WARNING: Spoilers ahead for the ‘Game of Thrones’ TV series. Do not read on unless you have seen Season 6, Episode 3, ‘Oathbreaker.’With each new drama-filled episode of Game of Thrones, comes another new and equally exciting theory dreamt up by the fans. After learning this week that Jon Snow’s Watch is well and truly over, speculation has started to surround what his next move will be. While there are a number of paths our beloved bastard could take, one in particular seems to be most imminent. It’s been coined: Bastardbowl.
The long-desired theory revolves around the idea that Jon and Ramsay Bolton (née Snow) will come head to head in a ‘battle of bastards’, but the circumstances have never really been clear — until now, that is. It may not have been blindingly obvious but the latest episode brought us the closest we’ve ever been to seeing these two fighting it out and it’s all down to a certain Lord Umber and his ‘gift’.
Umber, Osha and Rickon at Winterfell
After rocking up with Rickon, it’s clear that Lord Umber is going to have an important role to play this season. Just in case you’d forgotten, Smalljon is the eldest son and the heir of (Great)Jon Umber. After his father’s death he became the new Lord of Last Hearth and head of House Umber. Although his disdain for House Bolton was pretty clear in the episode, he makes out like his contempt for the wildlings is stronger.
Lord Smalljon Umber
However, Rickon and Osha are hardly strangers. They went straight to House Umber under the instruction of Bran back in Season 3 and with good reason: House Umber is one of the Stark family’s greatest allies. It seems suspicious that after living under their wing for a few years at least, Rickon and Osha would be so willingly disposed of. Yes, Lord Greatjon is dead and Smalljon could be just as cold-hearted as Ramsay — he did decapitate poor Shaggydog, or did he? Some people are convinced that the head was far too small and was in fact a decoy.
Umber was smart enough to surmise that Ramsay himself killed Roose, rather than buying the party line that he was poisoned by enemies, and he also outright refused to swear fealty or even kneel. Could Osha and Rickon merely be bait as part of a bigger and more brilliant plan? Umber isn’t just gaining Ramsay’s trust, he’s perfectly positioning a Stark back in Winterfell which, potentially, could bring Jon running back to start a rebellion.
Jon leaving Castle Black
If Umber does manage to get Ramsay to agree to confront the wildlings, there’s very little doubt that Jon Snow will fight by their sides (all things considered). Could this be the rebellion that was teased in the season trailer? It seems highly likely to me that if ‘bastardbowl’ really does come to fruition, House Umber will side with the Starks. As for poor little Rickon, Osha is known for being a badass and this wouldn’t be the first time she’s got them out of a sticky situation.
Rickon and Osha
In my eyes, the question of Jon vs Ramsey is less of an ‘if’ and more of a ‘when’. My bet is that it will happen this season, but you can check out the trailer below and decide for yourself. Game of Thrones will return this Sunday at 9pm on HBO.