We’re here to drink milk and live blog Game of Thrones – and we just ran outta milk. Join us at 2am GMT (9pm for viewers in the States) for all the fun in Westeros as we watch Jon Snow take on Ramsay Bolton in the grudge match to end all grudge matches. If you don’t want to know the result, look away now…
This live blog is now concluded
03.40: Oh, I almost forgot – before I go I have to read our fan mail! It’s very exciting, we don’t normally get messages by Raven, but I’m sure it’s something nice.
After this week’s excitement it looks a bit more sedate, but that’s OK – all sorts of secrets seem to be coming out of the woodwork.
03.15: Oh well – at least it’ll be nice to see the Stark crest above Winterfell in the opening credits again, hopefully from next week. Even if there aren’t actually that many Starks left, now that Rickon’s joined the mass of returning stars who disappeared for a season or three only to come back for two episodes and die.
We’re looking at you Blackfish, Balon Greyjoy, Hodor and Osha…
03.12: Then again, I might just be bitter that Wun-Wun died before I got the chance to do my comparison between him and Hagrid.
Totally worth the effort, I’m sure you’ll agree.
03.11: Weirdly, despite pretty much hating the whole Meereen storyline for the past couple of years some of my favourite parts from this episode were there. I even enjoyed the battle scenes a bit more, which were much less hyped.
03.09: Overall though, wasn’t blown away by that whole thing. Certain parts of the way the battle was shot were brilliant, don’t get me wrong, but the whole thing lacked in tension. Felt obvious that the Vale were going to swoop in and save the day, so I never really worried.
Also, not sure why Sansa kept those soldiers a secret from Jon except to create a bit of drama for the show.
03.08: And that’s the end! The Starks are back in Winterfell and Ramsay is so much pedigree chum. Sucks to be him.
03.07: Oh Jesus, I was NOT expecting to see his face legit ripped off right on camera. Did NOT need to see that.
03.06: Ooh, is Ramsay going to die by poetic justice, aka be eaten by his starved hounds?
03.05: Well it has been QUITE the day for Ramsay. Sure he’s gonna be super respectful to Sansa now, and we’ll all forgive him.
03.04: The Starks are back, the Boltons are gone! But it feels less satisfying than I imagined.
03.03: Well this is satisfying. Imagine the gifs people will make of Jon beating Ramsay to a pulp here.
But yeah, let him stand trial like he deserves etc etc.
03.02: Ramsay the Giantslayer.
03.01: No, not Wun-Wun! He was so young!
03.00: You’re right Ramsay, they don’t have the men for a siege…but they do have a massive giant.
02.59: You can run, Ramsay, but you can’t hide…
02.58: Ramsay’s all like “Well that’s cheating.”
02.57: What’s that horn noise…could it be? Could the battle be saved?
Yay, the Knights of the Vale are here!
02.56: Smalljon Umber vs Tormund Giantsbane: The ultimate beard-off.
Meanwhile, Jon Snow suffocates in mud. Fight for Winterfell they said, it’ll be more fun than hanging out at the Wall, they said.
Now they’re basically just being kettled like student protestors.
02.55: Wow, this is shaping up to be a proper slaughter.
02.54: Can’t say I think much of their “run at the shields and hit them with our bodies” strategy, to be honest.
02.53: Looks like Jon’s been outmaneouvred – proper old-school Anglo-Saxon shield wall penning his men in. We believe in you Jonny!
02.52: Yay for giants! So far I’d put this battle’s score at a draw.
02.51: Blimey, this is grim stuff. Real “reality of war” moment.
‘Who owns the North?” Hopefully not you for much longer, Smalljon.
02.50: Wonderful long tracking shot this. Say what you like about Kit Harington’s acting, but he is an action STAR when it comes to this sort of thing.
02.48: This is a great shot. Jon’s last stand, then properly epic cavalry charge.
Sorry if my insight is a little lacking, trying not to tear my eyes away from the screen.
02.47: As Jon and his army head towards Ramsay, we are seeing some good horsing. Excellent horsing, everybody.
But seriously, this looks brilliant. Can really see all the effort that went into it.
02.46: Oh! Oh, he got him! The show actually fooled me into thinking he was safe! But really the youngest Stark was facing his final…
02.45: Oh God, he’s going to shoot him! Come on Rickon, you can make it! Jeez, how far away was he at the start? How could Jon even see him?
