-- The epic showdown between Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton finally arrived, with the fate of Winterfell hanging in the balance. But before we get to the battle in the icy North, Daenerys Targaryen has a fiery message for the Masters, who have attacked Meereen.
As the Masters lay siege to Meereen, Daenerys and Tyrion talk about what to do next. Daenrys wants to bring fire down on the Masters and burn their cities to the ground, but Tyrion reminds her that her father was similarly merciless without any regard for any innocents who may die in the process. The Dragon Queen sees her adviser's point, and she meets with the Masters to negotiate their terms of surrender. When the Masters laugh off her threats, she calls her dragon Drogon and rides him to attack the invaders' ships. Her other two dragons, whom Tyrion unchained earlier in the season, join their queen to spray fire on their enemies. Meanwhile, the Dothraki army arrives and takes out the remaining Sons of the Harpy. Tyrion says Daenerys demands the life of one of the three Masters for violating their truce, and two of them offer the third. Grey Worm kills those two, and Tyrion tells the surviving one to return home to tell his comrades what happened.
Later, Yara and Theon Greyjoy arrive in Meereen to offer their ships to Daenerys. In return, they ask her to install Yara as the rightful leader of the Iron Islands. Daenerys agrees, provided that Yara promises the ironborn will recognize Daenerys' authority over the Seven Kingdoms and end their marauding ways. Yara does, and a pact is made.
Up North, Ramsay and Jon meet before the clash that gives the episode its title: "Battle of the Bastards." Jon proposes that Ramsay battle him one on one to spare thousands of their men's lives, but Ramsay, whose army is much bigger, refuses.
Team Stark returns to camp to map strategy for the battle. Sansa insists that they are outnumbered and can't win, but Jon says they have to strike now with the men they have. Knowing that there is a good chance he won't survive the battle, Jon visits with the red priestess Melisandre and tells her not to bring him back to life again should he die.
Finally, the forces face off. Ramsay brings out his prisoner Rickon Stark, Sansa's and Jon's little brother. It looks as if Ramsay will kill Rickon right there, but ever the sadist, he makes the littlest Stark run to Jon while he fires arrows at him. Although Rickon avoids a few arrows, eventually one strikes him through the heart. Even angrier than he already was, Jon charges Ramsay's army, with his forces following him.
The two armies brawl, with much bloodshed, and eventually Ramsay's troops encircle Jon's. When it looks as though they're about to be slaughtered, Sansa and Petyr Baelish, aka Littlefinger, arrive with the Knights of the Vale, which leads Ramsay to retreat. Jon, the wildling leader Tormund and the wildling giant Wun Wun follow him and break through Winterfell's gate. Ramsay tries to kill Jon, but the Stark bastard blocks his arrows and beats Ramsay nearly to death.
With the Bolton army defeated, the wolf banners of House Stark adorn Winterfell once again. Sansa visits Ramsay, now a prisoner. She sics his vicious dogs on her former captor and walks away, satisfied.
"The Winds of Winter," the tenth and final episode of "Game of Thrones" season six, airs next Sunday night on HBO.