With season six of Game of Thrones in the home stretch, we can’t help but look forward to conclusions. While executives at HBO might not be happy about it, the epic fantasy series cannot continue forever. While accounts vary on exactly how much more dragons and nudity we can expect in the coming years, things are certainly heading toward a specific endgame.
We’ve spent enough time with the series to accrue certain expectations about the finale. While it will be impossible to please everyone, there are certain things that we absolutely have to see happen in the series before the final blackout. Some of these events will wrap up lingering plot points, some will provide emotional closure, and some will just be too badass to not show. We’ve gathered 14 things we need to see come to pass in order to have a satisfying conclusion to Game of Thrones. It should go without saying that if you’re not caught up on the current season of Game of Thrones (through episode eight, season six), you should probably avoid this list, as there will be spoilers. Also, this list will focus solely on what we’ve seen in the show, so we won’t be factoring in plot points from the novels. Without further ado, here are 14 Things We Need to See Before Game of Thrones Can End.
14. Daenerys Arriving in King’s Landing
It’s been a long time coming. Ever since season one, it’s been a foregone conclusion that Daenerys Targaryen will, at some point, set foot in King’s Landing. She’s one of the most likely contenders for the Iron Throne, and she’s been gunning for it since her inauspicious days as a Khal’s wife.
In the first few seasons of the show, there were some hugely triumphant moments concerning Daenerys and her quest for the throne. We saw her gather armies, accrue followers, and strike down those who stood in her way. But as of late, it’s begun to feel like she’s spinning her wheels. It’s been six seasons, and Daenerys is still on the wrong side of the ocean. We’ve known since the beginning Daenerys is going to have to, at some point, land her boats on the shores of the Black Sea, preferably while letting loose her dragons and an army of Unsullied on the city. We’re hoping this happens sooner rather than later. We can only stay interested for so long in a protagonist who’s a thousand miles away from their goal.
13. The Hound and the Mountain Fight
If “No One” was any indication, this is a fight that’s very near in our future. The eighth episode of the sixth season opened with direct comparisons of the two brother’s strengths, seeing the Hound mow down some Brothers with an axe, and the Mountain literally tearing a member of the Faith Militant apart. Make no mistake, the two Clegane’s are going to fight before this show ends, and it is going to be gruesome.
The fight is not just being foreshadowed with clever editing, it’s also become an inevitable next step in the Hound’s arc. The Hound’s face was mutilated at a young age by his sadistic older brother. They’ve hated each other since the series began. The Hound has found a fascinating and compelling redemption arc as the series has progressed. It’s only logical that he will eventually make it back to where he started, and find some closure with his now monstrous zombie brother. Many people speculated this would come in the form of Cersei’s trial by combat, although recent events lead us to believe that may not be the case. Whatever the circumstances, we can absolutely count on seeing a violent encounter between two of the show’s most powerful characters.
12. Arya and Sansa Reunite
It’s a pretty safe bet that the living Starks will all reunite before this show ends. There aren’t many of them left, and many of them haven’t seen each other since the very early episodes. But the most important, and emotionally essential reunion we need to see is that of Sansa and Arya Stark. When we met them, they were bickering sisters. Sansa was cruel and selfish to her younger sister, and Arya was mischievous and rebellious. Since being separated, these two have experienced some of the most horrific events imaginable. Their arcs have been two of the most drastic in the whole show. Neither sister is anything like the girl she was when the series began. We definitely need to see them together again before the show can end. Their bond is stronger now than it ever has been, and they’ve been through enough hardships, they deserve a hug from each other. The emotional closure this will provide is absolutely essential to providing a satisfying conclusion for the audience.
11. Ramsay Needs to Be Killed
Ramsay Bolton has got to go. And it is going to have to be brutal. The bad karma this guy has built up since his introduction in the third season is almost insurmountable at this point. Not since Joffrey has any character been so violent, so unhinged, so sadistic. Joffrey got what was coming to him via a poisoned goblet, but that won’t be enough for Ramsay. To really provide a satisfying conclusion, we need to see Ramsay get it as good as he gave it, and then some. Ramsay Bolton is going to have to meet the most grisly end in a show full of grisly endings. There’s a good chance this is coming at the hands of Jon Snow in next week’s episode, “Battle of the Bastards”, although we can’t be sure. Ramsay has wriggled himself out of dire situations time and time again, and always lived to spread more misery. Here’s hoping Jon ousts him this week, and if not then, it absolutely needs to happen sometime before the final episode.
