In Depth

Game of Thrones death toll reaches 150,966

A new video claims to show the demise of every living being in the show - but have some deaths slipped under the radar?

Game of Thrones season 7: Jaime Lannister should die by dragon fire, actor says

05 May 

Game of Thrones star Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister on HBO's hit show, has called for his character to be killed off in a brutal and unusual way.

Speaking to The Observer, the actor said "it has to be a dragon death", a reference to the three winged beasts controlled by Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke).

"Just fried," he added. "He has to burn. Has to."

Game of Thrones is known for killing off its characters, no matter how beloved.

Lannister, the wealthy nobleman brother of Cersei, Queen Regent of the Seven Kingdoms (Lena Headey), began as an obvious villain - sleeping with his sister and betraying his monarch, an act which earned him the title "Kingslayer". However, in more recent series he has become a more sympathetic character.

According to Coster-Waldau, Lannister is best understood in the episode Kissed by Fire, in season three, when his character reveals he had a very good reason for stabbing the king in the back.

"[The episode] was a very important moment… The most important for Jaime," he said, reports Sky News. "Which is why I think Jaime should be killed by fire."

It was unclear whether Coster-Waldau's remarks were a spoiler or mere speculation. While viewers were once able to discover what was to happen by reading George RR Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice books, on which Game of Thrones is based, the author has not been able to keep pace with the TV show. Last series was the first where viewers saw events before they appeared in print and since then, the upcoming plot has been kept notoriously secretive.

Series seven, the penultimate season, premieres on 16 July.

Game of Thrones season 7: Clues and rumours teased in new HBO trailer

12 April 

Game of Thrones season seven doesn't start until July, but a new promo trailer for HBO has teased some clues about the forthcoming new episodes.

The campaign video promoting the TV network, fronted by Last Week Tonight host John Oliver, features a parade of the network’s best-known characters, including

Key members of the cast feature in the film, which is fronted by Last Week Tonight host John Oliver, appearing alongside other stars from the network's show trying to sing its signature crackly "ahh" opening.

While the likes of Thandie Newton from Westworld, Veep's Julia Louise-Dreyfus and Divorce star Sarah Jessica Parker all appear, it's the Game of Thrones actors who have attracted the most attention.

However, that's not for their singing abilities. Rather, it's the costumes they are wearing which have grabbed fans, with many saying they offer clues to plot points for season seven.  

Cersei (Lena Headey) appears in full queenly regalia, complete with metal-studded collar and silver crown.

Her hair is still shorn, following her "walk of shame" penance. Does that mean she's learned some caution and humility, or will she become an even more formidable vengeful queen?

The promo also sees the Starks - Sansa (Sophie Turner), Arya (Maisie Williams), Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) and Jon Snow (Kit Harington) - three of whom are wearing matching fur-trimmed Winterfell costumes.

This has prompted speculation that the family could reunite at their ancestral home, as Hannah Lawrence in Metro suggests.

Added to that, Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) and her advisors Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) are all shown wearing impressive, military-style uniforms, which could be a sign that her campaign is getting serious and her advisors have been promoted.

Meanwhile, Mark Gatiss, who appears as the crafty banker Tycho Nestoris of Braavos, hinted that his character has a significant part to play in the next series.

Speaking at the BFI & Radio Times Festival in London, the actor told fans he would play a recurring role, the Daily Express reports.

However, he added: "I honestly don't know the ins and outs. People ask me this, that and the other -I haven't got a clue.

"I've done four episodes now and there's two more, they think."

Gatiss also said he had suggested an idea for his character to showrunners Daniel Weiss and David Benioff, but they had their own thoughts.

"I made a pitch to be the last one alive because if anyone survives, it's the banker, isn't it? They smiled at me and then plotted my doom," he said.

His comments, nevertheless, add to speculation that Braavos and its Iron Bank will play a key role in the battle for the Seven Kingdoms, which are deeply indebted to the city state. Many believe the Iron Bank may even form an alliance with Daenerys in her bid to re-take the Iron Throne.

Game of Thrones season 7 starts 16 July.

Game of Thrones: Ed Sheeran to star in season 7

13 March

Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter is set to play unknown role in fantasy drama's penultimate series

Ed Sheeran will make a guest appearance in Game of Thrones, the show's producers have revealed.

Speaking at the SXSW film festival in Austin, Texas, David Benioff and Dan Weiss confirmed that the Grammy award-winning singer will appear in an episode of the fantasy drama's forthcoming seventh season.

The producers say they pursued the singer for a guest spot as a treat for Sheeran fan Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark on the show.

"For years, we tried to get Ed Sheeran on the show to surprise Maisie [Williams], and this year we finally did it," Benioff told the audience at a panel discussion, says the Hollywood Reporter.

The producers did not reveal any details of Sheeran's role, leaving viewers to speculate over whether the singer's character will be another victim of the series's gruesome deaths.

But they confirmed that the penultimate season of the show would be shorter than previous seasons and would consist of only six episodes.

Previous musical cameos on the show have included members of Coldplay, Of Monsters and Men and Sigur Ros, but Sheeran – who currently holds nine out of the top ten places in the UK's singles chart – is the show's most high profile musical guest so far.

