Game of Thrones Season 7 producers and showrunners have tried to keep a lid on the script, taking extraordinary measures that keep even the media out of the loop. The hype that GoT generates, however, is unprecedented, and as we all know, it really is impossible to keep a secret in the 21st century.
Back in October 2016, a Reddit user going by awayforthelads posted a supposed leak of all the major plot points for Game of Thrones Season 7 on the r/FreeFolk sub-Reddit. Naturally, skepticism ensued. However, all along, there seemed to be hints that maybe, just maybe, the leak was at least partly legit. For one thing, the plot points listed are pretty detailed and specific. Awayforthelads has deleted his Reddit account since then, but others have luckily saved and reposted the info. There are other signs that the leak came from a relevant source. Nathalie Emmanuel, who plays Missandei, Tweeted, "It's really disappointing there are people who are determined to ruin Season 7 for everyone... ? #spoilsports." Was it just the idea of a leak that upset her? HBO has refused to comment on the plot at all, which, by itself, may be significant.
Once shooting started at multiple locations that make up the Westeros landscape we’ve come to know and love around the world, eagle-eyed fans and their mobile phones were able to capture bits of evidence that have supported at least some of the scenes as outlined in the infamous leak. Will it matter if you know some of what’s going to happen in GoT 7, in the end? A few sentences of description can’t match the drama of, say, a Battle of the Bastards, or any of the other scenes we’ve been treated to over the last six seasons.
Winter’s coming soon – Game of Thrones Season 7 arrives on Sunday, July 16 at 9-10 pm ET/PT on HBO.
15 Dany Lands At Dragonstone In Episode 1
GoT recently released typically vague descriptions of the first three episodes. The first goes by the title "Dragonstone," and the official one-sentence description ends with the cryptic words "...Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) comes home." According to the leaked script outline, that happens at the end of the first episode, with Dany taking over her family’s ancestral home. She has Tyrion by her side as her adviser. Fans have spotted the Dany entourage filming in Bilbao, which, according to rumor, is the location for Dragonstone. The Mother of Dragons will have to make her way across the lands to Dragonstone first, with Euron Greyjoy, played by Pilo Asbaek, out to get her. That means the journey won’t be an easy one, but we can expect her to persevere, as always (so far – because nothing’s off the table in GoT,) and reach the place her family once called home.
14 Dany & Jon...
There have been strong hints that there will be one major character meet during the first episode, but that’s not likely to involve fan faves Dany and Jon Snow. For that, they’ll have to wait a couple of weeks. The theory goes that Jon is aware they'll need the dragonglass from Dragonstone to combat the White Walkers, so he acquiesces when he gets Dany's summons – that flock of ravens above the skies of Westeros you saw in the trailer. In about Episode 3, Jon and Davos are to arrive at Dragonstone. Once again, the fans have captured pics of what looks like the filming of this very scene. Tyrion meets them at the beach with Dothraki, and the three meet Missandei and Grey Worm on their way to see Dany. Peter Dinklage (Tyrion), Nathalie Emmanuel, and Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm) have also been spotted in Bilbao, and there were casting calls for Dothraki types. The fan intelligence network is strong. This scene reunites Jon and Tyrion, who last saw each other just before Tyrion was captured by Catelyn. One other aspect of the meeting from the leak involves Melisandre. She's said to remark that she’s fulfilled her task by bringing Ice and Fire together when Dany and Jon meet. Carice van Houten has also been spotted in Bilbao. Looks like Jon and Dany team up in more ways than one, no doubt pleasing many fans who’ve been waiting for this to happen.
