Game of Thrones season 7 is just around the corner and if you don't have time to re-watch all of the episodes before its return, we've got you covered!
Winter is here
After almost 6 years of hearing that 'winter is coming' it was a chilling moment at the end of the last season to hear the proclamation 'winter is here'. If only Ned Stark had lived to see the day, eh?
Now that winter has arrived it heralds the beginning of the Great War – between man and the White Walkers, and as Davos says in a trailer for season 7, if everyone can't band together to fight their common enemy, there will be nothing to rule.
As we now know, Bran can travel through time and influence the past, present and future. Through his visions we have seen events that have already come to pass (Jon Snow's birth, visions of the Mad King etc) and ones that had/have yet to happen (Cersei's wildfire explosion, dragons flying over King's landing and so on).
The question of why Hodor only ever said 'Hodor' was heartbreakingly revealed in season 6 and further showcased the scope of Bran's power. Without the guiding hand of the Three-Eyed Raven going forward, it will be interesting to see what else unwinds as the show nears an end.
In season 6 a long running fan theory was proven as it was revealed that Jon Snow is the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, not Ned's son from an affair while he was away at war. Bran is currently the only person with this knowledge – that we know of – and he is travelling to Winterfell with the news. The revelation means Jon is Daenerys' nephew and it's the kind of information that could cause absolute mayhem going forward.
Way back during the War of the Five Kings, Cersei ordered that all of Robert Baratheon's bastard children be killed lest they try to make a claim for the throne. One of these was Gendry, who was a friend of Arya and a one time member of the Brotherhood Without Banners. Completely unaware of his lineage, Gendry was sold to Melissandre and brought to Dragonstone where she seduced him and leached his blood for one of her rituals.
Davos helped him to escape from Dragonstone, putting him on a small boat off the island. He has not been seen since, but after actor Joe Dempsie was spotted on the season 7 set, it is expected that he will finally make his return to the screen.
King in the North
With Jon Snow having been named the White Wolf and King in the North following his defeat of Ramsay and the recapture of Winterfell, he has a lot to deal with aside from looking after his people. There's the impending problem of the White Walkers, Littlefinger's attempts to turn Sansa against him, and the idea of the north becoming independent of King's Landing's rule.
It is expected this season that Jon and Daenerys will meet and re-establish the the Pact of Ice and Fire; and alliance once held between the Starks and Targaryens. During the Targaryen rule over the seven kingdoms, the Starks were allowed to stay in control of the North while remaining loyal to the Iron Throne. Could this deal be struck again between Jon and Daenerys?
Currently in Oldtown studying in the Citadel's maester library, Sam is in search of knowledge with regard to how they can defeat the White Walker army. On his way to Oldtown, with Gilly and baby Sam, he stopped off for a visit with his family, who were frankly horrible people, but as he was leaving he took his father's Valryian steel sword – one of the only things known to stand strong again the White Walkers.
Valyrian steel swords
Speaking of Valyrian steel swords – who has them? Well, Sam for one. Jon Snow. Jaime Lannister. Brienne of Tarth. And Littlefinger is possibly still in the possession of a Valyrian steel dagger. Then there are a few known swords that have been lost in rebellions and fights that could turn up anywhere.
In the first ever flashback scene in the show we saw Cersei as a child receiving a prophecy. The prophecy said she would marry the king (she married Robert) and that he would have 20 children and that she would have three, who would all die – which has now happened with Joffrey and Myrcella being poisoned on separate occasions, and with Tommen jumping from the window of the red keep after the wildfire explosion.
Another part of the prophecy said she would be queen for a time until someone 'younger, more beautiful' came along to 'cast you down and take all you hold dear' and it was never fully clear if this referred to Margaery Tyrell or Daenerys, but with Margaery now dead, all Cersei has left is power and Daenerys is on her way to try to take that from her.
And the final part of the prophecy, which was not included in the TV series (but it is in the book), was that Cersei's younger brother would eventually kill her. Jaime has killed a reigning monarch before for the good of the realm, so he might have to take matter into his own hands once again. However Tyrion is the more obvious option due to their intense hatred of each other, and his allegiance with Daenerys, but it could go either way.
Theon and Yara are currently aligned with Daenerys as she makes her way towards Westeros to lay claim on the Iron Throne, but it's their uncle Euron that needs to be watched out for this season as he may possess a horn that can control dragons.
Last season Euron killed his brother Balon and took his place on the Salt Throne of the Iron Islands following a King's Moot against Yara, which she lost. Building a fleet of ships, which he intended on offering to Daenerys but can't now because of Theon and Yara's involvement with her, it is expected that he will join forces with Cersei.
Dragons can be controlled by special horns and Euron possesses one he claims to have found in Valyria. If he could control Daenerys' dragons that would be a huge blow to her.
Beric Dondarrion; a Stark ally and member of the Brotherhood Without Banners who has been killed and brought back by to life by Thoros of Myr numerous times. The last we saw of him, he was travelling north with The Hound and the Brotherhood towards the fight against the White Walkers.
In a trailer for season 7 we see him wielding a flaming sword, which ties into the Azor Ahai theory that he was reborn and will wield the sword – lightbringer – that can defeat the darkness.
Azor Ahai and the Prince That Was Promised are spoken about a lot by Melissandre who initially believed that Stannis was the reincarnation of him. Of course, he wasn't, so she turned her eyes on Jon Snow, who she brought back to life. Daenerys – The Mother of Dragons and the Unburnt – is another contender.
Game of Thrones returns to Sky Atlantic at 2am on Monday, July 17 with the episode repeated later that night at 9pm.