6. We’ll Get to Know the Greyjoys, Who Are More Important Than Ever
Even after Theon spent an extended amount of time in Reek purgatory, the Greyjoy family is looking to make its mark on a new post-Tyrell world order. Euron Greyjoy, played by Pilou Asbæk, showed his villain bona fides by sending his own brother over a bridge. Asbæk is on record as saying that his misdeeds extend far beyond fratricide this season.
Meanwhile, we’ve already seen Yara (Theon’s sister, Euron’s niece and daughter to late, aforementioned Balon) vow revenge against this renegade member of her family. That journey looks to be the centerpiece of her increased role in Season 7, an increased role that actress Gemma Whelan explained to The Independent has been in the works since she was originally cast.
7. The Wall Might Be in Trouble
As the long-standing defense force keeping those beyond it from being ravaged by White Walkers, the Night’s Watch will certainly have their hands full. As if keeping an army of the undead from pillaging past their iconic fortress, Benioff and Weiss hinted that this season might be The Wall’s biggest test yet.
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In a Deadline post-mortem following last season’s finale, the showrunner pair had this to say about the status of life in the North:
“The Wall isn’t just a physical structure that is keeping the army of the dead out. If it were, and if the Wildlings managed to make it over, at least in theory someone like The Night King has so much more in the way of both power and troops who’ll do literally anything he says. We have been laying out the likelihood that it’s going to be more difficult to get past The Wall than that.”
8. We Shouldn’t Expect Bran to Be the Secret Weapon
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Last season, Bran assumed his role as the Three-Eyed Raven, taking over the mantle held by his mentor, the previous title holder. (Don’t expect a return visit from Max von Sydow, but there’s always a chance to see a Hodor DJ set.)
As for Bran’s future, even though he’s demonstrated the power to cause debilitating time loops and control other living creatures, it’s too much of a jump to assume that this season will include Bran helping out with the impending war. “Bran has maintained his sense of being good. He hasn’t gone, like, ‘Oh man, I have all these amazing powers now, let’s mess some things up!'” actor Isaac Hempstead Wright said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “Bran has certainly understood that this is out of his control now. He’s a piece on the chessboard that has to make a move, and he hasn’t got any moves.”
9. Much Like Winter, A Reunion is Coming
What would a “Game of Thrones” season preview be without some input from Jon Snow? Though he was light on details, Kit Harington mentioned in a Huffington Post interview that “there are lots of people who cross paths, and that’s something that I think the audience has been waiting for for a long time.”
As the list of notable cast members continues to dwindle and a number of deadly forces prepare to converge on King’s Landing, it’s safe to say that there are a number of possibilities. After last year’s Tower of Joy flashback delivered on years of “R+L=J” theorizing, we could be in for another Targaryen-themed seismic shift in Westeros.
“Game of Thrones” Season 7 premieres on HBO on Sunday, July 16 at 9 p.m.