Although his “Game of Thrones” arc was short, many fans of the HBO series continue holding out hope that Gendry (Joe Dempsie) will return to the show before it ends in Season 8. If writers David Benioff and D.B. Weiss hold true to author George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels, there’s a good chance Arya Stark’s (Maisie Williams) confidant will re-emerge in the Seven Kingdoms.

“Game of Thrones” is known for moving ahead of Martin’s written works, in which Gendry is still alive and well after escaping Melisandre (Carice van Houten). In the novels he’s working at the Inn at the Crossroads in the Riverlands as a blacksmith. Although the show doesn’t always directly follow Martin’s books, Reddit user Sethg119 speculates that “Game of Thrones” will take a sped up approach to this storyline, picking up with Gendry in Oldtown, where Sam (John Bradley) is now studying to be a maester. In a thread on the site, the avid Thronie theorizes that in beginning his studies, Sam will be drawn to learning about the creation of Valyrian steel. This will, according to the fan theory, leave him needing the help of a blacksmith.

“I believe we will cross paths with Gendry again in Oldtown when Sam starts his studies as a maester,” Sethg119 wrote. “I believe that Sam will study the creation of Valyrian Steel and will require a smith. He will then go to the smith that resides in Oldtown who will be no other than Gendry.”

Benioff and Weiss made sure to let fans know they hadn’t forgotten about Gendry during a July interview on a UFC Podcast. The pair confirmed during the appearance that he is very much alive — in fact, the show runners said he’s right where we left him, rowing the small paddle boat he was given by Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham) in Season 3. Neither Benioff nor Weiss confirmed he would be returning to “Game of Thrones,” but it seems unlikely that such a key character’s story would end the way his did.

“Think of the shape he’s in after rowing for four seasons!” Benioff joked. “Big lats.”

There has been additional speculation that Gendry will return to King’s Landing to shake things up for Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), who is currently seated on the Iron Throne following the Season 6 finale. Fans will recall that Gendry is not only an exceptional blacksmith — he is also the last living child of Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy), who died many seasons ago. As such, some believe he’s the rightful heir to the throne. Thronies are also interested in seeing what Gendry’s return means for Arya’s story, as she continues making headway on her kill list and making her way back to Winterfell.

It is highly unlikely that writers will confirm or deny details of the Season 7 plot, especially with so many months until it returns. Fans will have to tune in in 2017 to find out once and for all whether Gendry made it out of the water alive.