It's almost time for Game of Thrones season 7, and there's plenty of news and rumours doing the rounds. Here's everything you need to know about the new series, including the season 7 release date, trailers, spoilers, predictions and more.
Before you go on, don’t forget this page contains spoilers for previous (and future, obviously) Game of Thrones episodes – you have been warned!
(Update: 20 March 2017): Much of the anticipation around season 7 of Game of Thrones has been due to the fact the show will be focusing more on production values. This time around, the episode count has gone from 10 to seven, in order to allow for more quality production, and it seems we've just learned about one of the ways season 7 will differ from previous instalments.
Director Matt Shakman has spoke to EW about the upcoming season, saying: “The dragons this year are the size of 747s. Drogon is the biggest of the bunch — his flame is 30-feet in diameter!”
Dragaons the size of jets? We can't wait.
Game of Thrones season 7 – The latest leaks, rumours, and news
Following the revelation that Ed Sheeran would be appearing in season 7 of Game of Thrones, it has emerged he won't be the only musician to cameo. Brent Hinds, guitarist and singer for the band Mastodon will be returning to the show in another cameo following his season five appearance as a Wilding in the "Hardhome" episode.
Speaking to The Jasta Show, Hinds said: “I just came back from my second cameo in Game of Thrones. This time, I had my broken leg and they were like, ‘You’re doing the best zombie walk, we want you to come right towards the camera. I want you to drag this axe behind you.’ I’m like a reborn, come to life Wildling turning into a White Walker.”
A month or so ago, it emerged Arya Stark could be reuniting with her direwolf, Nymeria, in the upcoming season, if a report from fan site Watchers on the Wall is accurate. It seems actress Maisie Williams has been spotted in Calgary, Canada – a location used by the show for shooting real wolves against a green screen, before blowing them up in post-production to make them into direwolves.
Here's an Instagram post from a fan that seems to put Williams in Canada:
Meanwhile, wolf training company Instinct Animals for Film has posted some new photos on its Instagram account which show wolves with the caption “ready to work” and the hashtag “#winteriscoming”. One of the wolves has been used to play Jon Snow’s direwolf, Ghost, for the past two years. But could the other be playing Arya’s direwolf Nymeria? The animal hasn't been seen since season 1, and would be much older if it does return this season.It's far from certain at this point, but it looks like a real possibility that we could be seeing the return of Nymeria when season 7 arrives.
We've also been gifted with the first poster for GOT's next instalment – and there's not much in the way of new information provided. In fact, the restrained graphics give nothing away beyond the Fire and Ice theme of the upcoming season.
Elsewhere, Emilia Clarke has revealed that she’s finally wrapped filming on Game of Thrones season 7.
In a video clip posted to Instagram, the Daenerys Targaryen actress filmed herself lip-syncing to R Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly”, with the caption: “I believe this one is gonna be a mind blower!”.
Check it out:
Meanwhile, Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark in the series, has seemingly given away a big plot detail during an interview. As such, you may want to skip reading the following quote.
In the interview on the red carpet at the BAFTAs, Turner, who plays Jean Grey in X-Men: Apocalypse, told entertainment site HeyUGuys: "We're about to start shooting the next X-Men, we just finished shooting season seven of Game of Thrones. Then I've got a couple of movies to do before X-Men starts and then we go onto season eight. So, I've got a busy year lined up.”
Yes, it looks like Sansa will be making it through the entire season, despite rumours of the character being killed off.
Below you’ll find all the information that we’ve been able to garner about the upcoming season, including plenty of leaks and spoilers.
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Game of Thrones season 7 – Release Date
Game of Thrones generally airs around April each year, but the new season 7 won't premiere until July 19, 2017. That’s because the production efforts have increased to the point where it takes much longer to shoot an episode, increasing the production time frame to around 12-14 months. On the bright side, season 7 should look, sound,and feel awesome as a result of HBO’s ramped-up efforts behind the scenes.
Production began in August 2016, with filming scheduled to be completed in February 2017. Familiar shooting locations are being used, including Northern Ireland, Spain, Croatia and Iceland.
So how did we learn the air date? In a dramatic (and totally fracical) Facebook Live reveal, Game of Thrones showmakers encouraged viewers to comment 'FIRE', which would cause a flamethrower to slowly melt away the ice shielding the release date. Unsurprisingly, the video racked up 1.5 million viewers, prompting over half a million comments.
