Six Game of Thrones characters bound to be big in season 7 ... we hope

There’ll be a lot of plot lines and people to cram into the remaining episodes of HBO’s Game of Thrones. We look at what happened to some of the key characters at the end of season 6, and where the story could take them next

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 July, 2017, 7:02am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 July, 2017, 5:51pm

With apparently only 13 episodes left in the series, HBO’s wildly popular Game of Thrones has a lot to live up to in its last two seasons.

Departing from its traditional 10-episode-a-season format, season 7, which premieres on HBO Asia on July 17, has only seven episodes. Fans the world over are wondering whether the show will be able to touch upon all the characters in George R. R. Martin’s expansive fantasy realm.

Here are six we think will surely get a look-in … if we’re lucky.

Sansa Stark

Sansa Stark’s badass moment came in the penultimate episode (traditionally the most dramatic in Game of Thrones) of Season 6. Titled “Battle of the Bastards”, it saw Sansa (Sophie Turner) and her stepbrother Jon Snow (Kit Harington), accompanied by brothers of the Night’s Watch, face off against Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) and his army on the fields outside the Starks’ home of Winterfell.

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The battle takes up most of the episode, and begins when Ramsay cruelly releases Rickon Stark (Art Parkinson), the second youngest son of House Stark, before killing him with an arrow just before he reaches Jon and safety.

The tide is with Ramsay’s side until the Knights of the Vale, called to Winterfell by Sansa sending word to Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen), descend upon Ramsay’s men in a dramatic cavalry charge. Jon pursues Ramsay into the Winterfell castle, beats him to a pulp, and then has him chained to a chair in the dungeon.

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The episode ends, very satisfyingly, with Sansa visiting Ramsay and watching his own hounds – a symbol of Ramsay’s tyrannical and sadistic reign of fear – tear him to shreds. Writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss revealed in an interview after the episode aired that it took many takes to get Sansa’s smirk as she walks away, to the sound of feeding dogs and Ramsay’s dying screams, just right. But, oh, it was worth it.

Having now reunited with Jon, and with no idea whether her little brother, Bran, and sister, Arya, are alive, will Sansa go looking for them? Or will Baelish continue to manipulate her?

Arya Stark

Not to be outdone by her older sister, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) had arguably one of the most killer sign-offs – pun intended – in Season 6’s last episode.

Having learned all she can from the Many-Faced God, and realising she’ll never be one of the Faceless Men, the younger sister finally comes into her own and leaves Braavos to start kicking ass and taking names. Specifically, names from her kill list. At the top is Lord Walder Frey, who’s responsible for the deaths of Arya’s brother, Robb, and mother, Catelyn in the traumatic “Red Wedding” of Season 3 episode 9.

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Using skills she acquired from the Faceless Men, Arya enters House Frey disguised as a maid. After serving Lord Frey a slice of pie, she reveals to him it was made from two of his sons she’d killed, then slits the old man’s throat.

Now that she’s free from the Hound and the Faceless Men, Arya is a bit of a loose cannon, and a delightfully independent and strong-willed one at that. Whether she heads back to King’s Landing to knock off a few more names from her kill list or journeys on to look for her remaining siblings, she’s sure to take fans on one hell of a ride.

Jon Snow

As a man of the Night’s Watch he swore an oath that his watch “shall not end until my death”, yet the fact that he died in a mutiny, and was then resurrected by the magic of Melisandre (Carice van Houten), means Jon Snow (who knows nothing) is technically no longer Lord Commander of the Wall.

After he’d hanged those who killed him, Jon passed his mantle to Eddison Tollett (Ben Crompton) before setting off to Winterfell with Sansa to reclaim his childhood home. However, it’s unlikely that Jon has forgotten about what he calls “the real battle”, which is with the White Walkers north of the Wall.

As “winter is coming”, Jon knows the Seven Kingdoms don’t stand a chance of surviving a long winter if people won’t stop fighting over the Iron Throne and band together to fight the White Walkers.

Will this have him stay north to lead the defence, or will he journey further south to convince others of the need to unite and muster forces?

Daenerys Targaryen

It took her six seasons, but (get ready) Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, The First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of Meereen, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons, finally has her army and her ships, and is on her way to Westeros to claim the Iron Throne.

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She has her army of the Unsullied, her Dothraki, her dragons, and, as an added bonus, she has Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) and eunuch Lord Varys (Conleth Hill).

With all that, will Dany (Emilia Clarke) be able to claim the coveted throne (who knows why, it looks uncomfortable) she believes is hers by right?

She’d always been cunning and hell-bent on achieving her ambitions, but with varying degrees of success. She’s also always been quite dramatic, so whether she triumphs or fails, it will be an emotional spectacle. Let’s just hope she doesn’t acquire many more titles.

Tyrion Lannister

One of the most beloved characters since Season 1, Tyrion Lannister is the black sheep of his family and the one no one expects much of. His family also regularly tries to off him. Talk about taking sibling rivalry to the extreme. Having found his way to Meereen and offered his services as adviser to Daenerys, Tyrion helps her navigate and stave off disaster at the hands of the Sons of the Harpy. Now within Dany’s inner circle, Tyrion may be the one to help her reach the throne. However, he’s also a fan favourite to be ruler of Westeros himself.

Tyrion has the perfect blend of manipulativeness, smarts, and competency to rule. More importantly, he has compassion. Whatever happens in Season 7, we beg you, Benioff and Weiss, we implore you: do not kill off Tyrion Lannister. If you do, the Game of Thrones panel at Comic Con 2018 will make “Battle of the Bastards” seem like a playpen scuffle.

Cersei Lannister

Has there ever been a more conniving yet sympathetic character than Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey)? Yes, on the one hand, you totally hate her for all the lives she’s taken and the way she’s killed those who stood in her way.

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On the other hand, many of her decisions and actions stem from her instincts as a mother ensuring the best for her children. Having inadvertently killed her last child, King Tommen Baratheon (Dean-Charles Chapman) by murdering his love and queen in the blast at the Sept of Baylor and thus driving him to commit suicide, Cersei finally has what she’s always desired: power. She is now the one to sit upon the Iron Throne.

In all the previous seasons, Cersei has been a super villain in her efforts to secure a glorious future for her children. Now she has no children left, what will drive her ambition? Will she prove to be a tough-as-nails but capable ruler? Or will her grief fuel her rage and point her towards destruction? Also, with Tyrion on his way back to King’s Landing, are we about to have the ultimate Lannister siblings face-off?