The seventh season of Game of Thrones is almost upon us, and while no-one knows exactly what will happen, every fan is sure that this will be another season packed with brutal deaths and shocking twists. Coming into the season, there are a few things that are guaranteed to happen in some shape or form: Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) is going to land in Westeros, and she’s going to make a new alliance or two. Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) has crowned herself Queen, but she’s not going to be able to rule unopposed, especially after she slaughtered the future of House Tyrell at the Sept of Baelor - there is going to be some retribution in the works for her this season.
There are also plenty of characters returning to Westeros, and things are going to get interesting when some of these meet up again after so much has changed. Arya’s (Maisie Williams) return is certainly going to be a fascinating one, especially as her siblings probably assume that she's dead… and that she hasn't become an expert assassin. Of course, it’s not just human characters who are on their way home. The White Walkers are massing, and that’s going to lead to the biggest battle of all. In addition to all the big moments that fans know are coming, there are plenty of smaller moments to speculate about. This is a show that can go in any direction, that isn’t afraid to kill off major players, and that is no longer following the books (as it has outpaced them). With that in mind, we’ve got a few big predictions of our own - and we'll be waiting to see how many come to pass this summer.
15 The Hound And Beric Dondarrion Go North Of The Wall
It’s already been confirmed that the Hound (Rory McCann) has joined up with Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) and the Brotherhood Without Banners, as they joined forces at the end of season 6. Dondarrion told the Hound that they were headed North, to fight the 'cold winds rising’. This makes it clear that the Brotherhood will be headed to the Wall, to meet both the Night’s Watch and potentially (presumably) Jon Snow, who is currently the anointed King in the North. We’re predicting that they’ll be headed even further North than that, however, passing the Wall and heading into the lands of the Free Folk and the White Walkers.
This fits with the idea that the White Walkers are becoming more and more of a threat, and that the Night’s Watch will be starting to fight them in earnest - if the Brotherhood are up there, they would want to join in. It also makes sense considering Beric’s flaming sword, something that could have the power to defeat a Walker. And of course, the trailer already showed Beric and his fiery steel in the snow, presumably fighting North of the Wall.
14 Arya And Nymeria Will Reunite
Arya is back in Westeros, and it looks like she’s going on a revenge killing spree, using her new skills learned at the House of Black and White. Eventually, fans are assuming that she will reunite with Jon, Sansa (Sophie Turner), and Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright), but these aren’t the only members of the Stark clan that Arya might meet again.
Her direwolf, Nymeria, was driven away several seasons ago after she attacked Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), and Arya knew that if the wolf stayed with them, the Lannisters would kill her. Since then, Nymeria has been off the map, although in the books it's hinted that she is leading a pack of wild wolves in the Riverlands. Now that Arya has returned and we're set for a season of reunions, it’s quite possible that Arya and Nymeria's long-awaited reunion will finally happen - and that she may well end up learning about warging (as Bran has), in order to bring Nymeria’s pack into battle.
13 Sansa Will Kill Robin Arryn
Sansa has gone on an incredible journey since season 1, from an innocent young lady of the North with dreams of palaces and pretty dresses to an increasingly powerful and dark woman. By the end of season 6, Sansa has become a killer herself, murdering her abuser, Ramsey Bolton (Iwan Rheon), by leaving him to be eaten by his vicious hounds. She’s also become increasingly duplicitous, and started to play the game for her own ends - so we’re predicting that Lady Sansa is not done with killing just yet.
A likely target is the mad Robin Arryn (Lino Facioli), whom Sansa already hates. Although Robin is technically the Lord of the Vale, Sansa has something of a claim to that position as well, as Lysa Arryn (Kate Dickie) was her Aunt, and Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen), currently Robin’s stepfather and Protector of the Vale, has made it clear that he wishes to marry Sansa and rule at her side. Sansa may now return to the Vale and decide that it needs a better ruler than a sickly boy who doesn’t seem to have an intact mind, possibly even tossing him out the Moon Door that he loves in order to take over the Vale herself.
12 Daenerys Will Invade At Casterly Rock
Dany and her fleet left Meereen at the end of season 6, but didn’t reveal where in Westeros she was headed. It’s unlikely that the Mother of Dragons is going to be aiming for King's Landing itself, at least not right off the bat. She’s got to find her feet in this new land and discover where the power lies before charging in to attack Cersei.
The teaser trailer showed shots of Dany and Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) at what looks like Dragonstone, so it’s likely that she’ll start out by landing here, before deciding where to go from there. Dragonstone Island was abandonded by Stannis (Stephen Dillane) when he went North, however, so she'll be able to simply walk into power there.
The real invasion would start later with Dany’s first big incursion at Casterly Rock, the seat of the Lannisters. Legendary for never having fallen, the loss of Casterly Rock would be a huge blow to the Lannisters, and Tyrion would know exactly how to take it down - possibly involving the sewers. In addition, the trailer also shows the Unsullied streaming under an arch with an ‘L’ carved into it (for Lannister, presumably).