02.44: Do they not trust Rickon with any lines? I’m betting Ramsay might be lying about these rules…
02.43: Ramsay’s there with Rickon! Surprised Jon can even recognise him to be honest, he’s grown like two feet since the pilot.
Don’t go Jon, it’s a trap! And so’s him being set free.
02.42: Biiiggg teeennnseee musssiiccc
02.41: Ooh, battle lines are drawn! Er, where did they get their Stark armour and banners? Were they just lying around somewhere, or did Sansa just sew them all?
Biggest mystery in Game of Thrones, right here.
02.39: Hard to tell how much longer we’ve got in this episode, considering it’s a bit longer than usual. You’d assume it’s an hour, but with the adverts we get on Sky Atlantic I suppose we could be looking at say an extra 10 minutes at the end? I’m pegging 3.10 as our finish time in the UK.
02.37: With Sansa headed towards taking over the North, Yara making plans for the Iron Islands and Dany setting her sights on Westeros, it’s looking like we could be seeing a lot of Queens in Game of Thrones’ future. Perhaps we’d even get a “War of Five Queens!” That’d be fun.
02.35: They get to hang out with cool dragons, but they have to stop being bitchin’ pirates. Tough call.
And now another advert break! I say this every week, but this episode is flying by.
02.34: They got to Meereen pretty quickly, must have borrowed Littlefinger’s jet pack. Yara and Dany are a match made in heaven, I have to say.
And nice to see Tyrion and Theon together again for the first time since season one. Man, I love all these connections.
02.33: Hey, we’re back in Meereen, and we’re seeing ANOTHER team-up – Theon and Yara with Dany and Tyrion!
02.32: Uh-oh, The Onion Knight has discovered the pyre where Melisandre burned Princess Shireen – he’s looking pretty…
02.31: Melisandre thinks the Lord of Light could have brought Jon back to life just to kill him again, aka EXACTLY WHAT I WAS WORRIED ABOUT EARLIER. Oh dear…
02.30: Oh yeah, Melisandre is in this show. After bringing back Jon, did she go on a little holiday? A sightseeing trip round Molestown? Feels like we haven’t seen her in ages.
02.29: “Happy shitting”. Cant wait to see the greetings card for that one.
02.28: With wise bearded men Tormund and Davos on his side, I think Jon might just prevail – thought it might be A CLOSE SHAVE, eh?
02.27: I suppose their drama is actually “Game of Thrones” when you think about it.
02.26: Jeez, these Stark kids and their drama.
02.25: Good on Sansa for calling out Jon on his battle plan-mansplaining.
02.23: Tormund is not good at battle planning and they lack the horses, but the Stark side is definitely winning in one way – truly epic beards.
Just check out these gorgeous animals.
02.22: At least my versions of Ramsay and Jon are getting along.
02.21: Poor Shaggydog. But go Sansa for standing her ground.
02.20: There you go, Ramsay has 6,000 men to Jon’s 3,000. Really interesting to see these two characters bounce off each other.
02.19: Yeah, Ramsay is famously merciful. SO merciful.
02.18: We’re back for what looks like a parlay scene between the Stark and Bolton forces. Most exciting.
02.15: And now we’re in the first advert break! Exciting stuff so far, even if we haven’t popped up to Winterfell yet. Wonder if we’ll spend the rest of the episode there or whether we’ll pop in to see Danyz gang again a couple of times – either way I’m game, though I’ll confess I have fewer bad jokes prepared for the Meereen plotline.
02.14: Fair play, this has been a fantastic sequence. And Grey Worm has some mad throat-slitting skills. High-fives all round.
02.13: Ha, that battle ended quickly. I imagine that Winterfell’s clash will last a bit longer.
02.12: How come soldiers in Essos have such better siege equipment? Jaime could have used their gear at Riverrun. Until it got burned and all, I mean.
02.11: Neverending stoooo-rrrryyy.
02.10: Wahey, this is epic dragonriding! Good to see where all the special effects budget has been going.
02.09: These guys need to get with Dany’s programme and stop these insults. At the moment they’re just…
02.08: It is a BIT different, Tyrion. Feels a bit like you’re just reminding us all that there’s loads of wildfire under King’s Landing, almost as if that might come into play in next week’s family, hmm…
02.07: Classic Dany “kill everybody” speech. She is getting a bit “Mad King”, I have to admit.
