It isn't only a dramatic change in the seasons that is coming to HBO's #GameofThrones. As the show winds down with only 13 episodes left and showrunner David Benioff and D.B. Weiss attempt to tie together the many loose ends in Westeros, fans of the show are inundated with a slew of new and returning faces.
Last year we saw the triumphant (albeit brief) reappearance of Rory McCann as Sandor "The Hound" Clegane, where after being left out for the maggots in Season 5, a seemingly reformed Clegane starred alongside Ian McShane in Season 6's "No One." We always knew that McCann would be back in his full Freddy Krueger prosthetics for Season 7, but it looks like he has a familiar face at his side this time around.
Patching Up Their Differences
When we left the Hound last year, he'd found himself in the awkward company of the Brotherhood Without Banners, a lawless group of Lannister haters who were inadvertently created when Ned Stark sent men to protect the Riverlands. While the Brotherhood was back, it seemed to still be under the leadership of the undead Beric Dondarrion. We have seen some miraculous resurrection stories on the show, but with some six deaths under his belt, Dondarrion takes the biscuit.
Released by #HBO, first-look images seem to show Dondarrion and Clegane putting their differences aside. Remembering way back to Season 3, it didn't end well for the duo when their campfire argument ended in the Hound nearly slicing Beric in half, before he was revived by the Lord of Light.
The Hound is already known for his monumental bromance with Arya Stark, but are Beric and Sandor our new favorite pairing on the show? What do we call them, Bandor, Seric, Sandic?
Richard Dormer will be reprising his role as the unkillable man from his brief cameo in Season 6, but should we expect him to be around for that long? Clegane isn't the only one with ties to Arya, Dondarrion does too. He is in fact one of those few remaining names on her infamous kill list. Both Dondarrion and his BFF Thoros of Myr made the list due to selling Gendry to fiery red-head Melisandre.
Against the snowy backdrop of Season 7, Dondarrion is back to lead his Brotherhood into a presumably early grave. The Brotherhood is currently bowing to the powers of the Lord of Light, thanks to Paul Kaye's Thoros , and while we have already seen how religious fanatics go down in the show thanks to the doomed High Sparrow, let's hope the Brotherhood can avoid a similar "explosive" fate.
Turn My Heart To Stone
I know that we are well off-piste from the books by now, but Clegane interestingly ties into the Brotherhood there too as a possible member. Also, in #GeorgeRRMartin's books, we see Dondarrion sacrifice himself to bring back the deceased Catelyn Stark as Lady Stoneheart.
We have been told time and time again that the show won't be resurrecting Stark as Stoneheart — well, you wouldn't tell us, would you? — but as one of the most anticipated transitions from book to show, they're missing a trick if they truly don't include her. I have been theorizing on Cat's revival, or even Sansa's turning into the role, for years now, and the more characters we weave into the Brotherhood plot, the better Cat's chances are (no matter how slim).
When we left Beric and Sandor, the Brotherhood were intent on stopping the cold winds coming in from the north. So, while we have memorably seen how Dondarrion used the Lord of Light to ignite his blade in his fight with Clegane, we doubt that that will be enough to defeat the wave of White Walkers heading their way. No one knows where the Brotherhood is heading, but with Jon Snow gathering the Northern houses at Winterfell and little else seen of Dondarrion in promo material, here's betting we have a big ol' reunion just in time for Arya to finally put Beric into that frozen ground for good!
Check out the trailer for Season 7 of Game of Thrones and don't forget our poll below!