Valar morghulis, hello and welcome to our Game of Thrones season 7 live blog! Join us at 2am GMT (9pm for viewers in the States) as we return to Westeros for the first time in over a year, and watch all our favourite characters get horribly murdered. Business as usual, then.
This live blog is now concluded.
3.23: And with that, I think I shall bid you adieu. It's been fun and I'll be back next week kitted out in a full direwolf costume, but only if enough of you write in (also, if enough of you send in direwolf costume parts).
Things I'm hoping to see next week: direwolves (duh), Varys, Olenna Tyrell and Daenerys saying more than three words for the entire hour. I reckon I have fair demands.
Anyway, for now it's goodnight for me. As a parting gift, here's a happy Thrones face.
See you next time!
Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres exclusively on Mondays on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV at 2am, repeated at 9pm on the same day
03.18: And here's the trailer for next week's episode, featuring: Northern Lords not happy about Daenerys, Southern Lords not happy abour Daenerys, and a FRIGGIN DIREWOLF! Looks like the rumours of Arya's wolf Nymeria coming back were true, and it looks like a good episode. Guessing Jon wants to meet Daenerys to get his hands on those lucky charms, er I mean dragonglass.
03.16: Newsflash: Apparently fans watching on HBO Go were struck with technical difficulties tonight, meaning they got the episode late! Would not want to be that customer services rep in the morning...
03.15: I wasn't blown away, but I wasn't disappointed. Solid, I'd say.
03.08: So, what did we think of that episode? A slow one, sure, but this series has a lot to set up.
Looks like Jon/Sansa will be a big source of friction this year, and that Same might be the one to save Jorah from greyscale!
Also - Dany is in Westeros, ready for business! Very exciting.
03.06: And with Daenerys' first and last line of the episode, it's all over!
Looks like things are really gonna kick off next year...
03.05: Jeez, its like they're waiting for a realtor.
03.04: Checking out the throne room, map room etc.
"Who lives...in a fortress...like this???"
03.02: Can't help but feel this homecoming would mean more if we had spent ANY significant time in Dragonstone in recent years. Ah well. Guess that's Daenerys' fault for DRAGON her feet, eh?
Now she's torn down Stannis' banners. Mannis, we hardly knew ye.
03.01: Touching the sand like she's the Pope there. Guess you don't want to kiss a beach, really.
03.00: Big swelling, emotional music as Dany returns to Dragonstone. And in the first time for the series, she's actually on the same continent as the other characters! Whoda thunk it?
02.59: Oh wow! Jorah's in the citadel with Sam, and his greyscale looks BAD. Poor Jorah the explorer.
02.58: Oh, there's an enormous mountain of dragonglass under Dragonstone, just as Dany is headed towards it. CONVENIENT...
02.57: So....this powerful and emotional scene for the Hound is all just background for Cleganebowl, right?
02.55: Oh, the Hound ran into the owners of this farmhouse in a previous series, right? I literally do not remember this at all - Sue Perkins must have missed it out of the catch-up show.
02.53: The Hound is having a vision in the flames - a Wall of ice. THE Wall. Where the wall meets the sea - a castle. Does everyone have magic powers now?
Looks like they're headed to a mountain that looks like an Arrowhead.
02.51: "I've known you for a long time, Dondarrian - ever since you were played by a different actor in season 1."
Why is boring old Beric brought back from the dead by the Lord of Light, the Hound wonders. And why did he disappear from the show for three years, we at home wonder.
02.49: "You're not fooling anyone with that topknot," - the Hound to Thoros of Myr (referring to baldness). They just give this guy all the best lines.
02.48: Oh, the Hound is back with the Brotherhood! And to think, I didn't prep a "Who let the dogs out?" image. Live and learn.
02.44: You like him now Arya, but wait until Ed writes a song about you being his Blackwater babe. Brr.
Anyway, another ad break! As usual, rushing through the episode.
02.43: It is so distracting to have Ed Sheeran in Game of Thrones.
02.41: Arya learning that #notallLannisters are evil. Heartwarming stuff.
02.39: Oh hilarious - Ed Sheeran is in this singing a song about Tyrion to Arya. Very distracting. Apparently the showrunners put him in as a treat for superfan Maisie Williams.
Kind of works as a Lannister soldier.
Wait, that's Thomas Turgoose! From This is England! This is a veritable feast of cameos.
02.38: Long and short of that convo: we'll probs al be fine. Now Tormund is creeping on Brienne as she beats up Pod.
"You're a lucky man," he tells the Squire.
Now Baelish is creeping on Sansa! It's a meeting of creeps.
02.35: Sam trying to find out about Horcruxes from Slughorn - he needs some Felix Felicis!
02.33: Oh! New character! New character! National Treasure Jim Broadbent as Archmaester Marwyn!
02.32: Also, does the director of this episode have a background in Cillit Bang adverts?
02.31: Now we're back, with Sam learning Maester skills in what appears to be the library from Doctor Strange. So far, he's not loving the chores, and wants to get into the restricted section. Fingers crossed he remembered his invisibility cloak.