02.06: Tyrion’s got some ‘splainin’ to do.
02.05: Starting off with Meerreen! Wow, this looks incredible.
02.04: Based on the names in the opening credits, seems like we are just skipping between Winterfell and Meerreen this week. I love it when a wild piece of speculation comes together.
02.02: Ahh, it’s starting! With strong bloody violence! That’s my favourite kind!
02.00: It’s an extra long episode tonight at 59 minutes, though not quite as long as next week’s epic 69-minute finale. So don’t worry, it seems like they’re saving plenty of exciting developments for next week’s installment. Or getting ready for a really long “Never Have I Ever” scene with Tyrion, Missandei and Grey Worm, hard to say.
01.58: This guy gets it. Only a couple of minutes to go!
Just a couple minutes till the best hour of the week /most nerve-wracking/heart-breaking. #gameofthrones
— mikeborder (@MikeBorder) June 20, 2016
01.53: Fun fact, by the way – this episode is airing on Father’s day, which might be a cheeky nod from the writers to Jon and Ramsay’s illegitimate births. After all, they got Tyrion to kill off his dad on father’s day a couple of years back, so it’s hardly the worst thing they’ve done on the topic.
Alternatively, we could finally learn the true nature of Jon Snow’s birth and whether or not Ned Stark is his real dad. But to be honest, I doubt they’d have room for that this week, and if it means more Wun-Wun action I’m happy enough to leave R+L=J out of it for once.
01.47: 15 minutes to go!
01.42: Still, the upside of this focus on Jon might mean that he feels a little less directionless. Season 6 has been his least compelling storyline so far in my book, but it looks like he’s finally showing a little passion this week.
Maybe he’s finally got his mojo back after the whole “being dead” thing.
01.36: Feels like in all this episode prep no-one (including myself) has been talking much about Sansa, and that’s no good. Hopefully she gets some revenge on Ramsay herself, Tarantino-style.
It’s a shame that her role has been erased a bit from coverage to concentrate on a Jon vs Ramsay conflict, when really it’s Sansa vs Ramsay in terms of who decided to start this conflict/actually has beef with him. But hey, that’s Middle Ages gender politics for you I suppose. Not so sure what our excuse is…
01.27: Either way, this battle can’t come soon enough.
— Lauren (Mialki) Davis (@laurenmialki) June 20, 2016
01.25: Just had a horrible thought – what if Game of Thrones brought Jon back from the dead just to kill him off all over again? Perhaps they felt like they needed to go to lengths of cruelty to jar their jaded audience…
01.21: Same bro. Frankly, I’d be worried about anyone with a personalised Ramsay Bolton banner.
01.17: I know, it’s a wonder they didn’t ask me to direct this episode really.
01.16: And if you can’t be bothered with reading all that, here’s a handy video guide I made for what I think will happen in this week’s episode.
01.13: Less than 60 minutes, so it’s about time we got into wild speculation. It seems likely that this episode will more or less stick with the Stark/Bolton battle storyline (though I’ve heard rumours that we might stop in on Dany and her gang in Meereen for a bit), and I think it’s likely our Jonny boy is gonna win the day.
Why? Well, despite Game of Thrones usually delighting in killing off fan-favourite characters it seems like this season has been building to a win for the Stark family, and if they lose both Sansa and Jon’s storylines will rather fizzle out. Plus, who will lead the realm against the White Walkers if Jon is six feet under?
Sure, they don’t have the numbers at the moment, but we know something Jon doesn’t – a few episodes ago Sansa sent a letter to Littlefinger asking for his help in the form of Robin Arryn’s 10,000 Knights of the Vale, and it seems likely that they’ll be the decisive turning point in the battle.
Remember that bit in the Lord of the Rings films where Gandalf arrives with the Rohirrim horse-lords and turns the tide of the battle?
Yeah, basically like that.
01.00: Just over an hour to go, and we’re positively bubbling with excitement over how massive this episode is going to be.
To give you an idea of how much went into this week’s battle, EW managed to get a breakdown of everyone and everything involved, and it’s a pretty massive crowd.
600 crew members, 500 extras, 25 stuntmen, 70 horses and 160 tons of mud-soaking gravel were hauled over to the snow to help create this massive clash, which is reportedly also the most expensive episode ever made (as a guide, the average episode costs around $10 million).
Suffice it to say, this one’s a biggie.