13 Gendry Is Back
Gendry, bastard son of King Robert Baratheon, is back in Season 7. We last saw him way back in Season 3. He disappeared after Ser Davos Seaworth helped him escape from Melisandre's clutches when the Brotherhood Without Banners callously sold him off to her for a couple of bags of gold. Melisandre seduces him, then takes him prisoner. We last saw him leaving Dragonstone in a rowboat after Davos frees him. He's now the last surviving Baratheon, so even though he doesn't seem to have a hugely important role, the very fact he's re-emerging is significant. According to the leaked script notes, Davos and Tyrion go to King’s Landing, specifically to find Gendry. They're attacked by Gold Cloaks and then saved by a seeming stranger who attacks the Gold Cloaks with a huge Warhammer – it’s Gendry, and it’s King Robert’s Warhammer he’s wielding. Once again, we can thank fans who got footage of what seems to be this scene as it was filmed in Spain. Davos and Gendry are preparing a boat to leave when they’re accosted by the guards. That’s when Gendry steps in with the Warhammer that was used to kill Prince Rhaegar. Now, the question is, what reward will he get for saving the life of Queen Daenerys's and Jon Snow’s right-hand men?
12 Jorah Finds A Cure
Jorah Mormont, played by Iain Glen, has gone through his share of ups and downs with Dany. First in favor, then out, he fought his way back into her good graces by saving her from the Sons of the Harpy and Dothraki, but it cost him his health when he contracted Greyscale. Dany ordered him to come back to her service once he found a cure in Season 6. Now, the first trailer includes a shot of him with an obvious case of Greyscale, but he’s been seen at the Dragonstone set filming with Dany and Tyrion. Rumor has it that it’s Sam who cures him of the horrible disease. Back in form, it would appear that Jorah is due for some adventuring in Season 7. Instagram posts by Kristofer Hivju, who plays Tormund Giantsbane, show him hanging with actors Iain Glen and Rory McCann, who plays Sandor The Hound Clegane – characters that have actually never appeared together before on screen. They were spotted filming a scene at Wolf Hill, near Belfast, Northern Ireland, a quarry that has been turned into an island in the middle of a frozen lake.
11 Dany Sends Jon, Tyrion, & Gendry On A Mission
GoT 7 will include an epic mission, it seems, one that involves a slew of fan fave characters. After Gendry is back in the picture, he, Tyrion, and Davos return to Dragonstone. Once Jon also returns, allegedly to swear allegiance to Queen Daenerys, the Queen sends her best men on a mission. That includes Jon, Davos, Jorah, and Gendry, along with Thoros, played by Paul Kaye, and Beric Dondarrion, played by Richard Dormer. Both Beric and Thoros are members of the Brotherhood Without Banners, we’ll note. The Hound and Tormund join in, too. Supposedly, the supergroup heads north on their quest to find a wight and bring him back, and scenes of them together appear in the trailers. It’s Westeros, right? So what could possibly go wrong? We don’t have the exact answers to what happens along the way, (Dany saving the lads on a dragon, we hear) but we’re just saying, don’t get too attached to any of these guys.
10 The Kidnapped Wight
One of the things that lend credence to the leaked script posted on Reddit is the very specific details that seem to be played out in the pics, videos, and social media posts that fuel the rumor mill. One of the scenes the Reddit post describes involves Jon Snow bringing a kidnapped wight to King's Landing. Apparently, the ruling families of Westeros are having trouble believing Jon’s dire stories about the White Walkers and the wights, the gruesome reanimated corpses they create to fight in their armies. So, he brings one to the Dragonpit to show them, in a scene that includes Cersei, Tyrion, Daenerys, Sandor Clegane, and the Mountain. Superfans posted reports and pics that show the scene being filmed in Seville, Spain. According to the reports, the Mountain or the Hound tries to chop the wight into pieces – and the pieces keep moving around, something that terrifies Cersei. Nonetheless, the leaked script outline claims that she admits to Jaime that her promises of sending troops to help in the war against the White Walkers were a lie and that she wants that war to help thin out the ranks of her enemies.
