A couple of weeks ago, the titles for Episodes 8, 9, and 10 of Game of Thrones Season 6 were posted to the Sky Atlantic Germany website. We weren’t entirely sure if they were accurate, but the pedigree was good, and after HBO confirmed the title of Episode 8 (“No One”), there seemed little doubt that Sky Atlantic Germany was correct.
Now there is no doubt at all. HBO has updated its schedule to include the two titles. Let’s start with Episode 9:
“Battle of The Bastards.” We first heard that phrase as early as October of last year, when the production was still filming Season 6. At first, it sounded like it was a colloquial name cast and crew members were giving to the inevitable clash between Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton, the two bastards in questions. (Yes, Ramsay was legitimized, but as Sansa pointed out in Season 5, does it count if the person who does the legitimizing (Tommen) is a bastard himself?) Apparently, the production has taken the name to heart. It’s a fun title that has a bit of a WrestleMania feel to it. Two bastards enter. One bastard leaves. Find out which is which on June 19.
And now, the title of the finale.
“The Winds of Winter” is the title of the sixth, as-yet-unreleased novel in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. The Season 5 finale, “Mother’s Mercy,” was so packed with incident and death that it was sorta ungainly. Will the show top itself with “The Winds of Winter?”
We should also point out that both of these episodes are super-sized. “Battle of the Bastards” is a full 60 minutes, which is definitely on the lengthy side for Game of Thrones. “The Winds of Winter,” on the other hand, will be the longest episode in the show’s history. It’ll clock in at a whopping 69 minutes, topping the previous record-holder, Season 4’s “The Children,” by three minutes.
Both episodes are directed by Miguel Sapochnik, who left his mark on the show last year when he directed “Hardhome.” We’re almost there. Things are about to get really real.