The First 'Game Of Thrones' Season 7 Promo Pictures Show Arya Ready For Action — PHOTOS

Those sneaky snakes over at Game of Thrones have seemingly limitless skills when it comes to keeping secrets about upcoming seasons of the hit HBO show. But, finally, the Game of Thrones Season 7 promo shots are here, and I'm going over them with a fine-tooth comb. They don't contain any spoilers, so they're safe for you purists to look at. However, I do think they tell fans about the direction that the character of Arya Stark will be taking this year, and all signs point to that direction being straight into the action.

Now, bear in mind that this isn't even a teaser. This is a teensy-tiny promo that HBO aired during the Nov. 27 episode of Westworld, and it hasn't even made its way to the internet yet. But that's never stopped enterprising fans of the show, some of whom snapped some photos of the promo as it aired during Sunday's "Coming in 2017" segment. There are three images in total, and the first two are fairly predictable.

They show Jon Snow with a fairly blank, mildly concerned look on his face. That tells me nothing, because that's his resting expression. They also show Sansa Stark in what Esquire believes looks like the godswood. While I tend to agree with them, there's not a whole lot to glean from those first two shots. It's the third that interests me. In that image, Arya Stark can be seen astride a horse, with her hair pulled back and a heavy cloak on, gazing at something with a look of consternation. In short, she looks ready for action, and finally seems ready to embrace the Stark blood that flows through her veins.

That isn't to say, of course, that Arya Stark hasn't been an active member of the cast, or that I haven't enjoyed her storyline. It's just that it's been frustratingly separate from the main plot arcs. For full seasons now, she's been plodding along on foot, dressed in rags, while the rest of the major players don armor and swoop around on dragons. It's a huge step in a great direction to see her on horseback and actually dressed for action.

To be honest, the person that Maisie Williams most reminds me of here is Eddard Stark himself, with that cloak and that scowl. I can't tell you how excited it makes me to imagine Arya taking up her father's mantle in Season 7. But regardless of whether she follows his blueprint or forges her own path, I have a feeling that Arya Stark is going to come rushing back into the GoT narrative in a big way next season. I'm excited to see her and Needle kick ass and take names.

Image: HBO