If this was an ordinary year, fans would have already seen at least one episode of Game of Thrones by now, since the show would traditionally start in either mid-April or, at times, late March. This is not your typical year, though, with the production on Game of Thrones Season 7 pushed by several months, to showcase the cold climate now that winter has finally come to Westeros. To keep fans excited for the upcoming season, HBO has released 15 new photos that features some of the show's most popular characters, and some of its most hated as well. If you haven't got caught up on Game of Thrones yet, there will be SPOILERS below, so read on at your own risk.
The images debuted on HBO's official Making Game of Thrones website, and while there aren't any shocking surprises to be found in these images, they do offer a few intriguing details. The first image features the new Queen of Westeros, Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) sitting atop the Iron Throne, with her brother/lover Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) at her side. Cersei became Queen after igniting the wildfire kept underneath the Sept of Baelor, killing all of her enemies, including the High Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) and even Queen Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) and her brother Loras Tyrall (Finn Jones). After realizing that his mother killed the Queen, King Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) took his own life by leaping from the Red Keep, leaving Cersei to be named as the new Queen.
These photos also feature the return of young Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey), who helped Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) take back Winterfell from the nefarious Bolton clan. We also get another glimpse at Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham), while another image reveals that Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) may now be studying to become a maester, with Gilly (Hannah Murray) at his side. Meera (Ellie Kendrick) is also seen dragging young Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) in his sled, which could mean they're heading towards The Wall. In the Season 6 finale, Meera and Bran were lead to The Wall by Benjen Stark (Joseph Mawle), who hadn't been seen since the first season, but he couldn't go any further because there are ancient spells carved into The Wall that prevent the undead, like himself, from passing through it. He was never turned into a wight because one of the Children of the Forest stabbed a piece of Dragonglass into his chest to stop the transformation.
In perhaps the only humorous photo of the whole bunch, Tormund Giantsbane (Kristopher Hivju) is shown reuniting with Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), and he seems quite happy about it. As you'll recall, Tormund met Brienne at The Wall last season, and was obviously quite smitten with her, as he keeps trying to get her attention. Perhaps there could be a bit of romance between these two when the season kicks off this July. Another photo showcases Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish (Aidan Gillen) seen alongside Sansa Stark, as they're both intently watching something happening below them.
Fans who are still holding out hope for "CleganeBowl" will also be pleased to know that another image features Sandor "The Hound" Clegane (Rory McCann) riding on horseback, presumably with the Brotherhood Without Banners. At the end of Season 6, The Hound, who was left for dead by Brienne and Arya in Season 4, managed to survive all this time, being saved by Septon Ray (Ian McShane), although Ray and his people were all slaughtered by the Brotherhood, who manage to convince The Hound to join them in fighting the White Walkers. With both The Hound and his brother The Mountain (Hapthor Juliuss Bjornsson) both back from the dead, many are hoping that they will ultimately fight each other, which has been dubbed "CleganeBowl." The other images include another look at Jon Snow, along with Arya Stark, who finally returned to Westeros in the Season 6 finale, when she killed Walder Frey (David Bradley). The final images feature Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel), Lord Varys (Conleth Hill) and Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson), who are all seen waiting to receive someone, with their army behind them. Take a look at these new photos for Game of Thrones Season 7 below, to get ready for the July 16 premiere.