Throughout season six here at The Comeback, our pop culture staff wrote weekly recaps for every season six of HBO’s Game of Thrones. This year for season seven, we’re changing it up.
Every week a couple days after each episode airs this season, a group of us will gather and react in roundtable fashion to the past, present, and future of Thrones. With season seven set to begin on Sunday, we all took the time to preview what we think will happen. Remember, Winter is Coming.
What are you most excited about for Season 7?
David Lauterbach: That things are really truly coming together. One of my favorite shots from Season 6 was when we saw Dany sailing towards Westeros. The days of all the main characters scattered across the globe are over. The days of all the main characters fighting the same end battle against the White Walkers are coming.
Sam Blazer: This is such a newbie answer, but I am really excited about the promise of so many large-scale battles. The politics of the show is fun. The payoff of these big battle scenes, though, are on another level. Who is going to battle who? When do the White Walkers show up? Which alliances are going to come to fruition and which are going to fall apart?
Joe Lucia: I want to see how the Westerosi people react to Danaerys — will they be receptive? Will they be hostile? Will they even know who she is?
Andrew Bucholtz: I’m most excited to see Dany’s army fight Cersei’s, especially if it happens at King’s Landing. The big battle scenes have often been my favorite part of this show, and a Lannister-Targaryen fight over the Iron Throne, with dragons potentially involved? Yes, please!
Alex Putterman: I’m excited to see the plot lines start to consolidate as more and more characters begin running into each other.
Phillip Bupp: Not sure if “excited” is the right word, it’s more like hopeful. But I’m excited/hopeful to see how the show adjusts to having seven episodes this year instead of 10 from previous seasons. If they’re packing more in these episodes, this could be seven amazing weeks of action.
Matt Clapp: Well, I’m most excited for lots of crazy shit to happen! But if I had to focus on one storyline, probably the reaction to Cersei being on the Iron Throne, and how long that lasts. And, of course, if Dany comes to take it from her.
Jeff Snyder: We’re beginning to reach the end game here on Game of Thrones. That means the story is going to become hyper-focused on a few areas, instead of the broader reach we saw earlier. You’ll start to see people come together or be cut out, a very Game of Thrones way of saying killed off. The emotional reunion of Jon Snow and Sansa last season is a sign of things to come, I expect.
Taylor Nigrelli: I’m most excited to see things we’ve been waiting six years for come to fruition. Arya to be reunited with what’s left of her family, for the Lannisters to finally lose their grip on power, for Jon to finally meet Dany.
With Dany about to finally step foot on Westerosi soil for the first time this series, where do you see her going this season? Will she only pursue Cersei and Kings Landing? Or will Jon Snow pull her towards the wall?
DL: I have a hard time thinking that Cersei is long for this world. As a result, I honestly see Dany’s arc going something like this: 3-4 episodes prepping for battling Cersei by gathering allies, 1-2 episodes beating Cersei and the Lannisters, and then one episode (the finale) journeying towards Jon and The Wall to setup the final season.
SB: Dany’s action plan is going to be the most compelling storyline of the season. She has her alliances all set up and she has her advisors close by her side. I think she is going to King’s Landing and will immediately try to take what she believes is hers.
JL: I think she’ll probably spend an episode or two or three at Dragonstone, plotting her next move. I also think she could end up in Dorne, given that they’re her allies and her and Jon could close in on King’s Landing from either side without knowing the other’s plans to set up a grand showdown in the final season.
AB: With only seven episodes this season, I feel like it’s going to be hard for Dany to get out of the south. Cersei has significant forces, so I don’t think that fight’s going to be easy. And that feels like a potentially climatic moment they may save for later in the season. A decision to head north may come afterwards, but they need to save something for Season 8, and “Dany meets Jon” feels like a good thing to store. But you never know, given this show’s often-surprising pacing.
AP: I see Dany making it to King’s Landing by the end of the season and facing off with Cersei in the big battle of the season.
PB: I can see both happening, but I have a feeling Daenerys goes and fights with Jon.
MC: With only 13 episodes left, I’m sure things will move faster than usual, but I’d still guess that Dany’s inevitable encounter with Jon will be saved for the final season.
JS: Dragonstone. She’ll be returning to her birthplace early on this season. We see that in the trailers. This tells me that it’ll happen fairly early in the season since they wouldn’t want to spoil later season developments in a season trailer. I think she’ll spend some time on Dragonstone, planning her next move. Conquering Westeros will not be as easy as she, or Tyrion, expected.
TN: Dany is finally gonna make some friends (and enemies) in Westeros. I’m sure there will be delays. The pace will be slow as it always is with her storyline. But we’re finally at a point where it makes sense for her to enter the picture.
