TIME Inside Game of Thrones Season 7: Wights, Dragons, and… A Pack of Wolves?!

Photoshoot by: TIME / Miles Aldridge

Photoshoot by: TIME / Miles Aldridge

In preparation for the season seven premiere, TIME magazine has unveiled their cover story for the week, a Game of Thrones affair starring Maisie Williams, Emilia Clarke, Peter Dinklage, Kit Harington, Nikolaj Coster Waldau, Lena Headey and Sophie Turner. Accompanied by this, TIME brings a report from the season seven set.

Spoiler-averse folks should be careful, as there are implied spoilers below the cut.

This extensive TIME report goes back quite deeply into well-trodden stories about the creation of the show, but then it’s all about its future, as the magazine visited the HBO production as its seventh season was being shot. Reporter Daniel D’Addario describes the strange sight of Emilia Clarke straddling the dragon ‘buck’ which will eventually become Drogon, as Game of Thrones mainstay Alan Taylor directs her under the watchful eyes of “several visual-effects supervisors.”

“Thirty seconds of screen time and she’s been here for 16 days,” Taylor revealed. Though it’s certainly an impressive sight, even showrunner D.B. Weiss must admit “it probably feels a bit less amazing to Emilia, who sits on it for eight hours a day, six weeks in a row, getting blasted with water and fake snow and whatever else they decide to chuck at her through the fans.” And yet, D’Addario reports Clarke was ever smiling and chatty on the buck, which certainly fits with what we know of her.

TIME got to witness another VFX-heavy scene, involving “the wights, zombie-like creatures with spookily pale faces and dressed in ragged furs,” though at that time they weren’t so impressive, as they waited “to grab breakfast burritos.” Outside the stage, VFX supervisor Joe Bauer commented on the ever-increasing size of the production: “At first we had a season with one big event, then we had a season with two big events, now we have a season where every episode is a big event.” In particular, this incoming battle with wights and White Walkers is described as dazzling and grand in its scope. Though TIME cleverly avoids spoilers, this is the battle filmed at Wolf Hill Quarry, which can be glimpsed in the second trailer if you know what you are looking for.

What we didn’t know, however, is how much effort went into converting this old quarry into a frozen lake beyond the Wall. The quarry was “drained, flattened out with 11,000 square meters of concrete and painted over with a camouflage effect — all of which took six months and required special ecological surveys.”

D.B. Weiss and David Benioff. Photo: TIME / Miles Aldridge

D.B. Weiss and David Benioff. Photo: TIME / Miles Aldridge

It all falls on the showrunners, David Benioff and Dan Weiss, whose job once they have written most of the scripts each season involves managing all the departments via numerous other producers. The TIME story describes a particular production incident that will be of great interest to the fans: numerous wolves were brought in for the show, but they reportedly looked too “fluffy and lustrous”, while the script described them as “skinny and mangy.” Book readers have been waiting years for the proverbial gun in the mantle to be shot in regards to a certain direwolf and its pack of wolves. If our reports during filming were correct, this could be the time at last.

Even more interesting than what’s coming in season seven is what may happen in the eighth and final season, which Benioff and Weiss are now writing. TIME reveals the showrunners have “full outlines of the final six episodes.”. They’ve been working on the series finale and Weiss claims they “know what happens in each scene.”

There is much more inside the TIME cover story, so go on ahead if you want to get into the nitty-gritty and the photoshoot in all its splendor. Also, later on the day, we will report on their many standalone interviews.

101 responses

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    1. So much exciting stuff here to unpack

      I really hope season 7 is as incredible as I picture it in my head………
      (Tho I wish they’d hype it up a bit more like they did with 6)

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    2. Is it me, or do all the boys look like pimps? I do sort of like it, garish though it is, because it is so very different from their show garb.

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    3. That cover is a thing of beauty.The A-tiers look gorgeous.And I love that it is weird.Also loved the interviews of Kit and Emilia.

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    4. HelloThere,

      I mean both Kit and Emilia make it clear in their interviews that they are back next year and that is also a spoiler.But in the realms of spoilers that is pretty tame.

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    5. “Even more interesting than what’s coming in season seven is what may happen in the eighth and final season, which Benioff and Weiss are now writing. TIME reveals they have “full outlines of the final six episodes.”. They’ve been working on the series finale and Weiss claims they “know what happens in each scene.”