10. Lady Brienne and Tormund Get Together
Game of Thrones is not a show that is known for it’s humor, but it has mined some genuine belly laughs out of one duo this season: Lady Brienne and Tormund. Though not much time has been spent on the potential romance, the looks that Tormund shoots Brienne every time they’re in the same room are hilarious. Tormund’s crush actually adds a fascinating and endearing dimension to both characters. Brienne and Tormund are both badasses, known for their toughness and fierce loyalty. Seeing Tormund ogling his newfound crush, and Brienne awkwardly brushing off his looks humanizes both characters in a beautiful way. True, giddy, newfound love is not an emotion that’s explored often in the dark world of Game of Thrones, but it adds a nice layer when it’s included. We’re not sure of the actual likelihood of the two warriors actually hooking up (Brienne doesn’t seem too enthralled by the idea, currently) but we can say it would provide a lighthearted and joyous coupling if it did come to pass.
9. Bronn and Tyrion to Reunite
Though maybe not as emotionally fraught as the pairing of Sansa and Arya, there is one other reunion that we absolutely must see before the show can end. The friendship of Bronn and Tyrion was one of the most delightful combinations we’ve seen in all six seasons. The alcoholic dwarf and the smarmy sellsword had a perfect chemistry that neither has matched with another partner since. We got a brief teaser last week when Bronn encountered Pod outside the gates of Riverrun Castle. As charming as that reunion was, it was only ⅔ of the hilarious trio we spent so much time with in season two. Tyrion is currently serving as an advisor to Daenerys in Meereen, while Bronn is aiding Jaimie in the retaking of Riverrun. Though their paths have gone separate ways, we’re confident the showrunners won’t let the series wind its course without giving us a few more scenes of snarky banter and witty insults.
8. What Exactly Happened in the Tower of Joy
Depending on how much fan theorizing you read online, this may be either the show’s greatest mystery, or a foregone conclusion that the showrunners are dragging out to interminable lengths. Before the events of the show, Ned Stark entered the Tower of Joy to save his sister from the clutches of the Mad King. What exactly went down in that tower has never been explicitly stated in the show, and any references to the event tend to be shrouded in mystery. Though fans of the show have devised a very, very convincing theory surrounding the Tower of Joy, we have yet to see if the theory is correct in the world of the show.
From the events of this season, it’s clear we’ll be getting a definitive answer soon. Though the show has, until season six, avoided indulging in flashbacks to deliver exposition, they’ve found a clever workaround through the psychic powers of Bran Stark. Earlier this season, we got to witness Ned Stark preparing to enter the Tower. You can bet we’ll see what happened inside sometime before the show ends, and it will answer a number of lingering questions about the mythology.
7. Something of Importance to Happen with Dorne
There has been exactly one interesting character to emerge from Dorne, and that character had his head squished by The Mountain. Since Oberyn’s shocking demise in season four, nothing of interest or relative importance has happened with the nation of Dorne, despite the fact that two of our favorite characters, Jaime and Bronn, spent nearly all of season five there.
The potential storylines to emerge from Dorne have been cut short by unclear character motivations and a frustrating lack of development. Last we saw, the Sand Snakes assassinated their king and swore revenge on Cersei Lannister. Since then, we haven’t heard a peep out of Dorne. This may be because they’re organizing a massive and exciting assault on King’s Landing, or the writers may have just realized Dorne was a dead end. We’re hoping they can salvage this storyline before the final credits roll on the last episode.
6. Tommen Dying
This may be the only entry on this list that is impossible to avoid. The show is called “Game of Thrones”, for heaven’s sake. It stands to reason that there’s going to be some upsets in power before the last episode. Tommen has sat on the throne for far too long, and proved to be an astonishingly incompetent king. From allowing his mother to be abused and humiliated, to seeing his wife locked in a cell, to being brainwashed into following a cult, it has been misstep after misstep for the blonde doofus king. There are enough characters vying for the Iron Throne that it is literally impossible for Tommen to make it through the last episode alive. We’re betting there’s a fairly good chance he gets offed before the end of season six. With half the world gunning for his seat, the target on Tommen’s head has become too big to ignore.
