New ‘Game of Thrones’ S7 photos, dissected

Nothing makes me happier than pouring over photos for any tidbit of new information. Evidently HBO media relations knows this, because they just dumped a fresh batch of Game of Thrones season 7 photos.

There’s not a lot new to decipher, unfortunately, but they’re still solid hype builders.

Let’s have a looksy!


Sam (John Bradley) and Gilly (Hannah Murray) at the Citadel, where Sam’s training to become a maester. For the first time as we’ve seen him, he isn’t rocking black! And Gilly looks to be practicing her reading skills. If you remember, she first started learning from young Shireen Baratheon (RIP).

Update: The good folks at i09 zoomed in on what Gilly’s reading:

Oh shit, it’s about Azor Ahai! That’s the legendary hero who wielded a sword called Lightbringer to defend against the darkness. Melisandre previously recounted the prophecy that Azor Ahai would be reborn amidst smoke and salt to defend the world from the Lord of Light’s enemy, the Other. Yeah sure, she thought it was Stannis, but if Samwell’s researching it, that means it could be true. There are rumors that it could refer to Jon Snow or Daenerys Targaryen.


Lady Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey), still at Winterfell it seems, still a tiny badass. This almost looks exactly like the scene of Jon Snow’s coronation as King in the North, with Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) in the background, but perhaps it’s just another Northman meeting.


Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham) is there, too, seated up at the main table with a new cloak. Could he be Jon’s hand of the king?


Ah, Queen on the Iron Throne Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey). She thinks she was born for this, and by damn does it show with that posture and glare. Whatever Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) might think of it, he’s still by her side. For now …


Back in Winterfell, it’s Brienne (Gwendoline Christie)! And Tormund (Kristofer Hivju)! Our favorite ginger wildling is back with his new favorite female warrior. Note the distinctly hungry eyes he’s giving her.


In another part of the Winterfell courtyard, Littlefinger Petyr Baelish is doing his thing, giving who knows what kind of advice to Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner, who’s got a new hairstyle. Production note: Sophie’s wearing a wig this season). Given where they left things at the end of last season, it’s possible that she’s brooding about being passed over for Queen in the North. Baelish definitely would have preferred her as ruler to Jon, given his desire to pull the strings in the North. Perhaps he’s trying to plant the seeds of conspiracy.


King in the North Jon Snow (cough, Targaryen, cough) (Kit Harington), in what appears to be the crypts beneath Winterfell. He could be visiting the final resting place of Ned Stark, his supposed father, or perhaps even that of Lyanna Stark, his secret mother. If the latter, it begs the question of if/when he’ll learn the truth of his parentage.


Elsewhere in the North is Arya (Maisie Williams). She could be at Winterfell in this shot, but it’s hard to tell. It’s easier to discern that she is in the North, though, given the relatively heavy clothing she’s sporting.


Definitely in the North is the Hound, Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann). We last saw him team up with his old adversaries, the Brotherhood without Banners, as they planned to trek northward. They may be on their way to Winterfell, but we’ll have to wait and see.


And definitely way in the North is Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) and Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick). They were dropped off by undead Uncle Benjen Stark just north of the Wall (and left horseless, how rude!). They’re on their way to cross south of the Wall, so this shot could be from their final approach there. What we do know from this photo: Bran’s having a lovely time.


Now to (in my humble opinion) the good stuff: Daenerys & Co. in Westeros! Specifically Dragonstone, the ancestral seat of House Targaryen. Dany (Emilia Clarke) is in the stronghold’s throne room, finally sporting the black and red colors of her house. Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) appears  to be standing in the background.


Speaking of Missandei, she’s layered up a bit since arriving in Westeros, as should be expected with the cooler climate. Note the Targaryen-themed brooch, because why not?


Also layering up is real MVP Varys (Conleth Hill), who has added fur to his clothing line. We haven’t seen him interact with Daenerys yet — standing behind her in that last S6 shot doesn’t count — so that’s something to really look forward to; their conversations could be fantastic.


The whole Targaryen gang! More or less (Ser Jorah, anybody?). Seen outside of Dragonstone, they’re looking up at something. The stronghold itself? A dragon? Hologram greeting from Cersei Lannister? Has a certain, spoilery visitor arrived?


Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) is certainly doing better these days. Good for him.

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