In our latest Send the Ravens column, we answer your Game of Thrones questions and give a little insight into the history of Ramsay Bolton…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
This weekend will mark one of the final two episodes of Game of Thrones this season and while it seems like season six has come and gone rather quickly, the action that will unfold over the next two weeks will be huge as we move into the home stretch for the series.
The latest episode — “The Battle of the Bastards” — will feature an hour focused solely on the fight between Jon Snow and his forces as they attempt to take back Winterfell and the North from Ramsay Bolton, who gained his position after killing his father earlier this season.
Ever since first setting eyes on Ramsay several seasons ago, he’s become one of the most cruel, sadistic and hated characters in the history of Game of Thrones, but the scary part about this vicious sociopath — the book version is worse.
Yes, somehow George R.R. Martin’s original version of Ramsay Snow aka Ramsay Bolton was actually an even more disgusting and vile character than what we’ve seen on television. Considering Ramsay has flayed men and women alive, raped his wife, tortured Theon Greyjoy, and fed his little brother and step mother to a pack of wolves, it’s hard to imagine anybody could be worse, but it’s true.
Ramsay’s life started after Roose Bolton raped a miller’s wife — and then hanged the miller — and a year later he was introduced to his bastard son. Roose nearly killed Ramsay on sight, but ultimately decided against it and allowed the bastard to live so long as his mother cared for him and never told him of his true parentage.
Ramsay grew up as an unruly child and eventually his mother asked Roose for help with the boy so he sent them a servant nicknamed Reek. He was called that because no matter how many times he bathed or perfumed himself, he always smelled like a skunk thus the name Reek. From there, Ramsay only got worse as he got older and he and Reek were the worst of the worst together and eventually his man-servant told him of his true parentage as the bastard son of Roose Bolton.
So Ramsay eventually sought out his father and a better life and that’s where he met his older half-brother Domeric. Now Domeric obviously wasn’t in the show, but in the books, Ramsay killed him with poison to ensure that he was Roose’s only choice for a male heir.
At one point where Roose is off at war as part of Robb Stark’s army, Ramsay takes it upon himself to conquer a smaller Northern seat called House Hornwood. There he forces the widow lady of Hornwood to marry him and then he proceeds to rape her, makes her sign over a document declaring him Lord of Hornwood and then he locks her in a tower and essentially forgets about her. When she is found, Lady Hornwood starved to death but not before gnawing off several of her own fingers before she died.
Another story tells that Ramsay raped a peasant girl before killing her and then his companion Reek raped the corpse after his master was finished. Reek was eventually killed by Ser Rodrick Cassel (a Stark loyalist who we met back in season one) after he was disguised as Ramsay at one point. This explains why Ramsay then tortures and turns Theon Greyjoy into another Reek — it’s all because he missed his old friend.
Speaking of Theon — Ramsay also does unspeakable things to him as well, very similar to the show including flaying bits of his skin off his body — at one point even sending pieces to Robb Stark to show that he had been captured and was paying for “murdering” Bran and Rickon Stark. Ramsay breaks Theon’s fingers and toes and peels back the skin to torture him. He breaks out several of Theon’s teeth because he can’t stand to see him smile. He eventually cuts off several fingers and toes as well. He also intimates that he had Theon castrated – which we know happened on the show.
Ramsay also marries a girl who is disguised to be Arya Stark (in an attempt to solidify his father’s standing in the North just like on the show, except there he marries Sansa Stark) and he tortures the girl regularly. On his wedding night, Ramsay strips the girl bare (actually he orders Theon to do it) and at this point the girl is supposedly 11 or 12 years old. Without getting too graphic, let’s just say Ramsay forces Theon to get her ready before he ends up taking over.
In other words, whatever happens to Ramsay this week — he has it coming to him!
With that said, let’s get to your Game of Thrones questions this week…
@DamonMartin Won't Cersei's incest come up during trial? And, if so, when convicted wouldn't her son the King be removed from throne?
— Ant Evans (@AntEvansUFC) June 15, 2016
Interesting question but to answer it we have to go back to last season when Cersei was arrested and put into the dungeons beneath the Great Sept of Baelor prior to her walk of atonement. Remember, Cersei orchestrated the rise to power of the High Sparrow and helped initiate the Faith Militant after the Targaryen’s stamped them out centuries before.
But in her haste to use the High Sparrow to root out Margaery Tyrell and her brother Loras in an attempt to usurp control over her son, King Tommen, Cersei forgot about the numerous skeletons in her own closet. So thanks to a tip from Petyr Baelish in a word spread to Lady Olenna Tyrell — he reminds her that Lancel Lannister knows a lot about his cousin Cersei that would land her in the adjourning cell right next to the Tyrell prisoners.
