ATTENTION IN THE REALM, HBO's Game Of Thrones returns tonight for the premiere of long awaited and anticipated Season 7. So many things could happen this season; so many things could happen TONIGHT, during the return to Westeros.
The first episode of Season 7 (which is actually episode 61 of the series) is titled Dragonstone. As that name suggests, it'll probably center around Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) returning to the castle of her Targaryen family, called Dragonstone. The last time we saw the cold and rocky castle was when Stannis (Stephen Dillane), Melisandre (Carice van Houten), and Davos (Liam Cunningham) had their spar after the good ol' onion knight released the late King Robert's (Mark Addy) bastard son Gendry (Joe Dempsie) before the Red Priestess could sacrifice him to her god, R'hllor. It's been a long journey for the Mother of Dragons to get to Westeros, her "homeland" but only time will tell if it's truly home.
At the end of Season 6, the outcast Greyjoy bother and sister team of Theon (Alfie Allen) and Yara (Gemma Whelan) traveled across the Narrow Sea to seek out the Dragon Queen, along with the fleet of Pyke ships they'd stolen from their uncle Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk). Euron returned to the craggy sea coast island nation of Pyke to claim the driftwood crown of the Krakens, and sit the Seastone Chair (their version of a local throne). He pretty much takes the credit for killing the previous Kraken King Balon (Theon and Yara's dad) and during the Kingsmoot takes power in the ancient method, being crowned by his priest brother Aeron The Damphair Greyjoy (Michael Feast). What is dead may never die.
Yara and Theon reach Mereen just as it seems the Brave Masters wrath will destroy all of Daenerys's council's work, which is made up of Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) , and Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson). With her three dragons almost completely grown, Dany attacks the Masters' ships with fire and blood, winning the battle and renaming the previous Slaver's Bay the Bay of Dragons. She loads her Khalasar onto the many, MANY ships, and heads out towards Westeros.
Up in The North, the aftermath of the Battle of the Bastards which saw the forces of Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) and Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) clash is finally starting to settle down, and oaths of fealty are being said to the new "King in The North" with voices raised in the great hall of Winterfell. Sansa (Sophie Turner) is faced with the harsh truth that while her involvement and scheming to bring more army forces to aid her brother during the battle, the North will never acknowledge her saving them. Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish (Aidan Gillen) follows her into the Godswood, where apparently almost every important conversation with a man happens for Sansa, and tells her again of his feelings for her and cautions her about her future.
Down in the Westerosi capital, Cersei's plan for revenge against those who shamed her, those who attempt to replace her and usurp her powers comes to a brilliant green conclusion. Her scheming to bring down Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) and the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) results in the lost cache of wyldfire from the Battle of the Blackwater being stacked under the Sept of Baelor, and set alight. There is an explosion of monumental proportions that kills everyone in the sept, as well as the surrounding areas of the street of sisters and other parts of the city. As Cersei watches the destruction from her window in the Red Keep, her last remaining child King Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) steps out the window to his death after seeing the green cloud envelop the city, reminding us why it's called King's Landing.
After narrowly escaping the Waif's (Faye Marsay) deadly punishment for not completing a mission from the Many Faced God, Arya (Maisie Williams) travels back home to Westeros where she begins the fulfillment of her prayer. Her first stop? The Twins and the table of Walder Frey (David Bradley), the crotchety old man responsible for the Red Wedding that saw the deaths of Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) and Rob Stark (Richard Madden), Arya's mother and brother. She comes to him with the face of a servant, and obviously taking a page from The Rat King's legend, serves Walder a pie made of his sons. She removes the face of the servant, tells Walder exactly who she is, and slits his throat. Her cold but oh-so-rewarding smile as he slowly bleeds out reminds us this murder child is NOT Arya Underfoot from the first season.
Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and Meera (Ellie Kendrick) have escaped the hordes of undead after learning the terrible and heart wrenching secret behind why Hodor (Kristian Nairn) is Hodor. They have ALMOST made it back to The Wall with the help of Coldhands, who is actually Stark uncle Benjen. Possessed by the previous Three Eyed Raven, Benjen is more man than white walker, with his visage entailing more zombie than Night's Watch brother. This Huffington Post article is actually pretty great, fan theories about what we might see explained as the show nears it's end and Bran's involvement.
We also know that Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and Pod (Daniel Portman) made it to Winterfell none the worse for wear, judging from this early released image. Hopefully, they'll be around for awhile.
The early released synopsis for Dragonstone says "Jon Snow (Kit Harington) organizing the defense of the North. Cersei (Lena Headey) tries to even the odds and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) comes home." The episode is written by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss and directed by Jeremy Podeswa.
Stay tuned for our live tweeting of the episode, as well as recaps and reviews.
Who do YOU think will end up victorious in Game Of Thrones?