It may feel like an eternity has passed since the season six finale of Game of Thrones, but our watch (well, wait) is almost over. Game of Thrones will return to HBO in July for its seventh season, putting an end to what has been a brutally long off-season. The wait for the hit series' return has been made even more tedious because of the way the sixth season ended — with a literal bang and tons of cliffhangers.
For the most part, plot points have been kept under wraps, with most thoughts on the direction Game of Thrones' seventh season will head being pure conjecture. Trying to ascertain any spoilers is all the more difficult given the series has already exhausted George R.R. Martin's source material, and HBO has yet to drop a proper trailer (all we have is the teaser).
Now, however, Entertainment Weekly has revealed some new photos for the upcoming season that may just help to illuminate — albeit slightly — the direction Game of Thrones will be taking going forward. So, what have we learned? Honestly, not much. But still, this new crop of photos gives fans a few more looks at some of their favorite characters in anticipation of the season premiere.
1. There will be fire
This should come as no surprise, but Daenerys and her dragons will be playing a role in Game of Thrones' seventh season. Last we saw the Mother of Dragons, she was heading to Westeros with an armada of ships and her three dragons. The first image Entertainment Weekly shared shows Daenerys riding atop Drogon, and he has gotten real big — like, huge.
While it is probably hard to keep one's eye off of the massive dragon, look to the background and you will see an ongoing battle amid a ring of fire. It is quite possible that we are looking at one of the first battles Daenerys takes part in after arriving in Westeros. And well, that's awesome!
2. Winter has arrived
For years now, fans of Game of Thrones have been teased with the approach of winter, perpetuated by the popular "winter is coming" meme. Season six seemed to confirm that winter has finally arrived, with the brief but chilling teaser adding fuel to that fire (snow to that ice?). The cold is not all that unusual in Winterfell, though, and it looks like more snow will be falling in season seven.
Game of Thrones' sixth season ended with the Starks finally coming out on top — and getting some much deserved vengeance. With the help of the knights of the Vale, an army led by Jon Snow was able to defeat Ramsay Bolton and reclaim Winterfell. In the season's final moments, Jon Snow is declared the new King in the North. From the looks of the photo below, it appears Jon Snow will soon be on the move.
At this point in the series, Arya Stark has become pretty well-traveled. After leaving King's Landing in season one, Ned Stark's youngest daughter has been all over the place, most recently spending time in Braavos training under the Faceless Men. Season six ended with Arya leaving Braavos, eventually heading to the Twins and killing Walder Frey.
Where exactly Arya will head next is uncertain, but when she left Braavos, she told Jaquen H'ghar that she was going home. And she certainly looks to be on the move in the photo below. Will yet another Stark return to Winterfell? Or will she make another pit stop to cross another name off her list?
4. Littlefinger be plotting
Though Petyr Baelish was instrumental in Jon Snow's victory over the Boltons — he did bring the knights of the Vale, after all — we all know that the only side he's truly on is his own. And when Jon was named the King in the North after retaking Winterfell, viewers likely noticed that Littlefinger did not look too pleased.
It is no secret that Littlefinger always has a scheme, as his ultimate goal is to rule the Seven Kingdoms. Having control of the North is likely paramount to him eventually achieving that goal, so we should expect some plotting. The bigger question will be whether or not he'll be able to sway Sansa to his cause, as he is likely surreptitiously attempting in the photo below.
Game of Thrones will return to HBO on Sunday, July 16 at 9 p.m. Eastern.