11:00am PT by Josh Wigler
'Game of Thrones': What's Coming in "Stormborn"
[Warning: This story contains spoilers for the season seven premiere of HBO's Game of Thrones, "Dragonstone."]
Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) committed stone-hearted mass murder in the season seven premiere of HBO's Game of Thrones. Based on the trailer for the second episode, it looks like she's about to revisit one of her earliest stone-hearted decisions.
In the preview for the episode, called "Stormborn," there's a quick flash of a face from Arya's past who viewers haven't seen in a long time. No, sadly, it's not Gendry (Joe Dempsie), though rumors persist that the long-lost blacksmith will return to the show before long. Instead, it's someone who has been gone for even longer: Nymeria, one of only two of the original direwolves still alive.
We haven't seen Nymeria since the second episode of the series, and the days of the butcher's boy. For those who don't remember, the Starks and Baratheons were traveling along the Kingsroad, as Ned Stark (Sean Bean) was tasked with becoming Hand of the King. During a pit stop, Sansa (Sophie Turner) and Joffrey (Jack Gleason) stumbled upon Arya play-fighting with a young boy. Joffrey started terrorizing the boy, because he's Joffrey and he's awful, which led to an even more vicious fight with Arya.
The scuffle ended when Nymeria burst onto the scene and clamped her jaws on the wicked prince's arm. Afterward, Arya and Nymeria ran off into the woods, where the young Stark threw stones at her direwolf in order to cast her out and keep her safe from the king's justice. Sansa's pet Lady was killed in Nymeria's stead.
While she's been largely absent from the show ever since, traces of Nymeria have been littered in George R.R. Martin's books on which Thrones is based. There are rumors she's still in the Riverlands, commanding a pack of wolves. Guess who else is in the Riverlands right now? One hint: She just killed a bunch of Freys. What's more, the sixth book in Martin's series, the hopefully forthcoming The Winds of Winter, was once called A Time for Wolves. Looks like we're one week away from bringing at least one long-lost wolf back into the pack.
A few other key moments from the episode-two trailer:
• Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) aren't featured in the same scene together in the trailer, but the means of bringing them together exists all the same. "The Targaryen cannot be trusted," The Vale's Yohn Royce (Rupert Vansittart) tells Jon, as clear a signal as any that Sam's (John Bradley) discovery of dragonglass on Dragonstone has already landed on King Snow's radar. In other words, next week could bring us one of the single most anticipated meetings in Game of Thrones' history.
• Someone's choking Littlefinger (Aiden Gillan). Based on the season seven trailers released over the past few months, we know who's doing the choking: Jon Snow. It's a move straight out of his late dad Ned's playbook, as Lord Stark famously grabbed Littlefinger by the neck very early on in his time in King's Landing. It's almost certainly deserved, too, given that Littlefinger is trying to scheme against Jon with Sansa, albeit unsuccessfully so far.
• Daenerys and Varys (Conleth Hill) are about to hang out! There's a quick shot of the two of them in the preview, which is exciting, because these two allies haven't had much interaction yet at all. Given how phenomenal Dany's interactions with Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) have been, it should be equally riveting when the Mother of Dragons and the Spider finally have a chance to spin some webs together.
• The season premiere teased a great naval battle between the fractured House Greyjoy, and it could be coming next week, if Yara (Gemma Whelan) gets her way. In the preview, she tells Daenerys that it's time to make a preemptive move on the Lannisters: "We have an army, a fleet and three dragons. We should hit King's Landing now." If she gets her way, then she's going to sail straight into Uncle Euron (Pilou Asbaek), who promised Cersei he would return with a prize. Given that the Lannisters need an edge in the fight against the overpowered Targaryens, our money is on a Euron victory, if only to shift the scales ever so slightly.
• Last thing on Yara: She's making out with Ellaria (Indira Varma)! The Iron Islander and the deadly Dornish leader were first seen kissing in a previous trailer for season seven, and the preview tells us it's happening next week. It's just one more ship to add to Yara's already vast armada.