'Game of Thrones' Season 4: Get to Know The Boltons [SPOILERS]

The story behind Roose and Ramsay Snow of the Dreadfort
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Episode 10 has come around and the season finale of "Game of Thrones" is upon us. Season 4 saw many characters thrust into the spotlight who may not have played key roles in previous seasons. As the more prominent characters fall like flies in every season, others step up to the plate and inject the story with their own flavour. Some more charismatic than others, they each give the world of "A Song of Ice and Fire" the necessary nuances of good vs. evil and everything in between with the lines often blurred. 

Roose Bolton is one such character who has been playing in the sidelines but now has a key role after the fall of Winterfell first to Theon Greyjoy and then to his bastard son, Ramsay Snow. Roose Boton now holds the North after being declared Warden of the North by the Lannisters after turning his back on Robb Stark and his Northern Army.

Lord Bolton of the Dreadfort

Before all of this happened, the series begins with Roose as Lord of the Dreadfort, the seat of House Bolton, a fortress just east of Winterfell. His house sigil is a flayed man on a pink background. The origin of the sigil comes from the house practice of flaying their captured enemies.

Roose Bolton fought at the Battle of the Trident for Robert Baratheon alongside his fellow Northerner, Ned Stark. In the series, when Robb Stark calls upon the Lords of the North to aid in his quest to avenge his father and provide aid to his Grandfather, Hoster Tully in Riverrun, Lord Bolton was one of the Lords who helped Robb advance his army through the Northern lands heading south to Moat Cailin and through the Twins which is held by the Freys. At this point, he is sent out to distract Tywin and his Lannister Army while Robb heads to Riverrun. Roose is able to distract Tywin sufficiently despite losing the actual battle. He is then given the task to retake the ruined castle of Harrenhal where a skeleton Lannister army remains after most of them had gone to provide aid to King's Landing from Stannis Baratheon's attack at the Balckwater.

Roose betrays Robb Stark

When Stannis is defeated, Bolton decides that Robb Startk, now the King in the North and the Trident will have little chance to defeat the Lannisters especially since he has fallen out of favour with the Freys.  THis occured after Robb broke a pact for him to marry one of Lord Walder Frey's daughters and decided to marry a woman he had chosen for himself who in the series, is a woman from Volantis that he met in the battlefield.

At this point, Bolton betrays Robb and allies himself with the Lannisters and the Freys and together, they plan the infamous "Red Wedding." where RObb Stark, his mother Cateyn Stark and most of the Northern Army is massacred by the Frey's and Bolton's men.

Roose marries one of Walder Freys daughters in exchange for a sizable amount of gold.  This would naturally result in a powerful title for her if he is able to take over the North. This betrayal of Robb is what prompts Tywin Lannister to declare Roose as Warden of the North.

Ramsay Snow becomes a Bolton

Meanwhile, Ramsay, Bolton's bastard son, has outsmarted Theon Greyjoy and taken WInterfell from him. He now holds Theon Greyjoy captive and castrated and emotionally broken, making him take on the persona of a stinking sidekick called Reek. Roose arrives at Winterfell to find Greyjoy in such a state and is conflicted as to whether he will admire his son or condemn his extreme actions.

He tests his son and gives him the task of taking Moat Cailin fron the remaining Ironborn men who are still garrisoned there in their own attempt to take over the North.  Ramsay succeeds with the help of Theon who is now completely terrified of him and is doing his every bididng. Theon comes to Moat Cailin as himself and tricks the battle-weary Ironborn men there into surrendering the Moat.

Roose is convinced of his son's abilities and declared Ramsay a true Bolton and therefore his heir which is of course what his bastard son wanted all along. Ramsay has long been suspected to have had a hand in the death of Rosse's only legitimate born son to his second wife.

Ramsay and Arya Stark's Marriage

In an attempt to have a deeper foothold to the North, the Boltons plan to marry Ramsay to Arya Stark. However, they do not actually have Arya Stark in their custody as she has last been seen thus far in the company of The Hound in the series. Instead, they will be using a fake Arya in the person of Jeyne Poole, a childhood friend of the Stark children. Theon Greyjoy, who grew up in Winterfell  and knows the Stark children well,  is aware of the deception and will finally get a chance to redeem himself in his actions in the upcoming seasons.

Much more will be seen of the Boltons and Theon as the battle rages on in Westeros from all directions. They will soon be facing the disturbances in the North brought about by the invasion of the Wildling Army and now also by Stannis Baratheon's army who will be landing in the North to assist the Night's Watch.  Everything in the South is still in  chaos as well after the death of Joffrey and the coronation of Tommen. The death of Tywin in the hands of Tyrion will put everything back up in the air and the coming seasons will surely be interesting for the Boltons of the Dreadfort. 

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