The long, hard wait is almost over: Game of Thrones season seven will begin July 16 on HBO. A lot can (and has) been debated over the last season of this sometimes magical, sometimes infuriating, but always engrossing show. Was it too fan-servicey? Were the breaks from JRR Martin’s book canon justifiable? Was Ramsay’s sick end too good for him? (Yes). But one thing that can’t be argued is that there was a lot going on. Game of Thrones has dozens of important characters, and they’re all making moves all the time. Who can keep it all straight?
Well as a service to our readers who don’t have the time to do a binge rewatch of last season but want to hit season seven running, here is a quick recap where we left all the major characters, plus a few theories of where my colleagues think the story is heading. It goes without saying, but here there be spoilers.
Let's start with main characters who died and therefore (probably) won’t be making any more appearances on the show, short of a red priest Magic Max intervention.
Trystane Martell was the first of the named characters to get got. Right in the first episode he made the mistake of turning his back on a Sand Snake, and came down with a fatal splitting headache.[caption id="attachment_7895" align="aligncenter" width="300"] A “splitting headache”, get it? Oh we have fun here[/caption]
Roose Bolton is next to go, stabbed in the gut by his bastard son Ramsey. The charmer that he is, Ramsey then finishes off his family by letting his dogs eat Roose’s wife, Walda Frey, and Roose and Walda’s newborn baby.
King Balon Greyjoy of the Iron Islands did a good job of outlasting the four other kings involved with him in the War of Five Kings, but his luck finally ran out. Balon got tossed off a rickety bridge by his own brother, Euron. At this point in the season, almost every murdered main character has been killed by a family member. Casually bring this bit of trivia up at the dinner table and see where the conversation goes.
Alliser Thorne and Jon Snow’s little buddy Olly are hanged by Jon for their part in Jon’s assassination. Jon hid it well, but I think he felt a little satisfaction at getting back at Olly for killing his girlfriend.
Osha, who along with Rickon Stark was captured by forces loyal to the Boltons, is murdered by our good friend Ramsey. The charmer that he is, Ramsey casually continues to peel and eat an apple as Osha bleeds out at his feet.
The Three-Eyed Raven is killed by White Walkers. I think. Can The Three-Eyed Raven really die? He puffs away in a cloud of smoke, sort of Jedi-style. We will see.
Hodor…guys, don’t make me do this. Hodor goes to a farm upstate to play with puppies.
Brynden “Blackfish” Tully is killed off-camera by Lannister forces after they take back Riverrun. We all know to take news of deaths that happen off-camera with a grain of salt, but I think we can trust this one. RIP Blackfish.
The Waif stabs Arya Stark multiple times in the gut and watches her sink below the surface of the polluted river that runs through Braavos. Somehow Arya shrugs this off and manages to kill The Waif with her sword, Needle.
Rickon Stark refuses to run in a serpentine fashion while trying to get to Jon, and is fatally struck by an arrow fired by none other than our best bud, Ramsey Bolton. Rickon does not utter a single line throughout this whole season.
The Wilding giant Wun Wun is shot full of arrows after breaking through the gate at Winterfell. It seems like the arrows are making him a bit sleepy but he may pull through when, lo and behold, an arrow goes through his eye and he goes down for the final time. The culprit who fired the coup de grâce? OUR VERY BEST FRIEND AND FAVORITE PERSON IN THE WORLD, RAMSEY BOLTON.
Ramsey Bolton finally gets what’s coming to him after he is captured by Jon Snow and Sansa allows his own hounds to devour him. Now who will be the Best Man at my wedding?
Well, that brings us all the way to the last episode. Practically done with this list, right? Oh you sweet summer child.
Margery Tyrell, Loras Tyrell, Mace Tyrell, Grand Maester Pycelle, Lancel Lannister, Kevan Lannister, and the High Sparrow all get taken out by Cersei Lannister’s machinations. Most go up in a huge wildfire explosion that also takes out the majority of the other nobles in King’s Landing.
