Benioff and Weiss on what’s coming in Game of Thrones Season 7

Do you feel that in the air? That, my friends, is the feeling of anticipation, as Game of Thrones Season 7 filming gears up, after a two month delay in order to time the shoot with winter’s arrival later this year. But showrunners Benioff and Weiss are back in Belfast, according to Deadline. They’re hard at work prepping for Season 7, and doing their Emmy Award run-up of interviews (like this one for Deadline‘s AwardsLine column) via email.

Much of the interview is fluff (“David, what’s Dan’s greatest strength?” “Pull Ups.” “Dan, what’s David’s greatest strength?” “Deadlift.”) or rehashing “Battle of the Bastards,” which garnered the most Emmy nominations buzz. But in the latter half of the interview, they discuss Season 7 and where some of our characters stand. For instance, they weighed in on what’s next for Jaime, who was last seen staring at Cersei as she is crowned Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.

Jaime has to start coming to terms with how drastically and irrevocably everything in his world has changed—political arrangements, his personal life, everything. He knew his sister was capable of big plays, but this is another level. And Cersei’s look back to him… well, he’s probably always known that she was in charge in their relationship. Now he really knows it.

As for Cersei, who lost the last of her humanity when her last child died, Benioff and Weiss tease heavily that who Cersei is without her children is a major theme of next season. “Cersei has certainly done a lot of horrible things in her life and she could be a very cruel person, but the one thing that was redemptive about her was she genuinely loved her children. Now they’re all gone, and I think that is very interesting for us. Who is she, without her children? The answer is something you’ll find out about next season.”

But as we all know, Cersei is small potatoes compared to the true “Big Bad” of the series, the Night King. When asked to compare him to other villains like Ramsay Bolton or Joffrey, the two seemed a little taken aback.

We don’t think of The Night King as a villain as much as Death. He is not someone who’s like Joffrey or Ramsay. He’s not really human anymore. Evil comes when you have a choice between that and good, and you choose the wrong way. The Night King doesn’t have a choice; he was created in that way, and that’s what he is. In some ways, he’s just Death, coming for everyone in the story, and for all of us…. In some ways, it’s appropriate he doesn’t speak. What’s Death going to say? Anything would diminish him. He’s just a force of destruction. I don’t think we’ve ever been tempted to write dialogue for The Night King. Anything he said would be anticlimactic.

As for the Night King getting over the Wall, neither want to give anything away, but they both agree that the Wall isn’t just “a Wall.” Let the theories commence as to what they mean.

As for Dany and Jon Snow? They answer acrobatically, presenting us with questions to ponder while we wait.

On Jon Snow:

The question (is) whether an honorable man can overcome dishonorable enemies. As E.O. Wilson wrote, ‘Within a group, selfish individuals always win. But in contests between groups, groups of altruists always beat groups of selfish individuals.’ So Jon Snow better hope this is a contest between groups.

On Daenerys Targaryen:

Her sense of destiny makes her a compelling, charismatic leader, a messianic figure for multitudes. She has arguably the cleverest advisor on the planet in Tyrion Lannister. She has three dragons, an army of Unsullied, and a great Dothraki horde. What could possibly go wrong?

What indeed?