The promotional photos for Game of Thrones Season 7 released today, and by now I’m sure you’ve all seen them (unless you’ve been living under a rock). There is a difference between seeing and truly seeing, however; as Syrio Forel would say, “Look with your eyes.” Light spoilers and speculation ahead, including references to information from released teasers and photos. Let’s break them down one by one and see what details we can glean from them – after all, picking things apart is what this fandom does best, right?
First up we have Queen Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) seated on the Iron Throne with her loyal-beyond-all-sense brother/lover, Jaime (Nikolaj Coster Waldau), in attendance. Cersei looks as proud and defiant as ever, but Jaime looks…sad? Defeated? Maybe he’s wondering why on earth he’s still sticking around? It appears they are looking at someone, but who? Perhaps Cersei is simply hearing petitioners, or maybe someone important has come calling. Let’s hope whoever it is doesn’t get the Septa Unella treatment.
Next we have last season’s fan favorite and breakout star Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey) at what I assume is Winterfell, possibly picking up right where the finale left off. Hopefully she is giving another fiery motivational speech to get everyone prepared for the real battle – facing the White Walkers. Of course, Littlefinger (Aiden Gillen) is in the background looking characteristically sleazy. He must be leering at an offscreen Sansa. Maybe Lyanna can have her 62 men take him out this season?
Here we see Ser Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) at the main table Winterfell, to the right of Jon’s seat. He’s sporting a nice new fur cloak for the winter and seems to be listening to someone, but there isn’t much else we can take away from this photo. I’m just grateful he’s still around to give invaluable advice to King Jon Snow.
This is an interesting picture of Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) and Gilly (Hannah Murray) studying books – likely somewhere in the Citadel. Of course, astute observers immediately attempted to decipher the text Gilly is reading. Luckily Redditor itsjayrr realized it was taken from a passage in The World of Ice and Fire. The entire text is reprinted below the photo.
“It is also written that there are annals in Asshai of such a darkness, and of a hero who fought against it with a red sword. His deeds are said to have been performed before the rise of Valyria, in the earliest age when Old Ghis was first forming its empire. This legend has spread west from Asshai, and the followers of R’hllor [changed to The Lord of Light in the photo] claim that this hero was named Azor Ahai, and prophesy his return. In the Jade Compendium, Colloquo Votar recounts a curious legend from Yi Ti, which states that the sun hid its face from the earth for a lifetime, ashamed at something none could discover, and that disaster was averted only by the deeds of a woman with a monkey’s tail.”
Is this just a shout out to book readers, or will we get more information on Azor Ahai? Considering Melisandre alluded to Jon being The Prince that was Promised last year, I believe we will learn more about the prophecy and potential contenders this season.
Up next is Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick) and Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright). Poor Meera seems exhausted after pulling Bran for so long. They both appear to be looking up, so hopefully they’ve arrived at the Wall and Castle Black. If Bran crosses the Wall though, what does that mean for the magic imbued in it? If the Night King’s touch allowed him to cross the magical barrier at the cave, will it do the same at the Wall?
Here we have another fun look at Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) and Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie). She seems to have made it safely back to Winterfell (hopefully with Podrick in tow), and Tormund appears to still be smitten with her. If we could see Brienne’s face, I’m sure it would be full of exasperated disdain like last season. I just don’t think poor Tormund can take Jaime’s place in her heart.
In this photo of Littlefinger and Sansa (Sophie Turner), they appear to be looking down on the Winterfell courtyard. He’s probably trying to pit her against Jon again, or maybe another sibling who (hopefully?) returns home this season. Sansa looks like she’s not sure how much more of his scheming she can stand. Please get rid of this guy already, Sansa!
It’s good to see the Hound (Rory McCann) still has a role to play, and either winter has spread to the Riverlands, or he has headed north. The latter is a likely assumption, considering the Hound’s encounter with the remaining Brotherhood Without Banners last year. They wanted to recruit him to fight the “cold winds rising in the North.” He appears to have soldiers with him, but it’s difficult to make out their allegiance.
This picture gives me chills – in a good way. Jon (Kit Harington) is definitely in the Winterfell crypts, possibly paying his respects to someone. It could be a newly interred Rickon, but I believe he is actually standing in front of the statue of Lyanna Stark, his mother. He looks sad (a common look for him, to be fair), and maybe a bit regretful? I think I even see a tear in his eye. Will he learn the truth of his parentage this season? We can only hope!
Next is Arya Stark (Maisie Williams). She appears to have left the Twins, but it’s difficult to tell where she is in this picture. Is it an inn? Maybe she frees Edmure and helps him take back Riverrun? Wherever she is, she seems fearful here. If you zoom in on her eye, you can see the reflection of what looks like a person silhouetted in a doorway. I wonder who could make her so afraid?
The final set of pictures are all of Team Dany. The first is of Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) in the throne room at Dragonstone, as we saw in the Season 7 teaser released last month. I’m in love with her outfit – finally Targaryen colors!
The next three pictures aren’t terribly revealing, but they do show the rest of Dany’s entourage. Lord Varys (Conleth Hill), Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel), and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) are all wearing new, warmer clothing – much needed in the cold Westeros winter heading their way. Since Varys is wearing fur, his picture may be from later in the season, or perhaps another – colder – location?
The final photo appears to show Dany and crew assembled outside a castle. As we reported back in October of last year, filming took place in Zumaia, which appears to be where this was taken. This could be their landing point in Westeros; Daenerys seems to be looking up at her new home and readying herself for what’s to come. This will be a pivotal moment for her, and one she’s been preparing for all her life. Will she finally be able to take back her family’s throne?
What do you think of the photos? Do you have any other insight or speculation to offer? Let us know in the comments!
* Note: please cover/label all spoilers as appropriate! Thank you! *