A lot happened in No One but with only two episodes left this series, a lot still has to happen. Episode 9 (‘The Battle of the Bastards’) is traditionally when the proverbial hits the fan, here’s what we’re looking out for.
1. When will Arya get to Winterfell, and will she be reunited with Jon and Sansa?
The prodigal daughter is coming home. We’re not expecting her to reach it by the next episode though. The law of TV journeys means she has to have at least one adventure in a brothel or tavern and meet a significant character en-route. We’re betting the return will either be the last scene of this series or early next series.
2. How will Daenerys defend Meereen?
The siege of Meereen looks serious, but this is a chance to see how devastating dragons can be on the battlefield. At the moment they’re little more than exceptionally dangerous animals, but Game of Thrones treats them like fantasy WMDs. They’ve spent the money building a CGI version of Meereen for a reason.
3. What will happen to Cersei and Loras?
It might have been satisfying to have her zombified Mountain rip out that monk’s spine, but we bet she’s regretting it now. The startling display of strength convinced the high Sparrow to change the rules of the game. Her upcoming trial (scheduled for the Feast of the Mother, to really rub it in) can no longer be decided through combat. Time to get an attorney, right? Apparently Qyburn has been looking into “rumours” that could change things, presumably implicating the High Sparrow. Hopefully King’s Landing has some tabloids that will pick up the story in time.
The other possibility is that Cersei has been researching the stores of Wild Fire kept underneath King's Landing, in case she needs to threaten the entire city ala the Mad King before her.
4. Are the Starks sunk without Blackfish?
With the loss of Blackfish and the Tully army, the Stark’s forces seem to be predominantly Wildlings. They’re brave fighters (and they have a giant) but an experienced, armoured army has a massive advantage. Just ask the Gauls.
5. What has Ramsay done to Rickon?
Jon is looking queasy in the preview, and Ramsay promised to do some truly horrific stuff to the younger brother he’s holding hostage. We don’t really want to speculate, but this is a man who flays people for fun. Imagine what he does when he’s trying to scare an opponent. We hesitate to mention it, but those flames in front of the Bolton army look a lot like people tied to stakes.
6. Who will win the Battle of the Bastards?
It’s Snow v (former) Snow in the battle for Winterfell. Look, we all want the Starks to win, and Jon Snow is a capable leader, but the Night’s Watch were Westerosi low-achievers and the Wildlings are…well, wild. Ramsay Bolton is an untouchable fighter and master tactician in charge of a large, well funded army, as well as being a total sadist. He would seem to have the advantage, unless Littlefinger has something up his sleeve.
7. Is Lady Stoneheart finally going to appear?
[Book spoilers ahead] Catelyn Stark died three series ago, but suddenly people can’t stop talking about her. Jaime and Edmure Tully reminisced about when she smacked Jaime with a rock, the Blackfish weighed up his old love for his niece with his love for his home and Brienne (as ever) would not stop talking about the pledge of loyalty she owed her late lady. Meanwhile, the Hound ran across the Brotherhood Without Banners, including the often-dead Beric Dondarrion and resurrectionist Thoros of Myr. We wonder why….
Game of Thrones continues next Monday at 2am on Sky Atlantic and again at 9pm