'Game of Thrones' actor on 'Battle of the Bastards' outcome: 'It isn't fair'
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – This week, we witnessed television history, as Game of Thrones mounted one of its most ambitious episodes probably since the Battle of the Blackwater in season 2. (IN PHOTOS: 'Battle of the Bastards': Epic Jon Snow, Ramsay Bolton showdown on 'Game of Thrones')
Titled "Battle of the Bastards," the episode that aired in the Philippines on Monday, June 20, kept everyone at the edge of their seats. It promised a showdown between Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton, and it delivered more than this so-called #BastardBowl, with the action going beyond Winterfell.
However, the highlight here will be on what went down up North. Press the big orange button below to reveal some of what went on in this week's Game of Thrones:
The Starks have taken back Winterfell – after a long bloody battle that inevitably claimed casualties and that had them outnumbered.
But we saw poetic justice unfold on our very screens – by Ramsay torn into shreds by his dogs.
Ramsay was a sadist and merciless, and Iwan Rheon played the character marvellously, as attested to by his own castmates.
"I love Iwan’s work," Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow, told Entertainment Weekly (EW). "He’s an incredibly detailed actor who’s created a character who’s remarkable and despicable."
Kristian Nairn, aka "hold the door" Hodor, described him to fans in Manila during his ToyCon visit as "a really good actor 'cause he's really a nice guy in real life. But yeah, I want him to die horribly."
Now, Iwan himself addresses his grisly he-had-it-coming fate, which he thought was a "proper send-off."
He told GQ, "I’ve been teasing journalists all along, saying I wanted a dragon-related death. But I think this is a very fitting death, and a very just death, with some sense of irony. He's been banging on about these dogs for so long—and all of a sudden, he's their meal."
Iwan said that he got the call with a joke from the showrunners, "Isn’t it great Ramsay ends up on the Iron Throne?"
"As soon as they said that I said, 'He’s dead isn’t he?'" he told EW. "It’s cool. I’ve had four lovely seasons here. It’s been great to be involved with such an amazing show."
He thought, however, that Ramsay got exactly what he deserved. "I think it’s kind of right he goes down. Because what else is he going to do after this? He’s done so many things. It’s justified and it’s the right thing to do. It’s the right path. He’s reached his peak. It’s nice for the audience that he goes out on this high, if you will."
Strategically speaking, Ramsay could and should have won if not for the Knights of the Vale coming to their rescue. "He’s not the one the audience is rooting for," EW's James Hibberd notes.
"I’m glad it happens as a fan of the show," he said of the Starks' victory. "Jon Snow needs to win because otherwise there’s no hope left in the world."
"But it is interesting that it isn’t fair. And afterward, Ramsay still thinks he’s won. He’s so arrogant and self assured he thinks he’ll still be fine – until the last minute. He always thinks he’s going to be okay."
Iwan said of his character's battlefield nemesis, Jon Snow: "He’s the antithesis of Ramsay. 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."
He said, that in spite of playing a psychopath, he thinks that there was some "depth" to Ramsay.
"I think this season, in particular, really showed that: how he reacted to killing his dad, and how he reacted to Myranda being dead. I think most people assumed he wouldn't give a f*ck – but it actually does distress him. Massively," he told GQ.
"Killing his dad was obviously something he had thought about, and he knew it eventually might happen if a son was born – but in that moment, it just happens, and it catches him by surprise. And he's toying with Jon Snow – but he sort of respects Jon Snow."
He added about "They have so much in common. In another scenario, they might have… well, I don’t think they would have been friends, but I think Ramsay would have liked Jon Snow. Jon Snow wouldn't like Ramsay very much."
"But Ramsay has got a lot more to him. He's not just completely an emotionless psychopath, devoid of empathy."
He said that he's definitely going to miss being on the show, saying: "I think I’ll miss the coming here and seeing everyone and getting down and doing it. And I’ll miss when you pick up a script and read it and there’s always one scene in every season where I go, 'Thank you so much, thank you, this is such a beauty.'"
"It’s going to be really odd not doing this anymore," added Iwan. "You’re a part of something huge and you turn up and see the sets and the castles and everything. I’m going to be really I’m going to miss being a part of it."
The season finale of Game of Thrones airs next Monday, June 27 at 9am in Asia – in a simulcast with the US – and has an encore telecast at 9pm.
Watch the episode preview here: