Game of Thrones Season 7 Primer

Season 7 of Game of Thrones is almost upon us!

With only twelve episodes left, events must start unfolding quickly, and the big question, is…how will it end? In Fire or Ice?

It’s soon to be answered!

Winter has been coming for a long time, but now it has finally  reached Westeros, and there is a mounting sense of urgency for the characters. They are running out of time and while not all of them are aware of the threats of the White Walkers, there is a sense of foreboding in the air that cannot be ignored.

Before we get into what we can expect from Season 7, here’s a round-up of Season 6;

The most striking difference between Season 5 and 6 is in regard to the state, both mentally and physically of some main characters. At the end of Season 5 it appeared  that Jon Snow was dead to the world, Cersei seemed all but broken following the death of Myrcella, Sansa was at the mercy of Ramsay Bolton and Daenerys was surrounded by hostile Dothraki after escaping Meeren on Drogon.

But in Season 6 there was a stark (pun intended) contrast. We saw many characters rising from the ashes;

A lot happened up North starting with Sansa and Theon ,who managed to escape from Ramsay, meeting Brienne and Podrick; the former swearing herself to Sansa.

At Castle Black, Edd arrived with Tormund and other Wildlings. They imprisoned Thorne and those who conspired against Jon. Melisandre’s true age was revealed in a moment that had viewers gasping and she was persuaded by Ser Davos to try to resurrect Jon.

I must confess I did a little cheer when Ghost ran to his body and Jon’s eyes opened. Jon had Thorne, Olly and those who betrayed him executed, and renounced his oath. Olly’s death was especially heartbreaking and seeing Jon’s conflict over this was especially painful.

Then there was the first of the Stark reunions. Aside from the Red Wedding, I don’t think I’ve cried that much during an episode. Sansa, having matured a lot, stood up to Jon and convinced him to try to reclaim Winterfell from the Boltons.

They tried to gain support from houses who were once Stark bannermen, leading to one of my favourite scenes of the season; the meeting with the precocious and utterly delightful Lady Mormont. Shaggydog was killed and Osha and Rickon were handed to Ramsay. Osha tried to kill him, but lost her life.

The Stark and Bolton armies met on a field adorned with flayed bodies. Rickon was set free by Ramsay; but in true Ramsay fashion, it was just a sick game and he was shot down before Jon could save him.

During the battle it appeared that Jon’s side were set to loose but the Knights of the Vale, led by Petyr Baelish arrived in the nick of time.

Ramsay (inveterate coward that he is) fled, but he got his comeuppance… Did anyone else cheer as Sansa walked away from a screaming Ramsay as his dogs ate him alive?

That smirk on Sansa’s face pretty neatly summed up how we all felt.

The Wildlings, the Knights of the Vale and the surviving Houses of the North pledged loyalty to Jon as the new King in the North.

Bran’s visions of the past continued with him seeing one of his father, Eddard along with Meera’s father, Howland defeating theTargaryen Kingsguard at the Tower of Joy in Dorne.

Later in a vision it is revealed that this is where Eddard’s sister Lyanna is being held prisoner by Rhaegar, and gives birth to their child, Jon.

Brandon learned that the White Walkers were created by the Children of the Forest to protect themselves from the First Men. Bran foolishly went on an unaccompanied vision. The Night King saw this and White Walkers attacked, the cave killing the Three-Eyed Raven, children and Summer.

Hodor saved Meera and Bran, but now saying “hold the door,” will never be the same again. Benjen Stark rescued Bran and Meera, explaining he was turned by the White walkers but then un-turned by the children using Dragonglass.

Arya was attacked by the Waif before H’gar appeared and recruited her. Her sight was later returned to her once she accepted she was No-one. After many fights, Arya killed the Waif and returned her face to the House and declared that she was Arya Stark of Winterfell and that she was going home. The last time we saw Arya in Season 6, she murdered Walder Frey and his sons, finally getting revenge for her family.

Daenerys met with the Khals, and when they refused to help her, she burned them to death. Upon seeing this and that she survived, the other Dothraki bent the knee to her.

Theon and Yara, having fled the Iron Isles after Euron won the Kingsmoot, met with Daenerys and Tyrion and agreed to an alliance.
After the slave masters refused Daenerys’ terms of surrender, she rode Drogon with Rhaegal and Viserion behind her and burned the slavers’ fleet to ashes.

Natharis and the Second Sons were left to rule Meeren as she set sail to Westeros with her allies, fleet and dragons.

Meanwhile, in King’s Landing… Tommen sided with the faith, Jaime was removed from the Kingsguard and was ordered to help Walder Frey try to re-take Riverrun (which was being held by Bryden). Brienne headed to Riverrun to try to persuade Bryden to surrender, but he was killed fighting the Lannisters.

