HBO’s Game of Thrones prepares for another season

SPOILER WARNING: If you haven't watched up to season 6, I can't promise that there aren't some minor spoilers in this preview.

Grab your coats, winter has come.  For six grueling seasons, we’ve watched as families have fought families tooth and nail, fire and blood, all in a grand attempt at the throne in George R.R. Martin’s mythical kingdom of Westeros.  Game of Thrones has thrown twists and turns at its fans as they’ve awaited and enjoyed every minute of action.  Finally, the theme of “Winter is Coming,” that has been alive since the series’ inception, has found essence, and has become a reality.  The Wall that protects the seven kingdoms of Westeros from an undead force in the North, has shown its strength in defense, but now that Winter has come, questions arise about the Wall’s ability to fend off the most powerful of the “White Walkers.”

The Night King (the leader of the White Walkers) and his army
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The Night King (the leader of the White Walkers) and his army

As the entire realm is warned about the threat beyond The Wall, political chaos ensues throughout.  Daenerys Targaryen, a young girl with a strong historic last name, but no army, no money and no claim to the throne, has slowly acquired everything needed to rule a kingdom.  Also, she gained an entire fleet of naval ships, and three dragons that have grown to a similar power to those that her ancestors had.  With their dragons, the Targaryen dynasty ruled Westeros for centuries.  Once she crosses the sea that divides her and the capital “King’s Landing,” there is no telling what amount of stopping power she may unleash upon Westeros.

Currently turning the political wheel in King’s Landing is Cersei Lannister, who may be a target for many this upcoming season after she devastated the legacies of many families throughout the series, especially at the end of the sixth season.  Her small but ferociously brilliant brother Tyrion may also play a crucial role in the impending clash of powers.  There are many loose ends to be tied up as well, so watch for characters such as Arya Stark, Sandor “The Hound” Clegane, Lord Petyr Baelish, and Theon Greyjoy, as they either make or break themselves in this next season.

Emilia Clarke, the actress who portrays Daenerys has played a crucial role in the series and has proven to be one of the most important plot lines to follow.  Her acting is top notch in its ability to portray her true strength, with a dynamic spectrum of methods by which she does this.  I find that she is a great counter balance to Cersei Lannister, played by Lena Headey.  Cersei and Daenerys are two of the most powerful and dominating female characters since Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth, and it will be interesting to watch as their egos collide, along with the armies that follow them into battle.

Kit Harrington, who plays Jon Snow, has been a fan favorite since the earlier seasons.  Jon will without a doubt play one of the most important roles in the unfolding of the new story line, and fans everywhere are already conspiring about his possible whereabouts and endeavors in the seventh season.  The curiosity and dynamic nature of his character and the hype that he has been contributing to the series have surely set him up for greatness.

Supporting characters and sub plot lines are in a sense, what make this show the perfect illustration of human nature.  George R.R. Martin creates a few of the most well developed and deeply analyzed characters in television and literary history.  The political engine of Lord Varys and Lord Petyr Baelish has had a myriad of lasting effects on the realm, and their knowledge of every last event that transpires throughout the kingdoms, allows them to politically transcend into the likes of the lords and ladies, all the while twisting and turning levers that elevate those who help them, and destroy those who oppose them.

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Pictures show the Lannister army mobilizing for what looks like a major battle scene

Brandon Stark, step brother of Jon Snow and the last living heir to the Northern kingdom of Winterfell, has finally tapped into his special powers that can carry him into the past to gain insight on the events that already have, and eventually will transpire.  He may play another crucial role in the clash with the White Walkers, but the question of his ability to use his gifts may dictate the rest of the plot line.

Production and visual editing throughout the series has been unwaveringly exciting and successful.  Daenerys’ dragons that have developed from freshly hatched eggs, into mystical life sized dragons, have been steadily realistic and have been a major attraction for some viewers.

Daenerys' dragons showing their fire power from the end of Season 5
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Daenerys’ dragons showing their fire power from the end of Season 5

Moreover, the graphics and video work for the frozen zombie-like White Walkers has been shockingly well-done.  The doubt that comes with zombies and dragons, is erased by the quality of work that the producers of Thrones have put into this project.  Paparazzi’s reports have concluded that the cast is currently shooting in Spain, Northern Ireland, and Iceland.  Fans are ever so eager to figure out what will be happening at which filming locations, but It won’t be until the episodes air that we will truly find out.

Daenerys, Tyrion, Jon Snow, and Lord Davos Seaworth on set
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Daenerys, Tyrion, Jon Snow, and Lord Davos Seaworth on set

George R.R. Martin and the great staff of producers such as D.B. Weiss and David Benioff who have written and produced since the earliest seasons, will undoubtedly come through with more solid material.

The seventh season is supposed to start in the late spring or summer of 2017.  While the amount of episodes in the next few seasons will be lowered from ten to seven, the length of each episode is said to be longer, so perhaps we will still be getting an equal dose of Thrones.  The Gods–old and new–only know what George R. R. and the rest of the production staff have in store.  Time will tell what happens as the undead army from the North and the Targaryen army from the East collapse on Westeros, as those within are occupied with political and social strife.  I have big expectations for the season and I would encourage anyone to watch the first six seasons before Winter Comes back to HBO.