Who is allied with who in Game of Thrones - and what it means for season 7

Game of Thrones is a complex beast. People - nations even - are constantly fighting, making up, secretly allying, sometimes getting into bed together, stabbing each other in the back, fighting again, allying again, and so on. It can be tough to keep track. With Game of Thrones season 7 upon us it’s time to take a quick refresher on some of the show’s more complex aspects: the current status of alliances, enmities, and the consequences of these relationships. Want to know who is fighting or friending who? And who will be left standing at the end of season 7? Or who they’ll even be stood next to? Better keep reading…

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Alliance #1 - Daenerys' army

Who is in it?
Daenerys, Tyrion, Yara and Theon Greyjoy, Varys, Missandei, Grey Worm, the Unsullied, the Dothraki

Daenerys Targaryen is heading to Westeros with a full fleet of ships (she needed 1000, so just assume it’s that many), three different armies, and a host of the shows biggest characters. We already know from the trailers that she’ll be fighting the Lannisters with the Unsullied, at what looks like Casterly Rock. It’s very possible that this is a pre-cursor to her final push towards King’s Landing, which is possibly what the large Dothraki horde (with dragons) is doing at the end of the first trailer. Meanwhile she has Tyrion and Varys - two of the show’s smartest characters - at her side.

Will the alliance survive?
The core of it definitely will, and may even grow if Daenerys gets together with Jon Snow and his forces. However, hints from the trailers - along with a handful of rumours from the set - suggest that the Greyjoys may get separated. We see Yara and Theon as captives in trailer 2, and a great sea battle being fought in both. What’s the betting Uncle Euron catches up with his nephew and niece and defeats them at sea? Theon is due a noble end, after all. Can’t see Tyrion or Varys failing to make it to season 8 - they’re too popular and interesting to die in season 7. Famous last words.

Alliance #2 - The Lannister army

Who is in it?
Cersei, Jaime, Bronn, Randyll Tarly, Gregor ‘The Mountain’ Clegane, the City Guard, the Freys

This is what’s left of the Lannisters, along with a bunch of assorted villain characters. They’re the bad guys, if you will. The Lannister army is still a massive force in Westeros, though, and combined with the King’s Landing city guard and the Tarlys it’s still a force to be reckoned with. Hot rumours suggest that Euron will bring the rest of the Greyjoys to this alliance too, giving them significant naval power. The Freys may be poor warriors and leaderless now that Walder has been assassinated by Arya, but they’re still soldiers and they hold significant strongholds in Westeros. Plus, who the hell is going to fight and kill zombie Gregor Clegane?

Will the alliance survive?
Given that Cersei has enemies to the North, South, East, and West (according to the first proper trailer) then it seems unlikely. Blood will be shed, and a number of baddos will have to die in season 7 or else we’ll never actually finish Game of Thrones in season 8. Much as I want him to stay in the show, Euron is most likely for the chop. Wouldn’t be surprised if Randyll Tarly gets his comeuppance too. Most interestingly, Jaime could break the alliance - the second trailer appears to show him making a final, heroic cavalry charge (which could spell an epic death), but my money is on him turning his back on Cersei’s war and realising the true enemy is much further north, and not all that interested in the Iron Throne… Perhaps, oddly, because he loves Cersei so much he’ll want to save her from the undead.

Alliance #3 - The Northerners

Who is in it?
Jon Snow, Sansa, Tormund, the Wildlings, Brienne of Tarth, Ser Davos, all the Northern Houses, Littlefinger, the Knights of the Vale

This is the third major alliance, and perhaps the least conventional and most fluid. Sure, Jon Snow has brought together the Northern Houses by retaking Winterfell from the Boltons and bringing back the Stark name, but… he’s not a legitimate heir. Sansa is, and while she seems happy enough to have Jon declared ‘King in the North’, she will have Littlefinger whispering poison into her ear all season. And let’s not forget that Arya and Bran are both alive AND have stronger claims to the North than Jon. Plus, there’s the small matter of hundreds of thousands of undead heading their way.

Will the alliance survive?
Not a chance. At least, not in its current form. Arya and Bran will both return to Winterfell (the trailers suggest as much), so they’ll actually boost its numbers. However, we also know that Littlefinger is going to cause trouble and will likely drive a wedge between them - at the very least, he may try to withdraw the support of the Knights of the Vale if Sansa rejects him. Jon, Ser Davos, and Tormund will venture north of the Wall too, as we’ve seen in the trailers, and it’s unlikely all of them will return intact.