02.29: OK, first advert break! For an embarassingly long time last year I didn't realise anyone watching on HBO rather than Sky Atlantic was ahead of us due to their lack of adverts, but hey - at least it gives me time to chill for a few mins.
So far, apart from that Arya-murder opening it's quiet and full of set-up, but that's no bad thing! Jon/Sansa issues hurt my heart though. Here's hoping they're pals soon.
02.27: Oooh, Euron throws shade at Jaime - says he has "Two good hands".
Cersei turns down marriage proposal, but Euron leaves to find a gift - "a priceless gift." I'm betting that spells trouble for Theon and Yara...
02.26: Bit of retconning here - Greyjoy rebellion (pre-series) now mainly due to Euron being a wrong'un. THINK that's a bit of a divergence, but could be wrong!
02.25: Euron Greyjoy appears to have arrived in his motorcycle clothes to negotiate with Cersei. Seriously, he looks like the bassist in a Glam Rock band.
02.23: Summary of that Cersei/Jaime scene: Enemies everywhere, stuff bad, let's talk about out dead son – Jaime.
Stop being lame, we're fine, jeez – Cersei.
02.19: Getting some Sansa/Cersei flashbacks from the old days of season 2! Oh, and now here's Cersei presenting the weather on BBC1.
Cersei trying to plan her defence. Enemies on all sides! Callout to Jon as "Ned Stark's bastard". Classic Thrones
02.16: Sansa comparing Jon to Joffrey because of their desire not to be questioned. #notallkings
02.15: Karstark and Umber kids taking a new oath - fun fact, in the books Alys Karstark has a pretty important storyline, where she gets married to a wildling. Nice of them to include her in a nod to that (though she's a bit younger there).
02.14: Jon laying down the law - subtext to his sister RN...
02.13: Awkward moment - Sansa wants to take away lands of rebellious northern Lords, but Jon doesn't. Wants to be nice. Challenging him in public, though =/= a good look.
02.12: Jon wants to train everyone - including the kids and girls - how to fight. Lord Glover objected, but Lyanna cussed him out and he sat down. Hilarious how afraid of him they all are.
02.09: Bran arrived at the Wall and is proving his identity by using creepy Professor X mind-reading on poor old Edd. In fairness, why was Ed being so officious, eh? Jon's cloak really gone to his head.
02.08: Oh my - White Walker army coming through the snowy wastelands, and they have zombie GIANTS! Guess Jon Snow is gonna have his work cut out for him..
02.07: Guess we should be asking...
Nice for David Bradley to get another innings as Walder anyway.
02.05: Arya tells Frey girl: "Tell them Winter came for House Frey."
And now credits! hey, why isn't it a lion over King's Landing? Still the Baratheon sigil!
02.04: I'm starting to think this is not Walder Frey - they left a Stark alive who has face-changing powers...
'Leave one Wolf alive...and the sheep are never safe."
The Freys are down. Poisoned! Yup, it was Arya in disguise!
02.03: Unless...oh. Is there something up with this wine he's giving his Frey fam?
02.02: Wait - no opening credits and an alive Walder Frey? Cold open flashback maybe? (he dead, remember?)
02.01: It's starting! One question to ask yourself guys:
01.59: One minute! This is not a drill! I repeat, this is not a drill!!
Straight from the Thrones' mouth - not long now!
01.46: Longtime reader Pip Thomas has written in pointing out that Dany's dress in our main image is VERY Dragonstone chic, and rather like the sort of thing Stannis would have worn during his time there.
And this raises a question - we know that maesters stay at the castles of Westeros no matter who's in charge, so does that extend to other staff? Because if so, the dedicated Dragonstone tailor is doing good work.
01.42: If you're concerned about my qualifications for doing this live blog, fear not - I have spent the last year diligently studying all things Thrones, travelling the world in search of truth and mastering the greatest skills of the Westerosi.
Come and see – while you were out partying I was learning the blade, and the bow, and the crossbow (look out Tywin!).
And here I am defending my keep from invaders.
And yes, I have claimed the Iron Throne.
This is actually how I watch every episode now.
So you see, I am well prepped for Game of Thrones. Assuming that learning about medieval weaponry from the Thrones stuntmen is the ideal prep for writing about this TV series rather than, say, just reading the wiki for half an hour instead.
01.34: So, with less than half an hour to go, what else can we expect this series?
Well, having just watched last year's finale I'm reminded of one of the biggest moments - the confirmation of fans' long-held belief that Jon Snow was NOT the bastard son of Ned Stark, but was actually the offspring of Ned's sister Lyanna and crown prince Rhaegar Targaryen, Dany's older brother.
Fans of the books and series had been wondering about this theory (nicknamed R+L=J) for years - but what other fan theories could still come true?
Could Tyrion be another secret Targaryen? Will Jaime fulfil Cersei's "little brother" prophecy instead of Tyrion to murder her? Will The Hound fight the Mountain in a fully confirmed Cleganebowl clash #gethype?? Or will all of that be cast aside when we learn of Varys' true mermaid nature?
