Although Game of Thrones is winding down and entering its final stretch, the show isn’t finished introducing new locations. In fact, a crucial part of the seventh and penultimate season will take place in a brand-new space: the Dragonpit.
If you want to enter Season 7 as an entirely blank slate, turn back now.
According to numerous reports from the set, a crucial scene at the end of Season 7 will feature the show’s most important characters gathered in the Dragonpit. Jon Snow will reportedly be there, as will Cersei Lannister, Tyrion Lannister, Bronn, Varys, Cersei, Qyburn, The Mountain, Sandor Clegane, Daenerys, Missandei, and Jorah.
Even if it isn’t for a wedding, when this many characters are together, it’s unlikely that everyone will emerge with their limbs and lives intact. But what in the name of the Seven is the Dragonpit?
The Dragonpit has technically been in King’s Landing all along, but it hasn’t had reason to appear onscreen before Season 7. It’s a cavernous facility that used to essentially function as an elaborate doghouse —or dragonhouse — back in the days when dragon-riding Targaryens presiding over the Iron Throne was the norm.
In the current timeline, the facility is in ruins, and its doors have been closed for over a hundred years. It was destroyed in the Targaryen civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons, which could end up being one of the Game of Thrones spinoff shows.
Opening the Dragonpit’s doors again also opens the door to the era of Targaryens and dragons — which is pretty fucking significant in the season when Daenerys will finally arrive in Westeros. Not to mention, the season when the prospect of Jon Snow being a Targaryen isn’t just a wild theory.
But the site the Dragonpit is housed on is also steeped in intriguing history. Before the Dragonpit, the main Sept of King’s Landing used to be there. A previous ruler — Maegor The Cruel — burned it. Sound familiar?
Cersei was not the only ruler to blow up a Sept. It was also used as a place to burn bodies during a plague, and dragons were killed there. In short, it’s a place steeped in blood and turmoil, with a deep connection to blowing shit up and the Targaryen family. Plus, according to the Song of Ice and Fire novels, there’s still Wildefire stored beneath it from the days of the Mad King. Assuming Cersei didn’t use it in her Season 6 pyrotechnics, it’s still there.
The Dragonpit isn’t only a cool-looking building. Game of Thrones is placing all these important characters in a site that’s historically significant to each of them.
Of course, since The Hound and The Mountain are both present, the Dragonpit could also just be an apt setting for Cleganebowl.
Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres July 16 on HBO.