Saturday 24 March 2018

Seven reasons why we can't wait for Game of Thrones season seven

Aidan Gillen as Petyr
Aidan Gillen as Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish and Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark - Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO

Rebecca Hawkes

The final countdown to the arrival of the next season of Game of Thrones is almost over, writes Rebecca Hawkes, who lists the top reasons we can’t wait to tune in...

There’s not long to go now until the seventh season of Game of Thrones, due to be broadcast in the early hours of Monday morning — and then in an less ungodly evening slot later that day — arrives on our TV screens.

Here are the top reasons why we can’t wait which contain possible spoilers so you have been warned! 

1. There’s going to be a big battle. With big dragons

Judging by some of the epic scenes in the latest trailer, it looks as if forces belonging to Lena Headey’s and her army, with Jaime Lannister (and his white horse) taking an active part in the fiery battle.

If there’s one thing Game of Thrones has done consistently well across its past seasons, it’s these kind of set-piece, action-driven episodes, many of which — such as last season’s Battle of the Bastards, or season two’s Blackwater — have felt like mini-movies in their own right.

With longer episode lengths promised in the forthcoming new series, which will be told across seven instalments rather than the customary 10, we can expect its action, including the battle promised in the trailer, to be more gloriously cinematic than ever.

2. And possibly some intense Lannister brother drama

Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) is now firmly allied with Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), and would probably like nothing more than to see his sister Cersei meet a nasty end. But how does The Imp feel about Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), with whom he has always had a much closer relationship? And what about Bronn (Jerome Flynn), Tyrion’s old sellsword pal, who in the show has now formed something of a double act with Jaime?

Fan favourite Tyrion Lannister, played by Peter Dinklage, is expected to feature heavily in 'Game of Thrones' season 5

Will Tyrion be entirely comfortable seeing the pair face off against the deadly dragons?

3. Not to mention some intense Jaime-Cersei drama

Fans of both the show and George RR Martin’s book series have long speculated that Jaime might one day kill Cersei himself, despite his love for her. Indeed, in Martin’s books, part of the Maggy the Frog Prophecy arguably hints this might one day happen, although there are other theories too.

While we’re not at all convinced Cersei’s death will take place in the next season, it’ll be fascinating to see how the pair’s already complicated relationship (twins and incestuous lovers, only one of whom could be on a path to redemption) will develop.

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

Trailer shots of Cersei lurking in darkness, looking decidedly unhappy, also suggest that her downfall isn’t too far off, and that she’ll find power difficult to handle. She might have triumphed over her enemies at the end of the last season, but her machinations also led to the suicide of her son Tommen, her last surviving child.

4. Euron Greyjoy could be one of the best villains yet

In a recent interview with Empire magazine, Euron actor Pilou Asbæk promised fans of the show that, when it comes to the weekly sadism-and-murder quota, not even the show’s most bloodthirsty fans will be mourning the loss of Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon).

euron greyjoy.jpg
Euron Greyjoy

“The psychos I’ve encountered have so many different sides to them. So each scene I’ve done with Euron, I pick a new thing I wanna show. ‘This scene I want to be charming.’ ‘This scene I wanna be a molester.’ ‘This scene I wanna kill someone,’” he said. “After this season, Ramsay’s gonna look like a little kid.”

All in all, we’re fairly relieved by this. While it feels logical that human wars will eventually pale into insignificant in the face of the show’s ultimate Big Bad (the Night King and his undead army), we’re glad that the Thrones showrunners are still planning to include some no frills, down-to-earth good old-fashioned human nastiness in their penultimate season. Game of Thrones just wouldn’t be the same without it.

5. We should finally get to see a Stark reunion

It looks as if Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright), who is seen in the latest trailer at the Wall with Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick), and then in a wheelchair in the Winterfell courtyard, will finally make his way home in the next season. This means that, at long last, he’ll presumably reunite with his sister Sansa (Sophie Turner) and his half-brother (actually  his cousin, following last season’s reveal) Jon (Kit Harington).

bran star season 6 hbo-isaac-hempstead-wright.jpg
Bran Stark in the season 6 teaser of Game of Thrones. Picture: Helen Sloan/HBO via Entertainment Weekly

But many are also hoping that Arya (Maisie Williams) is heading North too. A previously released image from season seven, appears to show the character at Winterfell; it’s admittedly tricky to tell, given the limited background on show, but it certainly looks a bit like the ancestral Stark stronghold.

After seeing the family scattered for so long, with many members unsure just who was left alive, seeing the surviving Starks united in season seven should be am immensely satisfying — not to mention moving experience for long-term viewers.

6. There might finally (maybe, possibly) be a Cleganebowl

Then again, there might not. But we can but hope. A Cleganebowl, for those not in the know, is a term used by fans to describe a long-anticipated final showdown between The Hound (aka Sandor Clegane) and his brother The Mountain (Gregor Clegane), who is currently acting, albeit in undead form, as Cersei’s personal bodyguard. (Most of the fans hoping for a Cleganebowl also hope that, should such an event take place, The Hound will be the victor.)

While there’s no real evidence that the longed-for Battle of the Brothers will ever take place, those of us who cling to this theory were heartened by a shot of Sandor (Rory McCann) in the recent trailer, in which he appeared to be standing in the King’s Landing Drago pit, brandishing a sword at an unseen assailant. Could this be a sign?

7. The Sansa-Littlefinger dynamic should get interesting

Last year, we saw Sansa feed her husband Ramsay to his own dogs, and walk away with a smile on her lips as he was torn apart.

It was a thrilling moment — and one that showed viewers just how far the character, who began the show as a romantic, naive dreamer, has changed since the earliest episodes.

That said, the latest trailer hints that she’ll face a much more complex conflict when it comes to her relationship with the manipulative Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen), aka Littlefinger, whose voice can be heard in the teaser’s opening scenes.

At the end of season six, the arch-schemer revealed his ultimate desire to Sansa, telling her: “Every time I’m faced with a decision, I close my eyes and see the same picture. Whenever I consider a question, I ask myself, ‘Will this action make this picture a reality?’, pull it out of my mind and into this world.”

Aidan Gillen as Littlefinger in HBO's Game of Thrones

“And I only act if the answer is yes,” he continued. “A picture of me on the Iron Throne, and you by my side.”

But while Littlefinger has managed to control Sansa, and many others, in the past, we’re not sure how long he’ll be able to maintain any kind of hold over the eldest Stark daughter in the future — or whether he’ll ever be able to successfully turn her against Jon.

Furthermore, Sansa doesn’t yet know the full extent of Littlefinger’s crimes, or the part he played in her own father’s downfall. Once upon a time, she might have been pliable, but her experiences at the hands of Ramsay Bolton will have left her a more hardened, ruthless person. Baelish is no fool, but will his love for Sansa (a deeply creepy love, that’s really more of a transference of his long-held passion for her mother) lead him to underestimate just how dangerous she can be?

The Ultimate Game of Thrones Refresher - read up on seasons one to six 

Game of Thrones season 7 predictions - here’s what we think will happen


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