If you consider yourself a tried-and-true Game of Thrones fan, then chances are you started counting down the hours until Season 7 as soon as the credits started rolling on Season 6. It’s okay, you’re not alone — fans all over the world are waiting to see what happens next, now that Cersei has taken the Iron Throne and Daenerys Targaryen has started her long-awaited voyage to King’s Landing.
Unfortunately, we’re all waiting longer than usual for the series to return to HBO, but that won’t stop us from discussing and debating where the Emmy-winning show will go next — and for many of us, that means gathering up all of the spoilers we can find.
Thanks to casting notices, fan reports, and the tidbits we can glean from cast and crew interviews, we’ve already got some pretty good intel on what to expect when Game of Thrones returns later this year. Here are six exciting spoilers for Season 7.
1. A (not-so-trusted) advisor may be returning
Once upon a time, Ser Jorah Mormont was Daenerys Targaryen’s confidante, friend, and ally. Then she learned that he’d been sent to spy on her by Varys, and, well, she didn’t really take it all that well (can you blame her?). Since then, Jorah has done his best to get back in Dany’s good graces — but all he’s gotten for his troubles, so far, is a wicked case of Greyscale.
It’s been up in the air as to whether he’d return to the fold in Season 7, since the last we saw of him he was ordered to go find a cure for his seemingly incurable illness. According to Winter is Coming, though, Jorah fans may be in luck — the actor who plays him, Iain Glen, was recently sighted in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where the series is filmed.
That seems as good an indication as any that he’ll be back on set, since the North Ireland city is kind of a random place for an in-demand actor to be hanging out. Does that mean he’s figured out a way to survive? Will he finally be given a chance to serve Dany again?
2. A few fan favorites may reappear, too
Remember Gendry? The talented blacksmith, ally to Arya, and bastard son of Robert Baratheon played a big role in the first, second, and third seasons of Game of Thrones. But we’ve not seen hide nor hair of him since he escaped Dragonstone in a rowboat, and his fate has remained completely under wraps.
Since we didn’t see him die, fans have long speculated that he would return one day to stake his claim for the Iron Throne. And Watchers on the Wall reported that the actor who plays him, Joe Dempsie, was spotted at Belfast City Airport on Sept. 13, 2016. Once again, this may be coincidental — but it could also signal his character’s return in Season 7.
If that news isn’t enough to stoke fan speculation, yet another long-departed GoT actor has also teased a return to the series. Jason Momoa, aka Khal Drogo, our sun and stars, posted an Instagram picture of himself in Northern Ireland with the series’ creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff.
While it’s not likely that the Khal will come back from the dead, we could see him in some other incarnation — or in Dany’s dreams. No matter how you cut it, it seems that at least one fan-favorite character will be making an unexpected return in Season 7.
3. Top secret new characters will enter the fold
As with all new Game of Thrones installments, the seventh season will be introducing new names and faces into the fray. Thus far, we don’t know all that much — other than that Harry Potter‘s Jim Broadbent has been cast in a significant role.
Recent casting calls have also shone some light on the types of characters we can expect to see. Not surprisingly, the series’ producers have done their best to shield their full identities from spoiler-happy fans — so the call for auditions revealed character descriptions but not names.
Some of the biggest parts up for grabs are a feisty lovely lady, a merchant, a skilled warrior, and a lieutenant that sounds suspiciously like a Dothraki. How these characters will fit into upcoming storylines remains to be seen — but their addition signals plenty of excitement in Season 7.
4. New alliances could be on the horizon
Cersei Lannister definitely burned her share of bridges — literally and figuratively — in the final moments of Season 6. But many filming spoilers have indicated that she may be striking up a new alliance with Euron Greyjoy in Season 7. Given his niece and nephew’s recent defection to Team Daenerys, it makes sense that he would want to team up with the most powerful ally he can find.
Who better than the newest occupant of the embattled Iron Throne? Whether the new pairing will successfully take on Dany and her ever-growing army of allies remains to be seen — but the showdown will likely be a major plot point in upcoming episodes.
5. Another big battle is looming
Many of the clues we’ve culled together about Season 7 lead to one exciting conclusion: Another huge battle will most certainly take place. And this one could easily rival last season’s Battle of the Bastards in magnitude. Watchers on the Wall reported that the crew has filmed a sea-borne battle between Euron, Yara, and Theon Greyjoy. There are other reports of a major tête-à-tête, once again involving Euron, with Dany herself helming a major fleet of Dothraki and the Unsullied.
If accurate, this could mean only one thing: That we’ll finally get to see Dany really show her stuff as a commander, and we could be treated to one of the most exciting confrontations in Game of Thrones history.
6. Episodes in Season 7 will be far longer than usual
There have been rumors swirling around recently concerning longer episodes in Season 7, and we now have confirmation from the folks over at Watchers on the Wall. According to the popular Game of Thrones news site, the episode lengths for this season will go as follows:
- Episode 1: 59 minutes
- Episode 2: 59 minutes
- Episode 3: 63 minutes
- Episode 4: 50 minutes
- Episode 5: 59 minutes
- Episode 6: 71 minutes
- Episode 7: 81 minutes
This all highlighted by a finale that will set the record for the longest episode in the show’s history, as Game of Thrones starts to break out of its typical hour-long format.
Additional reporting by Nick Cannata-Bowman.
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