Winter may be coming to Westeros, but there's also a 100 percent chance of fire and blood coming in from the east in Season 7's forecast. The finale of Season 6 of Game of Thrones closed out on a shot of the Queen of Dragons Daenerys Targaryen's massive fleet, comprised of Dothraki, Greyjoy, and Tyrell forces. While Daenerys' fleet sailing West is an exciting development six years in the making (more for book readers), it also begs fans to ask, "How long will this take?" Game of Thrones can be a very sporadic show in terms of pacing, with some plotlines feeling rushed (Benjen being gone just after his big return) and other plotlines being extended over multiple seasons (Arya's foreign exchange program in Braavosi). We know that the Targaryean forces are setting sail, but when will Daenerys get to King's Landing?
With so many plotlines progressing at different paces, travel can sometime feel as though it occurs in the blink of an eye. After leaving the Faceless Men at the end of Episode 8 of Season 6, Arya is next seen on the other side of the Narrow Sea in the Riverlands, feeding Walder Frey his own sons and a sharp, steel dessert. Similarly, Littlefinger managed to make his way from The Vale to Mole's Town in just one episode. Will Daenerys' arrival in Westeros be similarly speedy, or will fans have to wait until Season 8 to see the dragons fly over the Red Keep?
A good measure for how long it could take Daenerys' trip from Mereen to Westeros is to look at how long it took Tyrion to make the opposite journey. After being falsely accused of killing the King and rightly accused of killing his own father at the end of Season 4, Tyrion sets sail for Essos and arrives in the Pentos, a city on the western coast of the continent. At the beginning of Season 5, Tyrion is in Pentos and decides to start making moves to arrive in Meereen. After being kidnapped by Jorah Mormont and going through a nasty set of misadventures involving Stone Men and fighting pits, Tyrion finally stands before Daenerys in the seventh episode of Season 5, "The Gift."
This journey from King's Landing to Meereen took Tyrion a break between seasons and seven episodes in total. While in a standard 10-episode season this would leave the show plenty of time to explore Dany's story in Westeros upon her arrival, the showrunners have hinted that Season 7 could be as short as seven episodes. If one were to match Tyrion's timeline with Dany's, it's likely that Dany won't reach King's Landing (what's left of it, anyway) until the possible final episode of Season 7.
While Tyrion's journey from Westeros to Meereen took some time, another of Dany's travel companions seems much more adept at transportation. Varys' performed arguably the greatest feat of fast traveling in Game of Thrones so far by managing to not only get from the city of Meereen to the Westerosi land of Dorne in the span of two episodes, but somehow managed to get back from Dorne to Dany's fleet in the same episode. While Varys' feats of travel are impressive, this raises an even more interesting question: Where in the world is Dany's fleet? It's easy to assume that they've just set sail from Meereen, but it's also entirely possible that the fleet is already halfway across the Narrow Sea.
As Game of Thrones approaches its ending, the many plotlines that have been set up are destined to converge. With only a limited number of episodes left, the show seems to have no interest in wasting any time between show-defining set pieces. While it's not clear when Dany will make her arrival to King's Landing, it's almost certain that she will arrive at the Westerosi capital sometime before the end of Season 7 unless the showrunners have another Wildfire explosion-sized surprise up their sleeves. Who knows? With Varys on her side, the very first scene of Season 7 could be Daenerys setting foot on her home continent for the first time in the series.
Images: HBO, Giphy (2)