HBO won’t release synopses for “Battle of the Bastards” and “The Winds of Winter”


If there’s one word that described HBO’s media relations during the lead-up to Game of Thrones Season 6, it was “secretive.” The network didn’t send screeners to critics, important characters were renamed in scripts to avoid leaks, and, oh yeah, the cast and crew spent a year lying to everyone about Jon Snow’s death. HBO has gone to great lengths to keep the show’s secrets away from prying eyes, and it continues to cultivate an air of mystery today.

Usually, HBO sends out episode synopses ahead of time—it’s sent them out for every episode of Season 6 so far. Sure, the descriptions are usually pretty vague (the gold standard remains this line from the synopsis for Season 5’s “The Gift”: “Stannis remains stubborn”), but they at least gave fans something to hold onto. Well, HBO sent out a press released this morning, detailing the production credits behind the final two episodes of Game of Thrones Season 6, called “Battle of the Bastards” and “The Winds of Winter” respectively. We know when they’re going to be on, who wrote them (David Benioff and Dan Weiss), and who directed them (“Hardhome” director Miguel Sapochnik), but there’s not a word about what happens in them.

When I first got the press release, I thought the descriptions might be forthcoming later, but then Entertainment Weekly, which has had insider access to the Game of Thrones cast and crew all season, ran a story about how the network “won’t release descriptions” of the final two episodes. It seems that HBO wants us to tune in for ourselves to find out what goes down.

Of course, we have some idea of what might be coming, but now that we’re at the end of the season, there’s a fair bit we don’t know as well. Because we can’t help ourselves, we’ll be on the hunt for every last morsel of information we can find between now and when the episodes air.