The premiere of “Game of Thrones” Season 7 ended, as all episode do, with a teaser for next week’s episode. Eagle-eyed fans caught sight of a character that hasn’t appeared on the show since the second episode of the show. You can view the 20-second tease above.
That character is someone near and dear to the heart of Arya Stark (Maisie Williams): her direwolf, Nymeria. Though the teaser only shows a flash of the direwolf (followed by a shot of Arya), it’s pretty clear it must be Arya’s former pet.
That’s because the only other Stark direwolf left alive at this point is Ghost, the wolf that belongs to Jon Snow (Kit Harington).
Nymeria was one of the six direwolves the Stark family found in the first episode of the show, but she met with some tragedy in Episode 2. As Ned Stark (Sean Bean) took his family south on the King’s Road, Arya found herself being assaulted by Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) while she was practicing swordfighting with her friend Myca (Rhodri Hosking).
When Joffrey threatened Myca and Arya with his sword, Nymeria appeared to defend them. She bit Joffrey’s arm, scarring him for the rest of his life, and Arya threw his sword into the nearby river.
Knowing that Nymeria would be punished for attacking the prince, Arya freed her in the woods so she’d be safe. Arya eventually had to throw rocks at the direwolf to get her to leave. We haven’t seen the direwolf since. In response to Nymeria attacking Joffrey, Cersei (Lena Headey) ordered that Ned kill Lady, the direwolf that belonged to Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner).
In the books, there are hints that Nymeria is still around and that Arya still has a connection to the direwolf. Much like Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) has dreams of actually being his direwolf, Summer, Arya has “wolf dreams” of being Nymeria. She envisions the direwolf running through the woods of the Riverlands with a pack, hunting animals and men alike.
If the teaser is any indication, Nymeria’s return is going to be dramatic encounter for Arya — the only image we’ve seen of Nymeria shows her fiercely bearing her teeth.