D’Addario watched a key scene being shot – a major battle scene – on set in Belfast, Northern Ireland and although he is sworn to secrecy as to who is fighting in the battle, he does let some nuggets slip which helps us to speculate on what we are about to see in the upcoming season.
He writes: “One of the big events this season is a battle whose sheer scope, even before being cut together with the show’s typical brio, dazzled me.”
He goes on to say that the “setting is as grand as the action” and that the cast and crew were “shot through with a frigid North Atlantic wind that whipped everyone during filming and sent them all flying back to the on-set coffee cart during resets.”
He also mentions that he was due to watch Jon Snow in action – but that it was cancelled because of the wind which made “filming with a drone hazardous”.
But the key detail is when he focuses on Emilia Clarke’s experience as Daenerys on set sitting atop her stand-in dragon – a 40ft-high “lime green mechanical bull” – which he witnessed.
The episode’s director is quoted in the article as saying: “Thirty seconds of screen time, and she’s been here for 16 days”.
He goes on to add, “It probably feels a bit less amazing to Emilia [Clarke], who sits on it for eight hours a day, six weeks in a row, getting blasted with water and fake snow and whatever else they decide to chuck at her through the fans.”
We’ve never seen Daenerys riding on dragon-back in a snowy landscape, and if the journalist only witnessed the shooting of one battle scene while on set, this could mean that this is the moment that Jon Snow and Daenerys are both involved in the same fight here – the moment when fire and ice meet.
A Reunion For Arya?
The article reveals another tantalising tidbit about Season 7, which suggests we could well see Arya’s direwolf, Nymeria, return – with a wolf pack. Remember in Season 1 when Nymeria was packed off for her own safety? Well, that was the last we saw of her. But D’Addario writes this: “During my visit, wolves described in the script as ‘skinny and mangy’ showed up to the shoot looking fluffy and lustrous.”
There’s also this line in the trailer: “The lone wolf dies but the pack survives”, which seems to refer metaphorically to the need to band together to triumph but could also be a direct reference to Nymeria.
Spectacular clash aside, an Arya-Nymeria reunion could just be our most anticipated prospect for Season 7.
The 'Game of Thrones' Season 7 premiere airs on July 16 in the US and will screen simultaneously in the UK at 2am on July 17.