Published: Tuesday, July 11, 2017 @ 4:55 PM
By: Joe Gross, Austin American-Statesman
— The new season of Game of Thrones starts Sunday. Here is where (almost) everyone is on the massive chessboard that is Westeros.
WHERE WE LEFT HER: On the #@$^&ing Iron Throne. Her father, maybe the only man she respected, is dead. Her children, maybe the only thing that tethered her to basic humanity, are dead. The last one, sweet, naive Tommen, stepped out a window after his mother engineered the destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor, a move that, with end-of-“the-Godfather” efficiency, killed every opponent she had in King’s Landing. She is on the Iron Throne with an iron fist.
That said, almost every other major character is gunning for her now. Possibly including...
WHERE WE LEFT HIM: Dude has had a weird couple of months. He and a crew (including everyone’s favorite witty sellsword Ser Bronn and some Frey forces who probably don’t yet know that Walder is dead) sacked Riverrun for Lannister and Frey.
He and Bronn return to King’s Landing only to find the Sept a smoking ruin and Cersei on the Iron Throne.
Will the Kingslayer become a Queenslayer?
Brienne of Tarth and Podrick
WHERE WE LEFT THEM: Rowing away from Riverrun after both the battle and a few meaningful looks between Jaime and Brienne. Presumably they will end up at King’s Landing with everyone else.
WHERE WE LEFT HIM: The King in the North, with his half-sister Sansa by his side, has retaken his ancestral home Winterfell from the Boltons.
He did so with a ragtag bunch of bannermen and Wildlings and, hello, the knights of the Vale -- who were led by the always icky Lord Petyr "chaos is a ladder" Baelish.
Snow rallied his bannermen thanks largely to Lady Lyanna Mormont, who looks about 12 and is the baddest child on TV right now.
Will his coalition of the willing invade King’s Landing from the north or stay to fight the White Walkers?
After all, it turns out he is not Ned Stark’s bastard but his actually the son of Lyanna Stark and the late Rhaegar Targaryen, which the audience knows and he does not -- his is the most legit claim to the throne on the board.
WHERE WE LEFT HER: In a decent spot for the first time in forever. She killed her torturer and rapist Ramsey Bolton, and she is at her half-brother’s side. But she still has to deal with the epic leering of...
WHERE WE LEFT HIM: Trying to convince Sansa to be his queen and aid him in taking the Iron Throne (which, let’s be real, could involve killing her brother).
At the very end, he busts out an amazing look that is part lust, part I-told-you-so and part I-am-gonna-betray-all-of-you. Sansa sees it and Petyr sees that she sees it and it is DARK, y’all.
WHERE WE LEFT HER: Bein’ awesome.
WHERE WE LEFT HIM: Deader than disco. Actually, disco is FAR more alive than the sadistic Ramsey, whom we last saw being eaten by his own dogs. Good riddance.
The Night King
WHERE WE LEFT HIM: Readying his army of White Walkers
WHERE WE LEFT HIM: The former Night’s Watchman checked in with his family just long enough to steal his dad’s Valyrian steel sword (it’s chill; dad has it coming) and head out -- with babymama Gilly and baby in tow -- for the Citadel where (the plan is) he will learn to be the Westeros’ kindest, most good-natured maester.
Bran Stark and Meera Reed
WHERE WE LEFT THEM: Bran is psychic as all get out, he and Meera survived a battle with white walkers, a battle then claimed Hodor’s life in the most gut-wrenching ep since “The Red Wedding” (and a far more moving one at that). They are headed toward the Wall.
WHERE WE LEFT HER: The little assassin that could bounced on the Faceless Men who trained her and just took out Red Wedding planner Walder Frey via knife across the throat (after baking his sons into a pie). We are not sure where she is next going, but killing-everyone-on-her-famous-list is a good bet. Cersei Lannister, protect ya neck.
Sandor “The Hound” Clegane
WHERE WE LEFT HIM: He was chilling out with Septon Ray and some humble followers, building a sept.
When those villagers were murdered by rogue raiders, he tracked them down and killed them all. He is currently joined with members of the vigilante anti-Lannister group Brotherhood with Banners, which is led by the one-eyed Beric Dondarrion, who has been resurrected six times. They are all headed north to fight White Walkers with what is left of the Night’s Watch.
Yara, Theon and Euron Greyjoy
WHERE WE LEFT THEM: Well, after it seemed like siblings Yara (she being a totally rad admiral in the Greyjoy fleet) and Theon (who has had a pretty rough few years) are finally reunited and can rule the Iron Islands together, uncle Euron shows up, kills his brother (King Balon), declares himself ruler and forces Yara and Theon to flee.
Fortunately, Yara and Theon leave with most of the fleet (prompting Euron to build more ships). After brokering a deal with Dany, the siblings are last seen joining the ever-larger army who are sailing towards King’s Landing.
Ellaria Sand, Olenna Tyrell and Varys
WHERE WE LEFT THEM: In Dorne, making an alliance. Ellaria, former consort to the totally awesome Oberyn Martell (we will never forget you, fam), has deposed and killed her brother-in-law Doran and nephew Trystane as revenge for them NOT taking vengeance on House Lannister after Oberyn’s death. She has assassinated Cersei’s daughter Myrcella. She and the Sand Snakes are running this place.
So when she meets with Olenna, who is mourning the death of her son and grandchildren in the destruction of the sept, she proposes an alliance. Varys, having been dispatched by the Daenerys Targaryen/Tyrion axis, convinces both to ally with the Mother of Dragons against the Lannisters.
Daario Naharis and Jorah Mormont
WHERE WE LEFT THEM: Not with the lady they love. These two men who adore Dany will not be going with her into battle. Her lover Daario is holding down the fort in Meereen, Mormont needs to cure his greyscale before he does anything else.
WHERE WE LEFT HIM: Not even the smartest man in Westeros can resist the Mother of Dragons. Tyrion spent most of season 6 running Meereen in Dany’s absence with Varys, Unsullied general Grey Worm and translator Missandei. After Dany returns, he advises her to bounce Daario (and possibly keep herself available for marriage). She makes him her Hand and he drops to his knees. So, last but far from least....
WHERE WE LEFT HER: As the most powerful person in Westeros not named Cersei (and possibly more powerful). The Stormborn is currently sailing toward King’s Landing, having secured the support (and ships and armies) of Houses Martell, Tyrell and Greyjoy. She has the thunderous Dothrakhi horsemen riding those ships. She has a brilliant advisor in Tyrion. And, oh right, all three of her dragons. It’s goin’ down, y’all.