Game of Thrones: BastardBowl - The Stark Direwolves versus The Bolton Flayers *Spoilers*

Highlights, commentary and battle analysis by The Raven Times battleside experts, watching from a safe distance.

The two sides meet to discuss the battle ahead. Sansa strikes hard:

“You’re going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton. Sleep well, bitch.” *drops mic*

Ok, she didn’t say bitch but wouldn’t it have been brilliant if she did?

The Direwolves huddle, and Sansa still refuses to impart the knowledge that she’s drafted in support (subject to confirmation). 

The coin toss doesn’t go their way, as Flayers’ Quarterback, Ramsay Bolton, releases his prisoner: Rickon Stark shows none of his early promise as a scatback, pitifully taken down by one well placed arrow from Bolton.

This triggers a full scale rush by the Direwolves, as would-be dual-threat quarterback Jon Snow forgets tactics entirely - like Coach Bolton knew he would - and leads them into a busted play that results in the Direwolves surrounded.

Finally, when all looks lost, the Stark tacticians introduce a whole new offensive team, as the Knights of the Vale charge the field and blitz The Flayers.

Tormund kills the Smalljon. A lot.

Powerback WunWun breaks the gates of Winterfell (sadly retiring in the process) - it’s a Stark Direwolves Touchdown!

Ramsay Bolton is sacked in his own endzone by Jon, then gets well and truly slobber-knockered at the behest of Sansa. Literally slobbered. With extra knockering. And gnawing, chewing, chowing down etc.

The Miracle of Winterfell is a thing. It’s Black Monday at the Dreadfort.

But at Winterfell, this:

Post Match Analysis:

We feared for Jon, Sansa and their meagre army. We feared for Tormund, Davos and Wun Wun. And we feared that the fan-favourite theory of the Grand Northern Conspiracy would slip away from us like Lady Stoneheart and CleganeBowl.

Visions of the former Stark bannermen closing ranks around Ramsay and hacking him to bits were sadly unfulfilled, as this theory didn’t play out where we were expecting it.

Why were we expecting it to play out here? Because if Jon and Sansa were going to lose to Ramsay, then who else were the Northmen going to support? They know (if Wyman Manderly has done his job) that Bran and Rickon survived Winterfell (in the books), but no idea if they were both still alive or where they were.

In the series, Rickon is behind enemy lines, given up by one of the strongest northern houses. What would be the point of the GNC, if not to secure a victory against Ramsay and reunite the Starks and their northmen under the Stark banner, far away from King’s Landing?

Fans’ Phone in:

Why did Sansa not mention the Vale? It would have probably saved the lives of thousands, even possibly Rickon. And may well have swung more of the northern lords to their cause.

Why didn’t Rickon zig-zag? And wasn’t him actually dying a tad predictable? Was he purely a plot device to send Jon nuts at Ramsay? After Sansa had given him up for dead already, and everyone knowing what a good shot Ramsay was, wouldn’t it have been more unexpected if he had juked and headed for a burning cross, giving the Starks a ‘high’ prior to the ‘all is lost’ scenario before The Vale turned up? I know, I know, Jon had to have an excuse to lose it … perhaps Ramsay could have sent men after Rickon, prompting Jon’s charge? Just a (far too long) thought.

Why didn’t Melisandre send a shadow baby to get Ramsay the night before?

Why hadn’t Cersei demanded the Boltons return Sansa to King’s Landing, bearing in mind she wanted Jaime to hunt her down and kill her, believing her to be Joffrey’s murderer? Surely someone would’ve have told her about the marriage at Winterfell?

Now the Starks are back at Winterfell, will the Freys challenge? Word must have reached Walder Frey about his daughter and grandson so it’s doubtful that he’d be too concerned about Ramsay. As long as the Starks pose no threat to the Twins, will Frey leave them be and let the Lannisters worry about fealty to the Iron Throne?

What does Baelish really want? Mr Trusty McTrust Face he clearly isn’t.

In other news …

The dragons are finally let loose in Meereen …

Dany bonds with Yara, Theon and Tyrion over their sorry excuses for dads. The Iron Islands will be independent under Danaerys’s rule but they will no longer reave and rape.

Looking ahead:

With the big Tower of Joy reveal to come, and the symmetry with both Dany and Jon’s stories this week, I can’t see any outcome except another pact for Dany, this time with the Starks - I doubt Sansa has any wish to see King’s Landing again, and Jon’s concern is the White Walkers. With Tyrion joining those two on the dragons, any house with half a brain will bend the knee to Dany, and there’s the united kingdom to fight back the Night’s King.

But that’s probably far too sensible.

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