With some promoting from Isaac Hempstead Wright – who plays Bran Stark in the hit show – flamethrowers (or dragons, who knows?) reduced the ice to water. However, after about 15 minutes of dragging things out, the Facebook Live video cut out.
Eventually, the feed returned with a Facebook post reading "The fire in the realm was overpowering but we're back."
Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) then encouraging folks to comment fire and "raise a glass to melting this block of ice," before Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth) and Alfie Allen (Theon Greyjoy) did likewise.
The comment command changed to DRACARYS (Dragon fire) before the video crashed again about 2:45pm EST.
Finally, with over 160,000 fans watching live, the release date was revealed at 3:08pm EST.
"There's only one war that matters. The Great War, and now it is here..." said Jon Snow as the broadcast came to an end with an audio montage of the show's pivotal moments.
Game of Thrones season 7 – Episodes
To date, every Game of Thrones season has consisted of ten episodes. But that’s set to change with the latest installment: HBO has confirmed that season 7 will have just seven episodes.
Showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss said that it was no longer possible to produce 10 episodes in a year, with Weiss explaining: “It’s crossing over from a television schedule into more of a mid-range movie schedule.”
We'll update this article with episode titles as soon as they become available.
Game of Thrones season 7 – Trailers
We’ve already been gifted with several Game of Thrones season 7 trailers, which you’ll find below:
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A couple of teaser clips for the upcoming season have emerged, though there's not much in the way of new information being provided.
Queen Cersei and Brienne’s Oathkeeper can be seen in the two 'in production now' teasers, which offer exasperated fans very little to make up for the release date delay this time around.
Fans are debating whether that's actually Brienne’s hand holding the Oathkeeper. Podrick has been tipped as the mystery sword wielder, while others have suggested Jaime. Other than that, there's not much to get excited about from these trailers.
Game of Thrones season 7 – Catch-up: season six recap
The story of Game of Thrones can be overwhelming at times; it follows hundreds of characters across several continents. To remind you of where we’re at, here’s a recap of the current situation at various locations across the GoT universe.
King’s Landing: Cersei basically just wrecked all of her enemies, mostly thanks to her wildfire-y destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor. She’s now heading up the Seven Kingdoms (or so she says), although it’s a bittersweet triumph since all of her children are now dead. She’s also short on allies, so we doubt her seat on the Iron Throne will remain secure for long.
The North: After the Battle of the Bastards, Jon Snow has reclaimed Winterfell, killing Ramsay Bolton in the process. Lucky for Jon, he had plenty of help from his sister Sansa, as well as Ser Davos Seaworthy, Lady Lyanna Mormont and Torment Giantsbane – oh, and a respectable contingent of soldiers from the Vale, courtesy of Littlefinger. Jon is now King in the North, which probably won’t sit well with Cersei, Queen in the South. Or Littlefinger, who was hoping to become Warden of the North, for that matter.
The Reach: Samwell Tarley and Gilly are now at the Citadel in Oldtown, where Sam is hoping to become a Maester. His main goal is to find a way to stop the impending White Walker cataclysm – let’s hope the theft of his family’s Valerian steel sword doesn’t scupper those plans.
Dorne: Ellaria Sand and the Sand Snakes have murdered Prince Doran Martell (and even his heir, Trystane, too). They’ve got a bone to pick with House Lannister, but Cersei probably isn't going to take it sitting down – they did murder her daughter, Myrcella, after all.
Riverlands: Jaime Lannister has seized Riverrun, once home of the Tully family – that's the late Catelyn's lot. During the siege, Brienne and Podrick, who were attempting to recruit the Blackfish in a bid to reclaim Winterfell, escaped. May their bromance continue ever on.
Iron Islands: King Balon Greyjoy is dead after he was murdered by his brother, Euron Greyjoy. Theon is done being Reek, and is trying to sit his sister Yara on the Salt Throne. But Euron is looking to take the top job for himself. Unfortunately for him, Theon and Yara met up with Daenerys over in Essos and managed to get her on side, so we’re expecting plenty of Iron Islands angst in the new season.
Braavos: Arya survived her near-fatal ordeal with the Waif, and has now returned to Westeros after completing her Faceless Man training in Braavos. Arya’s long-awaited revenge upon enemies of the dwindling Stark family is almost certainly incoming.
