Season seven of HBO’s celebrated Game of Thrones series premieres on July 16, and this time around, we can forget about the Stark words, because winter has clearly arrived in Westeros. From yet another battle for the Iron Throne to an even bigger war between all of mankind and the armies of the dead, the events of this season promise to change everything. Before you tune in to watch the premiere, you’ll want to check out this list of the biggest Game of Thrones theories for season seven, which covers everything we’re hoping happens this year in the Seven Kingdoms, Essos, and beyond The Wall.
1. Jon is Azor Ahai reborn
With last season’s big reveal that R+L=J (we called it), it makes sense that this equally popular theory is gaining traction throughout the fandom. According to legend, Azor Ahai was a hero who fought against the Others and created Lightbringer, a burning sword that can be used to defeat the armies of the dead. It’s prophesied that Azor Ahai will be reborn after a long summer and “amidst salt and smoke, beneath a bleeding star” to once again lead a great battle against the White Walkers. Fans speculate it could be Jon not just because he was resurrected by Melisandre at the beginning of season six, but because of the Tower of Joy scene confirming his parentage, which focuses on a bleeding star.
2. Dany is on Dragonstone
The last time we saw the Mother of Dragons, she was bidding goodbye to Meereen (not to mention sexy Daario) and making her way toward Westeros with a massive fleet at her command. In the trailers for season seven, it’s clear she’s landed somewhere, but it doesn’t look like King’s Landing. Instead, Daenerys seems to have made her way to Dragonstone, which fans will remember is her birthplace and the ancestral seat of House Targaryen. The season seven premiere is called “Dragonstone,” too, which all but confirms this theory.
3. Bran is actually Bran the Builder
Bran’s ability to travel back in time and influence past events was revealed in the most heartbreaking way possible last season (poor Hodor), which has left some fans wondering if perhaps Bran has an even bigger role than we expected in the last two seasons. It’s possible that Bran may be responsible for The Wall coming down and the White Walkers invading the realm of men (remember, he’s marked by the Night’s King now). But it may also mean that it compels him to travel back in time again, to use the knowledge he’s gained to create barriers that will safeguard his family and others, potentially making him Bran the Builder, the legendary Stark who created Winterfell and raised The Wall over 8,000 years prior to the events of the show.
4. ICE DRAGON
When the Night King’s army wages war on mankind, it wouldn’t exactly hurt to have an ice dragon or two on hand, right? There are tons of theories about whether or not ice dragons will appear in the series, from speculation that the pond outside of Winterfell actually holds the remains of an ice dragon to the theory that one of Dany’s three dragons — Viserion, most likely — will die in battle, and the Night’s King will resurrect him, become the third dragon rider, and may even use him to destroy The Wall.
5. Tyrion = The Third Dragon
Speaking of that third dragon rider, now that R+L=J has been confirmed, fans have been starting to give the long-standing A+J=T theory a more serious look. This would make Tyrion half-Lannister and half-Targaryen, which is significant because the Targs are about to play a crucial part in the war to come. Also, there are three dragons, and the house sigil, which depicts a three-headed dragon, focuses on the importance of three. It’s a numbers game here, but it really comes down to one thing: Who wouldn’t love to see Tyrion riding a dragon?
6. We’re finally going to see Casterly Rock
In all six seasons of the show so far, we’ve never actually seen Casterly Rock, the seat of House Lannister. However, the most recent trailer for season seven suggests that may change. The Unsullied are seen attacking an unknown location, but there are lion sigils everywhere and the soldiers are dressed in red, the House Lannister color, leading fans to speculate that this is indeed the Rock. Elsewhere in the trailer, Tyrion is seen knocking over a Lannister marker, suggesting that Dany’s army has conquered a Lannister stronghold. Of course it makes sense that Daenerys would want to strike right at the heart of the Lannister power base — it sends a message to Cersei, but more significantly, it serves as an act of revenge for the Lannisters’ betrayal of her father during the Sack of King’s Landing.
7. Cersei becomes the Mad Queen
After using wildfire to torch the Sept of Baelor — which resulted in the deaths of Margaery Tyrell, her brother Loras, and countless others — Cersei solidified her place as the reigning wild woman of the Seven Kingdoms. And after her son, Tommen, committed suicide out of grief for Margaery, she claimed the Iron Throne for herself. But Cersei clearly has more enemies than friends. It’s very likely we’ll see her give the Mad King Aerys a run for his money throughout season seven.
8. Jaime is the valonqar
Jaime looked horrified at the end of last season when Cersei assumed the Iron Throne, and understandably so. It gives more credence to the theory that he really is the valonqar (High Valyrian for “little brother”) — the one who will ultimately kill Cersei, according to a prophecy given by Maggy the Frog when Cersei was a young girl.
This clever breakdown of a potential easter egg in the most recent trailer shows Cersei standing on a map of Westeros over an area known as The Neck, while Jaime stands near the Fingers. In Maggy the Frog’s prophecy, she predicted: “… when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.” This whole time, Cersei’s been convinced that Tyrion’s the threat, but it seems more likely that Jaime is actually the one she needs to worry about.
9. Euron Greyjoy has Dragonbinder
Euron Greyjoy made waves last season during the Kingsmoot on Pyke, and it looks like he’s slated to take on a bigger role in season seven. One of the major speculations surrounding Greyjoy is that he actually has Dragonbinder, a horn he claims to have discovered while exploring the remains of Valyria while in exile. The horn is covered in Valyrian glyphs and according to legend, allows the holder to control dragons. Trailers for season seven feature not only a mysterious horn (as pictured above), but also depict a battle on the sea, which could mean Euron is planning to start trouble for Dany thanks to her alliance with Yara and Theon Greyjoy.
10. Gendry is back
Arya’s old buddy Gendry has been missing for the last few seasons, and was last spotted in season three being smuggled out of Dragonstone on a rowboat by Ser Davos. Recent footage published on the Watchers on the Wall blog revealed Gendry on a beach alongside Davos and Tyrion, which can only mean one thing: Our favorite blacksmith-cum-royal bastard is back!
11. Cleganebowl is finally happening
It feels like we’ve been waiting forever for Cleganebowl to happen, but this much-hyped throw down (which even has its own subreddit) could definitely be in the works for season seven. Just think about it: The Mountain, now zombified, is pretty much the only muscle that Cersei’s got at the moment. The Hound, confirmed to be alive and kicking last season, could end up challenging him to a fight, either in a trial-by-combat scenario or just to gain vengeance for what Gregor did to him as a child. No matter how it comes about, we can’t wait to see these two battle it out.
12. Nymeria and Arya are reunited
The Starks have had a rough run of it over the last seven seasons, but their pet direwolves have arguably had it worse. Of all the direwolves, only Ghost and Nymeria remain, and for years the show has been dropping hints about her, talking about a very large wolf terrorizing the Riverlands. With Arya back in Westeros and traveling through the same area after staging a brutal revenge against the Freys in season six, hopefully we’ll see a reunion between these two.
What do you think will happen in season seven of Game of Thrones? Tell us in the comments!
Want access to free & bargain ebooks? Sign up for BookBub here.