After a series finale that left jaws on the floor and dreams in shambles, it's been difficult to endure this waiting period before Game of Thrones returns for Season 6. Luckily, for those as impatient as I, the ever-vigilant fans around Belfast, where much of the primary filming is done, have been on the lookout for any signs of momentum.
Here are the actors who have been spotted out and around the typical GoT haunts, plus some extra details about what to expect from the upcoming season.
Arya's punishment from the series finale means some sticky consequences for Maisie Williams
It looks like Arya's blindness won't be as temporary as some viewers were hoping, but at least Maisie's got a sense of humor about it:
We all knew Arya was going to be making a comeback as she battles her way through her new disability, but there's one thing that on-set photographs reveal that is pretty unexpected...
Arya finally takes a bath!
Not to blame her, she's definitely had bigger fish to fry (and pedophiles to kill), but I'm definitely looking forward to an underwater scene. According the Watchers on the Wall, this scene should appear in Episode 7 or 8 since the director on set was Mark Mylod.
Arya's not the only Stark who made the trip back to Northern Ireland
Sophie Turner was spotted at a mall in Belfast, which is a relief considering her cliffhanger of a wall-jump with Theon. Most of us didn't think she would actually die from that, but it's high time things start going right for my girl Sansa.
Daenerys remains as gracious as ever
As Emilia Clarke snapped an adorable photo with this set of fans, we can be assured that Khaleesi will soon be back in hot pursuit of that cold Iron Throne.
Everyone's favorite sociopath is also back to "Reek" havoc
It's hard to look at Iwan Rheon so smiley and approachable considering his Ramsay Bolton is downright terrifying. Once he realizes that his precious Reek and Sansa have fled the castle (not to mention slaughtered one of his biggest fans), I'm sure there will be some hell to pay.
He's back! We're about to see the return of one particularly Frey-tening figure
Though David Bradley, the wizened actor who brings the grimiest citizen of Westeros to life, slyly confirmed that he would be returning in some capacity, this picture makes it especially clear that Walder Frey will be providing more moments that make me love to hate him.
Will he finally get his comeuppance for the brutal Red Wedding?
We're still not sure about the return of THAT character...
But, there is some new confirmed evidence that makes me think this someone will be making a triumphant return—in a way many book fans have anticipated. The above picture shows the Castillo de Zafra in Campilla de Dueñas, a Season 6 location that Los Sietes Reinos has confirmed will represent the Tower of Joy.
Major spoilers and book theories below!
The Tower of Joy setting is pivotal in the books, the site of a flashback scene involving a dramatic fight and, to some readers, the potential birthplace of Jon Snow. During the start of Robert Baratheon's Rebellion, Rhaeagar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark hid away in the Tower of Joy until Rhaegar left to defend his family's stake to the crown. Lyanna was left with three members of the Kingsguard, and about a year later, Ned Stark and his companions fight them to the death.
With Ned and his friend Howland Reed (father to Jojen and Meera) the only survivors, it's at the Tower of Joy where Ned makes a promise to his sister that remains unknown. Supporters of the "R + L = J" theory believe that Rhaegar and Lyanna had a son, Jon Snow, and Ned's promise was to raise him as his own.
Considering the show has avoided flashback scenes unless absolutely necessary for the plot (for example, young Cersei receiving a prophecy from a witch), those who are waiting for Jon's return see this as a nearly indisputable sign that he will be reborn with his newly recognized royal blood.
Based on the Season 5 finale and the new bits that filter through the grapevine, it's looking more and more likely to me that Melisandre will revive Jon Snow and introduce him to a history he never knew. The books are called A Song of Ice and Fire, after all, and nothing sums up those two elementals more than a union between Houses Stark and Targaryen. Now, I'm just holding my breath for this to actually happen—and for Jon to meet Dany!
(Source: Watchers on the Wall)