Ahoy all ye Ironborn! We’ve got a warning that may never die: there be spoilers in this post. So if you don’t want to get majorly clued-in on the season six happenings on Game of Thrones, turn away now!
The wait until April 24, 2016 just got a whole lot more excruciating. Game of Thrones producer Bryan Cogman recently said to Entertainment Weekly that this season will see “the biggest [action sequence yet].” It’s something the show has always wanted to do, and apparently they do not yet feel has been accomplished on the series (pretty impressive considering how epic some of the battles we’ve already seen have been). Explained Cogman, “We’ve always wanted to get to a place – story-wise and budget-wise and time-wise and resource-wise – where we would be able to do a proper battle, with one army on one side, one army on another side.”
Using context clues from the article—where EW claimed the sequence was “more like a classic campaign that you typically only see in major films: Hundreds of human soldiers on one side of a field, another army on the other side, and then there is a clash that is highly tactical, yet character-driven, and shown from start to finish”—and our own knowledge of the books, we have some theories.
And they lead us to two options: The Battle for the North — it’s been forecast for awhile now in the words and sentiments of the characters involved — and the Fall of Meereen. While the latter is certainly plausible (the creators did make mention of an abundance of horses), our money is on the former being the biggest moment the series has ever seen. After all—who could forget this scene from the trailer?
First of all: things are a mess in the North. With House Bolton in control, the North is more divided than ever. The Boltons, Umbers, Karstarks, Hornwoods, and Manderlys are all divided, allegiance-wise, between the Starks, Boltons, and Tullys/Arryns. And if it is not under a solid command, Westeros is all but doomed when the inevitable White Walker uprising begins (winter is coming, etc).
Plus, set photos have shown us Jon Snow and a redheaded woman — Sansa? Melisandre? — on a giant field in Saintfeld, Northern Ireland, where it was reported that between 500 and 600 extras joined in on the ruckus, filming a battle scene with flayed men littering the field. That’s…a lot of people, and certainly an indication of the scale of this battle in particular. Given the scenes we’ve seen of Bolton shields meeting with some Wildlings and Northmen, this pretty much solidifies the theory to us.
There’s also the more literary option: a battle in the North also plays into Thrones‘ love of history repeating itself/finding parallels in the past and present. The Age of Heroes and the initial centuries of the rise of the seven Westerosi kingdoms has much in common with the events happening in the series now—the lack of First Men and Children of the Forest notwithstanding. If our bet that Jon Snow is returning as either the Night’s King or Azor Ahai is correct, the creation of the next great Houses of Westeros could hang in the balance of this battle thanks to the “heroes” born from it—exactly as it happened in the aforementioned Age. Whatever the case may be: blood will be spilled in a big way when this all goes down.
But what do you think? Could the big battle be something else entirely? Let us know in the comments below.
HT: Entertainment Weekly
Image Credit: HBO
Alicia Lutes is the Managing Editor and resident Khaleesi of House Nerdist. Find her on Twitter (@alicialutes).