Winter is almost here. Aye, Game of Thrones season 7 is over and our long watch has begun, waiting for season 8. But as our watch begins yet again, the good news is that we still have the Game of Thrones season 7 Blu-ray, and the treasure trove of special features that comes with it, on the horizon. Indeed, below is everything you need to know aobut season 7, its previous episodes and how they were made, and when to expect the Blu-ray.
Game of Thrones Season 7 Blu-ray Release
The Game of Thrones Season 7 Blu-ray will be dropping on Dec. 12, 2017, just in time for Christmas! (If you celebrate such things, summer child). In the meantime, you can pre-order it from Amazon and get it the day of release by clicking right here.
Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode Guide
Below is our Game of Thrones episode guide, complete with excerpts of our reviews. To find reviews or podcasts for each episode, please click on the episode number and title at the top.
We celebrated the premiere in our review, noting that this is the last breath of the “default” storytelling style of Game of Thrones. “Shall we begin?”
Yes, Dany, we shall. And it’s about damn time, at that.
As a whole, season 7 has started with confidence and bittersweet acknowledgement. Yes, like all season premieres this erred on the side of exposition and setup. But that last line Daenerys offers Tyrion is as much a promise to viewers as it is to the Seven Kingdom lords who are about to have their world rocked in a haze of dragonfire and silver hair. The end is nigh, and it is time to make good on the promises made way back in season 1. The dragons have landed; the dead are moving; and Dany’s come home. She’s never really known Westeros, and we don’t know what she’ll do with it. But in the final 12 episodes of Game of Thrones, she is going to rewrite all the rules.
For that, enjoying this final episode from the old playbook is worth savoring, like fine Arbor wine. Just make sure Arya’s not the one buying.
In our review for this episode, we accepted the new pace, but questioned its execution in a few places, particularly the rather shallow naval battle at the end.
Tyrion’s advice proved more prudent in attempting an alliance with the King in the North. While the expediency with which this is occurring might border on fan service, I understand that if Benioff and Weiss really want to conclude this in a mere 11 more episodes, it makes sense to move at what I will now refer to as “third act pace.” And in this turn of events, it worked fairly well.
Our review states:
Whatever lies beneath the murky waves of this series’ increasingly muddled timeline proves irrelevant tonight though, for at long last the eponymous ice and fire of that blasted George R.R. Martin song are meeting—and it looks like it’s going to be a duet. Indeed, the most striking thing about “The Queen’s Justice” is an entirely separate queen from the title, one of Targaryen blood, meeting a king with equal amounts of the silvery hair gene running through his DNA. But while relatives they may be, the most fascinating thing about the meeting of Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen is how different they are.
Our reviewer was stunned at the ferocity of the dragon-on-Lannister violence.
The imagery of the dragon’s fury knowingly calls back the effects of a volcano or even a nuclear blast on human flesh. Ash heaps in the shape of men replace the actual bodies that once stood there. It’s slaughter on a level completely incomprehensible to medieval standards of warfare, and it makes Drogon slightly less cuddly. It also gives credence to Tyrion’s wariness of using dragons. Then again, Harry Truman explained his rationale for using the nuclear bomb as the American people would have wisely impeached him if he hadn’t and let tens of thousands of more Americans die in a war of attrition in the urban neighborhoods of Japan.
But even now, it’s a decision that Tyrion is uneasy about. One of his Dothraki stalwarts laughs, “Your people can’t fight,” and the small Lannister simply cringes in agreement. Then again, if he had unleashed this on his father’s army before they lost Highgarden, and half their target found the safety of a civilian population, this war might already be over.
Our reviewer liked the episode, and placed wagers on who lives and who dies:
If I had to put my wagers down right now, I’d say that Beric, Thoros, Tormund, and probably even Jorah are doomed. Beric and Thoros will die so there is no “resurrection” button for Jon Snow or anyone else when they get into trouble later, and Tormund and Jorah will bring the audience tears, particularly that ginger haired wildebeest in need of a lady knight.
Our reviewer was very impressed.
