What the hell is a pincer movement?
If you sleep through History Channel documentaries, you might've been surprised to hear the phrase "pincer movement" in the behind-the-scenes videos for the show. It's a well-worn tactic used by notable commanders like Alexander the Great, Hannibal, and Genghis Khan to defeat enemies on the battlefield. The maneuver mostly involves attacking your opponent on both sides and pinching them in.
Ramsay's version of the double-envelopment pincer move, which involved those ugly shields and some scary-looking spears, was particularly brutal. Though the tactic is a popular way to destroy your attackers, the creators of Game of Thrones had a few specific historical examples in mind, in addition to cinematic inspirations like Akira Kurosawa's epic Ran.
"Initially we based Battle of the Bastards on the Battle of Agincourt which took place between the French and English in 1415," explained director Miguel Sapochnik in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "But as needs changed, as did budgets, it became more like the Battle of Cannae between the Romans and Hannibal in 216 BC."