Nine Is the Deadliest Number

Ned Stark’s fall at the Great Sept of Baelor. The Battle of Blackwater Bay. The Red Wedding. The Battle of Castle Black. The Sons of the Harpy’s attack on Daznak’s Pit. What do all of these plot points have in common?

click to enlarge Jon Snow returns to Winterfell to overthrow House Bolton. - Photo: HBO
Photo: HBO
Jon Snow returns to Winterfell to overthrow House Bolton.

Ned Stark’s fall at the Great Sept of Baelor. The Battle of Blackwater Bay. The Red Wedding. The Battle of Castle Black. The Sons of the Harpy’s attack on Daznak’s Pit (not to mention Shireen’s sacrifice).

What do all of these plot points have in common? They’re all majorly epic and memorable scenes from Game of Thrones (9 p.m. Sunday, HBO), and they all take place in the second-to-last of their respective season’s 10 episodes.

Game of Thrones set a new standard when it killed off the main protagonist in the final moments of Season 1’s penultimate episode. The show treats Episode 9 the way others approach a finale, firing action and drama on all cylinders before devoting a final episode to fallout, a bit of resolution and just enough build-up to leave us hungry for the next chapter.

How will this season continue the tradition? The Battle of the Bastards. That’s right — it’s Snow vs. former Snow in a fight for the North. But beyond that, it’s good vs. evil: The recently reunited Jon and Sansa return to their family home at Winterfell to overthrow House Bolton (read: destroy mega-villain Ramsay) and reclaim and reunite the North in preparation for an even bigger, deadlier battle. What could possibly go wrong?

Ahead of the June 26 finale to Season 6, it appears we’ll find out in this week’s episode whether the Starks’ mix of Northern troops can fight alongside the wildlings, Rickon can reconnect with his siblings and Davos can cope with the truth about Shireen.

WEDNESDAY 15

O.J.: Made in America (9 p.m., ESPN) – The in-depth O.J. Simpson documentary continues through Saturday.

Another Period (Season Premiere, 10 p.m., Comedy Central) – Beatrice and Lillian meet Harriet Tubman, who offers tips on getting famous; Peepers brings a new servant to the estate; Chair has a baby.

Vice World of Sports (11 p.m., VICELAND) – Gambling in the age of fantasy sports.

THURSDAY 16

Inside Amy Schumer (Season Finale, 10 p.m., Comedy Central) – Amy gets the Housewives treatment as Bravo’s Andy Cohen counts down favorite scenes from all four seasons.

FRIDAY 17

Outcast (10 p.m., Cinemax) – Kyle and Reverend Anderson confront a strange possession.

Orange Is the New Black (Season Premiere, Netflix) – Piper gets thrown off her high horse; Sophia hits a new low; Morello faces the truth; a celebrity chef joins the Litchfield crew; flashbacks for Maritza and Blanca.

SUNDAY 19

Preacher (9 p.m., AMC) – Jesse makes the evil Quincannon an offer he can’t refuse; Cassidy tries to warn Jesse about the “angels”; Tulip calls for justice in Annville.

Ride with Norman Reedus (10 p.m., AMC) – Norman travels from Las Vegas to Death Valley with actor Balthazar Getty, exploring zombie burlesque shows and an all-female motorcycle club along the way.

Silicon Valley (10 p.m., HBO) – Richard tries to connect the business with its users; Jared goes to great lengths to keep everything together; Gavin discovers secrets.

Veep (10:30 p.m., HBO) – Catherine and Marjorie fight; Selina has an interview; Mike prepares to become a dad of three. 

MONDAY 20

Scream (11 p.m., MTV) – Brooke grows concerned over Jake’s disappearance; Kieran has a surprise is in store just in time for his birthday. 

TUESDAY 21

Woman (10 p.m., VICELAND) – The fight against sexual assault in the U.S. military.


CONTACT JAC KERN: @jackern

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