Another warning, just to be safe: this post is pretty much wall to wall spoilers, so let the wary beware.
“THAT’S what happens in Season 6?”
Now that the bulk of outdoor shooting for Game of Thrones Season 6 is over, we have a least a foggy idea of how the year will go, and all reports indicate that the all-important Episode 9 will be dominated by a massive battle scene that will pit a newly resurrected Jon Snow against Ramsay Bolton and his allies. Here’s a basic rundown of what we know.
- People on the production are calling it “The Battle of the Bastards” (even though Ramsay isn’t technically a bastard anymore), although “The Battle of Six Armies” is another popular moniker.
- What armies are involved? Word is that Jon Snow will be leading, at the least, the wildlings into battle, while Ramsay Snow is backed by the Karstarks and (perplexingly) the Umbers. This picture also indicates that a bunch of other Northern Houses will be involved. And there may be other combatants we’re not sure of yet.
- Although direct pics are hard to come by, locals have often seen smoke rising from the filming locations. You can catch a glimpse of it in the header image above.
- The production filmed this battle scene just outside Saintfield, Northern Ireland. It spent several weeks in the area, quite a bit longer than it usually spends on fight scenes, so we can expect the battle to be appropriately impressive.
Now, Watchers on the Wall has posted some new spoilers that, if true, reveal some big details. Let’s take them one at a time:
- SPOILER #1: Sophie Turner was seen filming near the battlefield, meaning that Sansa Stark will be involved in the fight in some way.
We’ve heard little about what Turner’s been up to in the off-season, but this is believable. Now that she’s escaped Winterfell with the knowledge that her brother Rickon is alive, it would make sense for her to go looking for him, or perhaps head to the Wall to see her half-brother Jon Snow, since she wouldn’t have found out about his death yet. In any case, as a Stark and a former ward of the sadistic Ramsay Bolton, she has a stake in a battle that stands to topple the Bolton dynasty. I doubt she’ll be fighting in the battle, but I could see her being there for Jon or Rickon.
Another, more horrifying possibility is that Sansa is captured by the Boltons before she makes it far from Winterfell and is present at the battle as one of Ramsay’s prisoners. Somehow I doubt it, though. After all, we know that Theon eventually makes it to the Iron Islands in Season 6, and if he got away, I assume that Sansa did, too.
- SPOILER #2: Characters will die in this battle. Ramsay will contribute to the death toll in part by tying two known characters to X-crosses upside-down and burning them during the fighting.
Well, Ramsay burning people alive would explain the smoke. I wonder if Melisandre will mind that Ramsay is stealing her thing.
As for who the characters tied to the crosses might be, there’s little way of knowing. Maybe Ramsay will burn Bolton retainers like Walda Bolton, née Frey, who he seemed none too pleased with in Season 5, or maybe he’ll capture some folks from the opposing side and burn them. Hell, maybe he’ll even snap completely and burn his dad. Whatever happens, Season 6 will likely pound home a lesson we’ve all learned before: Ramsay is a very bad person.
Elsewhere, I expect some characters to fall in battle. The candidates are many. If the wildlings are with Jon, Tormund Giantsbane could be on the chopping block, and it’s possible that Jon himself could bite it again. Sansa will also be on hand if the producers are in the mood to kill another Stark, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Rickon was there too (remember, Rickon is coming back this season, and as the official Stark heir, he has a stake in the battle). We haven’t heard much about a Night’s Watch presence, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Jon’s friend Dolorous Edd followed him into battle and possibly the grave.
There have also been reports that Davos will be around, and if Jon Snow is resurrected by Melisandre, she could be present, too. The lords of Karstark and Umber could be killed, and then there’s the obvious: Ramsay might die (oh please, please, please).
- SPOILER #3: There will be a giant involved in the battle. A ball on a stick stood in for it during filming, much like one stood in for Drogon during the filming of the Daznak’s Pit scene last year.
This has gotta be Wun Wun, right? What other giant could it be? He made a big splash during the Massacre at Hardhome so it’d be fun to see him in action again.
- SPOILER #4: The source at Watchers did not see any actors playing White Walkers on set.
Okay, this is more of a spoiler by omission, but it has been theorized for a while that White Walkers might crash the big battle in Episode 9. We previously speculated that the smoke seen rising from the battlefield might be caused by them, but apparently it’s from Ramsay’s human barbecue. This doesn’t necessarily mean that White Walkers couldn’t still show up, but we might be looking at a human-only conflict here…plus one giant.
And that’s it! Exciting times, people! Exciting times.