      OMGGGGGGGGGGG AAHHHH

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    6. Yes the wolves part stood out to me too! I hope it is what we all think it is too. The other one that stood out in the article was snow blowing in Daenerys’ face during her shooting for riding Drogon. As someone completely in the dark on spoilers I found that intriguing. I didn’t think she would be anywhere that far north unless the snow finally makes it south at some point this season. I guess I always assumed the south wouldn’t get snow until the very end of this season.

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    7. I always enjoy reading both Kit’s and Emilia’s interviews, they are fun, down to earth and interesting! Those photos though….I have no words..

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    8. numerous wolves were brought in for the show, but they reportedly looked too “fluffy and lustrous”, while the script described them as “skinny and mangy.”
      Yes!!!!!
      I can’t wait to see the wolves in the show, I don’t mean to complain, but I feel we could’ve used more Dire Wolves scenes in the show.
      But I’m more than happy about what we did get, especially Ghost ^^

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    9. Dee Stark:
      “Even more interesting than what’s coming in season seven is what may happen in the eighth and final season, which Benioff and Weiss are now writing. TIME reveals they have “full outlines of the final six episodes.”. They’ve been working on the series finale and Weiss claims they “know what happens in each scene.”

      OMGGGGGGGGGGG AAHHHH

      The first time I read that, I did a crazy, crazy doubletake! I was like, what? TIME has the outlines for the final six episodes?!!!! But then I was all, oh. They meant D&D have the outlines.

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    10. Dee Stark:
      “Even more interesting than what’s coming in season seven is what may happen in the eighth and final season, which Benioff and Weiss are now writing. TIME reveals they have “full outlines of the final six episodes.”. They’ve been working on the series finale and Weiss claims they “know what happens in each scene.”

      OMGGGGGGGGGGG AAHHHH

      That was pretty much my reaction too.

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    11. The battle for Westeros may be won or lost on the back of a lime green mechanical bull.

      Mwahaha! Okay, I do love the article, and I’m only on the first line.

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    12. 16 days of work all for 30 seconds of screentime ..
      And people thought that It must be easy work compared to kit in battle of bastards ..
      It shows each actors and characters have their own hardships but professional and determined to give their best…

      Jenny,

      That’s not a big spoiler …jon and dany both are endgame players .I don’t think people believed one of them would die this season ..
      But
      Emilia facing snow is certainly spoiler ….we can say winter has come and snow is in south as well but people will also start speculating her being in north….wait till those who didn’t know about spoilers talk about it ..

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    13. WOLVES!!!

      WOLVESWOLVESWOLVESWOLFVESWOLVES!

      Speaking of wolves…

      Is it just me, or is our Wolf Girl emitting a very strong Snow White vibe in this pic?

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    14. I LOVE the photos, especially all the ladies! Sophie! Emilia! Lena! Maisie! Awesome and such a change from what their characters wear!

      But it’s D&D who look the most handsome and gorgeous! Hahaha….. 😀

      EDIT: Curious that only Lena (Cersei) and Sophie (Sansa) have half-eaten fruits while the others have roses. Hmmm….

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    15. Even more interesting than what’s coming in season seven is what may happen in the eighth and final season, which Benioff and Weiss are now writing. TIME reveals they have “full outlines of the final six episodes.”. They’ve been working on the series finale and Weiss claims they “know what happens in each scene.”

      Music to my ears, a pleasure to hear they’re writing these last 6 episodes with care and time. Usually if I’m not mistaken they’re done by now. They’ve always talked about getting to the end game, and that they could write it now if they could, I don’t think I’ve ever been this intrigued about how a story is going to end. It’s been one wild ride filled with memorable characters, a unforgettable setting in westeros, and a complicated ingaging plot, we will never see it’s like again once it ends.

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    16. Clarke’s bond with her beasts has helpedThrones soar — and helped her transcend jitters on her first major acting job. “I’m 5-ft.-nothing, I’m a little girl,” she says. “I’ve got the face of a chubby six-year-old. You walk onto set and you’re like, ‘Hey guys, I hope you like me! How can I help? What can I do? How can I be helpful?'” Perched on the dragon and empowered to “go crazy,” she says, her insecurities fall away: ” Hey, everybody! Now who’s shorty?! ”

      I would have liked to actually see emilia saying it…remember BTS scene of battle of bastards and winds of winter anyone ..

