Game of Thrones might be edge-of-your-seat stuff, but it also knows the value of order and structure, too. The political scheming taking place in vast castles and the endless trotting across the countryside are part of what makes the show what it is. But the show has also devoted an episode per season (or thereabouts) to a big battle – an all-or-nothing sort of spectacle that the whole season can build towards.
In season two, it was Stannis’ impending attack on Kings Landing. In season four, it was the Night’s Watch defending the Wall against the Wildlings. And last year we had the inescapably grim Hardhome – where Jon Snow witnessed first-hand the destruction and death surrounding the White Walkers.
This year, Game of Thrones’ much-anticipated big battle was the fight for the North, or, as it’s referred to by the show, The Battle of the Bastards, as Jon and Ramsay Bolton clashed over who would rule over Winterfell. And, though it could have been a bit of a mess (Ramsay has been bordering on cartoon-villainy in Season Six), it ended up being one of GOT’s most exciting, powerful and gruesome battles, instead. Here’s what went down.