Swords will soon clash. This Sunday, Games of Thrones’ ninth episode, "Battle of the Bastards," will air on HBO. The storyline (bearing the official synopsis: “Terms of surrender are rejected and accepted”) will see Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) marching on Winterfell to reclaim it from the villainous Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon). Recent images from the episode suggest that this will be one of the most decisive, harrowing battles to occur over the course of Game of Thrones’ six seasons so far, and viewers are offered no solace by the books, which now lag behind the action of the HBO series.
But Game of Thrones buffs aren’t the only ones on the edge of their seats in the final days before Sunday’s climactic showdown. Iwan Rheon, the actor behind the sadistic Ramsay Bolton, can’t wait to cross swords with longtime fan favorite, Jon Snow.
Rheon recently told EW that he has always enjoyed the idea of having the two similar, yet still strikingly antithetic characters meet.
“Anyone who has asked me, ‘Who would you like Ramsay to meet?’ My answer has always been, ‘Jon Snow.' They’re almost a yin and a yang. They both come from such a similar place, yet they’re so different. And even though they’re enemies, they’ve both risen so far as bastards, which is almost incomprehensible, and now they’re both here facing each other. They couldn’t be any more different, yet more similar.”
Indeed, Snow and Ramsay are both the products of powerful fathers and low-born mothers. The product of rape, Ramsay is the son of Roose Bolton, Lord of Dreadfort, and a miller’s wife, while Snow is the son of Lord Eddard Stark, Lord of Winterfell, and (allegedly) a lowly serving girl. The identity of Snow's mother, however, has not yet been confirmed. Despite being bastards, both men were able to elevate their statuses through wartime actions. Similar upbringing aside, however, the ideological differences of both men couldn’t be more different. While Ramsay is driven by selfishness, cruelty, and a lust for power, Snow possesses a gallantry that, time and again, drives him to help and protect others.
So, who will end up surrendering or being defeated on the battlefield? Vicious sadist and Winterfell’s reigning lord, Ramsay? Or will good guy Jon Snow, despite being outnumbered, reclaim Winterfell for House Stark?
Don’t miss "Battle of the Bastards" when Game of Thrones airs this Sunday at 9pm on HBO. The season finale, "The Winds of Winter," will air June 26th, 2016.