Finally, Game of Thrones; HAS. COME. BACK. To HBO Sunday nights! After an elongated absence from our TV’s Game of Thrones will finally return this Sunday night at 9:00 for it’s highly anticipated 7th season. While Game of Thrones is always one of the most anticipated shows of the year the recent revelations from the cast that the remainder of the series will be moving at a much quicker pace, combined with the fact that as of season six the show has surpassed the books and moved into uncharted waters has whipped the fandom into a ravenous frenzy. Now with only mere hours standing between us and the premiere here are the seven questions I want to see answered in season 7.
1. Will Gendry return ?
“Gendry is still out there rowing his boat somewhere,” has been a running joke among the GoT fandom since the last remaining bastard son of Robert Baratheon set
sail paddle way back in the final episode of season three. A lot has happened since then, like a whole lot, but fans have never given up hope that Arya’s former traveling companion would make his triumphant return. So the question remains, is season 7 when it finally happens? I say yes.
What do we know about Gendry? As I said before he is the last living son of Robert Baratheon and as far as we know at this point he is the last male of any sort with Baratheon blood is his veins. We also know that he was a blacksmith’s apprentice who received his training from the top smith in King’s Landing, Tobho Mott. In the books at least we know that Mott is one of the few people in the world who knows how to work with Valyrian steel. What do you need to kill White Walkers again? Oh yeah Valyrian steel. So here we have the bastard of the former king, who is the last remaining male of an extremely old house, who trained under someone who knows how to work with Valyrian steel, and also forged a strong relationship with a Stark. I’d bet my castle in the Stormlands that this is finally the season Gendry rows back into our lives and I’d go double or nothing that he will be forging some Valyrian steel.
2. What will Sam uncover at the Citadel?
Whence last we saw Samwell Tarly he had arrived at the Citadel after stopping off at his father’s house to steal his families Valyrian steel sword. Jon originally sent Sam to the Citadel to train to become the Night Watch’s next maester but with only 13 episodes of show left there’s obviously not enough time for him to fully reach that goal. So what then is the point of Sam being at the Citadel? What bit of information may he discover hidden away in a dusty scroll somewhere in the great library that would make this plot line worthwhile?
Originally it was believed that Sam could possibly discover the method for killing White Walkers but at this point they already know that the Walkers can be killed by both dragonglass (obsidian) and Valyrian steel. The only problem is that there aren’t a whole lot of Valyrian steel weapons floating around Westeros these days. Yes Jon has “Longclaw”, Brienne has “Oathkeeper”, Sam is now in possession of “Heartsbane”, and presumably the Valyrian steel dagger that was used in the attempt on Bran’s life back in season one is still floating around somewhere, but that’s probably not going to cut it (haha). That’s why I believe that Sam will uncover the lost secrets of forging Valyrian steel from scratch and eventually link up with Gendry to start churning out some blades.
3. Will we finally get Clegane Bowl?
For those not in the know Clegane Bowl is the long theorized potential (burned)face-off between Sandor “The Hound” Clegane and his brother Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane. By the end of season four it seemed that this battle would not be in the cards since both Clegane brothers were on what seemed to be the brink of death. The Mountain despite emerging victorious in the trial by combat versus Oberyn Martell was left gravely wounded and The Hound was left bloodied and broken after a run in with Brienne of Tarth. But fast forward to this season and The Mountain is now Cersei’s re-animated franken-zombie-esque body guard while The Hound has joined up with the Brotherhood Without Banners after being saved by a holy man and his followers, who ended up getting murdered.
Since both Clegane’s are both (somewhat) alive will we finally get the epic showdown we have long desired? I think the answer is yes and I think it will have a lot to do with the fact that The Hound has now joined with The Brotherhood. The Brotherhood is led by Lord Beric Dondarrion and the red priest that keeps resurrecting him when he gets killed, Thoros of Myr. Remember Lord Beric’s original mission waaaaaay back in season 1 was to track and kill The Mountain. That mission was given to him by Ned Stark after it was learned that The Mountain was committing atrocities in the riverlands. Beric crossed paths with The Mountain on several occasions but could never bring him down and several times actually ended up being killed himself. It would be extremely fitting if he was finally able to complete the mission Ned Stark trusted him with by having The Hound defeat The Mountain.
