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How Gendry Will Return To Game Of Thrones In Season 7

While we still have many months to go before Game of Thrones season 7 premieres, the production and filming of the HBO drama is in full swing, and with that comes plenty of set photos and leaks. Perhaps the most interesting development revealed during filming thus far is the return of a long-time fan favorite character: Gendry. This bastard-turned-blacksmith hasn't been seen onscreen since the finale of season 3—when Davos Seaworth bundled the teen aboard a rowboat and sent him off to an uncertain fate. But all that will change in season 7, when Gendry finally returns to the fold. Read on to find out how it will happen, but beware: this post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones season 7, including interviews, set photos, and more.

Still rowing?

The absence of Gendry on the show since the season 3 finale "Mhysa" has turned into a bit of an inside joke among fans, which showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff reinforced on the UFC Unfiltered podcast earlier this summer:

Dan Weiss: "He's still rowing."

David Benioff: "Yes, he's still rowing. It's a long, a very long–"

Dan Weiss: "He's coming up on Florida."

David Benioff: "He's getting in great shape. Think of the shape he's in after rowing for four seasons."

Dan Weiss: "Big lats."

Apparently, Gendry has managed to row himself back into the plot of season 7, and those big lats will also have a role to play in his story.

A bastard in Belfast

Actor Joe Dempsie, who plays our favorite Baratheon bastard, has been spotted various times around and on set this fall. The first sighting came back in September, when fans managed to spot Dempsie—unsuccessfully hiding those lats under his hoodie—as he arrived at the Belfast airport. The actor had no other known projects that would require his presence in the city (which serves as Game of Thrones filming headquarters), so the sighting sparked immediate rumors that Gendry might make a return this season.

Back to King's Landing

First, let's set up the backstory for what's about to happen. El Correo posted a video showing Peter Dinklage (Tyrion) and Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth) filming a scene together with a rowboat on Muriola Beach. This set location has been rumored as a filming location for beaches on both Dragonstone and Blackwater Bay. The two appear to speak for a few moments near the rowboat, which has been dragged up on the beach.

Davos and Tyrion appear to be dressed in fairly nondescript clothing, and Tyrion does not seem to be wearing his "Hand of the Queen" pin. We know from other leaks that Jon and Daenerys will meet on Dragonstone this season—which I'll address in another article. I believe it seems likely these two have been sent on a mission to King's Landing, and this scene shows them arriving on a secret cove in order to make their way into the city. But what could that mission be?

Bagging a stag

On October 20th, spanish Game of Thrones fansite Los Siete Reinos published one of the best leaks so far this season: a video which shows the same rowboat—this time, in a scene with Davos, Tyrion, a pair of Gold Cloaks, and what appears to be Gendry. The video shows multiple takes of the same scene, with the cameras in different positions, but here's the basic chronology of how I believe it all goes down:

Davos and Gendry return to the rowboat together without Tyrion, and begin to stow their things. Gendry places a large weapon and a small bag of possessions down into the boat under the tarp as they talk, and then they notice a pair of King's Landing City Watchmen approaching. Davos walks away from the boat to speak with them, and appears to give them some coins as a bribe. He begins to return to the boat, but something one of the Gold Cloaks says makes him pause and turn again. Perhaps they are asking what is in the boat. Davos returns to the boat and throws back the sailcloth, to show the guards they aren't hiding anything. This appears to satisfy the two, who turn and begin to leave the beach.

As the guards walk away, Tyrion Lannister arrives on the scene, passing the Gold Cloaks as he makes his way down to the boat. The guards turn and start to follow him, and Davos again tries to intercede, unsuccessfully. Tyrion trades a few words with the guards, and Davos appears to hold out a bag of coins in the air, which gets the guards' attention for a few moments. While their backs are turned, Gendry pulls out his weapon—which we now see is a FREAKING WARHAMMMER—and bashes in the heads of the Gold Cloaks. Davos runs back to the boat, and the three begin to shove it back into the sea to make their escape.

Wow. Wow, wow, wow.

Yep, that was pretty much my reaction, too. Okay, so let's talk about this video for a moment, and what exactly it reveals. First of all, the presence of the Gold Cloaks proves that this scene is definitely set in King's Landing, and not on Dragonstone. The boat is the same as in the previously leaked scene which features only Davos and Tyrion, so that video must have shown the pair's arrival in the city. Davos and Gendry arrive back to the boat first without Tyrion, so it seems likely that the two advisors each had their own task while in the Westerosi capital. Davos was to find and retrieve Gendry, while Tyrion was probably sent to gather intelligence, or maybe to hold a secret meeting with Jaime or Bronn. King's Landing definitely is the last place Tyrion would want to be while his sister rules—and his brother Jaime did tell Bronn that he'd kill Tyrion if he saw him again—so there must be a damn good reason for him to go on this mission.

We also can't forget about the elephant in the room: Gendry has a warhammer, and he just killed two Gold Cloaks with it! While it appears that the City Watch was interested in Tyrion and not him, Gendry didn't hesitate to pulverize their heads in all the same. So whatever is going on here, it appears Gendry is committed to the cause.

Where'd he get the warhammer?

Obviously Gendry made his way to King's Landing after Davos set him free, and he likely went back to what he knew—smithing on the Street of Steel. He may have even gone back to work for Tobho Mott, his previous master. It seems that he would have been relatively safe there. After all, on the show it was Joffrey—not Cersei—who originally sent the Gold Cloaks after Robert's bastards. Now Joffrey is dead, and it seems doubtful that Cersei or anyone else from the Red Keep knows Gendry still exists. Additionally, we have the scene from season three in which Davos kids Gendry about the Street of Steel being in the "fancy part of town." So the setup is already there for Davos to search for Gendry in his old digs.