Visierion is dead before he sinks into the abyss, at least spared what should have been the last insult to his demise. And it’s crushing.
The loss of one of the dragons, the only dragons, the only children Daenerys will ostensibly ever have, is also the best moment I have seen in Emilia Clarke’s career. As she watches her baby, even if it isn’t a favorite, die, a look of utter shock and crushing disbelief crosses her face. You can see something in her mind sink with Viserion. A switch gets permanently disconnected. It’s Clarke’s finest and most agonized moment onscreen. It’s also a shame that it has to be somewhat undercut by the show wishing to overplay their hand on the Jon and Daenerys romance.
Our critic was overall pleased with how the season ended, even if it felt a bit like just setting up the true endgame:
Truly we have reached the endgame for Game of Thrones. The Wall is down, snow is falling on the capital, and perhaps most heartbreakingly, Sean Bean’s Ned Stark was commemorated tonight. A lot. When showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss remind you of Lord Eddard Stark’s honor (and horrific stupidity), you know they’re bringing back into focus what this has always been about. A pack of Stark wolves and the world out to devour them. Well the wolves bit back tonight, and it was a glory to behold. Oh sure, we also reconfirmed Jon Snow is really a Targaryen—and in the classic biblical sense as he spends a night of passion with his aunt—but now winter is really here. It’s the season of the wolf, and one of their own has the best claim for the throne.
So as we prepare for the Long Night of waiting on the season 8 endgame, it’s time to dig into this season 7 finale, which certainly scratched the itch of moving past all the variable table-setting. In fact, at this point Game of Thrones showrunners are knocking the pieces of china off the shredded cloth, and they’re smashing to the floor like so many pieces of the Wall.
Game of Thrones Season 7 Trailer
On the off-chance you have not yet seen the Game of Thrones season 7 trailer yet, feast your eyes on this and enjoy! We also thoroughly dissected and analyzed it right here:
The Game of Thrones season 7 trailer is here! You can view our complete breakdown and analysis of the trailer here, but if you haven’t feasted your eyes on it yet…
You can also pay fealty to the earlier “The Walk” promo, which showcases the three remaining (major) players in Westeros who have a proverbial crown on their head: Cersei Lannister in King’s Landing, Jon Snow (one day, they’re going to start calling him Jon Stark, right?!) in Winterfell, and Daenerys Targaryen in what I suspect is a throne room within Dragonstone. If you do not recall, Dragonstone was the storm-tormented island that Stannis Baratheon languished away upon for years until his brother died, and it is also the location Dany’s mother fled on a stormy night while giving birth to her daughter.
All three look ready to continue the game, albeit Jon’s game is more about preserving the North than taking the Iron Throne. And speaking of the North, there is an unexpected fourth party who makes a cameo near the end of the tease.
Below is the first teaser, in case you missed it.
DEN OF GEEK TV: THE LATEST
Game of Thrones Season 7 Images
In addition to a chilling poster, HBO released the first official batch of Game of Thrones season 7 production stills. You can scroll through them below at your leisure![gallery:0]
Plus here are a few of the more pivotal images released recently by EW.
Game of Thrones Season 7 Cast
Jim Broadbent has been cast on the HBO flagship. Jim Broadbent’s mysterious role in the seventh season of Game of Thrones will be as the archmaester of the Citadel in Oldtown. The news was broken by ScreenCrush, who asked the Oscar winning actor about what he’ll be doing on the HBO flagship. And surprisingly, Broadbent gave this candid answer: “I’m a maester, an archmaester. I’m an old professor character.”
Broadbent is well known for many roles, including his award winning turn in Iris and, in a personal favorite, as the hot-blooded master of ceremonies in Moulin Rouge! However, in his later career, he has enjoyed playing professorial roles, including in Harry Potter and the Half-Blooded Prince. And given that the season 6 finale of Thrones set up Samwell Tarly and Gilly meeting the archmaester who runs what is basically the solitary education campus in all of Westeros (no wonder they’re still in the Middle Ages over there!), it seemed like a safe bet that this would be Broadbent’s role.