      I really got into Daenerys’s head, and the dragons are on so many levels the only children she’ll ever know. She has a huge amount of love to give, and all her family’s gone. She’s alone. There is no one character that has ever connected with her in a way that has left her feeling secure.

      And this is sad thing about dany ..hope she does find someone and a family that can fill that hole ..

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    17. Luka Nieto,

      Thanks, Luka!

      All: So, how do you like that apple?

      At first I was like, Sophie is too young! But then I decided she wasn’t and that she was quite conservatively covered despite the suggestiveness of the bitten apple and its strategic placement. And I kind of like the reference to forbidden fruit, too. Am I reading too much into it all?

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    18. 'During my visit, wolves described in the script as “skinny and mangy” showed up to the shoot looking fluffy and lustrous.'

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    19. I can’t @ these photos. Give the men a red rose and they’d fit right on The Bachelor lmao (Kit especially).

      Maisie’s photo will stand the test of time though. Wish they’d included Isaac.

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    20. Nymeria! D&D better not kill her!

      Snow you say? Might that be a clue to the trailer scene with wights and fire in the background?

      Two weeks!

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    21. HelloThere,

      I’m happy that they haven’t hyped it as much (though to be fair, they have hyped it up quite a bit).

      They should be professional and let their work speak for itself. I get tired of the excessive hype that the cast and crew created in previous years. If it’s really that amazing, surely we don’t need to be told and we’ll be able to recognize the quality of the show on our own.

      Excessive hype only serves to heighten expectations, often to an absurd level that they could never match.

      The best quality shows out there like Better Call Saul, The Americans, or The Leftovers never feel the need to excessively hype things up. Their showrunners and cast are humble, and let their work speak for itself. In my opinion, that’s a far wiser strategy.

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    22. dragonbringer,

      I mean I agree with you but have you seen the reactions of people watching the trailer on YouTube?Is Jon the lone wolf is he gonna die omg??Some people still don’t get it lol.

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    23. Jenny,

      Sophie is a main actor, and Theon, Bran, and Davos aren’t exactly minor characters.

      Though I agree that it’s a shame that Kit, Peter, Nikolaj, Lena, and Emilia have missed so many of the recent panels.

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    24. The possibility of the final ending leaking is very terrifying. Looks like I’ll have to avoid the internet until the end of season eight 😉 In all seriousness, I really hope that doesn’t get leaked.

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    25. It’s an inevitability. At some point before season 8 airs, the ending will undoubtedly leak.

      I don’t really mind spoilers in general, but I think I’m gonna go the Dee route next season and avoid all spoilers however possible. I really don’t want to know the ending before it airs on screen. There tends to be a correlation between those who read the leaks and those whose tend to be more disappointed with the season.

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    26. Mr Derp:
      There tends to be a correlation between those who read the leaks and those whose tend to be more disappointed with the season.

      I never thought about that. I try to avoid spoilers but I get the feeling I may have to really go to the extreme for next season.

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    27. I just realized something about those cover photos – I thought they were silly and garish before, but suddenly I saw Frida Kahlo’s look! Pretty cool. How come D&D aren’t i costume (tho they look very handsome in those suits!)

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    28. Luka Nieto,

      Oh me too…..

      Mr Derp: I don’t really mind spoilers in general, but I think I’m gonna go the Dee route next season and avoid all spoilers however possible. I really don’t want to know the ending before it airs on screen. There tends to be a correlation between those who read the leaks and those whose tend to be more disappointed with the season.

      Oh you shoulddddd 🙂

      You owe to yourself and to the show.

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    29. ash,

      Just finished it, really a good article in my view. Ive cringed before in the past at interview done by Time, Newsweek and their ilk because their focus is all wrong. This time, it works.

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    30. Gfx,

      Well, do you read leaks and filming spoilers?

      I usually only click on/participate in articles on this website that are strictly spoiler free.

