Game of Thrones Season 7 won't premiere on HBO for another month, but an ambitious new fan film called The Wild Wolf is here to tide us over until the official July 16 release date.
The 16-minute-long film made by Belfast film students Shane Gibson and Ciaran McIlhatton is an impressive production for a fan film, with noteworthy art direction, locations, and costumes. It tells the story of when Brandon Stark and Petyr Baelish dueled for the hand of Cateyln Tully.
Game of Thrones has a broad cast of characters, so it might not be readily apparent what is happening in the film. While casual fans will recognize some of the names and houses present in the short film, die-hard GoT fans know that this film depicts an important moment leading up to the rebellion that displaced Daenerys Targaryen's family from the Iron Throne and eventually resulted in the Lannisters taking power. It also helps explain some of the underlying loyalties and deep-seated resentments between the characters we watch in the HBO series today.
Fans of the show will remember the shocking conclusion of Season 1, when Ned Stark was beheaded. His wife, and the mother of all the Stark children (except Jon Snow), was Catelyn Tully. She dies later, in Season 3, at the Red Wedding.
But before Ned Stark and Catelyn Tully were married, she was actually betrothed to his older brother. Brandon Stark is the main fighter in this fan film The Wild Wolf. We finally get to see an on-screen depiction of Brandon, Ned Stark's older brother, a brash northerner and talented fighter.
The plot of the film centers around the fight between Petyr Baelish and Brandon Stark and takes place at Riverrun. Riverrun is a castle and the home of the Tully family. Catelyn Tully lived there with her sister, Lysa, and her father's ward, Petyr Baelish. The three were caught in a love triangle. Lysa loved Petyr, and Petyr loved Catelyn, but Catelyn was not interested in him. Fans of the show will remember Petyr's weird obsession with Sansa, Catelyn's daughter, and Sansa's aunt Lysa's cruel treatment towards her, and realize it stems from these old wounds depicted in this fan film.
When Catelyn got betrothed to Brandon Stark, it was meant to be a good union for the Tully and Stark houses. By marrying each other, they would secure an alliance and strengthen bonds and loyalties between Riverrun and Winterfell. But Petyr became jealous and enraged. He could not stand the thought of Catelyn marrying someone else, and challenged Brandon Stark to a duel for Catelyn's hand.