons used her fire-breathing children and her loyal horde of horselords to commit just enough murders to get the Sons of the Harpy and the assaulting slavers to lay down their arms for good — and to capture what remained of their armada for her own uses. Add to that the arrival of the Greyjoys with their own fleet of ships — and an instant queenly bromance between Dany and Yara (Gemma Whalen) — and it looks like Daenerys Stormborn will be crossing the sea to make her big play for the Iron Throne any day now.

Battle of the Bastards, Part One: The Pre-Game

Like all epic Game of Thrones battles, the showdown between the Stark and Bolton armies began with multiple strategy sessions, as Jon Snow (Kit Harington), Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham), and Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) did their best magic math to figure out how to beat an army twice the size of their own. Meanwhile, Sansa (Sophie Turner) urged Jon not to underestimate Ramsay, and Melisandre (Carice van Houten) offered the following sage advice: “Don’t lose.”

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And as the sun rose on the day of the battle, a sleepless Davos went walking in the snow and discovered the charred remains of the stag he’d given to poor, doomed Shireen before she was burned at the stake last season.

In other words, nobody was feeling optimistic.

Battle of the Bastards, Part Two: All the King’s Horses and All the King’s Men

In a blood-soaked rager of a battle scene that went on for a solid 20 minutes, here were the important numbers.

Original Starks now left alive, including Jon: 4. Ramsay allowed poor Rickon Stark (Art Parkinson) to come within inches of a reunion with Jon Snow, only to put an arrow in his heart at the last possible moment. RIP, Rickon.

Smart battle plays by Davos Seaworth: 3.

Minutes Jon Snow spent not fighting because he was buried under a giant pile of bodies: 7.

Arrows fired by Ramsay Bolton’s army into his own men: 20 bazillion.

Traitor’s throats ripped out by Tormund Giantsbane’s teeth: 1.

Direct arrow hits survived by Wun-Wun: 25.

Gratuitous shots of someone stepping in a wounded guy’s intestines: 2.

Total casualties: ±7,000.

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Moments when it all looked legit hopeless for Jon Snow’s army: At least 5.

And finally, day-saving moments of Machiavellian cunning by Sansa Stark: Just 1.

But it was glorious. That raven we saw her sending two episodes ago was, indeed, going to Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) — and the army from the Vale arrived just in time to win the day and send Ramsay Bolton running for safety like the weenie that he is.

Ramsay Bolton

Battle of the Bastards, Part 3: Bastard vs. Bastard

Although the final showdown between Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton began with heartbreak (arrow number 26 took down poor Wun-Wun the giant), it ended exactly as we all hoped: with the House Stark banners triumphantly unfurled at Winterfell once again, and with Jon punching Ramsay in the face until there was very little face left to punch. And with that, the battle of the bastards was over.

But the End Had Only Just Begun

In the last scene of this epic episode, Sansa confronted her ex-husband — her former tormentor and now her captive — with a gorgeous speech: “Your words will disappear, your house will disappear, your name will disappear, all memory of you will disappear.”

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And she wasn’t talking figuratively. Because when winter is coming, revenge is a dish best served hot and screaming to his own hungry hounds from hell. And if we see Ramsay Bolton again, it’ll be on the bottom of the kennel-master’s shoe, because that dude is dog chow. So long, ya bastard.

Tell Us: What did you think of Ramsay’s awful, epic end?

Game of Thrones airs on HBO Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.

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