Dumb, sweet King Tommen Baratheon kills himself upon seeing the carnage his mother has wrought. Tommen was the last of the Baratheons, even though he was hardly an actual Baratheon.
Finally, Arya Stark notches another three kills when she–bear with me here–murders Lothar Frey and Black Walder Frey, butchers them, bakes them into a pie, and feeds the pie to their father, Walder Frey. PS she then slits Walder Frey’s throat and watches him die while she smiles a little blissed-out smile. Guys, I think someone needs to talk to Arya.
Actually that leaves a lot of characters still. Here is where we last saw all our major players, grouped by where in the world they are.
Bran Stark and Meera Reed are about to make their way south of The Wall, after being saved by Coldhands, also known as Bran's uncle, Benjen Stark. There has been some theorizing that since Bran was touched by the Night King (who is also up in the far north), as soon as Bran crosses The Wall it will crumble to the ground. This is because The Wall's real ability to protect relies on magic, presumably the same sort of magic that failed to protect The Three Eyed Raven's den as soon as the Night King's mark made it inside. We shall see.
Dolorous Edd is somehow the acting Lord Commander of the Night's Watch up at The Wall. He has about six or seven guys now, so good luck Edd.
Jon Snow and Sansa Stark are united and back at home in Winterfell. Presumably this is also where Littlefinger is, since the last we saw of him he was standing with Sansa on a hill, watching the knights of the Vale mow down the Bolton army. Davos Seaworth is advising the two, and just got Melisandre banished for burning up poor Princess Shireen in season five.
Tormund Giantsbane is also up in Winterfell, pining away for his true love. Speaking of which...
We last saw Brianne of Tarth and Podrick Payne in the Riverlands, making their way back to Sansa. Despite Podrick's incredibly slow paddling, they probably will have made it back up north by the beginning of the season.
The Hound is also somewhere around, mulling over the offer from Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr to join The Brotherhood Without Banners. If they throw in a couple chickens I bet they can win him over.
Samwell Tarly and Gilly have made it to The Citadel and Sam is filling out forms and showing old utility bills in order to get a library card. We also saw that the Maesters have released the white ravens that mean–say it with me now–winter is here.
Jaimie Lannister and Bronn made it back to the city just in time to see Qyburn, wearing a Hand of the King pin, crowning Cercei as the Queen. All of the surviving nobles in the city look very invested in not getting burned to death with wildfire. Zombie The Mountain is also hulking around.
Down in Dorne Olenna Tyrell has made an alliance with Ellaria Sand and her backup band the Sand Snakes, with Obara Sand on spear, Nymeria Sand on the whip, and Tyene Sand with the long daggers. It seems that Varys has been busy and got the Dornish and the Tyrell's on the side of Dany. Which brings us to...
The A team is all here: Daenerys Targaryen, Varys, Tyrion Lannister, Theon Greyjoy, Yara Greyjoy, Grey Worm, and Missandre, along with three full-grown dragons, a navy full of the Ironborn's best ships, an army of Unsullied, and a cavalry of Dothraki. All of them sailing to Westros to sort out this whole government thing.Also presumably on the water somewhere is Gendry, in a rowboat.
Keep rowing Gendry, you're almost back in the show!
There already are horses, cults, and inhuman killing machines in both. Would this be so surprising? This is a distinct possibility. Both shows are HBO properties after all. Yes, I like this theory."I don't give a flip about this show. Let me know though if you want theories on what will happen with Tinsley's love life in RHONY!!!!" - Anne Disappointing, but not exactly unexpected. "I mean, Jon and Dany are gonna make eyes at each other and kiss a few times and then they're going to discover that they're actually first cousins and it's going to get awkward and then Tyrion's gonna be like, 'ok ok ok but I wanna take over the kingdom still, k?' and then cercei's gonna die or whatever and jamie's going to finally end up with Brie, the cheese not the warrior lady, and littlefinger's going to fall into a well bye littlefinger, and who else matters? oh, and then the white walkers probably win the whole thing in extra innings." - Carolyn There you have it folks!