Although Game of Thrones is venturing into territory that is dark and full of terrors for its final two seasons, Season 7 might not be as much of a departure from the George R.R. Martin books as we’d previously thought because “A Time for Wolves” is here.
A new Season 7 teaser, which aired alongside Sunday’s Westworld episode, briefly features a quick succession of Jon, Arya, and Sansa all looking stately and dignified, repping House Stark in a way that would make Robb and Ned proud. While it doesn’t reveal anything about the plot, their regal prominence makes this feel like a callback to one of Martin’s older titles: “A Time for Wolves.”
The final novel in A Song of Ice and Fire will be called A Dream of Spring, but its title was originally A Time for Wolves. Considering the fact that House Stark’s sigil is a Direwolf, this suggested a major Stark comeback — which is perhaps why George R.R. Martin changed it to something less on-the-nose.
Nevertheless, though he changed the name, the plot has been mapped out; its major points shared with GoT showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. “A Time for Wolves” might no longer be coming in the form of a book title, but it sure is coming on Game of Thrones. Arya’s aesthetic in particular signifies this.
Because Jon Snow is the King in the North and Sansa has been queenly for two seasons now, their looks are not a surprise. But we haven’t seen Arya riding on horseback since Season 4. Even then, she was a tomboy on the back of Sandor Clegane’s mount. Here, she rides alone, looking solemn and seemingly wearing a Stark cloak. Not only does this suggest more Stark reunions, but it also offers Arya as a contender for the “bitter” part of the alleged Lord of the Rings-esque “bittersweet ending.”
Though Bran Stark is nowhere to be seen, this look presents the Starks as a united front who are ready to kick some ass, though whether dat ass belongs to White Walkers or Lannisters remains to be seen. A teaser that hearkens back to the final book’s original title should raise every Direwolf’s hackles.