We're just a week away from the return of Game of Thrones. So the Herald's entertainment team decided to spend all week talking about it. Here's our first instalment: Which storyline are we most invested in? Read our replies below ...
The world of Westeros may be fantastical but I'm more a fan of its mundane, human side. It's all the political intrigue, plotting and manoeuvring rather than the big ticket, fantasy snow zombies, resurrections and dragons that keeps me tuning in.
As such I'm most looking forward to seeing what Cersei does next. After taking her sweet revenge on the Faith of the Seven by going nuclear at the end of the last season, taking out both her political opponents and those who wronged her in one brutal mastermind of a move, she now sits upon the iron throne as queen. An incredibly angry, pissed off and vengeful queen.
She's harbouring plans of complete domination but unknown to her big, big trouble is sailing full steam ahead right towards her harbour and also preparing to march at her from the North. Yes, Cersei is not in an ideal position here. But I'm not ruling her out. Aside from a solid defensive position she two other advantages; her unrivalled cunning and an arsenal of explosive wildfire. Let's see if that's going to be enough.
So here's my problem. I'm not sure I can actually remember ANY of the storylines or where we left things last season. Even
I'm still pretty hazy on who's dead, who's alive and who's formed an alliance with whom. All I remember is I wasn't digging the Jon Snow and the White Walkers plot line or the High Sparrow and his infuriating misogyny. Fortunately that's all wrapped up now thanks to Cersei's nuclear meltdown.
So as we return for season seven, I'm hanging out to see what happens next in Westeros with Cersei claiming the Iron Throne and the arrival of Arya Stark, who's hell bent on revenge and completing her infamous kill list. I've always placed money on Arya being the last (wo)man standing in GoT, so I predict Cersei will be making a bloody exit this season.
While all eyes are either on Jon and Sansa in Winterfell or Team Dany's voyage to Westeros, my main interest lays firmly with Arya Stark. This kid has been through the ringer - most of her family's been murdered, she got spirited away into all kinds of rough situations, had to road trip with the Hound, trained under the Faceless Men in Braavos, and somehow made her way back to Westeros where she killed her enemy's kids, baked them into a pie and served them to their father before killing him too. Arya has had enough, dammit. And I can't wait to see what she does next, and in particular, the havoc she and Lyanna "The Childlike Empress" Mormont will unleash together.
It's hard to pick just one storyline that I'm excited to see unfold in season 7 of Game of Thrones. So much happened last season and it all has me buzzing. I must admit that I'm really looking forward to seeing what happens with Jon Snow - or should I say, Jon Targaryen - after the revelation that R + L does in fact = J. I'm also hoping for a Stark reunion ... Bran has been North of the Wall having crazy visions for an awfully long time. Fingers crossed he'll show up just in time to let Jon know that Dany's his long-lost aunty. And then there's the theory that Tyrion Lannister is actually a Targaryen as well! Will we see all three of them riding dragons against the White Walkers? Or did I just spoil the plot of season 8?
Look, I'm here for one thing and one thing only. No, not dragons. They are impressive though. No, not Peter Dinklage, who's just as mighty as those fire-breathing beasts - and much funnier too. And no, I'm not here for the ghastly beheadings, gruesome stabbings, grisly poisonings and the occasional crossbow to the chest on the toilet. Please, whoever the gods are, don't let me go out this way.
I'm here for one thing and one thing only: to see the mighty Brienne of Tarth take her rightful place on the Iron Throne. They'll need to install a foot rest for her - she's a giant after all. But if there's anyone who's going to restore peace and order to the Seven Kingdoms, singlehandedly defeat the White Walkers, and teach Podrick a few table manners while she's at it, it's surely got to be Brienne. I've never watched the seventh season of any TV show. So Thrones, don't disappoint me.
* Game of Thrones' seventh season debuts on Monday on Sky TV's SoHo channel.