The two types of bastard in Game of Thrones

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Game of Thrones has bastards galore and not all of them are illegitimate.

This article contains spoilers for season six of Game of Thrones.

The word bastard is used regularly in Game of Thrones, describing the many characters – both seen and unseen – whose birth resulted in a cheeky fling of one sort or another.

In season one it was all about Robert Baratheon’s numerous secret offspring, while Jon Snow’s presence at Winterfell tainted the otherwise unquestionable nobility of his (apparent) father Ned.

Since then we have met more bastards, most notably the repugnant Ramsay Snow (later Bolton) who embraced the title for both its original and its latter day meaning.

Here was a vile character that we had no issue calling a bastard not for his origins but for his behaviour.

While many in the Game of Thrones universe are a bastard of one type or another, Ramsay was both.

With Jon’s mysterious parentage likely to be solved this season, could we be seeing the key moments for the North’s two biggest bastards, with Ramsay edging closer to a much deserved comeuppance?

It remains to be seen, but the return of the Umbers in the most recent episode suggested that could well be the case.

After all, the Umbers have up to this point been loyal to the Starks, so a dramatic change of allegiance with one in their presence seems highly unlikely.

In fact, if Smalljon Umber has indeed betrayed his father’s beliefs he himself is a bastard, just as the likes of Petyr Baelish, Tywin Lannister and Walder Frey were in previous seasons.

There a very few good people in Westeros, which is why Jon’s death was only ever going to be temporary.

Everyone else is a bastard or a bitch, a vile, egocentric, power-hungry villain who should probably look behind them once in a while, not for the living, but for the marching dead.