This is not a drill: We are less than two weeks away from the season seven premiere of Game of Thrones. On July 16, HBO’s hit series will return, and fans will finally get to see what’s in store for all of their favorite characters. Though plot details for season seven are relatively thin (HBO has been doing their best to avoid leaks), the series’ officially released trailers and images have helped to outline what, and who, we may be seeing when we reunite with our favorite Westeros residents.
While much of the emphasis this season will be placed on the series’ three main families — the Targaryens, Lannisters and Starks — there will be a couple of returning characters you may have forgot about. So, to avoid as much confusion as possible when Game of Thrones premieres, here are a few jolts to the old noggin.
(Editor’s Note: Possible spoilers ahead for season seven of Game of Thrones.)
Gendry hasn’t been seen since season three of Game of Thrones, so it is completely reasonable for fans to need a quick refresher regarding the importance of Robert Baratheon’s bastard son. Throughout the first three seasons, Gendry was one of the more significant characters on the series, and his very existence indirectly led to Ned Stark’s death. It was only after Ned discovered that Gendry was Robert’s bastard (something John Arryn had previously learned) that he came to the conclusion that Joffrey was actually Cersei and Jaime Lannister’s child.
Following Ned Stark’s beheading, Gendry left King’s Landing for the Night’s Watch, at which point he meets Arya Stark. Gendry and Arya never make it to the Wall, and end up in Tywin Lannister’s custody at Harrenhal. Thanks to Jaqen H’ghar, however, they both escape, but not long after are captured by the Brotherhood Without Banners. It is with the Brotherhood that Gendry first meets Melisandre, more commonly known as the Red Woman, who reveals to him that he is actually the bastard son of the late king.
After seducing Gendry, the Red Woman uses leeches to steal his blood as part of a ritual that is meant to result in the deaths of Stannis Baratheon’s enemies. It’s not a stretch to assume that Gendry would have eventually been burned at the stake (like Princess Shireen in season six) by the Red Woman as well. Fortunately, this never occurs, as Ser Davos, who has always been skeptical of the Red Woman, frees Gendry and sends him away on a row boat. And that is the last time we have seen him.
Though HBO has not confirmed this, Gendry is expected to return in season seven. Fan site Watchers on the Wall even uncovered some footage of Joe Dempsie, the actor who plays Gendry, filming on the set. What role he’ll play going forward is not entirely clear, but as the last remaining son of Robert Baratheon (that we know of), Gendry could be destined for great things.
2. Beric Dondarrion
While Beric Dondarrion was seen in season six, his appearance was so brief that there was little time to relive his backstory. The character will be a part of season seven, though, and it looks like he may play his largest role in the series yet. Beric’s first Game of Thrones appearance was in season one. Initially played by actor David Michael Scott, he was charged by Ned Stark with executing the Mountain for his crimes. That obviously did not work out too well, as we all know the Mountain is still alive (sort of).
Beric Dondarrion shows up later in season three, then played by Richard Dormer. At this point he has committed himself to the Lord of Light, and formed the Brotherhood Without Banners. His significance becomes readily apparent after a duel with the Hound, who Arya had accused of murder. Beric proves himself to be an adept swordsman, and shocks the Hound when he is able to set his sword aflame, seemingly by using magic. But Beric’s battles with the Cleganes never seem to go too well, and he is eventually struck down. His death doesn’t last long, as he is soon revived by Thoros of Myr, a follower of the Lord of Light.
Beric’s revival is significant for several reasons, but most importantly, it may have indirectly led to Jon Snow’s resurrection in season six. When the Red Woman learns of what Thoros was able to accomplish, she was in shock, thinking it not possible. She later recalls that event when Ser Davos asks her if she could bring Jon back to life. Beric is next seen in season six, when the Hound was hunting down members of the Brotherhood that attacked his new community. After allowing the Hound to hang two of the rogue members of the Brotherhood, Beric invites him to join the battle yet to come.
In season seven, it looks like Beric Dondarrion will travel north, possibly to take part in the imminent battle against the White Walkers. He is seen in a snowy climate during the most recent trailer. If you examine the angles closely, it appears that he has joined Jon Snow, the King in the North.
3. Walder Frey
To be fair, Walder Frey was seen as recently as the season six finale. But it is the nature in which he may show up next season that warrants his inclusion in this article. As most Game of Thrones fans likely remember, Walder Frey was killed by Arya Stark, who is now essentially becoming an unstoppable serial killer with the power to change her appearance. Despite his demise, Watchers on the Wall reported a few months ago that David Bradley, the actor who plays Frey, will surprisingly be part of season seven.
The most likely reason (other than flashbacks) for Frey’s inclusion going forward is not his resurrection (not even his allies enjoyed his company), but rather that Arya will be masquerading as the character — remember, Arya has trained with the Faceless Men, and disguised herself as a servant to kill Frey. And to understand why Arya would want to impersonate Walder Frey, it is important to revisit his history on Game of Thrones.
Walder Frey first appeared in season one, when Catelyn Stark met with him to negotiate allowing Robb Stark and his army to pass through the Twins. In order to secure passing, Robb agrees to marry one of Frey’s many daughters or granddaughters. After Robb breaks that oath, Frey ends up making a deal with Roose Bolton and Tywin Lannister that results in the Red Wedding — the end of Robb’s rebellion, and the reason Frey made it onto Arya’s lengthy kill list.
Frey pops up again in season six after he loses control of Riverrun. Jaime Lannister is sent, along with the Lannister army, to help the Freys reclaim the castle and defeat the Blackfish — which they ultimately do. It is following the celebration with the Lannisters that Arya arrives, disguised as a servant, and slits Walder Frey’s throat. Should Walder Frey appear in season seven, it will likely be as a way for Arya to get close to the Lannisters. While Jaime acknowledges his distaste for Frey during the celebration, it is clear at the moment that the Lannisters still intend on keeping their alliance.
4. Ser Jorah Mormont
Since Ser Jorah Mormont has appeared during every season of Game of Thrones, and over two-thirds of the episodes, we will not revisit his entire history on the show. His inclusion in this article, though, is due to his circumstances when he most recently appeared. Jorah is one of Daenerys Tagaryen’s most staunch allies. He did, however, fall out of the Queen’s good graces when she learned that he had previously been providing Varys with information regarding her activities (this leads to his exile).
While banished from Daenerys’ side, Jorah ends up capturing Tyrion Lannister, who had fled King’s Landing after being sentenced to death for his alleged role in King Joffrey’s murder. On their way to meet Daenerys, Jorah and Tyrion are attacked by men infected with greyscale. Jorah is touched by one of the infected while fighting them off, and thus contracts the disease himself. Hiding his illness, Jorah later saves Daenerys from the Sons of the Harpy, and then tracks her down while she is being held by the Dothraki.
Daenerys accepts Jorah back into her service following his continued demonstration of loyalty. After he reveals that his infection with greyscale has been spreading, Daenerys charges him with finding a cure and then returning to her side as an adviser. During season seven, we will probably follow Jorah as he searches for a cure to the deadly disease, but whether he will succeed is not certain. To date, the only person on Game of Thrones known to have been cured of the disease is Princess Shireen. Should Jorah’s quest take him to Westeros, perhaps we will find him in the north alongside his cousin, Lyanna, the distinctly awesome, 10-year-old head of House Mormont.
For more on the upcoming season of Game of Thrones, check out the most recent trailer below, and relive some of the more important storylines from season six here.
Game of Thrones returns July 16 at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO.