Game of Thrones is racing along at a breakneck pace this season and developments are coming fast and furious.
The war appears to be ramping up this week in the fourth episode of the season, The Spoils of War.
Thus far this season has been one of memorable moments, of first meetings and reunions, with sparks of conflict before the all-out war to come.
Although a lot has happened already, there are still many big questions that need to be answered this season.
But there are a few smaller, less discussed questions and things to look for that are worth mentioning. So here are a few questions heading into this week’s Season 7 Episode 4.
Will Bran reveal Arya’s kill count?
The episode preview for The Spoils of War seems to show Arya finally arriving home at Winterfell.
Of all the remaining Starks, the most excitement has revolved around Arya’s reunion with Sansa. This makes sense as these two probably had the most screen time together of all the Stark siblings.
But Sansa isn’t the only Stark at Winterfell. Bran returned last episode and given his interaction with Sansa, his reunion with Arya could prove interesting.
While speaking in the godswood, Bran tried to show Sansa what it meant that he was the Three-Eyed Raven.
But, due to his massive Night’s King screwup, Bran apparently missed the lesson on how to explain to people what the Three-Eyed Raven actually is.
So instead of explaining things using words like a person, the most magical Stark, with seemingly infinite knowledge at his fingertips, chose to show Sansa his power by coldly relaying details of her nightmarish wedding to Ramsey.
Through revenge and leadership Sansa appeared to be, if not healing, at least callousing over her time as Lady Bolton.
Bran’s actions here had the unintended goal of reopening that wound. Will he have a similar interaction with Arya?
These once carefree siblings are now emotionally cold and distant shells of their former selves. Arya no doubt believes all her kills were justified and is unlikely to feel shame or regret.
But what if Bran reveals the countless dead at her hands in front of Sansa? This could have a profound impact on their relationship. Will Sansa be afraid of Arya or view her differently?
If Arya or Bran does a tell-all of Arya’s skills and kills, will Sansa view this as an opportunity?
Sansa has learned pragmatism from Littlefinger and to use every tool at her disposal. Perhaps she will see the avenging spirit Arya has become as a powerful and dangerous piece on the board that she can use to achieve her goals.
How can Jon help Dany?
In the preview for The Spoils of War we see Dany on the beach at Dragonstone telling Jon that all her allies are gone and that she is losing.
Dany, who looked unbeatable at the beginning of the season, has now lost almost all of her Westerosi allies.
Dany is no doubt reassessing how beneficial an alliance with Jon and the vast kingdom of the North might be.
After her non-negotiable ‘bend the knee’ policy last week, she may now, in her desperation, allow Jon to remain king and the North to remain independent in exchange for his help.
However, despite the exciting prospect of this alliance, it is unclear how exactly Jon can help her at this point.
Both Dany and Jon currently see their war as the one that truly matters. Jon knows the existential threat posed by the army of the dead, while Dany has no proof of that threat and is determined to take the iron throne.
The North is badly in need of men and northern armies historically do not fare well when venturing south.
The North cannot be left undefended with the enemy so deadly and so near. So it is unlikely that Jon would be willing to march his army south to help Dany’s cause.
Although given the travel times this season, maybe he just teleports his army down to King’s Landing, defeats Cersei and has them back in time to greet the Night’s King.
So if he cannot provide money or men, what can he really offer to help Dany?
His military counsel is valuable and no doubt an improvement on Tyrion’s but that alone won’t necessarily turn the tide in her favor.
Will their exploration of the dragonglass cavern reveal some other secret?
Will the mere declaration of an alliance sway other houses to Dany’s side? Or maybe she just needs another dragonrider…
What is next for Sam?
In between dissections and chamber pot scrubbing, Sam has actually been an all-star at the Citadel.
He has found evidence of dragonglass on Dragonstone and cured Ser Jorah of a nigh incurable disease and he doesn’t even have a single link yet.
This guy is killing it, his dad would be so proud. The question is, will he continue this stellar rookie season?
If Sam remains at the Citadel there must be a reason that serves the story. Sam is not done discovering crucial knowledge there that will help in the great war.
On the last episode of Game of Thrones, as punishment for breaking the rules, Sam was ordered to make copies of old decaying scrolls.
The older the better since the Long Night was thousands of years ago. There may be some helpful nuggets of info in one of these ancient documents.What that info is remains to be seen.
Will Sam learn what brought about the end of the Long Night? A way to defeat the army of the dead? A vulnerability in the wall?
Knowledge is power and the physically weak like Bran and Sam may prove to have the greatest impact on events to come.
Why is Theon still alive?
Theon Greyjoy continues to survive against all odds and continues to provide little reason for his continued existence.
After leaving Yara to the madness of Euron (admittedly there was little he could have done), Theon was rescued by one of the few remaining loyal Ironborn ships.
It looks like in this week’s Game of Thrones he has made his way back to Dragonstone. Little does he know that Jon Snow is there and Jon will probably not be thrilled to see him.
Theon, in his pathetic self-loathing, may welcome a fist to the face from Jon.
Theon and Jon share an interesting connection in that they grew up as part of the Stark family and yet were never fully and truly part of that family.
Perhaps this will allow Jon to understand Theon’s actions better than others might. But what does Theon bring to the table at this point that can help Dany?
Theon’s men know he abandoned Yara. Theon is Balon Greyjoy’s last remaining son but the Iron Islanders are not crowning kings based on the line of succession.
Most of the Greyjoy fleet is either sunk or loyal to Euron. Theon proved strategy wasn’t his strong suit when he took but could not hold Winterfell.
It is difficult to see what Theon can really do at this point to help anyone. But the fact that he is still alive implies he has some role to play.
Maybe he will be given the opportunity for redemption in a way that requires sacrificing himself. Is Melisandre still interested in burning folks?
What is Littlefinger’s game?
Littlefinger is responsible for some of the most pivotal events in the series. Yet now it seems that the most forward-thinking player in the game of thrones has taken a backseat.
Has the game caught up with him? Are people wise to his act to the point he is no longer effective?
Or is he simply playing a long game, sitting back as events play out exactly as he has predicted and manipulated.
Varys once described Littlefinger as “one of the most dangerous men in Westeros”. While Dany has no desire to be queen of the ashes, Littlefinger has no problem brushing ashes off the seat of the iron throne, so long as he is sitting on it.
Is he actually making a move by not moving? He has said that he wants everything and is willing to risk everything to get it.
That may even include Sansa, despite his cartoonishly creepy infatuation with her. It seems unlikely that Sansa’s newfound independence caught him off guard. After all he is the one that taught her how to play the game.
Maybe Littlefinger gave Sansa the tools she needed to make the moves he couldn’t make himself.
He seems vulnerable now, with Bran and Arya in the mix at Winterfell and Sansa growing weary of him.
But a man who thinks in the way he described last episode, fighting every battle, everywhere, in his mind, is never fully out of the game.
Here is the preview for this Sunday’s episode, The Spoils of War:
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.