Across the Narrow Sea: And let’s not forget Queen Daenerys Targaryen, who finally (FINALLY!) has set sail for Westeros to reclaim her homeland – and the Iron Throne with it. She has a substantial army, consisting of the Unsullied, Dothraki, and soldiers from the Greyjoys, Tyrells, and Dorne – and Tyrion by her side as Hand of the Queen. Let's not forget the dragons, either.
Beyond the Wall: And last but certainly not least, we have Bran Stark, who is now mulling the revelation that Jon Snow is the son of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark – giving him a claim to the throne (soz, Daenerys). Bran – and Meera Reed – are now Wall-bound after a rescue effort by Bran’s uncle, Benjen Stark. With the encroaching threat of the Night King from Beyond the Wall, Bran has plenty of work to do trying to convince everyone that their throne-thirsty in-fighting probably isn’t all that important.
Game of Thrones Season 7 – Leaks, Spoilers and Predictions
Right, now that we’re all caught up, let’s move on to what we should expect from season 7.
Here’s a list of things we think are happening in season 7, thanks to leaks from the Game of Thones set:
- Jon Snow finally meets Daenerys Targaryen, who is his aunt (despite being younger than him)
- Theon Greyjoy will fight his uncle Euron Grejoy
- Gendry is (almost certainly) coming back
- Sansa Stark will (almost certainly) make it through the season, despite rumours she was to be killed off
But what’s more interesting is the major plot leak that was posted to Reddit last year. A user called /u/awayforthelads posted what he claimed were important plot points on the website, citing his source as a friend of a friend. The account has since been deleted, but another Reddit user has compiled the information in chronological order.
We’ve got no way of verifying whether or not any of the following is true, but it’s worth taking a look if you’re interestied (and not afraid of spoilers):
Game of Thrones Season 7 – Images
There’s been no shortage of leaked Game of Thrones season 7 set images. Here are some of the best on-location shots we’ve seen posted to Twitter so far:
Game of Thrones season 7 – Cast
Here’s the main cast:
- Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister
- Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister
- Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister
- Kit Harington as Jon Snow
- Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen
- Aidan Gillen as Petyr Baelish
- Liam Cunningham as Davos Seaworth
- Carice van Houten as Melisandre
- Indira Varma as Ellaria Sand
- Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark
- Nathalie Emmanuel as Missandei
- Rory McCann as Sandor ‘The Hound’ Clegane
- Maisie Williams as Arya Stark
- Conleth Hill as Varys
- Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy
- John Bardley as Samwell Tarly
- Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth
- Kristofer Hivju as Tormund Giantsbane
- Issac Hempstead Wright as Bran Stark
- Jerome Flynn as Bronn
- Iain Glen as Jorah Mormont
- Hannah Murray as Gilly
And here’s the guest cast:
- Diana Rigg as Olenna Tyrell
- Gemma Whelan as Yara Greyjoy
- Josephine Gillan as Marei
- Hafpor Julius Bjornsson as Gregor Clegane
- Jessica Henwick as Nymeria Sand
- Rosabell Laurenti Sellers as Tyene Sand
- Pilou Asbaek as Euron Greyjoy
- Bella Ramsey as Lyanna Mormont
- Jacob Anderson as Grey Worm
- Daniel Portman as Podrick Payne
- Tim McInnerny as Robett Glover
- Rupert Vansittart as Yohn Royce
- Ellie Kendrick as Meera Reed
- Ben Crompton as Eddison Tollett
- Richard Rycroft as Maester Wolkan
- Tom Hopper as Dickon Tarly
- Mark Gatiss as Tyco Nestoris
- Jim Broadbent in unknown role
- Conor McGregor as a pirate
The team behind Game of Thrones has also confirmed Ed Sheeran will make a guest appearance in the seventh series of the show.
We've got no idea who Sheeran will be playing, but showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss revealed that they had been trying to book him for a while.
And Sheeran isn't the only musician who'll be showing up this season. Brent Hinds, guitarist and singer for the band Mastodon will be returning to the show in another cameo following his season five appearance as a Wilding in the "Hardhome" episode.
Speaking to The Jasta Show, Hinds said: “I just came back from my second cameo in Game of Thrones. This time, I had my broken leg and they were like, ‘You’re doing the best zombie walk, we want you to come right towards the camera. I want you to drag this axe behind you.’ I’m like a reborn, come to life Wildling turning into a White Walker.”Related: Best Game of Thrones Gifts
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What are your predictions for Game of Thrones season 7? Let us know in the comments.