Game of Thrones Season 7 looks set to see Arya Stark, played by Maisie Williams, reunited with an old friend. Mounting evidence points towards Arya being reunited with her direwolf Nymeria in the upcoming season, following their split in the show’s first season at the behest of Joffrey Baratheon.
This article contains potential spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 7.
According to the Independent, actress Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark in the hit fantasy drama has been spotted filming for Game of Thrones in Calgary, Canada. At the same time, Instinct Animals, a Canada-based company that is responsible for training animals for Game of Thrones, shared a photo of two if its wolves, with the caption “ready to work.” What’s more, the photographs were tagged with the infamous Game of Thrones quote “#WinterIsComing,” suggesting the wolves will make an appearance in the upcoming season.
One of the wolves photographed is Quigley, who has played Jon Snow’s (Kit Harrington) direwolf Ghost since 2015. However, the other wolf appears to be a newcomer. With that in mind, it’s safe to assume that the new wolf will play Arya’s wolf Nymeria, given Maisie Williams is one of the few actors still filming for the upcoming seventh season.
Nymeria last appeared in the show’s first season, en route to King’s Landing. During a fight between Arya and Prince Joffrey Baratheon, Nymeria jumps in to defend Arya and bites Joffrey. Knowing that Nymeria will be killed when Queen Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) finds out, Arya forces her to leave. When Nymeria is nowhere to be found, Cersei orders the execution of Lady, Sansa’s (Sophie Turner) direwolf instead. Nymeria hasn’t been seen since and is believed to be loose somewhere in the Riverlands.
According to Cinema Blend, since the first season, we’ve seen every other direwolf besides Nymeria and Ghost die. Lady was killed as a result of the attack, Rob’s (Richard Madden) direwolf was killed at the Red Wedding, Shaggydog, Rickon’s (Art Parkinson) direwolf lost its head in the last season and Bran’s (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) direwolf Summer perished protecting him. With that in mind, with only two direwolves believed to remain in the Seven Kingdoms, one of the photographed wolves must be Nymeria.
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In George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels, it’s largely suggested that Nymeria will one day return. In fact, in the novels, Arya regularly dreams that she is Nymeria, now leading a pack of her own. With Game of Thrones set to conclude long before A Song of Ice and Fire, it would make sense for the show to reintroduce the wolf now.
Game of Thrones will return for its seventh and penultimate season this summer. Whilst the show typically airs in April, this year it will be delayed slightly. Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss confirmed the shift in scheduling, saying “We’re starting a bit later because at the end of this season, ‘Winter is here’ – and that means that sunny weather doesn’t really serve our purposes anymore.” Exactly when the new season will hit our screens remains to be seen, however, it will be significantly shorter than previous seasons at just seven episodes in length.
The show’s sixth season concluded with what appeared to be the beginning of the end, with Sansa proclaiming “winter is here”. With that in mind, over the course of Season 6, the show is likely to move towards its ending and that looks set to include reuniting Arya with Nymeria.
[Featured Image by HBO]