After holding out on us for weeks, the bigwigs behind-the-scenes at Game of Thrones have finally released the first episode titles for the new seventh series, along with story descriptions that are bound to have fans desperately speculating about for the last week before the smash-hit fantasy returns to screens next weekend.
The episode titles and descriptions (currently only available for the first three episodes and with their US airdates, airing in the UK a day later) are as follows:
Episode #61: “Dragonstone” (July 16)
Jon (Kit Harington) organizes the defence of the North. Cersei (Lena Headey) tries to even the odds. Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) comes home.
Written for television by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss; directed by Jeremy Podeswa.
Episode #62: “Stormborn” (July 23)
Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) receives an unexpected visitor. Jon (Kit Harington) faces a revolt. Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) plans the conquest of Westeros.
Written for television by Bryan Cogman; directed by Mark Mylod.
Episode #63: “The Queen’s Justice” (July 30)
Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) holds court. Cersei (Lena Headey) returns a gift. Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) learns from his mistakes.
Written for television by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss; directed by Mark Mylod.
Now of course these titles and descriptions are about as vague as it’s possible for a collection of nouns, verbs and adjectives to be, but there still are one or two things we can glean from these new details.
First off, episode one’s title and the fact that “Daenerys comes home” suggests that rumours were right about Dany returning to Dragonstone, an ancestral fortress of her family on the coast previously occupied by Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) and where she was actually born.
This also confirms that we’ll see Dany return to Westeros in the very first episode of the series (never a definite considering it’s taken her six seasons so far), though we wouldn’t be surprised if this is towards the tail end of the hour for dramatic effect.
Other parts of episode one’s description also hint at popular theories, with Cersei’s attempt to “even the odds” a possible reference to a team-up with new Ironborn King Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbaek) to match Dany’s own Iron Island allies, and Jon’s “defence of the North” suggesting the new King might try to unite the squabbling houses against the coming White Walker invasion.
On to the other episodes. Both episode two and episode three’s titles seem like references to Daenerys as well – “Stormborn” is one of her titles after being born in a, well, storm, and she is indeed a Queen who metes out justice – but it could be that both also have a double meaning. Some fans are already speculationg that Stormborn called also refer to the Ironborn in some way, while the Queen’s Justice could just as easily refer to Cersei, who’s said to “return a gift” in the episode description. Could said gift be payback for how Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma) murdered her daughter?
Or perhaps the titular queen isn’t either of them, with Diana Rigg’s so-called Queen of Thorns (Olenna of House Tyrell to you and me) potentially about to find the “justice” promised to her at the end of season 6. Or maybe it’s all three! Game of Thrones is clever like that.
And in these episodes’ descriptions there are some other mysteries too. What kind of “revolt” does Jon face, so soon after he was triumphantly declared King in the North? Who is Dany’s “unexpected visitor,” and could it be Jon himself attempting to shore up an alliance? And what “mistakes” will Jaime be learning from in episode three?
Sadly, for all this and more (including the rest of the episode titles) we’ll just have to wait. Still, chin up – it’s only a week or so now until all the fun starts again.
Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres exclusively in the UK on 17th July on Sky Atlantic and NOW TV at 2am, repeated at 9pm on the same day