Over six seasons, Game of Thrones has become one of the most popular fantasy TV shows the world has ever seen, entertaining audiences across the globe with its brutal, gritty and chaotic storylines and roster of incomparable characters. Based on George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the show has delivered a season each year around the same time since 2011. The show remains popular as ever (there’s even an official wine collection), ahead of the seventh season taking a little longer to arrive than seasons past due to filming being pushed back, to allow for colder temperatures (since, after all, winter has come at last on the show).
The delay for season 7 will see its regular TV schedule pushed back a couple of months and, when it does eventually premiere, there will only be seven episodes of the new season. After 2017’s season 7 and 2018’s concluding season 8, there are talks that the Game of Thrones franchise will live on through various spinoffs, but nothing has yet been set in stone. Filming for the new season is currently underway and even more images from the set have now made their way online, this time showcasing characters Sam, Gilly and Sam Junior.
John Bradley and Hannah Murray play Sam and Gilly respectively, and can be seen filming scenes as their characters head out of Oldtown, in Game of Thrones season 7 set photos posted over at Watchers on the Wall. Judging by what they’re wearing, they’re prepared for the cold and may be heading back up North to join their old friends. Matt Shakman is directing episodes four and five of season 7 and can be spotted in these photos too, suggesting that Sam and Gilly will be featured in Shakman's episodes during the latter half of the new season. The two actors can also seen enjoying a snack break here, alongside a strangely-dressed extra.
The pictures have been released after filming wrapped in the Spanish town of Caceres and hint at a more integral role to the story than Sam and Gilly have ever had before. During the sixth season, we saw the pair journey to Oldtown with their arrival forming part of the season 6 finale. There, they saw the Citadel release white ravens to announce that winter had arrived before officially checking in. Whilst we haven’t yet seen Sam meet the Archmaester as he planned, we did see him granted access to the Citadel’s library; just what information he’ll discover there is still yet to be seen.
Sam has never exactly been all that important of a character on Game of Thrones in the past, but it appears he may play a more pivotal role in the season 7 proceedings. Having a partner and a baby aboard for the ride could hinder his chances of survival moving forward though, as the world of Game of Thrones is a deadly one. There's every chance Sam, Gilly and/or Sam Junior could make up any combination of the next major characters on the show to get the (perhaps literal) chop.
In saying that, we have to remember how far Sam has come since his beginnings at the Night’s Watch. He’s become more of a man than many of the people who bullied him upon his arrival there, which has made for a fascinating journey to see. Let's hope Games of Thrones doesn't take him down just as he’s finding his place in the show's gruesome world.
Game of Thrones returns to HBO for season 7 in summer 2017.
Source: Watchers on the Wall