There's a major Game of Thrones player who has been missing from fans' screens since way back in season one, but according to the preview for the second episode of season seven, she's about to make a triumphant return. This furry character only appears in two episodes before being banished to the wilderness, but she's never left our hearts . . . that's right, we're talking about Arya Stark's direwolf, Nymeria.
You might recall Nymeria as the adorable floof who helps innocent Arya pack her bags for King's Landing in season one, then jumps to her defense when Prince Joffrey attacks the youngest Stark sister in the Riverlands. Fearing that the Lannisters will kill Nymeria for defending her — and rightfully so, considering that Cersei orders Lady to be executed in the other wolf's place — Arya sets her direwolf companion free, throwing rocks to make Nymeria run away from Lannister guards. Devastatingly, their tearful parting in the Riverlands is the last time we see Nymeria . . . that is, until season seven.
During the episode two sneak peek, there is a quick scene of a snarling wolf that quickly cuts to Arya Stark's astonished face. We immediately caught this connection, wondering whether this wolf might be the long-lost Nymeria finally reuniting with her Stark soul-sister. So we did what any megafans would: rewatched the preview over and over again, looking for similarities between the new wolf and Nymeria from season one. After much evaluation, it appears that the slightly pissed-looking wolf from season seven is in fact Nymeria! Check it out.
Season One Nymeria, Exhibit A:
Season One Nymeria, Exhibit B:
From the Season Seven Preview:
Though the wolf's coloring has changed a bit, we must consider that Arya banishes her when she is merely a puppy — only a couple of months old. (Plus, let's be real — HBO's Game of Thrones budget has changed a lot since season one, and so has the CGI technology and breed of wolf-dog they use to showcase the direwolves.) So by the time season seven rolls around, it's been years and years since we last saw Nymeria, and she's grown into a pretty ferocious-looking beast! We've long predicted that Nymeria would make her return in season seven, and it looks like it'll finally be happening in the next episode.
Naturally, fans of the series are pretty damn pumped about the long-awaited return of Arya's beloved companion. After the shortest glimpse of the wolf in the trailer, Twitter exploded with excitement!
— Ros (@GameOverRos) July 17, 2017
— Ellie Hall (@ellievhall) July 17, 2017
— Night's King (@WightsKing) July 17, 2017
But we have one question: it appears that Nymeria is less than pleased based on her fierce snarling in the clip. Could it be that she still hasn't forgiven Arya for banishing her all those years ago? Has hunting for survival in the Riverlands turned her wild? Or, after Arya worked so tirelessly to abandon her own identity in the House of Black and White, could it be that Nymeria doesn't recognize the badass killer that her former owner has become? Guess we'll have to watch episode two to find out the answer. (Is it Sunday night yet?)