Cersei is the Queen of Westeros for real now, but how long do you think she’ll last on the Iron Throne? Will she make it through the season finale?
DL: As I hinted at in my answer to the last question, I think Cersei’s time is coming. I would be stunned if she makes it out of season seven alive.
SB: I think Cersei will make it through the season, but the downfall of the Lannisters feels like it will be a narrative we’ll hear a lot about this season. They don’t have any big surprises up their sleeve like Jon and Daenerys do with Bran and the dragons. We know that Melisandre is heading south. Does she once again hop onto someone’s group of advisors and help the Lannisters remain relevant?
JL: I think she’ll hold on to power throughout the season before finally being caught up in the Jon/Daenerys power struggle in the final season.
AB: I think Cersei gets to rule King’s Landing (for what that’s worth these days) for most of the season, but loses the Iron Throne towards the end. I could see her surviving and leading the Lannister army in exile, but it’s hard to see her keeping King’s Landing by the end of the season. Unless Qyburn can create some dragons for her…
AP: Cersei is a goner. I think she dies by the end of the season, and I think it’ll be Tyrion who kills her.
PB: Definitely don’t think Cersei lasts the rest of the series, but I think she stays on the Iron Throne through this season at least.
MC: I’ll say she’ll make it until the season finale on the Iron Throne, but won’t make it through the episode that way..
JS: She’ll either be on the throne for the entire season or almost the entire season. I’m thinking this mostly because who’s going to take it from her? Yeah, you have Dany, but I’m willing to bet much of the season will be spent getting a foothold on the continent. I don’t think she’ll just waltz to the throne. I believe Dany will also unintentionally heed the words of Quaithe: “To go South, you must go North.”
TN: There’s not a shot in hell Cersei makes it through this season. There’s just no room for her in the short time they have to bring us to a finale. Plus, the ruler of Westeros position has not had a long shelf life throughout the series. Although there will be threats and struggles right away, probably from Jaime before anyone else, she’ll survive for at least half the season.
How many white walkers will Jon Snow kill this season and/or will one kill him?
DL: He’ll kill at least one, maybe two. I doubt he gets killed because he has too much plot armor and there is no way he could die this season before the real battle against the White Walkers comes in Season 7.
SB: There are going to be a lot of White Walker deaths this season. Jon is going to have a metric ass ton of kills this year, but an even better thought is how many huge animals is Bran going to warg into?
JL: I’ll say two. And no, he’s not getting killed (at least this season).
AB: I do think we’re going to see Jon and his army engaged with the White Walkers at some point, and I can see him killing one personally. I’m not sure we get him carving through a whole slew of them, given how tough they are, but you never know. I don’t think they’ll kill Jon off again, at least not this season.
AP: Jon Snow ain’t dying again anytime soon. I don’t know if he’ll face off with more White Walkers, but if he does, my money is on him.
PB: Jon Snow isn’t getting killed. He’s probably one of the few people I’m confident in saying is going to last the entire series. As far as how many White Walkers he’ll kill, let’s say a few and not be too specific.
MC: Jon’s making it out of this season alive. Haha, just kidding; who the hell knows with this show! But seriously, I’ll guess he takes down two White Walkers, and am pretty confident he makes it out of the season alive. Even for Thrones, it would be pretty cruel to kill him off that soon after his resurrection.
JS: Jon won’t die until the final episode or the penultimate episode (of the series). You don’t bring Jon back to life only to kill him before the end game. At this point, either (or both!) he or Dany is the main character of the whole shebang, so they’re sticking around until their purpose is fulfilled. As for how many White Walkers will Jon kill this season? We see him fighting one in the trailer, so I’m going to say at least one.
TN: He’ll kill like four.
Speaking of Jon, now that we know who his real parents are, do you think Jon will find out this season and if so how?
DL: I would be shocked if he doesn’t find out. Like many people have written, I think it would make perfect sense for Bran to tell him when he eventually makes it South of The Wall. A darkhorse here would be Littlefinger telling Jon, although I’m not sure how Littlefinger would know that big of a secret.
SB: Bran once again feels like a big part of this storyline. If he meets up with Jon, Sansa, and Arya, it feels like telling Jon is the next natural step for him. Politically speaking, it might be best to hold onto that info as Sansa and Littlefinger might stage a coup at some point. The actual reveal to Jon feels like a season finale type reveal that will set the stage for the final season and how he needs to approach Daenerys.
JL: I do, and I think he’ll find out from Bran (remember him?!) as the remaining Starks reunite.
