Game of Thrones: Five things to expect from the epic 'Battle of the Bastards'
Game of Thrones penultimate episode,The Battle of the Bastards, looks set to be epic.
The episode eight preview confirms what we've suspected since the titles were released: the much-anticipated and decisive fight between the armies of the Northern "bastards" Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton will be the "biggest battle in the show's history" - according to the show's creators.
So what can we expect? Here's our predictions:
Rickon will die
Sorry to lead with such a harsh prediction but we want to get the bad stuff out of the way first. Let's face it, we've been anticipating a Stark death, it's been a while since we lost one and Arya just escaped death - we're due a death.
Rickon is a prisoner of Ramsay and the crazed Bolton wouldn't hesitate to end the youngster's life. In fairness, it feels like the youngest Stark is already dead as we haven't seen him since the first season but still... don't die Rickon!
Littlefinger will redeem himself by deploying an army to Jon and Sansa
This is a pretty likely prediction. The last time we saw Littlefinger he seemed genuinely cut up about marrying off Sansa to sadistic Ramsay Bolton. He wants to get back in her good books.
It's assumed that Sansa sent him a letter requesting the help of his armies in episode seven... let's hope he delivers and sends a Knights of the Vale regiment to the north.
A Northern house will betray Ramsay
The Karstarks, Umbers, and Manderlys have all pledged loyalty to the Boltons but we're suspecting that one (hopefully all) will return their loyalties to the Starks. Greatjon Umber was a loyal bannerman to the Starks back in the day but he's dead now. His son Smalljon delivered the ultimate act of betrayal by handing Osha, Rickon and the head of Shaggydog over to Ramsay.
We'd hoped that this was all a cunning plot devised by the Umbers to trick Ramsay and it would all lead to something positive for the Starks but then Ramsay stabbed Osha and our hopes were dashed. Still, we hope we were wrong and the Northern houses come to their senses soon.
Jon will discover he has a secret power
We were expecting great things from Jon when he was brought back from the dead but so far he's delivered nothing of note. In fact, he seems completely unchanged. Book fans will know that resurrection can completely alter a character's personality (hello Lady Stoneheart) so it's surprising that Jon has been... well... just Jon (read: boring)
The man was dead for days and was resurrected by a witch who's possibly 300-years-old. He has to be changed in some way. We're hoping he's come back with some pretty invincible super powers. Maybe they'll only come to light when he's minutes away from losing the war and then BAM!... he gives Ramsay Bolton what's coming to him in a satisfying ending.
The White Walkers break the Wall.
A terrifying thought but can you imagine the epic scenes that would involve? When Bran broke the rules of his weirwood training and interacted with the White Walkers in his vision, the Night King marked him, thus breaking the protection spell on the Three-Eyed Raven's cave. That means Bran's mark could also break the Wall's protection if he passes through it.
If that's the case the characters will soon realise that they've got much bigger problems than deciding who gets to sit on the Iron Throne.