9 The Fall Of Highgarden
Olenna Tyrell has pledged her allegiance to Dany after Cersei butchers most of the rest of her family, which keeps her on the Lannister hit list. In GoT 7, after the Lannisters forge an alliance with the Tarlys, Jaime and Bronn lead a force that attacks Highgarden. No definitive word on exactly how the battle unfolds, but fans snapped pics of Jaime and Bronn hanging around the castle ramparts, with the Lannister flag unfurling in the wind, which doubtless does not spell good news for Olenna. To add to the intrigue, the trailers have shown that Casterly Rock, seat of the Lannisters, falls to an army of the Unsullied, who are aligned with Dany. Does Dany send the Unsullied to conquer the Rock while she knows Jaime and Bronn are away? It would be a crafty Westeros move.
8 The Lannister Ambush
The attack on Highgarden seems to be the trigger that sends the competing ruling families of Westeros into all out war, including a battle that's rumored to rival the Battle Of The Bastards in scale. (Naturally – they need to up the ante with every season.) After the Lannisters leave Highgarden and make their way back to King's Landing, they're ambushed by the Dothraki and Dany with at least one dragon. The Lannisters have an anti-dragon spear thingie that was designed by Qyburn, but it doesn’t help in the end. Jaime and Bronn escape, so Dany takes her wrath out on the Tarlys, and someone (we don’t know who) is burned alive. Casting notices looked for many Dothraki types and horses, among other things. Fans spotted the battle scenes being filmed at Los Barruecos, in Malpartida, Spain. One other relatively minor note regarding the Lannisters: actor Mark Gatiss, who plays Tycho Nestoris, has revealed that he'll be back in both Season 7 and 8. So, what happens when he turns up on Cersei’s door looking for payment on the Lannister debt on behalf of the Iron Bank of Braavos?
7 Ayra: Reunions
Aryaa (Maisie Williams) has spent a lot of time on her own roaming the world and training as a fighter. At the end of Season 6, Arya was back in Westeros, just beginning her quest for vengeance against the Lannister clan for what they did to her family. In Game of Thrones Season 7, she finally gets to go home to Winterfell and is reunited with what remains of the Stark family – Jon and Sansa, played by Sophie Turner. The three have been caught on film on the GoT sets in Northern Ireland. And – what we’ve all been waiting for – Arya is reunited with Nymeria, at least for an episode or two. We haven’t seen nearly enough of the direwolves, and rumor has it that, what with the huge costs associated with filming each episode, the choice was dragons or direwolves. The show’s production team has obviously decided to favor the dragons, but we’re glad to see at least one direwolf still alive and well. That leak came from Instinct Animals For Film, the company that supplies GoT’s animal cast members. In interviews, Maisie has hinted that things are looking up for Arya this season and that she’d be back for Season 8, but of course no one’s path is without its ups and downs in Westeros.
6 Euron Greyjoy
Fans noted that filming began in Cáceres, Spain during a miserable, rainy season fit for the dawn of Winter in Westeros. One of the scenes captured and recorded by fans sees King Euron Greyjoy, as played by Pilou Asbæk, cementing his place as the baddie of Season 7. The pics show Euron leading a captive Yara, played by Gemma Whelan, through the streets of King's Landing, tied to his horse, along with Ellaria (Indira Varma) and Tyene (Rosabell Laurenti Sellers). The theory is that he’s attacking his niece and nephew to prove himself to Cersei as he attempts to forge an alliance with her. Theon escapes with his life. We’ve seen parts of the massive battle at sea between the Greyjoys in the trailers. Euron’s thousand ships carry the day, with Dany’s forces nowhere in sight. We’re curious about the aftermath. Will he become Queen Cersei’s King?