      Also, I have no interest in knowing what happens prior to… ive never been like that. But if you are so used to reading spoilers and leaks then the best way to do it is to avoid this website all together during the off season 🙂

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    31. Dee Stark,

      I don’t. I wasn’t sure if there was anything more to it than just that. I guess a good example for me is when spoilers show up when you’re not even looking for them. What kills it for me is even my youtube feed will show up with spoilers in the thumbnails from people I don’t even watch. Just because my history has legit Game of Thrones scenes it feels the need to give me anything Game of Thrones related, spoilers included. But I know any territory on the internet is a risk for spoilers, I was just curious what measures anyone else took.

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    32. Gfx,

      Yeah an even comments, I have become good at knowing who here always covers spoilers and what not, so I don’t read all the comments…
      I don’t go on youtube often enough to see that but I know what you mean

      So you are leak and spoiler free then… cant wait for this coming season 🙂

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    33. God, I hope David and Dan are just setting us up for a massive twist. A big part of me still has a lot of faith in them.
      I just have a hard time believing they’d actually be okay with a cliche fantasy denouement, the underdog saviour of mankind and some sort of karmic demise of practically every villain we’ve encountered.
      Especially with all their praise of George’s subversion of fantasy tropes.

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    34. Aryamad,

      I am trying to find that info also. I can’t get the magazine where I live so have to order. I am in UK. If you find out please let me know ☺

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    35. Kosten:
      God, I hope David and Dan are just setting us up for a massive twist. A big part of me still has a lot of faith in them.
      I just have a hard time believing they’d actually be okay with a cliche fantasy denouement, the underdog saviour of mankind and some sort of karmic demise of practically every villain we’ve encountered.
      Especially with all their praise of George’s subversion of fantasy tropes.

      These are my thoughts as well. Imagine if the final episode is Jon and Dany versus The Night King and they all die or something like that. Talk about disappointing…

      One thought that gives me hope is that even last season, which was a late season, had a massive twist: Jon being King in The North.

      It was a very sudden moment to me. Most people thought he would become King of Westeros because of his heritage, but I don’t think many people in the fandom predicted he would be Robb’s sucessor, considering Rickon, Bran and Sansa were at play.

      I guess I could include Cersei seizing the Throne for herself as a shocking moment too, even though looking back at it, It was heavily foreshadowed.

      I really don’t want this series to have a cliche or boring ending. 🙁

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    36. Carole H:
      I see Kitis wearing Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY suit jacket and shirt 😍

      And a rather dashing red and black jacket in the video accompanying his interview 😊🐉

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    37. Vincent Stark,

      Every ending will be cliche and boring to some people cause somebody on the internet has guessed it already.What is boring to somebody is exiting to another.Nothing is really original in storytelling.For example you found Jon becoming KiTN a twist,many people had been theorizing about that for years.

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    38. Luka Nieto,

      I read in a interview from Kit that they aren’t giving out the scripts like they normally do for the final season. To prevent leaks they are instead gonna get them all in one room to read it all together, no more emailing.

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    39. Love this photoshoot, per Time they wanted to give them some fantasy elements. I really think Isaac should’ve gotten a photoshoot as well though considering GRRM his one of the main 5.

      I read that the cover shoot of the A-tier was actually inspired the Jesus last feast, I Guess that makes Emilia Jesus since she’s in the middle lol

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    40. Wolfish,

      •. I think our Wolf Girl knows how to rock the classic Old Hollywood look. She could walk into a scene from Casablanca opppsite Humphrey Bogart and fit right in.

      • When I first looked at that picture, I asked myself: “What is Carrie Bradshaw from Sex & The City doing on the bottom right hand corner?” Only after enlarging it did realize it was Sophie T.

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    41. Maisie looks fantastic, channeling the 30s-40s silver screen. Nicolaj and Peter too. The others have some very quickly dated wardrobe….ah well. Emilia looks good with the illusion of pink hair, I must say.

      The outlines, huh. Well I suppose some of those will be out in a few months! Keep it mum, D&D!

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    42. Wolfish,

      “Speaking of wolves”:
      I thought it waa odd the way the TIME magazine described it as a “production incident” when the wolves brought to the set looked “too healthy and lustrous”, since the script described them as “skinny and mangy.”