AB: It seems likely Jon is going to find this out, but I’m not sure how he gets there. The two biggest possibilities seem to be Littlefinger and Sansa, especially given their conversation in the crypts about Lyanna in Season 5. I think Littlefinger has figured this out, and Sansa’s not quite there yet. If Littlefinger tells Jon, it will be for his own reasons; if Sansa puts the pieces together, she might share that with Jon.
AP: Jon will find out who his parents are, presumably from Bran.
PB: I can see this being saved until next season. Maybe this year for the season finale, but for some reason I say it goes to next season.
MC: I’ll say not until next season, and he’ll find out from Bran.
JS: We have to accept that Jon finding out that he isn’t the bastard son of Ned Stark, but the child of Rhaegar Targeryen and Lyanna Stark, will shake him to his core. I don’t think we’ll have time for that emotional journey this season. Instead, I’m willing to bet that this season will set up for the climax and Snow’s parentage will act like a gut punch that he has to overcome right before the conclusion. It’ll break the momentum of the “good guys” so that there’s question marks over whether they can even win.
TN: We’ll definitely get more of an exploration by Bran of the events surrounding Jon’s birth. But figuring out when Jon is told/discovers it is a tougher call. It seems like a big enough bombshell to save for either the final episode or next season.
What’s your bold prediction for the craziest or most important death of the season?
DL: See that guy in the picture with Sansa? Yeah, Littlefinger is going to die. I’m calling it. I said Cersei earlier but didn’t want a repeat answer, so I’m going with Littlefinger here, thanks to Jon or Sansa.
SB: The side characters that we see very little of despite their subplots feel like they are prime to be killed off this season. Theon, Varys and maybe the Mountain all feel like players that could meet their untimely demise because of the war. These aren’t really bold predictions, but a death of another Stark feels like a good way to get people talking.
JL: I don’t think Jaime Lannister is long for this world. He has seemingly been an auxiliary character over the last two seasons, and I think killing him off would move the story along pretty well.
AB: I think we’re going to see Jorah Mormont go out in a blaze of glory at some point. I doubt he finds the greyscale cure, and I think he’ll find a way to return and help Dany before the disease claims him.
AP: The most important death will be Cersei. I also think Theon will eventually go. He’s got one more big redemptive moment in him, and then he’s toast.
PB: For some reason, I think Jaime dies. I feel like Cersei is going to have to make a sacrifice to remain in power on the Iron Throne and that could be Jamie’s life.
JS: I think Littlefinger is done this season. We’re moving out of the political and into the metaphysical. A schemer like him will have little power in the wars to come. If anything, they’ve been playing up him trying to drive a wedge between Sansa and Jon. This’ll represent Sansa’s big test. Is she a Stark or Littlefinger’s accomplice. I think she’ll choose her family. In the trailer, she says the quote that her father told Arya in Season 1 about how the “lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.”
TN: I don’t think the craziest death and the most important death will be the same one. I’ve already said I think Cersei will die. Since she’s the Queen and all, that seems pretty important. But crazy? I’d call Jaime dying pretty crazy.
What’s your bold prediction for the season? This can be a big death, battle, event, etc.
DL: I’m not going to lie, I read Joe’s and thought it was fantastic, so I’m stealing his by telling you to go read his.
SB: Daenerys and Jon Snow eventually team up to fight the White Walkers together. It would dovetail with the big reveal that they are, in fact, related. While that might complicate the rightful heir to the throne, they decide that the battle against them is too important and they set aside differences for the time being.
JL: Here’s one — I think one of the dragons dies. Daenerys hasn’t faced all that much adversity in recent seasons, but losing one of her dragons would be a huge hurdle for her to overcome.
AB: I think Bran’s going to have a more significant role this season. Everything so far with him has been setup, getting him to the Three-Eyed Raven and showing him visions of the past. Now, as the new Three-Eyed Raven, I think we’re going to see him find ways to impact events in the present, perhaps especially around the Night King and his army.
AP: This isn’t particularly bold, but I would bet the season’s biggest event will be a showdown between Dany (with Jon? I can see it either way) and Cersei.
MC: Sansa kills Littlefinger after getting sick of his manipulative ways and his efforts to turn her against Jon.
JS: So, in the trailer, we see Jon Snow facing off against a horde of the undead and White Walkers. That battle will be the season’s Hardhome or the Battle of the Bastards. It’ll be the warm up to the climax. Some redshirts will die and maybe even a named character to show us how serious this fight is. It’s going to be amazing, though.
TN: It’s tempting to call the death of the Queen the biggest event of the season. But the plot point with the most long-range consequences is whether Jon and Dany form an alliance.
Season 7 of Game of Thrones begins Sunday, July 16 with the first episode entitled “Dragonstone.” The description for the episode released by HBO: Jon organizes the defense of the North. Cersei tries to even the odds. Daenerys comes home.