5 Yara And The Sand Snakes
If you like Yara, you’re probably best to get your fill of her in Season 7. After the Battle of the Greyjoys at sea, she’s taken captive, and we all know what generally happens to captives in Westeros. Ellaria, mother to five of the Sand Snakes, is one of the captives, as is her daughter Tyene, one of the Sand Snakes trained in combat. Nymeria Sand, we fear, doesn't make it out of the battle alive. The Dornish are included in Euron's feud against his niece and nephew, and they seem to be in a position of defeat. Actress Gemma Whelan has talked in interviews about the challenges of filming the watery battle scenes. One of the trailers shows a passionate kiss between Yara and Ellaria, which has many fans fearing for Yara -- since Ellaria poisoned Myrcella with a kiss in Season 5. Given what we now know about the scene where both are paraded through town as captives, it makes the kiss that much more intriguing. Do they get a moment of passion before the battle begins?
4 Jon And Theon Meet Again
Theon Greyjoy, played by Alfie Allen, escapes his sister's fate as a captive. TMZ captured a string of images from the battle at sea between the two Greyjoy factions, and in particular, a scene where Theon and Euron battle it out one on one on the beach as Euron's soldiers watch. Theon has blood on his face in one shot, and in another, Euron knocks him to the ground. But he survives somehow and escapes. Subsequent pics taken of the shoot in Spain see Theon being attacked by his own soldiers for unknown reasons – deserting Yara and leaving her to her fate, perhaps? After that, he reunites with Jon Snow, who isn’t happy to see him, and who also confronts him on the beach. He’s lost the battle to Euron, and there’s still that matter of Theon’s whole betrayal of the Stark family and all. Either way, it looks like the road is far from smooth for young Theon.
3 Sam Leaves His Studies
Samwell Tarly, aka Sam, played by John Bradley-West, is Jon Snow's best friend and a valued member of the Night's Watch. When we last saw him in Season 6, he had run away from his disapproving father with Gilly and their son little Sam. He looks agog at the vast library in Old Town. He’s still there, at the Citadel in Oldtown, training under the archmaester, (played by Jim Broadbent) at the beginning of Season 7. The clue we have here is that Broadbent has gone on record as saying he only appears in five of the season's seven episodes. Unless he or Sam dies, which, if they’re still in the Citadel, seems somewhat unlikely; logically, that means Sam must be leaving his studies at some point late in Season 7. Pictures from the set show Sam fleeing the Citadel and heading out of Oldtown. What makes him leave? – that’s the big question. Does he learn how to defeat the White Walkers once and for all? Or is it family trouble or something more mundane?
2 Benjen Returns
Benjen Stark, First Ranger in the Night's Watch and a hero of Jon Snow's, is back in Season 7. In Season 6, he appears in Bran Stark's visions, then later on, rescues Bran and Meera when they're chased by wights beyond the Wall. He's an undead but was saved from the fate of being a wight by the Children of the Forest, who inserted a piece of dragonglass in his chest to stop the process. He can’t go beyond the Wall, but he’s still fighting for the living. When Jon Snow and his band of adventurers come to the north to snag a wight, they naturally encounter opposition beyond the Wall. That ends up in a massive battle scene on the frozen lake. Three hundred extras were required for the scene, and Joseph Mawle, the actor who plays Benjen, was spotted in Ireland during the shoot. What will happen when Jon Snow sees his hero uncle again as an undead?
1 Winter Comes
Winter is here… We’ve been hearing that tagline since Season 6 ended, but even though most of the scenes that have been captured by fans include rainy, cooler weather, most of it doesn’t really look like winter per se. However, fans did capture a few shots on set with a snow machine peppering the streets of King’s Landing with the white stuff, so it seems clear that the White Walkers will be knocking at Cersei’s door by the end of Season 7. One of the rumors about the White Walkers stems from the battle beyond the Wall on that icy lake. When Dany comes to the rescue of Jon Snow and the others, she brings along some dragon power. The rumor is that one of the dragons is killed but then is resurrected as a zombie ice dragon by the White Walkers, which would give them a lot more mobility. Enough, maybe, to take them all the way to the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.
Sources: independent.co.uk; gamesradar.com; Reddit