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What we’re expecting from Game of Thrones, season 7

*Warning – spoilers below!*

Winter is here. After six seasons of anticipation, winter has finally come to Westros. On 17th July, we’re sure to be all glued to the small screens, wondering if anyone else will rise from the dead to join the Night King’s army as he takes on The Wall.

Over the past couple of weeks HBO has been feeding our curiosity, first releasing teaser posters, then the official season 7 trailer, and now details of episode length.

The mammoth budget for our favourite fantasy adaptation has been spread across fewer episodes (seven in season 7 and six in season 8 –potentially the final of the series), and it has been announced that the first episode will see us sitting at the edge of our seats for 59 minutes. This has fuelled speculation that although the season length will be shorter, each episode will be longer than normal.

The Game of Throne cast have added fuel to the fire when it comes to this theory, with Emilia Clarke who plays Daenerys Targaryen and Peter Dinklage who plays Tyrion Lannister revealing the time they’ve spent on set.

“When I first read this season I thought: ‘Damn, I gotta learn some lines!’” Emilia told Entertainment Weekly. “We’re actually filming longer now. I don’t know how that’s happening.”

Peter has also commented on the length of time spent filming, adding: “I’ve worked more days this season than I have in quite some time.”

So why the lengthy episodes? Not that we’re complaining. Writer and showrunner, Dan Weiss commented: “You kill a couple dozen characters, the people who are left by default need to carry more dramatic weight.

“As the worlds start to converge the characters who haven’t met each other before start to meet each other, and there are more main characters together in each other’s story lines than ever before.

“Ever since Tyrion crossed the Narrow Sea and met Dany that’s been the general direction. And having them on set together is a real privilege for us.”

So with only 13 episodes, and potentially 13 hours to answer all of our questions, we’ve read all the fan theories and narrowed it down to a few themes we think season 7 has in store for us:

The Starks – We think Bran will reveal his true powers this season, and perhaps as Arya and Sansa reunite we’ll see what their capabilities are too; after all there have been hints of their secret abilities in the novels.

Siblings – Jon and Sansa will reunite with Arya, and as Jon realises his true identity, he will also unite with his new-found sibling Daenerys. 

Queen-off – Who wouldn’t want to see the two most powerful women in Westros come together for the biggest Queen-off in TV history? We hope Daenerys wins the Iron Throne from Cersei.

Unexpected death – Still can’t get over the sheer shock of the Red Wedding or the demise of Prince Oberyn Martell? There’s always an unexpected death in each season, and this time round we think it will be Jaime’s turn, as he falls to Daenerys.

UK audiences can see the start of Game of Thrones season 7 at 2am on Sky Atlantic, and again at 9pm, as well as on NOW TV on 17th July. 

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