Doctor Who and Sherlock fans will also be pleased that Mark Gatiss, a frequent writer on both, and a co-creator on the latter, will be returning as his shady Bravvvosi banker in season 7 after sitting last year out. The British actor, who previously appeared in seasons 4 and 5 (but not 6) as Tycho Nestoris, the head of the Iron Bank of Braavos, confirmed to The Express that he’ll be reprising his role for season 7.
“Yes, I did it in Belfast last year,” Gatiss said. “I can’t tell you anything more obviously, mostly because I don’t know anything.
One of the other big names joining Game of Thrones season 7 is Conor “The Notorious” McGregor. If you don’t recognize the name off-hand, then chances are that you are unaware of UFC where McGregor, also known as “The Irishman,” has made waves winning both titles in the lightweight and featherweight devisions.
While UFC confirmed McGregor’s involvement, Watchers on the Wall attest that McGregor is appearing in what is mostly a glorified cameo. He’ll play a pirate and crewmember on Euron Greyjoy’s ship, The Silence, who will presumably be his muscle and damaging righthand when the self-claimed King of the Iron Islands takes his navy to war against that of Daenerys and Yara Greyjoy in season 7.
Also, as Game of Thrones filming heats up in Spain, fans and paparazzi alike have learned a many splendored thing. But one of the most surprising is that actor Tom Hopper is joining the cast in a role we’ve already seen… as Dickon Tarly?!
Indeed, Hopper is currently best known to premium cable fans as playing Billy Bones on Starz’s Black Sails pirate series. However, as that show has ended, Hopper has been spotted by Los Siete Reinos as hanging out around the set with James Faulkner, who plays Randyll Tarly. Additionally, Watchers on the Wall has aptly deduced that he will likely be playing Dickon since the actor who played him for one scene in season 6, Freddie Stroma, has moved onto to starring in Time After Time, a new sci-fi series based on H.G. Wells at ABC.
Dickon Tarly is younger brother to Samwell Tarly, but also far more like their shared athletic, militaristic, and cruel father. When Stroma played him in season 6, he showed an indifference for his older brother (who Randyll ran out of Horn Hill before the start of the series, pressuring Sam to join the Night’s Watch so Dickon would become the heir). He also dismisses talk of White Walkers as nonsense.
Presumably, he’ll get his chance to meet one now that winter has finally come.
Also, actor Brendan Cowell’s acting agency officially revealed that the Australian actor has been tapped to play a character named Harrag the Ironborn. Harrag is the name of a fairly minor character in A Dance with Dragons, however there is a decent chance the showrunners are taking the name and creating a new righthand man, or the like, for the series’ version of Euron Greyjoy, the new King of the Iron Islands. Incidentally, Cowell likely has been playing Harrag for many months now.
… And LASTLY, it looks like Ed Sheeran will have a cameo role in season 7. Why?! Because the showrunners wanted to surprise Maisie Williams who is a huge fan of Sheeran. Which makes it perfect casting.
Game of Thrones Season 7 Production
One of the most curious things to come out of the production for Game of Thrones season 7 is news that a new major battle scene was filmed in Spain.
As first broken by Los Siete Reinos (via Watchers on the Wall), HBO has been reaching out for a major dose of extra casting in Malpartida de Cáceres, a Spanish province along the coast that is famous for its Natural Monument of Los Barruecos (a national park). Filming there required extras with preferable “military experience” between Nov. 14 and Dec. 15. Additionally, new reports from Los Siete Reinos confirm that it will be filming along the coast line.
This coupled with descriptions for extras that match generic characteristics of Unsullied soldiers, as well as the fact that the filming sequence called for large amounts of horses–including carrying carriages–is quite illluminating.
