(Disclaimer – If you are not up-to-date with Game of Thrones… well, why are you reading this?)

Game of Thrones is coming, and it cannot come soon enough. Night gathers and now your watch begins, resist anything with a Wi-Fi connection (for the internet is dark and full of spoilers), and should anyone DARE tell you a major spoiler before you have watched the episode… well, take your lead from the Lannisters, for a Lannister always pays his debts. The trailer for the penultimate series of the fantasy drama has been released before the first episode’s broadcast on the 17th July, along with the news that the episode count has dwindled from a modest ten to a meagre seven, and that the final season shall only consist of six episodes. So, with only a few episodes left to sing the Song of Ice and Fire, what can we expect from Season Seven?

Dragons. On Dragonstone. Three of them. It is the moment that we have all been waiting for – Daenerys has finally arrived in Westeros. From the trailer, we can see that she looks rather comfortable on a throne of her own in her birthplace, and that she is possibly (definitely) plotting the downfall of her enemies on the mainland. Speaking of which, it looks like time is running out for the Lannisters, with their armies prepared for attacks from all four corners of the Seven Kingdoms. With the Greyjoys and Martells advancing, and Jon Snow declared the new King of the North, Cersei looks a little rattled on that uncomfortable Iron Throne. As for the Starks? Well, a lot of the promotional material around the series suggests a big family reunion could be on the cards (but this is Game of Thrones, so don’t get too excited – especially with creepy Lord Baelish still hanging about Winterfell).

Last series, we had fan theories confirmed (R+L=J), resurrections and bloody battle sequences that looked as if they belonged in Hollywood blockbusters, and from the trailer it looks as if winter is pretty much here. More battles look set to play out on our screens, we can also expect to see more main characters and plotlines converge, and to be introduced to some fresh faces (I suppose when you kill so many of your main characters, that’s bound to happen). Despite only being seven episodes long, this season of Game of Thrones looks set to be bigger than ever before as the budget and shooting time remained the same as previous, longer seasons. The show creators have also said that with the reduced episode count, the plot will acquire a faster pace as we race towards the Great War with the White Walkers and to the conclusion as to who will finally sit on the Iron Throne.

So, winter is here. And if you want to ensure that you avoid all the spoilers, each episode will be simulcast at 2AM here in the UK on Sky Atlantic. Yes, that means setting your alarm for an ungodly hour (by the old Gods, and the new) but, then again, Valar Dohaeris.