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Game of Thrones series 7: Best theories, spoilers and predictions

17 October

Daenerys will visit the Dragonpit in series seven of Game of Thrones, according to the ever-busy rumour mill.

Inside sources have told fansite Watchers on the Wall that Daenerys will appear at the cavernous ruin, which is perched on the hills of King's Landing. It has often been teased as a location, with a scene of a dragon flying over it.

The Dragonpit is featured in the Song of Ice and Fire books, where it is described as a vast old building used to house the dragons of the Targaryens before the narrative begins. However, it was destroyed, with only the ruins remaining.

Watchers on the Wall adds: "After seeing some of the new Spain locations for season seven, we speculated Game of Thrones might be using one for a dragonpit. There is no word yet if that site, the Roman ruins called Italica found in Santiponce, Seville, is the place where the Dragonpit will be filmed."

The cast is returning to Belfast for filming for season seven. IrishThrones tweets that activity has been spotted in Corbet, the village that hosted shooting last year, including for the siege of Riverrun storyline.

Jim Broadbent joins Game of Thrones

Entertainment Weekly has revealed that Jim Broadbent will join the cast for season seven.

The Oscar-winning actor, who appeared as Professor Slughorn in the Harry Potter movies, is said to have a "significant" role in the series, which will have seven episodes rather than ten.

The Independent puts his casting on par with that of Richard E Grant and Ian McShane in season six.

It's also not the first time an actor has crossed from Harry Potter's Hogwarts to GoT's Westeros: Natalia Tena played Tonks and then Osha, David Bradley played Filch and then Walder Frey, and Michelle Fairley played Hermione's mother and then Catelyn Stark.

A popular theory among fans is that Broadbent will play an archmaester at the Citadel, where Samwell Tarly has arrived to train as a maester and learn more about the White Walkers.

Others believe he will play an older Howland Reed, the father of Meera Reed, and the character who appeared in one of Bran Stark's visions. It was Howland who accompanied Bran's father, Ned, to the Tower of Joy where Jon Snow's true identity was revealed.

Gendry to finally finish rowing?

A photograph of actor Joe Dempsie at Belfast airport, covering his head with a hoody, has sparked rumours that his character Gendry might finally return to Game of Thrones.

Gendry, the bastard son of King Robert Baratheon, was last seen escaping Dragonstone in a rowing boat. Red priestess Melisandre had discovered his lineage and wanted to burn him alive as a sacrifice to the Lord of Light to help Robert's brother, Stannis, conquer the throne.

A lot has happened since then – Cersei Lannister has become queen and Melisandre has started to feel guilty about her human fires – but for all we know Gendry has just been merrily rowing around the Narrow Sea for the last three seasons.

Some fans believe he is in with a chance of claiming the throne if he returns to King's Landing, although he would have to be legitimised first. He is the only known man in Westeros with Baratheon blood, after Cersei had her husband's other bastard children slaughtered.

One theory is that Jon Snow, now King of the North, might legitimise Gendry, as his new advisor Davos Seaworth is among the few who know his real lineage.

It would bring the story full circle, as the show kicked off with Ned Stark discovering Gendry and questioning the legitimacy of King Joffrey.

A Rhaegar Targaryen flashback?

The long-held fan theory that Jon Snow was the bastard son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark was finally played out in season six. A flashback showed Ned Stark taking baby Jon from his dying sister and making her an inaudible promise, presumably to bring the boy up as his own. Now fans are hoping for a glimpse of Rhaegar in season seven. 

A casting call went out in August for a tall, white, handsome actor in his late twenties with an "RP" accent - Received Pronunciation, sometimes referred to as the "Queen's English" and often associated with King's Landing in Game of Thrones. The description "fits pretty well with a youthful version of Rhaegar Targaryen", notes Radio Times.

This week, fans' hopes were piqued again when singer Devin Oliver, from US electronicore band I See Stars, posted an image on Instagram with the caption: "I may or may not have made an appearance in Game of Thrones season 7."

Oliver's pale skin and light blond man-bun sparked rumours he might have been cast as Rhaegar, but many remain sceptical. Game of Thrones is unlikely to let such a major reveal out of the bag so easily and the image appears to be linked to a music video rather than the GoT set. 

Euron will have a key role

Euron "Crow's Eye" Greyjoy, played by Pilou Asbaek, is rumoured to be teaming up with Queen Cersei in season seven.

In season six, Euron killed his brother Balon and laid claim to the Salt Throne, leaving his niece Yara and nephew Theon furious. He planned to bring Daenerys Targaryen back to Westeros as his wife and conquer the Seven Kingdoms with the help of her dragons, but Yara and Theon reached Daenerys first and brokered a deal.

"It looks like a big year is in the works for Euron," says Watchers on the Wall. "We hear that he and Queen Cersei are teaming up in season seven. We've also heard that Euron will take out at least one of the Sand Snakes."

He will also reportedly capture Yara or Theon during a battle at sea. "I could see Euron somehow capturing Yara," says Christopher Hooton at The Independent, "forcing Theon to summon some mental strength and head up House Greyjoy - at least until he can rescue his sister."

Will Sansa Stark marry Jon Snow?

