This season of Game of Thrones has already offered plenty of surprises, with long-lost characters returning, some from the dead, some from just long hiatuses. Earlier today, we showed you new photos from this weekend's episode, No One, which marks the eighth episode of this season, while the network also revealed the titles for the ninth (The Battle of the Bastards) and 10th (The Winds of Winter) episodes. The network also announced that the season finale will be the longest in the show's history.
The Season 6 finale The Winds of Winter will air on Sunday, June 26, spanning a whopping 69 minutes, nine minutes longer than the ninth episode, The Battle of the Bastards. The only two episodes that come close to the 69-minute runtime are the Season 2 finale Valar Morghulis (64 minutes) and the Season 4 finale The Children (65 minutes). Both episodes are directed by Miguel Sapochnik, who helmed the epic Season 5 episode Hardhome, which gave us our first real look at the powerful Night's King.
Unfortunately, HBO hasn't released any plot details for these last two episodes yet, but there is already plenty of speculation. The Battle of the Bastards title is most likely referring to the impending showdown between Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Ramasy Bolton (Iwan Rheon), for control of Winterfell. The season finale The Winds of Winter is actually the title of George R.R. Martin's long-awaited sixth book. The author still has not announced when the book will be published yet, so it's possible that perhaps the season finale could lead to an announcement about his sixth book, but that's only speculation at this point.
HBO hasn't released any plot details as of yet, but it seems that at least one of these last two episodes could feature an epic battle that was described by writer-producer Bryan Cogman in March as the biggest battle in TV history. While he wouldn't offer specifics at the time, he did tease that this will be a "proper battle," with a massive army on each side. It's certainly possible that this huge battle could be the big showdown between Snow and Bolton, but during last week's episode, we learned that Snow and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) still don't have a big enough army to overtake Winterfell from Ramsay. Perhaps that will change in Sunday night's episode, No One.
A more likely scenario, however, is that this previously-teased battle could be between the White Walkers, lead by the Night's King, and the possibly-united armies of the North. During last week's episode, Davos Seaworth told young Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey) that the houses of the North need to unite, because an army of the dead are coming. There have been rumors that Jon Snow and Sansa do end up taking back Winterfell, with Jon Snow being named King of the North, perhaps after his true heritage is finally revealed, which has long been speculated to happen this season. Of course, these theories could be way off, leading to another big twist. Be sure to stay tuned for more on Game of Thrones as we get closer and closer to this epic season coming to a close.