Forget “Here Be Dragons.” Any “Game of Thrones” story should be equipped with the warning, “Here Be Spoilers.”
HBO’s fantasy drama requires all plot details be kept on tight lockdown due to its penchant for killing off main characters, the numerous betrayals and the occasional maiming. Perhaps its biggest challenge was to keep Jon Snow’s resurrection under wraps last year after the character had been killed. When actor Kit Harington started appearing in and around known “Game of Thrones” shooting locations with those signature bastard locks intact, most guessed that Jon Snow would be returning.
“I mean, at the time I didn’t think it was that bad, but looking back it was a bit of a nightmare,” Harington said about maintaining secrecy about the resurrection. “I didn’t like it. I’ve said it before today, but I don’t want to be a walking spoiler again. I don’t want to go into hiding. Like you know, when this show, which is so big and such a goliath of a TV show, when you suddenly become the focus of all that attention because your character is the cliffhanger, that’s a lot to take. It’s quite a lot of responsibility.”
Every single other cast member can sympathize and takes the spoiler-free edict seriously. During a press day for the show on Tuesday, IndieWire spoke with 17 cast members, including Harington, and encountered varying degrees of openness and restraint when it came to learning about Season 7.
Check out all the teases and hints below to see what clues that can be gleaned about the new season:
In the North
Jon Snow (Kit Harington): The newly minted King in the North will have to watch his back and keep an eye on his sister Sansa (Sophie Turner). “He’s a leader, and she’s testing him, and as a leader you can’t have someone question you,” Harington said. Read the full interview with Harington here.
Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright): “He’s lost Hodor, who’s been his legs really for the past five-odd seasons, and he’s now lost Summer, his direwolf, who was a pretty good means of protection,” said Hempstead Wright. “Coldhands has left them as well, so it’s just him and Meera now. Logistically Bran is in a very difficult position because Meera is a small girl. She can’t exactly drag him miles and miles.”
Bran has also stepped into the shoes of the Three-Eyed Raven, the last greenseer who could perceive the future, the past or distant events in “green dreams.” In his last vision, he learned that Jon Snow’s real mother was Ned Stark’s sister Lyanna. The real father has not yet been revealed, but most “Game of Thrones” diehards believe him to be a Targaryen, the last family that reigned over Westeros before the Baratheons.
“I think there’s a massive amount of responsibility on Bran now,” said Hempstead Wright. “Not only has he inherited this title of sort of the ancient sage of Westeros, which is pretty big in and of himself, but he now has information contained within his head that could really change the fortunes of the entire show. I think Bran knows what he needs to do with this information, who needs to know and why, but how he’s actually going to live with that remains to be seen.”
Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish (Aidan Gillen): The master manipulator is “at the peak of his confidence” right now, said Gillen, but he should watch out for hubris when it comes to dealing with Sansa. “I believe that relationship is more of a mentoring relationship than anything, but there is a fascination of another kind going on there,” he said. “There’s the whole complicated thing with his unrequited love for her mother, etc. Plus… they’re using each other also. They’re both enjoying it, they both know exactly what they’re doing. I believe they’re equals really, Littlefinger and Sansa at this stage, or almost equals.”
Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham): Davos had once advised and championed the late Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) for the crown, but now acts as counsel to Jon Snow. “[Davos is] a decent man who isn’t out for himself, and the drug of power doesn’t hold any attraction for him at all,” said Cunningham. “So he’s in an incredibly strong position because that sort of stuff doesn’t interest him, and I think he recognizes the decency of Jon Snow. It’s a relatively easy transition. Don’t forget that he’s incredibly young as well, so the corrupting nature of power — anybody in that position needs help.”
Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer): As a member of the Brotherhood Without Banners, Beric doesn’t have loyalty to any one leader, but he does follow the Lord of Light, who has resurrected him many times. Despite this obvious demonstration of the god’s favor, Beric doesn’t understand why he’s been brought back. “He doesn’t actually know what purpose he has,” said Dormer. “He just knows that he’s alive, and the Red God, the Lord of Light, wants him to be alive, so he’s almost blindly following his god toward whatever the god’s got in store for him. But I think he does have an important purpose. The Lord of Light has been telling him for quite a while and Thoros (Paul Kaye) that the real danger is coming from the north and there’s a terrible war, a great war is going to happen, and he knows he has some part to play in it.”
Entering Westeros With Daenerys
Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage): Although Dinklage wasn’t available for interviews, Jacob Anderson, who plays Grey Worm, weighed in his new ally, whom Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) named the Hand of the Queen. “Tyrion’s like a master strategist,” said Anderson. “I think because he’s so clever, I feel like he’s also like an adapter… He adapts well to lots of different kinds of situations… He’s also really coming into himself as Hand to the Queen.”
Iain Glen, who plays Jorah Mormont, added, “He knows the opposition which is a very strong advantage. He’s a member of the [Lannister] family so he knows what he’s dealing with.”
Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) and Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson): Interpreter Missandei and chief Unsullied soldier Grey Worm have become comrades as they aid Daenerys, but over time, their feelings have become more intimate. Judging by snippets we’ve seen in the Season 7 trailer, the pair’s relationship may cross into romantic territory.
“Their feelings for each other this season are growing as we’ve seen before, but now we’ve got this danger of a war and the worry that comes with that,” said Emmanuel. “He’s the head of Daenerys’ army, so they’re being forced to confront their feelings for each other a little. It’s quite high-stakes and quite intense for them, especially two characters who definitely never thought they would have these kind of feelings for another person. So it’s actually really cool. It was fun to play.”
Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen): Theon has had a hard time of it after he was imprisoned, tortured, and dis-“membered” by Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon). He’s currently with his sister Yara (Gemma Whelan), who has allied herself with Daenerys.
“I think Yara’s character is definitely is one of his main reasons to think, to be alive,” said Allen. “And so to sort of have that humanity left in his life and have that to sort of hold onto. That’s definitely given him a reason to try and garner some more of those feelings back.”
Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan): “I think she’s feeling that she’s got a great deal to achieve, but I know that she’s got great faith in her ability to do that,” said Whelan. “She’s had to make some compromises. The Ironborn life has been confiscated from her by Daenerys. I think she likes the cut of her jib. I think she respects her as another sort of very interesting woman who can achieve things and has power. I think that’s very alluring to her on many levels.”
Varys (Conleth Hill): The Master of Whisperers, aka the Spider, was the architect of many of Daenerys’ alliances with Westerosi women, including Ellaria of Dorne and Olenna Tyrell. “He’s put together a package of people to work together as we start [Season] 7,” said Hill. “It’s looking good, strong, mighty. We’ll see what happens.”