8:00am PT by Josh Wigler
'Game of Thrones' Season 6: A Closer Look at the Trailer for Episode 9
There must always be a Stark in Winterfell — and that's exactly what Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) intend to prove in this week's episode, "Battle of the Bastards."
The ninth episode of season six continues Game of Thrones' great tradition of building the entire penultimate installment of every other season around a massive battle. This time, it's not quite as far north as "The Watchers on the Wall," but not so far away, either, as Jon wages war against Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) over ownership of Winterfell. Finally, we're days away from seeing those Flayed Men scrubbed from the Winterfell portion of the Game of Thrones credits. What could be more joyful than that?
Here's everything we know about the episode, based on the preview for episode nine.
Nothing But North
The entire preview focuses on the brewing conflict between Jon and Ramsay. Perhaps it's just because the battle at Winterfell is such an event on its own, or perhaps it's the only location featured in the episode. In any event, the unimpeded emphasis on the Snow Bowl only further builds up hype.
Davos Sees Worth
Early in the preview, Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) stands alone. It's dawn, and he hovers over a pile of lumber. The Stark forces set up camp at House Baratheon's old stomping grounds; is it possible that Davos just learned the truth about what happened to Shireen (Kerry Ingram) last season? If so, terrible timing, considering how much he needs to focus on the war to come.
One Blast for Rangers
In the same scene, the sound of a horn ringing through the air catches Davos' attention. It should gather your attention as well. The Night's Watch horn blasts come in threes: one blast for rangers, two for wildlings, three for White Walkers. The single blast, viewed from that context, could mean the arrival of help from Castle Black — not that their small force of 100 men will have that much impact on the battle.
The Final Life
Speaking with Melisandre (Carice van Houten), the resurrected Jon Snow makes something very clear: "If I fall, don't bring me back." This is a man who does not want to return from the dead again. Not that Melisandre is one to obey every rule to the exact letter, of course. If Jon suffers a fatal blow in "Battle of the Bastards," count on him to rise again, Beric Dondarrion style.
"Thousands of men don't need to die. Only one of us." Is this Jon Snow speaking directly to Ramsay Bolton? One can hope that he's pitching a one-on-one duel between the leaders of the two warring armies, because in single combat, smart money lands on Lord Snow's side, every single time.
Everyone at War
Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) faces down spears and shields. Wun-Wun the giant tears men apart. Davos angrily fights it out on the dirty field. Sansa watches from the sidelines. Just about everyone in this storyline is on hand for the big battle at Winterfell — which means just about nobody is safe.
The Bitter Snow
While it's worth feeling confident about House Stark's chances at winning this war, it's equally worth fearing the cost of victory. The preview's final shot of Jon suggests that whatever the outcome, the toll will be exhausting — physically, mentally and emotionally.
Watch the trailer for episode nine:
Watch the video for more on the final battles of season six:
Follow THR's Game of Thrones coverage for more previews, interviews and news.