Ranked only #16 by the Ringer staff, this episode has to be in the top 5. Of course there are ridiculous, irrational decisions — Rickon running in a straight line, Jon falling for Ramsey’s trick and facing ten thousand arrows which miraculously miss him, Ramsey shooting an arrow to kill a mortally wounded Wun Wun instead of killing Jon Snow and turning around the battle completely — they are in every episode of the show in order to surprise or satisfy the audience.

By the way, even if Rickon ran a more deceptive route, he still could have been killed by an arrow, as shown in this scene from 2006’s Apocalypto:

We have to suspend our disbelief in order to enjoy any show. If not, Game of Thrones would have been canceled by the end of season 1, episode 3.

Just look at these world changing, but completely idiotic decisions:

  1. Jamie pushes Bran out of the window, in a world of brutality, sexual abuse and rigid authoritarianism. Bran was too young to even understand they were having sex, and no one would believe him anyway. Just ask ever victim of sexual abuse who ever went to their parents and was completely shut down because it was disrespectful to the lecherous and guilty uncle or grandfather.
  2. Ned has sacrificed his honor to protect the identity of Jon Snow, but lets Jon go to the Wall, where his vows would prevent him from ever claiming his true position, and his chances of surviving the cold, Wildlings, White Walkers and Aistair Thorne are almost zero.
  3. Jamie talks to Ned about the Mad King, bringing up the question of why he didn’t explain what really happened and offer up the obvious proof — the bodies of all the pyromancers Jamie killed to prevent Aerys’ orders from being carried out. Jamie had no motivation to hide the truth for so many years.
  4. Everything that enters the mind or comes out of the mouth of Catelyn Stark. She believes Tyrion tried to kill Bran because of a knife that Littlefinger claims was won by Tyrion in a bet. She believes that Littlefinger is like a little brother and trusts him implicitly. She continues her drive to prosecute Tyrion in spite of Tyrion making a special saddle for Bran, saving her life in the battle with the Hill People and the sure knowledge that her actions will start a war with the Lannisters, endangering the life of her husband and daughters residing at the time in Lannister central.

Penalizing Battle of the Bastards for a few minor inconsistencies that move the story in the right direction (Bran has to die, or he would be first in the line of succession at Winterfell, meaning there is no coronation of Jon Snow as King of the North, no possibility that Sansa and Littlefinger will work against Jon, and no possibility that he can unite the North against the Night King) is as silly as having Arya survive multiple stabbings and then turn into a professional parcour athlete.

Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at https://guttmanshapiro.com. Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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