There's nothing quite as exhilarating and agonizing as waiting for a new season of Game of Thrones . Luckily, now that production for Season 7 is in full swing, fans can begin to activate the rumor mill and start poring over every little production secret that manages to escape the show's cold grasp. The latest most exciting piece of news comes straight outta Spain: According to the Spanish-language site Los Siete Reinos (and the Got fansite Watchers on the Wall, where articles from Los Siete Reinos are often translated), Daenerys could go right into battle in Season 7's first half. It was a foregone conclusion during the Season 6 finale that Daenerys, who was hurtling towards King's Landing at the front of her fleet, would be looking for a fight as soon as she landed — but these rumblings of an impending battle at the front end of Season 7 now seem to make that possibility likely.
The evidence: Vanity Fair's Joanna Robinson put in some Beyoncé levels of work to string together the clues coming out of Los Siete Reinos by way of Watchers on the Wall, wherein she deduced from casting announcements that yes, a battle is looming and the battle would obviously be Daenerys'. The casting call for around a seriously large group of men and women who would fit into the "soldier" mold is certainly telling that a huge battle (which has become an expected event in Game of Thrones) is on the horizon. Similarly, the locations scouted by Game of Thrones director Jeremy Podeswa (who could potentially direct the battle episode) capitalize on Spain's beauty as well as its relative flatness.
Even more intriguing, aside from soldier casting calls that sound strangely like the Unsullied army (and the need for lots and lots of horses) is the question of who exactly Daenerys would be fighting. If she's coming with thousands of soldiers from the Martell and Tyrell houses as well as her own hordes of Dothraki and Unsullied soldiers, who could she possibly be facing off against? There's only one answer, and yes, it's exactly the one you're thinking of: Cersei Lannister. The Lannisters have a formidable army, and — considering Euron Greyjoy is looking to get revenge on his niece and nephew (who are now aligned with Daenerys) — he could be joining Cersei to show teach those pesky youths about the consequences of hubris.
The blood feud between that Targaryens and the Lannisters has been brewing since Season 1. Jamie Lannister's assassination of Daenerys' father, the Mad King Aerys, meant that Daenerys has lived her entire life in exile. It's no stretch of the imagination to think that she will be out for Lannister blood, as well as the Iron Throne when she lands. With Jamie newly returned to King's Landing and Cersei on a power streak, Daenerys will ostensibly be further taunted, then challenged into battle by Tyrion's ne'er-do-well siblings.
Putting the battle episode early on in Season 7 would also mean that many of the major characters' trajectories hang in the balance for the rest of the penultimate season. Eliminating mid-level characters (important but not pivotal to the story) like Euron and Greyworm in a battle means affords the Game of Thrones writers a chance to neatly tie up stories and focus on the bigger arcs. Structurally, placing the battle sequence at the front end of the season would be an intriguing shake-up, too, since battles like "Hardhome" and "The Battle of the Bastards" were often reserved for penultimate episode slots.
Daenerys is battle-tested and ready for an all-war, that much is known. Even if these battle rumors are precisely that — rumors — fans of the show know that there is some truth in them. With no other major power clashes in the mix, especially ones that need to happen as badly as a battle between Daenerys and the Lannisters, I hope this battle comes sooner rather than later. See? Waiting for Season 7 isn't all the bad when you have stories like these to tide you over until next summer.
images: Courtesy of HBO; Giphy (2)