Traditionally, Game of Thrones has shot in Spain in order to evoke George R.R. Martin’s vision of Dorne, the desert paradise to the south of Westeros. While the scene could, in theory, suggest that they are simply opening up the landscape of King’s Landing beyond the city walls, the carriages also suggest that a member of royalty will be surveying the battle. Based strictly on our understanding of Cersei Lannister’s persona, that again points to a more likely struggle occurring between the Unsullied and the Dornish, complete with dragonfire before the eyes of the far braver Olenna Tyrell or Ellaria Sand. Perhaps Jaime Lannister and his army have moved further south to welcome the invading queen or her allies?
Game of Thrones season 7 also returned to Iceland for the first time since season 3, which dovetails nicely into spoiler reports we discuss in a below section.
Game of Thrones Season 7 Concept Art
It appears that a piece of concept art has leaked from the seventh season of the series. The art, which depicts the fabled Dragonpit, should also be of much curiosity for fans since it displays a reunion between Tyrion Lannister and Bronn of the Blackwater. If your memory serves you well, they haven’t shared a scene since season 4, when Bronn chose not to fight on Tyrion’s behalf against the Mountain and instead became the right-hand man of Ser Jaime Lannister. Quite literally so. Thus if Bronn and Lannister men are meeting Tyrion, the new Hand of the Queen for Daenerys, then it likely only means one thing…
Indeed, this scene has been long expected and would seem to confirm rumored spoilers we discuss in the following pages.
Game of Thrones Season 7 Directors
Below is the official directors list for season 7:
Alan Taylor – This filmmaker returns from the world of blockbusters where Marvel borrowed him for Thor: The Dark World. He also directed his khaleesi Emilia Clarke again in last year’s Terminator: Genisys. But before any of that, Taylor directed the two stunning final episodes of Game of Thrones season 1, “Baelor” which saw the end of Ned Stark, and “Fire and Blood,” the one that welcomed three baby dragons into the world. He also helmed four episodes of season 2, including the season premiere. So this is a bit of a homecoming.
Jeremy Podeswa – Here is a relative newcomer to the GoT family having helmed four previous episodes, including the first two episodes of season 6 that featured the return of Jon Snow. Podeswa also directed the infamous “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” in season 5.
Mark Mylod – This Shameless (U.S. version) and Entourage veteran also joined Game of Thrones in season 5. But he likely made a bigger impact on fans in season 6 when helmed “The Broken Man,” the excellent, gingerly episode with Ian McShane, as well as “No One,” the episode where Arya slept off three stab wounds to the stomach.
Matt Shakman – Shakman will be the newbie of season 7 since this will be his maiden voyage on the HBO flagship. However, Shakman has previously directed episodes of The Good Wife, Mad Men, and Revenge. He is also best known for extensive work on the cult comedy series It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
Surprisingly, Miguel Sapochnik is not directing any episodes in season 7. Sapochnik won over fans and Game of Thrones showrunners alike when he helmed the staggeringly impressive “Hardhome” in season 5. He followed that up with two of the most popular episodes in the series’ entire run in season 6, the genuinely cinematic installments of “The Battle of the Bastards” and “The Winds of Winter.”
… Maybe their final two episodes for the series in season 8 are just so huge, he’s getting a head start on planning them now? That seems to be at least a strong possibility given that while at the SDCC panel, Sapochnik was brought on stage (a rarity for TV directors) and when asked if he’d be back for season 8, he said, “I would very much hope so, yes.”
I noticed that Dan Weiss nodded with approval during that answer.
Game of Thrones Season 7 Storylines
The most curious thing we’ve heard recently about the season 7 storyline is that David Bradley, the venerated character actor who played Walder Frey on Game of Thrones, will officially be appearing in season 7. The news was confirmed by the actor’s own talent agency page here.
Considering that Walder Frey died an especially gruesome (and delicious) death at the hands of Arya Stark in season 6, this would likely suggest that Arya may turn Walder’s face into a mask as her revenge upon the House of Frey continues. For the record, this is one of the many ‘theories’ that was put forth by the supposed spoilers, which we detail in the section below. At a certain point, they might be taken less as spoilers and more as prophecy.
