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‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7: What You Need to Know (SPOILERS)

Variety logo Variety 7/12/2017 Joe Otterson
© Provided by Variety

SPOILER ALERTDo not read if you have not watched Season 6 of “Game of Thrones

“Game of Thrones” Season 7 is almost here and, at long last, winter is coming.

Major battles between all the great houses of Westeros are on the horizon, while the White Walkers are amassing north of The Wall to wipe out all of humanity.  But before the new season kicks off this Sunday on HBO, take a look back at what happened to the major characters on the show in Season 6 and how it will factor into the events to come.

Daenerys Targaryen

Daenerys began Season 6 in somewhat familiar territory as she was briefly taken as a slave by the Dothraki, specifically Khal Moro. Once Moro learned she was Drogo’s widow, he told her that she would have to join the widows of other Khals in Vaes Dothrak. Not one to submit so easily, Daenerys turned the tables on the Khals and trapped them in a burning building. When she walked out of the flames, the Dothraki bowed to her and accept her as their new Khaleesi, joining her army. Jorah, who assisted Daenerys in Vaes Dothrak, revealed to her that he is infected with the dreaded greyscale disease. She tearfully ordered him to search for a cure. She then returned to Meereen with her dragons, killing the Wise Masters and burning their fleet that was laying siege to the city. She then broke off her relationship with Daario Naharis, telling him she will have to take a husband upon seizing Westeros. The season ended with her sailing across the Narrow Sea with her entire army at her back.

Cersei Lannister

Cersei was stripped of her authority after her shame walk through the streets of Kings Landing in Season 5. She is looked down upon by the remaining members of the court and is set to be tried for adultery. Upon learning that Margaery Tyrell will do a walk of her own, Cersei helped convince the Tyrell army to march on the Sept of Baelor to secure her release as well as that of her brother, Loras. However, Margaery seemingly converted to the Faith of the Seven and convinced King Tommen to grant the High Sparrow even more power within the kingdom. Cersei also planned to name The Mountain as her champion in a trial by combat, but Tommen declared that trials by combat will be outlawed and she will instead be tried in the Sept before the Seven. As Margaery, Loras, their father, the High Sparrow, and the Faith Militant gathered in the Sept for the trial, they realize that Cersei is not coming, just as Cersei’s agent set off barrels of wildfire below the Sept, destroying it and killing everyone inside. Tommen became so distraught he throws himself from the top of the Red Keep. Cersei ended the season by having herself crowned Queen.

Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion was left in charge of Meereen in Daenerys’ absence and looks to quell the acts of violence being perpetrated by the Sons of the Harpy. After discovering they were being funded by the slavers that Daenerys has driven from power, he summoned them to a meeting and offers a compromise in which slavery will be gradually phased out of existence. The slavers initially agreed, but then launched an attack on Meereen that only ended when Daenerys returns and used her dragons to destroy the slavers’ fleet. Before sailing to Westeros, Daenerys officially named Tyrion her Hand of the Queen.

Jaime Lannister

Jaime returned to Kings Landing having just watched his daughter Myrcella die in his arms, thanks to poison administered by Ellaria Sand. He angrily confronted the High Sparrow at Myrcella’s funeral but stood down when he was outnumbered by the Faith Militant. Jaime then aided Cersei in convincing the Tyrells to march on the Sept of Baelor to secure Margaery’s release. But as Margaery has converted and the High Sparrow given more power, Jaime was removed from the King’s Guard for his role in instigating the march by the Tyrell army. He then traveled with Bronn to Riverrun to aid House Frey in stopping an insurrection by “Blackfish” Tully and a small band of Tully rebels. Jaime failed to reason with Tully, but Brienne arrived and begs him to end the siege peacefully. Jaime then used Tully’s capture nephew, Edmure, to gain access to Riverrun and open the gates to the Lannister forces. He returned to Kings Landing just in time to see Cersei crowned queen.

