With the highly anticipated premiere of season 7 of Game of Thrones just around the corner, fans can hardly wait to find out what’s going to happen now that winter has finally come and the Great War is here.
Now that the show has officially moved beyond the material published in the book series, fans are going crazy trying to figure out the fate of their favorite characters. Here, we’ve pieced together ten things you can expect from season 7, but beware: minor spoilers may pop up, so if you want to be totally and completely surprised, tune in to the July 16th premiere, only on HBO!
1. Major Character Deaths
I know what you’re probably thinking: this particular prediction is rather obvious, given the fact that Game of Thrones has become infamous for killing off main characters each season. But there have always been characters with enough plot armor to reasonably ensure their safety…until now, that is. The Great War is here, and anyone who isn’t material to fighting off the White Walkers will be likely to find their head on the chopping block. No one is safe, not even the most integral of characters. Expect a lot of blood shed, and it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep a box of tissues on hand each week, either.
2. A Lannister/Greyjoy Alliance
When we last left Theon and Yara Greyjoy, they were fleeing from their uncle Euron and joining up with Daenerys Targaryen’s army. However, don’t expect Euron Greyjoy to take this slight lying down. With Dany’s army of Unsullied and Dothraki allied with the Greyjoy siblings, the Tyrells, and the Martells (not to mention three dragons), the newly-crowned Cersei Lannister will find herself hopelessly outnumbered. Lucky for her, she and Euron Greyjoy now share a common enemy, and he has a large fleet ready to terrorize the Targaryen horde on the sea while the Lannisters attack them on the ground. If you thought the fight was unfairly weighted in Dany’s favor, get ready for Euron and Cersei to deliver some damaging blows.
3. A Power Struggle Between Sansa and Jon
As heartwarming as Jon Snow and Sansa Stark’s reunion was last season, the harmony between them will be short-lived. Having won back their family home from Sansa’s psychopathic husband, Ramsay Bolton, you’d think all would be well in Winterfell. But with Littlefinger integral in bringing the Knights of the Vale to assist the Starks in reclaiming Winterfell, he will not be easily gotten rid of. And where Littlefinger goes, trouble is sure to follow. In the season finale, we saw Littlefinger planting seeds of doubt in Sansa’s mind regarding who should rule the North, her or the bastard Jon Snow. And when Jon was declared King in the North, Sansa–who has thus far been a chess piece in the game of thrones and is desperate for some power of her own–was clearly displeased. Tensions will rise in season 7, and audiences will be left wondering where Sansa’s loyalties truly lie.
4. Ser Jorah Will Head to the Citadel
Last season, Ser Jorah Mormont revealed to Queen Daenerys that he suffers from greyscale, a highly contagious disease that slowly turns the afflicted to stone. Daenerys orders him to leave her and find a cure, and where else would a dying man go to find an impossible solution than the center of knowledge in Westeros, the Citadel? In case you’ve forgotten, the Citadel is where aspiring maesters go to earn their chains, unlocking all the secrets of healing, history, and magic in Westeros. The Citadel is also where Jon Snow sent Samwell Tarly to learn all he can about the White Walkers and how to defeat them. Don’t be surprised if Sam and Ser Jorah meet up at the Citadel, with Sam helping Ser Jorah to cure his greyscale so that he can fight beside Queen Daenerys in the Great War.
5. Jon’s True Parentage Will Be Revealed
Last season, in a heart-wrenching flashback, it was revealed that Jon Snow is actually the son of Lyanna Stark and Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. While Rhaegar died before his son was born, and Lyanna died shortly after Jon’s birth, she did make her brother Ned promise to hide his true parentage and raise him as his own son. But with Sam and Gilly camped out at the Citadel, the center of all knowledge and records in Westeros, it’s likely that one of them will stumble upon a record of Rhaegar’s marriage to Lyanna. If such a record indeed exists, this will have huge ramifications for both Jon and Daenerys. If Rhaegar and Lyanna legally married before Rhaegar died, Jon is no longer a bastard, but the true Targaryen heir to the Iron Throne. This also significantly weakens Dany’s claim to the throne, as well as her conviction that she is the Last Dragon. Whether or not Jon and Daenerys will be able to work together to defeat the real enemy, the White Walkers, remains to be seen.