Tommen (being a  gentle soul) abolished trial by combat, upsetting Cersei’s plans to have The Mountain fight for her. Before her trial, Cersei destroyed the Sept of Baelor using wildfire, killing the High Sparrow, Margaery, Mace and Loras Tyrell, Lancel and Kevan Lannister in the process, along with hundreds of King’s Landing nobles and the Faith Militant. Qyburn had Pycelle killed and Tommen committed suicide by throwing himself out of the window.

Jaime returned from Riverrun to find Qyburn crowning Cersei, and he did not look overly happy about it.

Those were the main events of the season but some other subplots included;

  • Samwell stole House Tarly’s Valyrian steel sword, which will definitely be of use when fighting white walkers.
  • Sandor Clegane is revealed to be alive, as predicted before last season, and spent some time living with a Priest in a small community. Men from the brotherhood arrived and slaughtered them all. Despite having shown us a softer side, he vowed revenge. Sandor killed the outlaws and encountered Dondarrion and Thoros again, who explained that the outlaws were renegades. They tried to convince Sandor to join the Brotherhood.
  • In Dorne, Varys met with Lady Olenna and Ellaria Sand to form an alliance between Daenerys and their houses against the Lannisters, they agreed.
  • Davos, upon learning of Shireen’s fate, confronted Melisandre and she was banished by Jon.
  • Petyr Baelish advanced on Sansa, again, and she politely refused him.

Back to Season seven, HBO Fansite The Watchers on the Wall have confirmed the running time of each episode. They’re looking longer than last season, with the Season finale an 80 minute feature-length episode.

The titles of the first three episodes have been announced along with a tagline, these will be:

DragonstoneJon Snow organises the defence of the North. Cersei tries to even the odds. Daenerys comes home.

StormbornDaenerys receives an unexpected visitor. Jon faces a revolt and Tyrion plans the conquest of Westeros.

The Queen’s JusticeDaenerys holds court. Cersei returns a gift. Jaime learns from his mistakes.

Reports from Watchers on the Wall suggest that Arya’s dire wolf, Nymeria may be back this season. Maisie Williams (Arya) was spotted in Calgary, Canada, a location previously used in the show for shooting real wolves. If this is true, it will be much to the delight of Stark fans, as currently only Ghost is known to be alive.

Ed Sheehan will also be appearing in season 7 with a cameo and Brent Hinds from Mastodon will be back for another cameo.

This season will hopefully also feature the long awaited battle between Sandor Clegane and his brother, The Mountain.

The trailers have very much focused on Daenerys, Jon and Cersei, the three rulers. While the future seems bright (eventually) for Jon and Daenerys, I feel Cersei’s time is running out. As magnificent as she looked during her coronation, Jaime did not look happy. With the siblings reunited, I feel he will blame Cersei for Tommen’s death and may be the one to end her life.

Jon found out his true parentage. Last season the theory that Jon is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen was confirmed, making him Daenerys’ nephew. There’s been some suggestion that the two will marry and whilst incest is not uncommon in the realm of Game of Thrones, I for one, hope they join forces, but not hands in marriage.

With Daenerys and Jon set to meet, the witty Tyrion and Sansa are due to be reunited and after everything they did to support one another, I cannot wait for this reunion.

There is also the question around Tyrion’s parentage; the Targaryen sigil is a three headed dragon, Daenerys is on one, Jon on another, could Tyrion be the third? Given the theory that he is the illegitimate son of the mad King Aerys (hence why Tywin Lannister refers to him as being no son of his) this could be a possibility.

Brienne and Podrick will likely travel back to Sansa, which means Tyrion and Podrick get a reunion! If this season is Cersei’s downfall, could Jaime and Bronn also rejoin Tyrion and Podrick? If so will there be romance in the air between Jaime and Brienne, or are Brienne and Tommund destined to be together?

Seeing the combined force of the Starks, Knights of the Vale, House Mormont, the Wildlings along with Daenerys, the Dragons, Martell’s, Tyrell’s and Yara and Theon Greyjoy, against Cersei and the White Walkers will be the highlight of the Season. Not only has winter finally arrived, this will be the season when we get to see fire meet ice and the battle to win Westeros will begin.

With Bran heading South of the wall and his connection to the Night King, could the wall finally be about to fall if the White Walkers follow him?

Finally, with Arya confirming she’s heading home and Bran heading South, the Starks were there at the beginning of this story, now as we approach the end, could we finally have the big reunion we’ve been longing for? After all, the lone wolf dies, the pack survives.

The first episode of Season Seven will air at 9pm on 17th July on Sky Atlantic.

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