Meanwhile, in addition to appearing as one of the focal points of our first official glimpse of Game of Thrones season 7, Sophie Turner has recently been speaking with Entertainment Weekly about what season 7 will mean for Sansa Stark. In the sixth year of the hit series, Sansa finally ascended to a position of power in the North, and has the furry wolf cloak to prove it. Fans cheered when she got her revenge on Ramsay Bolton, but they’ve also cringed at a plot thread that was introduced in last several episodes… that she might be so jealous of Jon Snow’s new crown that she will take the bait of Littlefinger’s whispered betrayal. We think the showrunners have lain the breadcrumbs on a little too thickly to believe that it will play out like that, but Ms. Turner has no problem fanning that flame again.
While chatting with EW, Turner said, “She’s seemingly in control for the first time – and it really suits her. She’s kind of having a bit of a power trip. But she’s also becoming more insecure, because there are threats to the power that she holds.”
She also added, “What overall excites me about this season is that main characters are coming together and it feels like things are ramping up. It’s really exciting and all feels like it’s coming to a big conclusion.”
Meanwhile Nikolaj Coster-Waldau appears to have inadvertently revealed to The Daily Beast during this year’s SXSW that his character’s great love, Cersei Lannister, will be gaining a new suitor of sorts in season 7. Wager a guess as to who that might be?
“He loves his sister unconditionally. Plus, there are no other suitors. Well, that’s not true,” Coster-Waldau states before trailing off. “But he has to step up and take his father’s place. Wow, I was about to reveal something from season 7 and thought, ‘What am I doing?'”
Game of Thrones Season 7 Predictions
Everyone has their own personal theories about Game of Thrones season 7 or even how the whole series will end… including us! We gave a methodical, detailed list of predictions and theories here, but below is a sample:
At this precise moment in the series, Cersei is not Queen of the Seven Kingdoms despite what Qyburn said at her muted coronation about being “Protector of the Realm.” She couldn’t even protect her son from her own scheming when she left him alone to watch the smoking embers of his legacy drift from the ruins of Baelor all the way to the far side of Blackwater Bay. Cersei is a fool that created this threat of the High Sparrow to destroy Margaery, and in the process destroyed her own sanity, the mental well-being of her son, and finally the capital itself.
Now, Cersei is actually only the queen of three kingdoms: the Crownlands in which King’s Landing rests, the Westerlands where her family hails from, and the Stormlands which have lost the rule of both her late husband and his two now equally dead younger brothers. But Dorne has already murdered one of Cersei’s children, and now the queen has sent what’s left of House Tyrell into the arms of Ellaria Sand, whose combined fighting force likely already surpasses House Lannister’s 8,000 men.
… So, Cersei remains unloved by all now, including her incestuous brother. And with Daenerys set to make landfall early next season, the Stranger’s embrace beckons for this queen. The tragedy for all is that she knows this deep down and will do everything to thwart it, including perhaps use the remaining wildfire to burn the capital to ash, just like the Mad King previously dreamed of doing.
Hence why I personally suspect that the end of season 7 (if not earlier) will feature Daenerys’ dragons and armies making short work of King’s Landing’s defenses, and the people rebelling in the street against their “Lord Protector.” Seven Hells, they might be doing that before then once Highgarden cuts off the food supply in retribution for slaughtering most of the Tyrells. In that moment, Cersei will attempt to repeat history and choose to burn the capital down. This will occur after five or more hours of Jaime Lannister witnessing his sister becoming the same murderous despot that Aerys II had been when he stabbed him in the back.
So too will he probably plunge his sword through Cersei’s heart. However, when Tyrion and Dany finally step foot in the throne room, excited to confront their conquered enemies, they will not find a leering Kingslayer mockingly sitting in the Iron Throne, but rather a dead one who killed himself by his own hand after reluctantly slaughtering the love of his life for the greater good. No one will remember why this happened, but maybe Tyrion will feel something resembling pity for his brother?