      A few thoughts came to mind:

      1. It must be important to show that the wolf pack is undernourished and ravenous.

      2. I fanfic’ed a scene based on the promo shot of Arya camping in the woods, when she suddenly finds herself surrounded by famished wolves looking at her like a juicy steak; the leader of the pack, a huge wolf, emerges and slowly advances on Arya… then sniffs Arya’s hand, starts wagging her tail, goes over to Arya’s saddlebag and digs out her gloves, drops them at her feet, and licking her face.

      3. Seriously though, I realized that for five seasons now – sometimes in the bsckground but always present – the show has been building up to a mass humanitarian crisis as food becomes scarce.
      It kind of stsrted with the KL mob rioting because, as Tyrion reminded Joffrey, “they’re starving, you idiot, all because of a war you started,” During Tywin’s war planning sessions at Harrenhall, he tells one of his spies that soldiers on both sides are eager to return home to harvest their crops; to teach BWoB sipporters a lesson Tywin orders the Mountain: “burn the villagses, burn the farms” response to local civilians supporting the BWO
      Anguy takes a look at Hot Pie’s girth and says to Thoros: “Half the country is starving, and look at this one.” Thoros: “Maybe he’s why they’re starving.”
      Then the closing scene of Two Swords (4×1), Arya & Sandor ride off bit in the background the countryside is scorched and smoking.
      Instead of growing and storing food, the people have been at war – including destroying agricultural resources and food supplies.
      Now that “winter is truly here”, there will almost have to be widespread famine, that will likely worsen and spread.
      As if the good guys don’t have enough on their plate.

      How would starving doggies fit into all of this?

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    43. Ten Bears,

      Excellent point; I’ve thought of it as well, but have never seen it discussed at length. Incidentally, in the books Nymeria and the wolfpack have already started taking out people (when they’re taking out sheep, cattle and horses). I’d have to re-read to see if the wolfpack beginning to target people coincides with the beginning of Arya’s assassination spree.

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    44. Ten Bears,

      This is also one of the reasons I believe at least 1 of the dragons (if not 2 or all 3) will die before the end of the series – there just won’t be enough resources to keep them happy and domesticated. Not to mention all the troops Dany and company have brought over to a Westeros already in the beginning of food shortage… wonder if there is time to address any of this, or just a lot of battles and death will be the easier solution.

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    45. Is there a significance to the flowers? Language of flowers?
      Are Maisie, Emilia, Peter, and Kit all holding roses? They all look like different color roses to me, but I’m not sure.

      thelanguageofflowers.com

      Pomegranates can have several meanings – common ones being prosperity, fertility and ambition – since it is exposed, dried and decaying, perhaps symbolizing the loss of these things?

      Apple? – Forbidden fruit, tree of knowledge (Eve) or maybe snow white (her outfit evokes that) she has bitten the poisonous apple, and needs ‘love’ to break the spell? maybe… or not

      Maybe they mean nothing lol … what do you think?

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    46. Tyrion has TWO flowers. Perhaps he stole Jamie’s? Sansa looks clownish, not digging her outfit or crimped mane. I still miss Cercei of the long golden hair, and Jon is smokin’. He’s got the intensity for a good villain role.

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    47. viki,

      According to the article about the cover, “Sophie Turner holds a half bitten apple, the forbidden fruit in contrast to her angelic halo of hair. Lena Headey, meanwhile, stands in front of a table of swollen pomegranates—the symbol of life, rebirth and marriage—suggestive of her character’s fierce maternal instinct.”

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    48. Mel,

      I think that was just Kit’s assumption for the first time they get them.They still need the scripts to learn them.Not to mention the crew needs the scripts to work.

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    49. Vincent Stark,

      Except in the books Robb made Jon his heir; the Jon-KITN theory has been floating for years in the fandom and it’s a pretty well-known one. There are more people sure of that theory than Jon becoming King of Westeros.

      The ending will be cliche don’t worry.

      Kosten,

      Prepare yourself for disappointment imo.

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    50. Mel,

      No I think that’s just Kit who wants to lock himself inside a room and read his script, so it won’t leak.

      Now I have a mental image of Kit locking everyone out of his house and emerging one week later with a Robinson Crusoe beard lol.

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    51. Ten Bears,
      It is a very beautiful take.

      The presence of wolves does seem to point towards the long-awaited reunion between Arya and Nymeria and, given the look the writers wanted the pack to have, said reunion will probably be a tad bittersweet.

