This could be HUGE.
The Game of Thrones Season 7 trailer that dropped Wednesday contained plenty of tantalizing hints for fans to devour online. Chief among them appears to be the one thing we’ve been waiting for since Season 1: A reunion of the Stark family, or what’s left of it, in Winterfell.
We already know that Jon Snow, the new King in the North, begins the season at the northern capital. As does Sansa Stark, who got her revenge on Ramsay Bolton after helping to retake Winterfell at the Battle of the Bastards last season.
Her younger sister Arya, now a certified professional killer after spending a couple of seasons in Braavos, isn’t definitively in Winterfell according to any images from Season 7 released so far. But as we noted last month, Arya has been pictured wearing exactly the right amount of furs for a trip home (she’d need to wrap up warmer if she was heading to the Wall.)
With Ned, Catelyn, Robb and Rickon all dead, that just leaves Bran as the only outstanding RSVP to the Stark party. The trailer finally caught us up on his location, and it looks a lot like Winterfell.
Season 6 saw Bran leaving the tutelage of the Three-Eyed Raven, a.k.a. the giant tree guy played by Max Von Sydow, when the Night King came and crashed their hideout. He narrowly escaped the White Walkers thanks to a little help from his friends (RIP, Hodor) and headed south towards the Wall again.
In the trailer we get a brief shot of Meera lugging the legless Bran through the Wall gate, meaning he’s back in the north. Then comes the key image, above: Bran in a wheelchair (finally!) in what appears to be the sacred Godswood at Winterfell, by the Weirwood heart tree.
The man by his side appears to be Maester Wolkan, last seen working for Ramsay Bolton at Winterfell, further confirming the location.
The location is significant for about a hundred different reasons. First of all, within the trailer itself, we saw Sansa walking through that same Godswood. Does she get to hang out with her baby brother, or are they going to miss each other by a matter of days again?
Secondly, the Weirwood tree is how Bran — who is, lest we forget, the new official Three-Eyed Raven — connects to the past. It’s how he discovered Jon Snow was actually the lovechild of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen.
And here’s a spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t read the books: in A Dance With Dragons, Bran is able to talk briefly to a younger version of his father Ned via this exact Weirwood tree.
The TV version of Bran already knows his father can hear him in these visions, but he’s never encountered him at Winterfell. Not yet, at least.
Could we possibly be about to see some sort of trans-time reunion of all Starks, including Ned? If so, prepare for the internet to lose its mind over this show — even more than it already has.
Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres July 16 on HBO.