Game of Thrones season 7 character

With just two seasons left to go, it’s time for Game of Thrones to start tying up loose ends — including one pretty big one in the form of a certain character we haven’t seen in a while. Though HBO hasn’t yet confirmed this person is returning, the actor has been spotted on set as shooting gets underway in Spain. Find out who it is below, but beware spoilers.  

Spanish news site El Correo has published some photos from the set of Game of Thrones on Muriola Beach in Spain, showing Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) and Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth) in a scene that appears to take place on Dragonstone. Game of Thrones Spanish fansite Los Siete Reinos (via Watchers on the Wall) adds that while he is not pictured, Joe Dempsie, who played Gendry in seasons one through three, is also involved in the filming. Dempsie has additionally been photographed around the Belfast City Airport, which has seen many Game of Thrones actors passing through for the start of shooting.

Game of Thrones - Gendry rowing

Where’s Gendry Been?

For those who need a reminder, Gendry is the bastard son of the late king Robert Baratheon. He’s first seen in King’s Landing, where he works as a blacksmith’s apprentice, and winds up traveling north with Arya Stark. He eventually learns the truth of his heritage thanks to Melisandre, who’s brought him to Dragonstone so she can use his royal blood in a ritual. He’s later freed by Davos, who puts him on a rowboat and directs him toward King’s Landing, despite Gendry’s protestations that he can’t row or swim. Maybe that last part explains why he’s apparently still in Dragonstone after all this time?

Gendry has not been seen since the season three finale, leading fans to wonder if he might be dead — or possibly just really, really buff after three continuous seasons of nonstop rowing. His return has the potential to shake up the chess board in a big way, as he is the only remaining blood relative of the king Robert Baratheon. Since the character’s storyline has diverged pretty far from his book counterpart’s at this point, we can only guess at what’s to come for him.

So, let’s speculate. In the books, Gendry is a less significant character than he is on the show. I wonder, then, if his return in season seven could be the series’ way of incorporating another book storyline we’ve yet to see onscreen, much in the same way the story adapted the Jeyne Poole / Ramsay Bolton marriage plot by replacing Jeyne with Sansa Stark. Warning: major spoilers for the book A Dance With Dragons follow.

Joe Dempsie as Gendry on Game of Thrones

Where’s Gendry Going?

One possibility is that he’ll become the de facto replacement for Quentyn Martell, who does not exist at all on the show. In the novels, Quentyn is the son of Doran Martell and has been sent across the Narrow Sea to bring Daenerys Targaryen back to Dorne (as the Martells had secretly allied with the Targaryens). Quentyn offers himself as a husband for Daenerys in exchange for the support of Dorne, and despite her warnings that Meereen is not safe for him, refuses to go home as a failure. His adventures are cut short when he tries to tame Dany’s dragons and gets burned alive in the process.

Another potential avenue is the Aegon Targaryen storyline. Like Quentyn, Aegon seems to have been written out of the show entirely. But in the books, Aegon is first introduced as “Young Griff,” a young man who has been raised on a ship by his “father,” Griff. Griff later reveals that he is actually Rhaegar’s friend Jon Connington, who was exiled during Robert’s Rebellion and believed to have died, and that Young Griff is actually Aegon, son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Elia Martell, who was believed to have been killed as a baby during Robert’s Rebellion. Jon has been biding his time for the right moment to restore Aegon to the Iron Throne, and plans to marry him to Daenerys.

Game of Thrones Season 6 - Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) and Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage)

Either plotline would require some significant reworking to fit with Gendry’s storyline so far on the series, but it’s easy to imagine the show borrowing elements from one or both. In either case, Gendry would probably emerge as a potential husband for Daenerys. Both characters face an uphill battle in terms of challenging Queen Cersei’s claim to the Iron Throne, but they might have a better shot if they team up. Maybe that’s the conversation Tyrion and Davos are having in the scene described above — they’re discussing some sort of arrangement to put Gendry and Daenerys together.

Of course, even if that is the case, this is still Game of Thrones. It seems less likely that Gendry and Daenerys will get married and succeed and live happily ever after, than that Gendry will fail somehow and die a horrible death. Gotta make room for that other secret Targaryen heir, after all.

Again, this is all just speculation on our part for now. It’s also very possible that Game of Thrones is creating an entirely new storyline for the character. (And if that’s the case, I hope it involves him reuniting with his buddy Arya.) But speculating about what’s gonna happen next on Game of Thrones is part of the fun. If you’ve got any other theories about what’s to come for Gendry, spill in the comments.

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