4. Which, if any, character reunions will happen this season?
Game of Thrones is a vast a sprawling tale that takes place over an enormous, and very dangerous landscape, so often when two characters split up they end up never seeing each other again. That’s why when reunions do happen, such as the one we got with Jon and Sansa last season, they feel like such huge moments. So what reunions could be on offer this season? Here are some I’m anticipating:
–Arya and The Hound: These two spent a lot of time together on the road through seasons 3 and 4. They ultimately split up when Arya refused to kill The Hound after he was badly injured in a fight with Brienne. She would end spending the next two seasons training to be a Faceless Man in Bravos while The Hound was off-screen and presumed dead until season 6. Now both are somewhere in the riverlands and reunion could happen.
–Arya and Nymeria: A lot of you probably just said, “Who?”, and that is very understandable considering Nymeria is a character we haven’t seen since very early in season 1, and also she’s not a person. Nymeria is/was Arya’s direwolf whom she set free into the woods of after she had bitten Joffrey. We never hear of Nymeria again in the show but in the books there are many rumors of a huge she wolf that leads a pack of a hundred wolves and roams around the riverlands. It would be odd if we never saw Nymeria again considering she is one of only two of the original six direwolves left at this point.
–Bronn/Jamie & Tyrion: With Dany and her crew finally making landfall in Westeros this season and presumably heading to Kings Landing to take the throne, will we get a moment where Tyrion stares across the battlefield and sees his brother and old friend?
–All the Starks: Will it happen, will it finally happen??? After all this time will all the surviving Stark children finally be reunited? Jon and Sansa are already together at Winterfell and Bran is making his way south from beyond the Wall so it seems likely they will cross paths at some points. Arya isn’t exactly close by though so it remains to be seen how she could make her way into the family photo. Get the tissues ready if this does actually happen.
5. Which “big bads” will be left?
Coming into this season the main remaining antagonists are clearly Cersei Lannister, Euron Greyjoy, and The Night King. All signs point to the Night King being the final boss of this series so that begs the question, will any of the other antagonists make it to season 8? My gut feeling is that Cersei and Euron go down by the end of this season and they may potentially join forces. In the books Euron is a much bigger, much darker, much more imposing presence and it just doesn’t seem like the show will be taking him in that direction. My prediction is that by the end of season 7 the Night King will stand alone.
6. Will (all) the dragons survive?
Game of Thrones at it’s heart is a show about actions and their consequences. Characters who make bad decisions often quickly and brutally pay for those decisions. This is meant to illustrate how high the stakes are when you play the game of thrones. However, at the moment Daenerys possesses three trump cards that seem to spit in the face of everything the show has taught us to this point, her dragons. No matter what decisions she makes or what consequences she faces she can simply utter some words in old Valyrian and her winged death machines will fix all her problems. It seems very, very unlikely that the final 13 episodes of this series are going to be a victory parade for the Mother of Dragons as she goes from one place to the next roasting her enemies and ultimately melts the Night King like he’s Frosty the Snowman. For the ending of this revolutionary series to live up to everything that has happened up to this point the stakes have to feel real and for the stakes to feel real a dragon has to die. Will it then be brought back to “life”? Well that’s another question entirely.
7. Will Jon Snow learn of his parentage?
In season 6 the oldest and most popular Game of Thrones theory, R+L=J, was proven true. After years of speculation we finally had confirmation that Jon Snow was not the bastard son of Ned Stark but in fact was the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Ned’s sister Lyanna Stark. Which by all accounts makes Jon the rightful heir to the Iron Throne with a stronger claim than even Daenerys. This was the most satisfying Game of Thrones reveal to date and a truly incredible moment for the fandom. But the kicker here is that we witnessed this reveal through Bran’s weirwood vision and Jon himself has no idea of his royal heritage. So will this be the season that Jon learns his true last name is Targaryen? There is no question I am more excited to have answered.
I will be doing weekly episode recaps and you can find them here at Sports Blog New York. Follow me on Twitter @De_Italiano for live reactions and discussion. Winter is here folks and it is hype!