There are two different endings to a season of Game of Thrones. The first is hopeful, establishing a few loose ends for the next season but isn’t otherwise a “holy shit” moment (see: Daenerys’s crowd-surf at the end of Season 3 or the end of Season 4 when Arya sets sail for Braavos, or Daenerys sailing to Westeros at the end of Season 6). The second is the “holy shit” cliffhanger (Season 5’s murder of Jon Snow; Season 2’s army of White Walkers). Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark, has revealed that Season 7 will fall into the second category.
Season 7 will end with “a huge cliffhanger,” she said in a recent interview. If Game of Thrones doesn’t mind echoing a variation of its Season 2 ending, this could mean the final shot will be the White Walkers breaching the Wall and invading Westeros once and for all. After all, the show has been leading up to it for as long as various characters have said, “Winter is coming.” Six seasons in, Winter is finally coming. The White Walker invasion must happen, so why not have it happen as a cliffhanger?
The second possibility is along the lines of Season 5’s “Jon Snow is dead” ending, in which an important character’s fate is left up in the air. As Maisie Williams has been coy in recent interviews, it might very well be Arya Stark. While it’s doubtful the show would do yet another fakeout with a major character death — not to mention another year of an actor lying to the press — it could leave Arya in a dire situation. If it combines the two finale models, it could even leave Arya being turned into a White Walker.
Season 7 will air in summer 2017 on HBO.