      Arya released her direwolf into the wild ro allow her to survive and thrive. She hoped Nymeria would find a pack and hunt gloriously, superbly with her peers in the wildnerness. So the discovery that the direwolf is deprived and famished, that she and her pack are struggling to live another day, could be somewhat heartbreaking. Things did not go according to plan.
      However, there is a silver lining : the pack has survived so far. They may be skinny, mangy and worse for wear but they are still breathing. They have overcome and intend to keep doing so.

      That may prove inspirational for Arya. She deserves some warth, goddammit ! ^^

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    52. Book readers have been waiting years for the proverbial gun in the mantle to be shot in regards to a certain direwolf and its pack of wolves.

      Indeed, some of us blather on endlessly about such things! 😀

      Ten Bears: How would starving doggies fit into all of this?

      Hard winters are hard on lots of animals other than just humans. If you want to show that things are bad, then it helps to show that they are bad for everyone!

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    53. Flayed Potatoes: in the books

      I didn’t necessarily expect the show to go there because it omitted that letter, though, and because the letter hasn’t been referenced in the books either in a long time.

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    54. Kay,

      I wonder if the fruits are mythical allusions: the pomegranate is associated with Persephone and the apple with Eve.

      Persephone, goddess of spring, was forced into a marriage with Hades after eating 6 pomegranate seeds and had to stay six months of the year in the underworld with him. So if you think about who in Westeros might try to manipulate her into marriage…

      Then Eve, of course, manipulated Adam into doing what she wanted him to do using his desire for her. Here’s to hoping Sansa uses Baelish for the betterment of the North and not to betray Jon. (I really don’t think Sansa will turn on Jon, but who knows?)

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    55. Noneofyourbusiness: Flayed Potatoes: in the books

      Indeed, if it was going to be important in the books, then it would have come up again in Crows and/or Dragons. Instead, the books went a very different direction: there,

      instead of Northern Lords being aware of Robb’s Will, it turns out that some of them are aware the Rickon is still alive, and they want to restore him to the seat at Winterfell.

      Now, it is fine to set something up in Book 3 and then have it come to fruition in Book 6: but only if that something comes up again in Books 4 & 5. Moreover, this particular turn would be very arbitrary: Jon did nothing to bring the outcome upon himself other than not die and have Ned Stark as a (putative) father. The book will no doubt follow the path of the show – or, more appropriately, the show no doubt followed the path of what GRRM had written – and have Jon make himself the person that gets hailed King in the North.

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    56. Lady Commentariat: I really don’t think Sansa will turn on Jon, but who knows?

      I think that they will disagree about what battles are most important for the Stark family. White Walkers mean nothing to her: indeed, the one lesson that she’s learned in life is that the stories are all bogus, anyway! To Sansa, the enemies are the Lannisters. Jon views everything else as an irrelevant side-show compared to the Walkers. He does not like the Lannisters, but he has not suffered at their hands in the way that Sansa has.

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    57. Noneofyourbusiness: Are you perhaps confusing pimps with gigolos? Pimps are the handlers of prostitutes, not prostitutes themselves.

      The classic stereotype of a pimp is a very fancily dressed (and often over-the-top fancily dressed) man, so I think that she has it right.

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    58. Luka Nieto: That was pretty much my reaction too.

      Well, if we take them at their word, they have known what happens at the end at least since 2013, after the George/HBO “story meeting” in Santa Fe…

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    59. Lady Commentariat:
      Kay,

      Then Eve, of course, manipulated Adam into doing what she wanted him to do using his desire for her. Here’s to hoping Sansa uses Baelish for the betterment of the North and not to betray Jon. (I really don’t think Sansa will turn on Jon, but who knows?)

      In a video the TIME photographer spoke of his inspiration from Northern Renaissance art. In that school, the bitten apple would certainly represent Eve, perhaps even more so because it’s green. This goes perfectly with Littlefinger often being called a snake or serpent or venomous. Also, the closest thing to a closed Garden of Eden in the show was Winterfell before the king’s retinue arrived. This is the Eden that only Sansa, of all her family, was eager to leave. And of course Eve and Adam get expelled from the Garden, and the serpent is forced to slither on the ground through eternity. And doesn’t Littlefinger creep around a lot? One wonders if they’ll both be expelled.

