The Battle of the Bastards is well underway, and Ramsay Bolton just pulled the ultimate dickhead move even I thought Ramsay Bolton was incapable of. Rickon dies on Game of Thrones thanks to an arrow from Bolton's hand, all because of a "little game." Also this is fair warning, because spoilers for Season 6, Episode 9 of Game of Thrones are everywhere in this post. Seconds before the battle gets underway, Ramsay tugs Rickon forward on a long rope until he's well within sight of Jon and his makeshift army. He then raises his sword and makes like he's going to slit Rickon's throat only to let him free. He then asks Rickon if he wants to play a little game — and we should all know by now that this game of Ramsay's is only fun in Ramsay Bolton's eyes.
The game, of course, is that Rickon has to run to the safety of Jon and his army, all while Ramsay shoots arrows just mere inches ahead of Rickon's next step. Realizing this, Jon jets forward, but by this time, of course we all know it's too late. When Rickon dies on Game of Thrones, it is, unsurprisingly, exactly like Sansa predicted: Ramsay would not let a legitimate heir to the Winterfell throne live, regardless of whether or not he won the Battle of the Bastards. Rickon was always going to die. Sansa knew it. Unfortunately, so did we.
Seeing Rickon in that moment was like the epilogue to the Red Wedding. My heart can't take it #GameOfThrones— Alicia (@DontEndorseThis) June 20, 2016
So much of The Battle of the Bastards was, for Jon Snow, a fight to return Rickon back safely to the waiting arms of his (half-)brother and sister. If he could just do this one thing. If he could just save this one person. Though we all know what Ramsay Bolton is capable of, Jon Snow seemed very much of the mindset to believe that if they could win, Rickon would stay safe. Sansa, however, knew better. She warned Jon the night before the battle that Ramsay knows how to hurt people — and killing Rickon was the most devastatingly perfect example of that. Ramsay was counting on Jon losing his cool when he murdered Rickon. It's how Ramsay works. The fact that Jon was so close yet so powerless to stop Ramsay was a shining example of the devilish torture he was capable of. In killing Rickon, Ramsay was hoping to unhinge Jon. Thankfully, we'll never know if that worked.
So much for them waiting for the Bolton army to charge. Ramsay did exactly what he wanted. May you rest, Rickon. #GameofThrones— Awesomely Luvvie (@Luvvie) June 20, 2016
Sansa knew and recognized the inner workings of Ramsay's brain, and that proved to be his downfall. For better or for worse (and trust me, it's definitely for worse), Sansa understood what makes Ramsay tick. She knew well ahead of the fight for her home that Rickon would be just another casualty in the Great Terrifying Game that Ramsay Bolton plays, and she understood exactly how Ramsay would try to use that to his advantage. Even though she couldn't put into words how or what Jon should do to better prepare for his enemy, Sansa's innate understanding of the man who inflicted his terror on her with disgusting regularity ultimately gave way to the Stark's success.
I'm not disputing whether or not Jon Snow is an effective and brave leader (because he is. He's Jon F*cking Snow.), but without Sansa, I don't want to know what would've happened at the Battle of Winterfell. Rickon's loss is great, but honestly I don't want to know what would've happened had Jon lost his head (literally and figuratively).
Though I love Jon Snow, here's hoping that Winterfell is ready for a Queen to rule. Sansa Stark 2016. OK?