Winter is finally here! After more than a year off the air, Game of Thrones will return for its highly anticipated seventh season this weekend. This means soon we'll be able to see seven brand new episodes of the HBO fantasy series featuring what we can only assume is plenty of political scheming, fire breathing, and white walking.
This also means we've been thinking a lot about what it is we have to see in these new episodes. So as we prepare for the epic show to once again blow our minds, here's our wishlist for when the series returns Sunday, July 16.
7. Ice, ice dragons, baby!
We know it's kind of greedy to ask for more dragons, but the introduction of ice dragons -- whose existence has been hinted at throughout George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire novels though not in the series -- would kick things up another notch. According to legend, ice dragons dwarf their fire-breathing cousins and are said to be made of living ice. Rumor has it they also have breath so cold it can instantly freeze people and objects solid, which is just as cool, if not cooler, than lighting your enemies on fire. Of course, given that "winter is coming" has always been a warning and not something to be celebrated, it's doubtful said ice dragons would fight on the side of our heroes. But you're crazy if you think we're not here for some epic dragon-on-dragon action.
6. The death of Littlefinger.
Season 7 should probably end with someone technically "winning" the Iron Throne, followed by the realization it doesn't even matter who wears the crown because ice zombies and magic ice men are invading Westeros. This means killing one another over a stupid chair that's probably not even comfortable is really not all that important in the grand scheme of things, which is why it would be fitting for Aidan Gillen's Littlefinger -- the man who started the so-called game of thrones in the first place -- to die and mark the end of that particular struggle. We don't actually care how it happens. Just that it does.
5. Tyrion and Sansa to come face to face, once more.
Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Sansa's (Sophie Turner) marriage is probably pretty dead at this point, but we're still hoping their paths cross one more time. Now that they're both the right hand of different power players (players who will absolutely be allies in the White Walker war), we're crossing our fingers for an adorably awkward reunion between Tyrion and Sansa. "Remember that time we were married and it was awkward AF? Me neither!"
4. A Jon and Daenerys hookup.
Yes, we know Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) is (likely) Jon's (Kit Harington) aunt. But these two attractive people hooking up would hardly be the most scandalous news out of Westeros, given the crookedness of the Lannister family tree. Furthermore, we really want to see this dalliance happen so it can immediately be followed by the hilarious realization that they're related. Either way, there's almost certainly an alliance brewing between the two, so why not add a little melodrama for our viewing pleasure?
3. Nymeria's triumphant return!
As the Stark family has dwindled in numbers, so too has the number of their direwolves. Of the litter adopted at the start of the series, only Jon's loyal wolf Ghost and Arya's (Maisie Williams) wolf Nymeria -- who was set free by Arya in an attempt to save her life after she bit Joffrey in Season 1 -- remain among the living. Sansa's wolf Lady was killed by Ned (Sean Bean) at the behest of Cersei (Lena Headey) in Nymeria's place; Grey Wind met the same fate as his owner at the Red Wedding; Shaggydog was beheaded by the Umbers; and Summer died fighting off White Walkers and wights who attacked Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) in the cave of the Three-Eyed Raven in Season 6.
2. A full Stark family reunion.
When Jon and Sansa reunited at the Wall in Season 6 the world collectively sighed in relief and immediately swiped at their eyes as if a cloud of dust had blown through the room. Now that Arya has returned to Westeros and Bran is making his way back south after a long sojourn north of the Wall, would it be too much to ask that they seek out their older siblings at Winterfell before the White Walkers and their army plunge the world into chaos? Probably. But that doesn't mean we still can't have dreams.
1. The identity of Jon's father officially revealed!
Look, you know and we know that Jon's real father is almost certainly Rhaegar Targaryen, the first son of the Mad King -- who had shown an interest in Jon's mother, Lyanna Stark. Now we just need the series to officially confirm this on screen. Because although there was an infographic created for HBO's Making Game of Thrones blog that confirmed Jon's parentage following the Season 6 finale, the series itself still needs to come right out and say it, so we can move on and confront the problems that will obviously arise from Jon being a Targaryen -- and a Targaryen child of Rhaegar, at that.
Game of Thrones returns for Season 7 on Sunday, July 16 at 9/8c on HBO.