From the very first scene of Game of Thrones, the White Walkers established themselves as the show’s most ominous threat, and for seven seasons, their story loomed large. Now, after breaching The Wall, they’re coming to Winterfell, which means fans can finally gear up for the penultimate war of series. But with only five episodes left, you’re probably wondering, what episode is the Battle of Winterfell on Game of Thrones?
As of now, HBO hasn’t revealed any information on exactly when the battle will hit, but there are a few clues that point to it landing in the third episode. For starters, with a run time of one hour and 22 minutes, Episode 3 will be the longest episode of the season. The army of the dead is a formidable force, and now that the Night King has control of one of Dany’s dragons, it’s going to be even harder to take them down. So, a longer episode would give Jon, Dany, and the rest of the human army the extra screen time they need to comprehensively defeat the White Walkers.
But episode length isn’t the only hint that the war is coming in the third episode. Miguel Sapochnik — who directed “Hardhome” and won an Emmy for his outstanding work on the “Battle of the Bastards” — is at the helm of Episode 3, so it’s safe to assume that this could be the epic battle episode fans are waiting for.
Of course, this is all speculation. HBO has been pretty tight-lipped about the final season — to the point where they haven’t even disclosed the titles of each episode. But with the anticipation and excitement of millions of fans resting on their shoulders, I’m not surprised that showrunners are keeping everything a surprise.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, David Benioff and Dan Weiss talked about how hard they worked to keep details about the final season secret, and how they’re hoping to get through the finale without any spoilers being leaked. “We won’t be relieved until the final episode airs without a leak,” said Benioff. “We’re certainly happy we got through production without a leak. But there have been issues that have happened in post production, or a week before an episode airs. So we’re entering the most dangerous time.”
The showrunners also discussed the vision they had for the Battle of Winterfell, and how they wanted to give it the time and scope it needed to do justice to the overall story. “If it’s just humans hacking and slashing at wights for 55 minutes, it’s going to quickly become dull,” Benioff told EW. “We’ve had big battles since season 2. But just because we have the budget to do bigger battles doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to be more exciting or have more to do with the story. It always comes back to what’s best for the story. We’ve been building toward this since the very beginning and it’s the living against the dead, and you can’t do that in a 12-minute sequence.”
The Great War has definitely been a long time coming, and I know that every Game of Thrones fan is anxiously waiting to see how the Night King will finally be defeated.
New episodes of Game of Thrones air Sundays, at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.