Alliance #4 - The Brotherhood Without Banners

Who is in it?
Beric Dondarrion, Thoros of Myr, the Brotherhood Without Banners, The Hound

Ok, we already know that Beric and the Hound will head north of the Wall with Jon Snow’s raiding party at some point in season 7, but until then they technically count as a separate alliance. If you really close your eyes and try to believe it enough, you may even think that Gendry - Robert Baratheon’s only living bastard heir - will join them once he finally lands that tiny boat of his. The actor - Joe Dempsie - has been spotted visiting the set in Iceland, where they film the Wall scenes…

Will the alliance survive?
Seems hugely unlikely that this ragtag bunch will be together at the end of season 7. Some will die, and the Hound is more of a loner, so won’t stick around with the Brotherhood forever. They’ll likely just get absorbed into Jon Snow’s group, after playing a massively important role in the northern storyline.

Alliance #5 - The other major houses

Who is in it?
The Queen of Thorns, the Tyrells, Ellaria Sand and the Sand Snakes, Dorne

The Tyrells and the Dornish have something in common - they’re both pissed off at the Lannisters and want revenge. We see Lady Olenna and Ellaria Sand - both heads of their Houses - meeting at the end of season 6. They’re a smaller army than the ones Daenerys and Cersei have gathered, but they’re big enough to really turn the tide if necessary. Interestingly, the first trailer shows a brief, split-second clip of Ellaria Sand and Yara Greyjoy having a little kiss, so it’s very possible they join the Greyjoy part of Daenerys’ force. Given that Varys is at the meeting between Lady Olenna and Ellaria, we know they’re siding with Dany, but it’s the role they play that remains a mystery.

Will the alliance survive?
The trailers don’t give much away, so they’re either keeping things quiet for a big surprise, or they’re suggesting we won’t see much of Dorne and Highgarden in season 7. The show does need to save some battles for season 8, so maybe they won’t feature much. If so, the alliance will remain intact. If they do feature, however, you can bet it means the destruction of one of these Houses… it’s the perfect shock ending to a late season episode. Given how the show has very much differed from the books when it comes to Dorne, anything could happen to them.

Alliance #6 - The dead

Who is in it?
The Night King, the other White Walkers, corpses

Yeah, the Night King’s army is big enough to stand on its own. And technically, anyone who dies within its sphere of influence becomes an ally. Rumours suggest we may see a zombie Hodor. Rumours had better be wildly, madly untrue…

Will the alliance survive?
Sure, the biggest battle - between the living and the dead - is totally happening in season 8. Don’t be surprised to see the Wall fall in S7, though. Sniff.

So, who is left?

Well, the Night’s Watch is neutral, so it doesn’t count in any alliances (other than it’s in favour of the living over the dead). You can likely expect Benjen Stark to appear for the Night’s Watch too, but he may not survive S7. Meera and Bran will both join Jon’s alliance, obviously, but I’m going for a completest feature here. Ser Robyn who is the actual heir to the Vale simply does what Littlefinger tells him, so don’t expect anything to change except his status from ‘alive’ to ‘dead’. Sam and Gilly are still around, so expect them to return and ‘fight’ on Jon’s side, even if Sam is technically a member of the Night’s Watch and not allowed to ally with anyone other than his brothers. It goes without saying that - if he cures himself - Jorah Mormont will fight for Daenerys until he dies, along with Daario Naharis. Technically, though, they’re both loners at the moment. The fire priestess Melisandre is perhaps the most interesting neutral right now. While she believes Jon is ‘the Prince who was promised’, he has exiled her. The trailers show that she has gone home to Dragonstone, which is where Daenerys sets up her army in Westeros, so will she join her? Another interesting character is Edmure Tully. Technically, he’s a puppet of the Freys, ruling Riverrun, but with the death of Walder he may well take his revenge on the rest of the Freys and possibly join Jon and his forces via his niece, Sansa. Don’t expect to see Jaqn H’gar again, or any of the Faceless Men (and they don’t pick sides anyway). And just forget about Hot Pie, ok?

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Andy Hartup