A raft of images from the upcoming series of Game of Thrones could hold major clues as to what to expect from the seventh season of the show.
When the pictures from the next series, which begins in July, first arrived most fans assumed they were little more than an attempt to generate some buzz around what lies in store.
However, one eagle-eyed fan on Reddit appears to unearthed a pretty major plot point for the season ahead, as Game of Thrones fansite Winter Is Coming first revealed.
It concerns an image featuring Sam and Gilly reading through some ancient scriptures in the Citadel.
Most fans wondered what they were actually pouring over but only one Redditor, itsjayrr, took the time to actually find out what Sam was reading and it’s pretty important.
According to itsjayrr it’s actually lifted directly from George RR Martin’s book, The World OF ice and Fire, which chronicles the history of Westeros and reads as follows:
“It is also written that there are annals in Asshai of such a darkness, and of a hero who fought against it with a red sword. His deeds are said to have been performed before the rise of Valyria, in the earliest age when Old Ghis was first forming its empire. This legend has spread west from Asshai, and the followers of R’hllor claim that this hero was named Azor Ahai, and prophesy his return. In the Jade Compendium, Colloquo Votar recounts a curious legend from Yi Ti, which states that the sun hid its face from the earth for a lifetime, ashamed at something none could discover, and that disaster was averted only by the deeds of a woman with a monkey’s tail.”
Now, in isolation, this might not make a lot of sense, since Azor Ahai has yet to be mentioned in the series.
However, Azor Ahai is actually a pretty major figure in the novels, who readers are told saved the world from a great darkness many thousands of years ago.
According to Game of Thrones prophecy, it is written that he would return when the world of Westeros was in peril.
The vague concept of Azor Ahai has been touched on by the Red Priestess, Melisandre, who first predicted Stannis Baratheon was “the Lord’s chosen” before switching to Jon Snow, who became “the Prince Who Was Promised.”
Azor Ahai hasn’t been mentioned, specifically by name but there’s every chance he’s already here. Could the back-from-the-dead Jon Snow actually be Azor Ahai returning to save the day?
It would certainly explain his miraculous recovery from death and could set up Snow’s eventual departure once the task at hand is completed.
Of course, it could even be Daenerys Targaryen, since fellow Red Priestess Kinvara labelled her “the one who was promised” last season. From the looks of it, Sam and Gilly are close to making the connection either way.
Of course, that’s not the only spoiler offered up by the pictures.
For starters, it looks like Daenerys could be set to meet Jon Snow for the very first time. She’s certainly not at home and we hope, for her sake, that isn’t the Iron Throne in the background.
Romance also looks to be on the cards between Tormund and Brienne.
Or at least, he’s got a crush. Not sure if she feels the same way. He may be line for a punch on the nose but then that might just spur him on.
Finally, there’s the sight of Cersei Lannister on the Iron Throne alongside her brother and lover Jaime “The King Slayer” Lannister.
He doesn’t look too happy – could he about to live up to his name all over again? Cersei had best watch her back with him around.
Game of Thrones Season 7 returns on 16 July.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.