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Game of Thrones: Battle of the Bastards, season 6 episode 8

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Helen Sloan/HBO; Macall B. Polay/HBO

The long-awaited showdown between the bastards of the North turned out better than expected: The knights of the Vale saved the Starks, Ramsay Bolton’s hounds ate him alive, and Tormund lived to see another day of pining after Brienne!

But what’s coming next — in the season finale — might be harder to swallow. Littlefinger’s back in action, and he doesn’t even need a Moon Door to manipulate his next move: He’ll use the win against the Boltons as leverage to ensnare Sansa in another partnership she’d be better off without. At least Sansa’s much better prepared this time around. The most ladylike of the Stark brood has turned out to be quite vicious on her own, even smirking as she left Ramsay to be eaten by his own dogs. But did she know Littlefinger would come through with the Vale forces before the war council the night before? If she did, that’s quite some acting on her part.

Some acting will also be required of Cersei, who’s off to stand trial and definitely has something up her sleeve to help take down the Faith Militant. King’s Landing will either burn down or burn its former queen — and neither fate bodes well for the youngest Baratheon/secret Lannister. At the same time, Daenerys is finally ready to set sail for Westeros — but what will King’s Landing look like when she arrives?

In this week’s Game of Theories, covering Game of Thrones‘ ninth episode, “Battle of the Bastards,” I explore those questions and discuss some of the players who took a night off, like Brienne, Varys, and Arya. With one episode left, though, who will we get to see before the season’s over? Will we see Davos confront the Red Woman about Shireen? Will we see the Sansa make a final call about Littlefinger? Will we see Arya and Daenerys both cross the Narrow Sea? Will we see the Night King? Will we see Bran escape farther North? Will we see the Hound again? Will we see the Dorne again?! That last one’s probably a “no,” but tweet me your thoughts @shirklesxp

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