Sansa Stark

Sansa escaped from Winterfell with Theon and was quickly found by Brienne, who pledges to protect Sansa with her life. They traveled to Castle Black, where Sansa was reunited with Jon Snow. She told Jon they must retake Winterfell from the Boltons, to which Jon agreed after Ramsay sends a letter boasting of how he has captured Rickon Stark. She and Jon began trying to rally other Northern houses to their cause with little luck. Lord Baelish offered to have the knights of the Vale assist in the battle, but Sansa initially refused. She rethought the offer when it became clear that her and Jon’s army is no match for Ramsay. After the battle was won, Sansa watched as Ramsay was devoured by his own hounds. Baelish tried to convince her to rule Westeros with him and that Jon’s ambition will mean bad things for her, but she rebuffed him.

Jon Snow

After being betrayed and murdered by his brothers of the Night’s Watch in Season 5, Jon was brought back from the dead thanks to Melisandre. After hanging those responsible for his death, Jon resigned as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Sansa then arrived at Castle Black and begged him to help retake Winterfell. He initially refused but reconsiders when Ramsay Bolton threatens to kill Rickon Stark. Jon failed to rally a big enough army to defeat the Boltons, but met them in battle regardless. Ramsay killed Rickon, leading Jon to charge into battle without thinking. The Stark army was quickly outmatched, until the knights of the Vale arrived and defeated the Boltons. Jon retook Winterfell, with the lords of the North declaring him the new King in the North. The end of the season also revealed that Jon is in fact the son of Lyanna Stark and prince Rhaegar Targaryen.

Arya Stark

Arya was blinded for misusing knowledge she gained from the Faceless Men of Braavos, and opened the season begging on the streets. The Waif appeared and began attacking her, forcing Arya to defend herself without the use of her eyes. She was eventually allowed to return to her training under master assassin Jaqen H’ghar, regaining her sight along the way. She was assigned to kill a local actress, but warned the woman of the plot against her life at the last minute. For her disobedience, Jaqen tasked The Waif with killing Arya. The two engaged in a fierce chase through the streets, which ended when Arya leads The Waif into a room with only one candle, which she put out in order to use her training from her blindness to her advantage. Arya killed The Waif and tells Jaqen that she is going home. Back in Westeros, Arya disguised herself as a servant at House Frey and killed Lord Walder after feeding him a pie into which she baked two of his sons.

Bran Stark

Bran began the season training in magic under the Three-Eyed Raven. The Raven showed him visions of the past, including scenes from his father Ned’s early life, as well as gentle giant Hodor, who was previously known as Wylis. The Raven warned Bran not to spend too much time within the visions, as he will become trapped. Bran became impatient and went into a vision, in which he encountered the Night’s King, leader of the White Walkers. The Night’s King marked Bran, which allowed the Walkers to enter The Raven’s cave, killing him. Bran and Meera Reed barely escaped, and only survived after Bran warged into Hodor, who barricaded a door with his body. In the process, viewers see that Bran’s look into the past caused Wylis to become Hodor in the first place. Meera yelled for Hodor to “Hold the door” for her and Bran, which past Wylis repeated until it slurs into “Hodor.” At the end of the season, Bran looked into the past one more time, revealing Jon’s true lineage.

Theon and Yara Greyjoy

Theon helped Sansa escape Winterfell, but told her later that he did not deserve forgiveness from the Starks for his past sins. He returned to the Iron Islands and found his father had been killed. He supported his sister Yara in her bid to become the new ruler of the Ironborn, but their uncle Euron made a surprise appearance. Euron declared that he will bring the Iron Islands back to glory by marrying Daenerys and gifting her with a fleet of ships. Euron becomes the new lord of the Iron Islands, causing Theon and Yara to flee to avoid being killed. They took the best ships in the fleet before they left, and promptly offer them to Daenerys in return for helping defeat Euron after she takes the Iron Throne.

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