So it’s Lancel Lannister — now a member of the Faith Militant — who comes clean about his past indiscretions with Cersei. They were lovers back during season two because Cersei really likes keeping her bedroom activity inside the family tree and Lancel also played a part in King Robert’s death. Remember, Lancel was King Robert’s squire and he dosed the king with a potent wine while he was out hunting and it led directly to his death. The wine was ordered by Cersei.
So to answer your question — all of the charges being brought against Cersei are levied by accusations made by her cousin in regards to her incest and the murder of King Robert Baratheon. At this point, no one is accusing Cersei of sleeping with her brother or siring children with him. Rumors will always abound, but it doesn’t look like that’s what she’ll stand trial for in the final episode of the season.
— Lauren Murphy (@LaurenMurphyMMA) June 14, 2016
I’ve commented on Catelyn Stark’s fate in the past — the short, short version is that she’s brought back to life after having her throat slit at the Red Wedding and she becomes the new leader of the Brotherhood without Banners and adopts the name Lady Stoneheart. From then on out, Lady Stoneheart exacts revenge against anybody even remotely involved in the events of the Red Wedding.
Sadly, it doesn’t seem like she’s going to appear on Game of Thrones. Considering Catelyn has been dead for years at this point and the fact that we just ran into the Brotherhood again this past week with Beric Dondarrion in charge, it’s not likely Lady Stoneheart is going to exist in this universe.
In the books. Beric gives his life to save Catelyn so she can take over the Brotherhood. Now that Beric is very much alive and looking to team up with The Hound, it’s safe to say, Lady Stoneheart won’t be joining Game of Thrones.
— Jon Butterfield (@Butterfield_Jon) June 14, 2016
No, Qyburn is definitely a loyalist to Cersei and wouldn’t betray her for the High Sparrow.
Qyburn has come quite a long ways from the time when he was tossed out of the Citadel as a disgraced former maester, who was expelled after experimenting on the living for some of his “discoveries”. Since that time he was part of Roose Bolton’s forces at Harrenhal and then teamed up to help save Jamie Lannister’s arm after his hand was lopped off.
Now, Qyburn has been raised all the way to being the Master of Whisperers and has a seat on the Small Council. His loyalty to Queen Cersei is unquestioned and chances are whatever plot she’s cooking up next, he’ll be the one turning up the heat and making sure things get boiling in a hurry.
@DamonMartin so what was the point of Jaqen H'ghar and Arya ? Did he ask her there to keep her safe ?
— Underdogs (@NaroVeli) June 14, 2016
Arya’s trip to Braavos to become a Faceless Man might seem like a distraction considering in the long run she’s just going back to Westeros, but remember all that happened while she was across the Narrow Sea.
She was able to exact revenge and cross another name off her list when she killed Meryn Trant and Arya became very adept at playing different people while also learning the art of killing. In her blindness, Arya became quite a lethal warrior as she proved last week when eliminating the Waif and she was even able to set a trap of sorts to turn the tables on Jaqen H’ghar after he ordered her to be assassinated.
So now Arya goes back to Westeros very capable of handling herself in any situation. She needed to be protected by The Hound previously — now it’s the rest of the people on her list that should probably fear Arya at this point.
@DamonMartin True long shot…Jamie sends the Lannister forces North to fight for the Sansa & the Starks. Story comes full circle???
— scody smalls (@wsixbolter) June 14, 2016
Unless something wild happens, no chance Jamie betrays his house for this one. Even if he doesn’t believe Sansa actually murdered his son Joffrey, the fact that she was implicated is enough that he won’t help her because that would go directly against Cersei and the Lannister family. Not to mention, a Stark uprising in the North is what started the War of the Five Kings in the first place. As much as the Lannisters may detest the Boltons, they are still a safer ally than putting the Starks back in power.
— Andrew Pearson (@OutlawRed19) June 15, 2016
A closer look at the preview for next week’s episode — which you can see right here along with our tale of the tape for “The Battle of the Bastards” — shows Jon conversing with Melisandre at one point. He tells her that if he dies on the battlefield, she’s not to bring him back this time.
As far as the Wildlings go — the hatred of the Free Folk is really quite stupid when you think about it. Essentially, they lived on the other side of The Wall when the Night’s Watch erected the great structure to stave off any further attacks from the White Walkers following the Long Night.
Anyways — the Northern houses will all certainly get upset that the Wildlings are being given safe passage and lands in return for fighting alongside Jon Snow, but it won’t take long for that to pass. Once the White Walkers actually do attack, the Northern houses will have a lot more to worry about than the 2,000 some odd Wildlings living on the land.
Plus, a Stark victory would likely be welcomed in the North after the Boltons were in control. A lot of the houses weren’t willing to rise up to fight for Jon and Sansa, but that doesn’t mean that deep down they didn’t prefer the Starks to the Boltons — they just no longer wanted to fight about it.