John Bradley Says ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 8 Will Be Like ‘Six Episode 9s’

Game of Thrones Season 8 will apparently be as epic as we’ve all been dreaming of, as actor John Bradley says that we should expect spectacle in just about every single episode.

Bradley, who plays Samwell Tarly in the series, recently spoke to The Huffington Post and discussed the upcoming Season 8. He said that while in prior seasons, it had become a tradition for Episode 9 to be the big one, this year, he thinks that essentially every episode is going to be like an “Episode 9.”

“I think what we used to call Episode 9 in Game of Thrones folklore — the episode when everything comes to a head and you get a lot of spectacular sequences — I think you’re gonna get six ‘Episode 9s’ this year,” Bradley said. “You can tell that because we’ve got directors who have been in charge of some of the most huge setpieces in the past doing episodes all throughout the season.”

Samwell Tarly

Samwell Tarly on Game of Thrones. | HBO

During the first season of Game of Thrones, Episode 9 was the one in which Ned Stark is beheaded by King Joffrey. In Season 2, it was the Battle of Blackwater Bay. In Season 3, it was the Red Wedding. In Season 4, it was the Battle of Castle Black. In Season 5, it was the Sons of the Harpy attack in Daznak’s Pit. (That year, Episode 8 was actually the bigger one, as that’s when the Battle of Hardhome took place.) And in Season 6, it was the Battle of the Bastards. Season 7 only had seven episodes, but the penultimate hour was again the biggest, as that was the battle against the White Walker army north of The Wall.

So in general, every Episode 9 in Game of Thrones has either showcased a very expensive sequence or battle, or it has featured a huge turning point. Bradley is saying that it seems like we can expect that from every single episode next year, especially because of the directors that have been hired. Indeed, Season 8 has hired David Nutter (“The Rains of Castamere”) and Miguel Sapochnik (“Hardhome,” “Battle of the Bastards”), with Sapochnik’s return in particular suggesting there are some pretty huge setpieces coming in the final stretch.

John Bradley in 2017

John Bradley in 2017.| Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

The finale of Season 8 will be directed by David Benioff and Dan Weiss. It’s often the case that the creators of a show direct the final episode, although in the case of Benioff and Weiss, neither of them has ever directed a huge battle sequence in Game of Thrones, potentially suggesting those will happen sooner than the finale and that the las episode will be more about the fallout. Either way, John Bradley says it’s appropriate that they’re getting behind the camera for the end.

“They know everything about the show,” Bradley told The Huffington Post. “They’ve been in charge of everything ― every key decision in all seven seasons so far has been made by David and Dan. I think they’ve done an incredible job with this series. They deserve everything they get, and they deserve the right to finish this show off in the way they see fit. I don’t think there’s anybody better qualified, so I can’t wait.”