Battle of the Bastards may not be the all-time great, best episode ever that some were hoping for, but it still more than earned its place in the pantheon of penultimate episodes delivered by the show.
Whether it's shocking drama or huge spectacle (or both), the ninth episode is when the show delivers its big moments, the pay-off for all the build-up from the previous instalments.
While BotB wasn't quite as shocking or emotionally shaking as the likes of Baelor, Blackwater, or Rains of Castamere, it was still worthy of being episode 9, but what wasn't obvious is that it is, quite probably, the last ninth episode of Game of Thrones we'll ever have.
With just two seasons set to remain, and both expected to be shortened, there'll be no more waiting for Episode 9 (let's all take a moment to let that horrible thought sink in). It's an easy detail to overlook, especially with no 100% confirmation on how the next seasons will work, but also because the action in the episode was so absorbing, and at times suffocating.
Some of the hidden details and references include Daenerys being called the "Beggar Queen" much like her brother was known as the "Beggar King", Littlefinger finally getting that army Varys once spoke about "...born with no lands, no wealth, no army..." and all of these as well.
NCTJ-qualified journalist. Most definitely not a racing driver. Drink too much tea; eat too much peanut butter; watch too much TV. Sadly only the latter paying off so far.
A mix of wise-old man in a young man's body with a child-like wonder about him and a great otherworldly sensibility.