The mild-mannered musician may seem an unlikely addition to the bleak and brutal world of Westeros, but "he has history in that department", says the Daily Telegraph.

In 2015, Sheeran played Sir Cormac in The Bastard Executioner, a similarly bloody historical drama set in 14th century Wales.

His acting in the show, which was cancelled after one series, "suggests Game of Thrones might be better off without him," says the Telegraph's Rupert Hawksley.

Game of Thrones season seven will premiere in the UK at 2am on Monday 17 July on Sky Atlantic.

Game of Thrones: The best fan theories for season seven

10 March

Game of Thrones' penultimate series will hit our screens on 16 July, says a new trailer for the show released yesterday.

The clip features black-and-white shots of the sigils belonging to the show's different houses, including the Baratheon's black stag, the Targaryen's three-headed dragon and the Stark's direwolf. 

Meanwhile, voices of several characters remind viewers of past fights, from the Mad King Aerys Targaryen wanting to "burn them all" to the Boltons and Freys betraying the Starks in the Red Wedding massacre.

But the prevailing message appears to come from Jon Snow: "There is only one war that matters: The Great War. And it is here."

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This has prompted speculation that season seven might climax with a war against the White Walkers. A new poster for the series certainly suggests the ancient race of humanoid ice creatures might be confronted with Targaryen dragons.

But with many questions to answer in a mere seven episodes, the internet is, as ever, rife with other fan theories on what to expect.

Here's a rundown of the good, the bad and the slightly crazy…

Bran lets in the White Walkers

Bran Stark fans might want to look away now. A new theory says he might cause the very disaster he is trying to stop: letting the White Walkers through the Wall. Last season, Bran was marked by the Night's King, meaning the Walkers can pass through any magical barrier he hides behind. Consequently, if he goes south of the Wall, the creepy ice zombies could get a free ticket into Westeros. "Not cool," says GamesRadar.

Game of Thrones is actually being told by Samwell Tarly

Unusually, this theory comes from one of the actors. John Bradley, who plays Samwell Tarly, told the Hollywood Reporter that the gyroscope in the opening credits also crops up in the Citadel library, where his character is training to become a maester. Bradley thinks that could be a fourth-wall signifier that a story is being told – by Samwell himself, no less. But, CheatSheet wonders, who would he be telling it to – an apocalyptic group of survivors as the White Walkers close in or a bunch of children in a safe, happy Westeros? 

Arya becomes Lady Stoneheart

Fans have been waiting for ages for Lady Stoneheart, who in the books is Lady Stark, resurrected to wreak bloody vengeance on those who wronged her family. It's now series seven and there's no sign – but wait! What if her daughter Arya becomes Lady Stoneheart instead? After all, she's proven to be pretty good at the whole vengeful murder thing. The sound of Lady Stark's death is replayed in the latest trailer, suggesting she has not been altogether forgotten.

Jorah is saved by unicorns

This theory, spawned from the wilds of Reddit, is possibly a little too crazy even for the most conspiracy-hungry viewer. Still, Game of Thrones viewers have learnt to expect the unexpected. In the last series, Jorah Mormont set off on a journey to find a cure for his greyscale, a usually fatal disease that deadens human flesh. As one Redditor says, unicorns are known for their healing properties and in the books, the Stark island of Skagos is thought to be home to them.

Game of Thrones season seven to end with 'huge cliffhanger'

1 February 2017 

Arya Stark actor Maisie Williams hints at what is to come in the next series of GoT.

With only two short seasons left in the HBO series, fans of George RR Martin's epic fantasy tale Game of Thrones have known for some time that "winter is coming". Now the show's star Maisie Williams has told audiences to prepare for a "huge cliffhanger" at the end of season seven.

Talking to Time Out, Williams, who plays youthful assassin Arya Stark, said: "It's just kind of tumbling now. We've come to the climax and it's rolling down to the end. It's exciting. I really felt like at the end of last season, everything was set up for how it was going to end. Every character came to a little junction in their lives. Now we're all going to crash down together to however this show ends."

While the actor does not know what happens in the final eighth series, she does know how season seven ends.

When asked what we can expect, she said: "A huge cliffhanger."

Williams revealed that there is talk of a group tattoo for any cast members who make it from season one all the way through to the end of season eight.

She also told ITV's This Morning: "This year it really kind of heats up. Everyone gets their trials and everyone gets their tribulations, which is excellent. Particularly for Arya, there's some high points and there's some real low points, too."

Dan Gunderman at the NY Daily News reflects on the "unresolved" elements of the show that might bring the series to its "huge cliffhanger".

Where is Arya headed, he wonders. And what will Cersei Lannister's fate be after exploding the Great Sept of Baelor? Gunderman points out that Sansa Stark doesn't appear ready to blindly follow Jon Snow, so "will she rally behind Petyr Baelish and the Knights of the Vale? Or stick with the King in the North?"

And finally, what about Daenerys Targaryen, who was last seen triumphant, on sea, headed for Westeros?

For answers to all this and more, fans will have to wait a little later than usual this year as the air date for season seven has been postponed to summer instead of April.

A return date of 25 June was apparently leaked on IMDb but the post was quickly removed and may not have been an official posting. HBO has yet to confirm the official air date.

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