One Game of Thrones vlogger has pulled together hints from George RR Martin's books suggesting Sansa Stark and Jon Snow might marry. Alt Shift X points out the similarities between Sansa's relationship history and that of five champions competing in a tournament for Lady Ashford in the prequel A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms. Sansa was engaged to Joffrey Baratheon; engaged to Loras Tyrell; married to Tyrion Lannister; and then to Harrold Hardyng (in the books, rather than Ramsay Bolton in the television series). The champions fighting on Lady Ashford's behalf came from exactly the same four noble houses - as well as a Targaryen. [[{"type":"media","view_mode":"content_original","fid":"101450","attributes":{"class":"media-image"}}]]

This has led Alt Shift X to believe Sansa's next relationship will be with a Targaryen - and there is only one male Targaryen left: Jon Snow. The duo grew up believing they were half siblings, so it "does feel pretty gross for them to get together", says the vlogger. "But would that stop George RR Martin?" There have been relationships between much closer relatives in the books and in a draft for the series, Jon and Arya Stark even fell in love, so it is clear Martin has considered a "Snow on Stark" romance, adds Alt Shift X.

The end of Daario Naharis?

Daario Naharis, the warrior-leader of the Second Sons, was dumped by the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen, at the end of season six. She refused to bring him along to Westeros fearing he would get in the way of her quest to take back the Iron Throne. Daario was left heartbroken as Dany explained that she would need to marry to forge new alliances and would not be able to keep him as a lover. Instead, she said, he would have to remain in Meereen to protect the peace.

But fans are still hopeful Daario might return in season seven – perhaps to "swoop in for a last-minute leg-up" in battle for his queen in Westeros, suggests the Daily Beast. But actor Michiel Huisman has remained furtive. Asked if he was upset he was not given a big death scene, he told the website: "I am disappointed. But he's still out there, you know. It's a big world. He got left behind, but who knows?" And when the Radio Times asked directly if he would return, he said: "Well, we don't know! I can't say anything about that."

Season seven will be 'heart-breaking'

As the Game of Thrones cast celebrated their record-breaking triumph at this year's Emmy Awards, journalists on the red carpet were trying their best to coax clues out of the stars for next season. Sophie Turner, who plays Sansa Stark, told Variety that everyone was feeling emotional about the show coming to an end. "We've got one more season… well, not all of us," she added, prompting speculation about which of the main characters might be killed off next.

Ani Bundel at fan site Winter is Coming says Sansa is on her list as "questionable for survival", although she notes that Cersei Lannister's time is clearly running out. "It's just a matter of how and when," says Bundel. Turner admits that she cried when she read the scripts, although she quickly added that it wasn't necessarily in a "sad way". "I was just like: 'Holy crap. I can't believe Game of Thrones is doing this and this is happening to the character'… It's insane. It's a really good season," she said.

Meanwhile, Maisie Williams, who plays Turner's on-screen sister Arya, warned audiences that the next season "is going to be heart-breaking".

Cast sightings aplenty

Game of Thrones stars are popping up in Northern Ireland as filming continues for season seven. Emilia Clark (Daenerys Targaryen) reunited with Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei) and Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm), while Hannah Murray (Gilly) was spotted on the streets of Belfast. Kit Harington (Jon Snow) was pictured buying candles with his real-life girlfriend Rose Leslie, who also played his on-screen love interest Ygritte, until she died in season four.

Many Seven Kingdoms locations have been filmed in Northern Ireland, including Slaver's Bay and Winterfell. This week Harington, Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Daniel Portman (Podrick Payne) and a body double for Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) were spotted at Banbridge's Linen Mill Studios in what appeared to be the underclothes of their usual costumes. Aiden Gillen, who plays Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish, was also seen in a T-shirt and black trousers.

"Filming took place inside, so we don't know for sure where the scene took place, Westeros-location-wise," says Watchers on The Wall. "Given that we have Sansa, Jon, Littlefinger, Davos, Brienne and Pod, there’s decent odds they've created some of Winterfell inside the studios."

The Iron Throne will be melted down

Just when we thought we had seen the last of King Joffrey he has popped back up again with an imaginative ending for Game of Thrones – well, the actor Jack Gleeson anyway. Speaking at New York Comic Con, the 24-year-old shared one fan theory about the White Walkers.

"This isn't a spoiler, because I know zero about the show and I literally know nothing about what will happen," he said. "[A fan] came up with this theory that they told me: someone's going to melt down the Iron Throne because it has the Valyrian steel that will overcome the White Walkers. I think that's kind of a cool idea – the monarchy is literally dissolved."

It would be a fitting sacrifice for Westeros, which has been so busy with internal fighting for power that it has failed to fully comprehend the threats posed by nature. 

However, other fans have rejected the idea that the Iron Throne, forged at the order of Aegon the Conqueror, contains any Valyrian steel at all. 

Jon Snow will ride south for a reunion

According to the Spanish Game of Thrones site Los Siete Reinos, the new King of the North will ride south for a reunion with his old friend Theon Greyjoy. A great deal has happened since the two men were friendly rivals in Winterfell. Theon attempted to seize Winterfell and had two farm boys murdered, pretending they were the Stark children. He was then captured by Ramsay Bolton and tortured into servitude. After escaping with Sansa Stark and being reunited with his sister Yara, he is now heading to King's Landing with Daenerys Targaryen to help her retake the Iron Throne.

Meanwhile, Jon has battled White Walkers beyond The Wall, only to be murdered by his own brothers of the Night's Watch. He was then brought him back to life and successfully fought off the Boltons to reclaim the North.

"It will be interesting to see whether Jon treats Theon with mercy, despite his abhorrent actions in Winterfell," says The Independent. It is also "intriguing" that Jon is in the South at all, says the newspaper, as viewers have only ever seen him in Winterfell or further north. Is a meeting with Daenerys on the cards?

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