Game of Thrones returns to our screens this summer with a shortened seventh season, and fans are already starting to speculate about who will survive this second-to-last season. The hit fantasy series is known for killing off its major characters, and with Maisie Williams (who plays Arya Stark) revealing that there are plans for every actor who makes it all the way from season 1 to season 8 to get a commemorative tattoo, we're as excited as anyone to see who might make it to the end. The biggest question marks for many fans hang over the heads of the Stark family - the original focus of the first season, many of whom have since been killed off.
Now, Sophie Turner (who plays Sansa Stark on the show) may have revealed an absolutely huge spoiler about at least one member of the House of Stark who will be getting that tattoo at the end of production.
Speaking to press including HeyUGuys at the 2017 British Academy Film Awards, the actress was asked about her schedule and future projects, since she is currently working on both Game of Thrones and the massive X-Men franchise (in which she plays Jean Grey). She said:
We’re about to start shooting the next X-Men, we’ve just finished shooting season 7 of [Game of] Thrones, and I’ve got a couple of movies to do before X-Men starts. And then we go on to season 8.
This is huge news for Sansa Stark fans, as it confirms that the actress will be returning for season 8 of Game of Thrones. The other movies that Turner mentions are presumably Berlin, I Love You, a romance anthology movie set in the German city, and potentially Huntsville, a drama/thriller about a loner's questionable relationship with a local high school student. The next X-Men installment does not currently have a release date, but reports have revealed that its working title is X-Men: Supernova, and that it might deal with the Dark Phoenix Saga storyline.
Sansa's return for season 8 has huge implications for Game of Thrones, and is encouraging news for those fans who want to see Sansa end the series on the Iron Throne. Her character has gone through one of the most dramatic transformations on the show, and she is currently working with Jon Snow to take down current Queen, Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey). Many people believe that Cersei won't be one of the survivors, thanks to a prophecy that predicts her doom, so could Sansa manage to knock her off the throne and take her place this season?
Despite this apparent confirmation of Sansa's survival, it's important to note Turner's comments might not actually confirm the character will make it through. It's possible that Sansa could die in season 7, but that Turner would need to return for season 8 to film flashback sequences or visions. It's also possible that, with the season ending on a cliffhanger, Sansa could die within the first episode or two of the final season. This slip might also cause some tension between Turner and Williams, who are very close behind the scenes, after Williams called plot leakers 'childish'. We won't be certain about Sansa's survival until season 7 comes to a close, but we're crossing our fingers that she makes it - and that we get an official season premiere date announced soon.
Game of Thrones season 7 premieres on HBO summer 2017.