Yes, those are all real theories (
which I go into in some more depth here), and based on last year they could ALL come true (well, except maybe the mermaid one). What an exciting time to be alive.
01.23: In case you were wondering, I'm not some sort of LOSER doing this live blog all by myself - Oh no. I have some company. I have friends!
In fact, meet my pal Daenerys! She's a great chum.
(Also a guy called Mark is here but he has barely any dragons so he doesn't really count).
01.18: Not so long now guys! We're powering through this together! Come on!
01.12: Whoops – had some technical difficulties there, but now we're back!
I blame black magic.
01.01: Real talk: pretty excited about the opening credits changing for tonight's episode. Essos is presumably gone now that Dany is back in Westeros, and Dragonstone will be back! And maybe The Twins!
God, am I really enthusing about the title cards for a TV show? What has this series done to me???
00.53: While we're waiting - a look back at the saddest moment in last year's series, via some tat you can now buy online.
RIP Hodor. You held that door, bro. You held it good.
00.51: Still over an hour away! Time moving as slowly as it did in Dany's entire Meereen storyline, amirite lads?
00.47: I second this, especially if it's Sam running away from some wights while wearing an undersized jester's outfit.
00.44: Currently rewatching the season 6 finale as a bit of a run-up for tonight's new episode. Blimey if that whole wildfire segment at the beginning isn't brilliant, chilling television.
I know, I was sort of sincere there for a minute. Sorry. I'll try my best to stop it happening again.
00.36: What, that's not enough Throning up for you? Jeez, you are a demanding lot. Tell you what, here's a video I made (yeah other people helped write it, star in it, edit it and actually make it but you know, it was basically me) where we recap every major storyline in last year's series and take a look forward at what we can expect this year.
In short: direwolves and dragons and wights, oh my!
00.32: So, where did we leave everyone last series? Well, you can read an article I wrote here filling you in on the detail, but basically everyone divided up into teams thusly:
Team Cersei: Cersei, Qyburn, The Mountain, Jaime, probably Euron and his fleet, the Lannister army.
Team Dany: Dany, Tyrion, Grey Worm, Missandei, Varys, three big-ass dragons, thousands of Unsullied, a Dothraki horde, the Sand Snakes, Ellaria Sand, Theon and Yara Greyjoy, Olenna Tyrell and PROBABLY Ser Jorah Mormont (if he's able to cure hiscgreyscale, of course).
Team Jon: Jon, Sansa, Davos, Brienne, Pod, Melisandre, Lyanna Mormont, all the Northern houses and PROBABLY the likes of Sam, Gilly, Arya and Bran as the wander the wastelands. Also maybe the Hound and the Brotherhood Without Banners.
Team White Walkers: Icy demigods with an endless zombie army keen to wipe out the above.
Seems simpler when you lay it all out like that, right?
00.22: In case you're wondering by the way, my name's Huw and I did most of the live blogs last year - it's good to be back! As a measure of my excitement to be back in Westeros, here's how I'm dressed for tonight's showing:
As you can see, I'm hedging my bets in my Stark/Targaryen loyalty.
00.18: Still, we can make a few educated guesses. When we last saw Daenerys she was crossing the Narrow Sea with her armies, dragons and mass of supporting cast, and based on the episode summary (and title) this week's episode will see her reclaim her ancestral seat of Dragonstone, last seen in the hands of wannabe king Stannis Baratheon (before he went all weird and child-murder-y).
Cersei trying to "even the odds" also offers some interpretation, with many fans speculating that she's about to join forces with mad pirate Euron Greyjoy, aka the uncle of Theon and Yara, aka Danish actor and presenter Pilou Asbæk. That'll give her a bit of a naval force to rival Dany's and also simplify all the groups roving around Westeros destructively. Hooray!
Oh, and Jon is organising the defence in the North, which probably means lots of bearded men chanting "King in the North" for the full hour. So something for everyone!
00.06: So, what do we know about tonight's episode? Officially, not too much: here's the super-helpful and in-depth episode summary released by HBO:
Jon (Kit Harington) organizes the defence of the North. Cersei (Lena Headey) tries to even the odds. Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) comes home.
So yeah - about all the clarity there as a missing smudge in the blur factory.
00.01: We're here to self-medicate and chat Game of Thrones – and we just ran out of milk of the poppy.
In other words, hello and welcome back to our weekly Game of Thrones live blog! My name's Huw and I'm here to follow all the twists and turns as we return to the Seven Kingdoms, where Jon Snow is King in the North, Cersei has wiped out half the cast to become Queen and Dany has FINALLY FINALLY decided to sail across the narrow sea and tear things up with those dragons.
In other other words, our peerless Thrones analysis is back from the dead after a while on ice. Sounds familiar...
We'll be talking a bit over the next couple of hours about where we left our characters and what to expect from the new season, before chatting along with the episode as it airs at 2am on Sky Atlantic here in the UK.
Are you excited? We're feeling excited.