The Street of Steel is a logical choice, and now that Gendry knows his true heritage, it makes sense that he might have made himself a warhammer like his father once carried. If it's anything like the exquisite bull's-head helmet he crafted, this hammer will probably be a thing of beauty. It may even be Gendry's "Master piece"—the piece an apprentice smith crafted to pass from being an apprentice to being a master blacksmith in his own right. I've seen some fans suggest that it might actually be Robert's warhammer, but that seems very unlikely to me. Robert's personal weapon is no doubt housed somewhere within the Red Keep, and a mission to retrieve it would be very risky and not worth it.

What do Jon and Daenerys want with Gendry?

Well, besides that smokin' hot bod, they probably want his bloodline. Recent scene leaks have shown Varys on set in Dragonstone, along with Daenerys, Jon, Davos, Tyrion, and Missandei. In the books, we learn that Varys was the one responsible for getting Gendry out of King's Landing before the purge of bastards began, and he may also have been the one responsible for paying for Gendry's apprenticeship to Tobho Mott in the first place. While I'm sure Davos would rather the boy be left alone to live his life, I think it likely that Varys will point out that House Baratheon is now extinct, and with it, the ownership of Storm's End.

What's so important about Storm's End?

Storm's End is the traditional seat of House Baratheon, and the titular castle of the Stormlands—one of the original Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. After the death of Stannis and Shireen, there are no true Baratheons left to lay claim to it. Joffrey or Tommen might have tried to lay claim to it in their "father's" name, but they never did. The current status of the castle on the show is unknown, but it was still rebelling against the crown while Stannis was its lord. The showrunners have not yet revealed what is happening in the Stormlands since Stannis' death, but I believe we're going to learn in season 7 that it has not yet yielded to the Iron Throne. That would bring us somewhat in line with the plot of the books. As of the few revealed chapters from The Winds of Winter, Storm's End was still rebelling, with Arianne Martell on her way to make overtures to the castellan as Mace Tyrell's army approached to lay siege.

If Daenerys wants to take the Iron Throne, she'll need a solid base of operations on the main continent. While she has the support of the Tyrells and Martells, both Sunspear and Highgarden are too far removed from King's Landing to make a good outpost for her invasion. Storm's End is much closer to the capital city—only 385 miles by land—and it has the added advantage of being on its own bay, as well as being nigh impenetrable.

But wait, there's more

Additional leaks have Gendry appearing in yet another scene. Here, we see him leaving Dragonstone in yet another boat—this time accompanied by Davos, Jon Snow, and Ser Jorah Fookin' Mormont. That's right, our favorite friend-zoned knight has reunited with his lady queen on Dragonstone—only for her to send him away again. Dany does spend a tender moment speaking privately with both Jorah and Jon before watching from the beach with Tyrion as they shove off into the unknown. It's very hard to tell, but Theon and Tormund may also be among the men pushing the boat into the water. It appears to be similar to the boat that Theon arrives at Dragonstone in from another recent video leak. Watch the full scene of Jon and Gendry's departure from Dragonstone below:

The presence of Jon and Jorah on the boat is a little confusing at first, but here's my take: If Jorah and Jon are being sent out to a waiting Greyjoy ship, along with Davos (who knows the secret way into Storm's End) and Gendry, we may be looking at a small invasion force ready to infiltrate the rocky holdfast of the Stormlands. They also could be going to rescue Yara, who is definitely NOT present on Dragonstone. Other set leaks have suggested the would-be Queen of the Iron Islands gets captured by her uncle Euron in a battle at sea, so this could also be a potential objective for the group.

What's it all mean?

Here's how I think things will go down. Obviously Jon and Daenerys are going to meet up at some point on Dragonstone. Jon will have Davos with him—he may even have named the Onion Knight as his Hand, much like Stannis did. The two monarchs will plan their next move, and I believe that move is going to involve Storm's End—at Varys' suggestion. Varys will also inform the two about Gendry, who may prove to be a valuable asset to them. Tyrion and Davos will be dispatched to King's Landing, where Davos will collect Gendry and Tyrion will gather information about the current state of things in the capital. The three will escape King's Landing and make their way back to Dragonstone.

After arriving on Dragonstone, I believe either Daenerys or Jon will legitimize Gendry, making him a Baratheon. We've also got another photo of Joe Dempsie as Gendry near the boat, this time wearing a decidedly more fancy fur-trimmed cloak, as well as leather boots and gloves. The fancier clothes make sense if he's been legitimized. This could be a dangerous move for Daenerys, considering Gendry could then be a rival claimant to the Iron Throne himself. But if he swears allegiance to her and she promises him the seat of Storm's End, that may not be a problem.

Daenerys will then send Jon, Jorah, Davos, and Gendry on a mission—perhaps to rescue Yara Greyjoy, or to go to Storm's End and take it for her. Maybe they'll do both. Only time will tell if fans get the long-awaited Gendry and Arya reunion, but I think it's clear that Gendry is going to play a major role in the upcoming season either way. I can't wait to see him in action with that warhammer.

What's your take? Are you hyped for Gendry's return? Where do you think they're heading in that boat? Drop me a line on Twitter and let me know!