We’re a little over a month away from the seventh season of Game of Thrones, and the Westeros crew covers Entertainment Weekly. There are also a ton of photos inside—it is straight up disconcerting to see the (surviving) Starks reunited and smiling. Only backstage, though, of course—they’re all scowling in their official portraits. The House Stark brand is strong. There’s a lot to pick over in these photos, including that magnificent shot of Daenerys riding Drogon, and the return of Varys to Westeros. With both Varys and Littlefinger guiding their factions in Westeros, you know some sh*t is about to go down. Littlefinger is a creepy creep who creeps about, but he makes sh*t happen. Those photos of him and Sansa in Winterfell are the most foreboding of this lot.
But there are new details to examine! Jon Snow is wearing the Stark direwolf sigil on his armor now, which makes you wonder what he’ll wear when he finds out he’s also a Targaryen. That has to happen soon, right? There are only thirteen hours left—some of this sh*t needs to get resolved. And Arya’s back, and dressing like a Stark again, and it looks like she’s in Winterfell? Or near it, anyway. I can’t wait for Arya and Jon to be reunited; Sansa’s reunion was about her being safe, but Arya actually liked Jon, and he had Needle made for her. Their bond is WAY more vital than his and Sansa’s, which is mostly political anyway.
Speaking of which, these photos identify Sansa as the Lady of Winterfell. Assuming that holds up, this would be the smartest thing Jon Snow has ever done—and also the most politically savvy. Though Sansa was the one who ensured they won back Winterfell (by kneecapping Jon’s strategy but whatever, bygones), Jon was the one crowned King in the North. I noted at the time that Sansa didn’t look thrilled.
But if he gives her Winterfell, then he is essentially giving her not only her home back, but also the power in the North. He may be the king, but Jon is a general, not a politician. If Sansa is the Lady of Winterfell, it means he knows he needs her help to keep things together and he gave her a powerful position—one that could, theoretically, be used to overthrow his own reign—which leaves Sansa as the de facto ruler while Jon raises an army to fight White Walkers. (Sidebar, how is every word out of Jon’s mouth not 1) “I came back from the dead”, and 2) “THERE IS A F*CK-OFF HUGE ARMY OF ICE ZOMBIES HEADED STRAIGHT FOR US”.)
And of course we have the Lannisters on a collision course, with Jamie and Queen Cersei in King’s Landing and Tyrion at Dragonstone. (Second sidebar: Can we all agree that the Dragonstone throne is WAY cooler than the Iron Throne?) The map of Westeros puts Dragonstone across Blackwater Bay from King’s Landing, so Tyrion is practically in Cersei’s backyard. I can’t WAIT for the scene when she finds out he’s back. See, I care about more than the dragons.
Finally, there are Tormund and Brienne of Tarth, and Tormund eyeing up Brienne of Tarth. I love those two as much as anyone, but I don’t need them to get together. What I do need is for Brienne to survive long enough to realize she has landed amongst people who will value her for her skill and integrity, and that there are men in the world who are attracted to her strength and prowess. I need her to know that Tormund isn’t mocking her with his interest, that, even if she doesn’t return it, his attraction is real. I just need Brienne to know that the cruelty she experienced as a girl was of a moment, and not a lifetime. Although I would also consider it a personal favor if Brienne survives—do you hear me Benioff & Weiss? PLEASE LET BRIENNE LIVE. This why I’m Team Dragon—I don’t trust any of the people characters to actually survive.
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