11 Littlefinger Will Turn Sansa Against Jon
Littlefinger is one of the most capable manipulators in the kingdom, so it would be more surprising if he didn’t start betraying people for his own ends again. However, we’re guessing that this season, Petyr Baelish will be keeping his gaze firmly on Sansa, whom he has something of an obsession with. Not only will he potentially help her kill Robin Arryn and take over the Vale, but he’s going to do everything he can to turn her against Jon Snow, now King in the North.
Sansa has already gone behind Jon’s back to recruit the army of the Vale to help in the Battle of the Bastards, and Littlefinger has already told her that he wishes her to sit at his side as Queen when he takes the Iron Throne for himself. He’s also heavily hinted that Jon has usurped her in the North, and will probably do all he can to win Sansa away from Jon and over to his own cause. This is despite his public declaration of support for the Starks, and Sansa’s distrust of Littlefinger since he gave her to the Boltons.
10 The Hound and the Brotherhood Will Capture A White Walker…
One of the biggest issues that the Night’s Watch and the King in the North are going to have in the coming season is that no-one believes in White Walkers outside of those who have seen them. Usually known only as ghost stories to scare children, it’s going to be difficult for anyone to convince the Lannisters and the other powerful houses in the South that this is a legitimate threat - unless they bring an actual Walker down to King's Landing.
We already know that the Hound, Beric Dondarrion, and the Brotherhood Without Banners are headed North to fight, but it’s likely that they will quickly see how the odds are stacked against them. They'll need help, and the easiest way to convince Cersei that White Walkers exist is to drag one all the way to her at King’s Landing. This could be the only way to get the armies of Westeros to stop fighting each other and start fighting together.
9 …Which Will Lead To CleganeBowl (And The Death of The Mountain)
Of course, if the Hound and Beric do hunt down a White Walker and bring it to King’s Landing, that is going to lead to a fan-favorite battle finally taking place; between the Hound and the Mountain. Fans have been hoping for Cleganebowl since season 1, and originally thought it could happen by way of a trial by combat. However, after seeing what looks like the Hound raising his sword in the sun of King's Landing in the trailer, fans are now thinking that this Clegane brother face-off will be the result of the Hound’s return to the capital city.
Cersei would be livid with the Hound for abandoning Joffrey, and will sic her FrankenMountain on him, leading to a massive battle. There’s little doubt that at least one brother will die when these two finally face off, and we’re putting our money on the Hound to kill the Mountain. He’s already in a bad state since his resurrection at the hands of Qyburn (from the looks of his face, anyway), and that may be enough to slow him to the point that the Hound can kill him once and for all.
8 Bran Will Bring Down The Wall
Bran hasn’t been an active participant in the battles for the Seven Kingdoms for quite a while, having been North of the Wall learning about the three-eyed raven, warging, the truth of the White Walkers, and the history of Westeros. Now, however, he and Meera (Ellie Kendrick) are back at the Wall, and they may well be the reason that it finally falls.
According to legend, the only thing that can bring down the wall is the Horn of Winter (aka the Horn of Joramun), and some fans are now speculating that this could be Bran himself. In season 6, we saw the Night’s King put a mark on Bran that broke the protection of the cave, and led to the Walkers overrunning it (and the death of Hodor). The theory is that this magic is the same magic that was used to construct the Wall, and that when Bran crosses the Wall with the mark on his arm, it will destroy the protections and give the Walkers a way South.
7 Arya Becomes Lady Stoneheart
Not every character from the books has shown up in the series, and it looks like Lady Stoneheart isn’t ever going to be making an appearance - at least, not as the reanimated corpse of Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley). Instead, it looks like season 6 will feature a different Lady Stoneheart: Arya.
Having ‘died’ (at least, been presumed dead and nearly killed), Arya is now back in Westeros, and on a mission of vengeance that would do her undead mother proud. She’s determined to finish killing off the people on her list, people who have killed her family members. It’s a very similar story to that of the original Lady Stoneheart, and it could even be fully brought into being with Arya wearing her mother’s face during one of her missions for retribution. While this would be a major change from the books, it does allow for the Stoneheart character to appear before the end, and keeps the basic concept (of a Stark hellbent on vengeance) intact.
6 Euron Kills Yara; Theon Is Alone Again
Another big throwdown in the cards is between the potential rulers of the Ironborn. Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) has pledged his allegiance to Yara (Gemma Whelan), and the two of them have taken their fleet of Ironborn to Daenerys to help her invade Westeros. Yara has given her the ships in return for a promise that she will rule the Iron Isles when Daenerys is Queen, but Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk) is very much standing in her way.
Recently crowned the King of the Salt Throne, Euron intends to offer marriage to Daenerys, and he’s not going to be happy at what Yara has done. There has also been plenty made of how much of a villain Euron is going to be in the coming season, so it’s likely that he has something brutal in store for Yara and Theon as a penalty for refusing to swear loyalty to him as the Ironborn’s rightful king. The trailer shows Yara and Theon watching as their ships are set ablaze, so it looks like they aren’t going to win this fight. Our bet is on Yara being the one to bite the dust, leaving Theon once again on his own.