Game of Thrones Season 7 Spoilers
The first place to start is with Happy Tidings for anyone who is a supporter of House Stark (which I assume is most of us!). Sophie Turner accidentally let slip in February that Sansa Stark will be living to exact terrible vengeances another day in Game of Thrones season 8. Indeed, while chatting with Hey U Guys, she revealed she’ll be reprising the role of Jean Grey earlier than expected by fans with the plan to shoot a likely X-Men 7 later this year, as well as the fact taht afterward she’ll have to head straight into Game of Thrones season 8 later in 2017… meaning Sansa survives season 7.
“We’re about to start shooting the next X-Men,” Turner says. “We just finished shooting season 7 of Thrones, and I’ve got a couple of movies to do before X-Men starts. And then we go onto season 8 [of Game of Thrones]!”
Now we just need the same confirmation for Arya…
This also ties into the larger possible spoilers that we’ve known about for some months…
As a rule, we at Den of Geek do not run any blatant script or plot leaks, nor any set photos by fans and paparazzi that could ruin major plot elements of a new film/TV season. Yet, despite HBO taking the most extraordinary precautions of any series on premium cable to clamp down on spoilers leaking out–including the extreme step of refusing to release any early screeners of season 6 to critics and the press after the first four episodes of season 5 were leaked online in 2015–things paradoxically seem to get worse and worse for David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. The more secretive they become, the more fans are determined to see beneath their Faceless Man mask.
That leads us to the current predicament of covering the latest Game of Thrones season 7 news, which is based solely around two very different types of spoilers: paparazzi photos and potential plot leaks. All the plots.
Firstly, as the shooting of the new season has progressed, eagle-eyed fans with even sharper zoom lenses have been snapping away revealing set photos for the last several weeks of the cast. These leaked images are covered extensively (and with detailed insight) by Watchers on the Wall. While we will not use paparazzi images or link to exact stories, they are extensively available at Watchers, and one batch of set photos from last year that was particularly revelatory, depicting two characters who’ve never met before now sharing a scene. In the aftermath, Nathalie Emmanuel, who plays Missandei on the fantasy series, tweeted this:
— Nathalie Emmanuel (@missnemmanuel) October 22, 2016
However, it is at this point that the leaked photos become even more nightmarish for HBO and the series’ exectuive producers. For late in 2016, a reddit user under the name “awayforthelads” leaked detailed plot outlines for each of the seven episodes in season 7. This included several major deaths, a resurrection, more than one plot point that sounded like fan wish fulfillment come true, and a few jaw-dropping twists. Granted, all of these could be clever guesswork. Then again, reddit users in the Game of Thrones forum have been known to leak details prior to new seasons’ airings in the past.
However, all of awayforthelads’ predictions predated the aforementioned leaked meeting of characters that led to Ms. Emmanuel’s disappointment in a certain breed of fans. A meeting that awayforthelads predicted, right down to the unexpected location.
Further, awayforthelads deleted his reddit account around this time (however his leaked plot outlines exist, and have even been directly utilized by Huffington Post). It is at this point that I contacted HBO about awayforthelad’s descriptions. HBO maintained its official stance where they will not “comment on storyline or plot.” However, they did underline that Ms. Emmanuel was aware of only leaked set photos, and not any reddit comments.
… Which brings up to date to November 2016 when anonymous sources connected to WOTW report that filming in Italica will include several major characters meeting in another obscure and unexpected location. A meeting (and location) that was also revealed to awayforthelads in an accurate “prediction.” So accurate, and so unexpected, that it leads one to easily suspect that these are not predictions at all, but a shockingly detailed plot leak for the whole of season 7!
And then most recently in June 2017, Time Magazine’s report from the set of Game of Thrones did not disclose what scenes were filmed while they were there, but they did heavily imply that we would see Arya Stark’s Nymeria in season 7, as well as the sight of dragons vs. White Walkers. The latter of which would seem to confirm the aforementioned rumors. You can read a full deconstruction of that here.
Let’s just say that Game of Thrones season 7 is presenting a new form of Sullied vs. Unsullied amongst its fans. But this time, actual blood might be shed if any are forced to be embraced by the spoiling gelder’s knife.