Game Of Thrones Season 6: 8 Ways Battle Of The Bastards Will Be Different In The Books

Is this a show-only event?

Game of Thrones Sansa Rickon Stannis

With the Battle of the Bastards, Game of Thrones just delivered its biggest battle scene to date.

That's no easy feat for a show that's already given us Blackwater, Watchers on the Wall, and Hardhome, but somehow they managed to push the envelope and raise the stakes even further in Season 6 Episode 9.

It was the most medieval-style battle they've staged, borrowing elements from real-life Roman wars, and it wasn't afraid to get horribly gritty and in amongst the action. With long takes following Jon Snow, and then scenes of him being trampled, it was suffocating, claustrophobic stuff to watch, showcasing the horrors of war.

What makes it of particular interest, at least to those who watch the show and have read the books, is that it happened on TV first. With The Winds of Winter still some way off being published, Dan Weiss and David Benioff have had to start going increasingly off-page in Season 6, although they've had some outlines from George R.R. Martin.

This is, along with 'hold the door', one of the biggest moments to play out on the series before the books, and indeed the way it happened is quite different to how it will go down in the books. Characters are in different places, some are dead when really they're alive, and motivations will be completely changed.

The Battle of the Bastards will be quite changed in The Winds of Winter, if it happens at all. (Contains book spoilers, obviously.)

8. It Might Not Even Happen

Game of Thrones Sansa Rickon Stannis

It's easy to assume that, while the show is diverging from the books, the *major* moments will still be the same, with Weiss and Benioff given the outlines of what will happen by Martin.

So it goes with the battle here, but there's no guarantee of it actually happening. As it stands in this storyline, the show is considerably past the books, and there are a number of differences to be reconciled, and other events to take place first.

For a start, Jon is still dead, so it's dependent on his coming back in a similar fashion (I've no doubt he will still come back though). And further to that, Stannis is still alive, and we've yet to have the Battle of Winterfell between his army and that of House Bolton.

Despite Ramsay's declarations of defeating him, Stannis is still camped out a few days' ride from Winterfell, and preparing for the battle. He's sent 'Arya Stark' (actually Jeyne Poole) to the Wall to be reunited with Jon, and plans on hiring thousands and thousands of sellswords to help him defeat the Bolton army. There's actually a chance that, despite his death on the show, Stannis could defeat the Boltons - the battle is slated to take place fairly early on in The Winds of Winter - and if that's the case, the Battle of the Bastards will never happen.


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.