If there's any show on television that doesn't need new characters, it's Game Of Thrones. Despite the fact that the Season 6 finale killed off a whole slew of major characters in a fiery explosion in the Sept of Baelor, the cast list is still overflowing with a whopping 22 series regulars heading into Season 7 — not to mention the dozens upon dozens of supporting characters who round out the show's sprawling fictional world. Even so, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to meeting even more new characters heading into Season 7.
So who will viewers get to meet in Season 7? It's impossible to say, given that the show is now well off-book, following up the events of George R.R. Martin's A Dance With Dragons with largely original material. But just because the writers are charting their own path now doesn't mean there isn't still untapped source material they could decide to use. There have been plenty of characters that book readers had assumed were cut but who instead simply showed up later in the show's narrative than expected (Jojen and Meera, Coldhands, Euron Grejoy).
In that vein, here are seven characters from Martin's novels who haven't made it to the screen yet… but potentially still could in Season 7:
1. Marwyn The Mage
This one's all but a certainty, since new Game Of Thrones cast member Jim Broadbent basically confirmed he'd be playing the intriguing character earlier this year. On the page, Marwyn is introduced in A Feast For Crows after Sam arrives in Oldtown to study at the Citadel. He is the rare archmaester who studies magic (rather than attempting to quash its use like other maesters), and he seems interested in helping Daenerys and her dragons achieve their conquest of Westeros.
2. Rhaegar Targaryen
After hearing a lot about her from her brother Ned and fiancé Robert, we finally met Lyanna Stark in the flesh in Season 6 thanks to Bran's greenseeing. We saw her as a young girl in Winterfell, and then we saw her dying while giving birth to her son, Jon Snow. It stands to reason, then, that in Season 7 we'll finally meet another long-dead character we've head a lot about: Rhaegar Targaryen, who either abducted and raped her, or loved her and eloped with her, depending on who you ask.
3. Victarion Greyjoy
The events of Season 6 seem to suggest that the show has cut out the feared captain of the Iron Fleet, but, after one previously unheard-of Greyjoy uncle popped up out of nowhere last year, it's possible that another is still waiting in the wings for his grand introduction. Brother to both dead king Balon and his murderer Euron, Victarion is dispatched by the Crow's Eye to find and woo Daenerys for him. However, he fully intends to betray his brother and marry her for himself.
4. Jon Connington
Like Victarion, Game Of Thrones already seems to have cut out and moved past this character's entire storyline, but, also like Victarion, the show could still surprise viewers and introduce it later than assumed. In the books, Jon Connington was a loyal friend of Rhaegar's, but, after failing to defeat Robert Baratheon in battle, Mad King Aerys exiled him from Westeros. Feeling that he failed his prince, Connington has spent the rest of his life in pursuit of restoring Rhaegar's bloodline to the Iron Throne.
5. Aegon Targaryen
This character goes hand-in-hand with Connington; in fact, when we first meet them, they are masquerading as a father and son named Griff and Young Griff. But Young Griff's striking blue hair is hiding the fact that he's (allegedly) the sole surviving son of Rhaegar — Aegon Targaryen — presumed dead in the sack of King's Landing, but, in reality, swapped out with another baby and smuggled into exile with Connington. Whether he's really a Targaryen or just someone Connington has raised to believe he is one is still open to interpretation. But if he is Rhaegar's son, that means he actually has a better claim to the Iron Throne than Rhaegar's sister, Daenerys.
6. Taena Merryweather
After the wildfire explosion wiped out most of the cast of characters we knew in King's Landing, newly-crowned Queen Cersei will likely need some new characters to interact with beyond her brother Jaime, her crony Qyburn, and her mute bodyguard Gregor. There are a number of King's Landing residents that never made the transition to the screen, but the most intriguing among them is undoubtedly Cersei's beautiful friend Taena Merryweather, whose motives are just as murky as the queen's.
7. Lady Stoneheart
Keep the faith, Lady Stoneheart fans. No matter how many times the show gets my hopes up and dashes them again, I'll never stop believing that the reanimated corpse of Catelyn Stark will show up some day. Sigh…
Viewers will find out how many of these characters will make the leap from the page to the screen when Game Of Thrones Season 7 premieres on Sunday, July 16.