Game of Thrones: The 7 Things You Need to Know for Season 7

By AT&T Digital Media Productions editorial team

Game of Thrones returns in all its bloody, fiery glory on July 16. According to HBO, there will be 13 more episodes of the hit show, spread over two final seasons. In Season 6, the show finally caught up to George R. R. Martin’s unfinished series. Without book spoilers to worry about, the showrunners gave us some seriously satisfying moments.

So what’s left to look forward to? Plenty! Without further ado, here’s the most pressing unfinished business remaining in the Seven Kingdoms and what Thrones has absolutely got to deliver.

7. The Hound vs. the Mountain

The series was always setting up a showdown between brothers Sandor and Gregor Clegane, aka the Hound and the Mountain. The Lannister-allied Cleganes were the two fiercest, cruelest warriors in the land. Plus, they hated each other. Sandor swore he would one day murder his older brother, the bully who burned his face as a child.

But Cleganebowl seemed a lost possibility after Sandor got left for dead in the wilderness at the end of Season 4. Gregor, too, “died” after facing (and killing) fan favorite Oberyn Martell. But now both the Hound and the Mountain are back in the game, and one is a terrifying silent zombie. It seems inevitable that they’ll face off and give us the signature swordfight of the show. Will it be another trial by combat, a chance meeting on the battlefield, or just personal?


Euron Greyjoy

6. House Greyjoy becomes relevant

The seafaring Greyjoys have been bit players in the game, fighting for scraps of respect from the mainland. They have no money, no territory, and no lasting victories. Their king, Balon Greyjoy, lacked charisma. Balon’s son Theon has been a shell of his former self and, frankly, sort of a drag since his heel turn in Season 2. His sister Yara has only recently started to take a stab at leadership.

Things started to get interesting for House Greyjoy when Uncle Euron showed up, casually murdered Balon, and quickly won the Salt Throne (the Iron Islands are, at least, a democracy). Theon and Yara fled to Daenerys, presenting the dragon queen with a fleet of stolen ships. Newly declared King Euron, of course, vowed to pursue his niece and nephew. Daenerys will have to cut through Euron and the Greyjoy forces before taking Westeros. Which brings us to…


daenerys targaryen

5. Daenerys the Conqueror

 Finally, finally, the show has set its endgame in motion. Season 6 ended on Daenerys Targaryen, loyal friends by her side and an army in tow, standing on a ship headed west. Her dragons swooped above in a stirring display of Targaryen might. After six seasons, fans wondered if we’d ever see the exiled princess reclaim her birthright. Now the Khaleesi’s conquest of the Seven Kingdoms looks inevitable, though her path to victory remains murky.

It looks like she’s headed for Dorne first, to join forces with the Tyrell and Martell families. But will the other great houses of Westeros bend to a foreign conqueror, or will Dany face yet another political mess? And of course the Iron Throne has a brand-new queen on it already.



4. The Lannisters pay their debt (to society)

The end of last season saw Cersei Lannister, in a fabulous Maleficent-meets-Vader getup, getting comfy on the throne after blowing up her detractors. Only siblings Cersei, Jaime, and Tyrion remain from that conniving clan, but the three have such a juicy, tangled dynamic that there’s loads more Lannister drama in store.

Cersei is sure to be a deliciously power-mad and unrepentant dictator. Her vengeance didn’t end at the now-imploded Sept of Baelor. Tyrion, who fled Westeros after killing their father Tywin, is about to return with a foreign army.

But Jaime is the Lannister to watch. Known for being a (literal) backstabber, he spent his life devoted to his twin sister Cersei. Like, really devoted. But he gets a dose of much-needed humility after losing his hand, which spurs a change of heart. Now Jaime seems uncertain about his sister’s evil plans and is headed for a big decision. Will he stay loyal to his twin, or support their younger brother Tyrion instead?


Jon Snow

3. Jon Snow’s parent trap

Season 6 confirmed what book fans and careful viewers already guessed: Jon Snow is not Ned Stark’s bastard son. He’s the long-lost love child of Ned’s sister Lyanna and Prince Rhaegar Targaryen, protected by the Starks his entire life. Unfortunately, Jon doesn’t know that, and he just declared himself King in the North—a position reserved for the Stark family.

Will Jon be the key to uniting the North under Daenerys, or will learning their leader’s true parentage turn the North against him? First, someone has to tell Jon the truth. Which means we need…


Bran Stark

2. A Stark family reunion

 The Stark siblings were separated in Season 1 and have spent the whole series trying to find each other again. They’ve encountered danger, villainy, and some truly awful fates along the way. Their parents Ned and Catelyn are dead, along with brothers Robb and Rickon. After her torture and captivity by Ramsay Bolton, Sansa rejoined Jon last season, which means only Arya and Bran need to find their way back to Winterfell.

Arya is headed there after a pit stop to enact sick revenge on Walder Frey for the Red Wedding. She’s proven herself a capable, if bloodthirsty, badass. Bran, fresh off his vision quest with the Three-Eyed Raven, is the only person who knows the secret of Jon’s Targaryen lineage. Let’s hope they both make it home before the Long Night begins, because…



1. Dragons vs. ice zombies!

Game of Thrones has always been clear that the wars of mortal kings are nothing compared to the true danger: the terrifying White Walkers and their undead horde. Led by the icy Night King, the Walkers are poised to bust through the Wall and unleash frozen Hell on Westeros. The Night’s Watch is ill-equipped for the challenge, and the lords of the Seven Kingdoms are distracted by their power struggles.

When the White Walkers breach the Wall, who will save mankind? Will it be Jon Snow-Stark-Targaryen, King in the North? Or Daenerys, with her convenient trio of dragons? Or will the Seven Kingdoms finally unite to face the threat? Whatever happens, we’ll see a killer battle featuring fire-breathing dragons and masses of ice zombies. In a show that’s never failed to deliver astonishing battlefield set pieces, this is sure to be the best yet.