00.51: Hey, apparently it’s the first day of summer in the UK guys. Hopefully the White Walkers have sunblocked up.
00.49 This is an oddly specific countdown.
1 hour and 20 minutes. #GameofThrones
— Game of Thrones (@GameOfThrones) June 19, 2016
00.47: Numbers-wise, things aren’t looking great for Jon. He has about 2,000 Wildlings in his force along with a few hundred loyal northerners, while Ramsay (combined with House Umber and House Karstark’s men) has more than twice that.
However, Jon has a secret weapon they might not be expecting. A colossus of power that Ramsay and his men will not be prepared for, or be in any way equipped to deal with. In truth, Jon has exactly what is needed to take back the North and defeat the White Walkers in one afternoon, while still having time for tea and scones.
I am of COURSE referring to…
…fearsome northern Lady Lyanna Mormont and her 62 men. That Night’s King has nothing on this pre-teen.
00.37: But that’s enough living in the past. While we may not get to see Cleganebowl any time soon, we do have quite the consolation prize – Bastardbowl, aka Snowbowl, aka the Battle of the Bastards, aka Jon hopefully beating the snot out of Ramsay for 59 minutes this week.
Gosh, this is going to be exciting.
00.35: Side note, which I’ve written about more extensively elsewhere – last week’s GoT had the highest fan theory mortality count of pretty much any episode thus far. Apart from Cleganebowl we also saw disproved the various Arya/Braavos theories (she was the Waif, Syrio Forel was alive etc) and the idea that the TV series was adapting the Lady Stoneheart plotline from the books (more info on that here if you’re interested). Quite the cull.
00.21: Oh yeah, and King Tommen officially became the Hypeslayer by banning Trial by Combat, meaning that Cersei couldn’t use the Mountain to defend her innocence, the Hound couldn’t come back to King’s Landing to get revenge on his brother and we were denied our rightful Cleganebowl!
Props to Dorkly for summing the whole sorry mess up better than I ever could.
(Cleganebowl is a fan theory where The Mountain and the Hound, aka Ser Gregor Clegane and Sandor Clegane, have a big fight, as you probably know by now).
00.09: Also last week: The Hound decided to join The Brotherhood without Banners, Jaime and Brienne had the most awkward reunion ever and Daenerys came home to find her kids had totally trashed the place (aka Tyrion’s deal with the Masters of Slaver’s Bay had massively backfired and now they were attacking the city).
Man, he is so grounded.
00.05: I mean, I take ONE week off from liveblogging and they try to sneak this sort of nonsense past us. Tut tut.
(And yes my holiday was lovely thank you, I totally didn’t stay up to watch Game of Thrones at 2am even though I wasn’t working, no siree.)
00.01: Admittedly in a show full of dragons and magic it’s weird to get a little bit picky about medical science, but internal consistency matters even if it does make you sound like a petty nerd.
Incidentally, one fan laid out a persuasive case-by-case analysis of similar Game of Thrones injuries to show why Arya definitely should have died, if that sort of thing floats your boat.
11.58: So yes, Arya’s magical healing abilities. In last week’s episode, all the cool theories about it not really being her that got stabbed or that she and Faye Marsay’s Waif were the same person turned out to be unfounded, but to be honest what actually happened was hardly less implausible.
Despite being stabbed in the gut and falling in a dirty river Arya was not brought low by either infection or blood loss, instead being patched up by an actress enough to engage in some pretty hefty par kour the very next day.
Frankly, we’re impressed – who needs Melisandre and the Lord of Light when you’ve got Lady Crane’s soup, eh? A couple of ladles of that and Jon would have bounced back from his attempted assassination in no time.
11.50: Hello, and welcome to what may well be Game of Thrones’ biggest episode to date: The Battle of the Bastards.
Now, the penultimate episode in Game of Thrones is traditionally pretty epic – we’re talking Red Weddings, Ned Stark beheadings and Oberyn Martell squashings – but apparently this will take things to a whole other level in the most impressive battle the series has ever shown us.
Personally I’m expecting incredible fight choreography, shocking twists, heroic charges and a few heart-wrenching deaths, as well as the moment when Tormund and Brienne finally throw caution to the winds and declare their love. Some might say my expectations are too high, but gosh darn it I say they’re not high enough.
But before all that, we need to talk about what happened in last week’s episode. Arya willing to guess what we thought was a bit implausible?