WARNING!!!!! Graphic Pictures and Spoiler Alerts Follow For Those Not Caught Up With The Series!!!!! PROCEED WITH CAUTION!!!!
Game of Thrones has been one of those shows on television that keeps the audience guessing week in and week out. Sure those who have read the books have a bit of an advantage of knowing what may happen next. But like all television shows and movies that derive from books or comics, they never follow the story line to the T. For instance, George R. R. Martin (author of A Song of Ice and Fire - the book series GoT is based on) stated in an interview with showbiz411 that some characters will die in season 5 that are still alive in the books.
This week's episode, Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken, ended with one of the more difficult scenes to watch. Fortunately (and unfortunately) it didn't end with someone dying. GoT's apparent hatred for weddings continues with the marriage of Ramsay Bolton and Sansa Stark. Although the ceremony itself was incident free, what proceeded afterwards tainted what could have been a lovely night (but probably not...). Ramsay finally shows Sansa his true colors when he consummates their marriage by raping Sansa. And to add insult to injury, he demanded Reek (Theon Greyjoy) to watch.
Personally, I haven't hated a character on GoT this much ever since Joffrey who met his death back in season 4 (and the world rejoiced!). In fact, when we first met Ramsay I actually liked his character. To have a character who I still found oddly twisted in a world that is full of beheading, power struggles, drunks, wedding assassinations and brothels was intriguing to say the least. On top of that, to have his sociopathic mind focused on a then piece of scum that was Theon, I welcomed it with open arms. But there was always an aura about him that made me think "he's going to go too far one of these days" and he has done that time and time again. From the continuous humiliation for Reek (who I now pity because of Ramsay), to hunting Tansy (one of the Bolton's servants) with bows and dogs, Ramsay has become the new Joffrey and his actions this past week has finally pushed him up to the top of my "This Guy Needs to Die" List.
With that in mind, this brings up two questions: Who should kill Ramsay? And how should he die? This list brings up my picks for who should exact revenge on the bastard child and the fashion that seems most justified.
Sansa and Theon/Reek
Cause of death: Raped, tortured, and flayed
This one is a no brainer as to why these two should exact their revenge on the sociopath. Sansa's wedding night alone is enough to justify wanting to put an end to the psychopath. The method of which they will put him out of his misery is rather obvious too. An eye for an eye type of revenge seems pretty fitting for the sake of comeuppance. What will stop them are two things. 1) Sansa and Theon/Reek aren't exactly a dynamic duo you'd expect be capable of stopping a mentalist such as Ramsay. A scared girl who has finally beginning to show a little bit of backbone partnered with a broken down shell of a man? Not really the ideal scenario. For this team up to work, Sansa will have to tap into the courage that the Stark name is known for and Theon/Reek will have to find a way to bring back the old cocky Theon Greyjoy he once was. 2) Despite how despicable Ramsay is, he is still heir to Winterfell. Acting out any sort of revenge plot in the open would be pretty unwise with his father still present and his soldiers to back them. It is pretty apparent that this broken duo will need the help of others if they are going to over throw someone in power. Luckily for them, it seems that they still have allies to rely on.
People of North/Winterfell
Cause of death: Skinned alive in front of his family
Ever since Sansa returned to Winterfell, there has been a sense that mutiny among the people is coming down the pipeline. Upon her return in episode 5.03, High Sparrow, one of the servants of the castle leaves Sansa with a final sentence "The North remembers." In episode 5.05, Kill the Boy, the same servant informs Sansa that she still has allies and if she was ever in danger to light a candle in the highest window of the Broken Tower. In the trailer for the next episode, we see a brief clip of Sansa speaking to Theon/Reek saying "My family still has friends in the North." Combining all these clues together, my guess is that the two are going to light the candle to signal for help among the people of Winterfell and possible others from the North to come to their aide.
Not only do the people of the North (particularly WInterfell) have an allegiance to the Stark name, they also are victims to the craziness that Ramsay has inflicted. One of the northern lords, Medger Cerwyn, and his family were victims to Ramsay's twisted ways. After refusing to pay taxes and stating "the Warden of the North will always be a Stark," Ramsay responds by flaying Medger Cerwyn, along with his wife and brother while forcing Medger's son to watch it all. Ramsay then proceeded to take the corpses of his victims and hang them in front of the main courtyard of Winterfell for all to see. This act, on top of the Bolton's family history of flaying their enemies, could be enough reason for the North to come together and push the Boltons out of power (with the proper motivation and opportunity).
Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne
Cause of death: Stabbing/Slit Throat/Beheading (The methods of death for Sansa's mother, Catelyn, and her brother, Robb)
With an undying devotion to the oath she gave Catelyn Stark and the skills to back it up, I can definitely see Brienne of Tarth and her squire Prodrick Payne coming to Sansa's rescue. In fact, it appears that Brienne has almost predicted that her services will be required shortly. In the conversation Brienne and Podrick have in episode 5.05 regarding to Sansa's safety, Podrick believes that she is safer in Winterfell, back home and away from the Lannisters who think she killed Joffrey. Brienne immediate disputes this but questioning if she is truly safe among the people who betrayed her family. Her intuition is spot on seeing as what transpired in episode 5.06.
Although this contradicts what I said in the previous section, this is still a possible outcome. The candle that Sansa will light could be a signal for help, but not from a huge group of people ready to help, but possibly the small rescue party that is Brienne and Pod. This entire season, Brienne's main story line pertains to Sansa: running into her at an inn, following her to Moat Caillin, and then further to Winterfell where she gains the trust of a servant (telling him of the vow she promised Catelyn Stark) and convinces him to give Sansa a message. That message could very well be the candle message the servant relayed to Sansa.
Cause of death: Casualty of war
Petyr Baelish continues to be a character who's true intentions eludes me. One moment he shows loyalty to the Lannisters, the next the Starks, and the next episode colluding with the Boltons against both of them. But the one thing that remains true since his first appearance is that he sides with whoever he needs in order for him to benefit in the end. This past week, Baelish and Cersei discuss Sansa's return to Winterfell, her marriage to Ramsay, and the march of Stannis Baratheon on Winterfell to overthrow the Boltons. After everything was said and done, Baelish has set himself up so that if/when he overthrows whoever survives the battle over Winterfell (using the Knights of the Vale), he will become Warden of the North (with Cersei's added condition that Sansa's head will be on a spike).
Despite the conversation he had with Cersei (claiming he is loyal to the Lannisters and will do anything to serve them), I don't believe that he will give up Sansa in order to become Warden of the North. In the same conversation, he states that marriage to a Stark further legitimized one's claim to the North. Not only that, but Baelish is too much of a schemer to go straight for the snake's head in a plot of revenge for Sansa. I'm almost certain that Baelish will use the cover of war between the two houses as a cover to rid Westeros of Ramsay Bolton and possibly win the heart of Sansa Stark for being her savior.
Jon Snow (with Stannis's Army)
Cause of death: Beheading
This one is the unlikely of the group, but is still worth mentioning. Jon Snow was offered to march on Winterfell along side Stannis and reclaim the North as a Stark. However, due to his oath of being part of the Night's Watch (and now being Lord Commander), Jon declines Stannis's offer and begins an expedition past the Wall to aid the Free Folk survive the winter (that 5 season later is apparently still not upon them).
It's possible that on his journey past the wall, he hears word of what is happening back in Winterfell (because in GoT word travels as fast as Facebook ruins lives). And with this new information of his (half) sister being married off to the Bolton's and Stannis is on the attack, he might cut his current mission short in order to aid Sansa. When they are reunite, he learns of the terror Ramsay has inflicted on her and seeks revenge (effectively siding with Stannis).
Big Prediction: Brienne of Tarth
I think the forces of good are overdue for something to work out for them in the end. And out of all the possible candidates to put Ramsay in his place, Brienne (and Pod) seem the most likely to bring Ramsay to justice. Here's how I think everything will play out (sidenote: I have not read the books so this is purely speculation):
- Ramsay orders Theon/Reek to violate Sansa to further humiliate them both.
- Reek refuses and gets beaten for it.
- Sansa makes amends with Theon/Reek and tells him about the candle.
- Brienne sees the candle and begins to devise a plan to save her.
- Baratheon marches on Winterfell and begins the attack on the Boltons.
- Brienne takes this opportunity to infiltrate the castle and get Sansa to safety.
- While they exit, they come across Ramsay and his bedwarmer, Myranda
- Brienne kills Ramsay as Sansa kills Myranda
What do you guys think will happen? Will Ramsay finally get what's coming to him this season? Or are we going to have to witness more of his wickedness? Leave it in the comments!
Sources: HBO, showbiz411, GoT wikia, youtube (gifs and video)