Recent spoilers have it that an important character will make an unexpected return in Game of Thrones Season 7, despite overwhelming odds. But which one, and how are they returning? SPOILERS and speculation follow, so if you don’t want to see them, turn back now.
According to his United Artists agency résumé, David Bradley will return in Season 7 as Walder Frey, everyone’s favorite murderous curmudgeon. The last time we saw Frey, he was busy getting his throat cut by Arya. So how does he come back? We figure it could happen in one of three ways.
An open-casket funeral
We’ve seen dead characters “return” for one last episode, laying upon a funeral bier with those oh-so-creepy stone eyes, on many an occasion, from Joffrey Baratheon to Tywin Lannister to Myrcella Baratheon. Jon Arryn’s body was laid for display in the very first episode of the show, so there’s precedent.
So could Bradley be returning to lie still for a few hours while other characters have conversations around him? It’s the simplest option, but it’s also the most boring.
Part of a Bran flashback
In Season 6, Bran Stark became the new Three-Eyed Raven, which means he now has the ability to observe past events up close. If Bran chooses to investigate certain important events in Westerosi history, such as Red Wedding, Walder Frey may well show up.
We aren’t sure why Bran would want to view such a traumatic family event, but perhaps he’ll want closure, or to see who was involved so he can take revenge on them. It would be fun, if extraneous, to see Lord Walder corresponding with Tywin Lannister or Roose Bolton before the wedding itself. And there are other events Bran may want a closer look at, like the aftermath of the Battle of the Trident, where Walder Frey arrived late, after the winner was certain. Considering Walder Frey’s long life, the chances for Bran to check in on him at some point in the past are many, although we’re not sure how it would push the plot forward.
Arya steals Walder Frey’s face
This is easily the most exciting prospect of the three. Using the skills she acquired during her time with the Faceless Men, Arya may have stolen Lord Walder’s face after killing him. (After all, cutting someone’s throat is a good first step towards face removal.)
The question then becomes to what end Arya would use Lord Walder’s face. As a young assassin obsessed with revenge, she could wear it to wreck bloody vengeance on the rest of House Frey. It would certainly give her a good cover as she moved about the castle, luring unsuspecting members of Walder’s vast brood into traps. We wish you happy hunting Arya. Go get those dirty Freys.
Incidentally, if you’ve been following alleged leaks from the Game of Thrones Season 7 set, you may already have an idea of how Walder Frey will return. If it please you, click here to go deeper down the spoiler rabbit hole.