The sixth season of Game of Thrones took eight episodes to build up to its notoriously epic “Battle of The Bastards” — but according to cast members, Season 7 will deliver much sooner.

On Tuesday, Kit Harington and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau both told Entertainment Weekly that Season 7 is diving straight into “Battle of The Bastards”-esque action much earlier in the season.

“Everything happened quicker than I’m used to … a lot of things that normally take a season now take one episode,” Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister, said.

Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow, added, “This season is really different than any other season because it’s accelerating toward the end, a lot of stuff collides and happens much much quicker than you’re used to seeing on Thrones … It’s quite exciting.”

A typical season of Game of Thrones builds to smaller deaths and action sequences in its middle before breaking out into epic action by its end. The penultimate episode has long been established as “shit goes down” o’clock.

Ned Stark lost his head in the ninth episode of Season 1; the big King’s Landing battle between Stannis’s forces and the Lannisters was Season 2, Episode 9; the Red Wedding was the ninth episode of Season 3. Season 6 ended with two doubly epic sequences: “Battle of the Bastards,” which was followed by Cersei’s explosive turn as the Mad Queen.

But Harington and Coster-Waldau’s words indicate that the Season 7 photo of Daenerys in battle with her giant dragon will happen towards the beginning of the season. Further, it means that Sam and Gilly could discover Jon’s true parentage early, and Arya’s return to Winterfell could happen immediately.

Season 7 is looking to be a season-long Battle of the Bastards — which is appropriate for a show in its second-to-last act. All men must die, and all stories must gain momentum.


Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres July 16 on HBO.

Photos via HBO