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"Battle of the Bastards" is the ninth and penultimate episode of the sixth season of HBO's fantasy television series Game of Thrones and its 59th episode overall. It was written by series co-creators David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, and directed by Miguel Sapochnik.
Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton face off in a battle for control of Winterfell. The Bolton army defeats most of Jon's force, mostly composed of Wildlings, but are overcome when Sansa Stark and Petyr Baelish arrive with the Knights of the Vale. The battle culminates in Ramsay's defeat and capture. Meanwhile, Daenerys Targaryen defeats the Masters in Meereen and begins making new alliances.
"Battle of the Bastards" received immense critical acclaim, with several reviewers calling it a "masterpiece". Many have called it the best episode of the series, and is regarded as one of the greatest television episodes of all time for its direction, writing, performances, and battle sequences. Critics described the battle in the North as "terrifying, gripping and exhilarating" with Harington's performance receiving high praise, and Daenerys' reunion with her dragons at the beginning of the episode as "thrilling". Its eponymous battle took 25 days to film and required 500 extras, 600 crew members, and 70 horses. In the United States, the episode had a viewership of 7.66 million in its initial broadcast. It earned Game of Thrones several Primetime Emmy Awards (including Outstanding Directing and Outstanding Writing); the episode was Kit Harington's choice to support his nomination for the Outstanding Supporting Actor. Sapochnik also won the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Directing in a Drama Series for the episode.
This episode marks the final appearances of Art Parkinson (as Rickon Stark) and Iwan Rheon (as Ramsay Bolton).