The ninth episodes of each Game of Thrones season have become well-known for epic moments, such as Ned Stark's (Sean Bean) beheading in Season 1, the battle of Blackwater Bay in Season 2 and the infamous Red Wedding in Season 3. That tradition looks to continue this week with Battle of the Bastards, airing Sunday, June 19 at 9 PM ET on HBO. With just two days left before this battle unfolds, even more photos have surfaced which take us closer to the action.
As we've seen in the episode preview that debuted on Sunday night, The Battle of the Bastards will showcase the armies assembled by Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) for control of Winterfell. Entertainment Weekly has one of these new photos, featuring Snow wielding his sword Longclaw, while the rest come from The Wrap. EW also got to speak with this episode's director, Miguel Sapochnik, who teased just how big this battle really is.
"Every battle on Thrones is unique. I think that's why [showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] keep doing them. In the case of 'Battle of the Bastards' - or 'BOB' as we affectionately called it in production - David and Dan wanted to do a thing of spectacle, a strategic pitchfield battle they hadn't had the resources to do back in season 1 or 2. I was particularly interested in depicting both the horror of war and the role of luck in battle."
A few months ago, writer-producer Bryan Cogman teased that Season 6 will feature the biggest battle in the show's history, possibly even in the history of television itself. This new report from EW reveals that the battle took a whopping 25 days to shoot, with 500 extras, 600 crew members and 70 horses. Miguel Sapochnik was the director behind last season's epic episode Hardhome, where fans got their first look at the Night's King. David Benioff revealed that they decided to bring him back for this episode, based on his work on Hardhome.
"Miguel did such a fantastic job with Hardhome last season, we thought we should bring him back, this time with horses. Some of the shots he's pulled off are some of the best on the show."
Dan Weiss added that the director has "really outdone himself," adding that he thinks this battle will provide viewers with something they don't get to see on TV too often. Next week's season finale will also make history as the longest episode in Game of Thrones history, at 69 minutes. While we wait for more details on the finale, check out these photos below.