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    60. Gfx,

      Tips: Avoiding “leaks” and plot spoilers

      In addition to what Dee Stark recommended…

      • Confine yourself to WoW. The site administrators are vigilant about including conspicuous warnings “before the cut”, and keeping article titles vague enough so they don’t give away plot spoiler details. Besides, WoW reports GoT news first and with accuracy. You’re not going to get legitimate, reliable information anywhere else. (Lots of other sites just rip off what’s posted here.)

      • Do not visit Reddit. Do not do Google searches for GoT. Too many sites use clickbait titles containing plot spoilers and illicit leaks.

      • In WoW comments sections, don’t read comments posted under unfamiliar user names. (Obviously, this takes a while to figure out.) Some of these interlopers don’t know or don’t care about spoiler-coding to cover text.

      • You probably need to define the level of “insulation” you’re trying to achieve. I don’t consider promotional photos and articles released by HBO and GoT to be “spoilers” since they’re not going to ruin the show for viewers. I also don’t consider public casting announcements or actors’ filming locations to be “spoilers”; many times the actors themselves post photos of themselves in a filming location. Healthy speculation is one thing; unaithorized or stolen material is another.

      • To completely avoid anything and everything about GoT, you’d have to disconnect from the internet, cancel all newspaper and magazine subscriptions, and move into an underground bunker in a remote location. (Just kidding)

      • For the real fan, the 60 episodes already aired provide more than enough material to get “hyped” for the coming season. Rewatches always seem to reveal things you didn’t notice the first time around.

      PS This reply might be redundant. I previously submitted a similar version but it may be stuck in the ether somewhere.

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    61. Wolfish,

      Saturday ~ 4:11 pm

      • Incidentally, while rewatching scenes during the last few days to comment on the “Greatest 101” countdown, I realized that looming food shortages and starvation have been in the background all along. It’s just not as attention-grabbing as fire-breathing dragons, sword fights and ice zombies.

      • I used to think it was a comedic touch that The Hound was always eating, or talking about eating and drinking. Maybe he’s prescient enough to pack on few pounds while he still can.

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    62. viki,

      With a nod to Wimsey, Anton Chekhov, and William of Occam, I’d have to wonder why the show has spent so much time discretely “hanging guns” about food shortages, rioting, starving citizens, burned farms, scorched countrysides, unharvested crops, terrorized farmers and farmers impressed into military service, skyrocketing food prices in besieged cities, marooned armies without enough food, and of course, the arrival of frost, freezing cold and the end of the growing season, if these “concealed weapons” weren’t going to be fired.

      Going into S7, there will be no way to grow food or feed livestock. Who knows what’s going on with the Reach now that Olenna allied with Team Dany. I’m not sure how many Dothraki, Unsullied, and others are on their way; they’ve got to eat too.
      Finally, the show has alluded to but hasn’t highlighted (yet) one of the themes in the books! famous “Broken Man” speech: that in real wars, armies are decimated by malnutrition, contaminated water, starvation (eg from attacks on supply lines), and all sorts of fatalities before or after any actual battles. [Show!Stannis’s army got a taste of this]

      Wars have been started becaus of famine, scarcity of food and escalating prices, diminution or destruction of arrable land, etc.

      Worst of all, Hot Pie will be unable to get his hands on a good bottom round, leading to a devastating shortage of kidney pie. Forget about ingredients for the gravy.

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    63. Flayed Potatoes,

      You really think “the ending will be cliché”? I’d be surprised if it is.

      From my wishful-thinking perspective, not having read the books isn’t a disadvantage. I figure the setup for the ending is contained within the 60 already-aired episodes. The conclusion has to make sense based on what’s already been shown – or else the dreaded “deus ex machina” or “pulling a Lost” labels will consign GoT to the scrap heap of pop culture: once-good shows ruined forever by stupid endings.

      Or I could easily be wrong, and Jon Snow rides out to kill the orcs, the ghosts of ancient Stark kings emerge from the crypts to help, Sandor incinerates thousands of wights with a wildfire flamethrower, and Arya meets the Night King in single combat and plunges VS-coated Needle through his eye and out the back of his skull.
      Meanwhile, at the cliffs surrounding Hardhome, Samwell punches out SmeagolFinger to recover the NK’s Reanimation Ring, destroys it in a Dragonglass charcoal bubble bath, and passes out as Drogon flies him home to Gilly.

