Winter is finally, truly almost here — only one more Sunday will pass before the new season begins, July 16th — and HBO has release the first three Game of Thrones Season 7 episode descriptions. While the careful wording gives away very little, there are just the right cryptic hints to whet our collective appetite, and to hunt for hidden meaning.
Here’s how things stand, straight from the HBO press room:
Daenerys Targaryen has finally set sail for Westeros with her armies, dragons and new Hand of the Queen, Tyrion Lannister. Jon Snow has been named King in the North after defeating Ramsay Bolton in the Battle of the Bastards and returning Winterfell to House Stark. In King’s Landing, Cersei Lannister has seized the Iron Throne by incinerating the High Sparrow, his followers and her rivals in the Sept of Baelor. But as old alliances fracture and new ones emerge, an army of dead men marches on the Wall, threatening to end the game of thrones forever.
July 16th kicks off with “Dragonstone“, directed by Jeremy Podeswa (“Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken, Kill the Boy”) and written by showrunners, Benioff and Weiss:
Jon organizes the defense of the North. Cersei tries to even the odds. Daenerys comes home.”
I’m very curious about that statement about Cersei; even the odds by aligning with whom? This shot looks like she’s receiving a visitor(s), and that look on her face is just so charming, isn’t it?
July 23rd brings “Stormborn“, directed by Mark Mylod (“No One, The Broken Man”), written by Bryan Cogman:
Daenerys receives an unexpected visitor. Jon faces a revolt. Tyrion plans the conquest of Westeros.”
I’d guess Dany’s visitor is a very irked Euron Greyjoy, who’s clearly a threatening figure this season. When she laughs in his face and sends him away, might Euron be the one dastardly figure Cersei could seemingly convince to ally with her? Of course, neither party would keep their word or truly be able to trust each other. Does Littlefinger have something to do with that revolt Jon faces? That’s a certainty; remember those shots of him with Jon … We know Sansa doesn’t necessarily agree with his plans — Kit Harington’s been vocal this week about brewing strife between brother (kinda sorta) and sister.
July 30th we’ll see “The Queen’s Justice“, directed by Mark Mylod, written by Benioff and Weiss:
Daenerys holds court. Cersei returns a gift. Jaime learns from his mistakes.”
“Returns a gift” means a dead body. I’m calling it. I don’t know whose dead body, or to whom she’ll return it, but there’s just something about how that reads in my brain, I feel sure she’ll have the Mountain crushing foes left and right (Cleganebowl, here we come!). As for which queen’s justice, my money’s on Dany. Jaime’s takeaway could have to do with his trusting Cersei, and perhaps this is just the beginning of him trusting his instincts, looking out for himself, because by now he has to know Cersei’s only out for herself. I wonder if at a crucial point, he’ll walk away from her, join his brother on Team Daenerys, and true to Maggie’s prophecy, perhaps both little brothers (valonqar) will have a part in her death.
It’s telling that Daenerys plays into all three episode titles, I think. I’m firmly of the opinion she’ll return Targaryen rule to the Iron Throne.
Guest stars this season include Jim Broadbent, Tom Hopper, Ed Sheeran and Megan Parkinson.