6. Tyrion Will Reunite with Cersei
It’s a reunion three seasons in the making. When Prince Joffrey was poisoned at his own wedding, his mother, Queen Cersei, put a price on her brother Tyrion’s head. Since then, Tyrion has been smuggled across the Narrow Sea, sold into slavery, forced into the fighting pits, and eventually made his was to Daenerys Targaryen, who appointed him Hand of the Queen. It’s been quite a journey for Lord Tyrion, and if leaked filming pictures are anything to go by, he will be by Dany’s side when she confronts Cersei in King’s Landing. We wonder which will surprise Cersei more: the three dragons Dany brings with her, or her brother-turned-mortal-enemy returned to a position of power? Let the drama unfold!
7. Arya Will Return to Winterfell
When we last saw Arya, she was slitting Walder Frey’s throat…but not before murdering his sons, baking them into a pie, and feeding it to him. Trained by the Faceless Men, Arya is an assassin to be reckoned with, and as she declared in season 6, she intends to make her way home–how many bodies she’ll leave in her wake is another question entirely. But official stills released by HBO show Arya dressed in the Northern fashion, suggesting that she is indeed headed north to Winterfell to reunite with her family. We wonder if Arya will be able to calm the rising tension between Jon and Sansa, or will she further ostracize her sister in favor of her beloved brother?
8. A Romance Will Develop Between Jon and Daenerys
Since the first book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series was first published, fans have theorized that Jon Snow represents ice, while Daenerys Targaryen represents fire, and only the two of them working together can defeat the White Walkers in the Great War to come. We know, we know: if Jon’s true father is Dany’s older brother Rhaegar, that makes him her nephew, which significantly increases the ick factor in a potential romance between the two. But incest is hardly taboo for the Targaryens, who wed brothers to sisters for centuries to keep bloodlines pure. When Daenerys dumped her lover Daario Naharis at the end of last season, she made it clear that she intended to use her single status to arrange a politically beneficial marriage alliance. What better way to unite Westeros than the wed the increasingly popular King in the North? And we have a feeling that once these two beautiful people see each other in the flesh, politics won’t be the only thing driving a romance between them. At this point, a marriage between the two seems almost inevitable, and we can’t wait to see how it plays out onscreen.
9. Cersei and Jaime Will Part Ways
One could say that season 6 is when Cersei Lannister officially lost her mind. After burning the Sept of Baelor to the ground with hundreds of nobles inside, and thereby driving her son Tommen to commit suicide, there was nothing and no one standing in the way of Cersei crowning herself Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. However, upon his return, Jaime Lannister did not seem too pleased to see his twin sister and lover seated on the Iron Throne. They’ve been one of Game of Thrones most passionate and twisted love stories, but Jaime has been slowly opening his eyes to Cersei’s cruel nature, both on the show and in the books. By the end of the season, expect Jaime to finally cut ties with Cersei, and perhaps head north to fight the White Walkers. Whatever craziness Cersei has in store, we can bet it won’t be long before Jaime decides he wants no part in it.
10. Daenerys Will Lose One of Her Dragons
With most of Westeros on her side, Queen Daenerys is almost too powerful going into season 7. If production leaks are to be believed, Daenerys will head North of the Wall with Jon Snow to see the White Walker army for herself, taking at least one of her dragons with her. We don’t know about you, but the Night King wrangling an ice dragon from the Mother of Dragons herself might just be enough to even the playing field. It will break our hearts to see Dany lose one of her children to the enemy, but it might be just what the story needs to make the final battle one of the most epic and unpredictable events in television history.