      (Sorry about that…)

      In all seriousness, anything other than a Wylis>Hold the Door>Hodor caliber ending would be a letdown. I can’t believe the showrunners and GRRM have come all this way just to have a hero save the planet a split second before doomsday weapon’s digital timer ticks down to 00:01.

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    64. ash,

      What they should really do is script and FILM a fake scene with the usual crew, and film the real scene in secret with just Benioff & Weiss directing + a trusted cinematographer + 1-2 actors.

      A pivotal two-minute scene out of a big set piece can change everything.
      A hokey, fanfic illustrative example:
      During a segment of a Dead vs Living battle royale set in an ice cave, film a scene in which Jaime has selflessly thrown himself onto the NK, losing his grip on Widow’s Wail which falls into a nearby fire. Unable to hold onto the NK much longer, Jaime urges Jon to grab the burning sword and thrust it through Jaime and into the NK. The apparent result: Jaime dies a hero, book purists rejoice because Widow’s Wail was reforged in the heart of a lion, and Jon Snow fulfills Azor Ahai prophecy. If hackers or thieves steal scripts or footage, this huge “spoiler” leaks out

      Meanwhile, in the secretly-filmed real segment, with only Rory McCann, Maisie, Sophie, the director, cinematographer and one or two trusted PAs on set, Sandor Clegane rescues the Stark sisters from a gaggle of wights by
      slashing his palm, igniting his sword, and carving them up like roasted chickens. When the NK shows up, Sandor engages him, but his flaming sword splits like Syrio’s stick.

      Arya: “What do we say to the
      god of death?”

      Sandor: “F*ck it. I’m ready.”

      Arya: “No! .. ‘Not today’ !”
      (In one swift, seamless motion, Arya tosses VS dagger to Sandor, who catches it and thrusts it into NK’s eyeball, causing him to disintegrate)

      All silliness aside, they really must do everything to prevent “leaks” of Season 8.

      [* Looks in mirror. Says to self: “You do know you need to get a life.” Hears self answer: “Yeah, but not until after August 28.”*]

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    65. Ten Bears,

      Sometime, when we have a totally unhinged Hound/Arya discussion in a forum, ask me why I love the chicken scene in the book (I’ll excerpt it for you). It’s nothing like the scene in the series, save for the fact that there is, indeed, a chicken. I think it speaks very directly to the threat of famine and to his love for her. I didn’t immediately read it that way; I had to sleep on it and then have the proverbial light bulb go off over my head in the morning. (Why I love GRRM’s writing, reason #47.)

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    66. I received the hardcopy of Time yesterday via snail-mail. Although I’ve already read the article online, the 20-page (!) layout was impressive, complete with a 2-page chart (almost like a Venn diagram) of all the intersecting relationships surrounding Dany, Jon and Cersei. Garish photos and all, the article was very well put together. It was funny to read that Emilia wasn’t at the cover shoot and was photographed and inserted later. Love the apple, skull, dagger, hourglass, and attentive dog…and especially how Jon/Kit is distracted by something offstage and out-of-frame! Hah!

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    67. The Bastard,

      I like that they were going for something strikingly different with their portraits. I actually wish they’d taken them a bit more over the top, as they remind me of one of my favorite artist duos, Pierre et Gilles.

      And the article! I’m so excited! New visuals I now have of the scene described in the flattened out quarry. Im trying to stay unspoiled this season but man is it hard. I don’t want a repeat of last year – like knowing how Tommen went.

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    68. Wow how did I miss this article! Some huge bombs:
      – So Arya will reunite with Nymeria and her pack like in the books, my guess this convinces her to go North to Winterfell instead of carrying on her list in the South.
      – It implies Dany will go North.
      – The S8 outline is done, didn’t someone who had access to S7 leak from there, I hope D&D have tightened things to prevent a repeat but at this stage there now must be dozens of people who know the ending instead of just GRRM/D&D and maybe Brian Cogman.

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    69. Jon Snowed: So Arya will reunite with Nymeria and her pack like in the books

      I like how a fan theory is pretty much canon now.

      I mean, you’re right, and it’s been so set up in the book it must happen, but it still is funny when we in the fandom take things for granted even when they haven’t even happened in the books yet.

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