It’s back! Finally! After what feels like three years, Game of Thrones returns to our screens this weekend, and I’m so excited I could do about eight wees. What’s going to happen, though? Well I’m here to tell you (read: wildly speculate) about what shit we’re gonna see go down in season 7. Who lives? Who dies? Who claims the throne? Let’s get into it.
1. Gendry rows back into our lives
Ah Gendry, the most famous crew member of SS Abandoned Plot Lines. The man who may well have the best claim to the Iron Throne of anyone in Westeros has become one of the show’s longest-running jokes ever since Ser Davos (who is the best damn character on this whole damn show – do not fucking @ me, unless it’s to talk about how the Onion Knight is a bona-fide legend) helped him escape on a little rowing boat way back in season 3.
We thought all hope of a Gendry return was lost, but nope, he’s been spotted on set multiple times (presumably with buff-as-fuck arms after three seasons of rowing), and was also at the season seven premiere event, so it’s nailed on he’s coming back. I reckon he’s going to have a pretty significant role in the story this season too – and he might even survive until the end.
2. Jon finally finds out about his real parents
Another certainty this season, surely? R+L=J is the original Game of Thrones theory, and it was finally confirmed to book readers and viewers alike at the end of season six. This one can’t get dragged out any longer, so we’re hoping Jon finds out about his parents (and also his real name, though he’ll always be Jon to us) early in the season. Let’s just get it over and done with.
He’ll probably find out from a returning Bran, but there’s a chance the sept at Winterfell could play a part too – in the books it’s said that Ned has prepared tombs for each member of his family, so perhaps Jon could be hit with a big old truth bomb by discovering his own? We’ve already seen glimpses of a heated debate between Jon and Littlefinger down there in one of the trailers – we bet Jon’s parentage has something to do with it.
3. Someone who isn’t Daenerys rides a dragon
Right, so this one is all to do with the “three heads of a dragon” theory, which, in TL;DR form, suggests that not one, but three heroes are destined to save Westeros from the White Walkers. In Westeros, legends about The Prince that was Promised, Azor Ahai and The Last Hero are believed to all refer to the same person, but the theory asks whether he might return in three separate forms. Three heroes, three dragons…
Jon Snow and Dany are pretty much agreed on as two of those three, and there is a bit of debate about the last one – it’s either Bran or Tyrion. The theory probably leans more towards Bran, but then Tyrion has shown to have a bit of a connection with the dragons in the past, and was obsessed with them as a child. I feel it’s very likely that three main characters will ride the three dragons at some point, but any of them hop aboard this season? I’m less sure. I think they might save it for season 8.
4. Cersei and Euron team up, act like a right pair of bastards
Stuff Cersei likes: Power, having power, being in power, killing people to get power, general evil shit.
Stuff Euron likes: Power, having power, being in power, killing people to get power, general evil shit.
Yeah, this is a match made in heaven. Since Yara and Theon got to Daenerys first, Euron’s going to have to choose a different powerful woman to ally himself with, and well, it’s not like there are a huge amount of options left, are there? Euron will play the Joffrey/Ramsay role of chief (human) villain for the bulk of the season, but won’t make it to season 8.
5. Littlefinger tries to turn Sansa against Jon – but ends up dead
The ‘Littlefinger manipulates Sansa against Jon’ theory is a popular one, and I am roughly 104% certain he will try it, because, well, it’s Littlefinger. However, I don’t think it’ll work as well for him as many fans fear. Sansa’s learnt a lot even in the short amount of time since Baelish last tried to use her for his own gain – she knows how to play the game and has an almost Cersei-esque determination to survive.
My theory is that she’ll let Littlefinger think he has her in his pocket, but will always stay true to Jon, and Baelish won’t realise until it’s too late. He’ll die either at the hand of Jon, or Sansa herself – personally, I’d love it if it were the latter.
6. We get a big Stark reunion – Arya and her direwolf Nymeria
If you had to describe Game of Thrones in one sentence to someone who – somehow – has literally never heard of it before, what would you say? Personally, I would say this: “It is like being punched in the face repeatedly by the one person in the world you love the most.” There is no show in history that has been quite as good at breaking hearts as Game of Thrones, and the longer it’s gone on, the darker it’s got.
There is so little hope left now, but this reunion – the reunion of Arya and her beloved direwolf Nymeria – is, I predict, going to be season 7’s peak heartwarming moment. I know it might be a long shot, but Arya’s in the Riverlands right now after serving up a big, hot plate of Frey pie – that’s where she left her pet back in season one, and where, in the books, Nymeria is rumoured to be leading a huge back of feral wolves. Every other direwolf in the show has been accounted for – they’re clearly important characters – and I don’t think her season 1 release is the end of Nymeria’s story.
While Arya said she was going home to Winterfell when she left Braavos, I’m not sure she will actually make it – at least not in time to meet up with Jon and Sansa – she’ll get caught up in some other storyline, perhaps with the Brotherhood. If Arya gets any kind of family reunion scene in season 7, this one will be it.
7. Cleganebowl finally – finally – happens
Cleganebowl is the Game of Thrones hype train’s number one destination. Everyone was convinced it was going to happen last season, then they pissed all over our bonfire by having King Tommen (who is shit at flying) outlaw trial by combat. The theory went that The Hound would fight on behalf of the faith, and The Mountain on behalf of Cersei.