5 Jon’s Bloodline Is Revealed
One of the biggest moments of last season was the revelation that Jon Snow is not the bastard child of Eddard Stark (Sean Bean), but the child of Lyanna Stark (Aisling Franciosi) and Rhaegar Targaryen. Lyanna gave birth to him at the Tower of Joy, and gave him to Ned Stark for protection before she died - something that Bran now knows thanks to his visions. Now that he’s headed back South of the Wall, Bran will be able to reveal Jon’s heritage to the King in the North, and that’s going to have a huge impact on Jon’s interactions with Dany.
It’s going to take more than the word of a crippled boy to convince everyone that Jon Snow is actually Jon (or is it Jaehaerys?) Targaryen, however, so there are a couple more things that might happen to help prove his parentage. Howland Reed may make an appearance, as the only other survivor of the Tower of Joy, to confirm Bran’s story, but even that isn’t going to be enough. Could we possibly see Jon survive dragonfire, or use his resurrection at the hands of Melisandre (Carice van Houten) as proof that he, like Dany, is ‘unburnt’ and one of the heads of the dragon?
4 Sam Tarly Uncovers The Truth About Valyrian Steel
Samwell Tarly (John Bradley-West) left the Wall last season to head to the Citadel and undergo his training to become a Maester, and it’s likely that this journey is going to lead to a vital discovery that will help Jon and his forces fight the White Walkers. (Otherwise, this storyline is a tremendous waste of time, right?)
There are a few things that he could uncover in the great library at the Citadel, but we’re guessing that this member of the Black Brothers is actually going to learn the secrets of Valyrian steel and Dragonglass - the two known weapons that can kill a White Walker. The secrets of these weapons have long been lost, but given Sam’s connection to the White Walkers and Stannis’ encouragement of his research into dragonglass, it looks like he might be the one to put it all together and uncover the truth about how these items are made. Presumably, he’ll return to Westeros to help Jon before the end, and he could be the one bringing the vital information to turn the tide against the Walkers. Sam could even be the one to convince the houses to melt down… the Iron Throne itself.
3 Brienne, Jamie, and Tormund Love Triangle
Ever since Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) and Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) met last season, fans have been shipping the woman warrior and the wildling - even if Brienne doesn’t want anything to do with the man known as Giantsbane. At the end of season 6, Tormund and Brienne have separated again, and fans were reminded of the feelings between Brienne and Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) when they met at Riverrun. Now, Brienne is once more headed North to Sansa, and Tormund, and it's clear that their forces will meet those of Jamie’s before the end.
Given the complexity of the situation, and the promise that Brienne and Tormund will not be getting a happy ending, this is likely to end up as a love triangle, Game of Thrones style. That is to say, at least one of the three will die, most likely two, at the hand of the other. The only question is: who will survive this star-crossed situation?
2 Tyrion Is Revealed As A Targaryen
Since the beginning, much has been made of the prophecy that “the dragon has three heads” - in layman’s terms, that there are three Targaryens who will ride Dany’s three dragons into battle and end the Game of Thrones. At this point, it is generally assumed that Daenerys herself is one head of the dragon, and she is already riding Drogon. The second head of the dragon is (presumably) surprise Targaryen Jon Snow, who will likely learn of his parentage this season. The third head, meanwhile, may well be none other than Tyrion Lannister.
We’ve already seen his fascination with dragons, and his ability to calm the beasts when they were chained. A fan theory suggests that Tyrion’s dragon-controlling abilities actually come from his parentage, and that he himself is a Targaryen, the child of Joanna Lannister (obviously) and Aerys Targaryen. The theory goes that Aerys, who was obsessed with Joanna, eventually bedded her, and much of Tywin's hatred for his son comes from his knowledge that Tyrion is not actually his own. This may also come out this season (potentially thanks to Bran’s visions), bringing the three heads of the dragon together at last.
1 The Hound Kills Cersei
It’s pretty much assumed that Cersei’s head is on the chopping block this season. The prophecy concerning her marriage and children has been entirely fulfilled, and all that is left is for her to die at the hands of the ‘valonqar’. Valonqar is Valyrian for little brother, leading many to assume that Cersei will be killed either by Tyrion or Jamie, her two younger brothers (Jamie was born moments after Cersei). However, it’s difficult to imagine Jamie killing the sister he loves, and Tyrion may not be her brother after all… but it’s not necessarily her little brother that kills her.
A different fan theory suggests that it is actually the younger Clegane brother that fulfills the prophecy, which fits in with other theories about the Hound’s return to Kings Landing and the resulting Cleganebowl. The Hound hated his brother, but he is still sure to be shocked at what Cersei has done to him, and he hates the Queen for his own reasons, as well. After killing the Mountain, the Hound may well be the one to wrap his hands around Cersei’s neck and choke the life out of her.
What bold season 7 predictions do you have hidden up your sleeve? Let us know in the comments.
Game of Thrones will return on HBO on July 16 @9pm.