“Game of Thrones” is back and the end is nigh. The intrigue, deception, valor, and political maneuvering that made the show popular reached a fever pitch during season six with power reorganizing and those flung to the edges of the Earth returning home to seek both vengeance and their birthrights.
Season seven will not plod along. Season seven is about The Great War, the largest world-encompassing war since Aegon the Conqueror brought dragons to Westeros and united the Seven Kingdoms. George R.R. Martin, along with show-runners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, have set the chess board. Starting July 16th, the pieces will begin to fall.
SPOILER ALERT: THE FOLLOWING VIDEO AND ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THOSE WHO ARE READING THE BOOKS OR HAVE NOT WATCHED TO THE END OF SEASON 6. You have been warned.
1. King’s Landing in the East
Cersei and Jamie are the last two Lannisters left in King’s Landing. To be honest, they are the last two Lannisters that should be leading. Cersei is driven by blinding vengeance, taking actions without thinking through the consequences. Jamie is half the man he once was, having lost both his ability and desire to fight. Only his love and loyalty to his sister and sense of duty keep him in King’s Landing. All of their efforts may have won them the throne, but they have also created enemies on every side of them. Don’t think Cersei will get out of this war alive, she doesn’t have the foresight. But she will take many enemies with her. Will Jamie the “Kingslayer” have to break another bond of loyalty and kill his sister to protect the realm?
2. Enemies to the West
The Ironborn have returned and are actually going to do something. Theon has been the most prominent Greyjoy over the show’s six seasons, but has been a pathetic figure to say the least. His uncle, Euron, was crowned the King of the Iron Islands at the end of season six, and seeks to find and marry Daenerys Targaryen. Good luck with that, bub. Euron has a great horn that is said to control dragons. We haven’t seen it yet in the show, but it could put an interesting twist on what we all expect will be Targaryen domination.
3. Enemies to the South
There are two main enemies in the south: the Martells and the Targaryens. The Martell storyline has been a flop since the death of Oberyn, but the southerners should never be counted out, especially when they find a common ally in Daenerys. The trailer shows Daenerys landing and establishing a base in Dragonstone, her birthplace. The location was prominent in early seasons as the home of Stannis Baratheon, but now will serve as the base of operations for the Targaryen conquest.
4. Enemies to the North
Like the south, there are multiple Lannister enemies in the north. The one Cersei is referring to in the trailer is undeniably the united North under Jon Snow. Snow united the North–wildlings, small houses, and the Eyrie– under one banner. They don’t want the Iron Throne as much as vengeance and independence. The Lannisters stand in the way of both.
Then there’s Sansa who brought House Arryn and to Winterfell at the end of last season. Without her, Ramsay Bolton would still be in charge. But that alliance also meant bringing Littlefinger, Petyr Baelish, into the fold. Baelish is still pulling strings, telling Sansa that she should be leader of the North, not her half brother Jon. I hope Sansa can stand up to him, but fear Baelish still has a hold over her. The trailer does, however, give us a brief glimpse of Jon confronting Baelish.
I can’t wait for that.
5. Tyrion and Arya, “The Ones that count.”
Despite what Cersei says, Tyrion is the Lannister who really counts. He has more brains than both of his siblings combined and enough sense to try and save the kingdom from his family. Last season showed us Tyrion’s unique ability to deal with dragons, a trait only he and Daenerys have. He the only advisor of substance in Westeros. He knows the land, the people, and the politics. But traitors aren’t welcomed home with open arms. Just about everyone in Westros would love to kill him and collect the bounty from Cersei.
Arya has been doing her own assassin thing since season 2. Finally, she is coming home. We can only speculate as to how her relationship with her sister, whom she hated, and half brother, whom she loved, will turn out or if she will avoid them for the sake of revenge. A girl has her list, after all. The trailer shows her in the far north. It may be that she meets Bran, the new Three-eyed Raven, or the White Walkers before heading south.
6. Jorah’s Greyscale
In one of the more enigmatic and creepy shots of the trailer, we see a zombie-like hand reaching out of of a cell. Who is it? Why are they in a cell? A closer look at the arm shows a stone like left hand, and who found out that he had a disease called Greyscale that does just that? Jorah Mormont, the faithful, doting protector of Daenerys Targaryen. He is looking for a cure for Greyscale, which many think can only be cured with dragon fire. Jorah has had a tough time over the last few seasons, but his story is not over yet.
Obviously. The trailer only shows Drogon, the black and red dragon, but Rhaegal and Viserion cannot be far behind. They’re now huge beasts looking like they could easily carry a horse in each claw. The books strongly hint that Tyrion is not a full Lannister, but a Targaryen half brother (same mother) of Cersei and Jamie. Last season revealed that Jon is also a Targaryen. Three Targaryens; three dragons. Coincidence? No way. Tyrion will ride a dragon soon enough and many think Jon and Daenerys will end up together fulfilling the series name “A Song of Ice and Fire.” Things could get very interesting very soon.
They are, essentially, flying indestructible tanks. No army can really stand up to them with arrows and spears. Add that to Daenerys’ army of Dothraki warriors and you have a nearly indestructible force, which is good, because the real enemy is not the Lannisters.
8. Winter is Coming
The winters in Westeros can last a lifetime, but it is not the cold you should fear. It is what the cold brings. As winter falls, the White Walkers will venture further south, threatening all of humanity. Jon Snow has seen them and sent Sam to research how to fight them. The trailer does not show Sam or the Citadel library where he is studying. As the Great War Rages, the real threat looms in the north, just waiting to sweep across Westeros. Expect this season to be about the wars of men, while setting up the fight for survival in season eight.
Season 7 will have seven episodes (as opposed to the normal ten of past seasons) and will premier July 16.