The Battle of the Bastards is a massive battle in Game of Thrones. It is part of the War of the Five Kings. The name comes from the two commanders of the army, Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton, who are both bastards born out of wedlock. However, later episodes reveal that Jon is not really a bastard as he is a legitimate son of Prince Rhaegar Targaryean, and Lady Lyanna Stark, and thus the true heir to the Iron Throne.
After House Bolton had betrayed the Kingdom of the North in it's war for independence, and killed King Robb Stark, King Joffrey appointed Roose Bolton, Lord of the Dreadfort, and King Robb's murderer as Lord Paramount of the North as a reward for his treason.
Following Joffrey's death, King Tommen legitimized Roose's bastard son Ramsay as a trueborn Bolton as Roose had no trueborn heir. Meanwhile, King Stannis Baratheon prepared to invade the North and overthrow House Bolton in his campaign to seize the Iron Throne. At the same, Lord Petyr Baelish had married King Robb's sister, Princess Sansa Stark to Ramsay Bolton in the hopes to give Stannis a Wardeness of the North should he be victorious.
However, Ramsay's tactic of sabotage and supply drain critically damaged Stanns's army, causing him to reluctantly sacrifice his daughter Princess Shireen to appease the Lord of Light to grant him victory. This did nothing and Stannis was killed in battle. However, Sansa and Theon Greyjoy, Ramsay's servent slave escaped Winterfell.
Sansa fled to Castle Black to find her half-brother Jon Snow(In reality, her cousin as Jon was born from Sansa's aunt Lyanna Stark) who was Lord-Commander of the Night's Watch. After his brief death at the hands of mutineers for allowing a group of Free Folk(Whom the Watch considers to be enemies) to enter Castle Black to fight against the Undead White-Walkers, he was resurrected by the sorceress Melisandre, freeing him from the Night's Watch(the only way to leave the Night's Watch is to die).
Meanwhile, Roose Bolton's wife Walda gave birth to a son. Fearing for his future title as Warden of the North, Ramsay killed his father, and fed his stepmother and stepbrother to his dogs, making himself Warden of the North. Later, Lord Smalljon Umber brought another Stark, Prince Rickon Stark to Winterfell as a prisoner. Upon learning Sansa had reached Castle Black, he sent an ultimatum to Jon. Either Jon surrenders, or Ramsay's men will kill him and his allies, kill Rickon, and take turns raping Sansa.
Jon decides to leave the Watch, confront Ramsay and his army and liberate Winterfell and the North. A former Knight of Stannis's army, Davos Seaworth and Chief Tormund Giantsbane, a Free Folk chief and his army decide to join Jon as well. The group rallies Houses Mormont, Hornwood and Mazin, while Ramsay rallies Houses Umber and Karstark.
Despite being vastly outnumbered, Jon insists they attack while Sansa insists of a more cunning strategy. Unable to convince Jon, Sansa reluctantly sends a message to Petyr, asking for aid from the Knights of the Vale.
The following morning, Jon and his men left camp and marched on Winterfell, only to meet's Ramsay's forces. Ramsay had set up flaming corpses of flayed men to demoralize his enemies. Ramsay then brought Rickon to the front and ordered him to run towards Jon... while Ramsay would fire arrows at him. Despite Jon's attempts to rescue Rickon by riding out to intercept him, Ramsay ultimately found his target. Grief stricken and enraged, Jon charged headfirst towards Ramsay's army. The Stark cavalry and Free Folk then charged. Ramsay ordered his archers to fire on Jon, the resulting volley's killed Jon's horse. Ramsay then ordered his infantry and calvalry to charge. Before the Bolton men could reach Jon, the Stark soldiers and Free-Folk smashed into their enemies. Though Jon and the Stark Bannermen fought tooth and nail, the Bolton soldiers were simply too many. Ramsay also repeatedly ordered his archers to fire volley's, killing allies and enemies alike. Davos ordered the Stark archers to volley as well, but ordered them to stand down when he realized that he would hit his own allies. Instead, he ordered the Stark infantry to charge, along with the Giant, Wun-Wun.
At that moment, Ramsay ordered his pikemen to surround Jon and his army. The Bolton pikemen did as ordered and slowly began pushing the Stark army into a circle where they would be killed on any side, there was no escape. Just as it seemed all hope was lost, a horn blew. The Knights of the Vale, lead by Petyr Baleish and Sansa had arrived. Ramsay's men were ill-prepared to face another cavalry wave as Ramsay's volley's had wiped out his own cavalry. The Knights annihilated Ramsay's army, while Ramsay retreated to Winterfell, with Jon, Tormund and Wun-Wun in pursuit. Despite being pelted by arrows, Wun-Wun successfully broke down the gates of Winterfell, allowing the Stark soldiers and Free Folk to enter and kill the few Bolton men guarding Winterfell. Ramsay killed Wun-Wun with an arrow to the eye, then tried to kill Jon, but Jon punched Ramsay to the ground and repeatedly punched him in the face until it was covered in blood.
Winterfell was House Stark's again, as was the North. Ramsay was executed by Sansa... by being fed to his own dogs whom he had starved. Later, Jon was proclaimed King in the North.
- The Battle of the Bastards is the fourth army vs army battle to be shown full way through on Game of Thrones
- Ramsay's pikemen used a tactic called Double Evelopment to try and defeat House Stark, a tactic Hannibal used to defeat the Romans at the Battle of Cannae
- The Battle of the Bastards is similar to the climax of the Lion King. Both involved the rightful rulers of a Kingdom challenge a Usurper who had betrayed and murdered the previous King, defeat them, and take their rightful place as rulers
- It is unknown if the Battle of the Bastards will happen in the books since as of right now in the books, Stannis is still preparing to face the Boltons, and they are not using a supply drain tactic