At this stage, Cleganebowl either has to happen very soon, or go down the same route as Lady Stoneheart, i.e. none at all. With Sandor heading north – the wrong direction – and there now being little plot-driven reason to have them face off, things don’t look good. However, fans are clinging to one tiny moment of the season 7 trailer where a man who could potentially be The Hound draws a sword somewhere that could potentially be King’s Landing. It’s all a bit of a stretch, and to be honest, the most convincing reason left for Cleganebowl is that we, as fans, would feel a little cheated if we never got to see the two brothers properly get it on.
8. Hodor comes back as a wight
This would be too much. Way too much. We’re not over his utterly tragic death yet – maybe the most difficult to watch of the show – and I’m not sure we could bear having to see Hodor come back on the other side – which is exactly the reason why it might happen. I’m still not convinced, though.
9. Sam discovers the secret to defeating the White Walkers
Sam is going to end up being the key to saving the whole of Westeros – that is something I am almost sure of, largely down to the fact that there is almost no other reason to have kept him around this long. George R. R. Martin seems to love an underdog hero, and Sam is the underest dog of them all. He’s going to be proof that brains and a good, kind heart can be just as important as brute strength and unflappable confidence.
Now holed up in a library the size of a city, my money is on Sam discovering the secret to forging Valyrian steel – one of the only substances we know is capable of killing White Walkers.
On this subject, Reddit user redragebar has an excellent theory which I feel deserves sharing: “Sam leaves for the Ruins of Valyria to search for information about the creation Valyrian steel. He read about the Doom of Valyria and in the process finds the cure for greyscale, a maester seems to have known something already via Shireen. He meets Jorah, not quite fully consumed yet, and helps to cure him. Jorah, now immune to greyscale, enters Valyria and finds the secret to Valyrian steel.”
I like this. I like it a lot.
10. Theon kicks the bucket
Sorry Theon, but I think your time is up, mate. To be honest, how much is life even worth living when you haven’t got a cock? As we mentioned, Euron is pretty much nailed on to be this season’s Big Bad Dude, and he’s intent on seeing his niece and nephew’s brains splattered all over the walls. I think he’ll get his wish too – Theon and Yara will both go down fighting for Dany’s army, but it’s the Mother of Dragons who will eventually come out on top.
11. Melisandre is key in uniting Jon and Daenerys
Right, so from the trailer, we know that Melisandre – having been banished by Jon – spends some time hanging out in Dragonstone with Daenerys and co. this season, and we also know that she believes Jon (not Stannis, oops) is the Prince that was Promised, which means it is in her interest to try and unite Dany and her giant army with Lord Snow. She has no care for petty human squabbles over thrones, and cares only about the greater fight, so it makes sense that her role this season will be hooking these two characters up and making sure that, when they finally meet, they don’t try and knock each other’s blocks off.
A lot of people think Mel’s fate will instead simply be getting bumped off by Arya, but that feels a little pointless, and wouldn’t be as satisfying a conclusion to her story as it might once have been. I’m not buying it.
12. Cersei will be the last person to ever sit on the Iron Throne
This is a big one, but I’m really keen on it. It’s my slightly left field one that I’d whack a bit of money on – let me try to convince you. Basically, what I think is going to become more and more apparent over these final two seasons is just how petty and futile all this infighting and struggling for power is when put into context – context of course being the impeding army of White Walkers preparing to absolutely shit up the entirety of Westeros.
I don’t think Jon or Daenerys will ever get to sit on the Iron Throne, because I think the Iron Throne will end up being destroyed. Perhaps it will get broken back down into its composite parts and used in the fight against the undead, or maybe it will be destroyed in a Cersei-induced wildfire destruction of King’s Landing, but what is very clear is that the throne is toxic, and if we’re to have any semblance of peace when we leave Game of Thrones alone for good, then it has to go. That’s not to say there will never be another king or queen of Westeros, but they’ll sit upon a different, somewhat less imposing seat.
13. Jaime kills Cersei
There is no way Cersei makes it to the end of this show. No. Freaking Way. She’ll die before the end of this season, I reckon, and it’ll feel weird as hell when she’s gone. The prophecy the witch gave her back when she was a child goes that she will be killed by her younger brother, which Cersei believes to refer to Tyrion, but could also refer to Jaime, who is the younger twin by a few minutes. In the books, it is very heavily hinted that it will indeed by Jaime who bumps her off, as their relationship deteriorates in a way we are yet to see on screen.
Will the show take a totally different direction and keep Jaime and Cersei united? I don’t think so – I think, as Cersei continues to go more and more mad with power, and her unshakable desire to cling desperately to it – his feelings for her will unravel, and it will end in tragedy.
14. The Wall comes crashing down – and it’s all Bran’s fault
Season 7 is going to end with The Wall coming down – it has to. I feel like this season will be the last one in which human v human conflict still takes centre stage, and then season 8 will be almost all about the humans uniting against the White Walkers. That’s why The Wall coming down makes sense as this season’s final scene. It’s the perfect cliffhanger to leave us on.
In the books, a popular theory is that the Horn of Winter will bring down The Wall – you can read more about this quite extensive theory here – but basically it is a magic horn that was used many years ago by the King-Beyond-The-Wall Joramun to wake giants from the earth. However if it is blown again, will break The Wall’s magic and make it come crumbling down. Sam and Grenn discovered an old, cracked horn beyond The Wall back in season two, but the idea was never floated that it could be The Horn of Winter, so it seems more likely the show will go in a different direction.
That direction is likely to be Bran Stark – he was touched by the Night’s King in one of his dreams last season, and that broke the protective spell over the weirwood that housed the Three-Eyed Raven. It is likely that, if he crosses back through The Wall, the very same thing will happen – the White Walkers will be able to breach it and come thundering south. I reckon he will also have a big part to play in eventually stopping them, but not before he makes this mother of all booboos.