5. The Wall Coming Down
We’re dying to see this just for the sheer spectacle of it. The Wall is one of the oldest pieces of lore in the entire mythology of Westeros. We’ve spent so much time on it throughout the course of these six seasons. We’ve seen characters come and go from it, die defending it, and scale it. And at some point before the show can end, we need to see it be destroyed.
Despite all the political maneuvering that holds most of the focus in the show, the true threat has been clear since the first scene of season one: The White Walkers. This army of the undead has been marching south for what feels like centuries at this point, and sometime, hopefully very soon, they’re going to run into the Wall. We need to see an epic battle take place here, and we need to see The Wall crumble. This will be a thrilling and devastating example of the power the White Walkers hold, and it will truly let us know our time in Westeros is nearing the end.
4. Walder Frey Gets What’s Coming To Him
It’s funny that the character who was instrumental in the deaths of several of our favorite heroes is not more hated than he is. Part of it may be David Bradley’s wonderful portrayal of the character, and some of it may be the general ineptitude he shows in other aspects of his personality, but we just can’t bring ourselves to hate Walder Frey as much as we hate, say, Joffrey or Ramsay.
That being said, we do need to see him die before the show can end. This is the guy who orchestrated The Red Wedding, after all! While we may not take a perverse pleasure in his demise the way we will when Ramsay dies, we do need to see Walder Frey get punished in order for the narrative as a whole to be satisfying. The world of Game of Thrones is certainly not kind or fair, but there is an intense sense of honor pervading the series. Frey can’t survive after the treacherous acts he committed.
3. Arya Reuniting With Her Direwolf
The Direwolves that the Starks found in the first episode have not fared particularly well. Of the original pack, only two are left alive: Jon Snow’s Ghost, and Arya’s Nymeria. Nymeria has not been seen since Arya sent her away in season one. We don’t know what Nymeria’s been up to all this time, but we absolutely guarantee that the show will not end without her reuniting with Arya at some point. We’re willing to bet the return of Nymeria will be a pretty explosive moment. These two aren’t just going to happen upon each other while shopping in the bazaar. We have a feeling Nymeria may come to rescue Arya at the moment when she needs her dog most. We’re sure this reunion will not only be exciting, but it will be emotionally cathartic as well. Nymeria hasn’t seen Arya since she was a little girl. She’s matured significantly since then, and seeing her old pup may remind her of the innocence she’s lost.
2. Gendry’s Return
Gendry is perhaps the most important Game of Thrones character who we haven’t seen in three seasons. The last time we saw poor Gendry, he was being smuggled away from Melisandre and Stannis Baratheon in a rowboat by Sir Davos. Since then, we haven’t seen or heard anything about Gendry’s whereabouts.
Gendry is a key character because he was a bastard son of Robert Baratheon. This means that he is now the last known person alive to have Baratheon blood in him. This gives Gendry a viable claim to the throne, now that Shireen and Stannis are dead. It is unclear if the show is just going to let this lie, or if Gendry is going to make a triumphant return before the show ends. We’re hoping for the latter. Not only is Gendry an important character in the royal lineage of the show, he’s also an endearing and interesting character, period. His relationship with Arya is tender and endearing, and we’d all be happier with him back in our lives.
1. Dragons Fighting White Walkers
George R. R. Martin wrote his fans a check in 1996 when he published the first novel in his fantasy series, and he has yet to cash it. When he chose to name his series A Song of Ice and Fire, he was implicitly promising us one thing: at some point in the series, fire and ice come together. Since two of the biggest natural forces in the series and TV show are the dragons and the White Walkers, it is only logical to expect them to “dance” before this is all over. And what a dance that will be.
We know that White Walkers are impervious to all but two things: Valyrian steel, and Dragonglass. The latter leads us to believe that the widespread destruction of the White Walkers must come in the form of Daenerys’ flying beasts. This epic confrontation has been teased since the beginning of the series, and now that the series is winding down, we demand to see it in all it’s glory. We’d be fine with the Dragon/White Walker battle taking up multiple episodes of the last season. We have a feeling it will be too awesome to contain in merely one.
Did we leave anything out? What do you want to see before Game of Thrones calls it quits? Tell us in the comments!