‘Game of Thrones’ season 7 has come! Here is everything we know so far

'Game of Thrones' season 7 finale photos tease the longest episode yet

game of thrones season 7 photos news casting s7e7 6
Macall B. Polay/HBO

Being a Game of Thrones fan has required extra patience this year. After eschewing the usual production schedule to get the right weather to finally allow winter to come to Westeros, the show’s season 7 premiere was pushed back until summer. In the meantime, we had to obsess over any and all pieces of information we could find.

And now those days of waiting are over. The season has been a crazy one — even for Game of Thrones — as the stakes have never been higher now that the series finale is just a handful of episodes or so away. There are more interesting storylines in progress, especially with Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) coming to make her claim on the crown on the backs of her dragons. The great game could play out in so many ways, and it continues to be fascinating to watch it develop.

There is a lot to tie up as we go through the show’s final episodes, so prepare yourself with everything we know so far — but be warned that there will be spoilers ahead.

The longest episode yet

Game of Thrones still has a lot of ground to cover and a finite number of episodes to do it, so we’re getting a supersized season 7 finale. Clocking in at 79 minutes, 43 seconds, the episode will be the longest to date. Called “The Dragon and the Wolf,” it will bring together some of the show’s major players, as we saw in the finale’s promo (below). HBO released new photos Wednesday, and they offer a closer look at what our heroes and villains are up to.

There is a lot of brooding in the newest photos, particularly back at Winterfell. Both Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) and her brother Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) appear lost in thought. Meanwhile, the Lannisters — Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) — seem to be getting ready for the big Dragonpit meeting. They’re also shown in the midst of it, along with Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington).

Missing from the photos is Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), who suffered a huge loss last episode when one of her dragons was killed. It’s hard to say if this next episode will go any better for her. Although her Dothraki army and the Unsullied are ready for the rendezvous, you never know what Cersei has up her sleeve.

We’d put money on this finale being an intense one. At nearly an hour and 20 minutes, how could it not be? Prepare yourself accordingly.

Episodes leak early

In the wake of a hack where the culprits pilfered scripts, treatments, and full episodes of HBO series, including Game of Thrones, season 7episode 4 was leaked ahead of its August 6 air date. Later, episode 6, titled “Beyond the Wall,” found its way onto the internet early. However, this time it isn’t hackers to blame — it’s HBO itself. Specifically, HBO Spain and HBO Nordic, both of which accidentally let the episode out early. The mistake was quickly caught and corrected, but not early enough, as episode 6 quickly made its way to sketchier corners of the web. Change a few pronouns around, and the whole thing could be a subplot of the show.

Whether you seek out the episode or not, spoilers are still a threat. In fact, between this and leaks that occurred during production, spoilers for season 7 of Game of Thrones have been especially difficult to avoid.

To the wall and beyond

After a brief break from battle in episode 5, Game of Thrones is setting up another likely clash in episode 6, “Beyond the Wall.” This time, it looks like the fighting will be happening outside of the Seven Kingdoms. HBO’s latest episodic photos, released Wednesday, show Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and his motley crew on their hazardous northern mission. Their goal is to capture a White Walker, which is insanely risky. They will have to fight to survive, and the photos show that. Multiple images picture the men with their weapons at the ready, hinting that they will be faced with scary threats.

Again, HBO has released photos without an episode synopsis, so that leaves us with fewer clues than we would like. We won’t complain, though, because what we have seen guarantees another intense episode.

There is no sign of the ever-diabolical Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) in the latest photos, but we do see two images of her rival queen, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). In both, the Mother of Dragons is shown strategizing with her hand, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage). Meanwhile, another woman in charge, Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) has her own concerns; she appears in photos with Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) and Arya Stark (Maisie Williams). Sansa’s little sister could be one of her concerns after Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish (Aidan Gillen) schemed to pit them against each other with his letter stunt in episode 5.

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